Aaron set up the lampstand
1 Yahweh said to Moses/me,
2 “Tell Aaron to put the seven lamps on the lampstand and place them in such a way that they shine toward the front of the lampstand.”
3 So Moses/I told him what Yahweh said, and he did that.
4 The lampstand had been made from gold that had been hammered from one large lump of gold, from its base to the decorations at the top that resembled flowers. The lampstand was made exactly like Yahweh had told Moses/me that it should be made.
Instructions for dedicating the descendants of Levi
5 Yahweh also said to Moses/me,
6 “You must cause the descendants of Levi to be acceptable to me by setting them apart from the other Israeli people.
7 Do that by sprinkling them with water which will symbolize their being freed/cleansed from the guilt of their sins. Then they must shave off all the hair on their bodies and wash their clothes.
8 Then they must bring to the Sacred Tent one bull and some grain mixed with olive oil. Those things will be burned as sacrifices. They must also bring another bull that will enable me to forgive them for the sins they have committed.
9 Then you must summon all the Israeli people to come together in front of the Sacred Tent, to gather around the descendants of Levi.
10 Then the Israeli people must lay their hands on the descendants of Levi.
11 Aaron must then present them to me to be a gift from the Israeli people, in order that they can work for me at the Sacred Tent.
12 After that, the descendants of Levi must place their hands on the heads of the two bulls. Then the bulls will be killed and burned on the altar. One will be an offering to enable me to forgive them for the sins they have committed, and the other will be completely burned to please me.
13 The descendants of Levi must stand at the altar in front of Aaron and his sons, and you must then dedicate to me the descendants of Levi.
14 This ritual will show that the descendants of Levi are set apart from the other Israelis and that they belong to me.
15 After the descendants of Levi have been made acceptable to me, and presented to me like a special offering, they may start to work at the Sacred Tent.
16 They will belong to me. They will work for me as substitutes for the firstborn males of all the Israelis, who also belong to me.
17 All the firstborn males in Israel, both the people and the animals, are mine. When I caused all the firstborn sons of the people of Egypt to die, I ◄spared/did not kill► the firstborn males of the Israelis. I set them apart to belong to me. I said that the firstborn males of all their domestic animals would also belong to me.
18 But now I have chosen the descendants of Levi to take the places of the firstborn males of other Israelis.
19 I have appointed the descendants of Levi to help Aaron and his sons at the Sacred Tent, as Aaron and his sons offer the sacrifices so that the Israeli people's sins will be forgiven, and to prevent the Israelis from coming close to the tent with the result that a plague would cause many of them to become sick and die.”
20 Aaron and Moses/I and the other Israelis helped the descendants of Levi to do everything that Yahweh had commanded.
21 The descendants of Levi sprinkled themselves with water to symbolize that they had been freed/cleansed from the guilt of their sins, and they washed their clothes. Then Aaron brought them to the altar to present them to Yahweh, and he offered sacrifices to cleanse them from the guilt of their sins and cause them to become acceptable to Yahweh.
22 After that, the descendants of Levi started to work at the Sacred Tent to assist Aaron and his sons. They did that just as Yahweh had commanded Moses/me.
23 Yahweh also said this to Moses/me:
24 “The descendants of Levi who are between twenty-five and fifty years old will work at the Sacred Tent.
25 But after they become fifty years old, they must ◄retire/not do that work anymore►.
26 They may help the other descendants of Levi to do their work at the Sacred Tent, but they must not do the work themselves. That is what you must tell them about the work they will do.”