Numbers 4
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  And Hashem spoke unto Moshe and unto Aharon, saying:

א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר.

2  ‘Take the sum of the sons of Kehat from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ houses,

ב  נָשֹׂא אֶת רֹאשׁ בְּנֵי קְהָת מִתּוֹךְ בְּנֵי לֵוִי לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם.

3  from thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter upon the service, to do work in the Tent of Meeting.

ג  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה כָּל בָּא לַצָּבָא לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

4  This is the service of the sons of Kehat in the Tent of Meeting, about the most holy things:

ד  זֹאת עֲבֹדַת בְּנֵי קְהָת בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים.

5  when the camp setteth forward, Aharon shall go in, and his sons, and they shall take down the veil of the screen, and cover the ark of the testimony with it;

ה  וּבָא אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו בִּנְסֹעַ הַמַּחֲנֶה וְהוֹרִדוּ אֵת פָּרֹכֶת הַמָּסָךְ וְכִסּוּ בָהּ אֵת אֲרֹן הָעֵדֻת.

6  and shall put thereon a covering of sealskin, and shall spread over it a cloth all of blue, and shall set the staves thereof.

ו  וְנָתְנוּ עָלָיו כְּסוּי עוֹר תַּחַשׁ וּפָרְשׂוּ בֶגֶד כְּלִיל תְּכֵלֶת מִלְמָעְלָה וְשָׂמוּ בַּדָּיו.

7  And upon the table of showbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the pans, and the bowls, and the jars wherewith to pour out; and the continual bread shall remain thereon.

ז  וְעַל שֻׁלְחַן הַפָּנִים יִפְרְשׂוּ בֶּגֶד תְּכֵלֶת וְנָתְנוּ עָלָיו אֶת הַקְּעָרֹת וְאֶת הַכַּפֹּת וְאֶת הַמְּנַקִּיֹּת וְאֵת קְשׂוֹת הַנָּסֶךְ וְלֶחֶם הַתָּמִיד עָלָיו יִהְיֶה.

8  And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of sealskin, and shall set the staves thereof.

ח  וּפָרְשׂוּ עֲלֵיהֶם בֶּגֶד תּוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי וְכִסּוּ אֹתוֹ בְּמִכְסֵה עוֹר תָּחַשׁ וְשָׂמוּ אֶת בַּדָּיו.

9  And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and its lamps, and its tongs, and its snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it.

ט  וְלָקְחוּ בֶּגֶד תְּכֵלֶת וְכִסּוּ אֶת מְנֹרַת הַמָּאוֹר וְאֶת נֵרֹתֶיהָ וְאֶת מַלְקָחֶיהָ וְאֶת מַחְתֹּתֶיהָ וְאֵת כָּל כְּלֵי שַׁמְנָהּ אֲשֶׁר יְשָׁרְתוּ לָהּ בָּהֶם.

10  And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of sealskin, and shall put it upon a bar.

י  וְנָתְנוּ אֹתָהּ וְאֶת כָּל כֵּלֶיהָ אֶל מִכְסֵה עוֹר תָּחַשׁ וְנָתְנוּ עַל הַמּוֹט.

11  And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of sealskin, and shall set the staves thereof.

יא  וְעַל מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב יִפְרְשׂוּ בֶּגֶד תְּכֵלֶת וְכִסּוּ אֹתוֹ בְּמִכְסֵה עוֹר תָּחַשׁ וְשָׂמוּ אֶת בַּדָּיו.

12  And they shall take all the vessels of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of sealskin, and shall put them on a bar.

יב  וְלָקְחוּ אֶת כָּל כְּלֵי הַשָּׁרֵת אֲשֶׁר יְשָׁרְתוּ בָם בַּקֹּדֶשׁ וְנָתְנוּ אֶל בֶּגֶד תְּכֵלֶת וְכִסּוּ אוֹתָם בְּמִכְסֵה עוֹר תָּחַשׁ וְנָתְנוּ עַל הַמּוֹט.

13  And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon.

יג  וְדִשְּׁנוּ אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּפָרְשׂוּ עָלָיו בֶּגֶד אַרְגָּמָן.

14  And they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, the fire-pans, the flesh-hooks, and the shovels, and the basins, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of sealskin, and set the staves thereof.

יד  וְנָתְנוּ עָלָיו אֶת כָּל כֵּלָיו אֲשֶׁר יְשָׁרְתוּ עָלָיו בָּהֶם אֶת הַמַּחְתֹּת אֶת הַמִּזְלָגֹת וְאֶת הַיָּעִים וְאֶת הַמִּזְרָקֹת כֹּל כְּלֵי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּפָרְשׂוּ עָלָיו כְּסוּי עוֹר תַּחַשׁ וְשָׂמוּ בַדָּיו.

15  And when Aharon and his sons have made an end of covering the holy furniture, and all the holy vessels, as the camp is to set forward after that, the sons of Kehat shall come to bear them; but they shall not touch the holy things, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kehat in the Tent of Meeting.

