Tag Archives: Messianic Judaism/Hebrew Roots
Towns for the Levites
1 While Israel was camped beside the Jordan on the plains of Moab across from Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites from their property certain towns to live in, along with the surrounding pasturelands. 3 These towns will be for the Levites to live in, and the surrounding lands will provide pasture for their cattle, flocks, and other livestock. 4 The pastureland assigned to the Levites around these towns will extend 1,500 feet[a] from the town walls in every direction. 5 Measure off 3,000 feet[b] outside the town walls in every direction—east, south, west, north—with the town at the center. This area will serve as the larger pastureland for the towns.
6 “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety. In addition, give them forty-two other towns.7 In all, forty-eight towns with the surrounding pastureland will be given to the Levites.8 These towns will come from the property of the people of Israel. The larger tribes will give more towns to the Levites, while the smaller tribes will give fewer. Each tribe will give property in proportion to the size of its land.”
Cities of Refuge
9 The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.
“When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 designate cities of refuge to which people can flee if they have killed someone accidentally. 12 These cities will be places of protection from a dead person’s relatives who want to avenge the death. The slayer must not be put to death before being tried by the community. 13 Designate six cities of refuge for yourselves, 14 three on the east side of the Jordan River and three on the west in the land of Canaan. 15 These cities are for the protection of Israelites, foreigners living among you, and traveling merchants. Anyone who accidentally kills someone may flee there for safety.
16 “But if someone strikes and kills another person with a piece of iron, it is murder, and the murderer must be executed. 17 Or if someone with a stone in his hand strikes and kills another person, it is murder, and the murderer must be put to death. 18 Or if someone strikes and kills another person with a wooden object, it is murder, and the murderer must be put to death. 19 The victim’s nearest relative is responsible for putting the murderer to death. When they meet, the avenger must put the murderer to death. 20 So if someone hates another person and waits in ambush, then pushes him or throws something at him and he dies, it is murder. 21 Or if someone hates another person and hits him with a fist and he dies, it is murder. In such cases, the avenger must put the murderer to death when they meet.
22 “But suppose someone pushes another person without having shown previous hostility, or throws something that unintentionally hits another person, 23 or accidentally drops a huge stone on someone, though they were not enemies, and the person dies. 24 If this should happen, the community must follow these regulations in making a judgment between the slayer and the avenger, the victim’s nearest relative: 25 The community must protect the slayer from the avenger and must escort the slayer back to live in the city of refuge to which he fled. There he must remain until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the sacred oil.
26 “But if the slayer ever leaves the limits of the city of refuge, 27 and the avenger finds him outside the city and kills him, it will not be considered murder. 28 The slayer should have stayed inside the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest, the slayer may return to his own property. 29 These are legal requirements for you to observe from generation to generation, wherever you may live.
30 “All murderers must be put to death, but only if evidence is presented by more than one witness. No one may be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 31 Also, you must never accept a ransom payment for the life of someone judged guilty of murder and subject to execution; murderers must always be put to death. 32 And never accept a ransom payment from someone who has fled to a city of refuge, allowing a slayer to return to his property before the death of the high priest. 33 This will ensure that the land where you live will not be polluted, for murder pollutes the land. And no sacrifice except the execution of the murderer can purify the land from murder.[c] 34 You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself. I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.”
Laws concerning Vows
1 [a]Then Moses summoned the leaders of the tribes of Israel and told them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: 2 A man who makes a vow to the Lord or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do.
3 “If a young woman makes a vow to the Lord or a pledge under oath while she is still living at her father’s home, 4 and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. 5 But if her father refuses to let her fulfill the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. The Lordwill forgive her because her father would not let her fulfill them.
6 “Now suppose a young woman makes a vow or binds herself with an impulsive pledge and later marries. 7 If her husband learns of her vow or pledge and does not object on the day he hears of it, her vows and pledges will stand. 8 But if her husband refuses to accept her vow or impulsive pledge on the day he hears of it, he nullifies her commitments, and the Lord will forgive her. 9 If, however, a woman is a widow or is divorced, she must fulfill all her vows and pledges.
