Numbers 8
The Lampstand
1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Speak to Aaron. Tell him, ‘Put the seven lamps where they can light the area in front of the lampstand.’”
3Aaron did this. He put the lamps so they lighted the area in front of the lampstand. He obeyed the command the Lord gave Moses. 4The lampstand was made from hammered gold. It was gold from its base to the flowers. It was made exactly the way the Lord had showed Moses.
The Levites
5The Lord said to Moses, 6“Take the Levites away from the other Israelites and make them clean. 7This is what you should do to make them clean. Sprinkle the cleansing water on them. Have them shave their bodies and wash their clothes. Then they will be clean. 8They must take a young bull and the grain offering that goes with it. The grain offering will be flour mixed with oil. Then take another young bull for a sin offering. 9Bring the Levites to the front of the Meeting Tent. And gather all the Israelites around. 10Bring the Levites before the Lord. Then the Israelites should put their hands on them.# This showed that the people had a part in giving the Levites their special work. 11Aaron will present the Levites before the Lord. They will be like an offering presented from the Israelites. Then the Levites will be ready to do the work of the Lord.
12“The Levites will put their hands on the bulls’ heads. One bull will be a sin offering to the Lord. The other will be a burnt offering. This will remove the sins of the Levites so they will belong to God. 13Make the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons. Then present the Levites as an offering to the Lord. 14In this way you must set apart the Levites from the other Israelites. The Levites will be mine.
15“So make the Levites pure. And present them as an offering. Then they may come to work at the Meeting Tent. 16They will be given to me from the Israelites. I have taken them for myself. They are mine instead of the firstborn son of every Israelite woman. 17Every firstborn male in Israel—man or animal—is mine. I killed all the firstborn in Egypt. So now I set them aside for myself. 18I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn sons in Israel. 19I have chosen the Levites from all the Israelites. And I have given them to Aaron and his sons. They will serve all the Israelites at the Meeting Tent. They will help remove the Israelites’ sins so they will belong to God. Then no disaster will strike the Israelites when they approach the Holy Place.”
20So Moses, Aaron and all the Israelites obeyed the Lord. They did with the Levites what the Lord commanded Moses. 21The Levites made themselves clean and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as an offering to the Lord. Aaron also removed their sins so they would be pure for the Lord. 22After that, the Levites came to the Meeting Tent to work. Aaron and his sons told them what to do. They did with the Levites what the Lord commanded Moses.
23The Lord said to Moses, 24“This command is for the Levites. Every man 25 years old or older must come to the Meeting Tent. They all have a job to do in the work there. 25At the age of 50, he must retire from his job. He doesn’t have to work again. 26He may help his fellow Levites with their work at the Meeting Tent. But he must not do the work himself. This is the way you are to give the Levites their jobs.”
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