The King James Version (ed. 1769) translates 1 Chronicles 23:13 as follows:

The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever. KJV, ©1769

However, the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translates it as follows:

The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. And Aaron was set apart to sanctify him as most holy, he and his sons forever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister to Him and to bless in His name forever. NASB, ©1995

In the KJV, Aaron sanctifies the most holy things (i.e., most holy sacrifices), but in the NASB, it seems Aaron himself is sanctified as most holy. What is the correct translation of the Hebrew:

בְּנֵי עַמְרָם אַהֲרֹן וּמֹשֶׁה וַיִּבָּדֵל אַהֲרֹן לְֽהַקְדִּישֹׁו קֹדֶשׁ קָֽדָשִׁים הֽוּא־וּבָנָיו עַד־עֹולָם לְהַקְטִיר לִפְנֵי יְהוָה לְשָׁרְתֹו וּלְבָרֵךְ בִּשְׁמֹו עַד־עֹולָֽם׃


1 Answer 1


It is both.

The Hebrew word "badal" is mostly used to determine human, personal distinction. "Qadash" describes places, events, or activities that are divinely consecrated or special.

So to paraphrase 1 Chronicles 23:13, Aaron and his children were made different from regular Israelites by becoming priests. The priesthood was a unique office to hold back in their day. Furthermore, in such distinction their responsibility was to carry out the special roles that only they - the priesthood - could do.

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