10 “But suppose a woman is married and living in her husband’s home when she makes a vow or binds herself with a pledge. 11 If her husband hears of it and does not object to it, her vow or pledge will stand. 12 But if her husband refuses to accept it on the day he hears of it, her vow or pledge will be nullified, and the Lord will forgive her. 13 So her husband may either confirm or nullify any vows or pledges she makes to deny herself. 14 But if he does not object on the day he hears of it, then he is agreeing to all her vows and pledges. 15 If he waits more than a day and then tries to nullify a vow or pledge, he will be punished for her guilt.”
16 These are the regulations the Lord gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and a young daughter who still lives at home.
- 30:1 Verses 30:1-16 are numbered 30:2-17 in Hebrew text.
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The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
1 [a]Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to bring you twelve wooden staffs, one from each leader of Israel’s ancestral tribes, and inscribe each leader’s name on his staff. 3 Inscribe Aaron’s name on the staff of the tribe of Levi, for there must be one staff for the leader of each ancestral tribe. 4 Place these staffs in the Tabernacle in front of the Ark containing the tablets of the Covenant,[b] where I meet with you. 5 Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you.”
6 So Moses gave the instructions to the people of Israel, and each of the twelve tribal leaders, including Aaron, brought Moses a staff. 7 Moses placed the staffs in the Lord’s presence in the Tabernacle of the Covenant.[c] 8 When he went into the Tabernacle of the Covenant the next day, he found that Aaron’s staff, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds!
9 When Moses brought all the staffs out from the Lord’s presence, he showed them to the people. Each man claimed his own staff. 10 And the Lord said to Moses: “Place Aaron’s staff permanently before the Ark of the Covenant[d] to serve as a warning to rebels. This should put an end to their complaints against me and prevent any further deaths.” 11 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him.
12 Then the people of Israel said to Moses, “Look, we are doomed! We are dead! We are ruined! 13 Everyone who even comes close to the Tabernacle of the Lord dies. Are we all doomed to die?”
- 17:1 Verses 17:1-13 are numbered 17:16-28 in Hebrew text.
- 17:4 Hebrew in the Tent of Meeting before the Testimony. The Hebrew word for “testimony” refers to the terms of the Lord’s covenant with Israel as written on stone tablets, which were kept in the Ark, and also to the covenant itself.
- 17:7 Or Tabernacle of the Testimony; also in 17:8.
- 17:10 Hebrew before the Testimony; see note on 17:4.
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!”
Ordination of the Priests
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Bring Aaron and his sons, along with their sacred garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams, and the basket of bread made without yeast, 3 and call the entire community of Israel together at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a]”
4 So Moses followed the Lord’s instructions, and the whole community assembled at the Tabernacle entrance. 5 Moses announced to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 Then he presented Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. 7 He put the official tunic on Aaron and tied the sash around his waist. He dressed him in the robe, placed the ephod on him, and attached the ephod securely with its decorative sash. 8 Then Moses placed the chestpiece on Aaron and put the Urim and the Thummim inside it. 9 He placed the turban on Aaron’s head and attached the gold medallion—the badge of holiness—to the front of the turban, just as the Lord had commanded him.
10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the Tabernacle and everything in it, making them holy. 11 He sprinkled the oil on the altar seven times, anointing it and all its utensils, as well as the washbasin and its stand, making them holy. 12 Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, anointing him and making him holy for his work. 13 Next Moses presented Aaron’s sons. He clothed them in their tunics, tied their sashes around them, and put their special head coverings on them, just as the Lord had commanded him.
14 Then Moses presented the bull for the sin offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the bull’s head, 15 and Moses slaughtered it. Moses took some of the blood, and with his finger he put it on the four horns of the altar to purify it. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. Through this process, he made the altar holy by purifying it.[b] 16 Then Moses took all the fat around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat around them, and he burned it all on the altar. 17 He took the rest of the bull, including its hide, meat, and dung, and burned it on a fire outside the camp, just as the Lord had commanded him.
18 Then Moses presented the ram for the burnt offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the ram’s head, 19 and Moses slaughtered it. Then Moses took the ram’s blood and splattered it against all sides of the altar. 20 Then he cut the ram into pieces, and he burned the head, some of its pieces, and the fat on the altar. 21 After washing the internal organs and the legs with water, Moses burned the entire ram on the altar as a burnt offering. It was a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.
