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In the beginning the Avodah (service) of Karbonos was with the bechor (first-born -- see the mishnah in the last perek of Zevachim. The avodah was done by the bechorim until the Mishkan was built) until after they made the egel ha'zahav. Then the Avodah was given to the Kohanim and Shevet Levi. They (Kohanim) received matnas kahunah (chozeh, shuk, etc) because of their service in the Mishkan (and Beis Hamikdash.)

Before the egel ha'zahav to whom would these presents be given to? The bechorim?

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no one, because Trumot and Maaserot are only applicable in the land of Israel. – Menachem Jan 26 '14 at 21:20
@Menachem Moreover, they only became obligatory in Israel after the land was conquered by Joshua. – Double AA Jan 26 '14 at 21:21
@Menachem, DoubleAA, sounds like an answer. Why not post it as such? – msh210 Jan 26 '14 at 22:15
It can still be asked; what would've happened had the episode not taken place? – Ypnypn Jan 26 '14 at 22:24
maybe clarify that in question? – Baby Seal Jan 27 '14 at 13:37

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