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Numbers 8 (New Century Version)

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1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Speak to Aaron and tell him, 'Put the seven lamps where they can light the area in front of the lampstand.'" 3 Aaron did this, putting the lamps so they lighted the area in front of the lampstand; he obeyed the command the Lord gave Moses. 4 The lampstand was made from hammered gold, from its base to the flowers. It was made exactly the way the Lord had showed Moses. 5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 "Take the Levites away from the other Israelites and make them clean. 7 This is what you should do to make them clean: Sprinkle the cleansing water on them, and have them shave their bodies and wash their clothes so they will be clean. 8 They must take a young bull and the grain offering of flour mixed with oil that goes with it. Then take a second young bull for a sin offering. 9 Bring the Levites to the front of the Meeting Tent, and gather all the Israelites around. 10 When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the Israelites should put their hands on them. 11 Aaron will present the Levites before the Lord as an offering presented from the Israelites. Then the Levites will be ready to do the work of the Lord. 12 "The Levites will put their hands on the bulls' heads -- one bull will be a sin offering to the Lord, and the other will be a burnt offering, to remove the sins of the Levites so they will belong to the Lord. 13 Make the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and present the Levites as an offering to the Lord. 14 In this way you must set apart the Levites from the other Israelites; the Levites will be mine. 15 "Make the Levites pure, and present them as an offering so that they may come to work at the Meeting Tent. 16 They will be given completely to me from the Israelites; I have taken them for myself instead of the firstborn of every Israelite woman. 17 All the firstborn in Israel -- people or animals -- are mine. When I killed all the firstborn in Egypt, I set the firstborn in Israel aside for myself. 18 But I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn in Israel. 19 From all the Israelites I have given the Levites to Aaron and his sons so that they may serve the Israelites at the Meeting Tent. They will help remove the Israelites' sins so they will belong to the Lord and so that no disaster will strike the Israelites when they approach the Holy Place." 20 So Moses, Aaron, and all the Israelites obeyed and did with the Levites what the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites made themselves clean and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as an offering to the Lord. He also removed their sins so they would be pure. 22 After that, the Levites came to the Meeting Tent to work, and Aaron and his sons told them what to do. They did with the Levites what the Lord commanded Moses. 23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 "This command is for the Levites. Everyone twenty-five years old or older must come to the Meeting Tent, because they all have jobs to do there. 25 At the age of fifty, they must retire from their jobs and not work again. 26 They may help their fellow Levites with their work at the Meeting Tent, but they must not do the work themselves. This is the way you are to give the Levites their jobs."
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