The Bible – Old Testament
Then the LORD said to Moses,
1 “On the first day of the first month you shall erect the Dwelling of the meeting tent.
Put the ark of the commandments in it, and screen off the ark with the veil.
Bring in the table and set it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up the lamps on it.
Put the golden altar of incense in front of the ark of the commandments, and hang the curtain at the entrance of the Dwelling.
Put the altar of holocausts in front of the entrance of the Dwelling of the meeting tent.
Place the laver between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it.
Set up the court round about, and put the curtain at the entrance of the court.
“Take the anointing oil and anoint the Dwelling and everything in it, consecrating it and all its furnishings, so that it will be sacred.
Anoint the altar of holocausts and all its appurtenances, consecrating it, so that it will be most sacred.
Likewise, anoint the laver with its base, and thus consecrate it.
“Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the meeting tent, and there wash them with water.
Clothe Aaron with the sacred vestments and anoint him, thus consecrating him as my priest.
Bring forward his sons also, and clothe them with the tunics.
As you have anointed their father, anoint them also as my priests. Thus, by being anointed, shall they receive a perpetual priesthood throughout all future generations.”
Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.
On the first day of the first month of the second year the Dwelling was erected.
It was Moses who erected the Dwelling. He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars, and set up its columns.
He spread the tent over the Dwelling and put the covering on top of the tent, as the LORD had commanded him.
He took the commandments and put them in the ark; he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it.
He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil, thus screening off the ark of the commandments, as the LORD had commanded him.
He put the table in the meeting tent, on the north side of the Dwelling, outside the veil,
and arranged the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded him.
He placed the lampstand in the meeting tent, opposite the table, on the south side of the Dwelling,
and he set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded him.
He placed the golden altar in the meeting tent, in front of the veil,
and on it he burned fragrant incense, as the LORD had commanded him.
He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Dwelling.
He put the altar of holocausts in front of the entrance of the Dwelling of the meeting tent, and offered holocausts and cereal offerings on it, as the LORD had commanded him.
He placed the laver between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it for washing.
Moses and Aaron and his sons used to wash their hands and feet there,
for they washed themselves whenever they went into the meeting tent or approached the altar, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Finally, he set up the court around the Dwelling and the altar and hung the curtain at the entrance of the court. Thus Moses finished all the work.
Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the Israelites would set out on their journey.
But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward.
In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling; whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud by the whole house of Israel in all the stages of their journey.
1  On the first day of the first month: almost a year after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. Cf ⇒ Exodus 40:17.