NASB — Numbers 3 — KJV

Levites to Be Priesthood

1 aNow these are [the records of] the generations of Aaron and Moses at the time when the LORD spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 aThese then are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the aanointed priests, whom he Iordained to serve as priests. 4 aBut Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD when they offered strange fire before the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai; and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests Iin the lifetime of their father Aaron.

[1] aEx 6:20-27
[2] aEx 6:23; Nu 26:60
[3] ILit filled their hand aEx 28:41
[4] ILit before the face aLv 10:1, 2; Nu 26:61

5 ¶ Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 6aBring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7 They shall perform the duties for Ihim and for the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the aservice of the tabernacle. 8 They shall also keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, along with the duties of the sons of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. 9 You shall thus agive the Levites to Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the sons of Israel. 10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that athey may keep their priesthood, but bthe Ilayman who comes near shall be put to death.”

[6] aNu 8:6-22; 18:1-7; Dt 10:8
[7] ILit him and the duties of the whole congregation aNu 1:50
[9] aNu 18:6
[10] ILit stranger aEx 29:9 bNu 1:51

11 ¶ Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Now, behold, I ahave taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every bfirstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine. 13 For aall the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, from man to beast. They shall be Mine; I am the LORD.”

[12] aNu 3:45; 8:14 bEx 13:2
[13] aEx 13:2; Lv 27:26; Ne 10:36

14 ¶ Then the LORD spoke to Moses ain the wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15IaNumber the sons of Levi by their fathers’ households, by their families; every male from a month old and upward you shall number.” 16 So Moses numbered them according to the Iword of the LORD, just as he had been commanded. 17 aThese then are the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon and Kohath and Merari. 18 These are the names of the asons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei; 19 and the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel; 20 and the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers’ households.

[14] aEx 19:1
[15] ILit muster, and so throughout the ch aNu 1:47
[16] ILit mouth
[17] aEx 6:16-22
[18] aEx 6:17

21 ¶ Of Gershon [was] the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites; these [were] the families of the Gershonites. 22 Their numbered men, in the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, [even] their numbered men [were] 7,500. 23 The families of the Gershonites were to camp behind the Itabernacle westward, 24 and the leader of the fathers’ households of the Gershonites [was] Eliasaph the son of Lael.

[23] ILit dwelling place, and so throughout the ch

Duties of the Priests

25 Now athe duties of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting [involved] the tabernacle and bthe tent, its covering, and cthe screen for the doorway of the tent of meeting, 26 and athe hangings of the court, and bthe screen for the doorway of the court which is around the tabernacle and the altar, and its cords, according to all the service Iconcerning them.

[25] aNu 4:24-26 bEx 26:1, 7, 14 cEx 26:36
[26] ILit of it aEx 27:9, 12, 14, 15 bEx 27:16

27 ¶ Of 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 were the families of the Kohathites. 28 In the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, [there were] 8,600, performing the duties of the sanctuary. 29 The families of the sons of Kohath were to camp on the southward side of the tabernacle, 30 and the leader of the fathers’ households of the Kohathite families was IElizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 Now atheir duties [involved] bthe ark, cthe table, dthe lampstand, ethe altars, and the utensils of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the screen, and all the service Iconcerning them; 32 and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest [was] the chief of the leaders of Levi, [and had] the oversight of those who perform the duties of the sanctuary.

[30] IIn Ex 6:22, Elzaphan
[31] ILit of it aNu 4:15 bEx 25:10-22 cEx 25:23-28 dEx 25:31-40 eEx 27:1, 2; 30:1-5

33 ¶ Of Merari [was] the family of the Mahlites and the family of the Mushites; these [were] the families of Merari. 34 Their numbered men in the numbering of every male from a month old and upward, [were] 6,200. 35 The leader of the fathers’ households of the families of Merari [was] Zuriel the son of Abihail. They [were] to acamp on the northward side of the tabernacle. 36 Now the appointed duties of the sons of Merari [involved] the frames of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, all its equipment, and the service concerning them, 37 and the pillars around the court with their sockets and their pegs and their cords.

[35] aNu 1:53; 2:25

38 ¶ Now those who were to acamp before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrise, are Moses and Aaron and his sons, performing the duties of the sanctuary for the obligation of the sons of Israel; but bthe Ilayman coming near was to be put to death. 39 All the numbered men of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the Icommand of the LORD by their families, every male from a month old and upward, [were] a22,000.

