Numbers 8 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
8 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell Aaron to put the seven lamps in the place I showed you. These lamps will light the area in front of the lampstand.”
3 Aaron did this. He put the lamps in the right place so that they lighted the area in front of the lampstand. He obeyed the command that the Lord gave Moses. 4 This is how the lampstand was made: It was made from hammered gold, all the way from the gold base at the bottom to the gold flowers at the top. It looked just like the pattern that the Lord had shown to Moses.
Dedicating the Levites
5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 “Separate the Levites from the other Israelites. Make these Levites clean. 7 This is what you should do to make them clean: Sprinkle the special water from the sin offering[a] on them. This water will make them clean. Then they must shave their bodies and wash their clothes. This will make their bodies clean.
8 “They must take a young bull and the grain offering that must be offered with it. This grain offering will be flour mixed with oil. Then take another young bull for a sin offering. 9 Bring the Levites to the area in front of the Meeting Tent. Then bring all the Israelites together at that place. 10 Bring the Levites before the Lord. The Israelites will put their hands on them.[b] 11 Aaron will give the Levites to the Lord as an offering from the Israelites. Then the Levites will be ready to do their special work for the Lord.
12 “Tell the Levites to put their hands on the heads of the bulls. One bull will be a sin offering and the other bull will be used as a burnt offering to the Lord. These offerings will make the Levites pure. 13 Tell the Levites to stand in front of Aaron and his sons. Then give the Levites to the Lord. They will be like an offering. 14 This will make the Levites holy. They will be different from the other Israelites. The Levites will belong to me.
15 “So make the Levites pure and give them to the Lord as a special offering.[c] After you do this, they can come and do their work at the Meeting Tent. 16 The Israelites will give me the Levites. They will belong to me. In the past I told every Israelite family to give me their firstborn son. But now I am taking the Levites in place of these firstborn sons from the other families in Israel. 17 Every firstborn in Israel—man or animal—is mine, because I killed all the firstborn children and animals in Egypt. And I chose to take the firstborn sons to belong to me. 18 But now I will take the Levites in their place. I will take the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons from the other families in Israel. 19 I chose the Levites from among all the Israelites. And I give them as gifts to Aaron and his sons. I want them to do the work at the Meeting Tent. They will serve for all the Israelites. They will help make the sacrifices that make the Israelites pure. Then no great sickness or trouble will come to the Israelites when they come near the holy place.”
20 So Moses, Aaron, and all the Israelites obeyed the Lord. They did with the Levites everything that the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites washed themselves and their clothes. Then Aaron gave them to the Lord as special offerings. Aaron gave the offerings that covered their sins and made them pure. 22 After that the Levites came to the Meeting Tent to do their work. Aaron and his sons watched them. They were responsible for the work of the Levites. Aaron and his sons did what the Lord commanded Moses.
23 Then the Lord said to Moses, 24 “This is a special command for the Levites: Every Levite man who is 25 years old or older must come and share in the work at the Meeting Tent. 25 But when a man is 50 years old, he will retire from this hard work. 26 Men who are at least 50 years old will be on duty to help their brothers, but they will not do the work themselves. That is what you must do for the Levites so that they can do their duty.”
Numbers 8 New International Version (NIV)
Setting Up the Lamps
8 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’”
3 Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the Lord commanded Moses. 4 This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the Lord had shown Moses.
The Setting Apart of the Levites
5 The Lord said to Moses: 6 “Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. 7 To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. And so they will purify themselves. 8 Have them take a young bull with its grain offering of the finest flour mixed with olive oil; then you are to take a second young bull for a sin offering.[a] 9 Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community. 10 You are to bring the Levites before the Lord, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them. 11 Aaron is to present the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the Lord.
12 “Then the Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, using one for a sin offering to the Lord and the other for a burnt offering, to make atonement for the Levites. 13 Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the Lord. 14 In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
15 “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting. 16 They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman. 17 Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal, is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself. 18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel. 19 From among all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.”
20 Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the Lord and made atonement for them to purify them. 22 After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.
23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, 25 but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. 26 They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.”