טו  וְכִלָּה אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו לְכַסֹּת אֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְאֶת כָּל כְּלֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּנְסֹעַ הַמַּחֲנֶה וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן יָבֹאוּ בְנֵי קְהָת לָשֵׂאת וְלֹא יִגְּעוּ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ וָמֵתוּ אֵלֶּה מַשָּׂא בְנֵי קְהָת בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

16  And the charge of Elazar the son of Aharon the Kohen shall be the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the continual meal-offering, and the anointing oil: he shall have the charge of all the Mishkan, and of all that therein is, whether it be the sanctuary, or the furniture thereof.’

טז  וּפְקֻדַּת אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן שֶׁמֶן הַמָּאוֹר וּקְטֹרֶת הַסַּמִּים וּמִנְחַת הַתָּמִיד וְשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה פְּקֻדַּת כָּל הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְכָל אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ בְּקֹדֶשׁ וּבְכֵלָיו.

17  And Hashem spoke unto Moshe and unto Aharon, saying:

יז  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר.

18  ‘Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kehatites from among the Leviim;

al takh-REE-tu et SHAY-vet mish-p’-KHOT ha-k’-ha-TEE mi-TOKH ha-l’-vee-YIM

יח  אַל תַּכְרִיתוּ אֶת שֵׁבֶט מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי מִתּוֹךְ הַלְוִיִּם.

4:18   Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kehatites

The children of Kehat, one of the three sons of Levi, are responsible for the most sacred parts of the Mishkan, including the Holy of Holies and the Ark. When the Jewish people break camp and begin a new journey, the Kehatites must dismantle the Holy of Holies and wrap its contents.  However, due its elevated holiness they are required to do so without actually viewing the inside of the Holy of Holies, as peering at it carries a penalty of death. Interestingly, in our verse, it is Moshe and Aharon who are commanded “Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kehatites…” They are responsible for making sure that the Kehatites not mistakenly look at the Holy of Holies and incur the death penalty.  Not only does God care about the life of every individual, He holds us all responsible for looking out for and caring about each other. 

Comment

19  but thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aharon and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden;

יט  וְזֹאת עֲשׂוּ לָהֶם וְחָיוּ וְלֹא יָמֻתוּ בְּגִשְׁתָּם אֶת קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו יָבֹאוּ וְשָׂמוּ אוֹתָם אִישׁ אִישׁ עַל עֲבֹדָתוֹ וְאֶל מַשָּׂאוֹ.

20  but they shall not go in to see the holy things as they are being covered, lest they die.’

כ  וְלֹא יָבֹאוּ לִרְאוֹת כְּבַלַּע אֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וָמֵתוּ.

21  And Hashem spoke unto Moshe saying:

כא  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.

22  ‘Take the sum of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ houses, by their families;

כב  נָשֹׂא אֶת רֹאשׁ בְּנֵי גֵרְשׁוֹן גַּם הֵם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם.

23  from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them: all that enter in to wait upon the service, to do service in the Tent of Meeting.

כג  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה עַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה תִּפְקֹד אוֹתָם כָּל הַבָּא לִצְבֹא צָבָא לַעֲבֹד עֲבֹדָה בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

24  This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in bearing burdens:

כד  זֹאת עֲבֹדַת מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי לַעֲבֹד וּלְמַשָּׂא.

25  they shall bear the curtains of the Mishkan, and the Tent of Meeting, its covering, and the covering of sealskin that is above upon it, and the screen for the door of the Tent of Meeting;

כה  וְנָשְׂאוּ אֶת יְרִיעֹת הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְאֶת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד מִכְסֵהוּ וּמִכְסֵה הַתַּחַשׁ אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו מִלְמָעְלָה וְאֶת מָסַךְ פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

26  and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the Mishkan and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and whatsoever there may be to do with them, therein shall they serve.

כו  וְאֵת קַלְעֵי הֶחָצֵר וְאֶת מָסַךְ פֶּתַח שַׁעַר הֶחָצֵר אֲשֶׁר עַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ סָבִיב וְאֵת מֵיתְרֵיהֶם וְאֶת כָּל כְּלֵי עֲבֹדָתָם וְאֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר יֵעָשֶׂה לָהֶם וְעָבָדוּ.

27  At the commandment of Aharon and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burden, and in all their service; and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burden.

כז  עַל פִּי אַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו תִּהְיֶה כָּל עֲבֹדַת בְּנֵי הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי לְכָל מַשָּׂאָם וּלְכֹל עֲבֹדָתָם וּפְקַדְתֶּם עֲלֵהֶם בְּמִשְׁמֶרֶת אֵת כָּל מַשָּׂאָם.

28  This is the service of the families of the sons of the Gershonites in the Tent of Meeting; and their charge shall be under the hand of Itamar the son of Aharon the Kohen.

כח  זֹאת עֲבֹדַת מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּמִשְׁמַרְתָּם בְּיַד אִיתָמָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן.

29  As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them by their families, by their fathers’ houses;

כט  בְּנֵי מְרָרִי לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם תִּפְקֹד אֹתָם.

