Bible: Numbers 15-19

15:1

Sacrificial Rulings

1 

The Lord spoke to Moses: 15:2 Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land where you are to live, 2  which I am giving you, 3  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 4  a grain offering of one-tenth of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with one fourth of a hin of olive oil. 5  15:5 You must also prepare one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering 6  with the burnt offering or the sacrifice for each lamb. 7  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 8  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 9  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 10  with you – or whoever is among you 11  in future generations 12 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. 13  15:15 One statute must apply 14  to you who belong to the congregation and to the resident foreigner who is living among you, as a permanent 15  statute for your future generations. You and the resident foreigner will be alike 16  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 17  15:19 and you eat 18  some of the food of the land, you must offer up a raised offering 19  to the Lord. 15:20 You must offer up a cake of the first of your finely ground flour 20  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

21 

“‘If you 22  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 23  of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses and continuing through your future generations 15:24 then if anything is done unintentionally 24  without the knowledge of 25  the community, the whole community must prepare one young bull for a burnt offering – for a pleasing aroma to the Lordalong 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 26  for the whole community of the Israelites, and they will be forgiven, 27  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 28  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 29  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 Lordto 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.

Deliberate Sin

15:30‘But the person 30  who acts defiantly, 31  whether native-born or a resident foreigner, insults 32  the Lord. 33  That person 34  must be cut off 35  from among his people. 15:31 Because he has despised 36  the word of the Lord and has broken 37  his commandment, that person 38  must be completely cut off. 39  His iniquity will be on him.’ 40 

15:32 When the Israelites were 41  in the wilderness they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 42  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 43  him with stones outside the camp.” 15:36 So the whole community took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, 44  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 45  tassels 46  for themselves on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and put a blue thread 47  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 48  after your own heart and your own eyes that lead you to unfaithfulness. 49  15:40 Thus 50  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

51 

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, 52  took men 53  16:2 and rebelled against Moses, along with some of the Israelites, 250 leaders 54  of the community, chosen from the assembly, 55  famous men. 56  16:3 And they assembled against Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, 57  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. 58  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 59  to approach him; the person he has chosen he will cause to approach him. 16:6 Do this, Korah, you and all your company: 60  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 61  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? 62  16:12 Then Moses summoned 63  Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up. 64  16:13 Is it a small thing 65  that you have brought us up out of the land that flows with milk and honey, 66  to kill us in the wilderness? Now do you want to make yourself a prince 67  over us? 16:14 Moreover, 68  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 69  these men? We will not come up.”

16:15 Moses was very angry, and he said to the Lord, “Have no respect 70  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 Lordyou and they, and Aaron – tomorrow. 16:17 And each of you 71  take his censer, put 72  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 73  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 74  from among this community, 75  that I may consume them in an instant.” 16:22 Then they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground 76  and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all people, 77  will you be angry with the whole community when only one man sins? 78 

16:23 So the Lord spoke to Moses: 16:24 Tell the community: ‘Get away 79  from around the homes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ 16:25 Then Moses got up 80  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 81  men, and do not touch anything they have, lest you be destroyed because 82  of all their sins.” 83  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 84  in the entrances of their tents with their wives, their children, and their toddlers. 16:28 Then Moses said, “This is how 85  you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. 86  16:29 If these men die a natural death, 87  or if they share the fate 88  of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 16:30 But if the Lord does something entirely new, 89  and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up 90  along with all that they have, and they 91  go down alive to the grave, 92  then you will know that these men have despised the Lord!

16:31 When he had finished 93  speaking 94  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 95  who were around them fled at their cry, 96  for they said, “What if 97  the earth swallows us too? 16:35 Then a fire 98  went out from the Lord and devoured the 250 men who offered incense.

The Atonement for the Rebellion

16:36 99  The Lord spoke to Moses: 16:37 Tell 100  Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pick up 101  the censers out of the flame, for they are holy, and then scatter the coals of fire 102  at a distance. 16:38 As for the censers of these men who sinned at the cost of their lives, 103  they must be made 104  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 105  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 106  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! 107  16:42 When the community assembled 108  against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting – and 109  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. 110  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 Lordthe plague has begun! 16:47 So Aaron did 111  as Moses commanded 112  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

113 

The Lord spoke to Moses: 17:2 Speak to the Israelites, and receive from them a staff from each tribe, 114  one from every tribal leader, 115  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. 116  17:4 You must place them 117  in the tent of meeting before the ark of the covenant 118  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, 119  according to their tribes 120 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. 121 

17:8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony – and 122  the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 123  17:9 So Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites. They looked at them, 124  and each man took his staff.

The Memorial

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 125  before me, that they will not die.” 126  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! 127  We perish, we all perish! 17:13 128  Anyone who even comes close to the tabernacle of the Lord will die! Are we all to die? 129 

18:1

Responsibilities of the Priests

130 

The Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your tribe 131  with you must bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, 132  and you and your sons with you must bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

18:2Bring with you your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, so that they may join 133  with you and minister to you while 134  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 135  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 136  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 137  no more wrath on the Israelites. 18:6 I myself have chosen 138  your brothers the Levites from among the Israelites. They are given to you as a gift from the Lord, to perform the duties 139  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 140  and to your sons as a perpetual ordinance. 18:9 Of all the most holy offerings reserved 141  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.

18:11And 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.

18:12All 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. 142  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.

18:14Everything devoted 143  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, 144  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 145  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 146  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 147  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 148  and die. 18:23 But the Levites must perform the service 149  of the tent of meeting, and they must bear their iniquity. 150  It will be a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations that among the Israelites the Levites 151  have no inheritance. 152  18:24 But I have given 153  to the Levites for an inheritance the tithes of the Israelites that are offered 154  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 155  from it as a raised offering to the Lord a tenth of the tithe. 18:27 And your raised offering will be credited 156  to you as though it were grain from the threshing floor or as new wine 157  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 158  the Lord, from all the best of it, and the holiest part of it.’ 159 

18:30Therefore you will say to them, 160 When you offer up 161  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 162  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.’ 163 

19:1

The Red Heifer Ritual

164 

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 19:2 This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded: ‘Instruct 165  the Israelites to bring 166  you a red 167  heifer 168  without blemish, which has no defect 169  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. 170  19:4 Eleazar the priest is to take 171  some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of the blood seven times 172  directly in front of the tent of meeting. 19:5 Then the heifer must be burned 173  in his sight – its skin, its flesh, its blood, and its offal is to be burned. 174  19:6 And the priest must take cedar wood, hyssop, 175  and scarlet wool and throw them into the midst of the fire where the heifer is burning. 176  19:7 Then the priest must wash 177  his clothes and bathe himself 178  in water, and afterward he may come 179  into the camp, but the priest will be ceremonially unclean until evening. 19:8 The one who burns it 180  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 181  for the community of the Israelites for use in the water of purification 182 it is a purification for sin. 183  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 184  the corpse 185  of any person 186  will be ceremonially unclean 187  seven days. 19:12 He must purify himself 188  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, 189  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 190  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, 191  or the body of someone who died of natural causes, 192  or a human bone, or a grave, will be unclean seven days. 193 

19:17‘For a ceremonially unclean person you must take 194  some of the ashes of the heifer 195  burnt for purification from sin and pour 196  fresh running 197  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, 198  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 199  the water of purification must wash his clothes, and the one who touches the water of purification will be unclean until evening. 200  19:22 And whatever the unclean person touches will be unclean, and the person who touches it will be unclean until evening.’

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