Reading 38/341, Numbers 3-4

[A] Today the Levites are counted and given their assignments. Levi had 3 sons, which make up the 3 sub-tribes of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Each of these sub-tribes have a different responsibility in serving the tent of meeting. The sons of Kohath are responsible for the holiest items. One of the sons of Kohath is Aaron. He and his descendants have the responsibility of the priesthood.The Christian structure of bishop, priest, deacon is analogous to the structure set up here: The high priest is the bishop, the other priests are the priests, and the Levites are the deacons.
[B] Moses' children are not Israelites because their mother was not an Israelite.

...Numbers...

Now this is the history of the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests who were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office. Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the desert of Sinai, and they had no children. Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron their father. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him. They shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle. They shall keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and the obligations of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. You shall give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons. They are wholly given to him on the behalf of the children of Israel. You shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall keep their priesthood. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn who open the womb among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine, for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I made holy to me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and animal. They shall be mine. I am the Lord. The Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, saying, "Number the children of Levi by their fathers' houses, by their families, every male from a month old and upward shall you number." Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded.

These were the sons of Levi by their names, Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. These are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families, Libni and Shimei. The sons of Kohath by their families, Amram, and Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Merari by their families, Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers' houses. From Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimeites, these are the families of the Gershonites. Those who were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, those who were numbered of them were seven thousand five hundred. The families of the Gershonites shall encamp behind the tabernacle westward. The prince of the fathers' house of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael. The charge of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, its covering, and the screen for the entrance to the tent of meeting, and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and around the altar, and its cords for all of its service.

From Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites, these are the families of the Kohathites. According to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, there were eight thousand six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary. The families of the sons of Kohath shall encamp on the south side of the tabernacle. The prince of the fathers' house of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. Their charge shall be the ark, the table, the lamp stand, the altars, the vessels of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the screen, and all its service. Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be prince of the princes of the Levites, with the oversight of those who keep the charge of the sanctuary.

From Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites. These are the families of Merari. Those who were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand two hundred. The prince of the fathers' house of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. They shall encamp on the north side of the tabernacle. The appointed charge of the sons of Merari shall be the tabernacle's boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, all its instruments, all its service, the pillars of the court around it, their sockets, their pins, and their cords. Those who encamp before the tabernacle eastward, in front of the tent of meeting toward the sunrise, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death.

All who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord, by their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty-two thousand. The Lord said to Moses, "Number all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names. You shall take the Levites for me (I am the Lord) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel." Moses numbered, as the Lord commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel. All the firstborn males according to the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those who were numbered of them, were twenty-two thousand two hundred seventy-three. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock, and the Levites shall be mine. I am the Lord. For the redemption of the two hundred seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel, who exceed the number of the Levites, you shall take five shekels apiece for each one; after the shekel of the sanctuary you shall take them (the shekel is twenty gerahs), and you shall give the money, with which the remainder of them is redeemed, to Aaron and to his sons." Moses took the redemption money from those who exceeded the number of those who were redeemed by the Levites; from the firstborn of the children of Israel he took the money, one thousand three hundred sixty-five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, "Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers' houses, from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old, all who enter into the service, to do the work in the tent of meeting. This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting, the Most Holy things. When the camp moves forward, Aaron shall go in, and his sons, and they shall take down the veil of the screen, and cover the ark of the Covenant with it, and shall put a covering of fine leather on it, and shall spread over it a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its poles. On the table of the bread of the Presence they shall spread a blue cloth, and put on it the dishes, the spoons, the bowls, and the cups with which to pour out, and the ever-present bread shall be on it. They shall spread on them a scarlet cloth, and cover it with a covering of fine leather, and shall put in its poles. They shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand of the light, and its lamps, and its snuffers, and its snuff dishes, and all its oil vessels, with which they minister to it. They shall put it and all its vessels within a covering of fine leather, and shall put it on the frame. On the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth, and cover it with a covering of fine leather, and shall put in its poles. They shall take all the vessels of ministry, with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a blue cloth, and cover them with a covering of fine leather, and shall put them on the frame. They shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth on it. They shall put on it all its vessels, with which they minister about it, the fire pans, the flesh hooks, the shovels, and the basins; all the vessels of the altar, and they shall spread on it a covering of fine leather, and put in its poles. When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary, and all the furniture of the sanctuary, as the camp moves forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to carry it, but they shall not touch the sanctuary, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting. The charge of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the continual grain offering, and the anointing oil, the charge of all the tabernacle, and of all that is in it, the sanctuary, and its furnishings. The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, "Do not let the tribe of the families of the Kohathites be cut off from among the Levites, but do thus to them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach the Most Holy things, Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint everyone to his service and to his burden, but they shall not go in to see the sanctuary for a moment, lest they die.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers' houses, by their families; from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old number them; all who enter in to wait on the service, to do the work in the tent of meeting. This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in bearing burdens, they shall carry the curtains of the tabernacle, and the tent of meeting, its covering, and the covering of fine leather that is above on it, and the screen for the entrance to the tent of meeting, and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and around the altar, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and whatever shall be done with them. There shall they serve. At the commandment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burden, and in all their service, and you shall appoint them in charge of all their burden. This is the service of the families of the sons of the Gershonites in the tent of meeting, and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

As for the sons of Merari, you shall number them by their families, by their fathers' houses; from thirty years old and upward to fifty years old number them, everyone who enters the service, to do the work of the tent of meeting. This is the charge of their burden, according to all the service in the tent of meeting, the tabernacle's boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, and the pillars of the court around it, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service, and by name you shall appoint the instruments of the charge of their burden. This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tent of meeting, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest."

Moses and Aaron and the princes of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites by their families, and by their fathers' houses, from thirty years old and upward to fifty years old, everyone who entered into the service, for work in the tent of meeting. Those who were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred fifty. These are those who were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all who served in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses. Those who were numbered of the sons of Gershon, their families, and by their fathers' houses, from thirty years old and upward to fifty years old, everyone who entered into the service, for work in the tent of meeting, those who were numbered of them, by their families, by their fathers' houses, were two thousand six hundred thirty. These are those who were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, all who served in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord. Those who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, by their families, by their fathers' houses, from thirty years old and upward to fifty years old, everyone who entered into the service, for work in the tent of meeting, those who were numbered of them by their families, were three thousand two hundred. These are those who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses. All those who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the princes of Israel numbered, by their families, and by their fathers' houses, from thirty years old and upward to fifty years old, everyone who entered in to do the work of service, and the work of bearing burdens in the tent of meeting, those who were numbered of them, were eight thousand five hundred eighty. According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by Moses, everyone according to his service, and according to his burden. Thus were they numbered by him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

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