Setting Up the Tabernacle
1The Lord spoke to Moses: 2“You are to set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month.#40:2 Lit on the day of the first month, on the first of the month#Ex 12:12; 13:4; 26:30 3Put the ark#Ex 26:33; 40:21; Nm 4:5 of the testimony there and screen off the ark with the curtain. 4Then bring in the table and lay out its arrangement; also bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. 5Place the gold altar for incense in front of the ark of the testimony. Put up the screen for the entrance to the tabernacle. 6Position the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. 7Place the basin#Ex 30:18; 40:30 between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 8Assemble the surrounding courtyard and hang the screen for the gate of the courtyard.
9“Take the anointing oil and anoint#Ex 30:26; Lv 8:10 the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it along with all its furnishings so that it will be holy. 10Anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar so that it will be especially holy. 11Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate it.
12“Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water.#Lv 8:1-3 13Clothe Aaron with the holy garments,#Ex 28:41 anoint him, and consecrate him, so that he can serve me as a priest. 14Have his sons come forward and clothe them in tunics. 15Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so that they may also serve me as priests. Their anointing will serve to inaugurate a permanent priesthood for them throughout their generations.”#Ex 29:9; Nm 25:13
16Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him. 17The tabernacle was set up in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month.#40:17 DSS, Sam, LXX add of their coming out of Egypt#Ex 40:2; Nm 7:1 18Moses set up the tabernacle: He laid its bases, positioned its supports, inserted its crossbars, and set up its pillars. 19Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
20Moses took the testimony#Ex 16:34; 25:16 and placed it in the ark, and attached the poles to the ark. He set the mercy seat on top of the ark. 21He brought the ark into the tabernacle, put up the curtain for the screen, and screened off the ark of the testimony, just as the Lord had commanded him.
22Moses placed the table in the tent of meeting on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain. 23He arranged the bread on it before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him. 24He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle 25and set up the lamps before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.
26Moses installed the gold altar in the tent of meeting, in front of the curtain, 27and burned fragrant incense on it, just as the Lord had commanded him. 28He put up the screen at the entrance to the tabernacle. 29He placed the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, and offered the burnt offering and the grain offering on it, just as the Lord had commanded him.
30He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing. 31Moses, Aaron, and his sons washed their hands and feet from it. 32They washed whenever they came to the tent of meeting and approached the altar, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
33Next Moses set up the surrounding courtyard for the tabernacle and the altar and hung a screen for the gate of the courtyard. So Moses finished the work.#Ex 25:37; 26:33,35-36; 27:9,16; 29:38; 30:5-7,19-20; 40:1-7
The Lord’s Glory
34The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.#Lv 16:2; Nm 9:15; 1Kg 8:10-11; 2Ch 5:13-14; 7:2; Is 6:4; Hg 2:7,9; Rv 15:8 35Moses was unable to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud rested on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36The Israelites set out whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle throughout all the stages of their journey.#Nm 9:17; Neh 9:19 37If the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day it was taken up.#Nm 9:19-22 38For the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and there was a fire inside the cloud by night, visible to the entire house of Israel throughout all the stages of their journey.