Leviticus 22-23 The Message Bible

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The Holiness of the Offerings

22 1  God spoke to Moses, 2  "Tell Aaron and his sons to treat the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to me with reverence so they won't desecrate my holy name. I am God. 3  "Tell them, From now on, if any of your descendants approaches in a state of ritual uncleanness the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to God, he will be cut off from my presence. I am God. 4  "Each and every one of Aaron's descendants who has an infectious skin disease or a discharge may not eat any of the holy offerings until he is clean. Also, if he touches anything defiled by a corpse, or has an emission of semen, 5  or is contaminated by touching a crawling creature, or touches a person who is contaminated for whatever reason 6  - a person who touches any such thing will be ritually unclean until evening and may not eat any of the holy offerings unless he has washed well with water. 7  After the sun goes down he is clean and may go ahead and eat the holy offerings; they are his food. 8  But he must not contaminate himself by eating anything found dead or torn by wild animals. I am God. 9  "The priests must observe my instructions lest they become guilty and die by treating the offerings with irreverence. I am God who makes them holy.

10  "No layperson may eat anything set apart as holy. Nor may a priest's guest or his hired hand eat anything holy. 11  But if a priest buys a slave, the slave may eat of it; also the slaves born in his house may eat his food. 12  If a priest's daughter marries a layperson, she may no longer eat from the holy contributions. 13  But if the priest's daughter is widowed or divorced and without children and returns to her father's household as before, she may eat of her father's food. But no layperson may eat of it. 14  "If anyone eats from a holy offering accidentally, he must give back the holy offering to the priest and add twenty percent to it. 15  "The priests must not treat with irreverence the holy offerings of the Israelites that they contribute to God 16  lest they desecrate themselves and make themselves guilty when they eat the holy offerings. I am God who makes them holy."

17  God spoke to Moses, 18  "Tell Aaron and his sons and all the People of Israel, Each and every one of you, whether native born or foreigner, who presents a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God to fulfill a vow or as a Freewill-Offering, 19  must make sure that it is a male without defect from cattle, sheep, or goats for it to be acceptable. 20  Don't try slipping in some creature that has a defect - it won't be accepted. 21  Whenever anyone brings an offering from cattle or sheep as a Peace-Offering to God to fulfill a vow or as a Freewill-Offering, it has to be perfect, without defect, to be acceptable. 22  Don't try giving God an animal that is blind, crippled, mutilated, an animal with running sores, a rash, or mange. Don't place any of these on the Altar as a gift to God. 23  You may, though, offer an ox or sheep that is deformed or stunted as a Freewill-Offering, but it is not acceptable in fulfilling a vow. 24  Don't offer to God an animal with bruised, crushed, torn, or cut-off testicles. Don't do this in your own land 25  but don't accept them from foreigners and present them as food for your God either. Because of deformities and defects they will not be acceptable." 26  God spoke to Moses: 27  "When a calf or lamb or goat is born, it is to stay with its mother for seven days. After the eighth day, it is acceptable as an offering, a gift to God. 28  Don't slaughter both a cow or ewe and its young on the same day. 29  When you sacrifice a Thanksgiving-Offering to God, do it right so it will be acceptable. 30  Eat it on the same day; don't leave any leftovers until morning. I am God. 31  "Do what I tell you; live what I tell you. I am God. 32  "Don't desecrate my holy name. I insist on being treated with holy reverence among the People of Israel. I am God who makes you holy 33  and brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am God."

The Appointed Feasts

23 1  God spoke to Moses: 2  "Tell the People of Israel, These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of God which you are to decree as sacred assemblies. 3  "Work six days. The seventh day is a Sabbath, a day of total and complete rest, a sacred assembly. Don't do any work. Wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to God.

