In Biblical times, the tribe of Levi owned no land. There were other provisions for their upkeep.

What if a Levite man married a non-levite woman who owned property. Or what if a Levite man made a loan to a non-Levi and was repaid in land. Did that land say in the tribe of Levi?

  • 1
    There is a difference between inherited land and acquired land
    – kouty
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:34
  • @kouty True, but it's a valid point that if a woman inherited her father and then later married a levite then that would be a levi with heritable land. Technically it is owned by his wife, but would remain in the levitic family as inheritance if she isn't divorced from him before her death. Sep 20, 2016 at 13:00
  • @IsaacKotlicky you mean that this is the core of the question? I will search
    – kouty
    Sep 20, 2016 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


The status of land transferred between tribes through inheritance is dealt with in the Mishna Arakhin 33b. This is how the Rambam rules (Yovel 13:8-9 (English)):

ישראל שירש את אבי אימו לוי--הרי זה גואל כלויים, אף על פי שאינו לוי, הואיל והערים או השדות הן של לויים, גואל לעולם: שדין זה תלוי במקומות אלו, לא בבעלים. ולוי שירש את אבי אימו ישראל--אינו גואל כלויים, אלא כישראל: שלא נאמר "גאולת עולם, תהיה ללויים" (ויקרא כה,לב), אלא בערי הלויים.‏
When an Israelite inherits property from his maternal grandfather who was a Levi, although he is not a Levite, he may redeem [the property] as if he was a Levite. Since these cities or fields belong to the Levities, they may be redeemed forever. For this law is dependent on [the characteristics of] these places, not of the owners. When a Levite inherits the property of his maternal grandfather who is an Israelite, he does not have the redemption rights of a Levite, only those of an Israelite, for the verse "The Levites will have eternal rights of redemption" applies only in the cities of the Levites.

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