Numbers 4
ESV

Numbers 4

4
Duties of the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites
1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2“Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 3#ver. 23, 30, 35, 39, 43, 47; [ch. 8:24; 1 Chr. 23:3, 24, 27]from thirty years old up to fifty years old, all who can come on duty, to do the work in the tent of meeting. 4This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting: #ver. 19the most holy things. 5When the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down #See Ex. 26:31 the veil of the screen and cover #Ex. 25:10, 16the ark of the testimony with it. 6Then they shall put on it a covering of goatskin#4:6 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; compare Exodus 25:5 and spread on top of that a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its #Ex. 25:13poles. 7And over the #Ex. 25:23, 29, 30; 37:16; Lev. 24:6, 8 table of the bread of the Presence they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the plates, the dishes for incense, the bowls, and the flagons for the drink offering; #2 Chr. 2:4the regular showbread also shall be on it. 8Then they shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet and cover the same with a covering of goatskin, and shall #[Ex. 25:15, 28]put in its poles. 9And they shall take a cloth of blue and cover #See Ex. 25:31-39the lampstand for the light, with its lamps, its tongs, its trays, and all the vessels for oil with which it is supplied. 10And they shall put it with all its utensils in a covering of goatskin and put it on the carrying frame. 11And over #Ex. 30:1, 3the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue and cover it with a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. 12And they shall take all #[1 Chr. 9:28, 29]the vessels of the service that are used in the sanctuary and put them in a cloth of blue and cover them with a covering of goatskin and put them on the carrying frame. 13And they shall take away the ashes from the altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14And they shall put on it all the utensils of the altar, which are used for the service there, the fire pans, the forks, the shovels, and the basins, all the utensils of the altar; and they shall spread on it a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. 15And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that #ch. 7:9; 10:21; Deut. 31:9 the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, #2 Sam. 6:6, 7; 1 Chr. 13:9, 10but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry.
16“And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall have charge of #Ex. 25:6; 27:20; Lev. 24:2 the oil for the light, the #Ex. 25:6; 31:11 fragrant incense, #Ex. 29:40, 41 the regular grain offering, and #Ex. 31:11; See Ex. 30:23-33the anointing oil, with the oversight of the whole tabernacle and all that is in it, of the sanctuary and its vessels.”
17The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 18“Let not the tribe of the clans of the Kohathites be destroyed from among the Levites, 19but deal thus with them, that they may live and not die when they come near to #ver. 4the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint them each to his task and to his burden, 20#[Ex. 19:21; 1 Sam. 6:19]but they shall not go in to look on the holy things even for a moment, lest they die.”
21The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 22“Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ houses and by their clans. 23#ver. 3 From thirty years old up to fifty years old, you shall list them, all who can #ch. 8:24; [Ex. 38:8; 1 Sam. 2:22]come to do duty, to do service in the tent of meeting. 24This is the service of the clans of the Gershonites, in serving and bearing burdens: 25#[ch. 3:25, 26] they shall carry #See Ex. 26:1-6; 36:8-13 the curtains of the tabernacle and the tent of meeting with #Ex. 36:14, 19its covering and the covering of goatskin that is on top of it and the screen for the entrance of the tent of meeting 26and the hangings of the court and the screen for the entrance of the gate of the court that is around the tabernacle and the altar, and their cords and all the equipment for their service. And they shall do all that needs to be done with regard to them. 27All the service of the sons of the Gershonites shall be at the command of Aaron and his sons, in all that they are to carry and in all that they have to do. And you shall assign to their charge all that they are to carry. 28This is the service of the clans of the sons of the Gershonites in the tent of meeting, and their guard duty is to be #ver. 33under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
29“As for the sons of Merari, you shall list them by their clans and their fathers’ houses. 30#[See ver. 23 above]From thirty years old up to fifty years old, you shall list them, everyone who can come on duty, to do the service of the tent of meeting. 31And #ch. 3:36, 37this is what they are charged to carry, as the whole of their service in the tent of meeting: the frames of the tabernacle, with its bars, pillars, and bases, 32and the pillars around the court with their bases, pegs, and cords, with all their equipment and all their accessories. And you shall #Ex. 38:21list by name the objects that they are required to carry. 33This is the service of the clans of the sons of Merari, the whole of their service in the tent of meeting, #ver. 28under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.”
34And Moses and Aaron and the chiefs of the congregation listed the sons of the Kohathites, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 35#[See ver. 23 above]from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come on duty, for service in the tent of meeting; 36and those listed by clans were 2,750. 37#ver. 2This was the list of the clans of the Kohathites, all who served in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron listed according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses.
38Those listed of the sons of Gershon, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 39#[See ver. 23 above]from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come on duty for service in the tent of meeting— 40those listed by their clans and their fathers’ houses were 2,630. 41#ver. 22This was the list of the clans of the sons of Gershon, all who served in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron listed according to the commandment of the Lord.
42Those listed of the clans of the sons of Merari, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 43#[See ver. 23 above]from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come on duty, for service in the tent of meeting— 44those listed by clans were 3,200. 45#ver. 29This was the list of the clans of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron listed according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses.
46All those who were listed of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chiefs of Israel listed, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 47#[See ver. 23 above]from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come to do the service of ministry and the service of bearing burdens in the tent of meeting, 48those listed were 8,580. 49According to the commandment of the Lord through Moses they were listed, #ver. 15, 24, 31 each one with his task of serving or carrying. Thus they were listed by him, #ver. 1, 21, 29as the Lord commanded Moses.

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