Tag Archives: Blessings vs. Curses
The Complaints of Miriam and Aaron
12 While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. 2 They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them. 3 (Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.)
4 So immediately the Lord called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle,[a] all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle. 5 Then the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[b] “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say:
“If there were prophets among you,
I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions.
I would speak to them in dreams.
7 But not with my servant Moses.
Of all my house, he is the one I trust.
8 I speak to him face to face,
clearly, and not in riddles!
He sees the Lord as he is.
So why were you not afraid
to criticize my servant Moses?”
9 The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.[c] When Aaron saw what had happened to her, 11 he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.”
13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!”
14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.”
15 So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again. 16 Then they left Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran.
12:4 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting.
12:5 Hebrew the tent; also in 12:10.
12:10 Or with a skin disease. The Hebrew word used here can describe various skin diseases.
The Silver Trumpets
1 Now the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Make two trumpets of hammered silver for calling the community to assemble and for signaling the breaking of camp. 3 When both trumpets are blown, everyone must gather before you at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a] 4 But if only one trumpet is blown, then only the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—must present themselves to you.
5 “When you sound the signal to move on, the tribes camped on the east side of the Tabernacle must break camp and move forward. 6 When you sound the signal a second time, the tribes camped on the south will follow. You must sound short blasts as the signal for moving on. 7 But when you call the people to an assembly, blow the trumpets with a different signal. 8 Only the priests, Aaron’s descendants, are allowed to blow the trumpets. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation.
9 “When you arrive in your own land and go to war against your enemies who attack you, sound the alarm with the trumpets. Then the Lord your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies. 10 Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind your God of his covenant with you. I am the Lord your God.”
The Israelites Leave Sinai
11 In the second year after Israel’s departure from Egypt—on the twentieth day of the second month[b]—the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle of the Covenant.[c] 12 So the Israelites set out from the wilderness of Sinai and traveled on from place to place until the cloud stopped in the wilderness of Paran.
13 When the people set out for the first time, following the instructions the Lord had given through Moses, 14 Judah’s troops led the way. They marched behind their banner, and their leader was Nahshon son of Amminadab. 15 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Issachar, led by Nethanel son of Zuar, 16 and the troops of the tribe of Zebulun, led by Eliab son of Helon.
17 Then the Tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonite and Merarite divisions of the Levites were next in the line of march, carrying the Tabernacle with them. 18 Reuben’s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elizur son of Shedeur. 19 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Simeon, led by Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, 20 and the troops of the tribe of Gad, led by Eliasaph son of Deuel.
21 Next came the Kohathite division of the Levites, carrying the sacred objects from the Tabernacle. Before they arrived at the next camp, the Tabernacle would already be set up at its new location. 22 Ephraim’s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elishama son of Ammihud. 23 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Manasseh, led by Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, 24 and the troops of the tribe of Benjamin, led by Abidan son of Gideoni.
25 Dan’s troops went last, marching behind their banner and serving as the rear guard for all the tribal camps. Their leader was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Asher, led by Pagiel son of Ocran, 27 and the troops of the tribe of Naphtali, led by Ahira son of Enan.
28 This was the order in which the Israelites marched, division by division.
29 One day Moses said to his brother-in-law, Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, “We are on our way to the place the Lord promised us, for he said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised wonderful blessings for Israel!”
30 But Hobab replied, “No, I will not go. I must return to my own land and family.”
31 “Please don’t leave us,” Moses pleaded. “You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide. 32 If you do, we’ll share with you all the blessings the Lordgives us.”
33 They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the Lord, with the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest. 34 As they moved on each day, the cloud of the Lord hovered over them. 35 And whenever the Ark set out, Moses would shout, “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!” 36 And when the Ark was set down, he would say, “Return, O Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel!”
Organization for Israel’s Camp
1 Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron: 2 “When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle,[a] but at some distance from it.
3-4 “The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:
|Judah||Nahshon son of Amminadab||74,600|
|5-6 Issachar||Nethanel son of Zuar||54,400|
|7-8 Zebulun||Eliab son of Helon||57,400|
9 So the total of all the troops on Judah’s side of the camp is 186,400. These three tribes are to lead the way whenever the Israelites travel to a new campsite.
10-11 “The divisions of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are to camp on the south side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:
|Reuben||Elizur son of Shedeur||46,500|
|12-13 Simeon||Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai||59,300|
|14-15 Gad||Eliasaph son of Deuel[b]||45,650|
16 So the total of all the troops on Reuben’s side of the camp is 151,450. These three tribes will be second in line whenever the Israelites travel.
