Spies Sent Out 1
The Lord spoke 2 to Moses: 13:2 “Send out men to investigate 3 the land of Canaan, which I am giving 4 to the Israelites. You are to send one man from each ancestral tribe, 5 each one a leader among them.” 13:3 So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran at the command 6 of the Lord. All of them were leaders 7 of the Israelites.
13:4 Now these were their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur; 13:5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 13:6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 13:7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 13:8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 13:9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 13:10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 13:11 from the tribe 8 of Joseph, namely, the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi; 13:12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13:13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 13:14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vopshi; 13:15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 13:16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to investigate the land. And Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua. 9
The Spies’ Instructions
13:17 When Moses sent 10 them to investigate the land of Canaan, he told them, “Go up through the Negev, 11 and then go up into the hill country 13:18 and see 12 what the land is like, 13 and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, few or many, 13:19 and whether the land they live in is good or bad, and whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or fortified cities, 13:20 and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether or not there are forests in it. And be brave, 14 and bring back some of the fruit of the land.” Now it was the time of year 15 for the first ripe grapes. 16
The Spies’ Activities
13:21 So they went up and investigated the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, 17 at the entrance of Hamath. 18 13:22 When they went up through the Negev, they 19 came 20 to Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, 21 descendants of Anak, were living. (Now Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan 22 in Egypt.) 13:23 When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a staff 23 between two men, as well as some of the pomegranates and the figs. 13:24 That place was called 24 the Eshcol Valley, 25 because of the cluster 26 of grapes that the Israelites cut from there. 13:25 They returned from investigating the land after forty days.
The Spies’ Reports
13:26 They came back 27 to Moses and Aaron and to the whole community of the Israelites in the wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. 28 They reported 29 to the whole community and showed the fruit of the land. 13:27 They told Moses, 30 “We went to the land where you sent us. 31 It is indeed flowing with milk and honey, 32 and this is its fruit. 13:28 But 33 the inhabitants 34 are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. Moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 13:29 The Amalekites live in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the banks 35 of the Jordan.” 36
13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses, saying, “Let us go up 37 and occupy it, 38 for we are well able to conquer it.” 39 13:31 But the men 40 who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against these people, because they are stronger than we are!” 13:32 Then they presented the Israelites with a discouraging 41 report of the land they had investigated, saying, “The land that we passed through 42 to investigate is a land that devours 43 its inhabitants. 44 All the people we saw there 45 are of great stature. 13:33 We even saw the Nephilim 46 there (the descendants of Anak came from the Nephilim), and we seemed liked grasshoppers both to ourselves 47 and to them.” 48 14:1
The Israelites Respond in Unbelief 49
Then all the community raised a loud cry, 50 and the people wept 51 that night. 14:2 And all the Israelites murmured 52 against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died 53 in the land of Egypt, or if only we had perished 54 in this wilderness! 14:3 Why has the Lord brought us into this land only to be killed by the sword, that our wives and our children should become plunder? Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 14:4 So they said to one another, 55 “Let’s appoint 56 a leader 57 and return 58 to Egypt.”
14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell down with their faces to the ground 59 before the whole assembled community 60 of the Israelites. 14:6 And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of those who had investigated the land, tore their garments. 14:7 They said to the whole community of the Israelites, “The land we passed through to investigate is an exceedingly 61 good land. 14:8 If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us – a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 62 14:9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. 63 Their protection 64 has turned aside from them, but the Lord is with us. Do not fear them!”
14:10 However, the whole community threatened to stone them. 65 But 66 the glory 67 of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the tent 68 of meeting.
The Punishment from God
14:11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise 69 me, and how long will they not believe 70 in me, in spite of the signs that I have done among them? 14:12 I will strike them with the pestilence, 71 and I will disinherit them; I will make you into a nation that is greater and mightier than they!”
