1 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon,
2 “Take a census of the descendants of K’hat, who are among the descendants of Levi, by clans and families,
3 all those from thirty to fifty years old; these will enter the corps doing the work in the tent of meeting.
4 “Here is how the descendants of K’hat are to serve in the tent of meeting and deal with the especially holy things:
5 when the time comes to break camp, Aharon is to go in with his sons, take down the curtain which serves as a screen, and cover the ark of the testimony with it.
6 On that they are to place a covering of fine leather, and on top of that spread an all-blue cloth. Then they are to insert the carrying-poles.
7 On the table of showbread they are to spread a blue cloth and place on it the dishes, incense pans, offering bowls and pitchers. The perpetual bread is to remain on the table.
8 They are to spread on these things a scarlet cloth, cover them with a covering of fine leather and insert the poles.
9 They are to take a blue cloth and cover the menorah for the light, its lamps, its tongs, its trays and the jars used to add oil to it.
10 They are to wrap it and all its accessories in fine leather and place them on a carrying-frame.
11 On the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth, cover it with a covering of fine leather and insert its carrying-poles.
12 They are to take all the utensils they use when serving in the sanctuary and put them in a blue cloth, cover them with fine leather and place them on a carrying-frame.
13 After removing the greasy ashes from the altar, they are to spread a purple cloth over it
14 and place on it all the utensils required for their altar service — the fire pans, meat-hooks, shovels, basins and other utensils for the altar. Then they are to spread over it a fine leather covering and insert its carrying-poles.
15 When Aharon and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy utensils, when the camp is about to move forward, then the descendants of K’hat are to come and carry them. But they are not to touch the holy things, so that they won’t die. These things are the responsibility of the descendants of K’hat in the tent of meeting.
16 “El‘azar the son of Aharon the cohen is to be responsible for the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the continuing grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including the sanctuary and its furnishings.”
17 Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon,
18 “Do not cut off the clan of K’hat from among the L’vi’im;
19 rather, do this for them, so that they will live and not die: when they approach the especially holy things, Aharon and his sons are to go in — and you are to assign each one his task;
20 but the descendants of K’hat are not to go in and look at the holy things as they are being covered; if they do, they will die.”