Reading 40/341, Numbers 8-10

...Numbers...

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron, and tell him, 'When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.'" Aaron did so. He set up its lamps to light the area in front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. The workmanship of the lampstand was a beaten work of gold. From its base to its flowers, it was beaten work, according to the pattern which the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them. Thus shall you do to them, to cleanse them, sprinkle the water of cleansing on them, let them shave their whole bodies with a razor, and let them wash their clothes, and cleanse themselves. Then let them take a young bull, and its grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil, and another young bull you shall take for a sin offering. You shall present the Levites before the tent of meeting. You shall assemble the whole congregation of the children of Israel. You shall present the Levites before the Lord. The children of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites, and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord for a wave offering, on the behalf of the children of Israel, that it may be theirs to do the service of the Lord. The Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord, to make atonement for the Levites. You shall set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them as a wave offering to the Lord. Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. After that, the Levites shall go in to do the service of the tent of meeting, when you have cleansed them and offered them as a wave offering. For they are wholly given to me from among the children of Israel, instead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the children of Israel, I have taken them to me. For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are mine, both man and animal. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified them for myself. I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel. 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 tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel, that there be no disease among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come near to the sanctuary." Thus did Moses, and Aaron, and all the congregation of the children of Israel, to the Levites. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so the children of Israel did to them. The Levites purified themselves from sin, and they washed their clothes, and Aaron offered them for a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. After that, the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting before Aaron, and before his sons, as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "This is applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall go in to do the service of the work of the tent of meeting, and from the age of fifty years they shall cease doing the work, and shall serve no more, but shall minister with their brothers in the tent of meeting, keeping guard, but shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites concerning their duties.

The Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, "Moreover let the children of Israel keep the Passover in its appointed season. On the fourteenth day of this month, at evening, you shall keep it in its appointed season--according to all its statutes, and according to all its ordinances, you shall keep it." Moses spoke to the children of Israel, that they should keep the Passover. They kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening, in the desert of Sinai. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did. There were certain men, who were unclean because of the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. Those men said to him, "We are unclean because of the dead body of a man. Why are we kept back, that we may not offer the offering of the Lord in its appointed season among the children of Israel?" Moses answered them, "Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.” The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Say to the children of Israel, 'If any man of you or of your generations is unclean by reason of a dead body, or is on a journey far away, he shall still keep the Passover to the Lord. In the second month, on the fourteenth day at evening they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break a bone of it. According to all the statute of the Passover they shall keep it. But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, but fails to keep the Passover, that soul shall be cut off from his people. Because he did not offer the offering of the Lord in its appointed season, that man shall bear his sin. If a foreigner lives among you, and desires to keep the Passover to the Lord; according to the statute of the Passover, and according to its ordinance, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the foreigner, and for him who is born in the land.'"

On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the Tent of the Covenant, and at evening it was over the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until morning. So it was continually. The cloud covered it, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was taken up from over the Tent, then after that the children of Israel traveled, and in the place where the cloud remained, there the children of Israel encamped. At the commandment of the Lord, the children of Israel traveled, and at the commandment of the Lord they encamped. As long as the cloud remained on the tabernacle they remained encamped. When the cloud stayed on the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord, and did not travel. Sometimes the cloud was a few days on the tabernacle; then according to the commandment of the Lord they remained encamped, and according to the commandment of the Lord they traveled. Sometimes the cloud was from evening until morning, and when the cloud was taken up in the morning, they traveled, or by day and by night, when the cloud was taken up, they traveled. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a year that the cloud stayed on the tabernacle, remaining on it, the children of Israel remained encamped, and did not travel; but when it was taken up, they traveled. At the commandment of the Lord they encamped, and at the commandment of the Lord they traveled. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by Moses.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Make two trumpets of silver; of beaten work shall you make them, and you shall use them for the calling of the congregation, and for the journeying of the camps. When they shall blow them, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If they blow just one, then the princes, the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. When you blow an alarm, the camps that lie on the east side shall take their journey. When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey, they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets, and they shall be to you for a statute forever throughout your generations. When you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your set feasts, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God, I am the Lord your God.

It happened in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from over the tent of the covenant. The children of Israel set forward by stages out of the desert of Sinai, and the cloud set down in the desert of Paran. They first took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses. First, the standard of the camp of the children of Judah set forward according to their armies, and over his army was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon. Then the tent was taken down, and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who bore the tent, set forward. Then the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies, and over his army was Elizur the son of Shedeur. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel. Then the Kohathites set forward, bearing the holy things, and the tent was set up before their arrival. Then the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies, and over his army was Elishama the son of Ammihud. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni. Then the standard of the camp of the children of Dan, which was in the rear of all the camps, set forward according to their armies, and over his army was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ochran. Over the army of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. Thus were the travels of the children of Israel according to their armies, and they set forward.

Moses said to Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, “We are journeying to the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will do you good, for the Lord has spoken good concerning Israel.” He said to him, “I will not go; but I will depart to my own land, and to my kin.” He said, “Do not leave us, please, because you know how we are to encamp in the desert, and you shall be for us like eyes. It shall be, if you go with us, yes, it shall be, that whatever good the Lord shall do to us, the same will we do to you.” They set forward from the Mount of the Lord three days' journey, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them. The cloud of the Lord was over them by day, when they set forward from the camp. It happened, whenever the ark set forward, that Moses said, “Rise up, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” When it rested, he said, “Return, O Lord, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”

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