Levi's Name

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We were so excited when we found out we were having a boy. I had been convinced it was a girl, and we even had a potential girl name picked out. So when the doctor called with the results of the blood test, it was back to the drawing board for names. We’d tossed a few around, but nothing had stuck. At the time we were reading through the Old Testament as part of a “read the Bible in a year” plan, and came across the name Levi.

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For those of you who don’t know the history- the Israelites were a group of people split up into twelve tribes. They definitely had a tough go of it for a while. They spent a long time enslaved to Egypt and then wandering around in the desert after they were free. God, however, had promised to one day lead the Israelites to something better- the “promised land.”

At one point in the story, God divvies up the promised land among the tribes, each tribe receiving a specific plot of land. The tribe of Levi, however, was the priestly tribe. They were responsible for taking care of the temple and offering sacrifices to God on behalf of the other Israelites. For that reason they did not receive their own plot of land. Instead they lived off the produce of the other plots. (You might think about elected officials being paid by taxpayers. Because the Levites were always in the temple, they didn’t have time to farm or hunt. So, when Israelites offered sacrifices in the temple, and the Levites, as the priests, were allowed to eat and drink from the food sacrificed there). I love the way the Bible describes it:

“But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance.” -Joshua 13:33

As Ryan and I continued to think about it, we realized how much we loved the name Levi. Not only for the cute nicknames - Leevie, Leevs, or Leviathan (when he’s due for a nap and turns into a little monster) - but also for this biblical significance. We hope our baby will believe there is no better inheritance in all the earth that’s better than Jesus himself. If Levi inherits nothing from us but to experience the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus, that will be enough. We pray he will grow up to share that gift with those around him, as the tribe of Levi opened the temple for their brothers and sisters and shared their inheritance with those around them.

“At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day. Therefore Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers. The Lord is his inheritance.” -Deuteronomy 10:8-9

Levi, may you inherit the joy and freedom that exists in Jesus alone, and may you share it with everyone you meet.