Through the Bible – Day 46

Bible text(s)

The duties of the Kohathite clans

1The LORD told Moses and Aaron:

2-3Find out how many men between the ages of thirty and fifty are in the four Levite clans of Kohath. Count only those who are able to work at the sacred tent.

4The Kohathites will be responsible for carrying the sacred objects used in worship at the sacred tent. 5When the Israelites are ready to move their camp, Aaron and his sons will enter the tent and take down the curtain that separates the sacred chest from the rest of the tent. They will cover the chest with this curtain, 6and then with a piece of fine leather, and cover it all with a solid blue cloth. After this they will put the carrying poles in place.

7Next, Aaron and his sons will use another blue cloth to cover the table for the sacred bread. On the cloth they will place the dishes, the bowls for incense, the cups, the jugs for wine, as well as the bread itself. 8They are to cover all of this with a bright red cloth, and then with a piece of fine leather, before putting the carrying poles in place.

9With another blue cloth they will cover the lampstand, along with the lamps, the lamp snuffers, the fire pans, and the jars of oil for the lamps. 10All of this will then be covered with a piece of fine leather and placed on a carrying frame.

11The gold incense altar is to be covered with a blue cloth, and then with a piece of fine leather, before its carrying poles are put in place.

12Next, Aaron and his sons will take blue cloth and wrap all the objects used in worship at the sacred tent. These will need to be covered with a piece of fine leather, then placed on a carrying frame.

13They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and cover it with a purple cloth. 14On that cloth will be placed the utensils used at the altar, including the fire pans, the meat forks, the shovels, and the sprinkling bowls. All of this will then be covered with a piece of fine leather, before the carrying poles are put in place.

15When the camp is ready to be moved, the Kohathites will be responsible for carrying the sacred objects and the furnishings of the sacred tent. But Aaron and his sons must have already covered those things so the Kohathites won't touch them and die.

16Eleazar son of Aaron the priest will be in charge of the oil for the lamps, the sweet-smelling incense, the grain for the sacrifices, and the olive oil used for dedications and ordinations. Eleazar is responsible for seeing that the sacred tent, its furnishings, and the sacred objects are taken care of.

17-20The Kohathites must not go near or even look at the sacred objects until Aaron and his sons have covered those objects. If they do, their entire clan will be wiped out. So make sure that Aaron and his sons go into the tent with them and tell them what to carry.

The duties of the Gershonite clans

21The LORD said to Moses:

22-23Find out how many men between the ages of thirty and fifty are in the two Levite clans of Gershon. Count only those who are able to work at the sacred tent.

24The Gershonites will be responsible 25for carrying the curtains of the sacred tent, its two outer coverings, the curtain for the entrance to the tent, 26the curtains hanging around the courtyard of the tent, and the curtain and ropes for the entrance to the courtyard. The Gershonites are to do whatever needs to be done to take care of these things, 27and they will carry them wherever Aaron and his sons tell them to. 28These are the duties of the Gershonites at the sacred tent, and Ithamar son of Aaron will make sure they do their work.

The duties of the Merarite clans

29-30The LORD said:

Moses, find out how many men between thirty and fifty are in the two Levite clans of Merari, but count only those who are able to work at the sacred tent.

31The Merarites will be responsible for carrying the frames of the tent and its other pieces, including the bars, the posts, the stands, 32as well as the posts that support the courtyard, together with their stands, tent pegs, and ropes. The Merarites are to be told exactly what objects they are to carry, 33and Ithamar son of Aaron will make sure they do their work.

The Levites are counted again

34-49Moses, Aaron, and the other Israelite leaders obeyed the LORD and counted the Levi tribe by families and clans, to find out how many men there were between the ages of thirty and fifty who could work at the sacred tent. There were two thousand seven hundred and fifty Kohathites, two thousand six hundred and thirty Gershonites, and three thousand two hundred Merarites, making a total of eight thousand five hundred and eighty. Then they were all assigned their duties.

Various laws and the dedication of the Levites

People are sent outside the camp

1The LORD told Moses 2-3to say to the people of Israel, “Put out of the camp everyone who has leprosy or a bodily discharge or who has touched a dead body. Now that I live among my people, their camp must be kept clean.”

4The Israelites obeyed the LORD's instructions.

The penalty for committing a crime

(Leviticus 6.1-7)

5The LORD told Moses 6to say to the community of Israel:

If any of you commit a crime against someone, you have sinned against me. 7You must confess your guilt and pay the victim in full for whatever damage has been done, plus a fine of twenty per cent. 8If the victim has no relative who can accept this money, it belongs to me and will be paid to the priest. In addition to that payment, you must take a ram for the priest to sacrifice so your sin will be forgiven.

9-10When you make a donation to the sacred tent, that money belongs only to the priest, and each priest will keep what is given to him.

A suspicious husband

11The LORD told Moses 12-14to say to the people of Israel:

Suppose a man becomes jealous and suspects that his wife has been unfaithful, but he has no proof. 15He must take his wife to the priest, together with one kilogramme of ground barley as an offering to find out if she is guilty. No olive oil or incense is to be put on that offering.

16The priest is to make the woman stand at my altar, 17where he will pour sacred water into a clay jar and stir in some dust from the floor of the sacred tent. 18-22Next, he will remove her veil, then hand her the barley offering, and say, “If you have been faithful to your husband, this water won't harm you. But if you have been unfaithful, it will bring down the LORD's curse—you will never be able to give birth to a child, and everyone will curse your name.”

