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Nazirite Laws

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.

“If any of the people, either men or women, take the special vow of a Nazirite, setting themselves apart to the Lord in a special way, they must give up wine and other alcoholic drinks. They must not use vinegar made from wine or from other alcoholic drinks, they must not drink fresh grape juice, and they must not eat grapes or raisins. As long as they are bound by their Nazirite vow, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything that comes from a grapevine—not even the grape seeds or skins.

“They must never cut their hair throughout the time of their vow, for they are holy and set apart to the Lord. Until the time of their vow has been fulfilled, they must let their hair grow long. And they must not go near a dead body during the entire period of their vow to the Lord. Even if the dead person is their own father, mother, brother, or sister, they must not defile themselves, for the hair on their head is the symbol of their separation to God. This requirement applies as long as they are set apart to the Lord.

“If someone falls dead beside them, the hair they have dedicated will be defiled. They must wait for seven days and then shave their heads. Then they will be cleansed from their defilement. 10 On the eighth day they must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a] 11 The priest will offer one of the birds for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way, he will purify them[b] from the guilt they incurred through contact with the dead body. Then they must reaffirm their commitment and let their hair begin to grow again. 12 The days of their vow that were completed before their defilement no longer count. They must rededicate themselves to the Lord as a Nazirite for the full term of their vow, and each must bring a one-year-old male lamb for a guilt offering.

13 “This is the ritual law for Nazirites. At the conclusion of their time of separation as Nazirites, they must each go to the entrance of the Tabernacle 14 and offer their sacrifices to the Lord: a one-year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a one-year-old female lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a peace offering, 15 a basket of bread made without yeast—cakes of choice flour mixed with olive oil and wafers spread with olive oil—along with their prescribed grain offerings and liquid offerings. 16 The priest will present these offerings before the Lord: first the sin offering and the burnt offering; 17 then the ram for a peace offering, along with the basket of bread made without yeast. The priest must also present the prescribed grain offering and liquid offering to the Lord.

18 “Then the Nazirites will shave their heads at the entrance of the Tabernacle. They will take the hair that had been dedicated and place it on the fire beneath the peace-offering sacrifice. 19 After the Nazirite’s head has been shaved, the priest will take for each of them the boiled shoulder of the ram, and he will take from the basket a cake and a wafer made without yeast. He will put them all into the Nazirite’s hands. 20 Then the priest will lift them up as a special offering before the Lord. These are holy portions for the priest, along with the breast of the special offering and the thigh of the sacred offering that are lifted up before the Lord. After this ceremony the Nazirites may again drink wine.

21 “This is the ritual law of the Nazirites, who vow to bring these offerings to the Lord. They may also bring additional offerings if they can afford it. And they must be careful to do whatever they vowed when they set themselves apart as Nazirites.”

The Priestly Blessing

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

24 ‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.’

27 Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

Offerings of Dedication

On the day Moses set up the Tabernacle, he anointed it and set it apart as holy. He also anointed and set apart all its furnishings and the altar with its utensils. Then the leaders of Israel—the tribal leaders who had registered the troops—came and brought their offerings. Together they brought six large wagons and twelve oxen. There was a wagon for every two leaders and an ox for each leader. They presented these to the Lord in front of the Tabernacle.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Receive their gifts, and use these oxen and wagons for transporting the Tabernacle.[c] Distribute them among the Levites according to the work they have to do.” So Moses took the wagons and oxen and presented them to the Levites. He gave two wagons and four oxen to the Gershonite division for their work, and he gave four wagons and eight oxen to the Merarite division for their work. All their work was done under the leadership of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest. But he gave none of the wagons or oxen to the Kohathite division, since they were required to carry the sacred objects of the Tabernacle on their shoulders.

10 The leaders also presented dedication gifts for the altar at the time it was anointed. They each placed their gifts before the altar. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “Let one leader bring his gift each day for the dedication of the altar.”

12 On the first day Nahshon son of Amminadab, leader of the tribe of Judah, presented his offering.

13 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds[d] (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 14 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces,[e] which was filled with incense. 15 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 16 and a male goat for a sin offering. 17 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Nahshon son of Amminadab.

18 On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, leader of the tribe of Issachar, presented his offering.

19 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 20 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 21 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 22 and a male goat for a sin offering. 23 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Nethanel son of Zuar.

24 On the third day Eliab son of Helon, leader of the tribe of Zebulun, presented his offering.

25 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 26 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 27 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 28 and a male goat for a sin offering. 29 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Eliab son of Helon.

30 On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, leader of the tribe of Reuben, presented his offering.

31 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 32 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 33 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 34 and a male goat for a sin offering. 35 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Elizur son of Shedeur.

36 On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, leader of the tribe of Simeon, presented his offering.

37 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 38 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 39 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 40 and a male goat for a sin offering. 41 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

42 On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, leader of the tribe of Gad, presented his offering.

43 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 44 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 45 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 46 and a male goat for a sin offering. 47 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Eliasaph son of Deuel.

48 On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, leader of the tribe of Ephraim, presented his offering.

49 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 50 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 51 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 52 and a male goat for a sin offering. 53 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Elishama son of Ammihud.

