February 11

Numbers 3:1 — 4:33


3 Now these were the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that Jehovah spoke with Moses in Mount Sinai. 2 And these were the names of Aaron’s sons: the firstborn Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 3 These were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests whose hands had been filled with power to act as priests. 4 However, Nadab and Abihu died before Jehovah when they offered illegitimate fire before Jehovah in the wilderness of Sinai; and they did not come to have any sons. But Eleazar and Ithamar continued to act as priests along with Aaron their father.

5 And Jehovah proceeded to speak to Moses, saying: 6 “Bring the tribe of Levi near, and you must stand them before Aaron the priest, and they must minister to him. 7 And they must keep their obligation to him and their obligation to all the assembly before the tent of meeting in discharging the service of the tabernacle. 8 And they must take care of all the utensils of the tent of meeting, even the obligation of the sons of Israel in discharging the service of the tabernacle. 9 And you must give the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They are given ones, given to him from the sons of Israel. 10 And you should appoint Aaron and his sons, and they must take care of their priesthood; and any stranger coming near should be put to death.”

11 And Jehovah continued to speak to Moses, saying: 12 “As for me, look! I do take the Levites from among the sons of Israel in place of all the firstborn opening the womb of the sons of Israel; and the Levites must become mine. 13 For every firstborn is mine. In the day that I struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified to myself every firstborn in Israel from man to beast. They should become mine. I am Jehovah.”

14 And Jehovah spoke further to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying: 15 “Register the sons of Levi according to the house of their fathers by their families. Every male from a month old upward you should register.” 16 And Moses began to register them at the order of Jehovah, just as he had been commanded. 17 And these came to be the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon and Kohath and Merari.

18 Now these were the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei.

19 And the sons of Kohath by their families were Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.

20 And the sons of Merari by their families were Mahli and Mushi.

These were the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.

21 Of Gershon there were the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites. These were the families of the Gershonites. 22 Their registered ones were by number of all males from a month old upward. Their registered ones were seven thousand five hundred. 23 The families of the Gershonites were behind the tabernacle. They were encamped to the west. 24 And the chieftain of the paternal house for the Gershonites was Eliasaph the son of Lael. 25 And the obligation of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting was the tabernacle and the tent, its covering and the screen of the entrance of the tent of meeting, 26 and the hangings of the courtyard and the screen of the entrance of the courtyard that is round about the tabernacle and the altar, and its tent cords, for all its service.

27 And of Kohath there were the family of the Amramites and the family of the Izharites and the family of the Hebronites and the family of the Uzzielites. These were the families of the Kohathites. 28 Among the number of all the males from a month old upward there were eight thousand six hundred, taking care of the obligation to the holy place. 29 The families of the sons of Kohath were encamped on the side of the tabernacle to the south. 30 And the chieftain of the paternal house for the families of the Kohathites was Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 And their obligation was the Ark and the table and the lampstand and the altars and the utensils of the holy place with which they would minister and the screen, and all its service.

32 And the chieftain of the chieftains of the Levites was Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, who had the oversight of those taking care of the obligation to the holy place.

33 Of Merari there were the family of the Mahlites and the family of the Mushites. These were the families of Merari. 34 And their registered ones by the number of all the males from a month old upward were six thousand two hundred. 35 And the chieftain of the paternal house for the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. They were encamped on the side of the tabernacle toward the north. 36 And the oversight for which the sons of Merari were obligated was over the panel frames of the tabernacle and its bars and its pillars and its socket pedestals and all its utensils and all its service, 37 and the pillars of the courtyard round about and their socket pedestals and their tent pins and their tent cords.

38 And those camping before the tabernacle toward the east, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrising, were Moses and Aaron and his sons, those taking care of the obligation to the sanctuary, as the obligation for the sons of Israel. And any stranger coming near would be put to death.

39 All the registered ones of the Levites whom Moses and Aaron registered at the order of Jehovah by their families, all the males from a month old upward, were twenty-two thousand.

40 Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Register all the firstborn males of the sons of Israel from a month old upward, and take the number of their names. 41 And you must take the Levites for me—I am Jehovah—in place of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the domestic animals of the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the domestic animals of the sons of Israel.” 42 And Moses proceeded, just as Jehovah had commanded him, to register all the firstborn among the sons of Israel. 43 And all the firstborn males by the number of the names from a month old upward of their registered ones came to be twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.