14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear 72 it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14:14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants 73 of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, 74 that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 If you kill 75 this entire people at once, 76 then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 14:16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’ 14:17 So now, let the power of my Lord 77 be great, just as you have said, 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, 78 forgiving iniquity and transgression, 79 but by no means clearing 80 the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 81 14:19 Please forgive 82 the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, 83 just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”
14:20 Then the Lord said, “I have forgiven them as you asked. 84 14:21 But truly, as I live, 85 all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord. 14:22 For all the people have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted 86 me now these ten times, 87 and have not obeyed me, 88 14:23 they will by no means 89 see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it. 14:24 Only my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully – I will bring him into the land where he had gone, and his descendants 90 will possess it. 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites were living in the valleys.) 91 Tomorrow, turn and journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”
14:26 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 14:27 “How long must I bear 92 with this evil congregation 93 that murmurs against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites that they murmured against me. 14:28 Say to them, ‘As I live, 94 says 95 the Lord, I will surely do to you just what you have spoken in my hearing. 96 14:29 Your dead bodies 97 will fall in this wilderness – all those of you who were numbered, according to your full number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me. 14:30 You will by no means enter into the land where 98 I swore 99 to settle 100 you. The only exceptions are Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 14:31 But I will bring in your little ones, whom you said would become victims of war, 101 and they will enjoy 102 the land that you have despised. 14:32 But as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, 14:33 and your children will wander 103 in the wilderness forty years and suffer for your unfaithfulness, 104 until your dead bodies lie finished 105 in the wilderness. 14:34 According to the number of the days you have investigated this land, forty days – one day for a year – you will suffer for 106 your iniquities, forty years, and you will know what it means to thwart me. 107 14:35 I, the Lord, have said, “I will surely do so to all this evil congregation that has gathered together against me. In this wilderness they will be finished, and there they will die!”’”
14:36 The men whom Moses sent to investigate the land, who returned and made the whole community murmur against him by producing 108 an evil report about the land, 14:37 those men who produced the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord. 14:38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among 109 the men who went to investigate the land, lived. 14:39 When Moses told 110 these things to all the Israelites, the people mourned 111 greatly.
14:40 And early 112 in the morning they went up to the crest of the hill country, 113 saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place that the Lord commanded, 114 for we have sinned.” 115 14:41 But Moses said, “Why 116 are you now transgressing the commandment 117 of the Lord? It will not succeed! 14:42 Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, and you will be 118 defeated before your enemies. 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you will fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.”
14:44 But they dared 119 to go up to the crest of the hill, although 120 neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp. 14:45 So the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country swooped 121 down and attacked them 122 as far as Hormah. 123 15:1
Sacrificial Rulings 124
The Lord spoke to Moses: 15:2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land where you are to live, 125 which I am giving you, 126 15:3 and you make an offering by fire to the Lord from the herd or from the flock (whether a burnt offering or a sacrifice for discharging a vow or as a freewill offering or in your solemn feasts) to create a pleasing aroma to the Lord, 15:4 then the one who presents his offering to the Lord must bring 127 a grain offering of one-tenth of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with one fourth of a hin of olive oil. 128 15:5 You must also prepare one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering 129 with the burnt offering or the sacrifice for each lamb. 130 15:6 Or for a ram, you must prepare as a grain offering two-tenths of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with one-third of a hin of olive oil, 15:7 and for a drink offering you must offer one-third of a hin of wine as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 15:8 And when you prepare a young bull as a burnt offering or a sacrifice for discharging a vow or as a peace offering to the Lord, 15:9 then a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with half a hin of olive oil must be presented 131 with the young bull, 15:10 and you must present as the drink offering half a hin of wine with the fire offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 15:11 This is what is to be done 132 for each ox, or each ram, or each of the male lambs or the goats. 15:12 You must do so for each one according to the number that you prepare.
