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Numbers 8 (New International Reader's Version)

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Aaron Sets Up the Lamps

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to Aaron. Say to him, 'Set up the seven lamps. They will give light to the area that is in front of the lampstand.' " 3 So Aaron did it. He set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand. He did just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 4 The lampstand was made out of hammered gold. From its base to its blooms it was made out of hammered gold. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the LORD had shown Moses.

Moses Sets the Levites Apart

5 The LORD spoke to Moses. He said, 6 "Take the Levites from among the other men of Israel. Make them 'clean' in the usual way. 7 Here is how to make them pure. Sprinkle the special water on them. Then have them shave their whole bodies. Also have them wash their clothes. That is how they will make themselves pure. 8 "Have them get a young bull along with its grain offering. The offering must be made out of fine flour mixed with olive oil. Then you must get a second young bull. You must sacrifice it as a sin offering. 9 "Bring the Levites to the front of the Tent of Meeting. Gather the whole community of Israel together. 10 You must bring the Levites to me. The men of Israel must place their hands on them. 11 Aaron must bring the Levites to me. They are a wave offering from the people of Israel. That is how they will be set apart to do my work. 12 "I want the Levites to place their hands on the heads of the bulls. Then they must sacrifice one bull as a sin offering to me. And they must sacrifice the other as a burnt offering. The blood of the bulls will pay for the sin of the Levites. 13 "Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons. Then give them as a wave offering to me. 14 That is how I want you to set the Levites apart from the other men of Israel. The Levites will belong to me. 15 "Make the Levites pure. Give them to me as a wave offering. Then they must come to do their work at the Tent of Meeting. 16 They are the men of Israel who will be given to me completely. I have taken them to be my own. I have taken them in place of every son who is born first in his family in Israel. 17 "Every male that is born first in Israel belongs to me. That is true whether it is a man or an animal. I struck down all of the males that were born first to a mother in Egypt. Then I set apart for myself all of the males that were born first in Israel. 18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all of the sons who are born first in Israel. 19 "I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons. I have taken them from all of the men of Israel. I have appointed them to do the work at the Tent of Meeting. They will do it in place of the men of Israel. "That is how they will keep the men of Israel from being guilty when they go near the sacred tent. Then no plague will strike the people of Israel when they go near the tent." 20 So Moses and Aaron and the whole community of Israel did with the Levites just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 21 The Levites made themselves pure. They washed their clothes. Then Aaron gave them to the LORD as a wave offering. That's how he paid for their sin to make them pure. 22 After that, the Levites came to do their work at the Tent of Meeting. They worked under the direction of Aaron and his sons. And so Moses and Aaron and the whole community of Israel did with the Levites just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 23 The LORD spoke to Moses. He said, 24 "Here is what the Levites must do. Men who are 25 years old or more must come and take part in the work at the Tent of Meeting. 25 "But when they reach the age of 50, they must not work any longer. They must stop doing their regular work. 26 They can help their brothers with their duties at the Tent of Meeting. But they themselves should not do the work. That is how you must direct the Levites to do their work."
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