The New Student's Reference Work/Levi and Levites
Le′vi and Le′vites. In Jewish history Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah and ancestor of the Levites. The three divisions of Levi's family are said to have received no allotted territory, only 48 scattered cities. The story of the Levites is one of controversy, some maintaining that Levi was the ancestor of the order and others denying that it originally was a tribe at all. The Levites were set apart for the temple service. See Wellhausen's History of Israel.