Chapter 3

1This is the line of Aharon and Moshe at the time that Hashem spoke with Moshe on Har Sinai.

v'-AY-leh to-l'-DOT a-ha-RON u-mo-SHEH b'-YOM di-BER a-do-NAI et mo-SHEH b'-HAR see-NAI

אוְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת אַהֲרֹן וּמֹשֶׁה בְּיוֹם דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינָי׃

 3:1   This is the line of Aharon and Moshe

Following these words which introduce the census of the tribe of Levi, the Bible goes on to list only the descendants of Aharon and not those of Moshe, Levi’s most famous offspring. According to Rashi, Aharon’s descendants were considered to be Moshe’s as well, since Moshe was the one who taught them God’s word. Although Aharon was their biological father, providing them with physical life, Moshe became their spiritual father, providing for them a life of fulfillment and holiness. Without this spiritual life, their physical lives would have been lacking, devoid of meaning and purpose. How great it is to spread Hashem’s message to others, for in doing so you are giving them life, just as Moshe did.

2These were the names of Aharon's sons: Nadav, the first-born, and Avihu, Elazar and Itamar;

בוְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי־אַהֲרֹן הַבְּכוֹר נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר׃

3those were the names of Aharon's sons, the anointed Kohanim who were ordained for priesthood.

גאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים הַמְּשֻׁחִים אֲשֶׁר־מִלֵּא יָדָם לְכַהֵן׃

4But Nadav and Avihu died by the will of Hashem, when they offered alien fire before Hashem in the wilderness of Sinai; and they left no sons. So it was Elazar and Itamar who served as Kohanim in the lifetime of their father Aharon.

דוַיָּמָת נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה בְּהַקְרִבָם אֵשׁ זָרָה לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי וּבָנִים לֹא־הָיוּ לָהֶם וַיְכַהֵן אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר עַל־פְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן אֲבִיהֶם׃

5Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

הוַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

6Advance the tribe of Levi and place them in attendance upon Aharon the Kohen to serve him.

והַקְרֵב אֶת־מַטֵּה לֵוִי וְהַעֲמַדְתָּ אֹתוֹ לִפְנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן וְשֵׁרְתוּ אֹתוֹ׃

7They shall perform duties for him and for the whole community before the Tent of Meeting, doing the work of the Mishkan.

זוְשָׁמְרוּ אֶת־מִשְׁמַרְתּוֹ וְאֶת־מִשְׁמֶרֶת כָּל־הָעֵדָה לִפְנֵי אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לַעֲבֹד אֶת־עֲבֹדַת הַמִּשְׁכָּן׃

8They shall take charge of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting—a duty on behalf of the Israelites—doing the work of the Mishkan.

חוְשָׁמְרוּ אֶת־כָּל־כְּלֵי אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְאֶת־מִשְׁמֶרֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲבֹד אֶת־עֲבֹדַת הַמִּשְׁכָּן׃

9You shall assign the Leviim to Aharon and to his sons: they are formally assigned to him from among the Israelites.

טוְנָתַתָּה אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו נְתוּנִם נְתוּנִם הֵמָּה לוֹ מֵאֵת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

10You shall make Aharon and his sons responsible for observing their priestly duties; and any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death.

יוְאֶת־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת־בָּנָיו תִּפְקֹד וְשָׁמְרוּ אֶת־כְּהֻנָּתָם וְהַזָּר הַקָּרֵב יוּמָת׃

11Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

יאוַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

12I hereby take the Leviim from among the Israelites in place of all the first-born, the first issue of the womb among the Israelites: the Leviim shall be Mine.

יבוַאֲנִי הִנֵּה לָקַחְתִּי אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם מִתּוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל תַּחַת כָּל־בְּכוֹר פֶּטֶר רֶחֶם מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיוּ לִי הַלְוִיִּם׃

13For every first-born is Mine: at the time that I smote every first-born in the land of Egypt, I consecrated every first-born in Yisrael, man and beast, to Myself, to be Mine, Hashem's.

יגכִּי לִי כָּל־בְּכוֹר בְּיוֹם הַכֹּתִי כָל־בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם הִקְדַּשְׁתִּי לִי כָל־בְּכוֹר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאָדָם עַד־בְּהֵמָה לִי יִהְיוּ אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃

14Hashem spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai, saying:

ידוַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי לֵאמֹר׃

15Record the Leviim by ancestral house and by clan; record every male among them from the age of one month up.

טופְּקֹד אֶת־בְּנֵי לֵוִי לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמַעְלָה תִּפְקְדֵם׃

16So Moshe recorded them at the command of Hashem, as he was bidden.

טזוַיִּפְקֹד אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צֻוָּה׃

17These were the sons of Levi by name: Gershon, Kehat, and Merari.

יזוַיִּהְיוּ־אֵלֶּה בְנֵי־לֵוִי בִּשְׁמֹתָם גֵּרְשׁוֹן וּקְהָת וּמְרָרִי׃

18These were the names of the sons of Gershon by clan: Libni and Shim'i.

יחוְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי־גֵרְשׁוֹן לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִבְנִי וְשִׁמְעִי׃

19The sons of Kehat by clan: Amram and Izhar, Chevron and Uzziel.

יטוּבְנֵי קְהָת לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם עַמְרָם וְיִצְהָר חֶבְרוֹן וְעֻזִּיאֵל׃

20The sons of Merari by clan: Mahli and Mushi. These were the clans of the Leviim within their ancestral houses:

כוּבְנֵי מְרָרִי לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם מַחְלִי וּמוּשִׁי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַלֵּוִי לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם׃

21To Gershon belonged the clan of the Libnites and the clan of the Shim'ites; those were the clans of the Gershonites.

כאלְגֵרְשׁוֹן מִשְׁפַּחַת הַלִּבְנִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַשִּׁמְעִי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי׃

22The recorded entries of all their males from the age of one month up, as recorded, came to 7,500.

כבפְּקֻדֵיהֶם בְּמִסְפַּר כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמָעְלָה פְּקֻדֵיהֶם שִׁבְעַת אֲלָפִים וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

23The clans of the Gershonites were to camp behind the Mishkan, to the west.

כגמִשְׁפְּחֹת הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי אַחֲרֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן יַחֲנוּ יָמָּה׃

24The chieftain of the ancestral house of the Gershonites was Elyasaf son of Lael.

כדוּנְשִׂיא בֵית־אָב לַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי אֶלְיָסָף בֶּן־לָאֵל׃

25The duties of the Gershonites in the Tent of Meeting comprised: the Mishkan, the tent, its covering, and the screen for the entrance of the Tent of Meeting;

כהוּמִשְׁמֶרֶת בְּנֵי־גֵרְשׁוֹן בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְהָאֹהֶל מִכְסֵהוּ וּמָסַךְ פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד׃

26the hangings of the enclosure, the screen for the entrance of the enclosure which surrounds the Mishkan, the cords thereof, and the mizbayach—all the service connected with these.

כווְקַלְעֵי הֶחָצֵר וְאֶת־מָסַךְ פֶּתַח הֶחָצֵר אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְעַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סָבִיב וְאֵת מֵיתָרָיו לְכֹל עֲבֹדָתוֹ׃

27To Kehat belonged the clan of the Amramites, the clan of the Izharites, the clan of the Chevronites, and the clan of the Uzzielites; those were the clans of the Kohathites.

כזוְלִקְהָת מִשְׁפַּחַת הַעַמְרָמִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַיִּצְהָרִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַחֶבְרֹנִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הָעָזִּיאֵלִי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי׃

28All the listed males from the age of one month up came to 8,600, attending to the duties of the sanctuary.

כחבְּמִסְפַּר כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמָעְלָה שְׁמֹנַת אֲלָפִים וְשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שֹׁמְרֵי מִשְׁמֶרֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ׃

29The clans of the Kohathites were to camp along the south side of the Mishkan.

כטמִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי־קְהָת יַחֲנוּ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁכָּן תֵּימָנָה׃

30The chieftain of the ancestral house of the Kohathite clans was Elitzafan son of Uzziel.

לוּנְשִׂיא בֵית־אָב לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי אֶלִיצָפָן בֶּן־עֻזִּיאֵל׃

31Their duties comprised: the ark, the table, the menorah, the mizbachot, and the sacred utensils that were used with them, and the screen—all the service connected with these.

לאוּמִשְׁמַרְתָּם הָאָרֹן וְהַשֻּׁלְחָן וְהַמְּנֹרָה וְהַמִּזְבְּחֹת וּכְלֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר יְשָׁרְתוּ בָּהֶם וְהַמָּסָךְ וְכֹל עֲבֹדָתוֹ׃

32The head chieftain of the Leviim was Elazar son of Aharon the Kohen, in charge of those attending to the duties of the sanctuary.

לבוּנְשִׂיא נְשִׂיאֵי הַלֵּוִי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן פְּקֻדַּת שֹׁמְרֵי מִשְׁמֶרֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ׃

33To Merari belonged the clan of the Mahlites and the clan of the Mushites; those were the clans of Merari.

לגלִמְרָרִי מִשְׁפַּחַת הַמַּחְלִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַמּוּשִׁי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת מְרָרִי׃

34The recorded entries of all their males from the age of one month up came to 6,200.

לדוּפְקֻדֵיהֶם בְּמִסְפַּר כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמָעְלָה שֵׁשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וּמָאתָיִם׃

35The chieftain of the ancestral house of the clans of Merari was Tzuriel son of Avichayil. They were to camp along the north side of the Mishkan.