22 Then Moses presented the other ram, which was the ram of ordination. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the ram’s head, 23 and Moses slaughtered it. Then Moses took some of its blood and applied it to the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, the thumb of his right hand, and the big toe of his right foot. 24 Next Moses presented Aaron’s sons and applied some of the blood to the lobes of their right ears, the thumbs of their right hands, and the big toes of their right feet. He then splattered the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.
25 Next Moses took the fat, including the fat of the broad tail, the fat around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat around them, along with the right thigh. 26 On top of these he placed a thin cake of bread made without yeast, a cake of bread mixed with olive oil, and a wafer spread with olive oil. All these were taken from the basket of bread made without yeast that was placed in the Lord’s presence. 27 He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and he lifted these gifts as a special offering to the Lord. 28 Moses then took all the offerings back from them and burned them on the altar on top of the burnt offering. This was the ordination offering. It was a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord. 29 Then Moses took the breast and lifted it up as a special offering to the Lord. This was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, just as the Lord had commanded him.
30 Next Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar, and he sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. In this way, he made Aaron and his sons and their garments holy.
31 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the remaining meat of the offerings at the Tabernacle entrance, and eat it there, along with the bread that is in the basket of offerings for the ordination, just as I commanded when I said, ‘Aaron and his sons will eat it.’ 32 Any meat or bread that is left over must then be burned up. 33 You must not leave the Tabernacle entrance for seven days, for that is when the ordination ceremony will be completed.34 Everything we have done today was commanded by the Lord in order to purify you, making you right with him.[c] 35 Now stay at the entrance of the Tabernacle day and night for seven days, and do everything the Lord requires. If you fail to do this, you will die, for this is what the Lord has commanded.” 36 So Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord had commanded through Moses.
Procedures for the Sin Offering
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. This is how you are to deal with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything that violates one of the Lord’s commands.
3 “If the high priest[a] sins, bringing guilt upon the entire community, he must give a sin offering for the sin he has committed. He must present to the Lord a young bull with no defects. 4 He must bring the bull to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle,[b] lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it before the Lord. 5 The high priest will then take some of the bull’s blood into the Tabernacle, 6 dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord in front of the inner curtain of the sanctuary. 7 The priest will then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar for fragrant incense that stands in the Lord’s presence inside the Tabernacle. He will pour out the rest of the bull’s blood at the base of the altar for burnt offerings at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 8 Then the priest must remove all the fat of the bull to be offered as a sin offering. This includes all the fat around the internal organs,9 the two kidneys and the fat around them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver. He must remove these along with the kidneys, 10 just as he does with cattle offered as a peace offering, and burn them on the altar of burnt offerings. 11 But he must take whatever is left of the bull—its hide, meat, head, legs, internal organs, and dung— 12 and carry it away to a place outside the camp that is ceremonially clean, the place where the ashes are dumped. There, on the ash heap, he will burn it on a wood fire.
13 “If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty. 14 When they become aware of their sin, the people must bring a young bull as an offering for their sin and present it before the Tabernacle.15 The elders of the community must then lay their hands on the bull’s head and slaughter it before the Lord. 16 The high priest will then take some of the bull’s blood into the Tabernacle,17 dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord in front of the inner curtain. 18 He will then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar for fragrant incense that stands in the Lord’s presence inside the Tabernacle. He will pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar for burnt offerings at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 19 Then the priest must remove all the animal’s fat and burn it on the altar, 20 just as he does with the bull offered as a sin offering for the high priest. Through this process, the priest will purify the people, making them right with the Lord,[c] and they will be forgiven. 21 Then the priest must take what is left of the bull and carry it outside the camp and burn it there, just as is done with the sin offering for the high priest. This offering is for the sin of the entire congregation of Israel.
