Numbers 4

Numbers 4

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1 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

2 "Take a census of the clans and families of the Kohathite division of the Levite tribe.

3 Count all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who qualify to work in the Tabernacle.*1

4 "The duties of the Kohathites at the Tabernacle will relate to the most sacred objects.

5 When the camp moves, Aaron and his sons must enter the Tabernacle first to take down the inner curtain and cover the Ark of the Covenant* with it.2

6 Then they must cover the inner curtain with fine goatskin leather, and the goatskin leather with a dark blue cloth. Finally, they must put the carrying poles of the Ark in place.

7 "Next they must spread a blue cloth over the table, where the Bread of the Presence is displayed, and place the dishes, spoons, bowls, cups, and the special bread on the cloth.

8 They must spread a scarlet cloth over that, and finally a covering of fine goatskin leather on top of the scarlet cloth. Then they must insert the carrying poles into the table.

9 "Next they must cover the lampstand with a dark blue cloth, along with its lamps, lamp snuffers, trays, and special jars of olive oil.

10 The lampstand with its utensils must then be covered with fine goatskin leather, and the bundle must be placed on a carrying frame.

11 "Aaron and his sons must also spread a dark blue cloth over the gold altar and cover this cloth with a covering of fine goatskin leather. Then they are to attach the carrying poles to the altar.

12 All the remaining utensils of the sanctuary must be wrapped in a dark blue cloth, covered with fine goatskin leather, and placed on the carrying frame.

13 "The ashes must be removed from the altar, and the altar must then be covered with a purple cloth.

14 All the altar utensils--the firepans, hooks, shovels, basins, and all the containers--are to be placed on the cloth, and a covering of fine goatskin leather must be spread over them. Finally, the carrying poles must be put in place.

15 When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the sacred utensils, the Kohathites will come and carry these things to the next destination. But they must not touch the sacred objects, or they will die. So these are the objects of the Tabernacle that the Kohathites must carry.

16 "Eleazar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for the oil of the lampstand, the fragrant incense, the daily grain offering, and the anointing oil. In fact, the supervision of the entire Tabernacle and everything in it will be Eleazar's responsibility."

17 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

18 "Don't let the Kohathite clans be destroyed from among the Levites!

19 This is what you must do so they will live and not die when they approach the most sacred objects. Aaron and his sons must always go in with them and assign a specific duty or load to each person.

20 Otherwise they must not approach the sanctuary and look at the sacred objects for even a moment, or they will die."

21 And the LORD said to Moses,

22 "Take a census of the clans and families of the Gershonite division of the tribe of Levi.

23 Count all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle.

24 "The duties of the Gershonites will be in the areas of general service and carrying loads.

25 They must carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle itself with its coverings, the outer covering of fine goatskin leather, and the curtain for the Tabernacle entrance.

26 They are also to carry the curtains for the courtyard walls that surround the Tabernacle and altar, the curtain across the courtyard entrance, the necessary cords, and all the altar's accessories. The Gershonites are responsible for transporting all these items.

27 Aaron and his sons will direct the Gershonites regarding their duties, whether it involves moving or doing other work. They must assign the Gershonites the loads they are to carry.

28 So these are the duties assigned to the Gershonites at the Tabernacle. They will be directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.

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1: Hebrew Tent of Meeting; also in 4:4, 15, 23, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47.

2: Or Ark of the Testimony.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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