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Numbers 1,2,3

Transport of the Ark of the Covenant

The YHWH Elohim acted as intermediaries between humans and the divine, guiding people in their actions and establishing a reciprocal system where offerings were exchanged to fulfill prayers. In the biblical book of Numbers, they organized large groups to transport their Ark of the Covenant to the specified location.

The Census

YHWH Elohim spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 
“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 

1. And Jehovah spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert in the tent of meeting on one of the second month in the second year after you came out of the land of Egypt saying
2. Bring the head of each tribe of the children of Israel by their families to the house of their fathers in the number of names of every male to their golgol

This instruction means to count every member of the Israelite community. It specifies that the census should be organized by family groups and clans, and that each man should be listed individually by name. This detailed enumeration helps in maintaining accurate records of the population, which could be used for various administrative and religious purposes, such as military conscription, tax collection, and organizing tribal and familial inheritances.

You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army

One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you. 

These are the names of the men who are to assist you:

from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur;

from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;

from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab;

from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar;

from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon;

10 from the sons of Joseph:

from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud;

from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;

11 from Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni;

12 from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai;

13 from Asher, Pagiel son of Okran;

14 from Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel;

15 from Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.”

16 These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel.

17 Moses and Aaron took these men whose names had been specified, 18 and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people registered their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one, 19 as the YHWH Elohim commanded Moses. And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai:

20 From the descendants of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. 21 The number from the tribe of Reuben was 46,500.

22 From the descendants of Simeon:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were counted and listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. 23 The number from the tribe of Simeon was 59,300.

24 From the descendants of Gad:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 25 The number from the tribe of Gad was 45,650.

26 From the descendants of Judah:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 27 The number from the tribe of Judah was 74,600.

28 From the descendants of Issachar:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 

29 The number from the tribe of Issachar was 54,400.

30 From the descendants of Zebulun:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 31 The number from the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400.

32 From the sons of Joseph:

From the descendants of Ephraim:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 33 The number from the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500.

34 From the descendants of Manasseh:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 35 The number from the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200.

36 From the descendants of Benjamin:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 37 The number from the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400.

38 From the descendants of Dan:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 39 The number from the tribe of Dan was 62,700.

40 From the descendants of Asher:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 41 The number from the tribe of Asher was 41,500.

42 From the descendants of Naphtali:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 43 The number from the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400.

44 These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. 45 All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. 46 The total number was 603,550.

Calculating the basic needs for 603,550 people traversing the desert involves a few assumptions and simplifications, especially regarding daily consumption rates, the duration of the journey, and the conditions in the desert. Here’s a rough breakdown of what might be needed in terms of water, food, livestock, tents, and medical supplies:

Water:

  • Daily water needs: Generally, it’s recommended that an adult consume about 2 to 4 liters of water per day. For harsh desert conditions, let’s assume the higher need of 4 liters.
  • Daily total water consumption: 603,550 people x 4 liters = 2,414,200 liters per day.

Food:

  • Daily calorie needs: An average adult might need about 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. In demanding conditions like a desert, this might increase to around 3,000 calories.
  • Type of food: Non-perishable items like grains, dried fruits, nuts, and preserved meats would be ideal.
  • Estimate of food weight: If one day of food per person weighs roughly 1.5 kg, then total daily food weight would be 905,325 kg.

Livestock:

  • Purpose of livestock: Livestock can serve as a source of food (meat and dairy), labor (transport and carrying loads), and clothing (wool, leather).
  • Number and type of animals: Depending on the availability, camels and goats would be ideal for desert conditions. Assuming each group of 50 people shares a camel for carrying supplies and a few goats for milk, you might need about 12,000 camels and 30,000 goats.

Tents:

  • Tent size and occupancy: Assuming a tent can house about 10 people, you would need approximately 60,355 tents.
  • Type of tents: Sturdy, weather-resistant tents suitable for harsh, windy, and sandy desert conditions.

Medical Supplies:

  • Basic medical needs: First aid kits, medications for common ailments, hydration salts, sunburn and heatstroke treatments.
  • Staff: A team of medics and support staff, perhaps around 1 medic per 1,000 people, hence about 604 medics.
  • Special equipment: Transport for injured or sick, communication devices, and possibly refrigeration for certain medicines.

