ויאמר משה. וכבר אמר להם כמו וייצר ה' אלהים ורבים ככה. AND MOSES SAID. Its meaning is, and Moses already said to them.133Thug va-yomer is a pluperfect. Our verse literally reads, “Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, every man against his son, and against his brother.” Logic dictates that Moses said this to the Levites before they went out to slay the worshippers of the calf. It is similar to Then the Lord God formed (Gen. 2:7).134Which according to I.E. should be interpreted, and the Lord God had already formed. See I.E. on Gen. 2:7. There are many other such examples.135Of the use of the pluperfect in Scripture.
ומלת מלאו. דקדוקו זר. כי פעם הוא פעל יוצא ופעם עומד והבנין קל: [CONSECRATE.] The word milu (consecrate), which is in the kal, is grammatically irregular. It is sometimes transitive and at other times intransitive.136Weiser explains that I.E believed the word milu in our verse to be transitive. He interpreted our verse as meaning, fill your hands with a blessing.
וטעם כי איש בבנו. אפילו יהיה העובד בנו או אחיו שיהרגהו. והשכר הוא שיתן עליכם ברכה. וזהו בעת ההיא הבדיל ה' את שבט הלוי. והטעם שאמר לו השם זה הטעם בהר סיני. על כן אמר ואלה תולדות אהרן ומשה. ביום דבר ה' אל משה בהר סיני. והנה כאשר נעשה המשכן נבדל אהרן ובניו לשרת השם וכן הלוים. אז היתה מחלוקת קרח כי בכור היה כאשר לקח השם הלוים תחת הבכורים שיהיו קדושים בעבור שהם העלו העולות והשלמים זבחו על המזבח שנעשה לפני העגל: [FOR EVERY MAN HATH BEEN AGAINST HIS SON.] Even if the worshipper be his son or brother he must kill him. They will be rewarded with a blessing for doing this. This is what At that time137When Israel made the golden calf. See I.E. on Deut. 10:7. the Lord separated the tribe of Levi (Deut. 10:8) refers to. Its meaning is that God told Moses at Mount Sinai the reason the tribe of Levi was set aside. Scripture therefore reads, Now these are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the Lord spoke with Moses in mount Sinai138That is, the meaning of that the Lord spoke with Moses in mount Sinai is that the Lord spoke with Moses regarding the separation of the tribe of Levi. Num. 3:1-10 deals with the separation of the tribe of Levi. Hence I.E.’s interpretation. (Num. 3:1). Now Aaron, his sons, and the Levites were separated139In practice. to serve the Lord at the time that the tabernacle was erected. Korah’s quarrel140Num. 16:1-34. took place at that time. Korah was a first-born.141Ex. 6:22. Korah rebelled when God set aside the Levites in place of the first-born who were holy.142Num. 3:45. Korah rebelled because he would no longer be permitted to do the temple service, for Levites, although holy, could not perform priestly duties. God did this because the first-born143Unlike the tribe of Levi. brought the burnt offerings before the calf and they slaughtered peace offerings upon the altar, which was made before the calf.