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Numbers Chapter 8 | Parsha: Be-ha'alotekha

1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to Aaron and say to him, “When you mount the lamps, let the seven lamps give light at the front of the lampstand.” 3Aaron did so; he mounted the lamps at the front of the lampstand, as the Lord had commanded Moses.— 4Now this is how the lampstand was made: it was hammered work of gold, hammered from base to petal. According to the pattern that the Lord had shown Moses, so was the lampstand made.

5The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 6Take the Levites from among the Israelites and cleanse them. 7This is what you shall do to them to cleanse them: sprinkle on them water of purification, and let them go over their whole body with a razor, and wash their clothes; thus they shall be cleansed. 8Let them take a bull of the herd, and with it a meal offering of choice flour with oil mixed in, and you take a second bull of the herd for a sin offering. 9You shall bring the Levites forward before the Tent of Meeting. Assemble the whole Israelite community, 10and bring the Levites forward before the Lord. Let the Israelites lay their hands upon the Levites, 11and let Aaron designate the Levites before the Lord as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may perform the service of the Lord. 12The Levites shall now lay their hands upon the heads of the bulls; one shall be offered to the Lord as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, to make expiation for the Levites.

13You shall place the Levites in attendance upon Aaron and his sons, and designate them as an elevation offering to the Lord. 14Thus you shall set the Levites apart from the Israelites, and the Levites shall be Mine. 15Thereafter the Levites shall be qualified for the service of the Tent of Meeting, once you have cleansed them and designated them as an elevation offering. 16For they are formally assigned to Me from among the Israelites: I have taken them for Myself in place of all the first issue of the womb, of all the first-born of the Israelites. 17For every first-born among the Israelites, man as well as beast, is Mine; I consecrated them to Myself at the time that I smote every first-born in the land of Egypt. 18Now I take the Levites instead of every first-born of the Israelites; 19and from among the Israelites I formally assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons, to perform the service for the Israelites in the Tent of Meeting and to make expiation for the Israelites, so that no plague may afflict the Israelites for coming too near the sanctuary.

20Moses, Aaron, and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites accordingly; just as the Lord had commanded Moses in regard to the Levites, so the Israelites did with them. 21The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes; and Aaron designated them as an elevation offering before the Lord, and Aaron made expiation for them to cleanse them. 22Thereafter the Levites were qualified to perform their service in the Tent of Meeting, under Aaron and his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses in regard to the Levites, so they did to them.

23The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 24This is the rule for the Levites. From twenty-five years of age up they shall participate in the work force in the service of the Tent of Meeting; 25but at the age of fifty they shall retire from the work force and shall serve no more. 26They may assist their brother Levites at the Tent of Meeting by standing guard, but they shall perform no labor. Thus you shall deal with the Levites in regard to their duties.

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