At a parshat hashavua shiur that I regularly attend, the rabbi has stated on multiple occasions that the bechorot (firstborn sons of Israel) were supposed to serve the purpose that the Leviim and Kohanim served, but they lost that privelege because they were responsible for the egel hazahav (golden calf). He says that in the times of mashiach, the bechorot will once again take the place as priests.

Does anybody know the source for this statement?

  • 1
    This is interesting to me because I heard that once they lost it it's over, that the bechorim will not get it back.
    – Ariel
    Apr 30, 2013 at 17:47
  • The source for bechorim being replaced by the Levites is explicit in B'midbar (3:40-51).
    – Fred
    Apr 30, 2013 at 18:56
  • Also, I read that the Ohr HaChayyim wrote that firstborns will join the Levites in their service in the future, and that the Arizal wrote that the firstborns will replace the Kohanim (who will then serve as Levites, as hinted to by לכהנים הלוים). I don't have the sources, though.
    – Fred
    Apr 30, 2013 at 19:29
  • Are you asking for the source that the first-borns will reclaim the priesthood, or that this will happen in the times of Mashiah (as opposed to Tehiath HaMethim, per Shulem's answer)?
    – Seth J
    Apr 30, 2013 at 23:38
  • @SethJ any answer that sources something that approximates what I have written in the question is good.
    – Daniel
    May 1, 2013 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


Here link fixedAnd here

דלפי״ז לכאורה מובן שכבר בימות המשיח לפני תחיית המתים יתבטל לגמרי חטא העגל ותוחזר אז העבודה לבכורות כיון שיהי׳ כבר אז כמו שהי׳ לפני חטא הדעת. ובס׳ ׳מועדים וזמנים׳ (ה״ז סי׳ קסט) הביא דברי האור החיים הנ״ל והקשה ע״ז דדבריו צ״ב האיך ישתנו דיני התורה בביאת המשיח שבכורות מזרע ישראל שהם זרים יוכשרו לעבודה, וכן הקשה ממ״ש הרמב״ם בסוף הל׳ מלכים שמלך המשיה מייהם שבט לוי לכהונה משמע ששבט לוי יעבדו העבודה עיי״ש,

From the lubavich rebbe. That even in moshiach's times the avoda will go back to the bechoros (before tchiyas hamaisim) when the punishment of the golden calf will be finished. He brings that R Sternbuch asks that the rambam says the leviim will be working in the bais hamikdosh. He goes on to answer it saying they both will be doing the avoda. I would suggest a simple answer. He doesnt say the avaira of the egel will be forgiven straight away only it will happen in moshiach's times before tchiyas hameisim. That may take some time and until then we will need the leviim. His other question how can someone from the other tribes classified as a 'zor' be kosher. The b'chorim then will not be classified as such.

  • Are you saying that the source of this concept was the Lubavitcher Rebbe? Or are you just providing his explanation of the concept (which predates him)?
    – Seth J
    Apr 30, 2013 at 23:33
  • The Hebrew is full of spelling mistakes - did you copy and paste it or type it out? The most obvious is that everywhere there is supposed to be a ח, you've written a ה, but there are some more confusing ones too. Is צ"ב supposed to be צ"ע? And I think you've written שבבורות instead of שבכורות in the second paragraph. Want me to fix them? (Also, I don't know who האוה"ה is, so didn't know if that was also a typo.)
    – Shimon bM
    Apr 30, 2013 at 23:49
  • It is 'the ohr hachaim.' I copied and pasted it.
    – user2709
    May 1, 2013 at 4:54
  • no its 'tsorich biur' meaning it needs to be explained.
    – user2709
    May 1, 2013 at 5:17
  • Sorry, didn't see your reply until now. The typos are theirs, obviously - who is the אוה"ה? Is that a sefer? Should it be with two heh s or should one of them be a chet ?
    – Shimon bM
    May 1, 2013 at 13:18

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