The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Numbers
The Lord gave Moses this message
for Aaron, When thou dost put the seven lamps in their place, the lamp-stand must be set up on the south side of the tabernacle; and give orders that the lamps face northwards, towards the table of the loaves on the other side, the lamp-stand turned towards it, and so shedding light upon it.
Such was the rule the Lord enjoined on Moses, and such was ever the rule Aaron followed, in setting out the lamps.✻
This lamp-stand was fashioned of wrought gold, both the stem in the middle of it and the branches that sprang from either side and all their ornament; the pattern the Lord had shewn him was the pattern Moses gave it.
And this was the Lord’s word to Moses,
Separate the Levites from the rest of Israel, and purify them.
To be purified, they must be sprinkled with lustral water, and must shave all the hair on their bodies. They will wash their clothes, too, and cleanse themselves.
After this, they will provide an ox and the bread-offering that goes with it, of flour kneaded with oil, and a second ox must be provided as a transgression-victim;
and so thou wilt bring them out in front of the tabernacle that attests my covenant, where all Israel will be assembled.
And the Israelites will lay their hands upon the Levites, as they stand there before the Lord,
and Aaron will offer them to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, to do him service.
Then the Levites will lay their hands upon the heads of the oxen; one of these thou wilt offer as a victim for fault, and the other in burnt-sacrifice to the Lord, to make intercession for them.
So thou wilt present the Levites before Aaron and his sons, set apart and offered to the Lord,
separated from the rest of Israel to be mine;
after that, they may enter the tabernacle which attests my covenant and do me service. They must be purified, set apart, and made over to me, because they are a gift to me from the Israelites,
which I have accepted in lieu of every first-born son in Israel that handsels the womb.
All first-born things in Israel, man or beast, belong to me and are forfeit to me since the day when I smote the first-born in the land of Egypt;
and in lieu of all Israel’s first-born sons I claim the Levites for myself;
I have chosen them out from the rest of the people to be at the disposal of Aaron and his sons, to do me service in the tabernacle and offer me prayer on Israel’s behalf. The rest of the people must not come close to the sanctuary, on pain of being smitten with a plague.
These commands of the Lord by Moses they carried out faithfully, Moses and Aaron and all the people of Israel;
the Levites were purified, and washed their clothes, and Aaron made an offering of them in the Lord’s presence, and made intercession for them.
And now they were free to enter the tabernacle, to perform their duties at the pleasure of Aaron and his sons, Levites purified as God bade Moses purify them.
This, too, was the Lord’s word to Moses,
The law governing the Levites is that they should begin their tabernacle service from the age of twenty-five onwards;
when they have reached the age of fifty, they are no longer bound to service,
but they will attend on their brethren in the tabernacle and keep guard there as they are appointed, without doing the work of it any longer. Such is the direction thou wilt give the Levites about their duties.
The Holy Bible