What Is the Role of a Levitical Priest?


Quick Answer

The Levitical priests' primary role was to mediate between God and people by offering the sacrifices and required by Mosaic Law and pronouncing the blessing or benediction on the people as commanded in Numbers 6: 22-26. The Levitical priests also served as judges for the nation of Israel and as teachers of God's law to the people.

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Full Answer

One Levitical priest was elected to be High Priest. The High Priest could issue edicts for the Israel, and he could enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple to offer the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. The destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem ended the priests' sacrificial duties.

In contemporary Jewish worship, the Levitical priests and the High Priest are the first to read from the Torah in services and pronounce the blessing at the service's end but no longer offer the sacrifices. Orthodox Jews believe that the Levitical role will be restored with the eventual reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Conservative Jews believe that the Temple reconstruction will mean some duties for the Levites but will exclude the role of making sacrifices.

Christians believe that Christ's sacrificial death ended the Levitical priesthood, although Jesus is considered to be a priest in the line of Melchizidek rather than of Aaron as the Levitical priests are, as explained in Hebrews 7:10-12.

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