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In Ezekiel 48, where he prophesied about a future temple, he talks about Kohanim and Levites serving. "Kohanim of the sons of Zadok..." or "Now for the Levites, opposite the border of the Kohanim..." and so on. However I have heard (don't remember where) that firstborn males are supposed to be the ones to serve in the Third Temple. So who will serve, the Kohanim and Levites, or the firstborn?

  • Tracking down this idea that you heard would be a good place to start, if you can. – Double AA Jul 23 '13 at 21:28
  • @DoubleAA I'm sorry I don't have much to go on. It may have been something Rabbi Pinchas Winston wrote a few years ago based on verses in the Torah saying first that the firstborn sons are to be consecrated, and later that the Levites got the job by not sinning, and that in the future the original plan will be restored. – A L Jul 23 '13 at 21:36
  • There is a shittah I believe who holds that they all will serve together. – sam Jul 24 '13 at 3:16
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/28295 – Fred Jul 24 '13 at 22:00
  • @AL It's probably worth editing in whatever you can into the question itself and not leave relevant info in the comments. – Double AA Feb 13 '18 at 16:56
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The Ohr Chaim on Bamidbar 3:45 writes that the firstborn will serve in the Third Temple. שאמרו ז"ל עתידה עבודה שתחזור לבכורות

R' Yonathan Eybeschutz writes in Ahavat Yonatan on the haftorah for Emor, that in the future, there will be atonement for the sin of the golden calf, and thus the firstborn will return to temple service.

I've seen many who are puzzled by the above Ohr Chaim, since it's not clear what Midrash/Gemara he gets his statement from. I did see an edition of the Ohr Chaim online that refers to the following Yalkut Shimoni 364:

כל מקום שנאמר לי הרי זה קיים לעולם ולעולמי עולמים... בבכורות כי לי כל בכור

"Everywhere the posuk say לי (=to me) it refers to something which remains forever and ever... by the firtborn the posuk states "כי לי כל בכור".

The implication being, that the selection of the firtborn remains in effect for eternity, and thus it must be that they will eventually return to serve in the temple.

I also found this essay on the subject: http://www.haoros.com/Archive/index.asp?kovetz=833&cat=1

  • Does this include the ones that where purchased/redeamed from the cohen already?, or only the new ones – hazoriz Jun 16 at 20:51
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It is mentioned in the Ohr Hachaim Bereishis 49:28 דבר... He mentions this idea that bechorim will serve in the future based on Chazal.There is more on this topic , this is what I have for now,ayin sham.

  • Does this include the ones that where purchased/redeamed from the cohen already?, or only the new ones – hazoriz Jun 16 at 20:52
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I believe the source of the idea that Kohanim will be replaced by Bechorim in the messianic future is the Arizal (Shaar Hagilgulim 35):

ודע, כי לעתיד לבא, כל שרש קין יהיו כהנים. ושרש הבל שהיו עד עתה כהנים, אז יהיו לוים. באופן, כי כל מה שהיה עד עתה בחי' לוים מצד הגבורה, דוגמת קרח לוי, שהיה משרש קין, כלם יקחו אז את הכהונה, שהיא חלק הבכורה, כנודע מתרגום פסוק ראובן בכורי אתה. וז"ס פסוק והכהנים הלוים בני צדוק. והנה לא נמצא בשום נביא, שיזכיר הכהנים בשם לוים, אלא ביחזקאל, לפי שהוא היה משרש קין הבכור, כמבואר אצלינו. ולכן נבא נבואה זו, כי לעתיד לבא אותם שהיו עד עתה כהנים, יהיו אז לויים. וכן מי שהיו לויים, יהיו אז כהנים בני צדוק. וכל שרש הבל שעתה הם כהנים, יהיו אז לויים:

  • Does this include the ones that where purchased/redeamed from the cohen already?, or only the new ones – hazoriz Jun 16 at 20:52

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