Instructions for Setting Up the Tent
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Set up the tent (the tent of meeting) on the first day of the first month of the year. 3 Place the ark containing the words of my promise inside it, and hang the canopy over the ark. 4 Bring in the table, and arrange everything on it. Bring in the lamp stand, and set up the lamps. 5 Put the gold altar for incense in front of the ark. Put up the screen at the entrance to the tent.
6 “Put the altar for burnt offerings in front of the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7 Put the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 8 Set up the surrounding courtyard, and put up the screen at the entrance to the courtyard. 9 Take the anointing oil, and anoint the tent and everything in it. In this way you will dedicate it and all its furnishings. Then it will be holy. 10 Anoint the altar for burnt offerings and all the utensils. In this way you will dedicate the altar, and it will be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and stand, and they will be dedicated.
12 “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and wash them. 13 Then dress Aaron in the holy clothes, and anoint him. In this way you will dedicate him to serve me as priest. 14 Have his sons come forward, and dress them in their linen robes. 15 Anoint them to serve me as priests, as you anointed their father. Their anointing will begin a permanent priesthood for them for generations to come.”
Moses Sets Up the Tent
16 Moses did everything as the Lord commanded him. 17 So the tent was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year ⌊after the Israelites had left Egypt⌋. 18 When Moses set up the tent, he put the sockets in place, put up the frames, inserted the crossbars, and set up the posts. 19 He spread the outer tent over the inner tent and put the cover on top. Moses followed the Lord’s instructions.
20 He took the words of God’s promise and put them in the ark. He put the poles on the ark and placed the throne of mercy on top of the ark. 21 Then he brought the ark into the tent and hung the canopy over it to mark off where the ark was. Moses followed the Lord’s instructions.
22 Moses put the table in the tent of meeting on the north side of the tent outside the canopy. 23 He arranged the bread on the table in the Lord’s presence, following the Lord’s instructions. 24 He placed the lamp stand in the tent of meeting opposite the table, on the south side of the tent. 25 He set up the lamps in the Lord’s presence, following the Lord’s instructions.
26 Moses put the gold altar in the tent of meeting in front of the canopy. 27 He burned sweet-smelling incense on it, following the Lord’s instructions. 28 Then he put up the screen at the entrance to the tent.
29 He put the altar for burnt offerings at the entrance to the tent (the tent of meeting). He sacrificed burnt offerings and grain offerings on it. Moses followed the Lord’s instructions.
30 He put the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it for washing. 31 Moses, Aaron, and his sons used this water to wash their hands and feet. 32 They would wash whenever they went into the tent of meeting or whenever they approached the altar. Moses followed the Lord’s instructions.
33 He set up the courtyard around the tent and the altar and put up the screen at the entrance to the courtyard. Finally, Moses finished the work.
The Lord Comes to the Tent
34 Then the ⌊column of⌋ smoke covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tent. 35 Moses couldn’t go into the tent of meeting, because the smoke settled on it and the glory of the Lord filled the tent.
36 In all their travels, whenever the ⌊column of⌋ smoke moved from the tent, the Israelites would break camp. 37 But if the column didn’t move, they wouldn’t break camp. 38 So the Lord’s column stayed over the tent during the day, and there was fire in the smoke at night. In this way all the Israelites could see the column throughout their travels.