Numbers 4
International Standard Version

The Duties of the Descendants of Kohath

1The LORD told Moses and Aaron, 2“Take a censusa of the descendants of Kohath from among the descendants of Levi according to their tribes and ancestral houses 3from 30 years and older through the age of 50 years, from everyone who can enter the service to perform work at the Tent of Meeting.

4“Here’s what the descendants of Kohath are to do regarding the Tent of Meeting and what’s inside the Most Holy Place: 5When the camp is about to travel, Aaron and his sons are to come and take down the veil of the curtain and cover the Ark of the Testimony with it. 6They are to set a leather-dyedb skin covering over it, cover it with a pure blue cloth, and then insert its poles.

7“They are to spread a blue cloth over the table of the Presence and on top of it the dishes, pans, bowls, pitchers for drink offerings,c and the bread of presence are to be on it continually. 8They are to spread over them a scarlet cloth and a leather-dyedd skin covering and then insert its poles.

9“They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lamp stand for the light with its lamp, lamp-snuffers, censer, and all the utensils for its oil with which they minister. 10Then they are to put them with all the othere utensils on the leather-dyedf skin covering and set them on the beams for transport.g

11“On the golden altar, they are to spread a blue cloth, cover it with a leather-dyedh skin covering, and then insert its poles. 12Then they are to take all the utensils for service with which they minister at the sanctuary, set them on the blue cloth, cover them with the leather-dyedi skin covering, and then set them on the beams for transport. 13They are also to remove the ashes on the altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14Then they are to put all the instruments with which they minister there—trays, forks, shovels, bowls, and all the utensils of the altar. They are to spread over it a leather-dyedj skin covering and then insert its poles.

15“When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the utensils of the sanctuary, and the camp is about to travel, then the descendants of Kohath are to come and carry them, but they are not to touch the most sacred objects, so they won’t die. These are the duties of the descendants of Kohath at the Tent of Meeting.”

16“Now the duty of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest is to maintain the oil for the light, the spiced incense, the daily offerings, the oil for anointing, and to carry out all the duties of the tent and the sanctuary, and to maintaink its utensils.”

Protecting the Descendants of Kohath

17Then the LORD told Moses and Aaron, 18“You are not to eliminate the tribe of the families of the descendants of Kohath from the descendants of Levi. 19But do this for them so that they may live and not die when they approach the Most Holy Place: Aaron and his sons are to go in and set specific responsibilities for each of them to carry out.l 20But they are not to go in to see the sanctuary as it is being covered,m so they won’t die.”

Eleazar’s Duties

21Then the LORD told Moses, 22“Take a censusn of the descendants of Gershon according to their ancestral house and tribes. 23Count their number from between 30 to 50 years old, including everyone who can enter the service to perform work at the Tent of Meeting.”

Gershonite Responsibilities

24“These are the responsibilities that the descendants of Gershon are to have: 25They are to carry the curtain of the tent, the covering of the Tent of Meeting, the dyed leather covering that goes over it, the curtain for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, 26the hangings for the courtyard, the curtain for the entrance to the gate of the courtyard that surrounds the tent, the altar, the ropes, all the service utensils, and everything made for them. This is to be their service area. 27The descendants of Gershon are to carry out the instructions of Aaron and his sons. You are to assign them their responsibilities to carry out. 28This is the work of the tribes of Gershon at the Tent of Meeting—their duties under the supervision ofo Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest.

Merarite Responsibilities

29“For the descendants of Merari, number them according to their tribes and ancestral houses 30from 30 to 50 years old as you count them, including everyone who can enter service and perform work at the Tent of Meeting. 31This is to be their area of responsibility to carry out with respect to their service at the Tent of Meeting: the board of the tent, its bars, its crossbars, its sockets, 32the pillars around the courtyard, their sockets, their pegs, their ropes, and all the utensils for all their services. Assign the utensils by name to each person whose responsibility it will be to carry them. 33This is the work of the tribes of the descendants of Merari with reference to their service at the Tent of Meeting under the supervision of Aaron the priest’s son Ithamar.”

Responsibilities are Assigned

34Moses, Aaron, and the congregational leaders numbered the descendants of Kohath according to their tribes and ancestral houses 35from 30 to 50 fifty years old—that is, everyone who entered the service to perform work at the Tent of Meeting. 36The total according to their tribe numbered 2,750 37from the tribe of the descendants of Kohath, everyone who would be serving at the Tent of Meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to what the LORD had said, under the supervision of Moses.

38The tribes and the ancestral houses of the descendants of Gershon were numbered 39from 30 to 50 years old; that is, everyone who entered the service to perform work at the Tent of Meeting. 40The total according to their tribes and ancestral house numbered 2,630 41from the tribes of the descendants of Gershon, everyone who would be serving at the Tent of Meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to what the LORD had said.

42The tribes and ancestral house of Merari were numbered 43from 30 to 50 years old; that is, everyone who entered the service to perform work at the Tent of Meeting. 44The total according to their tribes numbered 3,200 45from the tribes of the descendants of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to what the LORD had said, under the supervision of Moses.

46The total of those who were numbered from the descendants of Levi by Moses and Aaron; that is, from the leaders of Israel counted according to their tribes and ancestral houses 47from 30 to 50 years old, who entered the service for work at the Tent of Meeting 48was 8,580. 49They were numbered under the supervision of Moses according to what the LORD had said. Each person was assigned a responsibility to carry out, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.


Footnotes:
a 4:2 Lit. Lift the head
b 4:6 Or porpoise; or fine leather
c 4:7 Or libation
d 4:8 Or porpoise; or fine leather
e 4:10 The Heb. lacks other
f 4:10 Or porpoise; or fine leather
g 4:10 Or poles for carrying stuff
h 4:11 Or porpoise; or fine leather
i 4:12 Or porpoise; or fine leather
j 4:14 Or porpoise; or fine leather
k 4:16 The Heb. lacks to maintain
l 4:19 Lit. responsibilities according to his service and to his burden
m 4:20 i.e. in preparation for travel
n 4:22 Lit. Lift the head
o 4:28 Lit. the hand of



The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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