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Numbers 4Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

The Jobs of the Kohath Family

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Count the men in the families of the Kohath family group. (The Kohath family group is a part of Levi’s family group.) Count all the men from 30 to 50 years old who come to serve. These men will work in the Meeting Tent. Their job is to take care of the most holy things in the Meeting Tent.

“When the Israelites travel to a new place, Aaron and his sons must go into the Meeting Tent and take down the curtain and cover the Box of the Agreement with it. Then they must cover all of this with covering made from fine leather. Then they must spread the solid blue cloth over the leather and put the poles in the rings on the Holy Box.

“Then they must spread a blue cloth over the holy table. Then they must put the plates, spoons, bowls, and the jars for drink offerings on the table. Put the special bread on the table. Then you must put a red cloth over all these things, cover everything with fine leather, and put the poles in the rings of the table.

“Then they must cover the lampstand and its lamps with a blue cloth. They must also cover all the things used to keep the lamps burning and all the jars of oil that are used in the lamps. 10 Then wrap everything in fine leather. Then they must put all these things on poles used for carrying them.

11 “They must spread a blue cloth over the golden altar. They must cover that with fine leather. Then they must put the poles for carrying it in the rings on the altar.

12 “Then they must gather together all the special things that are used for worship in the Holy Place. They must gather them together and wrap them in a blue cloth. Then they must cover that with fine leather. They must put these things on a frame for carrying them.

13 “They must clean the ashes out of the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 Then they must gather together all the things that are used for worship at the altar. These are the firepans, forks, shovels, and the bowls. They must put these things on the bronze altar. Then they must spread a covering of fine leather over the altar and put the poles for carrying it in the rings on the altar.

15 “Aaron and his sons must finish covering all the holy things in the Holy Place. Then the men from the Kohath family can go in and begin carrying these things. In this way they will not touch the holy things and die.

16 “Eleazar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for the Holy Tent. He will be responsible for everything in it, including the holy things. He will be responsible for the oil for the lamp, the sweet-smelling incense, the daily offering,[a] and the anointing oil.”

17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 “Be careful! Don’t let these Kohathite men be destroyed. 19 You must do these things so that the Kohathite men can go near the most holy things and not die. Aaron and his sons must go in and show each Kohathite man what to do and what to carry. 20 If you don’t do this, the Kohathite men might go in and look at the holy things. If they look at these things, even for a moment, they must die.”

The Jobs of the Gershon Family

21 The Lord said to Moses, 22 “Count all the people of the Gershon family. List them by family and family group. 23 Count all the men who are from 30 to 50 years old who come to serve. These men will have the job of caring for the Meeting Tent.

24 “This is what the Gershonite family must do and the things they must carry: 25 They must carry the curtains of the Holy Tent, the Meeting Tent, its covering, and the covering made from fine leather. They must also carry the curtain at the entrance of the Meeting Tent. 26 They must carry the curtains of the courtyard that are around the Holy Tent and the altar. And they must carry the curtain for the entrance of the courtyard. They must also carry all the ropes and all the things that are used with the curtains. The Gershonite men will be responsible for anything that needs to be done with these things. 27 Aaron and his sons will watch all the work that is done. Everything the Gershonites carry and the other work they do will be watched by Aaron and his sons. You must tell them what they are responsible for carrying. 28 This is the work that the men of the Gershonite family group must do for the Meeting Tent. Ithamar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for their work.”

The Jobs of the Merari Family

29 “Count all the men in the families and family groups in the Merari family group. 30 Count all the men who are from 30 to 50 years old and come to serve. These men will do a special work for the Meeting Tent. 31 When you travel, it is their job to carry the frames of the Meeting Tent. They must carry the braces, the posts, and the bases. 32 They must also carry the posts that are around the courtyard. They must carry the bases, the tent pegs, the ropes, and everything that is used for the poles around the courtyard. List the names and tell each man exactly what he must carry. 33 This is what the people from the Merari family will do to serve in the work for the Meeting Tent. Ithamar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for their work.”

The Levite Families

34 Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the Israelites counted the Kohathites. They counted them by families and family groups. 35 They counted all the men from 30 to 50 years old who were able to serve. These men were given special work to do for the Meeting Tent.

36 There were 2750 men in the Kohath family group who were qualified to do this work. 37 So these men from the Kohath family group were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. Moses and Aaron did this the way the Lord had told Moses to do.

38 Also, the Gershonite family group was counted. 39 All the men from 30 to 50 years old who qualified to serve were counted. These men were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. 40 There were 2630 men in the families of the Gershon family group who were qualified. 41 So these men from the Gershon family group were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. Moses and Aaron did this the way the Lord had told Moses to do.

42 Also, the men in the families and family groups of the Merari family were counted. 43 All the men from 30 to 50 years old who qualified to serve were counted. These men were given their special work to do for the Meeting Tent. 44 There were 3200 men in the families of the Merari family group who were qualified. 45 So these men from the Merari family group were given their special work. Moses and Aaron did this the way the Lord told Moses to do.

46 So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the Israelites counted all the people in Levi’s family group. They had counted each family and each family group. 47 All the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who qualified to serve were counted. These men were given a special work to do for the Meeting Tent. They did the work of carrying the Meeting Tent when they traveled. 48 The total number was 8580. 49 Each man was counted just as the Lord commanded Moses. Each man was given his own work and told what he must carry just as the Lord had said.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 4:16 daily offering Offerings that were made twice each day as a gift to God.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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