New International Version
4 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “Take a census(A) of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. 3 Count(B) all the men from thirty to fifty years of age(C) who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.
4 “This is the work(D) of the Kohathites(E) at the tent of meeting: the care of the most holy things.(F) 5 When the camp is to move,(G) Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain(H) and put it over the ark of the covenant law.(I) 6 Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather,[a](J) spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles(K) in place.
7 “Over the table of the Presence(L) they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings;(M) the bread that is continually there(N) is to remain on it. 8 They are to spread a scarlet cloth over them, cover that with the durable leather and put the poles(O) in place.
9 “They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays,(P) and all its jars for the olive oil used to supply it. 10 Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of the durable leather and put it on a carrying frame.(Q)
11 “Over the gold altar(R) they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with the durable leather and put the poles(S) in place.
12 “They are to take all the articles(T) used for ministering in the sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover that with the durable leather and put them on a carrying frame.(U)
13 “They are to remove the ashes(V) from the bronze altar(W) and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 Then they are to place on it all the utensils(X) used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans,(Y) meat forks,(Z) shovels(AA) and sprinkling bowls.(AB) Over it they are to spread a covering of the durable leather and put the poles(AC) in place.
15 “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move,(AD) only then are the Kohathites(AE) to come and do the carrying.(AF) But they must not touch the holy things(AG) or they will die.(AH) The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.
16 “Eleazar(AI) son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light,(AJ) the fragrant incense,(AK) the regular grain offering(AL) and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles.”
17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 “See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites. 19 So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things,(AM) do this for them: Aaron and his sons(AN) are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry.(AO) 20 But the Kohathites must not go in to look(AP) at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die.”
21 The Lord said to Moses, 22 “Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans. 23 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age(AQ) who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.
24 “This is the service of the Gershonite clans in their carrying and their other work: 25 They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle,(AR) that is, the tent of meeting,(AS) its covering(AT) and its outer covering of durable leather, the curtains for the entrance to the tent of meeting, 26 the curtains of the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar,(AU) the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard,(AV) the ropes and all the equipment(AW) used in the service of the tent. The Gershonites are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 27 All their service, whether carrying or doing other work, is to be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons.(AX) You shall assign to them as their responsibility(AY) all they are to carry. 28 This is the service of the Gershonite clans(AZ) at the tent of meeting. Their duties are to be under the direction of Ithamar(BA) son of Aaron, the priest.
29 “Count(BB) the Merarites by their clans and families.(BC) 30 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. 31 As part of all their service at the tent, they are to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases,(BD) 32 as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, ropes,(BE) all their equipment and everything related to their use. Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. 33 This is the service of the Merarite clans as they work at the tent of meeting under the direction of Ithamar(BF) son of Aaron, the priest.”
The Numbering of the Levite Clans
34 Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites(BG) by their clans and families. 35 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age(BH) who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 36 counted by clans, were 2,750. 37 This was the total of all those in the Kohathite clans(BI) who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord’s command through Moses.
38 The Gershonites(BJ) were counted by their clans and families. 39 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 40 counted by their clans and families, were 2,630. 41 This was the total of those in the Gershonite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord’s command.
42 The Merarites were counted by their clans and families. 43 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age(BK) who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 44 counted by their clans, were 3,200. 45 This was the total of those in the Merarite clans.(BL) Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord’s command through Moses.
46 So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted(BM) all the Levites by their clans and families. 47 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age(BN) who came to do the work of serving and carrying the tent of meeting 48 numbered 8,580.(BO) 49 At the Lord’s command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry.
Thus they were counted,(BP) as the Lord commanded Moses.
The Purity of the Camp
5 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease[b](BQ) or a discharge(BR) of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean(BS) because of a dead body.(BT) 3 Send away male and female alike; send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them.(BU)” 4 The Israelites did so; they sent them outside the camp. They did just as the Lord had instructed Moses.
Restitution for Wrongs
5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way[c] and so is unfaithful(BV) to the Lord is guilty(BW) 7 and must confess(BX) the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution(BY) for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. 8 But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram(BZ) with which atonement is made for the wrongdoer.(CA) 9 All the sacred contributions the Israelites bring to a priest will belong to him.(CB) 10 Sacred things belong to their owners, but what they give to the priest will belong to the priest.(CC)’”
The Test for an Unfaithful Wife
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray(CD) and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her,(CE) and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy(CF) come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[d](CG) of barley flour(CH) on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy,(CI) a reminder-offering(CJ) to draw attention to wrongdoing.
16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair(CK) and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy,(CL) while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.(CM) 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray(CN) and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse(CO) not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray(CP) while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse(CQ)—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[e] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water(CR) that brings a curse(CS) enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”
“‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.(CT)”
23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll(CU) and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord(CV) and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[f] offering(CW) and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.(CX) 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.
29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray(CY) and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy(CZ) come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the Lord and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences(DA) of her sin.’”
- Numbers 4:6 Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals; also in verses 8, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 25
- Numbers 5:2 The Hebrew word for defiling skin disease, traditionally translated “leprosy,” was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
- Numbers 5:6 Or woman who commits any wrong common to mankind
- Numbers 5:15 That is, probably about 3 1/2 pounds or about 1.6 kilograms
- Numbers 5:21 That is, may he cause your name to be used in cursing (see Jer. 29:22); or, may others see that you are cursed; similarly in verse 27.
- Numbers 5:26 Or representative
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