Amplified Bible

Numbers 4

Duties of the Kohathites

1Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families (clans), by their fathers’ households, from thirty years old and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). This is the work and responsibility of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle): the most holy things.

“When the camp prepares to move out, Aaron and his sons shall come into the sanctuary and take down [a]the veil (curtain) screening off the Holy of Holies, and cover the ark of the testimony with it; and they shall put on it a covering of [b]porpoise skin (fine leather), and shall spread over that a cloth of pure blue, and shall insert the carrying poles of the ark. Over the table of the bread of the Presence they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the plates, the dishes [for incense], the sacrificial bowls, the jars for the drink offering, and the continual bread [of the Presence] shall be on it. They shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet, and cover that with a covering of porpoise skin, and they shall insert its carrying poles. Then they shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand for the light, along with its lamps, its wick cutters, its trays, and all the oil vessels, by which it is supplied; 10 and they shall put the lampstand and all its utensils in a covering of porpoise skin, and shall put it on the carrying bars. 11 Over the golden [incense] altar they shall spread a blue cloth, and cover it with a covering of porpoise skin, and shall insert its carrying poles; 12 and they shall take all the utensils of the service with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a blue cloth, and cover them with a covering of porpoise skin, and put them on the carrying bars. 13 Then they shall clean away the ashes from the altar [of burnt offering], and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 They shall also put on it all its utensils with which they minister in connection with it: the pans, the meat-forks, the shovels, the basins, and all the utensils of the altar; and they shall spread a covering of porpoise skin over it, and insert its carrying poles. 15 When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all its furniture, as the camp sets out, after all that [is done, but not before], the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them [using the poles], so that they do not touch the holy things, and die. These are the things in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle) which the sons of Kohath are to carry.

16 “The responsibility of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, is the oil for the light, the [c]fragrant incense, the continual grain offering, and the anointing oil—the responsibility of all the tabernacle and everything that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings.”

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 18 “Do not cut off (eliminate, destroy) the tribe of the families of the Kohathites [who are only Levites and not priests], from among the Levites [by exposing them to the sin of [d]touching the most holy things]. 19 But deal with them in this way, so that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and assign each of them to his [specific] work and to his load [to be carried on the march]. 20 But the Kohathites shall not go in to see the holy things, even for an instant, or they will die.”

Duties of the Gershonites

21 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 22 “Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ households, by their families. 23 From thirty years and upward to fifty years old, you shall number them; all who enter for service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting. 24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in carrying [when on the march]: 25 they shall carry the tent curtains of the tabernacle, and the Tent of Meeting, its covering and the covering of porpoise skin (fine leather) that is on top of it, and the curtain for the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), 26 and the hangings of the courtyard, and the curtain for the entrance of the gate of the courtyard which is around the tabernacle and the altar, and their tent ropes, and all the equipment for their service; and all that is to be done, they shall [e]perform. 27 Aaron and his sons shall direct all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, all they have to carry and all they have to do. You shall assign to them as a duty all that they are to carry [on the march]. 28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); and their duties shall be [f]under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron, the [high] priest.

Duties of the Merarites

29 “As for the sons of Merari, you shall number them by their families (clans), by their fathers’ households; 30 from thirty years and upward to fifty years old, you shall number them, everyone who enters the service to do the work of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 31 This is what they are assigned to carry [on the march], according to all their service in the Tent of Meeting: the boards [for the framework] of the tabernacle and its bars and its pillars and its sockets or bases, 32 and the pillars around the courtyard with their sockets or bases and their pegs and their cords (tent ropes), with all their equipment and with all their [accessories for] service; and you shall assign each man by name the items [g]he is to carry [on the march]. 33 This is the work of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their tasks in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), [h]under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron, the priest.”

34 So Moses and Aaron and the leaders of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites by their families (clans) and by their fathers’ households, 35 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who enters the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 36 the men who were numbered by their families were 2,750. 37 These were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all who did service in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord [i]through Moses.

38 The men who were numbered of the sons of Gershon, by their families (clans), and by their fathers’ households, 39 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 40 the men who were numbered by their families, by their fathers’ households, were 2,630. 41 These were numbered men of the families of the sons of Gershon, everyone who served in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), whom Moses and Aaron numbered just as the Lord had commanded.

42 The men who were numbered of the sons of Merari, by their families (clans), by their fathers’ households, 43 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service for work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 44 the men who were numbered by their families were 3,200. 45 These are the men who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered in accordance with the commandment of the Lord through Moses.

46 All the men who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted by their families (clans) and by their fathers’ households, 47 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who could enter to do the work of service and the work of carrying in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 48 the men that were numbered were 8,580. 49 According to the commandment of the Lord through Moses, they were numbered, each assigned to his work of serving and carrying. Thus they were numbered by him, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Notas al pie

  1. Numbers 4:5 Lit the veil of the curtain.
  2. Numbers 4:6 The meaning of the Hebrew word is not certain; some scholars have suggested that the material is instead a fine leather of unspecified origin.
  3. Numbers 4:16 Or incense of spices.
  4. Numbers 4:18 The Kohathites would die if they touched the holy things unless some provision was made for them.
  5. Numbers 4:26 Lit serve.
  6. Numbers 4:28 Lit in the hand of.
  7. Numbers 4:32 Lit the duty of their loads.
  8. Numbers 4:33 Lit in the hand of.
  9. Numbers 4:37 Lit by the hand of.