“For they are wholly given to me from among the people of Israel. Instead of … the firstborn of all the people of Israel, I have taken them for myself” (v16). The consecrated tribe of Levi represented all the families of Israel; instead of each family giving their firstborn son to serve in the Temple, the Levites fulfilled that role. They also symbolized the redemption of Israel’s firstborns in Egypt, through the blood of the Passover lamb (v17).
“The Levites shall be Mine” (v14). Rather than one symbolic tribe, people from every tribe on earth can now belong to God, as they are re-born “not of blood …” but by faith in God’s grace (John 1:13).