New International Reader's Version

Exodus 40

Moses Sets Up the Holy Tent

1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Set up the holy tent, the tent of meeting. Set it up on the first day of the first month. Place in it the ark where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. Hide the ark with the curtain. Bring in the table for the holy bread. Arrange the loaves of bread on it. Then bring in the lampstand. Set up its lamps. Place the gold altar for burning incense in front of the ark where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. Put up the curtain at the entrance to the holy tent.

“Place the altar for burnt offerings in front of the entrance to the holy tent, the tent of meeting. Place the large bowl between the tent of meeting and the altar. Put water in the bowl. Set up the courtyard around the holy tent. Put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard.

“Get the anointing oil. Anoint the holy tent and everything in it. Set apart the holy tent and everything that belongs to it. Then it will be holy. 10 Anoint the altar for burnt offerings and all its tools. Set apart the altar. Then it will be a very holy place. 11 Anoint the large bowl and its stand. Set them apart.

12 “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting. Wash them with water. 13 Dress Aaron in the sacred clothes. Anoint him and set him apart. Then he will be able to serve me as priest. 14 Bring his sons and dress them in their inner robes. 15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father. Then they will be able to serve me as priests. They will be anointed to do the work of priests. That work will last for all time to come.” 16 Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him.

17 So the holy tent was set up. It was the first day of the first month in the second year. 18 Moses set up the holy tent. He put the bases in place. He put the frames in them. He put in the crossbars. He set up the posts. 19 He spread the holy tent over the frames. Then he put the coverings over the tent. Moses did it as the Lord had commanded him.

20 He got the tablets of the covenant law. He placed them in the ark. He put the poles through its rings. And he put the cover on it. The cover was the place where sin is paid for. 21 Moses brought the ark into the holy tent. He hung the curtain to hide the ark where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. Moses did it as the Lord had commanded him.

22 Moses placed the table for the holy bread in the tent of meeting. It was on the north side of the holy tent outside the curtain. 23 He arranged the loaves of bread on it in the sight of the Lord. Moses did it as the Lord had commanded him.

24 Moses placed the lampstand in the tent of meeting. It stood across from the table on the south side of the holy tent. 25 He set up the lamps in front of the Lord. Moses did it as the Lord had commanded him.

26 Moses placed the gold altar for burning incense in the tent of meeting. He placed it in front of the curtain. 27 He burned sweet-smelling incense on it. Moses did it as the Lord had commanded him.

28 Then Moses put up the curtain at the entrance to the holy tent. 29 He set the altar for burnt offerings near the entrance to the holy tent, the tent of meeting. He sacrificed burnt offerings and grain offerings on it. Moses did it as the Lord had commanded him.

30 Moses placed the large bowl between the tent of meeting and the altar. He put water in the bowl for washing. 31 Moses and Aaron and his sons used it to wash their hands and feet. 32 They washed whenever they entered the tent of meeting or approached the altar. They did it as the Lord had commanded Moses.

33 Then Moses set up the courtyard around the holy tent and altar. He put up the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. And so Moses completed the work.

The Glory of the Lord

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting. The glory of the Lord filled the holy tent. 35 Moses couldn’t enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it. The glory of the Lord filled the holy tent.

36 The Israelites continued their travels. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the holy tent, they started out. 37 But if the cloud didn’t lift, they did not start out. They stayed until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was above the holy tent during the day. Fire was in the cloud at night. All the Israelites could see the cloud during all their travels.