"When you divide up the inheritance of the land, you must set aside part of the land as sacred space for God: approximately seven miles long by six miles wide, all of it holy ground.
Within this rectangle, reserve a seven-hundred-fifty-foot square for the Sanctuary with a seventy-five-foot buffer zone surrounding it.
Mark off within the sacred reserve a section seven miles long by three miles wide. The Sanctuary with its Holy of Holies will be placed there.
This is where the priests will live, those who lead worship in the Sanctuary and serve God there. Their houses will be there along with The Holy Place.
"To the north of the sacred reserve, an area roughly seven miles long and two and a quarter miles wide will be set aside as land for the villages of the Levites who administer the affairs of worship in the Sanctuary.
"To the south of the sacred reserve, measure off a section seven miles long and about a mile and a half wide for the city itself, an area held in common by the whole family of Israel.
"The prince gets the land abutting the seven-mile east and west borders of the central sacred square, extending eastward toward the Jordan and westward toward the Mediterranean.
This is the prince's possession in Israel. My princes will no longer bully my people, running roughshod over them. They'll respect the land as it has been allotted to the tribes.
"This is the Message of God, the Master: 'I've put up with you long enough, princes of Israel! Quit bullying and taking advantage of my people. Do what's just and right for a change.
Use honest scales - honest weights and honest measures.
Every pound must have sixteen ounces. Every gallon must measure four quarts. The ounce is the basic measure for both.
And your coins must be honest - no wooden nickels! Everyone in the Land Must Contribute
"'These are the prescribed offerings you are to supply: one-sixtieth part of your wheat, one-sixtieth part of your barley,
one-hundredth part of your oil,
one sheep out of every two hundred from the lush pastures of Israel. These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings for making the atonement sacrifices for the people. Decree of God, the Master.
"'Everyone in the land must contribute to these special offerings that the prince in Israel will administer.
It's the prince's job to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings at the Holy Festivals, the New Moons, and the Sabbaths - all the commanded feasts among the people of Israel. Sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings for making atonement for the people of Israel are his responsibility.
"'This is the Message from God, the Master: On the first day of the first month, take an unblemished bull calf and purify the Sanctuary.
The priest is to take blood from the sin offerings and rub it on the doorposts of the Temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gate entrance to the inside courtyard.
Repeat this ritual on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins without knowing it. In this way you make atonement for the Temple.
"'On the fourteenth day of the first month, you will observe the Passover, a feast of seven days. During the feast you will eat bread made without yeast.
"'On Passover, the prince supplies a bull as a sin offering for himself and all the people of the country.
Each day for each of the seven days of the feast, he will supply seven bulls and seven rams unblemished as a burnt offering to God, and also each day a male goat.
"'He will supply about five and a half gallons of grain offering and a gallon of oil for each bull and each ram.
"'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, and on each of the seven days of the feast, he is to supply the same materials for sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, and oil.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)