[38] ILit stranger aNu 1:53; 2:3 bNu 1:51
[39] ILit word aNu 3:43; 4:48; 26:62

Firstborn Redeemed

40 ¶ Then the LORD said to Moses, “aNumber every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and Imake a list of their names. 41 You ashall take the Levites for Me, I am the LORD, instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel.” 42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, just as the LORD had commanded him; 43 and all the firstborn males by the number of names from a month old and upward, for their numbered men were a22,273.

[40] ILit take the number aNu 3:15
[41] aNu 3:12, 45
[43] aNu 3:39

44 ¶ Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45aTake the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD. 46 aFor the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take afive shekels apiece, per head; you shall take [them] in bterms of the shekel of the sanctuary (cthe shekel is twenty Igerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” 49 So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites; 50 from the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365. 51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the Icommand of the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

[45] aNu 3:12
[46] aEx 13:13, 15; Nu 18:15, 16
[47] II.e. A gerah equals approx one-fortieth oz aLv 27:6; Nu 18:16 bEx 30:13 cLv 27:25; Ezk 45:12
[51] ILit mouth


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The sons of Aaron.

1 ¶ These also [are] the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day [that] the LORD spake with Moses in mount Sinai. 2 And these [are] the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3 These [are] the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office. 4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father.

[1] Gn 2:4; 5:1; 10:1; Ex 6:16, 20; Lv 25:1; 27:34; Nu 1:1; Mt 1:1.
[2] Ex 6:23; 28:1; Nu 26:60; 1Ch 6:3; 24:1.
[3] Ex 28:41; 29:1; 40:13, 15; Lv 8:1, 2, 12, 30; He 7:28.
[4] Lv 10:1; Nu 26:61.

The Levites are given to the priests for the service of the Tabernacle,

5 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 6 Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. 7 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle. 8 And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. 9 And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they [are] wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. 10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

[6] Ex 32:26; Nu 1:49; 2:17, 33; 8:6, 22; 16:9; 18:2; Dt 33:8; Mal 2:4.
[7] Nu 1:50; 3:32; 8:11, 15, 24, 26; 31:30; 1Ch 23:28; 26:20, 22, 26.
[8] Nu 4:15, 28, 33; 10:17, 21; 1Ch 26:20; Ezr 8:24; Is 52:11.
[9] Nu 8:19; 18:6; Ep 4:8, 11.
[10] Nu 1:51; 3:38; 16:35, 40; 18:3, 7; 1S 6:19; 2S 6:7; 1Ch 6:32; 2Ch 26:16; Ezk 44:8; Ac 6:3; Ro 12:7; Ep 2:19; 1Ti 4:15; He 8:4; 10:19.

instead of the firstborn.

11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; 13 Because all the firstborn [are] mine; [for] on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I [am] the LORD.

[12] Ex 12:29; 13:12; Nu 3:41, 45; 8:16, 18; 18:6.
[13] Ex 12:29; 13:2, 12, 15; 22:29; 34:19; Lv 27:26; Nu 8:16; 18:15; Ezk 44:30; Lk 2:23; He 12:23.

The Levites are numbered by their families.

14 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. 16 And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded. 17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. 18 And these [are] the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei. 19 And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 20 And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi. These [are] the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.

[15] Nu 3:22, 28, 34, 39, 43; 18:15; 26:62; Pv 8:17; Jr 2:2; 31:3; Mk 10:14; 2Ti 3:15.
[16] Gn 45:21; Nu 3:39, 51; 4:27, 37, 41, 45, 49; Dt 21:5.
[17] Gn 46:11; Ex 6:16; Nu 15:5; 23:6; 24:1; 26:57; Jsh 21:1; 1Ch 6:1, 16; Ne 11:1.
[18] Ex 6:17; Nu 3:21; 1Ch 6:17, 20; 23:7; 25:4; 26:1; Ne 12:1.
[19] Ex 6:18, 20; Nu 3:27; 1Ch 6:18, 38; 15:5, 8, 17; 23:12, 18; 25:4; 26:1; Ne 12:1.
[20] Ex 6:19; Nu 3:33; 1Ch 6:19, 29, 44; 15:6; 23:21; 24:27; 25:3.

