Numbers 20; Numbers 21; Numbers 22; Mark 7:1-13 (Good News Translation)

1 In the first month the whole community of Israel came to the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2 There was no water where they camped, so the people gathered around Moses and Aaron 3 and complained: "It would have been better if we had died in front of the Lord's Tent along with the other Israelites. 4 Why have you brought us out into this wilderness? Just so that we can die here with our animals? 5 Why did you bring us out of Egypt into this miserable place where nothing will grow? There's no grain, no figs, no grapes, no pomegranates. There is not even any water to drink!" 6 Moses and Aaron moved away from the people and stood at the entrance of the Tent. They bowed down with their faces to the ground, and the dazzling light of the Lord's presence appeared to them. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8 "Take the stick that is in front of the Covenant Box, and then you and Aaron assemble the whole community. There in front of them all speak to that rock over there, and water will gush out of it. In this way you will bring water out of the rock for the people, for them and their animals to drink." 9 Moses went and got the stick, as the Lord had commanded. 10 He and Aaron assembled the whole community in front of the rock, and Moses said, "Listen, you rebels! Do we have to get water out of this rock for you?" 11 Then Moses raised the stick and struck the rock twice with it, and a great stream of water gushed out, and all the people and animals drank. 12 But the Lord reprimanded Moses and Aaron. He said, "Because you did not have enough faith to acknowledge my holy power before the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land that I promised to give them." 13 This happened at Meribah, where the people of Israel complained against the Lord and where he showed them that he is holy. 14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. They said, "This message is from your kinsmen, the tribes of Israel. You know the hardships we have suffered, 15 how our ancestors went to Egypt, where we lived many years. The Egyptians mistreated our ancestors and us, 16 and we cried to the Lord for help. He heard our cry and sent an angel, who led us out of Egypt. Now we are at Kadesh, a town at the border of your territory. 17 Please permit us to pass through your land. We and our cattle will not leave the road or go into your fields or vineyards, and we will not drink from your wells. We will stay on the main road until we are out of your territory." 18 But the Edomites answered, "We refuse to let you pass through our country! If you try, we will march out and attack you." 19 The people of Israel said, "We will stay on the main road, and if we or our animals drink any of your water, we will pay for it - all we want is to pass through." 20 The Edomites repeated, "We refuse!" and they marched out with a powerful army to attack the people of Israel. 21 Because the Edomites would not let the Israelites pass through their territory, the Israelites turned and went another way. 22 The whole community of Israel left Kadesh and arrived at Mount Hor, 23 on the border of Edom. There the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24 "Aaron is not going to enter the land which I promised to give to Israel; he is going to die, because the two of you rebelled against my command at Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and his son Eleazar up Mount Hor, 26 and there remove Aaron's priestly robes and put them on Eleazar. Aaron is going to die there." 27 Moses did what the Lord had commanded. They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community, 28 and Moses removed Aaron's priestly robes and put them on Eleazar. There on the top of the mountain Aaron died, and Moses and Eleazar came back down. 29 The whole community learned that Aaron had died, and they all mourned for him for thirty days. 1 When the Canaanite king of Arad in the southern part of Canaan heard that the Israelites were coming by way of Atharim, he attacked them and captured some of them. 2 Then the Israelites made a vow to the Lord: "If you will let us conquer these people, we will unconditionally dedicate them and their cities to you and will destroy them." 3 The Lord heard them and helped them conquer the Canaanites. So the Israelites completely destroyed them and their cities, and named the place Hormah. 4 The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road that leads to the Gulf of Aqaba, in order to go around the territory of Edom. But on the way the people lost their patience 5 and spoke against God and Moses. They complained, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We can't stand any more of this miserable food!" 6 Then the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many Israelites were bitten and died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Now pray to the Lord to take these snakes away." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 Then the Lord told Moses to make a metal snake and put it on a pole, so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and be healed. 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone who had been bitten would look at the bronze snake and be healed. 