4:15 “When Aaron and his sons have finished 1 covering 2 the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is ready to journey, then 3 the Kohathites will come to carry them; 4 but they must not touch 5 any 6 holy thing, or they will die. 7 These are the responsibilities 8 of the Kohathites with the tent of meeting.
4:24 This is the service of the families of Gershonites, as they serve 9 and carry it.
4:31 This is what they are responsible to carry as their entire service in the tent of meeting: the frames 10 of the tabernacle, its crossbars, its posts, its sockets,
1 tn The verb form is the Piel perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive; it continues the future sequence, but in this verse forms a subordinate clause to the parallel sequential verb to follow.
2 tn The Piel infinitive construct with the preposition serves as the direct object of the preceding verbal form, answering the question of what it was that they finished.
3 tn Heb “after this.”
4 tn The form is the Qal infinitive construct from נָשָׂא (nasa’, “to lift, carry”); here it indicates the purpose clause after the verb “come.”
5 tn The imperfect tense may be given the nuance of negated instruction (“they are not to”) or negated obligation (“they must not”).
6 tn Here the article expresses the generic idea of any holy thing (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 19, §92).
7 tn The verb is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, following the imperfect tense warning against touching the holy thing. The form shows the consequence of touching the holy thing, and so could be translated “or they will die” or “lest they die.” The first is stronger.
8 tn The word מַשָּׂא (massa’) is normally rendered “burden,” especially in prophetic literature. It indicates the load that one must carry, whether an oracle, or here the physical responsibility.
9 tn The two forms are the infinitive construct and then the noun: “to serve and for the burden.” They are to serve and they are to take the responsibility. The infinitive is explaining the verb.
10 sn More recent studies have concluded that these “boards” were made of two long uprights joined by cross-bars (like a ladder). They were frames rather than boards, meaning that the structure under the tent was not a solid building. It also meant that the “boards” would have been lighter to carry.