Setting Up and Dedicating the Tent of the Lord's Presence
1The Lord said to Moses, 2“On the first day of the first month set up the Tent of the Lord's presence. 3Place in it the Covenant Box containing the Ten Commandments and put the curtain in front of it. 4Bring in the table and place the equipment on it. Also bring in the lampstand and set up the lamps on it. 5Put the gold altar for burning incense in front of the Covenant Box and hang the curtain at the entrance of the Tent. 6Put in front of the Tent the altar for burning offerings. 7Put the washbasin between the Tent and the altar and fill it with water. 8Put up the surrounding enclosure and hang the curtain at its entrance.
9“Then dedicate the Tent and all its equipment by anointing it with the sacred oil, and it will be holy. 10Next, dedicate the altar and all its equipment by anointing it, and it will be completely holy. 11Also dedicate the washbasin and its base in the same way.
12“Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Tent, and have them take a ritual bath. 13Dress Aaron in the priestly garments, anoint him, and in this way consecrate him, so that he can serve me as priest. 14Bring his sons and put the shirts on them. 15Then anoint them, just as you anointed their father, so that they can serve me as priests. This anointing will make them priests for all time to come.”
16Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded. 17So on the first day of the first month of the second year after they left Egypt, the Tent of the Lord's presence was set up. 18Moses put down its bases, set up its frames, attached its crossbars, and put up its posts. 19He spread out the covering over the Tent and put the outer covering over it, just as the Lord had commanded. 20Then he took the two stone tablets and put them in the Covenant Box. He put the poles in the rings of the Box and put the lid on it. 21Then he put the Box in the Tent and hung up the curtain. In this way he screened off the Covenant Box, just as the Lord had commanded.
22He put the table in the Tent, on the north side outside the curtain, 23and placed on it the bread offered to the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded. 24He put the lampstand in the Tent, on the south side, opposite the table, 25and there in the Lord's presence he lit the lamps, just as the Lord had commanded. 26He put the gold altar in the Tent, in front of the curtain, 27and burned the sweet-smelling incense, just as the Lord had commanded. 28He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Tent, 29and there in front of the curtain he placed the altar for burning offerings. On it he sacrificed the burnt offering and the grain offering, just as the Lord had commanded. 30He put the washbasin between the Tent and the altar and filled it with water. 31Moses, Aaron, and his sons washed their hands and their feet there 32whenever they went into the Tent or to the altar, just as the Lord had commanded. 33Moses set up the enclosure around the Tent and the altar and hung the curtain at the entrance of the enclosure. So he finished all the work.
The Cloud over the Tent of the Lord's Presence
34 Then the cloud covered the Tent and the dazzling light of the Lord's presence filled it. 35Because of this, Moses could not go into the Tent. 36The Israelites moved their camp to another place only when the cloud lifted from the Tent. 37As long as the cloud stayed there, they did not move their camp. 38During all their wanderings they could see the cloud of the Lord's presence over the Tent during the day and a fire burning above it during the night.