22 “If one of Israel’s leaders sins by violating one of the commands of the Lord his God but doesn’t realize it, he is still guilty. 23 When he becomes aware of his sin, he must bring as his offering a male goat with no defects. 24 He must lay his hand on the goat’s head and slaughter it at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered before the Lord. This is an offering for his sin. 25 Then the priest will dip his finger in the blood of the sin offering and put it on the horns of the altar for burnt offerings. He will pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 26 Then he must burn all the goat’s fat on the altar, just as he does with the peace offering. Through this process, the priest will purify the leader from his sin, making him right with the Lord, and he will be forgiven.
27 “If any of the common people sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but they don’t realize it, they are still guilty. 28 When they become aware of their sin, they must bring as an offering for their sin a female goat with no defects. 29 They must lay a hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered. 30 Then the priest will dip his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar for burnt offerings. He will pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 31 Then he must remove all the goat’s fat, just as he does with the fat of the peace offering. He will burn the fat on the altar, and it will be a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Through this process, the priest will purify the people, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.
32 “If the people bring a sheep as their sin offering, it must be a female with no defects.33 They must lay a hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered. 34 Then the priest will dip his finger in the blood of the sin offering and put it on the horns of the altar for burnt offerings. He will pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 35 Then he must remove all the sheep’s fat, just as he does with the fat of a sheep presented as a peace offering. He will burn the fat on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. Through this process, the priest will purify the people from their sin, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.
The Tabernacle Completed
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Set up the Tabernacle[a] on the first day of the new year.[b] 3 Place the Ark of the Covenant[c] inside, and install the inner curtain to enclose the Ark within the Most Holy Place. 4 Then bring in the table, and arrange the utensils on it. And bring in the lampstand, and set up the lamps.
5 “Place the gold incense altar in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Then hang the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 6 Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the Tabernacle entrance. 7 Set the washbasin between the Tabernacle[d] and the altar, and fill it with water.8 Then set up the courtyard around the outside of the tent, and hang the curtain for the courtyard entrance.
9 “Take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its furnishings to consecrate them and make them holy. 10 Anoint the altar of burnt offering and its utensils to consecrate them. Then the altar will become absolutely holy. 11 Next anoint the washbasin and its stand to consecrate them.
12 “Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water.13 Dress Aaron with the sacred garments and anoint him, consecrating him to serve me as a priest. 14 Then present his sons and dress them in their tunics. 15 Anoint them as you did their father, so they may also serve me as priests. With their anointing, Aaron’s descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation.”
16 Moses proceeded to do everything just as the Lord had commanded him. 17 So the Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year. 18 Moses erected the Tabernacle by setting down its bases, inserting the frames, attaching the crossbars, and setting up the posts. 19 Then he spread the coverings over the Tabernacle framework and put on the protective layers, just as the Lord had commanded him.
20 He took the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant and placed them[e]inside the Ark. Then he attached the carrying poles to the Ark, and he set the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of it. 21 Then he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle and hung the inner curtain to shield it from view, just as the Lord had commanded him.
22 Next Moses placed the table in the Tabernacle, along the north side of the Holy Place, just outside the inner curtain. 23 And he arranged the Bread of the Presence on the table before the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded him.
24 He set the lampstand in the Tabernacle across from the table on the south side of the Holy Place. 25 Then he lit the lamps in the Lord’s presence, just as the Lord had commanded him.26 He also placed the gold incense altar in the Tabernacle, in the Holy Place in front of the inner curtain. 27 On it he burned the fragrant incense, just as the Lord had commanded him.
28 He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle, 29 and he placed the altar of burnt offering near the Tabernacle entrance. On it he offered a burnt offering and a grain offering, just as the Lord had commanded him.
30 Next Moses placed the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could wash themselves. 31 Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. 32 Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
33 Then he hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.
The Lord’s Glory Fills the Tabernacle
34 Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.35 Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.
36 Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. 37 But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. 38 The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.
- 40:2a Hebrew the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting; also in 40:6, 29.
- 40:2b Hebrew the first day of the first month. This day of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.
- 40:3 Or Ark of the Testimony; also in 40:5, 21.
- 40:7 Hebrew Tent of Meeting; also in 40:12, 22, 24, 26, 30, 32, 34, 35.
- 40:20 Hebrew He placed the Testimony; see note on 25:16.