The LORD spoke to Moses:
Separate the Levites from the Israelites and cleanse them.
This is what you will do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purification on them, have them shave their bodies, wash their clothes, and cleanse themselves.
They will take a bull from the herd, with its grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil. You will take a second bull from the herd for a purification offering.
You will bring the Levites before the meeting tent and gather the entire Israelite community.
Then you will bring the Levites into the LORD's presence, and the Israelites will lay their hands on the Levites.
Aaron will present the Levites as an uplifted offering in the LORD's presence from the Israelites so that they may do the LORD's service.
Then the Levites will lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and Aaron will offer one as a purification offering and the other as an entirely burned offering to the LORD in order to seek reconciliation for the Levites.
You will have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons and you will present them as an uplifted offering to the LORD.
You will separate the Levites from the Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
The Levites will enter to serve the meeting tent, after you have cleansed them and presented them as an uplifted offering.
They are given over to me from the Israelites in place of all the newborn, the oldest of all the Israelites. I take them for myself.
Every oldest male among the Israelites is mine, whether human or animal. When I killed all the oldest males in the land of Egypt, I dedicated them to myself.
I have taken the Levites in place of all the oldest among the Israelites.
I have selected the Levites from the Israelites for Aaron and his sons to perform the service of the Israelites in the meeting tent and to seek reconciliation for the Israelites so that there will not be a plague when the Israelites approach the sanctuary.
Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community carried out for the Levites everything the LORD had commanded Moses. That is what the Israelites did for the Levites.
The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Aaron presented them as an uplifted offering in the LORD's presence, and he sought reconciliation for them in order to cleanse them.
After this the Levites went in to perform their service in the meeting tent before Aaron and his sons. They did for the Levites just as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning them.
The LORD spoke to Moses:
This rule applies to the Levites: Everyone 25 years old and above will enter into service, performing the duties for the meeting tent.
At 50 years old each will retire from service. They will perform their duties no longer.
Each may assist his fellow Levites in the meeting tent with some responsibilities, but he may not perform service. This is how you should assign responsibilities to the Levites.