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30 Now the leader of the clan of the families of the Kohathites was Elizaphan son of Uzziel.

31 Their responsibilities included the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, and the utensils of the sanctuary with which they ministered,[a] the curtain, and all their service.[b] 32 Now the head of all the Levitical leaders[c] was Eleazar son of Aaron the priest. He was appointed over those who were responsible for[d] the sanctuary.

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  1. Numbers 3:31 tn The verb is יְשָׁרְתוּ (yesharetu, “they will serve/minister”). The imperfect tense in this place, however, probably describes what the priests would do, what they used to do. The verb is in a relative clause: “which they would serve with them,” which should be changed to read “with which they would serve.”
  2. Numbers 3:31 tn The word is literally “its [their] service.” It describes all the implements that were there for the maintenance of these things.
  3. Numbers 3:32 tn The Hebrew construction has “the leader of the leaders of” (וּנְשִׂיא נְשִׂיאֵי, unesiʾ nesiʾe).
  4. Numbers 3:32 tn Heb “the keepers of the responsibility” (שֹׁמְרֵי מִשְׁמֶרֶת, shomerey mishmeret). The participle is a genitive specifying the duty to which he was appointed (thing possessed); its cognate genitive emphasizes that their responsibility was over the holy place.