Levite, member of a group of clans of religious functionaries in ancient Israel who apparently were given a special religious status, conjecturally for slaughtering idolaters of the golden calf during the time of Moses (Ex. 32: 25–29 ).
In modern times, Levites are integrated in Jewish communities, but keep a distinct status. There are estimated 300,000 Levites among Ashkenazi Jewish communities, and a similar number among Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews combined. The total percentage of Levites among the wider Jewish population is about 4%.
Later in the story, as presented in the Pentateuch, Levi and his family, the Levites, are not numbered with the other tribes (Numbers 1:17–46). Rather, they are set aside for special priestly activities (Numbers 1:47–53), to assist Aaron (Numbers 3:5–9), and to be consecrated to Yahweh (Numbers 3:11–13).
Hebrew for “joined in harmony.” In the Bible, Levi is the third son of Jacob. Levi was also Matthew’s name before he became Jesus’s apostle.
The English name Leviticus comes from the Latin Leviticus, which is in turn from the Ancient Greek: Λευιτικόν, Leuitikon, referring to the priestly tribe of the Israelites, “Levi.” The Greek expression is in turn a variant of the rabbinic Hebrew torat kohanim, “law of priests”, as many of its laws relate to priests.
In Matthew 1:1–6 and Luke 3:31–34 of the New Testament, Jesus is described as a member of the tribe of Judah by lineage.
In order to protect the Kohen from coming into prohibited contact with or proximity to the dead, Orthodox cemeteries traditionally designate a burial ground for Kohanim and their families which is at a distance from the general burial ground, so that the relatives of Kohanim can be visited by a Kohen without him
The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin constitute the historical forbears of most of the Jewish People as it is known today.
Since Ephraim and Manasseh (often called the “two half- tribes of Joseph “) together traditionally constituted the tribe of Joseph, it was often not listed as one of the tribes, in favour of Ephraim and Manasseh being listed in its place; consequently it was often termed the House of Joseph (Beit Yoseph, בית יוסף), to
Jacob’s first wife, Leah, bore him six sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Each was the father of a tribe, though Levi’s descendants (among whom were Moses and Aaron), the priests and temple functionaries, were dispersed among the other tribes and received no tribal land of their own.
Meaning. “attached”, “joining” Levi is a masculine given name. It is the name of the priestly Levite tribe of ancient Judah. An etymology is given in the bible in connection with the story of the birth of the tribes’ founders.
The Levites were officially the landless other. It should be noted, however, that in Josh 13:14, 33, 18:7 a cultic justification is provided for the exclusion of the Levites from land allotment: Levites have the Lord as their inheritance and so they receive no land inheritance.
Matthew the Apostle, also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi, was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
Levi or Lévi is a Jewish surname. It is a transliteration of the Hebrew לוי meaning “joining”. Another spelling of the name is Levy or Lévy. According to Jewish tradition, people with the Levi surname are Levites and can claim patrilineal descendance from the Leviim of biblical times.
In some apocryphal texts such as the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Book of Jubilees, Levi’s wife, his children’s mother, is named as Milkah, a daughter of Aram.