The LORD also said to Moses,
"I have taken the Levites1 from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring2 of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine,313
for all the firstborn are mine.4 When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD."514
The LORD said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai,615
"Count7 the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more."816
So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the LORD.
These were the names of the sons of Levi:9 Gershon,10 Kohath11 and Merari.1218
These were the names of the Gershonite clans: Libni and Shimei.1319
The Kohathite clans: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.1420
The Merarite clans:15 Mahli and Mushi.16 These were the Levite clans, according to their families.
To Gershon17 belonged the clans of the Libnites and Shimeites;18 these were the Gershonite clans.
The number of all the males a month old or more who were counted was 7,500.
The Gershonite clans were to camp on the west, behind the tabernacle.1924
The leader of the families of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael.
At the Tent of Meeting the Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacle20 and tent, its coverings,21 the curtain at the entrance22 to the Tent of Meeting,2326
the curtains of the courtyard24, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar,25 and the ropes26--and everything27 related to their use.
To Kohath28 belonged the clans of the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites and Uzzielites;29 these were the Kohathite30 clans.
The number of all the males a month old or more31 was "8,600.a The Kohathites were responsible32 for the care of the sanctuary.3329
The Kohathite clans were to camp on the south side34 of the tabernacle.
The leader of the families of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan35 son of Uzziel.
They were responsible for the care of the ark,36 the table,37 the lampstand,38 the altars,39 the articles40 of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain,41 and everything related to their use.4232
The chief leader of the Levites was Eleazar43 son of Aaron, the priest. He was appointed over those who were responsible44 for the care of the sanctuary.4533
To Merari belonged the clans of the Mahlites and the Mushites;46 these were the Merarite clans.4734
The number of all the males a month old or more48 who were counted was 6,200.
The leader of the families of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail; they were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle.4936
The Merarites were appointed50 to take care of the frames of the tabernacle,51 its crossbars,52 posts,53 bases, all its equipment, and everything related to their use,5437
as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard55 with their bases, tent pegs56 and ropes.
Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp to the east57 of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise, in front of the Tent of Meeting.58 They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary59 on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else who approached the sanctuary was to be put to death.60