Moses erects the tabernacle
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2‘Erect the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the first month. 3Put the Covenant Box in the tabernacle and hide the Covenant Box behind its curtain. 4Bring in the table and put its own things on it. Then bring in the lampstand and fix its lamps on it. 5Put the gold altar for incense in front of the Covenant Box. Fix the curtain as a door to the tabernacle.
6Put the altar, where you will burn animals as gifts, in front of the door. 7Put the very large dish for water between the Tent of Meeting and the altar and put water in it. 8Erect the yard round the tent and fix the curtain as a door to the yard.
9Take the special oil and pour a little of it on the tabernacle and on everything in it. Offer the tabernacle to God with all its things, and then it will be holy. 10Then pour a little of the special oil on the altar where you will burn animals. Do the same thing to all its tools. Offer it all to God, and then it will be very holy. 11Pour a little oil on the very large dish for water and on its base and offer them to God.
12Bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. 13Then dress Aaron in the holy clothes and pour a little oil on his head. Bring him then to me so that he can work for me as a priest. 14Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. 15Pour a little oil on their heads as you did to their father. Then they too can work for me as priests. This special work will be their own for their whole lives. Their sons and grandsons will also be priests. This is a special gift to the family of Aaron for all time.’ 16Moses did everything that the Lord commanded him.
17So they erected the tabernacle on the first day of the first month. This happened in the second year of the Israelites' journey through the desert. 18When Moses erected the tabernacle, he put all the different parts in the right places. 19Then he covered the tabernacle with the tent. He covered the tent also, as the Lord commanded him.
20Moses took the two flat stones with God's special commands and he put them in the Covenant Box. He fastened the sticks to the box and he put the special lid over it. 21Then he brought the box into the tabernacle and put the curtain in front of it. So he hid the Covenant Box, as the Lord commanded him.
22Moses put the table in the tabernacle, on the north side, outside the curtain. 23He put the bread on the table in front of the Lord, as the Lord commanded him.
24He put the lampstand in the tabernacle. He put it on the south side, on the opposite side to the table. 25He erected the lamps in front of the Lord, as the Lord commanded him.
26Moses put the gold altar in the Tent of Meeting, in front of the curtain. 27He burned sweet incense on it, as the Lord commanded him. 28Then he fixed the curtain as a door for the tabernacle.
29He put the altar, where they would burn animals as gifts, by the door of the tabernacle. He offered on it animals and food as gifts, as the Lord had commanded him.
30Moses put the very large dish for water between the Tent of Meeting and the altar. He put water in it. 31Then Moses and Aaron and Aaron's sons used it to wash their hands and their feet. 32They washed themselves each time that they went into the Tent of Meeting. They also washed themselves before they went to the altar. The Lord had commanded Moses about this.
33Then Moses erected the yard round the tabernacle and round the altar. He fixed the curtain to make a door for the yard. And so Moses finished the work.
The glory of the Lord
34Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35Moses could not go into the Tent of Meeting because the cloud covered it. And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36The Israelites followed the cloud during all their journeys. Every time that the cloud rose up from the tabernacle, they would begin their journey again. 37But if the cloud remained on the tabernacle, the Israelites did not move. They stayed where they were. They stayed there until the day when the cloud rose up. 38So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle during the day. During the night, there was fire in the cloud. And all the Israelites could see the cloud during all their journeys.