1This is the account concerning Aaron and Moses when the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai.
2The names of the sons of Aaron were: Nadab (firstborn), Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
3These were the names of Aaron's sons who were anointed and ordained to serve as priests.
4Nadab and Abihu died in the Lord's presence when they offered forbidden fire before the Lord in the Sinai desert. Since they didn't have any sons, Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests while their father Aaron was alive.
5The Lord told Moses,
6“Gather the tribe of Levi together and present them to Aaron the priest to help him with the ministry.
7They are to carry out duties on his behalf and for all the Israelites at the Tent of Meeting, looking after the service of the Tabernacle.
8They are responsible for caring for all the furniture of the Tent of Meeting, serving the Israelites through what they do in the Tabernacle.
9The Levites are to work exclusively for Aaron and his sons of because this is their assignment among the Israelites.
10You are to appoint Aaron and his sons to have the responsibility of the priesthood. Anyone else who tries to act as a priest must be executed.”
11The Lord told Moses,
12“I've taken the Levites from the Israelites in place of every one of their firstborn. The Levites belong to me
13because all the firstborn are mine. When I killed every firstborn in Egypt I set apart as holy to me all the firstborn of Israel, human and animal. They are mine. I am the Lord.”
14The Lord spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert. He told him,
15“Register the Levites by their father's line and family. Count every male aged one month or older.”
16So Moses registered them following the Lord's instructions, just as he had been told.
17These were the names of Levi's sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
18These were the names of the Gershon's sons by family: Libni and Shimei.
19Kohath's sons by family were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
20Merari's sons by family were Mahli and Mushi. These were the families of the Levites, according to their father's line.
21The family of Libni and the family of Shimei came from Gershon. These were the families of Gershon.
22The total of all males aged one month or older was 7,500.
23The camp of families of Gerson was to the west, behind the Tabernacle.
24The leader of the Gershon families was Eliasaph, son of Lael.
25Their assigned responsibility for the Tent of Meeting was to take care of the Tabernacle and tent, its covering, the curtain at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting,
26the courtyard curtains, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the Tabernacle and altar, the ropes, and everything connected with their use.
27The families of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel came from Kohath. These were the families of Kohath.
28The total of all males aged one month or older was 8,600. Their assigned responsibility was to take care of the sanctuary.
29The camp of families of Kohath was on the south side of the Tabernacle.
30The leader of the Kohath families was Elizaphan son of Uzziel.
31Their assigned responsibility was to care for the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the articles of the sanctuary used with them, the veil, and everything connected with these items.
32The chief of the leaders of the Levites was Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest. He was in charge of those responsible for serving in the sanctuary.
33The family of Mahli and the family of Mushi came from Merari. These were the families of Merari.
34The total of all males aged one month or older was 6,200.
35The leader of the Merari families was Zuriel, son of Abihail. Their camp was on the north side of the Tabernacle.
36Their assigned responsibility was to take care of the Tabernacle's frames, crossbars, posts, stands, all its equipment, and everything connected with their use,
37as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their stands, tent pegs, and ropes.
38The camp of Moses, Aaron, and Aaron's sons was to the east of the Tabernacle, in the direction of the sunrise, in front of the Tent of Meeting. They were responsible for the sanctuary on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else who tried to act as a priest was to be executed.
39The sum total of Levites registered by Moses and Aaron as the Lord ordered was 22,000. This included all males aged one month or older.
40The Lord told Moses, “Conduct a census of all the firstborn Israelite males aged one month or older, and register their names.
41Assign the Levites to me. I am the Lord. They are in place of all of the Israelites' firstborn children. The livestock of the Levites are in place of all the Israelites' firstborn livestock.”
42Moses conducted a census of all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the Lord had instructed him.
43The sum total of the firstborn males a month old or more, registered by name, was 22,273.
44The Lord spoke to Moses and told him,
45“You are to take the Levites in place of all the firstborn children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock, because the Levites belong to me. I am the Lord.
46In order to buy back the 273 firstborn Israelites who are more than the number of Levites,
47collect five shekels for each of them, (using the sanctuary shekel standard of twenty gerahs).
48He handed the money over to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for the extra Israelites.”
49Moses collected the redemption money for those extra Israelites that were more than the number redeemed by the Levites.
50He collected the money given on behalf of the Israelites' firstborn children. It came to 1,365 shekels, (using the sanctuary shekel standard).
51Moses gave this redemption money to Aaron and his sons as the Lord had told him to, following the Lord's instructions.