54 On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, leader of the tribe of Manasseh, presented his offering.

55 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 56 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 57 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 58 and a male goat for a sin offering. 59 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.

60 On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, leader of the tribe of Benjamin, presented his offering.

61 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 62 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 63 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 64 and a male goat for a sin offering. 65 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Abidan son of Gideoni.

66 On the tenth day Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai, leader of the tribe of Dan, presented his offering.

67 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 68 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 69 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 70 and a male goat for a sin offering. 71 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.

72 On the eleventh day Pagiel son of Ocran, leader of the tribe of Asher, presented his offering.

73 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 74 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 75 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 76 and a male goat for a sin offering. 77 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Pagiel son of Ocran.

78 On the twelfth day Ahira son of Enan, leader of the tribe of Naphtali, presented his offering.

79 His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1⁄4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3⁄4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. 80 He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. 81 He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, 82 and a male goat for a sin offering. 83 For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Ahira son of Enan.

84 So this was the dedication offering brought by the leaders of Israel at the time the altar was anointed: twelve silver platters, twelve silver basins, and twelve gold incense containers. 85 Each silver platter weighed 3 1⁄4 pounds, and each silver basin weighed 1 3⁄4 pounds. The total weight of the silver was 60 pounds[f] (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). 86 Each of the twelve gold containers that was filled with incense weighed four ounces (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). The total weight of the gold was three pounds.[g] 87 Twelve young bulls, twelve rams, and twelve one-year-old male lambs were donated for the burnt offerings, along with their prescribed grain offerings. Twelve male goats were brought for the sin offerings. 88 Twenty-four bulls, sixty rams, sixty male goats, and sixty one-year-old male lambs were donated for the peace offerings. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.

89 Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant.[h] The Lord spoke to him from there.

Preparing the Lamps

The Lord said to Moses, “Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand.” So Aaron did this. He set up the seven lamps so they reflected their light forward, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. The entire lampstand, from its base to its decorative blossoms, was made of beaten gold. It was built according to the exact design the Lord had shown Moses.

The Levites Dedicated

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel and make them ceremonially clean. Do this by sprinkling them with the water of purification, and have them shave their entire body and wash their clothing. Then they will be ceremonially clean. Have them bring a young bull and a grain offering of choice flour moistened with olive oil, along with a second young bull for a sin offering. Then assemble the whole community of Israel, and present the Levites at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[i] 10 When you present the Levites before the Lord, the people of Israel must lay their hands on them. 11 Raising his hands, Aaron must then present the Levites to the Lord as a special offering from the people of Israel, thus dedicating them to the Lord’s service.

12 “Next the Levites will lay their hands on the heads of the young bulls. Present one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to the Lord, to purify the Levites and make them right with the Lord.[j] 13 Then have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons, and raise your hands and present them as a special offering to the Lord. 14 In this way, you will set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel, and the Levites will belong to me. 15 After this, they may go into the Tabernacle to do their work, because you have purified them and presented them as a special offering.

16 “Of all the people of Israel, the Levites are reserved for me. I have claimed them for myself in place of all the firstborn sons of the Israelites; I have taken the Levites as their substitutes. 17 For all the firstborn males among the people of Israel are mine, both of people and of animals. I set them apart for myself on the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. 18 Yes, I have claimed the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons of Israel. 19 And of all the Israelites, I have assigned the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They will serve in the Tabernacle on behalf of the Israelites and make sacrifices to purify[k] the people so no plague will strike them when they approach the sanctuary.”

20 So Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel dedicated the Levites, carefully following all the Lord’s instructions to Moses. 21 The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes, and Aaron lifted them up and presented them to the Lord as a special offering. He then offered a sacrifice to purify them and make them right with the Lord.[l] 22 After that the Levites went into the Tabernacle to perform their duties, assisting Aaron and his sons. So they carried out all the commands that the Lord gave Moses concerning the Levites.

23 The Lord also instructed Moses, 24 “This is the rule the Levites must follow: They must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five, 25 and they must retire at the age of fifty. 26 After retirement they may assist their fellow Levites by serving as guards at the Tabernacle, but they may not officiate in the service. This is how you must assign duties to the Levites.”

Footnotes

  1. 6:10 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 6:13, 18.
  2. 6:11 Or make atonement for them.
  3. 7:5 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 7:89.
  4. 7:13 Hebrew silver platter weighing 130 [shekels] [1.5 kilograms] and a silver basin weighing 70 shekels [800 grams]; also in 7:19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79, 85.
  5. 7:14 Hebrew 10 [shekels] [114 grams]; also in 7:20, 26, 32, 38, 44, 50, 56, 62, 68, 74, 80, 86.
  6. 7:85 Hebrew 2,400 [shekels] [27.6 kilograms].
  7. 7:86 Hebrew 120 [shekels] [1.4 kilograms].
  8. 7:89 Or Ark of the Testimony.
  9. 8:9 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 8:15, 19, 22, 24, 26.
  10. 8:12 Or to make atonement for the Levites.
  11. 8:19 Or make atonement for.
  12. 8:21 Or then made atonement for them to purify them.