Numbers 31 These are the generations of Aaron and Moses, in the day when the Lord spoke to Moses on mount Sinai. 2 And these are the names of the sons of Aaron: his firstborn Nadab, then Abihu, and Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3 These the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests who were anointed and whose hands were filled and consecrated in order to exercise the priesthood. 4 For Nadab and Abihu died without children, when they offered, in the sight of the Lord, a strange fire, in the desert of Sinai. And so, Eleazar and Ithamar exercised the priesthood in the sight of Aaron, their father. 5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 6 “Bring forward the tribe of Levi, and cause them to stand in the sight of Aaron the priest, in order to minister to him. And let them keep watch outside, 7 and let them observe whatever pertains to the ritual for the multitude, in front of the tabernacle of the testimony, 8 and let them take care of the vessels of the tabernacle, serving in its ministry. 9 And you shall give the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons; for they have been delivered to them by the sons of Israel. 10 But you shall appoint Aaron and his sons over the service of priesthood. The outsider who approaches to minister shall be put to death.” 11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 “I have taken the Levites from the sons of Israel. For the Levites, and all the firstborn who open the womb among the sons of Israel, shall be mine. 13 For every firstborn is mine. From the time that I struck the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I have sanctified for myself whatever is born first in Israel. From man, even to beast, they are mine. I am the Lord.” 14 And the Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, saying: 15 “Number the sons of Levi by the houses of their fathers and their families, every male from one month and above.” 16 Moses numbered them, just as the Lord had instructed, 17 and there were found the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon and Kohath and Merari. 18 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei. 19 The sons of Kohath: Amram, and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 20 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. 21 From Gershon were two families: the Libnites, and the Shimeites. 22 The people of these were numbered, of the male sex, from one month and above: seven thousand five hundred. 23 These shall encamp behind the tabernacle, toward the west, 24 under the leader Eliasaph the son of Lael. 25 And they shall keep watch over the tabernacle of the covenant: 26 the tabernacle itself, and its covering; the tent that is drawn before the doors of the covering of the covenant; and the curtains of the atrium; likewise, the tent that is suspended at the entrance of the atrium of the tabernacle; and whatever pertains to the ritual of the altar; the cords of the tabernacle and all its implements. 27 The kinship of Kohath includes the peoples of the Amramites and Izharites and Hebronites and Uzzielites. These are the families of the Kohathites, having been counted by their names, 28 all those of the male gender, from one month and above: eight thousand six hundred. They shall keep watch over the Sanctuary, 29 and they shall encamp toward the south side. 30 And their leader shall be Elisaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 And they shall take care of the ark, and the table and the lampstand, the altars and the vessels of the Sanctuary, by which they minister, and the veil, and all the articles of this kind. 32 But the leader of the leaders of the Levites, Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, shall be over those who watch over the care of the Sanctuary. 33 And truly, from Merari are the peoples of the Mahlites and Mushites, having been counted by their names, 34 all those of the male gender, from one month and above: six thousand two hundred. 35 Their leader is Suriel the son of Abihaiel. They shall make camp on the north side. 36 Under their care shall be the panels of the tabernacle, and the bars, and the columns with their bases, and all the things which pertain to service of this kind, 37 and the columns of the surrounding atrium with their bases, and the tent pegs with their cords. 38 Moses and Aaron, with their sons, shall make camp before the tabernacle of the covenant, that is, on the east side, holding the custody of the Sanctuary in the midst of the sons of Israel. Whatever foreigner approaches it shall die. 39 All the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered by their families according to the precept of the Lord, of the male gender, from one month and above, were twenty-two thousand. 40 And the Lord said to Moses: “Number the firstborn of the male sex from the sons of Israel, from one month and above, and you shall take their total. 41 And you shall bring the Levites to me, in place of all the firstborn of the sons of Israel, and you shall bring their cattle to me, in place of all the firstborn of the cattle of the sons of Israel. I am the Lord.” 42 Moses took a census, just as the Lord had instructed, of the firstborn of the sons of Israel. 43 And the males by their names, from one month and above, were twenty-two thousand two hundred seventy-three. 44 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 45 “Take the Levites, in place of the firstborn of the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites, in place of their cattle, and so the Levites shall be mine. I am the Lord. 46 But for the price of the two hundred and seventy-three, which exceed the number of the Levites compared to the number of firstborn of the sons of Israel, 47 you shall take five shekels for each head, by the measure of the Sanctuary. A shekel has twenty obols. 48 And you shall give the money to Aaron and his sons as the price of those that are in excess.” 49 Therefore, Moses took the money for those that were in excess, and whom they had redeemed from the Levites 50 in place of the firstborn of the sons of Israel: one thousand three hundred sixty-five shekels, according to the weight of the Sanctuary. 51 And he gave it to Aaron and his sons, according to the word by which the Lord had instructed him.
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