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.”

The Passover

The Lord spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month(AM) of the second year after they came out of Egypt.(AN) He said, “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover(AO) at the appointed time.(AP) Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month,(AQ) in accordance with all its rules and regulations.(AR)

So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover,(AS) and they did so in the Desert of Sinai(AT) at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.(AU) The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses.(AV)

But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean(AW) on account of a dead body.(AX) So they came to Moses and Aaron(AY) that same day and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the Lord’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?(AZ)

Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the Lord commands concerning you.”(BA)

Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body(BB) or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate(BC) the Lord’s Passover, 11 but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month(BD) at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.(BE) 12 They must not leave any of it till morning(BF) or break any of its bones.(BG) When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations.(BH) 13 But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people(BI) for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.

14 “‘A foreigner(BJ) residing among you is also to celebrate the Lord’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.’”

The Cloud Above the Tabernacle

15 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law,(BK) was set up,(BL) the cloud(BM) covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.(BN) 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.(BO) 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out;(BP) wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.(BQ) 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained(BR) in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order(BS) and did not set out.(BT) 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.


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

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