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The Lamp Stand in the Tent

Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and tell him: When you set up the seven lamps on the lamp stand, they should light up the area in front of it.”

So Aaron set up the lamps on the lamp stand to light up the area in front of it, as Yahweh commanded Moses.

This is how the lamp stand was made: The whole lamp stand, from top to bottom, was hammered out of gold. It was made exactly like the one Yahweh had shown Moses.

The Levites Are Made Ready to Do the Lord’s Work

Yahweh said to Moses, “Separate the Levites from the rest of the Israelites, and make them clean.[a] This is what you must do to make them clean: Sprinkle them with water to take away their sins. Make them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. Then they will be clean. Next, they must take a young bull and the grain offering of flour mixed with olive oil that is offered with it. You must take a second young bull as an offering for sin. Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting, and assemble the whole community of Israel. 10 Then bring the Levites into Yahweh’s presence, and the Israelites will place their hands on them. 11 Aaron will present the Levites to Yahweh as an offering from the Israelites. Then they will be ready to do Yahweh’s work.

12 “The Levites will place their hands on the heads of the young bulls. Sacrifice one of them as an offering for sin and the other one as a burnt offering to Yahweh. These sacrifices will make peace with the Lord for the Levites. 13 Make the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons, and present them as an offering to Yahweh. 14 In this way you will separate the Levites from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.

15 “Once you have made them clean and presented them as an offering, the Levites may come and do their work at the tent of meeting. 16 They will be the only Israelites given to me. I have taken them to be mine as substitutes for every firstborn male offspring of the Israelites. 17 Every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal, is mine. The day I killed every firstborn male in Egypt, I set them apart as holy to me. 18 So I have taken the Levites as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the Israelites. 19 The Levites will be the only Israelites I give to Aaron and his sons. They will work for the Israelites at the tent of meeting. They will make peace with the Lord for the Israelites. Then no plague will strike the Israelites when they come near the holy place.”

20 Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel did what Yahweh commanded Moses to do to the Levites. 21 The Levites performed the ceremonies to take away their sins and washed their clothes. Aaron presented them as an offering to Yahweh and made peace with the Lord for them in order to make them clean. 22 After that, the Levites came and did their work at the tent of meeting in the presence of Aaron and his sons. They did as Yahweh had commanded Moses.

23 Yahweh said to Moses, 24 “These are the instructions for the Levites: Men 25 years old or older are eligible to serve at the tent of meeting. 25 But when they’re 50 years old, they must retire from active service and not work anymore. 26 They may assist the other Levites in their duties at the tent of meeting, but they may not do any regular work. This is how you will handle the Levites’ duties.”

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 8:6 “Clean” refers to anything that is presentable to God.

Setting Up the Lamps

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.(A)’”

Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the Lord commanded Moses. This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold(B)—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern(C) the Lord had shown Moses.

The Setting Apart of the Levites

The Lord said to Moses: “Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean.(D) To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing(E) on them; then have them shave their whole bodies(F) and wash their clothes.(G) And so they will purify themselves.(H) Have them take a young bull with its grain offering of the finest flour mixed with olive oil;(I) then you are to take a second young bull for a sin offering.[a](J) Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting(K) and assemble the whole Israelite community.(L) 10 You are to bring the Levites before the Lord, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them.(M) 11 Aaron is to present the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering(N) from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the Lord.

12 “Then the Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls,(O) using one for a sin offering(P) to the Lord and the other for a burnt offering,(Q) to make atonement(R) for the Levites. 13 Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering(S) to the Lord. 14 In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.(T)

15 “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering,(U) they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting.(V) 16 They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn,(W) the first male offspring(X) from every Israelite woman. 17 Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal,(Y) is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself.(Z) 18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel.(AA) 19 From among all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons(AB) to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites(AC) and to make atonement for them(AD) so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.”

20 Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes.(AE) Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the Lord and made atonement(AF) for them to purify them.(AG) 22 After that, the Levites came to do their work(AH) at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.

23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more(AI) shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting,(AJ) 25 but at the age of fifty,(AK) they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. 26 They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work.(AL) This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.”

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 8:8 Or purification offering; also in verse 12

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