LEVITES, or sons of Levi (son of Jacob by Leah), a sacred caste in ancient Israel, the guardians of the temple service at Jerusalem.'
In the last stage (c) the exclusion of the ordinary Levites from all share in the priesthood of the sons of Aaron is looked upon as a matter of course, dating from the institution of priestly worship by Moses.
Some of the latter were either not conquered by the Israelites until long after the invasion, or, if conquered, were not held by Levites; and names are wanting of places in which priests are actually known to have lived.
Further, instead of holding cities and pasture-grounds, the Levites are sometimes described as scattered and divided (Gen.
This fluctuation finds a parallel in the age at which the Levites were to serve; for neither has any reasonable explanation been found on the traditional view.