44 And Jehovah continued to speak to Moses, saying: 45 “Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the domestic animals of the Levites in place of their domestic animals; and the Levites must become mine. I am Jehovah. 46 And as the ransom price of the two hundred and seventy-three from the firstborn of the sons of Israel, who are in excess of the Levites, 47 you must take five shekels for each individual. In the shekel of the holy place you should take it. A shekel is twenty gerahs. 48 And you must give the money to Aaron and his sons as the ransom price of those who are in excess of them.” 49 So Moses took the money of the redemption price from those who were in excess of the ransom price of the Levites. 50 From the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money, a thousand three hundred and sixty-five shekels, in the shekel of the holy place. 51 Then Moses gave the money of the ransom price to Aaron and his sons according to the order of Jehovah, just as Jehovah had commanded Moses.


4 Jehovah now spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 2 “There will be a taking of the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, according to their families in the house of their fathers, 3 from thirty years old upward to fifty years old, all those going into the service group to do the work in the tent of meeting.

4 “This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting. It is something most holy: 5 And Aaron and his sons must come in when the camp is departing, and they must take down the screening curtain and must cover the ark of the testimony with it. 6 And they must put a covering of sealskins over it and spread out an entire cloth of blue on top and put in its poles.

7 “And they will spread out a cloth of blue over the table of showbread, and they must put upon it the dishes and the cups and the bowls and the pitchers of the drink offering; and the constant bread should continue on it. 8 And they must spread out a cloth of coccus scarlet over them, and they must cover it with a covering of sealskins and put in its poles. 9 And they must take a cloth of blue and cover the lampstand of the luminary and its lamps and its snuffers and its fire holders and all its vessels for oil with which they regularly minister to it. 10 And they must put it and all its utensils into a covering of sealskins and put it upon a bar. 11 And over the golden altar they will spread out a cloth of blue, and they must cover it with a covering of sealskins and put in its poles. 12 And they must take all the utensils of the ministry with which they regularly minister in the holy place, and they must put them in a cloth of blue and cover them with a covering of sealskins and put them upon a bar.

13 “And they must clear away the fatty ashes of the altar and spread out a cloth of wool dyed reddish purple over it. 14 And they must put upon it all its utensils with which they regularly minister at it, the fire holders, the forks and the shovels and the bowls, all the utensils of the altar; and they must spread out over it a covering of sealskins and put in its poles.

15 “And Aaron and his sons must finish covering the holy place and all the utensils of the holy place when the camp is departing, and after that the sons of Kohath will come in to carry them, but they must not touch the holy place so that they have to die. These things are the load of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting.

16 “And the oversight of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is over the oil of the luminary and the perfumed incense and the constant grain offering and the anointing oil, the oversight of all the tabernacle and all that is in it, namely, the holy place and its utensils.”

17 And Jehovah spoke further to Moses and Aaron, saying: 18 “Do not let the tribe of the families of the Kohathites be cut off from among the Levites. 19 But do this for them that they may indeed keep alive and may not die for their approaching the most holy things. Aaron and his sons will come in, and they must assign them each one to his service and to his load. 20 And they must not come in to see the holy things for the least moment of time, and so they have to die.”

21 Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying: 22 “There will be a taking of the sum of the sons of Gershon, yes, them by the house of their fathers according to their families. 23 From thirty years old upward to fifty years you will register them, all who come to enter into the service group to render service in the tent of meeting. 24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites as to serving and as to carrying. 25 And they must carry the tent cloths of the tabernacle and the tent of meeting, its covering and the sealskin covering that is on top over it, and the screen of the entrance of the tent of meeting, 26 and the hangings of the courtyard and the entrance screen of the gate of the courtyard that is round about the tabernacle and the altar, and their tent cords and all their service utensils, and all things with which work is regularly done. Thus they must serve. 27 At the order of Aaron and his sons all the service of the sons of the Gershonites should take place as regards all their loads and all their service, and YOU must assign all their loads to them by obligation. 28 This is the service of the families of the sons of the Gershonites in the tent of meeting, and their obligatory service is under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

29 “As for the sons of Merari, you will register them by their families in the house of their fathers. 30 From thirty years old upward to fifty years you will register them, all who enter into the service group to render the service of the tent of meeting. 31 And this is their obligation, their load, according to all their service in the tent of meeting: the panel frames of the tabernacle and its bars and its pillars and its socket pedestals, 32 and the pillars of the courtyard round about and their socket pedestals and their tent pins and their tent cords together with all their equipment and all their service. And by their names YOU will assign the equipment for which they are obligated, as their load. 33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari according to all their service in the tent of meeting, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.”