להוּנְשִׂיא בֵית־אָב לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת מְרָרִי צוּרִיאֵל בֶּן־אֲבִיחָיִל עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁכָּן יַחֲנוּ צָפֹנָה׃

36The assigned duties of the Merarites comprised: the planks of the Mishkan, its bars, posts, and sockets, and all its furnishings—all the service connected with these;

לווּפְקֻדַּת מִשְׁמֶרֶת בְּנֵי מְרָרִי קַרְשֵׁי הַמִּשְׁכָּן וּבְרִיחָיו וְעַמֻּדָיו וַאֲדָנָיו וְכָל־כֵּלָיו וְכֹל עֲבֹדָתוֹ׃

37also the posts around the enclosure and their sockets, pegs, and cords.

לזוְעַמֻּדֵי הֶחָצֵר סָבִיב וְאַדְנֵיהֶם וִיתֵדֹתָם וּמֵיתְרֵיהֶם׃

38Those who were to camp before the Mishkan, in front—before the Tent of Meeting, on the east—were Moshe and Aharon and his sons, attending to the duties of the sanctuary, as a duty on behalf of the Israelites; and any outsider who encroached was to be put to death.

לחוְהַחֹנִים לִפְנֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן קֵדְמָה לִפְנֵי אֹהֶל־מוֹעֵד מִזְרָחָה מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו שֹׁמְרִים מִשְׁמֶרֶת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזָּר הַקָּרֵב יוּמָת׃

39All the Leviim who were recorded, whom at Hashem's command Moshe and Aharon recorded by their clans, all the males from the age of one month up, came to 22,000.

לטכָּל־פְּקוּדֵי הַלְוִיִּם אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמַעְלָה שְׁנַיִם וְעֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף׃

40Hashem said to Moshe: Record every first-born male of B'nei Yisrael from the age of one month up, and make a list of their names;

מוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה פְּקֹד כָּל־בְּכֹר זָכָר לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמָעְלָה וְשָׂא אֵת מִסְפַּר שְׁמֹתָם׃

41and take the Leviim for Me, Hashem, in place of every first-born among B'nei Yisrael, and the cattle of the Leviim in place of every first-born among the cattle of the Israelites.

מאוְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם לִי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה תַּחַת כָּל־בְּכֹר בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵת בֶּהֱמַת הַלְוִיִּם תַּחַת כָּל־בְּכוֹר בְּבֶהֱמַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

42So Moshe recorded all the first-born among the Israelites, as Hashem had commanded him.

מבוַיִּפְקֹד מֹשֶׁה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֹתוֹ אֶת־כָּל־בְּכֹר בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

43All the first-born males as listed by name, recorded from the age of one month up, came to 22,273.

מגוַיְהִי כָל־בְּכוֹר זָכָר בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמַעְלָה לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם שְׁנַיִם וְעֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף שְׁלֹשָׁה וְשִׁבְעִים וּמָאתָיִם׃

44Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

מדוַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

45Take the Leviim in place of all the first-born among B'nei Yisrael, and the cattle of the Leviim in place of their cattle; and the Leviim shall be Mine, Hashem's.

מהקַח אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם תַּחַת כָּל־בְּכוֹר בִּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת־בֶּהֱמַת הַלְוִיִּם תַּחַת בְּהֶמְתָּם וְהָיוּ־לִי הַלְוִיִּם אֲנִי יְהֹוָה׃

46And as the redemption price of the 273 Israelite first-born over and above the number of the Leviim,

מווְאֵת פְּדוּיֵי הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה וְהַשִּׁבְעִים וְהַמָּאתָיִם הָעֹדְפִים עַל־הַלְוִיִּם מִבְּכוֹר בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

47take five shekalim per head—take this by the sanctuary weight, twenty geira to the shekel

מזוְלָקַחְתָּ חֲמֵשֶׁת חֲמֵשֶׁת שְׁקָלִים לַגֻּלְגֹּלֶת בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ תִּקָּח עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה הַשָּׁקֶל׃

48and give the money to Aharon and his sons as the redemption price for those who are in excess.

מחוְנָתַתָּה הַכֶּסֶף לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו פְּדוּיֵי הָעֹדְפִים בָּהֶם׃

49So Moshe took the redemption money from those over and above the ones redeemed by the Leviim;

מטוַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֵת כֶּסֶף הַפִּדְיוֹם מֵאֵת הָעֹדְפִים עַל פְּדוּיֵי הַלְוִיִּם׃

50he took the money from the first-born of the Israelites, 1,365 sanctuary shekalim.

נמֵאֵת בְּכוֹר בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָקַח אֶת־הַכָּסֶף חֲמִשָּׁה וְשִׁשִּׁים וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וָאֶלֶף בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ׃

51And Moshe gave the redemption money to Aharon and his sons at Hashem's bidding, as Hashem had commanded Moshe.

נאוַיִּתֵּן מֹשֶׁה אֶת־כֶּסֶף הַפְּדֻיִם לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה׃