“They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it.
Then they are to place on it all the utensils used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. Over it they are to spread a covering of the durable leather and put the poles in place.
“After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.
“Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles.”
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
“See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites.
So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things, do this for them: Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry.
But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die.”
The LORD said to Moses,
“Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans.
Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.