Good News Translation (GNB)
1

The First Census of Israel

11

1.1–46:
Num 26.1–51
On the first day of the second month in the second year after the people of Israel left Egypt, the LORD spoke to Moses there in the Tent of his presence in the Sinai Desert. He said, 2“You and Aaron are to take a census of the people of Israel by clans and families. List the names of all the men 3twenty years old or older who are fit for military service. 4Ask one clan chief from each tribe to help you.” 5-16These are the men, leaders within their tribes, who were chosen from the community for this work:

Tribe Clan chief
Reuben Elizur son of Shedeur
Simeon Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai
Judah Nahshon son of Amminadab
Issachar Nethanel son of Zuar
Zebulun Eliab son of Helon
Ephraim Elishama son of Ammihud
Manasseh Gamaliel son of Pedahzur
Benjamin Abidan son of Gideoni
Dan Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai
Asher Pagiel son of Ochran
Gad Eliasaph son of Deuel
Naphtali Ahira son of Enan
17With the help of these twelve men Moses and Aaron 18called together the whole community on the first day of the second month and registered all the people by clans and families. The names of all the men twenty years old or older were recorded and counted, 19as the LORD had commanded. In the Sinai Desert, Moses registered the people. 20-46The men twenty years old or older who were fit for military service were registered by name according to clan and family, beginning with the tribe of Reuben, Jacob's eldest son. The totals were as follows:
Tribe Number
Reuben 46,500
Simeon 59,300
Gad 45,650
Judah 74,600
Issachar 54,400
Zebulun 57,400
Ephraim 40,500
Manasseh 32,200
Benjamin 35,400
Dan 62,700
Asher 41,500
Naphtali 53,400
Total: 603,550

47The Levites were not registered with the other tribes, 48because the LORD had said to Moses, 49“When you take a census of the men fit for military service, do not include the tribe of Levi. 50Instead, put the Levites in charge of the Tent of my presence and all its equipment. They shall carry it and its equipment, serve in it, and set up their camp round it. 51Whenever you move your camp, the Levites shall take the Tent down and set it up again at each new camping place. Anyone else who comes near the Tent shall be put to death. 52The rest of the Israelites shall set up camp, company by company, each man with his own group and under his own banner. 53But the Levites shall camp round the Tent to guard it, so that no one may come near and cause my anger to strike the community of Israel.” 54So the people of Israel did everything that the LORD had commanded Moses.

2

The Arrangement of the Tribes in Camp

21The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following instructions. 2When the Israelites set up camp, each man will camp under the banner of his division and the flag of his own clan. The camp is to be set up all round the Tent.

3-9On the east side, those under the banner of the division of Judah shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

Tribe Leader Number
Judah Nahshon son of Amminadab 74,600
Issachar Nethanel son of Zuar 54,400
Zebulun Eliab son of Helon 57,400
Total: 186,400
The division of Judah shall march first.

10-16On the south, those under the banner of the division of Reuben shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

Tribe Leader Number
Reuben Elizur son of Shedeur 46,500
Simeon Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai 59,300
Gad Eliasaph son of Deuel 45,650
Total: 151,450
The division of Reuben shall march second.

17Then, between the first two divisions and the last two the Levites are to march carrying the Tent. Each division shall march in the same order as they camp, each in position under its banner.

18-24On the west, those under the banner of the division of Ephraim shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

Tribe Leader Number
Ephraim Elishama son of Ammihud 40,500
Manasseh Gamaliel son of Pedahzur 32,200
Benjamin Abidan son of Gideoni 35,400
Total: 108,100
The division of Ephraim shall march third.

25-31On the north, those under the banner of the division of Dan shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

Tribe Leader Number
Dan Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai 62,700
Asher Pagiel son of Ochran 41,500
Naphtali Ahira son of Enan 53,400
Total: 157,600
The division of Dan shall march last.

32The total number of the people of Israel enrolled in the divisions, group by group, was 603,550. 33As the LORD had commanded Moses, the Levites were not registered with the rest of the Israelites.

34So the people of Israel did everything the LORD had commanded Moses. They camped, each under his own banner, and they marched, each with his own clan.