17 “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner.
18-19 “The divisions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are to camp on the west side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:
|Ephraim||Elishama son of Ammihud||40,500|
|20-21 Manasseh||Gamaliel son of Pedahzur||32,200|
|22-23 Benjamin||Abidan son of Gideoni||35,400|
24 So the total of all the troops on Ephraim’s side of the camp is 108,100. These three tribes will be third in line whenever the Israelites travel.
25-26 “The divisions of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:
|Dan||Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai||62,700|
|27-28 Asher||Pagiel son of Ocran||41,500|
|29-30 Naphtali||Ahira son of Enan||53,400|
31 So the total of all the troops on Dan’s side of the camp is 157,600. These three tribes will be last, marching under their banners whenever the Israelites travel.”
32 In summary, the troops of Israel listed by their families totaled 603,550. 33 But as the Lordhad commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration. 34 So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.
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The Torah Portion for this week
Torah Portion #18 Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)
Forbidden Sexual Practices
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God. 3 So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. 4 You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God.5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.
6 “You must never have sexual relations with a close relative, for I am the Lord.
7 “Do not violate your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her.
8 “Do not have sexual relations with any of your father’s wives, for this would violate your father.
9 “Do not have sexual relations with your sister or half sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born into your household or someone else’s.
10 “Do not have sexual relations with your granddaughter, whether she is your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, for this would violate yourself.
11 “Do not have sexual relations with your stepsister, the daughter of any of your father’s wives, for she is your sister.
12 “Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister, for she is your father’s close relative.
13 “Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s close relative.
14 “Do not violate your uncle, your father’s brother, by having sexual relations with his wife, for she is your aunt.
15 “Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, so you must not have sexual relations with her.
16 “Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, for this would violate your brother.
17 “Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. And do not take[a] her granddaughter, whether her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, and have sexual relations with her. They are close relatives, and this would be a wicked act.
18 “While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals.
19 “Do not have sexual relations with a woman during her period of menstrual impurity.
20 “Do not defile yourself by having sexual intercourse with your neighbor’s wife.
21 “Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the Lord.
22 “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.
23 “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.
24 “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people I am driving out before you have defiled themselves in all these ways. 25 Because the entire land has become defiled, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out. 26 You must obey all my decrees and regulations. You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
27 “All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. 28 So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now. 29 Whoever commits any of these detestable sins will be cut off from the community of Israel. 30 So obey my instructions, and do not defile yourselves by committing any of these detestable practices that were committed by the people who lived in the land before you. I am the Lord your God.”
- 18:17 Or do not marry.
The Sin of Nadab and Abihu
1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the Lord by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. 2 So fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the Lord.
3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when he said,
‘I will display my holiness
through those who come near me.
I will display my glory
before all the people.’”
And Aaron was silent.
4 Then Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan, Aaron’s cousins, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. He said to them, “Come forward and carry away the bodies of your relatives from in front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” 5 So they came forward and picked them up by their garments and carried them out of the camp, just as Moses had commanded.
6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed[a] or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the Lord’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the Lord’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu. 7 But you must not leave the entrance of the Tabernacle[b] or you will die, for you have been anointed with the Lord’s anointing oil.” So they did as Moses commanded.
Instructions for Priestly Conduct
8 Then the Lord said to Aaron, 9 “You and your descendants must never drink wine or any other alcoholic drink before going into the Tabernacle. If you do, you will die. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. 10 You must distinguish between what is sacred and what is common, between what is ceremonially unclean and what is clean. 11 And you must teach the Israelites all the decrees that the Lordhas given them through Moses.”
12 Then Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take what is left of the grain offering after a portion has been presented as a special gift to the Lord, and eat it beside the altar. Make sure it contains no yeast, for it is most holy. 13 You must eat it in a sacred place, for it has been given to you and your descendants as your portion of the special gifts presented to the Lord. These are the commands I have been given. 14 But the breast and thigh that were lifted up as a special offering may be eaten in any place that is ceremonially clean. These parts have been given to you and your descendants as your portion of the peace offerings presented by the people of Israel. 15 You must lift up the thigh and breast as a special offering to the Lord, along with the fat of the special gifts. These parts will belong to you and your descendants as your permanent right, just as the Lord has commanded.”
