Numbers 18-20 Bible in Basic English

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Provision for the Priests and Levites

18 1  And the Lord said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father's family are to be responsible for all wrongdoing in relation to the holy place: and you and your sons are to be responsible for the errors which come about in your work as priests. 2  Let your brothers, the family of Levi, come near with you, so that they may be joined with you and be your servants: but you and your sons with you are to go in before the ark of witness. 3  They are to do your orders and be responsible for the work of the Tent; but they may not come near the vessels of the holy place or the altar, so that death may not overtake them or you. 4  They are to be joined with you in the care of the Tent of meeting, doing whatever is needed for the Tent: and no one of any other family may come near you. 5  You are to be responsible for the holy place and the altar, so that wrath may never again come on the children of Israel. 6  Now, see, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel: they are given to you and to the Lord, to do the work of the Tent of meeting. 7  And you and your sons with you are to be responsible as priests for the altar and everything on it, and everything inside the veil; you are to do the work of priests; I have given you your position as priests; and any other man who comes near will be put to death.

8  And the Lord said to Aaron, See, I have given into your care my lifted offerings; even all the holy things of the children of Israel I have given to you and to your sons as your right for ever, because you have been marked with the holy oil. 9  This is to be yours of the most holy things, out of the fire offerings; every offering of theirs, every meal offering and sin-offering, and every offering which they make on account of error, is to be most holy for you and your sons. 10  As most holy things they are to be your food: let every male have them for food; it is to be holy to you. 11  And this is yours: the lifted offering which they give and all the wave offerings of the children of Israel I have given to you and to your sons and to your daughters as your right for ever: everyone in your house who is clean may have them for food. 12  All the best of the oil and the wine and the grain, the first-fruits of them which they give to the Lord, to you have I given them. 13  The earliest produce from their land which they take to the Lord is to be yours; everyone in your house who is clean may have it for his food. 14  Everything given by oath to the Lord in Israel is to be yours. 15  The first birth of every living thing which is offered to the Lord, of man or beast, is to be yours; but for the first sons of man payment is to be made, and for the first young of unclean beasts. 16  Payment is to be made for these when they are a month old, at the value fixed by you, a price of five shekels by the scale of the holy place, that is, twenty gerahs to the shekel. 17  But no such payment may be made for the first birth of an ox or a sheep or a goat; these are holy: their blood is to be dropped on the altar, and their fat burned for an offering made by fire, a sweet smell to the Lord. 18  Their flesh is to be yours; like the breast of the wave offering and the right leg, it is to be yours. 19  All the lifted offerings of the holy things which the children of Israel give to the Lord, I have given to you and to your sons and to your daughters as a right for ever. This is an agreement made with salt before the Lord, to you and to your seed for ever.

20  And the Lord said to Aaron, You will have no heritage in their land, or any part among them; I am your part and your heritage among the children of Israel. 21  And to the children of Levi I have given as their heritage all the tenths offered in Israel, as payment for the work they do, the work of the Tent of meeting. 22  In future the children of Israel are not to come near the Tent of meeting, so that death may not come to them because of sin. 23  But the Levites are to do the work of the Tent of meeting, and be responsible for errors in connection with it: this is a law for ever through all your generations; and among the children of Israel they will have no heritage. 24  For the tenths which the children of Israel give as a lifted offering to the Lord I have given to the Levites as their heritage. and so I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they will have no heritage. 25  And the Lord said to Moses, 26  Say to the Levites, When you take from the children of Israel the tenth which I have given to you from them as your heritage, a tenth part of that tenth is to be offered as an offering lifted up before the Lord. 27  And this lifted offering is to be put to your credit as if it was grain from the grain-floor and wine from the vines. 28  So you are to make an offering lifted up to the Lord from all the tenths which you get from the children of Israel, giving out of it the Lord's lifted offering to Aaron the priest. 29  From everything given to you, let the best of it, the holy part of it, be offered as a lifted offering to the Lord. 30  Say to them, then, When the best of it is lifted up on high, it is to be put to the account of the Levites as the increase of the grain-floor and of the place where the grapes are crushed. 31  It is to be your food, for you and your families in every place: it is your reward for your work in the Tent of meeting. 32  And no sin will be yours on account of it, when the best of it has been lifted up on high; you are not to make a wrong use of the holy things of the children of Israel, so that death may not overtake you.

The Purification of the Unclean

19 1  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2  This is the rule of the law which the Lord has made, saying, Give orders to the children of Israel to give you a red cow without any mark on her, and on which the yoke has never been put: 3  Give her to Eleazar the priest and let him take her outside the tent-circle and have her put to death before him. 4  Then let Eleazar the priest take some of her blood on his finger, shaking the blood seven times in the direction of the front of the Tent of meeting: 5  And the cow is to be burned before him, her skin and her flesh and her blood and her waste are to be burned: 6  Then let the priest take cedar-wood and hyssop and red thread, and put them into the fire where the cow is burning. 7  And the priest, after washing his clothing and bathing his body in water, may come back to the tent-circle, and will be unclean till evening. 8  And he who does the burning is to have his clothing washed and his body bathed in water and be unclean till evening. 9  Then let a man who is clean take the dust of the burned cow and put it outside the tent-circle in a clean place, where it is to be kept for the children of Israel and used in making the water which takes away what is unclean: it is a sin-offering. 10  And he who takes up the dust of the burned cow is to have his clothing washed with water and be unclean till evening: this is to be a law for ever, for the children of Israel as well as for the man from another country who is living among them.