15:13 “‘Every native-born person must do these things in this way to present an offering made by fire as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 15:14 If a resident foreigner is living 133 with you – or whoever is among you 134 in future generations 135 – and prepares an offering made by fire as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he must do it the same way you are to do it. 136 15:15 One statute must apply 137 to you who belong to the congregation and to the resident foreigner who is living among you, as a permanent 138 statute for your future generations. You and the resident foreigner will be alike 139 before the Lord. 15:16 One law and one custom must apply to you and to the resident foreigner who lives alongside you.’”
Rules for First Fruits
15:17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 15:18 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land to which I am bringing you 140 15:19 and you eat 141 some of the food of the land, you must offer up a raised offering 142 to the Lord. 15:20 You must offer up a cake of the first of your finely ground flour 143 as a raised offering; as you offer the raised offering of the threshing floor, so you must offer it up. 15:21 You must give to the Lord some of the first of your finely ground flour as a raised offering in your future generations. 15:22
Rules for Unintentional Offenses 144
“‘If you 145 sin unintentionally and do not observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses – 15:23 all that the Lord has commanded you by the authority 146 of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses and continuing through your future generations – 15:24 then if anything is done unintentionally 147 without the knowledge of 148 the community, the whole community must prepare one young bull for a burnt offering – for a pleasing aroma to the Lord – along with its grain offering and its customary drink offering, and one male goat for a purification offering. 15:25 And the priest is to make atonement 149 for the whole community of the Israelites, and they will be forgiven, 150 because it was unintentional and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire to the Lord, and their purification offering before the Lord, for their unintentional offense. 15:26 And the whole community 151 of the Israelites and the resident foreigner who lives among them will be forgiven, since all the people were involved in the unintentional offense.
15:27 “‘If any person 152 sins unintentionally, then he must bring a yearling female goat for a purification offering. 15:28 And the priest must make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally – when he sins unintentionally before the Lord – to make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven. 15:29 You must have one law for the person who sins unintentionally, both for the native-born among the Israelites and for the resident foreigner who lives among them.
15:30 “‘But the person 153 who acts defiantly, 154 whether native-born or a resident foreigner, insults 155 the Lord. 156 That person 157 must be cut off 158 from among his people. 15:31 Because he has despised 159 the word of the Lord and has broken 160 his commandment, that person 161 must be completely cut off. 162 His iniquity will be on him.’” 163
15:32 When the Israelites were 164 in the wilderness they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 165 15:33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to the whole community. 15:34 They put him in custody, because there was no clear instruction about what should be done to him. 15:35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; the whole community must stone 166 him with stones outside the camp.” 15:36 So the whole community took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, 167 just as the Lord commanded Moses.
Rules for Tassels
15:37 The Lord spoke to Moses: 15:38 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them to make 168 tassels 169 for themselves on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and put a blue thread 170 on the tassel of the corners. 15:39 You must have this tassel so that you may look at it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and obey them and so that you do not follow 171 after your own heart and your own eyes that lead you to unfaithfulness. 172 15:40 Thus 173 you will remember and obey all my commandments and be holy to your God. 15:41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.” 16:1
The Rebellion of Korah 174
Now Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, who were Reubenites, 175 took men 176 16:2 and rebelled against Moses, along with some of the Israelites, 250 leaders 177 of the community, chosen from the assembly, 178 famous men. 179 16:3 And they assembled against Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, 180 seeing that the whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the community of the Lord?”
16:4 When Moses heard it he fell down with his face to the ground. 181 16:5 Then he said to Korah and to all his company, “In the morning the Lord will make known who are his, and who is holy. He will cause that person 182 to approach him; the person he has chosen he will cause to approach him. 16:6 Do this, Korah, you and all your company: 183 Take censers, 16:7 put fire in them, and set incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses will be holy. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!” 16:8 Moses said to Korah, “Listen now, you sons of Levi! 16:9 Does it seem too small a thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the community of Israel to bring you near to himself, to perform the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the community to minister to them? 16:10 He has brought you near and all your brothers, the sons of Levi, with you. Do you now seek 184 the priesthood also? 16:11 Therefore you and all your company have assembled together against the Lord! And Aaron – what is he that you murmur against him?” 185 16:12 Then Moses summoned 186 Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up. 187 16:13 Is it a small thing 188 that you have brought us up out of the land that flows with milk and honey, 189 to kill us in the wilderness? Now do you want to make yourself a prince 190 over us? 16:14 Moreover, 191 you have not brought us into a land that flows with milk and honey, nor given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you think you can blind 192 these men? We will not come up.”
