Laws for the Levites

The Levitical priests—in fact, the whole tribe of Levi—will receive no land or property of their own like the rest of the Israelites. They will eat what has been sacrificed to the Lord. These sacrifices will be what they receive.[a] So the Levites will have no land of their own like the other Israelites. The Lord will be their inheritance, as he promised them.

This is what the people owe the priests whenever they sacrifice an ox, a sheep, or a goat: the shoulder, jaws, and stomach. Also, give them the first produce harvested: grain, new wine, olive oil, and the first wool you shear from your sheep. Out of all your tribes, the Lord your God has chosen the Levites and their descendants to do the work of serving in the name of the Lord forever.

A Levite from any of your cities in Israel may come from where he has been living to the place the Lord will choose. He may come as often as he wants and may serve in the name of the Lord his God like all the other Levites who do their work in the Lord’s presence. If he does, he’ll get the same amount of food as they do, in addition to what he gets from selling his family’s goods.

Laws about Prophets

When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, never learn the disgusting practices of those nations. 10 You must never sacrifice your sons or daughters by burning them alive, practice black magic, be a fortuneteller, witch, or sorcerer, 11 cast spells, ask ghosts or spirits for help, or consult the dead. 12 Whoever does these things is disgusting to the Lord. The Lord your God is forcing these nations out of your way because of their disgusting practices. 13 You must have integrity ⌞in dealing⌟ with the Lord your God. 14 These nations you are forcing out listen to fortunetellers and to those who practice black magic. But the Lord your God won’t let you do anything like that.

15 The Lord your God will send you a prophet, an Israelite like me. You must listen to him. 16 This is what you asked the Lord your God to give you on the day of the assembly at Mount Horeb. You said, “We never want to hear the voice of the Lord our God or see this raging fire again. If we do, we’ll die!”

17 The Lord told me, “What they’ve said is good. 18 So I will send them a prophet, an Israelite like you. I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 Whoever refuses to listen to the words that prophet speaks in my name will answer to me. 20 But any prophet who dares to say something in my name that I didn’t command him to say or who speaks in the name of other gods must die.”

21 You may be wondering, “How can we recognize that the Lord didn’t speak this message?” 22 If a prophet speaks in the Lord’s name and what he says doesn’t happen or come true, then it didn’t come from the Lord. That prophet has spoken on his own authority. Never be afraid of him.


  1. 18:1 Or “They are to eat the sacrifices offered by fire to the LORD or any of the other sacrifices to the LORD.”