Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp to the east of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise, in front of the tent of meeting. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else who approached the sanctuary was to be put to death.
The total number of Levites counted at the LORD’s command by Moses and Aaron according to their clans, including every male a month old or more, was 22,000.
The LORD said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names.
Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the LORD.”
So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the LORD commanded him.
The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273.
The LORD also said to Moses,
“Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites are to be mine. I am the LORD.
To redeem the 273 firstborn Israelites who exceed the number of the Levites,
collect five shekels for each one, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.
Give the money for the redemption of the additional Israelites to Aaron and his sons.”