16:15 Moses was very angry, and he said to the Lord, “Have no respect 193 for their offering! I have not taken so much as one donkey from them, nor have I harmed any one of them!”
16:16 Then Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company present yourselves before the Lord – you and they, and Aaron – tomorrow. 16:17 And each of you 194 take his censer, put 195 incense in it, and then each of you present his censer before the Lord: 250 censers, along with you, and Aaron – each of you with his censer.” 16:18 So everyone took his censer, put fire in it, and set incense on it, and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting, with Moses and Aaron. 16:19 When 196 Korah assembled the whole community against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting, then the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole community.
The Judgment on the Rebels
16:20 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 16:21 “Separate yourselves 197 from among this community, 198 that I may consume them in an instant.” 16:22 Then they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground 199 and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all people, 200 will you be angry with the whole community when only one man sins?” 201
16:23 So the Lord spoke to Moses: 16:24 “Tell the community: ‘Get away 202 from around the homes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” 16:25 Then Moses got up 203 and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel went after him. 16:26 And he said to the community, “Move away from the tents of these wicked 204 men, and do not touch anything they have, lest you be destroyed because 205 of all their sins.” 206 16:27 So they got away from the homes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram on every side, and Dathan and Abiram came out and stationed themselves 207 in the entrances of their tents with their wives, their children, and their toddlers. 16:28 Then Moses said, “This is how 208 you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. 209 16:29 If these men die a natural death, 210 or if they share the fate 211 of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 16:30 But if the Lord does something entirely new, 212 and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up 213 along with all that they have, and they 214 go down alive to the grave, 215 then you will know that these men have despised the Lord!”
16:31 When he had finished 216 speaking 217 all these words, the ground that was under them split open, 16:32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, along with their households, and all Korah’s men, and all their goods. 16:33 They and all that they had went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed over them. So they perished from among the community. 16:34 All the Israelites 218 who were around them fled at their cry, 219 for they said, “What if 220 the earth swallows us too?” 16:35 Then a fire 221 went out from the Lord and devoured the 250 men who offered incense.
The Atonement for the Rebellion
16:36 222 The Lord spoke to Moses: 16:37 “Tell 223 Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pick up 224 the censers out of the flame, for they are holy, and then scatter the coals of fire 225 at a distance. 16:38 As for the censers of these men who sinned at the cost of their lives, 226 they must be made 227 into hammered sheets for covering the altar, because they presented them before the Lord and sanctified them. They will become a sign to the Israelites.” 16:39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers presented by those who had been burned up, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar. 16:40 It was a memorial for the Israelites, that no outsider who is not a descendant of 228 Aaron should approach to burn incense before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his company – just as the Lord had spoken by the authority 229 of Moses. 16:41 But on the next day the whole community of Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the Lord’s people!” 230 16:42 When the community assembled 231 against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting – and 232 the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 16:43 Then Moses and Aaron stood before the tent of meeting.