Logistics:

  • Transport for supplies: Apart from camels and other beasts of burden, wagons or carts might be needed for water and food.
  • Travel pace and stops: Planning for daily travel distances, resting points, and resupply points is crucial, considering the physical limits of people and animals in extreme heat.

47 The ancestral tribe of the Levites, however, was not counted along with the others. 

48 YHWH Elohim had said to Moses: 

49 You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites

50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. 

51 Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death. 

Imagine the tabernacle as an ancient, highly sophisticated alien energy device central to the Israelites. It was a portable divine center housing God’s presence, essential during their desert travels. Constructed from acacia wood and gold, it featured complex sacred objects like the Ark of the Covenant—akin to a powerful reactor containing divine laws.

The Levites were like specialized engineers tasked with the tabernacle’s assembly, maintenance, and transport. They ensured this potent energy source was respected and protected, with severe consequences for any unauthorized access. Thus, the tabernacle was not just a religious artifact but a crucial conduit for energy and guidance.

52 The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard. 

53 The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the covenant law so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law.”

54 The Israelites did all this just as the YHWH Elohim commanded Moses.

Moses is a prophet and leader, chosen to communicate directly with the Anunnaki (Yahweh) and convey his commands to the Israelites.

Numbers 2: The Arrangement of the Tribal Camps

1The YHWH Elohim said to Moses and Aaron: 

“The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.”

On the east, toward the sunrise, the divisions of the camp of Judah are to encamp under their standard. The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab. His division numbers 74,600.

The tribe of Issachar will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. His division numbers 54,400.

The tribe of Zebulun will be next. The leader of the people of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. His division numbers 57,400.

All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first.

10 On the south will be the divisions of the camp of Reuben under their standard. The leader of the people of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur. 11 His division numbers 46,500.

12 The tribe of Simeon will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 13 His division numbers 59,300.

14 The tribe of Gad will be next. The leader of the people of Gad is Eliasaph son of Deuel.[a] 15 His division numbers 45,650.

16 All the men assigned to the camp of Reuben, according to their divisions, number 151,450. They will set out second.

17 Then the tent of meeting and the camp of the Levites will set out in the middle of the camps. They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in their own place under their standard.

18 On the west will be the divisions of the camp of Ephraim under their standard. The leader of the people of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud. 19 His division numbers 40,500.

20 The tribe of Manasseh will be next to them. The leader of the people of Manasseh is Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. 21 His division numbers 32,200.

22 The tribe of Benjamin will be next. The leader of the people of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni. 23 His division numbers 35,400.

24 All the men assigned to the camp of Ephraim, according to their divisions, number 108,100. They will set out third.

25 On the north will be the divisions of the camp of Dan under their standard. The leader of the people of Dan is Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 His division numbers 62,700.

27 The tribe of Asher will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Asher is Pagiel son of Okran. 28 His division numbers 41,500.

29 The tribe of Naphtali will be next. The leader of the people of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan. 30 His division numbers 53,400.

31 All the men assigned to the camp of Dan number 157,600. They will set out last, under their standards.

32 These are the Israelites, counted according to their families. All the men in the camps, by their divisions, number 603,550. 

33 The Levites, however, were not counted along with the other Israelites, as the YHWH Elohim commanded Moses.

34 So the Israelites did everything the YHWH Elohim commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them with their clan and family.

Numbers 3: The Levites

1 This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the YHWH Elohim spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai.

The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 

Those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests, who were ordained to serve as priests. Nadab and Abihu, however, died before YHWH Elohim when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.

The incident involving Nadab and Abihu, who were the sons of Aaron, the high priest, illustrates a severe punishment for not adhering to the specific religious protocols established by the Anunnaki. In the biblical account, particularly in the Book of Leviticus, Nadab and Abihu offered “strange fire” or unauthorized fire before the YHWH Elohim, which was not commanded by Him. This act was considered a serious violation of the sanctity of the worship practices ordained by the Anunnaki, and as a result, they were struck down and died as a consequence of their actions.

The YHWH Elohim said to Moses, 

“Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. 

They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle

They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle. 

Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.

10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.

