Numbers 3

Translation:
1) And these were the generations of Aaron and Moses on the day that YHWH spoke to Moses on the mountain of Sinai.
2) And these were the names of the sons of Aaron: The firstborn was Nadab, then Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
3) These were the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests who filled their hand in the priestly service.
4) But Nadab and Abihu died in front of YHWH when they brought foreign fire before YHWH in the desert of Sinai and they did not have any sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests before Aaron their father.
5) And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying:
6) “Bring the tribe of Levi and place him in front of Aaron the priest so that they serve him.
7) And they will guard his stewardship and the stewardship of the whole community before the tent of meeting to undertake the undertaking of the Mishkan.
8) And they will guard all of the equipment of the tent of meeting and the stewardship of the sons of Israel to undertake the undertaking of the Mishkan.
9) So you will give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons. They will be given as gifts to him from among the sons of Israel.
10) And Aaron and his sons you will set and they will guard their office of priesthood and a foreigner who approaches will die.”
11) And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying:
12) “And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from the midst of the sons of Israel instead of the firstborn, the first birth of the womb from the sons of Israel and the Levites shall belong to me.
13) Yes, for me is every firstborn. In the day that I struck all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified for myself ever firstborn in Israel, from the human even unto the beast. They will belong to me! I am YHWH!”
14) And YHWH spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, saying:
15) “Gather the sons of Levi according to the house of their father, according to their tribes. Every male from one month of age and older you shall gather.”
16) And Moses gathered them before YHWH just as YHWH had commanded him.
17) And these were the sons of Levi in their names: Gershon and Qehat and Merari.
18) And these were the names of the sons of Gershon, according to their tribes: Libni and Shimi.
19) And the sons of Qehat according to their tribes were Amram and Yizhar, Chebron, and Uziel.
20) And the sons of Merari according to their tribes were Machli and Mushi. These are they, the tribes of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.
21) Belonging to Gershon was the tribe of the Libnites and the tribe of the Shimites. These are they, the tribes of the Gershonites.
22) Their drafting in number – of all males from one month old and older – their drafting was 7,500.
23) And the tribes of the Gershonites camped following the Mishkan to the west.
24) And the prince of the house of the father of the Gershonites was Elyasaph ben Lael.
25) And the service of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting was the Mishkan and the tent, the fabrics, and the curtain of the door of the tent of meeting,
26) And the curtain of the courtyard and the fabric of the door of the courtyard that were upon the Mishkan and upon the surroundings of the altar and the tent seams and the whole of its work.
27) Belonging to Qehat was the tribe of the Amramites and the tribe of the Yizharites and the tribe of Chebronites and the tribe of the Ozielites. These are they, the tribes of the Qehatites.
28) In number, every male from one month and over: 8,600 stewards of the service of the Holy.
29) The tribes of the sons of Qehat camped on the south side of the Mishkan.
30) And the prince of the house of the father of the tribes of the Qehatites was Elizaphar ben Uziel.
31) Their stewardship was the ark and the table and the menorah and the altar and all of the equipment of the holy that served in them and the curtain and its whole service.
32) And the prince of princes of the Levites was Eleazar ben Aaron, the priest; the draft of the stewards of the stewardship of the holy.
33) Belonging to Merari was the tribe of the Machalites and the tribe of the Mushites. These are they, the tribes of the Merarites.
34) And their draft in number – every male from one month old and older – was 6,200.
35) And the prince of the house of the father of the tribes of Merari was Zuriel ben Abichayil. They camped on the northern side of the Mishkan.
36) And the draft of the stewardship of the sons of Merari was the boards of the Mishkan and the braces and the pillars and the tub and all the equipment and its whole service.
37) And the pillars surrounding the courtyard and their tubs and their tent posts and their tent seams.
38) And they camped before the Mishkan on the east before the tent of meeting from the rising of the sun. Moses and Aaron and his sons guarded the stewardship of the holy place in order to guard the sons of Israel And the approaching foreigner would die.
39) All of those drafted of the Levites whom Moses [and Aaron] drafted before YHWH according to their tribes – every male from the age of one month and older – were 22,000.
40) And YHWH spoke to Moses: “draft every firstborn male from the sons of Israel from the age of one month and over and make a counting of their names.
41) And you shall take the Levites for me (I am YHWH!) instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel and the livestock of the Levites instead of every firstborn among the livestock of the sons of Israel.”
42) So Moses drafted every firstborn among the sons of Israel just as YHWH had commanded him.
43) And it was so: every firstborn male, in the number of the names from one-month olds and older according to their drafting: 22,273.
44) And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying:
45) “Take the Levites instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock. The Levites will belong to me. I am YHWH!
46) And with those who are the ransom of the 273, the excess upon the Levites from the number of the sons of Israel,
47) You shall take five five shekels for their skulls; according to the shekel of the holy you will take. The shekel is twenty gerah.
48) Then you will take the silver to Aaron and to his sons as the ransom of the excesses among them.”
49) So Moses took the silver of the ransom from the excesses of the ransoms of the Levites.
50) From among the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the silver: 1,365 shekels according to the shekel of the holy.
51) And Moses gave the silver of the ransoms to Aaron and to his sons before YHWH just as YHWH had commanded Moses.

Text Critical Notes:
V. 3: “Filled” is singular in the Hebrew, but must be emended to read in the plural as in LXX and the Peshitta.
V. 4: “Before YHWH” is missing in one Hebrew manuscript, Sam, and the Vulgate.
V. 9: LXX and Sam read “to me” instead of “to him”. Sam. and the Peshitta read “from the midst of the sons of Israel” instead of “from with the sons of Israel.”
V. 10: after “set”, LXX adds “over the tent of meeting”.
V. 16: LXX adds “and Aaron” after Moses.
V. 16–17: The verb opening v. 17 in MT is presumably a corruption of the divine name YHWH. The translation here reflects Samaritanus.
V. 39: “and Aaron” should be deleted, as in some manuscripts, Sam, and the Peshitta. In MT the name is marked by supralinear points, suggesting that the Masoretes may have been suspicious of this name here.

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