16:44 The Lord spoke to Moses: 16:45 “Get away from this community, so that I can consume them in an instant!” But they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground. 233 16:46 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take the censer, put burning coals from the altar in it, place incense on it, and go quickly into the assembly and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord – the plague has begun!” 16:47 So Aaron did 234 as Moses commanded 235 and ran into the middle of the assembly, where the plague was just beginning among the people. So he placed incense on the coals and made atonement for the people. 16:48 He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped. 16:49 Now 14,700 people died in the plague, in addition to those who died in the event with Korah. 16:50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and the plague was stopped. 17:1
The Budding of Aaron’s Staff 236
The Lord spoke to Moses: 17:2 “Speak to the Israelites, and receive from them a staff from each tribe, 237 one from every tribal leader, 238 twelve staffs; you must write each man’s name on his staff. 17:3 You must write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi; for one staff is for the head of every tribe. 239 17:4 You must place them 240 in the tent of meeting before the ark of the covenant 241 where I meet with you. 17:5 And the staff of the man whom I choose will blossom; so I will rid myself of the complaints of the Israelites, which they murmur against you.”
17:6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a staff, one for each leader, 242 according to their tribes 243 – twelve staffs; the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 17:7 Then Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony. 244
17:8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony – and 245 the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 246 17:9 So Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites. They looked at them, 247 and each man took his staff.
17:10 The Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s staff back before the testimony to be preserved for a sign to the rebels, so that you may bring their murmurings to an end 248 before me, that they will not die.” 249 17:11 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him – this is what he did.
17:12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We are bound to die! 250 We perish, we all perish! 17:13 251 Anyone who even comes close to the tabernacle of the Lord will die! Are we all to die?” 252 18:1
Responsibilities of the Priests 253
The Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your tribe 254 with you must bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, 255 and you and your sons with you must bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
18:2 “Bring with you your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, so that they may join 256 with you and minister to you while 257 you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. 18:3 They must be responsible to care for you and to care for the entire tabernacle. However, they must not come near the furnishings of the sanctuary and the altar, or both they and you will die. 18:4 They must join 258 with you, and they will be responsible for the care of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the tent, but no unauthorized person 259 may approach you. 18:5 You will be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the care of the altar, so that there will be 260 no more wrath on the Israelites. 18:6 I myself have chosen 261 your brothers the Levites from among the Israelites. They are given to you as a gift from the Lord, to perform the duties 262 of the tent of meeting. 18:7 But you and your sons with you are responsible for your priestly duties, for everything at the altar and within the curtain. And you must serve. I give you the priesthood as a gift for service; but the unauthorized person who approaches must be put to death.”
The Portion of the Priests
18:8 The Lord spoke to Aaron, “See, I have given you the responsibility for my raised offerings; I have given all the holy things of the Israelites to you as your priestly portion 263 and to your sons as a perpetual ordinance. 18:9 Of all the most holy offerings reserved 264 from the fire this will be yours: Every offering of theirs, whether from every grain offering or from every purification offering or from every reparation offering which they bring to me, will be most holy for you and for your sons. 18:10 You are to eat it as a most holy offering; every male may eat it. It will be holy to you.
18:11 “And this is yours: the raised offering of their gift, along with all the wave offerings of the Israelites. I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual ordinance. Everyone who is ceremonially clean in your household may eat of it.
18:12 “All the best of the olive oil and all the best of the wine and of the wheat, the first fruits of these things that they give to the Lord, I have given to you. 265 18:13 And whatever first ripe fruit in their land they bring to the Lord will be yours; everyone who is ceremonially clean in your household may eat of it.
18:14 “Everything devoted 266 in Israel will be yours. 18:15 The firstborn of every womb which they present to the Lord, whether human or animal, will be yours. Nevertheless, the firstborn sons you must redeem, 267 and the firstborn males of unclean animals you must redeem. 18:16 And those that must be redeemed you are to redeem when they are a month old, according to your estimation, for five shekels of silver according to the sanctuary shekel (which is twenty gerahs). 18:17 But you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow or a sheep or a goat; they are holy. You must splash 268 their blood on the altar and burn their fat for an offering made by fire for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18:18 And their meat will be yours, just as the breast and the right hip of the raised offering is yours. 18:19 All the raised offerings of the holy things that the Israelites offer to the Lord, I have given to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual ordinance. It is a covenant of salt 269 forever before the Lord for you and for your descendants with you.”