10 The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth. 11 After leaving that place, they camped at the ruins of Abarim in the wilderness east of Moabite territory. 12 Then they camped in Zered Valley. 13 From there they moved again and camped on the north side of the Arnon River, in the wilderness which extends into Amorite territory. (The Arnon was the border between the Moabites and the Amorites.) 14 That is why [The Book of the Lord's Battles ]speaks of ". . . the town of Waheb in the area of Suphah, and the valleys; the Arnon River, 15 and the slope of the valleys that extend to the town of Ar and toward the border of Moab." 16 From there they went on to a place called Wells, where the Lord said to Moses, "Bring the people together, and I will give them water." 17 At that time the people of Israel sang this song: "Wells, produce your water; And we will greet it with a song - 18 The well dug by princes And by leaders of the people, Dug with a royal scepter And with their walking sticks." They moved from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19 and from there they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley in the territory of the Moabites, below the top of Mount Pisgah, looking out over the desert. 21 Then the people of Israel sent messengers to the Amorite king Sihon to say: 22 "Let us pass through your land. We and our cattle will not leave the road and go into your fields or vineyards, and we will not drink water from your wells; we will stay on the main road until we are out of your territory." 23 But Sihon would not permit the people of Israel to pass through his territory. He gathered his army and went out to Jahaz in the wilderness and attacked the Israelites. 24 But the Israelites killed many of the enemy in battle and occupied their land from the Arnon River north to the Jabbok, that is, to the Ammonites, because the Ammonite border was strongly defended. 25 So the people of Israel captured all the Amorite cities, including Heshbon and all the surrounding towns, and settled in them. 26 Heshbon was the capital city of the Amorite king Sihon, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had captured all his land as far as the Arnon River. 27 That is why the poets sing, "Come to Heshbon, to King Sihon's city! We want to see it rebuilt and restored. 28 Once from this city of Heshbon Sihon's army went forth like a fire; It destroyed the city of Ar in Moab And devoured the hills of the upper Arnon. 29 How terrible for you, people of Moab! You worshipers of Chemosh are brought to ruin! Your god let the men become refugees, And the women became captives of the Amorite king. 30 But now their descendants are destroyed, All the way from Heshbon to Dibon, From Nashim to Nophah, near Medeba." 31 So the people of Israel settled in the territory of the Amorites, 32 and Moses sent men to find the best way to attack the city of Jazer. The Israelites captured it and its surrounding towns and drove out the Amorites living there. 33 Then the Israelites turned and took the road to Bashan, and King Og of Bashan marched out with his army to attack them at Edrei. 34 The Lord said to Moses, "Do not be afraid of him. I will give you victory over him, all his people, and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who ruled at Heshbon." 35 So the Israelites killed Og, his sons, and all his people, leaving no survivors, and then they occupied his land. 1 The Israelites moved on and set up camp in the plains of Moab east of the Jordan and opposite Jericho. 2 When the king of Moab, Balak son of Zippor, heard what the Israelites had done to the Amorites and how many Israelites there were, 3 he and all his people became terrified. 4 The Moabites said to the leaders of the Midianites, "This horde will soon destroy everything around us, like a bull eating the grass in a pasture." So King Balak 5 sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor near the Euphrates River in the land of Amaw. They brought him this message from Balak: "I want you to know that a whole nation has come from Egypt; its people are spreading out everywhere and threatening to take over our land. 6 They outnumber us, so please come and put a curse on them for me. Then perhaps we will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. I know that when you pronounce a blessing, people are blessed, and when you pronounce a curse, they are placed under a curse." 7 So the Moabite and Midianite leaders took with them the payment for the curse, went to Balaam, and gave him Balak's message. 8 Balaam said to them, "Spend the night here, and tomorrow I will report to you whatever the Lord tells me." So the Moabite leaders stayed with Balaam. 9 God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these people that are staying with you?" 10 He answered, "King Balak of Moab has sent them to tell me 11 that a people who came from Egypt has spread out over the whole land. He wants me to curse them for him, so that he can fight them and drive them out." 12 God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them, and do not put a curse on the people of Israel, because they have my blessing." 