30  from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth upon the service, to do the work of the Tent of Meeting.

ל  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה תִּפְקְדֵם כָּל הַבָּא לַצָּבָא לַעֲבֹד אֶת עֲבֹדַת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

31  And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the Tent of Meeting: the boards of the Mishkan, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof;

לא  וְזֹאת מִשְׁמֶרֶת מַשָּׂאָם לְכָל עֲבֹדָתָם בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד קַרְשֵׁי הַמִּשְׁכָּן וּבְרִיחָיו וְעַמּוּדָיו וַאֲדָנָיו.

32  and the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, even all their appurtenance, and all that pertaineth to their service; and by name ye shall appoint the instruments of the charge of their burden.

לב  וְעַמּוּדֵי הֶחָצֵר סָבִיב וְאַדְנֵיהֶם וִיתֵדֹתָם וּמֵיתְרֵיהֶם לְכָל כְּלֵיהֶם וּלְכֹל עֲבֹדָתָם וּבְשֵׁמֹת תִּפְקְדוּ אֶת כְּלֵי מִשְׁמֶרֶת מַשָּׂאָם.

33  This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the Tent of Meeting, under the hand of Itamar the son of Aharon the Kohen.’

לג  זֹאת עֲבֹדַת מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי מְרָרִי לְכָל עֲבֹדָתָם בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד בְּיַד אִיתָמָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן.

34  And Moshe and Aharon and the princes of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kehatites by their families, and by their fathers’ houses,

לד  וַיִּפְקֹד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וּנְשִׂיאֵי הָעֵדָה אֶת בְּנֵי הַקְּהָתִי לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם וּלְבֵית אֲבֹתָם.

35  from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered upon the service, for service in the Tent of Meeting.

לה  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה כָּל הַבָּא לַצָּבָא לַעֲבֹדָה בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

36  And those that were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty.

לו  וַיִּהְיוּ פְקֻדֵיהֶם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם אַלְפַּיִם שְׁבַע מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים.

37  These are they that were numbered of the families of the Kehatites, of all that did serve in the Tent of Meeting, whom Moshe and Aharon numbered according to the commandment of Hashem by the hand of Moshe.

לז  אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי כָּל הָעֹבֵד בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן עַל פִּי יְהוָה בְּיַד מֹשֶׁה.

38  And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon, by their families, and by their fathers’ houses,

לח  וּפְקוּדֵי בְּנֵי גֵרְשׁוֹן לְמִשְׁפְּחוֹתָם וּלְבֵית אֲבֹתָם.

39  from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered upon the service, for service in the Tent of Meeting,

לט  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה כָּל הַבָּא לַצָּבָא לַעֲבֹדָה בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

40  even those that were numbered of them, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, were two thousand and six hundred and thirty.

מ  וַיִּהְיוּ פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם אַלְפַּיִם וְשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וּשְׁלֹשִׁים.

41  These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that did serve in the Tent of Meeting, whom Moshe and Aharon numbered according to the commandment of Hashem.

מא  אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי גֵרְשׁוֹן כָּל הָעֹבֵד בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן עַל פִּי יְהוָה.

42  And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, by their families, by their fathers’ houses,

מב  וּפְקוּדֵי מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי מְרָרִי לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם.

43  from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered upon the service, for service in the Tent of Meeting,

מג  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה כָּל הַבָּא לַצָּבָא לַעֲבֹדָה בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

44  even those that were numbered of them by their families, were three thousand and two hundred.

מד  וַיִּהְיוּ פְקֻדֵיהֶם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם שְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וּמָאתָיִם.

45  These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moshe and Aharon numbered according to the commandment of Hashem by the hand of Moshe.

מה  אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי מְרָרִי אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן עַל פִּי יְהוָה בְּיַד מֹשֶׁה.

46  All those that were numbered of the Leviim, whom Moshe and Aharon and the princes of Yisrael numbered, by their families, and by their fathers’ houses,

מו  כָּל הַפְּקֻדִים אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וּנְשִׂיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַלְוִיִּם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם וּלְבֵית אֲבֹתָם.

47  from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entered in to do the work of service, and the work of bearing burdens in the Tent of Meeting,

מז  מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה כָּל הַבָּא לַעֲבֹד עֲבֹדַת עֲבֹדָה וַעֲבֹדַת מַשָּׂא בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.

48  even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore.

מח  וַיִּהְיוּ פְּקֻדֵיהֶם שְׁמֹנַת אֲלָפִים וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת וּשְׁמֹנִים.

49  According to the commandment of Hashem they were appointed by the hand of Moshe, every one to his service, and to his burden; they were also numbered, as Hashem commanded Moshe.

מט  עַל פִּי יְהוָה פָּקַד אוֹתָם בְּיַד מֹשֶׁה אִישׁ אִישׁ עַל עֲבֹדָתוֹ וְעַל מַשָּׂאוֹ וּפְקֻדָיו אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֶת מֹשֶׁה.

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Numbers 3
Numbers 5

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Numbers 4