Bamidbar (Numbers): Bamidbar > Ch 4

Service of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting - the Holy of Holies

  • Service age: from the age of 30 until age of 50. Their tally, according to their families: 2750
  • When the camp is about to travel, Aaron and his sons shall come and take down the dividing screen; with it, they shall cover the Ark of the Testimony.
  • They shall place upon it a covering of tachash skin and on top of that they shall spread a cloth of pure blue wool. Then they shall put its poles in place.
  • They shall spread a cloth of blue wool on the Show Table and they shall place on it the forms, spoons, supports, and covering frames; the continual bread can then be placed upon it.
  • They shall spread upon them a cloth of crimson wool and cover that with a covering of tachash skin. Then they shall put its poles into place.
  • They shall take a blue cloth and cover the menorah for lighting and its lamps, its tongs, and its scoops, and all its oil vessels used in performing its service.
  • They shall put it and its vessels into a covering of tachash skin and place it on a pole.
  • They shall spread a cloth of blue wool over the golden altar and cover it with a covering of tachash skin, and then set its poles in place.
  • They shall then take all the vessels used in the Holy, put them into a cloth of blue wool, cover them with a covering of tachash skin, and put them onto a pole.
  • They shall remove the ashes from the altar and spread a cloth of purple wool over it.
  • They shall place on it all the utensils with which they minister upon it: the scoops, the forks, the shovels, and the basins-all the implements of the altar. Then they shall spread over it a covering of tachash skin and set its poles into place.
  • Aaron and his sons shall finish covering the Holy and all the vessels of the Holy when the camp is set to travel, and following that, the sons of Kohath shall come to carry [them], but they shall not touch the sacred objects for [then] they will die. These are the burden of the sons of Kohath for the Tent of Meeting.


Charge of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen

  • The charge of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen: oil for lighting, the incense of spices, the continual [daily] meal offering, and the anointing oil; the charge for the entire Mishkan and all that is in it, of the Holy and its furnishings.


Only Aaron and his sons can handle the holy vessels – sons of Kohath would die for doing that

  • Do not cause the tribe of the families of Kohath to be cut off from among the Levies. Do this for them, so they should live and not die, when they approach the Holy of Holies. Aaron and his sons shall first come and appoint each man individually to his task and his load. They shall not come in to see when the holy [vessels] are being wrapped up, lest they die.


Service of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting – to serve and to carry

  • Service age: from the age of 30 until age of 50. Their tally, according to their families: 2630
  • They shall carry the curtains of the Mishkan and the Tent of Meeting, its covering and the tachash skin covering overlaid upon it, and the screen for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
  • The hangings of the courtyard, the screen at the entrance of the gate of the courtyard which is around the Mishkan and the altar, their ropes, all the work involved, and everything that is made for them, and thus shall they serve.
  • All the service of the sons of Gershon shall be by the instruction of Aaron and his sons, regarding all their burden and all their service. You shall designate their entire burden as their charge.
  • Their charge is under the supervision of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the kohen.


Service of the sons of Merari in the Tent of Meeting – planks, bars, pillars, sockets

  • Service age: from the age of 30 until age of 50. Their tally, according to their families: 3200
  • This is the charge of their burden for all their service in the Tent of Meeting: the planks of the Mishkan, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets.
  • The pillars of the surrounding courtyard, their sockets, their pegs, and their ropes, all their implements for all the work involved. You shall designate by name the implements charged to them for their burden.
  • Their charge is under the supervision of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the kohen.


Total count of Levites who performed the service: 8580

  • From the age of thirty years and upward until the age of fifty years, who are fit to perform the service for the service and the work of carrying, in the Tent of Meeting. Their tally: eight thousand, five hundred and eighty. As directed by the Lord, they were appointed by Moses, each man to his service and his burden; they were counted as the Lord had commanded Moses.


 

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