Numbers 18-20 World English Bible

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Provision for the Priests and Levites

18 1  Yahweh said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your fathers’ house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. 2  Your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, bring near with you, that they may be joined to you, and minister to you: but you and your sons with you shall be before the tent of the testimony. 3  They shall keep your commands, and the duty of all the Tent: only they shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary and to the altar, that they not die, neither they, nor you. 4  They shall be joined to you, and keep the responsibility of the Tent of Meeting, for all the service of the Tent: and a stranger shall not come near to you. 5  “You shall perform the duty of the sanctuary, and the duty of the altar; that there be wrath no more on the children of Israel. 6  I, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are a gift, given to Yahweh, to do the service of the Tent of Meeting. 7  You and your sons with you shall keep your priesthood for everything of the altar, and for that within the veil; and you shall serve: I give you the priesthood as a service of gift: and the stranger who comes near shall be put to death.”

8  Yahweh spoke to Aaron, “I, behold, I have given you the command of my wave offerings, even all the holy things of the children of Israel; to you have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to your sons, as a portion forever. 9  This shall be your of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, even every meal offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render to me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons. 10  You shall eat of it like the most holy things. Every male shall eat of it. It shall be holy to you. 11  “This is yours, too: the wave offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the children of Israel. I have given them to you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, as a portion forever. Everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it. 12  “All the best of the oil, and all the best of the vintage, and of the grain, the first fruits of them which they give to Yahweh, to you have I given them. 13  The first-ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to Yahweh, shall be yours; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it. 14  “Everything devoted in Israel shall be yours. 15  Everything that opens the womb, of all flesh which they offer to Yahweh, both of man and animal shall be yours: nevertheless you shall surely redeem the firstborn of man, and you shall redeem the firstborn of unclean animals. 16  You shall redeem those who are to be redeemed of them from a month old, according to your estimation, for five shekels of money, after the shekel of the sanctuary (the same is twenty gerahs). 17  “But you shall not redeem the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat. They are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and shall burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 18  Their flesh shall be yours, as the wave offering breast and as the right thigh, it shall be yours. 19  All the wave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to Yahweh, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, as a portion forever: it is a covenant of salt forever before Yahweh to you and to your seed with you.”

20  Yahweh said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel. 21  “To the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the Tent of Meeting. 22  Henceforth the children of Israel shall not come near the Tent of Meeting, lest they bear sin, and die. 23  But the Levites shall do the service of the Tent of Meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations; and among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24  For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a wave offering to Yahweh, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance: therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’” 25  Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 26  “Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, ‘When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a wave offering of it for Yahweh, a tithe of the tithe. 27  Your wave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. 28  Thus you also shall offer a wave offering to Yahweh of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and of it you shall give Yahweh’s wave offering to Aaron the priest. 29  Out of all your gifts you shall offer every wave offering of Yahweh, of all its best, even the holy part of it out of it.’ 30  “Therefore you shall tell them, ‘When you heave its best from it, then it shall be reckoned to the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the winepress. 31  You shall eat it in every place, you and your households: for it is your reward in return for your service in the Tent of Meeting. 32  You shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have heaved from it its best: and you shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, that you not die.’”

The Purification of the Unclean

19 1  Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2  “This is the statute of the law which Yahweh has commanded: Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without spot, in which is no blemish, and on which never came yoke. 3  You shall give her to Eleazar the priest, and he shall bring her forth outside of the camp, and one shall kill her before his face: 4  and Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle her blood toward the front of the Tent of Meeting seven times. 5  One shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 6  and the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7  Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8  He who burns her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the evening. 9  “A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up outside of the camp in a clean place; and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water for impurity: it is a sin offering. 10  He who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be to the children of Israel, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among them, for a statute forever.

11  “He who touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days: 12  the same shall purify himself with water on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he doesn’t purify himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 13  Whoever touches a dead person, the body of a man who has died, and doesn’t purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet on him. 14  “This is the law when a man dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent, and everyone who is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. 15  Every open vessel, which has no covering bound on it, is unclean. 16  “Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain with a sword, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17  “For the unclean they shall take of the ashes of the burning of the sin offering; and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: 18  and a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, and on all the vessels, and on the persons who were there, and on him who touched the bone, or the slain, or the dead, or the grave: 19  and the clean person shall sprinkle on the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify him; and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 20  But the man who shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of Yahweh: the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean. 21  It shall be a perpetual statute to them: and he who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until even. 22  “Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the soul that touches it shall be unclean until evening.”

Water from the Rock

20 1  The children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2  There was no water for the congregation: and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3  The people strove with Moses, and spoke, saying, “We wish that we had died when our brothers died before Yahweh! 4  Why have you brought the assembly of Yahweh into this wilderness, that we should die there, we and our animals? 5  Why have you made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in to this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.” 6  Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and fell on their faces: and the glory of Yahweh appeared to them. 7  Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 8  “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink.” 9  Moses took the rod from before Yahweh, as he commanded him. 10  Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring you water out of this rock for you?” 11  Moses lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice: and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12  Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn’t believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 13  These are the waters of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with Yahweh, and he was sanctified in them.

Edom Refuses Passage to Israel

14  Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:

“Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the travail that has happened to us: 15  how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians dealt ill with us, and our fathers: 16  and when we cried to Yahweh, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and brought us forth out of Egypt: and behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of your border. 17  “Please let us pass through your land: we will not pass through field or through vineyard, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go along the king’s highway; we will not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed your border.” 18  Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through me, lest I come out with the sword against you.” 19  The children of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway; and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then will I give its price: let me only, without doing anything else, pass through on my feet.” 20  He said, “You shall not pass through.” Edom came out against him with many people, and with a strong hand. 21  Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border, so Israel turned away from him.

Aaron Dies on Mount Hor

22  They traveled from Kadesh: and the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. 23  Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24  “Aaron shall be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah. 25  Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26  and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and shall die there.” 27  Moses did as Yahweh commanded: and they went up into Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28  Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29  When all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

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