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Numbers 3:40-42

Context
The Substitution for the Firstborn

3:40 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Number all the firstborn males of the Israelites from a month old and upward, and take 1  the number of their names. 3:41 And take 2  the Levites for me – I am the Lord – instead of all the firstborn males among the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites.” 3:42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn males among the Israelites, as the Lord had commanded him.

1 tn The verb נָשָׂא (nasa, “take”) has here the sense of collect, take a census, or register the names.

2 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it carries forward the instructions from the preceding verse. The verb “take” now has the sense of appointing or designating the Levites.



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