13 The next morning Balaam went to Balak's messengers and said, "Go back home; the Lord has refused to let me go with you." 14 So they returned to Balak and told him that Balaam had refused to come with them. 15 Then Balak sent a larger number of leaders, who were more important than the first. 16 They went to Balaam and gave him this message from Balak: "Please don't let anything prevent you from coming to me! 17 I will reward you richly and do anything you say. Please come and curse these people for me." 18 But Balaam answered, "Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not disobey the command of the Lord my God in even the smallest matter. 19 But please spend the night, as the others did, so that I may learn whether or not the Lord has something else to tell me." 20 That night God came to Balaam and said, "If these men have come to ask you to go with them, get ready and go, but do only what I tell you." 21 So the next morning Balaam saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite leaders. 22 God was angry that Balaam was going, and as Balaam was riding along on his donkey, accompanied by his two servants, the angel of the Lord stood in the road to bar his way. 23 When the donkey saw the angel standing there holding a sword, it left the road and turned into the fields. Balaam beat the donkey and brought it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel stood where the road narrowed between two vineyards and had a stone wall on each side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel, it moved over against the wall and crushed Balaam's foot against it. Again Balaam beat the donkey. 26 Once more the angel moved ahead; he stood in a narrow place where there was no room at all to pass on either side. 27 This time, when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down. Balaam lost his temper and began to beat the donkey with his stick. 28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the power of speech, and it said to Balaam, "What have I done to you? Why have you beaten me these three times?" 29 Balaam answered, "Because you have made a fool of me! If I had a sword, I would kill you." 30 The donkey replied, "Am I not the same donkey on which you have ridden all your life? Have I ever treated you like this before?" "No," he answered. 31 Then the Lord let Balaam see the angel standing there with his sword; and Balaam threw himself face downward on the ground. 32 The angel demanded, "Why have you beaten your donkey three times like this? I have come to bar your way, because you should not be making this journey. 33 But your donkey saw me and turned aside three times. If it hadn't, I would have killed you and spared the donkey." 34 Balaam replied, "I have sinned. I did not know that you were standing in the road to oppose me; but now if you think it is wrong for me to go on, I will return home." 35 But the angel said, "Go on with these men, but say only what I tell you to say." So Balaam went on with them. 36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went to meet him at Ar, a city on the Arnon River at the border of Moab. 37 Balak said to him, "Why didn't you come when I sent for you the first time? Did you think I wasn't able to reward you enough?" 38 Balaam answered, "I came, didn't I? But now, what power do I have? I can say only what God tells me to say." 39 So Balaam went with Balak to the town of Huzoth, 40 where Balak slaughtered cattle and sheep and gave some of the meat to Balaam and the leaders who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, from where Balaam could see a part of the people of Israel. 1 Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. 2 They noticed that some of his disciples were eating their food with hands that were ritually unclean - that is, they had not washed them in the way the Pharisees said people should. 3 (For the Pharisees, as well as the rest of the Jews, follow the teaching they received from their ancestors: they do not eat unless they wash their hands in the proper way; 4 nor do they eat anything that comes from the market unless they wash it first. And they follow many other rules which they have received, such as the proper way to wash cups, pots, copper bowls, and beds. ) 5 So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Jesus, "Why is it that your disciples do not follow the teaching handed down by our ancestors, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?" 6 Jesus answered them, "How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote: "These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me. 7 It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!' 8 "You put aside God's command and obey human teachings." 9 And Jesus continued, "You have a clever way of rejecting God's law in order to uphold your own teaching. 10 For Moses commanded, "Respect your father and your mother,' and, "If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.' 11 But you teach that if people have something they could use to help their father or mother, but say, "This is Corban' (which means, it belongs to God), 12 they are excused from helping their father or mother. 13 In this way the teaching you pass on to others cancels out the word of God. And there are many other things like this that you do."
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