1The LORD told Moses 2to take a census of the Levite clan of Kohath by sub-clans and families, 3and to register all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the LORD's presence. 4Their service involves the most holy things.
5The LORD gave Moses the following instructions. When it is time to break camp, Aaron and his sons shall enter the Tent, take down the curtain in front of the Covenant Box, and cover the Box with it. 6They shall put a fine leather cover over it, spread a blue cloth on top, and then insert the carrying poles.
7They shall spread a blue cloth over the table for the bread offered to the LORD and put on it the dishes, the incense bowls, the offering bowls, and the jars for the wine offering. There shall always be bread on the table. 8They shall spread a red cloth over all this, put a fine leather cover over it, and then insert the carrying poles.
9They shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand, with its lamps, tongs, trays, and all the olive oil containers. 10They shall wrap it and all its equipment in a fine leather cover and place it on a carrying frame.
11Next they shall spread a blue cloth over the gold altar, put a fine leather cover over it, and then insert the carrying poles. 12They shall take all the utensils used in the Holy Place, wrap them in a blue cloth, put a fine leather cover over them, and place them on a carrying frame. 13They shall remove the greasy ashes from the altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14They shall put on it all the equipment used in the service at the altar: firepans, hooks, shovels, and basins. Then they shall put a fine leather cover over it and insert the carrying poles. 15When it is time to break camp, the clan of Kohath shall come to carry the sacred objects only after Aaron and his sons have finished covering them and all their equipment. The clan of Kohath must not touch the sacred objects, or they will die.
These are the responsibilities of the clan of Kohath whenever the Tent is moved.
16Eleazar son of Aaron the priest shall be responsible for the whole Tent and for the oil for the lamps, the incense, the grain offerings, the anointing oil, and everything else in the Tent that has been consecrated to the LORD.
17The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 18“Do not let the clan of Kohath 19be killed by coming near these most sacred objects. To prevent this happening, Aaron and his sons shall go in and assign each man his task and tell him what to carry. 20But if the Kohathites enter the Tent and see the priests preparing the sacred objects for moving, they will die.”
The Duties of the Levite Clan of Gershon
21The LORD told Moses 22to take a census of the Levite clan of Gershon by sub-clans and families, 23and to register all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the LORD's presence. 24They shall be responsible for carrying the following objects: 25the Tent, its inner cover, its outer cover, the fine leather cover on top of it, the curtain for the entrance, 26the curtains and ropes for the court that is round the Tent and the altar, the curtains for the entrance of the court, and all the fittings used in setting up these objects. They shall perform all the tasks required for these things. 27Moses and Aaron shall see to it that the Gershonites perform all the duties and carry everything that Aaron and his sons assign to them. 28These are the responsibilities of the Gershon clan in the Tent; they shall carry them out under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.
The Duties of the Levite Clan of Merari
29The LORD told Moses to take a census of the Levite clan of Merari by sub-clans and families, 30and to register all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the LORD's presence. 31They shall be responsible for carrying the frames, bars, posts, and bases of the Tent, 32and the posts, bases, pegs, and ropes of the court round the Tent, with all the fittings used in setting them up. Each man will be responsible for carrying specific items. 33These are the responsibilities of the Merari clan in their service in the Tent: they shall carry them out under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.
49Each man was registered as the LORD had commanded Moses; and at the command of the LORD given through Moses, each man was assigned responsibility for his task of serving or carrying.
1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Command the people of Israel to expel from the camp everyone with a dreaded skin disease or a bodily discharge and everyone who is unclean by contact with a corpse. 3Send all these ritually unclean people out, so that they will not defile the camp, where I live among my people.” 4The Israelites obeyed and expelled them all from the camp.
Repayment for Wrongs Done
5The LORD gave Moses 6the following instructions for the people of Israel. When anyone is unfaithful to the LORD and commits a wrong against someone, 7he must confess his sin and make full repayment, plus an additional twenty per cent, to the person he has wronged. 8But if that person has died and has no near relative to whom payment can be made, it shall be given to the LORD for the priest. This payment is in addition to the ram used to perform the ritual of purification for the guilty person. 9Also every special contribution which the Israelites offer to the LORD belongs to the priest to whom they present it. 10Each priest shall keep the offerings presented to him.
Cases of Wives with Suspicious Husbands
11The LORD commanded Moses 12-14to give the Israelites the following instructions. It may happen that a man becomes suspicious that his wife is unfaithful to him and has defiled herself by having intercourse with another man. But the husband may not be certain, for his wife may have kept it secret — there was no witness, and she was not caught in the act. Or it may happen that a husband becomes suspicious of his wife, even though she has not been unfaithful. 15In either case the man shall take his wife to the priest. He shall also take the required offering of one kilogramme of barley flour, but he shall not pour any olive oil on it or put any incense on it, because it is an offering from a suspicious husband, made to bring the truth to light.
