Census carried out of the levites

Numbers 3:15 (KJV)

15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.

Numbers 3:39 (KJV)

39 All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand

Census carried of the firstborn sons of Israel

Numbers 3:43 (KJV)

43 And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.

The superfluous number

Numbers 3:46 (KJV)

46 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites;

The firstborn sons of Israel were more than the Levites by 273 persons who had been counted in the census.This entailed that the superfluous number should be redeemed for a fee of five shekels per head.

What method was used to select/choose those that were going to pay the redemption money?

1 Answer 1


The Talmud (Sanhedrin 17a) states that they were selected through a lottery. On 22,000 pieces they wrote Levite, and on 273 they wrote 5 shekel, they mixed them together in one box, and everyone did what was written on his ticket.

Hope that helps.

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