XXX. (151) And beyond all these things he also orders that the priests who minister the offering of the sacrifices, shall receive the skins of the whole burnt offerings (and they amount to an unspeakable number, this being no slight gift, but one of the most exceeding value and importance), from which circumstances it is plain, that although he has not given to the priesthood a portion of land as its inheritance, in the same manner that he has to others, he has yet assigned to them a more honourable and more untroubled share than any other tribe, granting them the first fruits of every description of sacrifice and offering. (152) And to prevent anyone of those who give the offerings, from reproaching those who receive them, he commands that the first fruits should first of all be carried into the temple, and then orders that the priests shall take them out of the temple; for it was suitable to the nature of God, that those who had received kindness in all the circumstances of life, should bring the first fruits as thank-offering, and then that he, as a being who was in want of nothing, should with all dignity and honour bestow them on the servants and ministers who attend on the service of the temple; for to appear to receive these things not from men, but from the great Benefactor of all men, appears to be receiving a gift which has in it no alloy of sadness.
XXXI. (153) Since, then, these honours are put forth for them, if any of the priests are in any difficulty while living virtuously and irreproachably, they are at once accusers of us as disregarding the law, even though they may not utter a word. For if we were to obey the commands which we have received, and if we were to take care to give the first fruits as we are commanded, they would not only have abundance of all necessary things, but would also be filled with all kinds of supplies calculated for enabling them to live in refinement and luxury. (154) And if ever at any subsequent time the tribe of the priests is found to be blessed with a great abundance of all the necessaries and luxuries of life, this will be a great proof of their common holiness, and of their accurate observance of the laws and ordinances in every particular. But the neglect of some persons (for it is not safe to blame every one) is the cause of poverty to those who have been dedicated to God, and, if one must tell the truth, to the men themselves also. (155) For to violate the law is injurious to those who offend, even though it may be an attractive course for a short time; but to obey the ordinances of nature is most beneficial, even if at the time it may wear a painful appearance and may show no pleasant character.