The “sanctuary” mentioned in this context refers to the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, which were central places of worship for the Israelites. In the wilderness during the Exodus, the Tabernacle was a portable sanctuary designed for the specific purpose of housing the Ark of the Covenant and other holy objects.

The sanctuary included the Holy Place, which contained sacred items such as the menorah (lampstand), the showbread table, and the incense altar. Beyond this was the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, separated by a curtain. This innermost area was considered extremely sacred, and only the High Priest could enter, and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) to make atonement for the sins of the people.

The instruction for Aaron and his sons to serve as priests, and the stipulation that anyone else approaching the sanctuary would be put to death, highlights the strict regulations surrounding practices and the sanctity of the holy spaces.

11 The YHWH Elohim also said to Moses, 

12 I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, 

13 for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal. They are to be mine. I am the YHWH Elohim.”

This feels like a declaration of the Anunnaki’s distinctiveness and supremacy, which is a recurring theme in the Bible. Its demand for recognition and obedience from his slaves is rooted in his self-described identity as the omnipotent creator and sustainer.

14 The YHWH Elohim said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, 15 “Count the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more.” 

16 So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of YHWH Elohim.

17 These were the names of the sons of Levi:

Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

18 These were the names of the Gershonite clans:

Libni and Shimei.

19 The Kohathite clans:

Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.

20 The Merarite clans:

Mahli and Mushi.

These were the Levite clans, according to their families.

21 To Gershon belonged the clans of the Libnites and Shimeites; these were the Gershonite clans. 22 The number of all the males a month old or more who were counted was 7,500. 

23 The Gershonite clans were to camp on the west, behind the tabernacle. 

24 The leader of the families of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael. 

25 At the tent of meeting the Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacle and tent, its coverings, the curtain at the entrance to the tent of meeting, 

26 the curtains of the courtyard, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, and the ropes—and everything related to their use.

27 To Kohath belonged the clans of the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites and Uzzielites; these were the Kohathite clans. 

28 The number of all the males a month old or more was 8,600. The Kohathites were responsible for the care of the sanctuary. 

29 The Kohathite clans were to camp on the south side of the tabernacle. 

30 The leader of the families of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. 

31 They were responsible for the care of the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the articles of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain, and everything related to their use. 

32 The chief leader of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest. He was appointed over those who were responsible for the care of the sanctuary.

33 To Merari belonged the clans of the Mahlites and the Mushites; these were the Merarite clans. 

34 The number of all the males a month old or more who were counted was 6,200. 

35 The leader of the families of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail; they were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle. 

36 The Merarites were appointed to take care of the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, all its equipment, and everything related to their use

37 as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs and ropes.

38 Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp to the east of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise, in front of the tent of meeting. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else who approached the sanctuary was to be put to death.

39 The total number of Levites counted at YHWH Elohim’s command by Moses and Aaron according to their clans, including every male a month old or more, was 22,000.

40 YHWH Elohim said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names. 

41 Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the YHWH Elohim.”

42 So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as YHWH Elohim commanded him. 

43 The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273.

44 YHWH Elohim also said to Moses, 

45 “Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites are to be mine. I am the YHWH Elohim. 

46 To redeem the 273 firstborn Israelites who exceed the number of the Levites, 

47 collect five shekels for each one, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. 

48 Give the money for the redemption of the additional Israelites to Aaron and his sons.”

49 So Moses collected the redemption money from those who exceeded the number redeemed by the Levites. 

50 From the firstborn of the Israelites he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel. 

51 Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, as he was commanded by the word of YHWH Elohim.

Numbers 4: The Kohathites

The YHWH Elohim said to Moses and Aaron: 

“Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. 

Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.

“This is the work of the Kohathites at the tent of meeting: the care of the most holy things. 

When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law. 

Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place.

Possibly the hides of large aquatic mammals; also in verses 8, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 25

Considering the ancient use of durable leather, such as that from sea cows, as a cover for the Tabernacle, it’s interesting to explore the idea metaphorically in relation to modern concepts like electromagnetic radiation (EMR) shielding. In contemporary settings, materials engineered to shield against EMR typically involve metals or specialized fabrics that can reflect or absorb radiation effectively.