16The priest shall bring the woman forward and make her stand in front of the altar. 17He shall pour some holy water into a clay bowl and take some of the earth that is on the floor of the Tent of the LORD's presence and put it in the water to make it bitter. 18Then he shall loosen the woman's hair and put the offering of flour in her hands. In his hands the priest shall hold the bowl containing the bitter water that brings a curse. 19Then the priest shall make the woman agree to this oath spoken by the priest: “If you have not committed adultery, you will not be harmed by the curse that this water brings. 20But if you have committed adultery, 21may the LORD make your name a curse among your people. May he cause your genital organs to shrink and your stomach to swell up. 22May this water enter your stomach and cause it to swell up and your genital organs to shrink.”
The woman shall respond, “I agree; may the LORD do so.”
23Then the priest shall write this curse down and wash the writing off into the bowl of bitter water. 24Before he makes the woman drink the water, which may then cause her bitter pain, 25the priest shall take the offering of flour out of the woman's hands, hold it out in dedication to the LORD, and present it on the altar. 26Then he shall take a handful of it as a token offering and burn it on the altar. Finally, he shall make the woman drink the water. 27If she has committed adultery, the water will cause bitter pain; her stomach will swell up and her genital organs will shrink. Her name will become a curse among her people. 28But if she is innocent, she will not be harmed and will be able to bear children.
29-30This is the law in cases where a man is jealous and becomes suspicious that his wife has committed adultery. The woman shall be made to stand in front of the altar, and the priest shall perform this ritual. 31The husband shall be free of guilt, but the woman, if guilty, must suffer the consequences.
Rules for Nazirites
1The LORD commanded Moses 2to give the following instructions to the people of Israel. Any men or women who make a special vow to become Nazirites and dedicate themselves to the LORD3shall abstain from wine and beer. They shall not drink any kind of drink made from grapes or eat any grapes or raisins. 4As long as they are Nazirites, they shall not eat anything that comes from a grapevine, not even the seeds or skins of grapes.
5As long as they are under the Nazirite vow, they must not cut their hair or shave. They are bound by the vow for the full time that they are dedicated to the LORD, and they shall let their hair grow. 8As long as they are Nazirites, they are consecrated to the LORD.
9If the consecrated hair of a Nazirite is defiled because he or she is right beside someone who suddenly dies, they must wait seven days and then shave off their hair; and so they become ritually clean. 10On the eighth day they shall bring two doves or two pigeons to the priest at the entrance of the Tent of the LORD's presence. 11The priest shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, to perform the ritual of purification for them because of their contact with a corpse. On the same day they shall reconsecrate their hair 12and rededicate to the LORD their time as Nazirites. The previous period of time doesn't count, because their consecrated hair was defiled. As a repayment offering they shall bring a one-year-old lamb.
13When Nazirites complete their vows, they shall perform this ritual. They shall go to the entrance of the Tent 14and present to the LORD three animals without any defects: a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, a one-year-old ewe lamb for a sin offering, and a ram for a fellowship offering. 15They shall also offer a basket of bread made without yeast: thick loaves made of flour mixed with olive oil and biscuits brushed with olive oil, and in addition the required offerings of corn and wine.
16The priest shall present all these to the LORD and offer the sin offering and the burnt offering. 17He shall sacrifice the ram to the LORD as a fellowship offering, and offer it with the basket of bread; he shall also present the offerings of corn and wine. 18At the entrance of the Tent the Nazirite shall shave off his or her hair and put it on the fire on which the fellowship offering is being burnt.
19Then, when the shoulder of the ram is boiled, the priest shall take it and put it, together with one thick loaf of bread and one biscuit from the basket, into the hands of the Nazirite. 20Next, the priest shall present them as a special gift to the LORD; they are a sacred offering for the priest, in addition to the breast and the leg of the ram which by law belong to the priest. After that, the Nazirite may drink wine.
21These are the regulations for Nazirites; but if a Nazirite promises an offering beyond what his or her vow requires them to give, they must fulfil exactly the promise they made.
The Priestly Blessing
22The LORD commanded Moses 23to tell Aaron and his sons to use the following words in blessing the people of Israel:
24May the LORD bless you and take care of you;
25May the LORD be kind and gracious to you;
26May the LORD look on you with favour and give you peace.
27And the LORD said, “If they pronounce my name as a blessing upon the people of Israel, I will bless them.”