1
First census
1The Lord spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert in the meeting tent on the first day of the second month,#April–May, Iyar in the second year after they left the land of Egypt: 2Take a census of the entire Israelite community by their clans and their households, recording the name of every male, 320 years old and above, who is eligible for military service in Israel. These you and Aaron will enlist in their military units. 4Take with you one man from each tribe who is the head of his household. 5These are the names of the men who will assist you:
from Reuben, Elizur, Shedeur’s son;
6from Simeon, Shelumiel, Zurishaddai’s son;
7from Judah, Nahshon, Amminadab’s son;
8from Issachar, Nethanel, Zuar’s son;
9from Zebulun, Eliab, Helon’s son;
10from Joseph’s sons:
from Ephraim, Elishama, Ammihud’s son;
from Manasseh, Gamaliel, Pedahzur’s son;
11from Benjamin, Abidan, Gideoni’s son;
12from Dan, Ahiezer, Ammishaddai’s son;
13from Asher, Pagiel, Ochran’s son;
14from Gad, Eliasaph, Deuel’s son;
15from Naphtali, Ahira, Enan’s son.
16These are the ones appointed from the community, chiefs of their ancestral tribes and leaders of the divisions of Israel.
17Moses and Aaron took these men who were selected by name 18and they assembled the entire community on the first day of the second month. They registered them by their clans and their households, recording the name of each male 20 years old and above. 19Moses enlisted them in the Sinai desert just as the Lord commanded him.
20There were the descendants of Reuben, Israel’s oldest, registered by their clans and their households. Every man 20 years old and above eligible for military service was individually recorded by name. 21Those enlisted from the tribe of Reuben were 46,500.
22There were the descendants of Simeon, registered by their clans and their households. Every male 20 years old and above eligible for military service was individually recorded by name. 23Those enlisted from the tribe of Simeon were 59,300.
24There were the descendants of Gad, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 25Those enlisted from the tribe of Gad were 45,650.
26There were the descendants of Judah, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 27Those enlisted from the tribe of Judah were 74,600.
28There were the descendants of Issachar, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 29Those enlisted from the tribe of Issachar were 54,400.
30There were the descendants of Zebulun, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 31Those enlisted from the tribe of Zebulun were 57,400.
32From Joseph’s descendants there were the descendants of Ephraim, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 33Those enlisted from the tribe of Ephraim were 40,500.
34There were the descendants of Manasseh, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 35Those enlisted from the tribe of Manasseh were 32,200.
36There were the descendants of Benjamin, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 37Those enlisted from the tribe of Benjamin were 35,400.
38There were the descendants of Dan, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 39Those enlisted from the tribe of Dan were 62,700.
40There were the descendants of Asher, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 41Those enlisted from the tribe of Asher were 41,500.
42There were the descendants of Naphtali, registered by their clans and their households. The men 20 years old and above eligible for military service were recorded by name. 43Those enlisted from the tribe of Naphtali were 53,400.
44These are the ones who were enlisted by Moses, Aaron, and the twelve chiefs of Israel, each from his own household. 45All the Israelites 20 years old and above eligible for military service in Israel were enlisted by their households. 46All those enlisted were 603,550. 47But the Levites, belonging to their own ancestral tribe, weren’t enlisted along with them.
The Levites’ exclusion from the census
48The Lord spoke to Moses: 49You must not enlist the tribe of Levi, nor should you take their census along with the Israelites. 50Rather, assign the Levites to the covenant dwelling, to all its equipment, and to everything that belongs to it. They will carry the dwelling and all its equipment, perform its religious ceremonies, and camp around the dwelling. 51When it’s time to break camp, the Levites will take down the dwelling; and when it’s time to make camp, the Levites will set up the dwelling. Any other person who approaches will be put to death. 52The Israelites will camp each in their own place under the banner of their own military unit. 53But the Levites will camp around the covenant dwelling so that God’s anger will not strike the Israelite community. The Levites will guard the covenant dwelling.
54The Israelites did everything exactly as the Lord commanded Moses.
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