Numbers 8 – New International Version (NIV)
Setting Up the Lamps
- The Lord said to Moses,
- “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’”
- Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the Lord commanded Moses.
- This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the Lord had shown Moses.
The Setting Apart of the Levites
- The Lord said to Moses:
- “Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean.
- To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. And so they will purify themselves.
- Have them take a young bull with its grain offering of the finest flour mixed with olive oil; then you are to take a second young bull for a sin offering.[a]
- Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community.
- You are to bring the Levites before the Lord, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them.
- Aaron is to present the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the Lord.
- “Then the Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, using one for a sin offering to the Lord and the other for a burnt offering, to make atonement for the Levites.
- Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the Lord.
- In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
- “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting.
- They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman.
- Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal, is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself.
- And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel.
- From among all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.”
- Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.
- The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the Lord and made atonement for them to purify them.
- After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.
- The Lord said to Moses,
- “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting,
- but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer.
- They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.”
Numbers 8 – King James Version (KJV)
Service of Priests and Levites
- And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
- Speak unto Aaron and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.
- And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the Lord commanded Moses.
- And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the Lord had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.
- And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
- Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.
- And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.
- Then let them take a young bullock with his meat offering, even fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin offering.
- And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together:
- And thou shalt bring the Levites before the Lord: and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites:
- And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the Lord.
- And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: and thou shalt offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, unto the Lord, to make an atonement for the Levites.
- And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord.
- Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.
- And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for an offering.
- For they are wholly given unto me from among the children of Israel; instead of such as open every womb, even instead of the firstborn of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto me.
- For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.
- And I have taken the Levites for all the firstborn of the children of Israel.
- And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary.
Period of Service
- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
- This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:
- and from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more:
- but shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge.