Numbers 4

1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2“Count the men in the families of the Kohath family group. (The Kohath family group is a part of Levi’s family group.) 3Count all the men from 30 to 50 years old that served in the army. These men will work in the Meeting Tent. 4Their job is to take care of the most holy things in the Meeting Tent. 5“When the people of Israel travel to a new place, then Aaron and his sons must go into the Meeting Tent and take down the curtain and cover the Holy Box of the Agreement with it. 6Then they must cover all of this with covering made from fine leather. Then they must spread the solid blue cloth over the leather and put the poles ˻in the rings on the Holy Box˼. 7“Then they must spread a blue cloth over the holy table. Then they must put the plates, spoons, bowls, and the jars for drink offerings on the table. Also, put the special bread on the table. 8Then you must put a red cloth over all of these things. Then cover everything with fine leather. Then put the poles ˻in the rings of the table˼. 9“Then they must cover the lampstand and its lamps with a blue cloth. They must also cover all the things used to keep the lamps burning and all the jars of oil that are used in the lamps. 10Then wrap everything in fine leather. Then they must put all these things on poles used for carrying them. 11“They must spread a blue cloth over the golden altar. They must cover that with fine leather. Then they must put the poles for carrying it ˻in the rings on the altar˼. 12“Then they must gather together all the special things that are used for worship in the Holy Place. They must gather them together and wrap them in a blue cloth. Then they must cover that with fine leather. They must put these things on a frame for carrying them. 13“They must clean the ashes out of the ˻bronze˼ altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14Then they must gather together all the things that are used for worship at the altar. These are the fire pans, forks, shovels, and the bowls. They must put these things on the ˻bronze˼ altar. Then they must spread a covering of fine leather over the altar. They must put the poles for carrying it in ˻the rings on the altar˼. 15“Aaron and his sons must finish covering all the holy things in the Holy Place. Then the men from the Kohath family can go in and begin carrying those things. In this way, they will not touch the Holy Place and die. 16“Eleazar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for the Holy Tent. He will be responsible for the Holy Place and for everything in it. He will be responsible for the oil for the lamp, the sweet-smelling incense, the daily offering, and the anointing oil.” 17The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18“Be careful! Don’t let these Kohathite men be destroyed. 19You must do these things so that the Kohathite men can go near the Most Holy Place and not die. Aaron and his sons must go in and show each Kohathite man what to do. They must give each man the things he needs to carry. 20If you do not do this, then the Kohathite men might go in and look at the holy things. If they look at those things, even for a moment, then they must die.” 21The Lord said to Moses, 22“Count all the people of the Gershon family. List them by family and family group. 23Count all the men who are from 30 to 50 years old that served in the army. These men will have the job of caring for the Meeting Tent. 24“This is what the Gershonite family must do and the things they must carry: 25They must carry the curtains of the Holy Tent, the Meeting Tent, its covering, and the covering made from fine leather. They must also carry the curtain at the entrance of the Meeting Tent. 26They must carry the curtains of the courtyard that are around the Holy Tent and the altar. And they must carry the curtain for the entrance of the courtyard. They must also carry all of the ropes and all the things that are used with the curtains. The Gershonite men will be responsible for anything that needs to be done with these things. 27Aaron and his sons will watch all the work that is done. Everything the Gershonite people carry and the other work they do will be watched by Aaron and his sons. You must tell them all the things that they are responsible for carrying. 28This is the work that the men of the Gershonite family group must do for the Meeting Tent. Ithamar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for their work.” 29“Count all of the men in the families and family groups in the Merari family group. 30Count all the men who are from 30 to 50 years old and served in the army. These men will do a special work for the Meeting Tent. 31When you travel, it is their job to carry the frames of the Meeting Tent. They must carry the braces, the posts, and the bases. 32They must also carry the posts that are around the courtyard. They must carry the bases, the tent pegs, the ropes, and everything that is used for the poles around the courtyard. List the names and tell each man exactly what he must carry. 33These are the things that the people from the Merari family will do to serve in the work for the Meeting Tent. Ithamar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for their work.” 34Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the people of Israel counted the Kohathite people. They counted them by families and family groups. 35They counted all the men from 30 to 50 years old that served in the army. These men were given special work to do for the Meeting Tent. 36There were 2,750 men in the Kohath family group that were qualified to do this work. 37So these men from the Kohath family group were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. Moses and Aaron did this the way the Lord had told Moses to do. 38Also, the Gershonite family group was counted. 39All the men from 30 to 50 years old that served in the army were counted. These men were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. 40There were 2,630 men in the families of the Gershon family group that were qualified. 41So these men from the Gershon family group were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. Moses and Aaron did this the way the Lord had told Moses to do. 42Also, the men in the families and family groups of the Merari family were counted. 43All the men from 30 to 50 years old that had served in the army were counted. These men were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. 44There were 3,200 men in the families of the Merari family group that were qualified. 45So these men from the Merari family group were given their special work. Moses and Aaron did this the way the Lord told Moses to do. 46So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the people of Israel counted all the people in Levi’s family group. They had counted each family and each family group. 47All the men between the ages of 30 and 50 that served in the army were counted. These men were given a special work to do for the Meeting Tent. They did the work of carrying the Meeting Tent when they traveled. 48The total number was 8,580. 49So, each man was counted like the Lord commanded Moses. Each man was given his own work and told what he must carry. This was done just like the Lord commanded.

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