Who Now Are The Levites?
(This article first appeared as a seven-part blog by Dr. Stephen Pidgeon, November 3-10, 2014.)
The blessing of Leviy and Yahudah
One of the most significant prophetic scriptures which have come to influence the ways of the Western World is the blessing of Ya’akov on his twelve sons found in Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 49. So many of the patterns set forth there have worked in the way foretold for all of these centuries.
Yet there is another blessing which has gone unnoticed by the 66-book book club, because the blessing is the blessing of Yitschaq on his two grandchildren Leviy and Yahudah. You might recall a similar blessing of the grandchildren set forth in Bere’shiyth 48:
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 48:8-20
And Yisra’el beheld Yoceph’s את eth-sons, and said, Who are these? 9 And Yoceph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom ELOHIYM has given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray you, unto me, and I will bless them. 10 Now the eyes of Yisra’el were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Yisra’el said unto El-Yoceph, I had not thought to see your face: and, lo, ELOHIYM has showed me also את eth-your seed. 12 And Yoceph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 And Yoceph took את eth-them both, את eth-Ephrayim in his right hand toward Yisra’el's left hand, and את eth-Menashsheh in his left hand toward Yisra’el's right hand, and brought them near unto him. 14 And Yisra’el stretched out את eth-his right hand, and laid it upon Ephrayim's head, who was the younger, and את eth-his left hand upon Menashsheh's head, guiding את eth-his hands wittingly; for Menashsheh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed את eth-Yoceph, and said, ELOHIYM, before whom my fathers Avraham and Yitschaq did walk, the ELOHIYM which fed me all my life long unto this day, 16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless את eth-the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Avraham and Yitschaq; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. 17 And when Yoceph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephrayim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephrayim's head unto Menashsheh's head. 18 And Yoceph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put your right hand upon his head. 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In you shall Yisra’el bless, saying, ELOHIYM make you as Ephrayim and as Menashsheh: and he set את eth-Ephrayim before Menashsheh.
So we see the fabulous story of the crossed hands of Yisra’el in giving the blessing to his grandsons, the sons of Yoceph. In the book of Yovheliym (Jubilees), we see yet another blessing from the Patriarch to his grandsons, this time not from Ya’akov to Ephrayim and Menashsheh, but from Yitschaq to Leviy and Yahudah.
Yovheliym (Jubilees) 31:5-23
And Ya`aqov went to his father Yitschaq and to his mother Rivqah, to the house of his father Avraham, and he took two of his sons with him, Leviy and Yahudah, and he came to his father Yitschaq and to his mother Rivqah. 6 And Rivqah came forth from the tower to the front of it to kiss Ya`aqov and embrace him; for her ruach had revived when she heard: 'Behold Ya`aqov your son has come'; and she kissed him. 7 And she saw his two sons, and she recognized them, and said unto him: 'Are these your sons, my son?' and she embraced them and kissed them, and blessed them, saying: 'In you shall the seed of Avraham become illustrious, and ye shall prove a blessing on the earth.' 8 And Ya`aqov went in to Yitschaq his father, to the chamber where he lay, and his two sons were with him, and he took the hand of his father, and stooping down he kissed him, and Yitschaq clung to the neck of Ya`aqov his son, and wept upon his neck. 9 And the darkness left the eyes of Yitschaq, and he saw the two sons of Ya`aqov, Leviy, and Yahudah, and he said: 10 'Are these your sons, my son? for they are like you.' And he said unto him that they were truly his sons: 'And you have truly seen that they are truly my sons'. 11 And they came near to him, and he turned and kissed them and embraced them both together.
The Blessing of Leviy
12 And the RUACH of Prophecy came down into his mouth, and he took Leviy by his right hand and Yahudah by his left. 13 And he turned to Leviy first, and began to bless him first, and said unto him: may the ELOHIYM of all, the very YAHUAH of all the ages, bless you and your children throughout all the ages. 14 And may YAHUAH give to you and to your seed greatness and great glory, and cause you and your seed, from among all flesh, to approach him to serve in his sanctuary as the angels of the presence and as the holy ones. Even as they, shall the seed of your sons be for glory and greatness and holiness, and may he make them great unto all the ages. 15 And they shall be judges and princes, and chiefs of all the seed of the sons of Ya`aqov; They shall speak the Word of YAHUAH in righteousness, and they shall judge all his judgments in righteousness. And they shall declare my ways to Ya`aqov and my paths to Yisra’el. The blessing of YAHUAH shall be given in their mouths to bless all the seed of the beloved. 16 Your mother has called your name Leviy, and justly has she called your name; you shall be joined to YAHUAH and be the companion of all the sons of Ya`aqov; let his table be yours, and do you and your sons eat thereof; and may your table be full unto all generations, and your food fail not unto all the ages. 17 And let all who hate you fall down before you, and let all your adversaries be rooted out and perish; And blessed be he that blesses you, and cursed be every nation that curses you.'
The Blessing of Yahudah
18 And to Yahudah he said: 'May YAHUAH give you strength and power to tread down all that hate you; a prince shall you be, you and one of your sons, over the sons of Ya`aqov; may your name and the name of your sons go forth and traverse every land and region. Then shall the other people fear before your face, 19 And all the nations shall quake and all the peoples shall quake. In you shall be the help of Ya`aqov, and in you be found the YAHUSHA of Yisra’el. 20 And when you sit on the throne of honour of your righteousness there shall be great peace for all the seed of the sons of the beloved; blessed be he that blesses you, and all that hate you and afflict you and curse you shall be rooted out and destroyed from the earth and be accursed.' 21 And turning he kissed him again and embraced him, and rejoiced greatly; for he had seen the sons of Ya`aqov his son in very truth. 22 And he went forth from between his feet and fell down and bowed down to him, and he blessed them and rested there with Yitschaq his father that night, and they ate and drank with joy. 23 And he made the two sons of Ya`aqov sleep, the one on his right hand and the other on his left, and it was counted to him for righteousness.