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Numbers Chapter 3 | Parsha: Be-midbar

1This is the line of Aaron and Moses at the time that the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2These were the names of Aaron’s sons: Nadab, the first-born, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar; 3those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests who were ordained for priesthood. 4But Nadab and Abihu died by the will of the Lord, when they offered alien fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai; and they left no sons. So it was Eleazar and Ithamar who served as priests in the lifetime of their father Aaron.

5The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 6Advance the tribe of Levi and place them in attendance upon Aaron the priest to serve him. 7They shall perform duties for him and for the whole community before the Tent of Meeting, doing the work of the Tabernacle. 8They shall take charge of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting—a duty on behalf of the Israelites—doing the work of the Tabernacle. 9You shall assign the Levites to Aaron and to his sons: they are formally assigned to him from among the Israelites. 10You shall make Aaron and his sons responsible for observing their priestly duties; and any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death.

11The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12I hereby take the Levites from among the Israelites in place of all the first-born, the first issue of the womb among the Israelites: the Levites shall be Mine. 13For every first-born is Mine: at the time that I smote every first-born in the land of Egypt, I consecrated every first-born in Israel, man and beast, to Myself, to be Mine, the Lord’s.

14The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying: 15Record the Levites by ancestral house and by clan; record every male among them from the age of one month up. 16So Moses recorded them at the command of the Lord, as he was bidden. 17These were the sons of Levi by name: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18These were the names of the sons of Gershon by clan: Libni and Shimei. 19The sons of Kohath by clan: Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 20The sons of Merari by clan: Mahli and Mushi.
These were the clans of the Levites within their ancestral houses:

21To Gershon belonged the clan of the Libnites and the clan of the Shimeites; those were the clans of the Gershonites. 22The recorded entries of all their males from the age of one month up, as recorded, came to 7,500. 23The clans of the Gershonites were to camp behind the Tabernacle, to the west. 24The chieftain of the ancestral house of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael. 25The duties of the Gershonites in the Tent of Meeting comprised: the tabernacle, the tent, its covering, and the screen for the entrance of the Tent of Meeting; 26the hangings of the enclosure, the screen for the entrance of the enclosure which surrounds the Tabernacle, the cords thereof, and the altar—all the service connected with these.

27To Kohath belonged the clan of the Amramites, the clan of the Izharites, the clan of the Hebronites, and the clan of the Uzzielites; those were the clans of the Kohathites. 28All the listed males from the age of one month up came to 8,600, attending to the duties of the sanctuary. 29The clans of the Kohathites were to camp along the south side of the Tabernacle. 30The chieftain of the ancestral house of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. 31Their duties comprised: the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, and the sacred utensils that were used with them, and the screen—all the service connected with these. 32The head chieftain of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, in charge of those attending to the duties of the sanctuary.

33To Merari belonged the clan of the Mahlites and the clan of the Mushites; those were the clans of Merari. 34The recorded entries of all their males from the age of one month up came to 6,200. 35The chieftain of the ancestral house of the clans of Merari was Zuriel son of Abihail. They were to camp along the north side of the Tabernacle. 36The assigned duties of the Merarites comprised: the planks of the Tabernacle, its bars, posts, and sockets, and all its furnishings—all the service connected with these; 37also the posts around the enclosure and their sockets, pegs, and cords.

38Those who were to camp before the Tabernacle, in front—before the Tent of Meeting, on the east—were Moses and Aaron and his sons, attending to the duties of the sanctuary, as a duty on behalf of the Israelites; and any outsider who encroached was to be put to death. 39All the Levites who were recorded, whom at the Lord’s command Moses and Aaron recorded by their clans, all the males from the age of one month up, came to 22,000.

40The Lord said to Moses: Record every first-born male of the Israelite people from the age of one month up, and make a list of their names; 41and take the Levites for Me, the Lord, in place of every first-born among the Israelite people, and the cattle of the Levites in place of every first-born among the cattle of the Israelites. 42So Moses recorded all the first-born among the Israelites, as the Lord had commanded him. 43All the first-born males as listed by name, recorded from the age of one month up, came to 22,273.

44The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 45Take the Levites in place of all the first-born among the Israelite people, and the cattle of the Levites in place of their cattle; and the Levites shall be Mine, the Lord’s. 46And as the redemption price of the 273 Israelite first-born over and above the number of the Levites, 47take five shekels per head—take this by the sanctuary weight, twenty gerahs to the shekel— 48and give the money to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for those who are in excess. 49So Moses took the redemption money from those over and above the ones redeemed by the Levites; 50he took the money from the first-born of the Israelites, 1,365 sanctuary shekels. 51And Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons at the Lord’s bidding, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

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