Numbers 4:1-20

Kohath's clan

1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 ‘Write a list of the people in Kohath's clan in their families. That list must be separate from the list of the other Levites. 3 Record the men who can work in the Tent of Meeting. Record them if they are between 30 and 50 years old.

4 These men must take care of everything that is most holy in the Tent of Meeting. 5 When the people are ready to move, Aaron and his sons must go into the Tent of Meeting. They must take down the curtain that is in front of the Covenant Box. They must cover the Covenant Box with the curtain. 6 Then they must cover the curtain with good leather. On the top of that, they must put a blue cloth. Then, they must put the poles through the rings, so that they can carry the Covenant Box.

7 They must put a blue cloth over the table for the special bread. The bread must remain on the table. The cloth must cover the plates, bowls and dishes on the table. It must also cover the jars for the wine that they offer to me. 8 Then they must cover all that with a red cloth. On the top of the red cloth, they must put good leather. Then they must fix the poles to the table, so that they can carry it.

9 They must cover the lampstand and its tools with a blue cloth. They must also cover the jars for the oil with the blue cloth. 10 Then they must cover all this with good leather. They must carry it on a board.

11 They must cover the gold altar with a blue cloth. They must cover the blue cloth with good leather. Then they must fix the poles to the altar, so that they can carry it. 12 They must cover all the tools from God's Holy Tent with a blue cloth. They must cover the blue cloth with good leather. They must carry all this on a board.

13 They must remove the ashes from the bronze altar. They must cover the bronze altar with a purple cloth. 14 They must put all the tools on the bronze altar. That includes the plates for the fire, the forks for the meat, the spades and the bowls. They must cover all that with good leather. Then they must put the poles through the rings on the altar, so that they can carry it.

15 When the camp is ready to move, the men from Kohath's clan must be ready to carry all those things. But they must wait until Aaron and his sons have covered God's Holy Tent and all its holy things. The men from Kohath's clan must not touch the holy things. They will die if they touch the holy things. These are the jobs of Kohath's clan. They must carry the things from the Tent of Meeting when the Israelites travel.

16 Eleazar, who is the son of Aaron the priest, must keep the oil for the light. He must keep the incense and the grain offering. He must keep the special oil. The special oil is a mark on everything that God chooses. Eleazar must take care of the whole Tent of Meeting. He must work with God's Holy Tent and with everything in it.’

17 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 ‘You must not cause the end of Kohath's clan from among the Levites. 19 Do not let the men in that clan die. That will happen if they come near to the most holy things. You must do this: Aaron and his sons must go into the Tent of Meeting. They will tell each man the work that he must do. And they must tell each man the things that he must carry. 20 But the men from Kohath's clan must not look at anything that is holy, even for a moment. If they do look at those things, they will die.’