In the context of the Tabernacle, the layers of coverings, including thick, durable leather, provided physical and symbolic protection, intended to encapsulate and safeguard the holiness and divine presence within. If we were to draw a parallel with modern technology, these materials can be thought of as functioning in a similar way to EMR shielding. Although leather itself isn’t scientifically recognized as an effective barrier against EMR based on current standards, the idea behind its use—to contain and manage powerful and potentially disruptive forces—mirrors the purpose behind EMR shielding in modern devices.

This metaphorical interpretation allows us to see the ancient practice of using specific materials for the Tabernacle’s coverings in a new light: as an early form of managing and containing a “divine energy” or power. Just as modern EMR shields are designed to protect and enhance the functionality of electronic devices by controlling electromagnetic energy, the coverings of the Tabernacle were meant to concentrate and maintain the sacred “energy” or presence, ensuring it remained potent and uncontaminated by external elements. This highlights a thematic consistency across time—the importance of carefully handling powerful forces, be they divine or electromagnetic.

“Over the table of the Presence they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offeringsthe bread that is continually there is to remain on it. 

They are to spread a scarlet cloth over them, cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place.

They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays, and all its jars for the olive oil used to supply it. 

10 Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of the durable leather and put it on a carrying frame.

11 “Over the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place.

12 “They are to take all the articles used for ministering in the sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover that with the durable leather and put them on a carrying frame.

13 “They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 

14 Then they are to place on it all the utensils used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. Over it they are to spread a covering of the durable leather and put the poles in place.

15 “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.

If we approach this from a hypothetical or speculative standpoint, focusing on potential materials that could realistically cause harm upon contact, here are some possibilities:

  1. Radioactive Materials: One can imagine a scenario where an object could be made from or coated with a material that is naturally radioactive. Prolonged exposure or direct contact with such materials could lead to radiation poisoning or other harmful effects, which might not be immediately evident but could be deadly over time.
  2. Toxic Heavy Metals: Some metals and their compounds, which might have been known and used in ancient times, are highly toxic. For example, mercury and lead can be extremely poisonous. An object plated with or containing a significant amount of these metals could potentially cause harm upon skin contact, ingestion, or prolonged exposure.
  3. Electrical or Chemical Reactions: If an object were to accumulate static charge or react chemically with human skin or bodily fluids, it could theoretically cause injury or death. This scenario is more speculative and aligns more with modern technological understandings than with what would be plausible in ancient contexts.

16 “Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles.”

17 YHWH Elohim said to Moses and Aaron, 18 “See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites. 19 So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things, do this for them: Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry. 20 But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die.

The Gershonites

21 YHWH Elohim said to Moses, 

22 “Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans. 

23 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.

24 “This is the service of the Gershonite clans in their carrying and their other work: 

25 They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, that is, the tent of meeting, its covering and its outer covering of durable leather, the curtains for the entrance to the tent of meeting, 

26 the curtains of the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard, the ropes and all the equipment used in the service of the tent. The Gershonites are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 

27 All their service, whether carrying or doing other work, is to be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons. You shall assign to them as their responsibility all they are to carry. 

28 This is the service of the Gershonite clans at the tent of meeting. Their duties are to be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.

The Merarites

29 “Count the Merarites by their clans and families. 

30 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. 

31 As part of all their service at the tent, they are to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, 

32 as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, ropes, all their equipment and everything related to their use.

Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. 

33 This is the service of the Merarite clans as they work at the tent of meeting under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.”

The Numbering of the Levite Clans

34 Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites by their clans and families. 

35 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 

36 counted by clans, were 2,750. 

37 This was the total of all those in the Kohathite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to YHWH Elohim’s command through Moses.

38 The Gershonites were counted by their clans and families. 

39 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 

40 counted by their clans and families, were 2,630. 

41 This was the total of those in the Gershonite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to YHWH Elohim’s command.

42 The Merarites were counted by their clans and families. 

43 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting

44 counted by their clans, were 3,200. 

45 This was the total of those in the Merarite clans. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the YHWH Elohim’s command through Moses.

46 So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by their clans and families. 

47 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to do the work of serving and carrying the tent of meeting 

48 numbered 8,580. 

49 At the YHWH Elohim’s command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry.

Thus they were counted, as YHWH Elohim commanded Moses.