2 Chronicles Chapter 30  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 30
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2Ch 30:27

“the Levitical priests.” The Masoretic Hebrew text (MT) reads, “the priests the Levites,” and this phrase occurs a number of times in the Hebrew text (cp. Deut. 17:9, 18; 18:1; 24:8; 27:9; Josh. 3:3; 8:33; 2 Chron. 23:18, etc.). The phrase “the priests the Levites” is technically correct since every priest was also a Levite. When it comes to 2 Chronicles 30:27, there are some Hebrew manuscripts, the Old Latin, the Latin Vulgate, and the Syriac that read “the priests and Levites,” and some English versions read that way, however, the Septuagint follows the Masoretic Hebrew text.

The biblical and historical evidence supports that the reading in the MT and Septuagint, “the priests, the Levites” is the original reading. It was the role of the priests to bless the people (Num. 6:23-27; Lev. 9:22; Deut. 10:8; 21:5; Joshua 8:33; 1 Chron. 23:5), and a priestly benediction is given in Numbers 6:23-27. Furthermore, in verses such as Ezekiel 43:19 and 44:15, the descendants of Zadok are called “the priests, the Levites” even though all of them were priests. Also, other verses that have the phrase “the priests, the Levites” show that the phrase refers to the priests, not the Levites (cp. Deut. 18:1; 24:8; Jer. 33:18).

Given the evidence, in contexts such as here in Chronicles the phrase “the priests, the Levites” should be understood as “the Levitical priests,” and a number of English translations and commentaries read that way (cp. CEB; GWN; NAB; NASB; NJB; TNK). Raymond Dillard translates the phrase as “Levitical priests,” and writes in the Word Biblical Commentary, “the priests bless the people, presumably with the words of the Aaronic benediction (Num. 6:22-27). There are also a number of English versions that simply follow the literal reading of the Hebrew and retain the phrase “the priests, the Levites,” even though that can be confusing to the average English reader (cp. ASV; DBY; ERV; JPS; KJV; WEB; YLT; Rotherham). The Complete Jewish Bible conflates the phrase for clarity, and reads, “Then the cohanim [priests], who were L'vi'im [Levites], stood up and blessed the people” (brackets added for clarity).


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