The Fourth Book of Moses, Called Numbers

Chapter 4

The age at which the Levites were to begin to serve and the duration of the service, 1-3. The duty of the Kohathites, 4-15. The charge of Eleazar, 16. The office of the priests, 17-20. The duty of the Gershonites, 21-28; of the Merarites, 29-33. The number of the Kohathites, 34-37; of the Gershonites, 38-41; and of the Merarites, 42-49.

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 "Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, 3 From thirty years old and upward, even until fifty years old, all who enter into the host to do the work in the Tabernacle of the Congregation. 4 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, about the most holy things.

5 "And when the camp moves forward, Aaron and his sons shall come, and they shall take down the covering veil and cover the ark of testimony with it, 6 And shall put on it the covering of badgers' skins, spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and put in its staffs. 7 And upon the table of show-bread they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the dishes, the spoons, the bowls, and covers to cover with. And the continual bread shall be upon it. 8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet and cover the same with a covering of badgers' skins and put in its staffs. 9 And they shall take a cloth of blue and cover the candlestick of the light, its lamps, its tongs, its snuff-dishes, and all its oil vessels, with which they minister to it. 10 And they shall put it and all its vessels within a covering of badgers' skins and put it upon a bar. 11 And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, cover it with a covering of badgers' skins, and put to it its staffs. 12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, cover them with a covering of badgers' skins, and put them on a bar. 13 And they shall take away the ashes from the altar and spread a purple cloth upon it. 14 And they shall put upon it all its vessels, with which they minister about it, even the censers, the flesh-hooks, the shovels, and the basins, all the vessels of the altar, and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers' skins and put to it its staffs. 15 And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary and all the vessels of the sanctuary as the camp is to move forward, after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it, but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

16 "And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertain the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the daily food-offering, the anointing oil, the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that is in it, in the sanctuary, and in its vessels."

17 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 18 "Do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites, 19 But do thus to them so that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint them each to his service and to his burden, 20 But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die."

21 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 22 "Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon throughout the house of their fathers, by their families. 23 From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old you shall number them, all who enter in to perform the service to do the work in the Tabernacle of the Congregation. 24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites to serve and for burdens: 25 They shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle and the Tabernacle of the Congregation, its covering, the covering of the badgers' skins that is above upon it, the hanging for the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, 26 The hangings of the court, the hanging for the door of the gate of the court which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, their cords, all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them. Thus they shall serve. 27 At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service. And you shall appoint to them in charge all their burdens. 28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

29 "As for the sons of Merari, you shall number them after their families, by the house of their fathers. 30 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old you shall number them, everyone who enters into the service to do the work of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. 31 And this is the charge of their burden according to all their service in the Tabernacle of the Congregation: the boards of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, 32 The pillars of the court round about and their sockets, their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments and with all their service. And by name you shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden. 33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari according to all their service in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest."

34 And Moses, Aaron, and the chief of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites after their families and after the house of their fathers, 35 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who enters into the service for the work in the Tabernacle of the Congregation. 36 And those who were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty. 37 These were those who were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all who might do service in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

38 And those who were numbered of the sons of Gershon throughout their families and by the house of their fathers, 39 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who enters into the service for the work in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, 40 Even those who were numbered of them throughout their families, by the house of their fathers, were two thousand six hundred and thirty. 41 These are those who were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all who might do service in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the LORD.

42 And those who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari throughout their families, by the house of their fathers, 43 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who enters into the service for the work in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, 44 Even those who were numbered of them after their families, were three thousand and two hundred. 45 These are those who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

46 All those who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families and after the house of their fathers, 47 From thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who came to do the service of the ministry and the service of the burden in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, 48 Even those who were numbered of them, were eight thousand five hundred and eighty. 49 According to the commandment of the LORD they were numbered by the hand of Moses, each according to his service and according to his burden. Thus they were numbered by him, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Numbers, Chapter 4

Notes

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