Numbers 4 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, 2 "Take a census of the descendants of K'hat, who are among the descendants of Levi, by clans and families, 3 all those from thirty to fifty years old; these will enter the corps doing the work in the tent of meeting. 4 "Here is how the descendants of K'hat are to serve in the tent of meeting and deal with the especially holy things: 5 when the time comes to break camp, Aharon is to go in with his sons, take down the curtain which serves as a screen, and cover the ark of the testimony with it. 6 On that they are to place a covering of fine leather, and on top of that spread an all-blue cloth. Then they are to insert the carrying-poles. 7 On the table of showbread they are to spread a blue cloth and place on it the dishes, incense pans, offering bowls and pitchers. The perpetual bread is to remain on the table. 8 They are to spread on these things a scarlet cloth, cover them with a covering of fine leather and insert the poles. 9 They are to take a blue cloth and cover the menorah for the light, its lamps, its tongs, its trays and the jars used to add oil to it. 10 They are to wrap it and all its accessories in fine leather and place them on a carrying-frame. 11 On the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth, cover it with a covering of fine leather and insert its carrying-poles. 12 They are to take all the utensils they use when serving in the sanctuary and put them in a blue cloth, cover them with fine leather and place them on a carrying-frame. 13 After removing the greasy ashes from the altar, they are to spread a purple cloth over it 14 and place on it all the utensils required for their altar service-the fire pans, meat-hooks, shovels, basins and other utensils for the altar. Then they are to spread over it a fine leather covering and insert its carrying-poles. 15 When Aharon and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy utensils, when the camp is about to move forward, then the descendants of K'hat are to come and carry them. But they are not to touch the holy things, so that they won't die. These things are the responsibility of the descendants of K'hat in the tent of meeting. 16 "El'azar the son of Aharon the cohen is to be responsible for the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the continuing grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including the sanctuary and its furnishings." 17 ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, 18 "Do not cut off the clan of K'hat from among the L'vi'im; 19 rather, do this for them, so that they will live and not die: when they approach the especially holy things, Aharon and his sons are to go in -and you are to assign each one his task; 20 but the descendants of K'hat are not to go in and look at the holy things as they are being covered; if they do, they will die." 21 ADONAI said to Moshe, 22 "Take a census of the descendants of Gershon also, by clans and families; 23 count all those between thirty and fifty years old, all who will enter the corps doing the work of serving in the tent of meeting. 24 "The Gershon families are to be responsible for serving and for transporting loads. 25 They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, its covering, the fine leather covering above it, the screen for the entrance to the tent of meeting, 26 the tapestries for the courtyard, and the screen for the entrance to the courtyard by the tabernacle and around the altar, along with the ropes and all the utensils they need for their service; and they are to do the work connected with these things. 27 Aharon and his sons are to supervise all the work of the Gershon clan in transporting loads and serving, and to assign them who is to carry what. 28 This is how the Gershon families are to serve in the tent of meeting, and they are to be under the direction of Itamar the son of Aharon the cohen. 29 "As for the descendants of M'rari, take a census by clans and families 30 of all those between thirty and fifty years old, all who will be in the corps doing the work of serving in the tent of meeting. 31 "Their service for the tent of meeting will be to carry the frames, crossbars, posts and sockets of the tabernacle; 32 also the posts for the surrounding courtyard, with their sockets, tent pegs, ropes and other accessories, and everything having to do with their service. You are to assign particular loads to specific persons by name. 33 This is how the M'rari families are to serve in the tent of meeting, directed by Itamar the son of Aharon the cohen." 34 Moshe, Aharon and the community leaders took a census of the descendants of K'hat by their clans and families, 35 all those between thirty and fifty years old who were part of the corps serving in the tent of meeting. 36 Registered by their families, they numbered 2,750. 37 These are the ones counted from the K'hat families of all those serving in the tent of meeting, whom Moshe and Aharon enumerated, in keeping with the order given by ADONAI through Moshe. 38 The census of the descendants of Gershon, by their clans and families, 39 all those between thirty and fifty years old who were part of the corps serving in the tent of meeting, 40 yielded 2,630, registered by their clans and families. 41 These are the ones counted from the families of the descendants of Gershon of all those serving in the tent of meeting, whom Moshe and Aharon enumerated, in keeping with the order given by ADONAI. 42 The census of the families of the descendants of M'rari, by their clans and families, 43 all those between thirty and fifty years old who were part of the corps serving in the tent of meeting, 44 yielded 3,200, registered by their families. 45 These are the ones counted from the families of the descendants of M'rari, whom Moshe and Aharon enumerated, in keeping with the order given by ADONAI through Moshe. 46 The census of the L'vi'im, whom Moshe, Aharon and the leaders of Isra'el enumerated by their clans and families, 47 all those between thirty and fifty years old who were part of those working to serve and working to carry loads in the tent of meeting, 48 yielded a total of 8,580 persons. 49 According to ADONAI's order they were appointed by Moshe, each one to his specific service or work. They were also enumerated, as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.
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