The families, number, and charge of the Gershonites,

21 Of Gershon [was] the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these [are] the families of the Gershonites. 22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, [even] those that were numbered of them [were] seven thousand and five hundred. 23 The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward. 24 And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites [shall be] Eliasaph the son of Lael. 25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation [shall be] the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, 26 And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which [is] by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.

[21] Nu 3:18.
[22] Nu 4:38.
[23] Nu 1:53; 2:17.
[24] Nu 3:24.
[25] Ex 25:9; 26:1, 36; 36:8, 37; 38:24; 40:19, 28; Nu 3:7, 25, 26, 31, 36, 37; 4:24; 7:7; 10:17; 1Ch 9:14; 23:32; 26:21; 2Ch 31:2, 11; Ezr 8:28; Mk 13:34; Ro 12:6; Col 4:17; 1Ti 1:18.
[26] Ex 27:9; 35:18; 38:9.

of the Kohathites,

27 ¶ And of Kohath [was] the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these [are] the families of the Kohathites. 28 In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, [were] eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary. 29 The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward. 30 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites [shall be] Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 And their charge [shall be] the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof. 32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest [shall be] chief over the chief of the Levites, [and have] the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.

[27] Nu 3:19; 1Ch 23:12; 26:23.
[28] Nu 3:7, 31; 4:35.
[29] Nu 1:53; 2:10; 3:23.
[31] Ex 25:10; 26:31; 27:1; 30:1; 31:1; 36:35; 37:1, 25; 38:1; 39:33; 40:2, 30; Nu 4:4.
[32] Nu 4:16, 27; 20:25; 2K 25:18; 1Ch 9:14; 26:20.

of the Merarites.

33 ¶ Of Merari [was] the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these [are] the families of Merari. 34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, [were] six thousand and two hundred. 35 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of Merari [was] Zuriel the son of Abihail: [these] shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward. 36 And [under] the custody and charge of the sons of Merari [shall be] the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the vessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto, 37 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords.

[33] Nu 3:20; 1Ch 6:19; 23:21.
[34] Nu 1:21; 2:9, 11.
[35] Nu 1:53; 2:25; 3:28.
[36] Ex 26:15, 32, 37; 27:9; 35:11, 18; 36:20, 36; 38:17; 39:33; Nu 4:29; 7:8.

The place and charge of Moses and Aaron.

38 ¶ But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, [even] before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, [shall be] Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. 39 All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, [were] twenty and two thousand.

[38] Nu 1:53; 2:3; 3:7, 10, 23, 29, 35; 18:1; 1Ch 6:48.
[39] Nu 3:5, 11, 22, 28, 40, 44, 48, 51; 4:47; 26:62; Mt 7:14.

The firstborn are freed by the Levites.

40 ¶ And the LORD said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names. 41 And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I [am] the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel. 42 And Moses numbered, as the LORD commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel. 43 And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.

[40] Ex 32:26; Nu 3:12, 15, 45; Ps 87:6; Is 4:3; Lk 10:20; Php 4:3; 2Ti 2:19; He 12:23; Rv 3:5; 14:4.
[41] Ex 24:5; 32:26; Nu 3:12, 45; 8:16; 18:15; Mt 20:28; 1Ti 2:6.
[43] Nu 3:39.

The overplus are redeemed.

44 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I [am] the LORD. 46 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites; 47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take [them]: (the shekel [is] twenty gerahs:) 48 And thou shalt give the money, wherewith the odd number of them is to be redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons. 49 And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites: 50 Of the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five [shekels], after the shekel of the sanctuary: 51 And Moses gave the money of them that were redeemed unto Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses.

[45] Nu 3:12, 40.
[46] Ex 13:13; Nu 3:39, 47; 18:15; 1P 1:18.
[47] Ex 30:13; Lv 27:6, 25; Nu 3:50; 18:16; Ezk 45:12.
[50] Nu 3:46; Mt 20:28; 1Ti 2:5; Tit 2:14; He 9:12; 1P 1:18; 3:18.
[51] Nu 3:48; 16:15; 1S 12:3; Mal 4:4; Ac 20:33; 1Co 9:12; 1P 5:2.


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