The covenant with Levi (Mal 2:4-2:5)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Know!

That I have sent this command

To you.

My covenant with Levi

May hold.

My covenant with him

Was a covenant

Of life,

Of well-being.

I gave him

This covenant.

This called for reverence.

He revered me.

He stood in awe of my name.’”

Yahweh had a special covenant with the tribe of Levi, the priests.  Yahweh had set up his life-long covenant with a command to Levi that he would bring well-being to the Levites.  Yahweh had called for reverence.  Thus, the Levies had revered and stood in awe of Yahweh’s name.

The priesthood of the Levitical Aaron (Sir 45:6-45:7)

“The Lord exalted Aaron,

The brother of Moses.

He was a holy man

Like Moses.

He was of the tribe of Levi.

The Lord made

An everlasting covenant

With him.

He gave him

The priesthood of the people.”

It is interesting to note that this section on Aaron is much longer than the section about Moses, due to Sirach’s emphasis on the Levitical priests and their role. The Levitical priests were considered the direct descendants of Aaron, who was the brother of Moses. He, also like Moses, was a holy man that God exalted. However, there is a greater emphasis on the fact that Aaron belonged to the tribe of Levi. Although both Moses and Aaron were brothers, there was very little mention about Moses being of the tribe of Levi. Aaron was considered a priest, but Moses was not. The Lord then made an everlasting covenant with Aaron as he received the priesthood of the people, which Moses did not receive.