- Num. 3:14-39; 4:1-49; 3:40-51
After GOD instructed the Israelites how they were to arrange their camps by tribe, He instructed them on how they should pack the tabernacle and its furnishings when they moved locations. As He had been in previous instructions, GOD was very specific about which families of the Levites would be responsible for carrying which items. To disobey carried the severe penalty of death. Once again, GOD was sending the Israelites the message that He is holy, that when He wants things done a specific way, they must follow His instructions exactly in order to please Him.
- The family of Gershon was responsible for carrying the tabernacle’s tent, coverings, the curtain at the entrance to the tent, the curtains of the courtyard, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, and the ropes.
- The family of Merari was appointed to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, its equipment, and the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs and ropes.
- The Kohathites had responsibility for packing the tabernacle’s inner furnishings.
GOD took the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the Levites’ livestock instead of all the Israelites’ firstborn livestock (Num. 3:45). For the 273 extra firstborn of the children of Israel the people gave money (five shekels) to redeem them. The money which was collected was given to Aaron and his sons.