3

Aaron's Sons

31This is the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. 2

3.2:
Num 26.60
Aaron had four sons: Nadab, the eldest, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3They were anointed and ordained as priests, 4
3.4:
Lev 10.1–2
Num 26.61
but Nadab and Abihu were killed when they offered unholy fire to the LORD in the Sinai Desert. They had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during Aaron's lifetime.

The Levites are Appointed to Serve the Priests

5The LORD said to Moses, 6“Bring forward the tribe of Levi and appoint them as servants of Aaron the priest. 7They shall do the work required for the Tent of my presence and perform duties for the priests and for the whole community. 8They shall take charge of all the equipment of the Tent and perform the duties for the rest of the Israelites. 9The only responsibility the Levites have is to serve Aaron and his sons. 10You shall appoint Aaron and his sons to carry out the duties of the priesthood; anyone else who tries to do so shall be put to death.”

11The LORD said to Moses, 12-13

3.12–13:
Ex 13.2
“The Levites are now to be mine. When I killed all the firstborn of the Egyptians, I consecrated as my own the eldest son of each Israelite family and the firstborn of every animal. Now, instead of having the firstborn sons of Israel as my own, I have the Levites; they will belong to me. I am the LORD.”

The Census of the Levites

14In the Sinai Desert the LORD commanded Moses 15to register the Levites by clans and families, enrolling every male a month old or older, 16and Moses did so. 17-20Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, who were the ancestors of the clans that bear their names. Gershon had two sons: Libni and Shimei; Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; and Merari had two sons: Mahli and Mushi. They were the ancestors of the families that bear their names.

21The clan of Gershon was composed of the families of Libni and Shimei. 22The total number of males one month old or older that were enrolled was 7,500. 23This clan was to camp on the west behind the Tent, 24with Eliasaph son of Lael as chief of the clan. 25They were responsible for the Tent, its inner cover, its outer cover, the curtain for the entrance, 26the curtains for the court which is round the Tent and the altar, and the curtain for the entrance of the court. They were responsible for all the service connected with these items.

27The clan of Kohath was composed of the families of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 28The total number of males one month old or older that were enrolled was 8,600. 29This clan was to camp on the south side of the Tent, 30with Elizaphan son of Uzziel as chief of the clan. 31They were responsible for the Covenant Box, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the utensils the priests use in the Holy Place, and the curtain at the entrance to the Most Holy Place. They were responsible for all the service connected with these items.

32The chief of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the priest. He was in charge of those who carried out the duties in the Holy Place.

33The clan of Merari was composed of the families of Mahli and Mushi. 34The total number of males one month old or older that were enrolled was 6,200. 35This clan was to camp on the north side of the Tent, with Zuriel son of Abihail as chief of the clan. 36They were assigned responsibility for the frames for the Tent, its bars, posts, bases, and all its fittings. They were responsible for all the service connected with these items. 37They were also responsible for the posts, bases, pegs, and ropes for the outer court.

38Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp in front of the Tent on the east. They were responsible for carrying out the services performed in the Holy Place for the people of Israel. Anyone else who tried to do so was to be put to death. 39The total number of all the Levite males one month old or older that Moses enrolled by clans at the command of the LORD, was 22,000.

The Levites Take the Place of the Firstborn Sons

40-41The LORD said to Moses, “All of Israel's firstborn sons belong to me. So register by name every firstborn male Israelite, one month old or older. But in place of them I claim all the Levites as mine! I am the LORD! I also claim the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock.” 42Moses obeyed, and registered all the firstborn males 43one month old or older; the total was 22,273.

44The LORD said to Moses, 45“Now dedicate the Levites as mine in place of all the firstborn Israelite sons, and dedicate the livestock of the Levites in place of the firstborn of the Israelites' livestock. 46Since the firstborn Israelite sons outnumber the Levites by 273, you must buy back the extra sons. 47For each one pay five pieces of silver, according to the official standard, 48and give this money to Aaron and his sons.” 49Moses obeyed and took 50the 1,365 pieces of silver 51and gave them to Aaron and his sons.