6 The charge and office of the Levites. 12, 35 Why the Lord separated the Levites for himself. 16 Their number, families, and captains. 40 The firstborn of Israel is redeemed by the Levites. 47 The overplus is redeemed by money.

These also were the [a]generations of Aaron and Moses, in the day that the Lord spake with Moses in mount Sinai.

So these are the names of the sons of Aaron, (A)Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

These are the names of the sons of Aaron the anointed Priests, whom Moses did (B)consecrate to minister in the Priest’s office.

(C)And Nadab and Abihu died [b]before the Lord, when they offered (D)strange fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai, and had no children: but Eleazar and Ithamar served in the Priest’s office in the [c]sight of Aaron their father.

Then the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Bring the tribe of Levi, and [d]set them before Aaron the Priest that they may serve him,

And take the charge with him, even the charge of the whole Congregation, [e]before the Tabernacle of the Congregation to do the service of the Tabernacle.

They shall also keep all the instruments of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and have the charge of the children of Israel to do the service of the Tabernacle.

And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his [f]sons: for they are given him freely from among the children of Israel.

10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons to execute their Priest’s office: and the [g]stranger that cometh near, shall be slain.

11 ¶ Also the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

12 Behold, I have even taken the Levites from among the children of Israel: for all the firstborn that openeth the matrice among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine,

13 Because all the firstborn are mine: for the same day, that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, (E)I sanctified unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine they shall be: I am the Lord.

14 ¶ Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,

15 Number the children of Levi after the houses of their fathers, in their families: every male from a month old and above shalt thou number.

16 Then Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded.

17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names, (F)Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.

18 Also these were the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei.

19 The sons also of Kohath by their families: Amram and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

20 And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi, according to the houses of their fathers.

21 Of Gershon came the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites.

22 The sum whereof ([h]after the number of all the males from a month old and above) was counted seven thousand and five hundred.

23 ¶ The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the Tabernacle Westward.

24 The captain and [i]ancient of the house of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael.

25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, shall be the [j]Tabernacle, and the pavilion, the covering thereof, and the veil of the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation,

26 And the hanging of the court, and the veil of the door of the court which is near the Tabernacle, and near the Altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.

27 And of Kohath came the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites.

28 The number of all the males from a month old and above, was eight thousand and six hundred, having the [k]charge of the Sanctuary.

29 The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the South side of the Tabernacle.

30 The captain and ancient of the house and families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel:

31 And their charge shall be the [l]Ark, and the Table, and the Candlestick, and the altars, and the instruments of the Sanctuary that they minister with, and the veil, and all that serveth thereto.

32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the Priest shall be [m]chief captain of the Levites, having the oversight of them that have the charge of the Sanctuary.

33 ¶ Of Merari came the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari.

34 And the sum of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and above was six thousand and two hundred.

35 The captain and the ancient of the house of the families of Merari shall be Zuriel the son of Abihail: they shall pitch on the Northside of the Tabernacle.

36 And in the charge and custody of the sons of Merari shall be [n]the boards of the Tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and his pillars, and his sockets, and all the instruments thereof, and all that serveth thereto,

37 With the pillars of the court round about, with their sockets, and their pins and their cords.

38 ¶ Also on the forefront of the Tabernacle toward the East, before the Tabernacle I say, of the Congregation Eastward shall Moses and Aaron and his sons pitch, having the charge of the Sanctuary, [o]and the charge of the children of Israel: but the stranger that cometh near shall be slain.

39 The whole sum of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord throughout their families, even all the males from a month old and above, was two and twenty [p]thousand.

40 ¶ And the Lord said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn that are males among the children of Israel from a month old and above, and take the number of their names.

41 And thou shalt take the Levites to me [q]for all the firstborn of the children of Israel (I am the Lord) and the cattle of the Levites for all the firstborn of the cattle of the children of Israel.

42 And Moses numbered, as the Lord commanded him, all the firstborn of the children of Israel.

43 And all the firstborn males rehearsed by name (from a month old and above) according to their number were two and twenty thousand, two hundred seventy and three.

44 ¶ And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

45 Take the Levites for all the firstborn of the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites for their cattle, and the Levites shall be mine, (I am the Lord.)

46 And for the redeeming of the two hundred seventy and three, (which are more than the Levites) of the firstborn of the children of Israel,

47 Thou shalt also take five shekels for every person: after the weight of the Sanctuary shalt thou take it: (G)the shekel containeth twenty gerahs.

48 And thou shalt give the money, wherewith the odd number of them is redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons.

49 Thus Moses took the redemption of them that were redeemed, being more than the Levites:

50 Of the [r]firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money: even a thousand three hundred three score and five shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary.

51 And Moses gave the money of them that were redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons according to the word of the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 3:1 Or, families and kindreds.
  2. Numbers 3:4 Or, before the Altar.
  3. Numbers 3:4 Whiles their father lived.
  4. Numbers 3:6 Offer them unto Aaron for the use of the Tabernacle.
  5. Numbers 3:7 Which appertained to the executing of the high Priest’s commandment, to the oversight of the people, and the service of the Tabernacle.
  6. Numbers 3:9 Aaron’s sons the Priests served in the Sanctuary in praying for the people and offering sacrifice: the Levites served for the inferior uses of the same.
  7. Numbers 3:10 Any that would minister not being a Levite.
  8. Numbers 3:22 Only numbering the male children.
  9. Numbers 3:24 Or, father.
  10. Numbers 3:25 Their charge was to carry the covering and hangings of the Tabernacle.
  11. Numbers 3:28 Doing every one his duty in the Sanctuary.
  12. Numbers 3:31 The chief things within the Sanctuary were committed to the Kohathites.
  13. Numbers 3:32 Or, prince of princes.
  14. Numbers 3:36 The woodwork and the rest of the instruments were committed to their charge.
  15. Numbers 3:38 That none should enter into the Tabernacle contrary to God’s appointment.
  16. Numbers 3:39 So that the firstborn of the children of Israel were more by 273, as verse 43.
  17. Numbers 3:41 So that now the Levites should satisfy unto the Lord for the firstborn of Israel, save for the 273 which were more than the Levites, for whom they paid money.
  18. Numbers 3:50 Or the two hundred seventy and three, which were more than the Levites.

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