b n¹ 1-4. Service of Aaron. o¹ 5-14. Levites' purification. Command. n² 15-19. Service of Levites. o² 20,21. Levites' purification. Obedience. n³ 22-26. Service of Levites.
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses (see 1:1), saying,
2 "Speak to Aaron, and say to him, 'When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the face of the lampstand' " (as in Gen.1:14. Cp. Ex. 25:31-39; 37:17-24).
3 And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the the face of the lampstand, as Yehovah commanded Moses.
4 And this work of the lampstand was of beaten gold, and the shaft thereof, and the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according to the pattern which the Lord had showed Moses, so he made the lampstand.
5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
6 "Take the Levites from among the sons of Israel, and cleanse them.
7 And thus shall you do to them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them (= sin water, i.e. water prepared as in Chapter 19), and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.
8 Then let them take a young bullock with his meal offering, even fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shall you take for a sin offering.
9 And you shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting: and you shall gather the whole assembly of the sons of Israel together:
10 And you shall bring the Levites before the Lord: and the sons of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites:
11 And Aaron shall offer (Heb. = wave, see Ex. 29:27) the Levites before the Lord for a wave offering of the sons of Israel, that they may perform the solemn service of the Lord.
12 And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: and you shall prepare the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, to the Lord, to make an atonement for the Levites (see 29:33).
13 And you shall set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and wave them for a wave offering to the Lord.
14 Thus shall you separate the Levites from among the sons of Israel: and the Levites shall be Mine (cp.3:45).
15 And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tent of the congregation: and you
shall cleanse them, and wave them for a wave offering.
16 For they are wholly given to Me from among the sons of Israel; instead of such as open every womb, even instead of the firstborn of all the children of Israel, have I taken them to Me.
17 For all the firstborn of the sons of Israel are Mine (cp. Ex. 13:2. Num.3:13), both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.
18 And I have taken the Levites for all the firstborn of the sons of Israel.
19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the sons of Israel, to do the solemn service of the sons of Israel in the tent of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the sons of Israel: that there be no plague among the sons of Israel, when the sons of Israel come near to the sanctuary."
20 And Moses, and Aaron, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel, did to the Levites according to all
that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did the sons of Israel to them.
21 And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron waved them as a wave offering before the Lord; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them.
22 And after that went the Levites in to do their solemn service in the tent of the congregation before Aaron, and before his sons: as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they to them.
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
24 "This is it that belongs to the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward (this was the commencement of a five years' probation. The age, 30, was the age of their numbering. See 4:3) they shall go in to wait upon the solemn service of the tent of the congregation (as in vv.11,15,19. Fig., literally war the warfare):
25 And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the solemn service thereof, and shall serve no more (observe the gracious care of the Lord):
26 But shall minister with their brethren in the tent of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no solemn service. Thus shall you do to the Levites touching their charge."