Numbers 3
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1  This 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

א  וְאֵלֶּה 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.1 comment

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

ב  וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי־אַהֲרֹן הַבְּכוֹר נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אֶלְעָזָר וְאִיתָמָר׃

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

ג  אֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים הַמְּשֻׁחִים אֲשֶׁר־מִלֵּא יָדָם לְכַהֵן׃

4  But 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.

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

5  Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

ה  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

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

ו  הַקְרֵב אֶת־מַטֵּה לֵוִי וְהַעֲמַדְתָּ אֹתוֹ לִפְנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן וְשֵׁרְתוּ אֹתוֹ׃

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

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

8  They 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.

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

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

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

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

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

11  Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

יא  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

12  I 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.

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

13  For 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.

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

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

יד  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי לֵאמֹר׃

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

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

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

טז  וַיִּפְקֹד אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צֻוָּה׃

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

יז  וַיִּהְיוּ־אֵלֶּה בְנֵי־לֵוִי בִּשְׁמֹתָם גֵּרְשׁוֹן וּקְהָת וּמְרָרִי׃

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

יח  וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי־גֵרְשׁוֹן לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִבְנִי וְשִׁמְעִי׃

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

יט  וּבְנֵי קְהָת לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם עַמְרָם וְיִצְהָר חֶבְרוֹן וְעֻזִּיאֵל׃

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

כ  וּבְנֵי מְרָרִי לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם מַחְלִי וּמוּשִׁי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַלֵּוִי לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם׃

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

כא  לְגֵרְשׁוֹן מִשְׁפַּחַת הַלִּבְנִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַשִּׁמְעִי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי׃

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

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

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

כג  מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי אַחֲרֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן יַחֲנוּ יָמָּה׃

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

כד  וּנְשִׂיא בֵית־אָב לַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי אֶלְיָסָף בֶּן־לָאֵל׃

25  The 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;

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

26  the 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.

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

27  To 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.

כז  וְלִקְהָת מִשְׁפַּחַת הַעַמְרָמִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַיִּצְהָרִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַחֶבְרֹנִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הָעָזִּיאֵלִי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי׃

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

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

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

כט  מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי־קְהָת יַחֲנוּ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁכָּן תֵּימָנָה׃

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

ל  וּנְשִׂיא בֵית־אָב לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי אֶלִיצָפָן בֶּן־עֻזִּיאֵל׃

31  Their 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.

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

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

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

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

לג  לִמְרָרִי מִשְׁפַּחַת הַמַּחְלִי וּמִשְׁפַּחַת הַמּוּשִׁי אֵלֶּה הֵם מִשְׁפְּחֹת מְרָרִי׃

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

לד  וּפְקֻדֵיהֶם בְּמִסְפַּר כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וָמָעְלָה שֵׁשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וּמָאתָיִם׃

35  The 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.

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

36  The 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;

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

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

לז  וְעַמֻּדֵי הֶחָצֵר סָבִיב וְאַדְנֵיהֶם וִיתֵדֹתָם וּמֵיתְרֵיהֶם׃

38  Those 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.

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

39  All 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.

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

40  Hashem 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;

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

41  and 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.

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

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

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

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

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

44  Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying:

מד  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

45  Take 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.

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

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

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

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

מז  וְלָקַחְתָּ חֲמֵשֶׁת חֲמֵשֶׁת שְׁקָלִים לַגֻּלְגֹּלֶת בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ תִּקָּח עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה הַשָּׁקֶל׃

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

מח  וְנָתַתָּה הַכֶּסֶף לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו פְּדוּיֵי הָעֹדְפִים בָּהֶם׃

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

מט  וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֵת כֶּסֶף הַפִּדְיוֹם מֵאֵת הָעֹדְפִים עַל פְּדוּיֵי הַלְוִיִּם׃

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

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

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

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

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Numbers 2
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Numbers 3

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