16 Moses then asked them what had happened to the goat of the sin offering. When he discovered it had been burned up, he became very angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons. 17 “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sacred area?” he demanded. “It is a holy offering! The Lord has given it to you to remove the guilt of the community and to purify the people, making them right with the Lord.[c] 18 Since the animal’s blood was not brought into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the meat in the sacred area as I ordered you.”
19 Then Aaron answered Moses, “Today my sons presented both their sin offering and their burnt offering to the Lord. And yet this tragedy has happened to me. If I had eaten the people’s sin offering on such a tragic day as this, would the Lord have been pleased?” 20 And when Moses heard this, he was satisfied.
Sins Requiring a Sin Offering
1 “If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.
2 “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that is ceremonially unclean, such as the carcass of an unclean animal. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your defilement and your guilt. This is true whether it is a wild animal, a domestic animal, or an animal that scurries along the ground.
3 “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that makes a person unclean. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your guilt.
4 “Or suppose you make a foolish vow of any kind, whether its purpose is for good or for bad. When you realize its foolishness, you must admit your guilt.
5 “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin.6 Then you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord.[a]
7 “But if you cannot afford to bring a sheep, you may bring to the Lord two turtledoves or two young pigeons as the penalty for your sin. One of the birds will be for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. 8 You must bring them to the priest, who will present the first bird as the sin offering. He will wring its neck but without severing its head from the body. 9 Then he will sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the sides of the altar, and the rest of the blood will be drained out at the base of the altar. This is an offering for sin. 10 The priest will then prepare the second bird as a burnt offering, following all the procedures that have been prescribed. Through this process the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
11 “If you cannot afford to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, you may bring two quarts[b] of choice flour for your sin offering. Since it is an offering for sin, you must not moisten it with olive oil or put any frankincense on it. 12 Take the flour to the priest, who will scoop out a handful as a representative portion. He will burn it on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. It is an offering for sin. 13 Through this process, the priest will purify those who are guilty of any of these sins, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the flour will belong to the priest, just as with the grain offering.”
Procedures for the Guilt Offering
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, 15 “If one of you commits a sin by unintentionally defiling the Lord’s sacred property, you must bring a guilt offering to the Lord. The offering must be your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value with silver, as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel.[c] 16 You must make restitution for the sacred property you have harmed by paying for the loss, plus an additional 20 percent. When you give the payment to the priest, he will purify you with the ram sacrificed as a guilt offering, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.
17 “Suppose you sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sin. 18 For a guilt offering, you must bring to the priest your own ram with no defects, or you may buy one of equal value. Through this process the priest will purify you from your unintentional sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven. 19 This is a guilt offering, for you have been guilty of an offense against the Lord.”
Procedures for the Grain Offering
1 “When you present grain as an offering to the Lord, the offering must consist of choice flour. You are to pour olive oil on it, sprinkle it with frankincense, 2 and bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. The priest will scoop out a handful of the flour moistened with oil, together with all the frankincense, and burn this representative portion on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering will then be given to Aaron and his sons. This offering will be considered a most holy part of the special gifts presented to the Lord.
4 “If your offering is a grain offering baked in an oven, it must be made of choice flour, but without any yeast. It may be presented in the form of thin cakes mixed with olive oil or wafers spread with olive oil. 5 If your grain offering is cooked on a griddle, it must be made of choice flour mixed with olive oil but without any yeast. 6 Break it in pieces and pour olive oil on it; it is a grain offering. 7 If your grain offering is prepared in a pan, it must be made of choice flour and olive oil.
8 “No matter how a grain offering for the Lord has been prepared, bring it to the priest, who will present it at the altar. 9 The priest will take a representative portion of the grain offering and burn it on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 10 The rest of the grain offering will then be given to Aaron and his sons as their food. This offering will be considered a most holy part of the special gifts presented to the Lord.
11 “Do not use yeast in preparing any of the grain offerings you present to the Lord, because no yeast or honey may be burned as a special gift presented to the Lord. 12 You may add yeast and honey to an offering of the first crops of your harvest, but these must never be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 13 Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.
14 “If you present a grain offering to the Lord from the first portion of your harvest, bring fresh grain that is coarsely ground and roasted on a fire. 15 Put olive oil on this grain offering, and sprinkle it with frankincense. 16 The priest will take a representative portion of the grain moistened with oil, together with all the frankincense, and burn it as a special gift presented to the Lord.
Host Paul Nison and 9 other guest fellowship and discuss Torah related topics.
If you would like to be on the panel email me at the website http://www.TorahLifeMinistries.org contact tab.
The Torah Portion for this week
Torah Portion #15 Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)