Duties of the Levites
18:20 The Lord spoke to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any portion of property 270 among them – I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites. 18:21 See, I have given the Levites all the tithes in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they perform – the service of the tent of meeting. 18:22 No longer may the Israelites approach the tent of meeting, or else they will bear their sin 271 and die. 18:23 But the Levites must perform the service 272 of the tent of meeting, and they must bear their iniquity. 273 It will be a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations that among the Israelites the Levites 274 have no inheritance. 275 18:24 But I have given 276 to the Levites for an inheritance the tithes of the Israelites that are offered 277 to the Lord as a raised offering. That is why I said to them that among the Israelites they are to have no inheritance.”
Instructions for the Levites
18:25 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18:26 “You are to speak to the Levites, and you must tell them, ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe that I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you are to offer up 278 from it as a raised offering to the Lord a tenth of the tithe. 18:27 And your raised offering will be credited 279 to you as though it were grain from the threshing floor or as new wine 280 from the winepress. 18:28 Thus you are to offer up a raised offering to the Lord of all your tithes which you receive from the Israelites; and you must give the Lord’s raised offering from it to Aaron the priest. 18:29 From all your gifts you must offer up every raised offering due 281 the Lord, from all the best of it, and the holiest part of it.’ 282
18:30 “Therefore you will say to them, 283 ‘When you offer up 284 the best of it, then it will be credited to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor and as the product of the winepress. 18:31 And you may 285 eat it in any place, you and your household, because it is your wages for your service in the tent of meeting. 18:32 And you will bear no sin concerning it when you offer up the best of it. And you must not profane the holy things of the Israelites, or else you will die.’” 286 19:1
The Red Heifer Ritual 287
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 19:2 “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded: ‘Instruct 288 the Israelites to bring 289 you a red 290 heifer 291 without blemish, which has no defect 292 and has never carried a yoke. 19:3 You must give it to Eleazar the priest so that he can take it outside the camp, and it must be slaughtered before him. 293 19:4 Eleazar the priest is to take 294 some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of the blood seven times 295 directly in front of the tent of meeting. 19:5 Then the heifer must be burned 296 in his sight – its skin, its flesh, its blood, and its offal is to be burned. 297 19:6 And the priest must take cedar wood, hyssop, 298 and scarlet wool and throw them into the midst of the fire where the heifer is burning. 299 19:7 Then the priest must wash 300 his clothes and bathe himself 301 in water, and afterward he may come 302 into the camp, but the priest will be ceremonially unclean until evening. 19:8 The one who burns it 303 must wash his clothes in water and bathe himself in water. He will be ceremonially unclean until evening.
19:9 “‘Then a man who is ceremonially clean must gather up the ashes of the red heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They must be kept 304 for the community of the Israelites for use in the water of purification 305 – it is a purification for sin. 306 19:10 The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer must wash his clothes and be ceremonially unclean until evening. This will be a permanent ordinance both for the Israelites and the resident foreigner who lives among them.
Purification from Uncleanness
19:11 “‘Whoever touches 307 the corpse 308 of any person 309 will be ceremonially unclean 310 seven days. 19:12 He must purify himself 311 with water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and the seventh day, then he will not be clean. 19:13 Anyone who touches the corpse of any dead person and does not purify himself defiles the tabernacle of the Lord. And that person must be cut off from Israel, 312 because the water of purification was not sprinkled on him. He will be unclean; his uncleanness remains on him.