Then the woman will answer, “If I am guilty, let it happen just as you say.”

23The priest will write these curses on special paper and wash them off into the bitter water, 24so that when the woman drinks this water, the curses will enter her body. 25He will take the barley offering from her and lift it up in dedication to me, the LORD. Then he will place it on my altar 26and burn part of it as a sacrifice. After that, the woman must drink the bitter water.

27If the woman has been unfaithful, the water will immediately make her unable to have children, and she will be a curse among her people. 28But if she is innocent, her body will not be harmed, and she will still be able to have children.

29-30This is the ceremony that must take place at my altar when a husband suspects that his wife has been unfaithful. The priest must make the woman stand in my presence and carefully follow these instructions. 31If the husband is wrong, he will not be punished; but if his wife is guilty, she will be punished.

Rules for Nazirites

1The LORD told Moses 2to say to the people of Israel:

If any of you want to dedicate yourself to me by vowing to become a Nazirite, 3you must no longer drink any wine or beer or use any kind of vinegar. Don't drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins— 4not even the seeds or skins.

5Even the hair of a Nazirite is sacred to me, and as long as you are a Nazirite, you must never cut your hair.

6During the time that you are a Nazirite, you must never go close to a dead body, 7-8not even that of your father, mother, brother, or sister. That would make you unclean. Your hair is the sign that you are dedicated to me, so remain holy.

9If someone suddenly dies near you, your hair is no longer sacred, and you must shave it seven days later during the ceremony to make you clean. 10Then on the next day, bring two doves or two pigeons to the priest at the sacred tent. 11He will offer one of the birds as a sacrifice for sin and the other as a sacrifice to please me. You will then be forgiven for being too near a dead body, and your hair will again become sacred. 12But the dead body made you unacceptable, so you must make another vow to become a Nazirite and be dedicated once more. Finally, a year-old ram must be offered as the sacrifice to make things right.

13When you have completed your promised time of being a Nazirite, go to the sacred tent 14and offer three animals that have nothing wrong with them: a year-old ram as a sacrifice to please me, a year-old female lamb as a sacrifice for sin, and a full-grown ram as a sacrifice to ask my blessing. 15Wine offerings and grain sacrifices must also be brought with these animals. Finally, you are to bring a basket of bread made with your finest flour and olive oil, but without yeast. Also bring some thin wafers brushed with oil.

16The priest will take these gifts to my altar and offer them, so that I will be pleased and will forgive you. 17Then he will sacrifice the ram and offer the wine, grain, and bread.

18After that, you will stand at the entrance to the sacred tent, shave your head, and put the hair in the fire where the priest has offered the sacrifice to ask my blessing.

19Once the meat from the ram's shoulder has been boiled, the priest will take it, along with one loaf of bread and one wafer brushed with oil, and give them to you. 20You will hand them back to the priest, who will lift them up in dedication to me. Then he can eat the meat from the ram's shoulder, its choice ribs, and its hind leg, because this is his share of the sacrifice. After this, you will no longer be a Nazirite and will be free to drink wine.

21These are the requirements for Nazirites. However, if you can afford to offer more, you must do so.

The blessing for the people

22The LORD told Moses, 23“When Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel, they must say:

24I pray that the LORD

will bless and protect you,

25and that he will show you mercy

and kindness.

26May the LORD be good to you

and give you peace.”

27Then the LORD said, “If Aaron and his sons ask me to bless the Israelites, I will give them my blessing.”

Numbers 4:1-6:27CEVOpen in Bible reader

Jesus is questioned by the council

57After Jesus had been arrested, he was led off to the house of Caiaphas the high priest. The nation's leaders and the teachers of the Law of Moses were meeting there. 58But Peter followed along at a distance and came to the courtyard of the high priest's palace. He went in and sat down with the guards to see what was going to happen.

59The chief priests and the whole council wanted to put Jesus to death. So they tried to find some people who would tell lies about him in court. 60But they could not find any, even though many did come and tell lies. At last, two men came forward 61and said, “This man claimed that he would tear down God's temple and build it again in three days.”

62The high priest stood up and asked Jesus, “Why don't you say something in your own defence? Don't you hear the charges they are making against you?” 63But Jesus did not answer. So the high priest said, “With the living God looking on, you must tell the truth. Tell us, are you the Messiah, the Son of God?”

64“That is what you say!” Jesus answered. “But I tell all of you,

‘Soon you will see

the Son of Man

sitting at the right side

of God All-Powerful

and coming on the clouds

of heaven.’ ”

65The high priest then tore his robe and said, “This man claims to be God! We don't need any more witnesses! You have heard what he said. 66What do you think?”

They answered, “He is guilty and deserves to die!” 67Then they spat in his face and hit him with their fists. Others slapped him 68and said, “You think you are the Messiah! So tell us who hit you!”

Peter says he doesn't know Jesus

69While Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus from Galilee.”

70But in front of everyone Peter said, “That isn't so! I don't know what you are talking about!”

71When Peter had gone out to the gate, another servant girl saw him and said to some people there, “This man was with Jesus from Nazareth.”

72Again Peter denied it, and this time he swore, “I don't even know that man!”

73A little while later some people standing there walked over to Peter and said, “We know that you are one of them. We can tell it because you talk like someone from Galilee.”

74Peter began to curse and swear, “I don't know that man!”

At once a cock crowed, 75and Peter remembered that Jesus had said, “Before a cock crows, you will say three times that you don't know me.” Then Peter went out and cried hard.

Matthew 26:57-75CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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