11  Anyone touching a dead body will be unclean for seven days: 12  On the third day and on the seventh day he is to make himself clean with the water, and so he will be clean: but if he does not do this on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. 13  Anyone touching the body of a dead man without making himself clean in this way, makes the House of the Lord unclean; and that man will be cut off from Israel: because the water was not put on him, he will be unclean; his unclean condition is unchanged. 14  This is the law when death comes to a man in his tent: everyone who comes into the tent, and everyone who is in the tent, will be unclean for seven days. 15  And every open vessel without a cover fixed on it will be unclean. 16  And anyone touching one who has been put to death with the sword in the open country, or the body of one who has come to his end by a natural death, or a man's bone, or the resting-place of a dead body, will be unclean for seven days. 17  And for the unclean, they are to take the dust of the burning of the sin-offering, and put flowing water on it in a vessel: 18  And a clean person is to take hyssop and put it in the water, shaking it over the tent, and all the vessels, and the people who were there, and over him by whom the bone, or the body of one who has been put to death with the sword, or the body of one who has come to his end by a natural death, or the resting-place was touched. 19  Let the clean person do this to the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he is to make him clean; and after washing his clothing and bathing himself in water, he will be clean in the evening. 20  But the man who, being unclean, does not make himself clean in this way, will be cut off from the meeting of the people, because he has made the holy place of the Lord unclean: the water has not been put on him, he is unclean. 21  This is to be a law for them for ever: he who puts the water on the unclean person is to have his clothing washed; and anyone touching the water will be unclean till evening. 22  Anything touched by the unclean person will be unclean; and any person touching it will be unclean till evening.

Water from the Rock

20 1  In the first month all the children of Israel came into the waste land of Zin, and put up their tents in Kadesh; there death came to Miriam, and they put her body to rest in the earth. 2  And there was no water for the people: and they came together against Moses and against Aaron. 3  And the people were angry with Moses and said, If only death had overtaken us when our brothers came to their death before the Lord! 4  Why have you taken the Lord's people into this waste, for death to come to us and to our cattle there? 5  Why have you made us come out of Egypt into this evil place? This is no place of seed or figs or vines or other fruits, and there is no water for drinking. 6  Then Moses and Aaron went away from the people to the door of the Tent of meeting; and, falling on their faces there, they saw the glory of the Lord. 7  And the Lord said to Moses, 8  Take the rod, you and Aaron, your brother, and make all the people come together, and before their eyes give orders to the rock to give out its water; and so make water come out of the rock for them, and give the people and their cattle drink. 9  And Moses took the rod from before the Lord as he gave him orders. 10  Then Moses and Aaron made the people come together in front of the rock, and he said to them, Give ear now, you people whose hearts are turned from the Lord; are we to get water for you out of the rock? 11  And lifting up his hand, Moses gave the rock two blows with his rod: and water came streaming out, and the people and their cattle had drink enough. 12  Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Because you had not enough faith in me to keep my name holy before the children of Israel, you will not take this people into the land which I have given them. 13  These are the waters of Meribah; because the children of Israel went against the Lord, and they saw that he was holy among them.

Edom Refuses Passage to Israel

14  Then Moses sent men from Kadesh to the king of Edom to say to him, Your brother Israel says, You have knowledge of all the things we have been through; 15  How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we were living in Egypt for a long time; and the Egyptians were cruel to us and to our fathers: 16  And the Lord gave ear to the voice of our cry, and sent an angel and took us out of Egypt: and now we are in Kadesh, a town on the edge of your land; 17  Let us now go through your land: we will not go into field or vine-garden, or take the water of the springs; we will go by the highway, not turning to the right or to the left, till we have gone past the limits of your land. 18  And Edom said, You are not to go through my land, for if you do I will come out against you with the sword. 19  And the children of Israel said to him, We will go up by the highway: and if we or our cattle take of your water, we will give you a price for it: only let us go through on our feet, nothing more. 20  But he said, You are not to go through. And Edom came out against them in his strength, with a great army. 21  So Edom would not let Israel go through his land; and Israel went in another direction.

Aaron Dies on Mount Hor

22  And they went on from Kadesh, and came, with all their people, to Mount Hor. 23  And at Mount Hor, at the edge of the land of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24  Aaron will be put to rest with his people; he will not go into the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you went against my word at the waters of Meribah. 25  So take Aaron and Eleazar, his son, up into Mount Hor; 26  And take Aaron's robes off him and put them on Eleazar, his son: and death will come to Aaron there, and he will be put to rest with his people. 27  So Moses did as the Lord had said, and before the eyes of all the people they went up Mount Hor. 28  And Moses took off Aaron's robes, and put them on Eleazar, his son; and there on the top of the mountain death came to Aaron: then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29  And when the people saw that Aaron was dead, all the children of Israel gave themselves up to weeping for him for thirty days.

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