Numbers 4 (New International Version)

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The Kohathites

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 2 "Take a census1 of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. 3 Count2 all the men from thirty to fifty years of age3 who come to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting. 4 "This is the work4 of the Kohathites5 in the Tent of Meeting: the care of the most holy things.6 5 When the camp is to move,7 Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain8 and cover the ark of the Testimony with it.9 6 Then they are to cover this with hides of sea cows,a10 spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles11 in place. 7 "Over the table of the Presence12 they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings;13 the bread that is continually there14 is to remain on it. 8 Over these they are to spread a scarlet cloth, cover that with hides of sea cows and put its poles15 in place. 9 "They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays,16 and all its jars for the oil used to supply it. 10 Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of hides of sea cows and put it on a carrying frame.17 11 "Over the gold altar18 they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with hides of sea cows and put its poles19 in place. 12 "They are to take all the articles20 used for ministering in the sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover that with hides of sea cows and put them on a carrying frame.21 13 "They are to remove the ashes22 from the bronze altar23 and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 Then they are to place on it all the utensils24 used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans,25 meat forks,26 shovels27 and sprinkling bowls.28 Over it they are to spread a covering of hides of sea cows and put its poles29 in place. 15 "After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move,30 the Kohathites31 are to come to do the carrying.32 But they must not touch the holy things33 or they will die.3435 The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting. 16 "Eleazar36 son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light,37 the fragrant incense,38 the regular grain offering39 and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles." 17 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 18 "See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not cut off from the Levites. 19 So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things,40 do this for them: Aaron and his sons41 are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry.42 20 But the Kohathites must not go in to look43 at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die."

The Gershonites

21 The LORD said to Moses, 22 "Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans. 23 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age44 who come to serve in the work at the Tent of Meeting. 24 "This is the service of the Gershonite clans as they work and carry burdens: 25 They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle,45 the Tent of Meeting,46 its covering47 and the outer covering of hides of sea cows, the curtains for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, 26 the curtains of the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar,48 the curtain for the entrance,49 the ropes and all the equipment50 used in its service. The Gershonites are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 27 All their service, whether carrying or doing other work, is to be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons.51 You shall assign to them as their responsibility52 all they are to carry. 28 This is the service of the Gershonite clans53 at the Tent of Meeting. Their duties are to be under the direction of Ithamar54 son of Aaron, the priest.

The Merarites

29 "Count55 the Merarites by their clans and families.56 30 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the Tent of Meeting. 31 This is their duty as they perform service at the Tent of Meeting: to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases,57 32 as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, ropes,58 all their equipment and everything related to their use. Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. 33 This is the service of the Merarite clans as they work at the Tent of Meeting under the direction of Ithamar59 son of Aaron, the priest."

The Numbering of the Levite Clans

34 Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites60 by their clans and families. 35 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age61 who came to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting, 36 counted by clans, were %"2,750. 37 This was the total of all those in the Kohathite clans62 who served in the Tent of Meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the LORD's command through Moses. 38 The Gershonites63 were counted by their clans and families. 39 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the Tent of Meeting, 40 counted by their clans and families, were %"2,630. 41 This was the total of those in the Gershonite clans who served at the Tent of Meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the LORD's command. 42 The Merarites were counted by their clans and families. 43 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age64 who came to serve in the work at the Tent of Meeting, 44 counted by their clans, were %"3,200. 45 This was the total of those in the Merarite clans.65 Moses and Aaron counted them according to the LORD's command through Moses. 46 So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted66 all the Levites by their clans and families. 47 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age67 who came to do the work of serving and carrying the Tent of Meeting 48 numbered %"8,580.68 49 At the LORD's command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry. Thus they were counted,69 as the LORD commanded Moses.
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