4  "These are the appointed feasts of God, the sacred assemblies which you are to announce at the times set for them 5  "God's Passover, beginning at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6  "God's Feast of Unraised Bread, on the fifteenth day of this same month. You are to eat unraised bread for seven days. 7  Hold a sacred assembly on the first day; don't do any regular work. 8  Offer Fire-Gifts to God for seven days. On the seventh day hold a sacred assembly; don't do any regular work." 9  God spoke to Moses: 10  "Tell the People of Israel, When you arrive at the land that I am giving you and reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain that you harvest. 11  He will wave the sheaf before God for acceptance on your behalf; on the morning after Sabbath, the priest will wave it. 12  On the same day that you wave the sheaf, offer a year-old male lamb without defect for a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God 13  and with it the Grain-Offering of four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil - a Fire-Gift to God, a pleasing fragrance - and also a Drink-Offering of a quart of wine. 14  Don't eat any bread or roasted or fresh grain until you have presented this offering to your God. This is a perpetual decree for all your generations to come, wherever you live

15  "Count seven full weeks from the morning after the Sabbath when you brought the sheaf as a Wave-Offering, 16  fifty days until the morning of the seventh Sabbath. Then present a new Grain-Offering to God. 17  Bring from wherever you are living two loaves of bread made from four quarts of fine flour and baked with yeast as a Wave-Offering of the first ripe grain to God. 18  In addition to the bread, offer seven yearling male lambs without defect, plus one bull and two rams. They will be a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God together with their Grain-Offerings and Drink-Offerings - offered as Fire-Gifts, a pleasing fragrance to God. 19  Offer one male goat for an Absolution-Offering and two yearling lambs for a Peace-Offering 20  The priest will wave the two lambs before God as a Wave-Offering, together with the bread of the first ripe grain. They are sacred offerings to God for the priest. 21  Proclaim the day as a sacred assembly. Don't do any ordinary work. It is a perpetual decree wherever you live down through your generations 22  "When you reap the harvest of your land, don't reap the corners of your field or gather the gleanings. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners. I am God, your God."

23  God said to Moses: 24  "Tell the People of Israel, On the first day of the seventh month, set aside a day of rest, a sacred assembly - mark it with loud blasts on the ram's horn. 25  Don't do any ordinary work. Offer a Fire-Gift to God." 26  God said to Moses, 27  "The tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly, fast, and offer a Fire-Gift to God. 28  Don't work on that day because it is a day of atonement to make atonement for you before your God. 29  Anyone who doesn't fast on that day must be cut off from his people. 30  I will destroy from among his people anyone who works on that day. 31  Don't do any work that day - none. This is a perpetual decree for all the generations to come, wherever you happen to be living. 32  It is a Sabbath of complete and total rest, a fast day. Observe your Sabbath from the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening."

33  God said to Moses, 34  "Tell the People of Israel, God's Feast of Booths begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. It lasts seven days. 35  The first day is a sacred assembly; don't do any ordinary work. 36  Offer Fire-Gifts to God for seven days. On the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and offer a gift to God. It is a solemn convocation. Don't do any ordinary work 37  "These are the appointed feasts of God which you will decree as sacred assemblies for presenting Fire-Gifts to God: the Whole-Burnt-Offerings, Grain-Offerings, sacrifices, and Drink-Offerings assigned to each day. 38  These are in addition to offerings for God's Sabbaths and also in addition to other gifts connected with whatever you have vowed and all the Freewill-Offerings you give to God 39  "So, summing up: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have brought your crops in from your fields, celebrate the Feast of God for seven days. The first day is a complete rest and the eighth day is a complete rest. 40  On the first day, pick the best fruit from the best trees; take fronds of palm trees and branches of leafy trees and from willows by the brook and celebrate in the presence of your God for seven days - 41  yes, for seven full days celebrate it as a festival to God. Every year from now on, celebrate it in the seventh month. 42  Live in booths for seven days - every son and daughter of Israel is to move into booths 43  so that your descendants will know that I made the People of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am God, your God." 44  Moses posted the calendar for the annual appointed feasts of God which Israel was to celebrate.

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