19:14 “‘This is the law: When a man dies 313 in a tent, anyone who comes into the tent and all who are in the tent will be ceremonially unclean seven days. 19:15 And every open container that has no covering fastened on it is unclean. 19:16 And whoever touches the body of someone killed with a sword in the open fields, 314 or the body of someone who died of natural causes, 315 or a human bone, or a grave, will be unclean seven days. 316
19:17 “‘For a ceremonially unclean person you must take 317 some of the ashes of the heifer 318 burnt for purification from sin and pour 319 fresh running 320 water over them in a vessel. 19:18 Then a ceremonially clean person must take hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, on all its furnishings, and on the people who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, or one killed, or one who died, or a grave. 19:19 And the clean person must sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he must purify him, 321 and then he must wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and he will be clean in the evening. 19:20 But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person must be cut off from among the community, because he has polluted the sanctuary of the Lord; the water of purification was not sprinkled on him, so he is unclean.
19:21 “‘So this will be a perpetual ordinance for them: The one who sprinkles 322 the water of purification must wash his clothes, and the one who touches the water of purification will be unclean until evening. 323 19:22 And whatever the unclean person touches will be unclean, and the person who touches it will be unclean until evening.’” 20:1
The Israelites Complain Again 324
Then the entire community of Israel 325 entered the wilderness of Zin in the first month, 326 and the people stayed in Kadesh. 327 Miriam died and was buried there. 328
20:2 And there was no water for the community, and so they gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron. 20:3 The people contended 329 with Moses, saying, 330 “If only 331 we had died when our brothers died before the Lord! 20:4 Why 332 have you brought up the Lord’s community into this wilderness? So that 333 we and our cattle should die here? 20:5 Why 334 have you brought us up from Egypt only to bring us to 335 this dreadful place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink!”
20:6 So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting. They then threw themselves down with their faces to the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 20:7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 20:8 “Take the staff and assemble the community, you and Aaron your brother, and then speak 336 to the rock before their eyes. It will pour forth 337 its water, and you will bring water out of the rock for them, and so you will give the community and their beasts water to drink.”
20:9 So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, just as he commanded him. 20:10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the community together in front of the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, 338 must we bring 339 water out of this rock for you?” 20:11 Then Moses raised his hand, and struck the rock twice with his staff. And water came out abundantly. So the community drank, and their beasts drank too.
The Lord’s Judgment
20:12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough 340 to show me as holy 341 before 342 the Israelites, therefore you will not bring this community into the land I have given them.” 343
20:13 These are the waters of Meribah, because the Israelites contended with the Lord, and his holiness was maintained 344 among them. 20:14
Rejection by the Edomites 345
Moses 346 sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: 347 “Thus says your brother Israel: ‘You know all the hardships we have experienced, 348 20:15 how our ancestors went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time, 349 and the Egyptians treated us and our ancestors badly. 350 20:16 So when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice and sent a messenger, 351 and has brought us up out of Egypt. Now 352 we are here in Kadesh, a town on the edge of your country. 353 20:17 Please let us pass through 354 your country. We will not pass through the fields or through the vineyards, nor will we drink water from any well. We will go by the King’s Highway; 355 we will not turn to the right or the left until we have passed through your region.’” 356
20:18 But Edom said to him, “You will not pass through me, 357 or I will come out against 358 you with the sword.” 20:19 Then the Israelites said to him, “We will go along the highway, and if we 359 or our cattle drink any of your water, we will pay for it. We will only pass through on our feet, without doing anything else.”
20:20 But he said, “You may not pass through.” Then Edom came out against them 360 with a large and powerful force. 361 20:21 So Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border; therefore Israel turned away from him.
20:22 So the entire company of Israelites 362 traveled from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 363 20:23 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom. He said: 20:24 “Aaron will be gathered to his ancestors, 364 for he will not enter into the land I have given to the Israelites because both of you 365 rebelled against my word 366 at the waters of Meribah. 20:25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up on Mount Hor. 20:26 Remove Aaron’s priestly garments 367 and put them on Eleazar his son, and Aaron will be gathered to his ancestors 368 and will die there.”
20:27 So Moses did as the Lord commanded; and they went up Mount Hor in the sight 369 of the whole community. 20:28 And Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. So Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. And Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 20:29 When all the community saw that Aaron was dead, the whole house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.