Exodus 30; Exodus 31; Exodus 32

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Exodus 30

1 Make an acacia-wood altar for burning incense.
2 The altar should be square, eighteen inches long and eighteen inches wide. It should be three feet high. Its horns should be permanently attached.
3 Cover the altar with pure gold, including its top, all its sides, and its horns. You should also make a gold molding all around it.
4 Make two gold rings and attach them under the molding on two opposite sides of the altar. They will house the poles used to carry the altar.
5 Make acacia-wood poles and cover them with gold.
6 Place the incense altar in front of the veil that hangs before the chest containing the covenant, in front of the cover that is on top of the covenant document where I will meet with you.
7 Aaron will burn sweet-smelling incense on the incense altar every morning when he takes care of the lamps.
8 And again when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he will burn incense. It should be a regular incense offering in the LORD's presence in every generation.
9 Don't offer the wrong incense on the altar or an entirely burned offering or a grain offering. Don't pour a drink offering on it.
10 Once a year Aaron should perform a ritual of reconciliation on its horns with the blood of the purification offering for reconciliation. Once a year in every generation he should perform a ritual of reconciliation at the altar. It is most holy to the LORD.
11 The LORD spoke to Moses:
12 When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each of them should pay compensation for their life to the LORD when they are counted. Then no plague will descend on them when they are counted.
13 Every one who is counted should pay a half shekel according to the official shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs). The half shekel is a gift offering to the LORD.
14 Every one who is counted, from 20 years old and above, should present a gift offering to the LORD.
15 When you bring this gift offering to the LORD to pay compensation for your lives, the rich shouldn't give more and the poor shouldn't give less than the half shekel.
16 Take the compensation money from the Israelites and use it to support the service of the meeting tent. It will serve for the Israelites as a reminder in the LORD's presence of the compensation paid for your lives.
17 The LORD spoke to Moses:
18 Make a copper basin for washing along with its copper stand. Put it between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it.
19 Aaron and his sons will use it to wash their hands and their feet.
20 When they go into the meeting tent or approach the altar to minister and to offer a food gift to the LORD, they must wash with water so that they don't die.
21 They must wash their hands and their feet so that they don't die. This will be a permanent regulation for them, for Aaron and his descendants in every generation.
22 The LORD spoke to Moses:
23 Now take for yourself high-quality spices: five hundred weight of solid myrrh; half as much of sweet-smelling cinnamon, that is, two hundred fifty; two hundred fifty weight of sweet-smelling cane;
24 five hundred of cassia—measured by the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil.
25 Prepare a holy anointing oil, blending them like a skilled perfume maker to produce the holy anointing oil.
26 Use it to anoint the meeting tent, the chest containing the covenant,
27 the table and all its equipment, the lampstand and its equipment, the incense altar,
28 the altar for entirely burned offerings and all its equipment, and the washbasin with its stand.
29 Make them holy so that they may be perfectly holy. Whatever touches them will become holy.
30 Then anoint Aaron and his sons and make them holy to serve me as priests.
31 Say to the Israelites: This will be my holy anointing oil in every generation.
32 Don't allow anyone else to use this oil. Don't make another oil like it by using the same formula. This oil is holy, and you should regard it as holy.
33 Whoever blends an oil like it or whoever uses the oil on someone else will be cut off from the people.
34 The LORD said to Moses: Take an equal amount of each of these spices: gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense.
35 Like a skilled perfume maker, carefully blend them together and make incense, seasoned with salt, pure and holy.
36 Beat some of it into a fine powder and put part of it in front of the covenant document in the meeting tent where I will meet with you. You should regard it as perfectly holy.
37 When you make incense according to this formula, you shouldn't make any of it for your own use. You should regard it as holy to the LORD.
38 Whoever makes incense with this same formula to enjoy its fragrance will be cut off from the people.
Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible

Exodus 31

1 The LORD spoke to Moses:
2 Look, I have chosen Bezalel, Uri's son and Hur's grandson from the tribe of Judah.
3 I have filled him with the divine spirit, with skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work.
4 He will be able to create designs; do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper;
5 cut stones for setting; carve wood; and do every kind of work.
6 I have also appointed with him Oholiab, Ahisamach's son from the tribe of Dan. To all who are skillful, I have given the skill to make everything that I have commanded you:
7 the meeting tent, the chest containing the covenant, the cover that is on top of it, all the tent's furnishings,
8 the table and its equipment, the pure lampstand with all its equipment, the incense altar,
9 the altar for entirely burned offerings with all its equipment, the washbasin with its stand,
10 the woven clothing, the holy clothes for Aaron the priest and for his sons for their service as priests,
11 the anointing oil, and the sweet-smelling incense for the sanctuary. They will do just as I have commanded you.
12 The LORD said to Moses:
13 Tell the Israelites: "Be sure to keep my sabbaths, because the Sabbath is a sign between me and you in every generation so you will know that I am the LORD who makes you holy.
14 Keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who violates the Sabbath will be put to death. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath, that person will be cut off from the people.
15 Do your work for six days. But the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest that is holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day will be put to death.
16 The Israelites should keep the Sabbath. They should observe the Sabbath in every generation as a covenant for all time.
17 It is a sign forever between me and the Israelites that in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day the LORD rested and was refreshed."
18 When God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, God gave him the two covenant tablets, the stone tablets written by God's finger.
Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible

Exodus 32

1 The people saw that Moses was taking a long time to come down from the mountain. They gathered around Aaron and said to him, "Come on! Make us gods who can lead us. As for this man Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't have a clue what has happened to him."
2 Aaron said to them, "All right, take out the gold rings from the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me."
3 So all the people took out the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron.
4 He collected them and tied them up in a cloth. Then he made a metal image of a bull calf, and the people declared, "These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!"
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf. Then Aaron announced, "Tomorrow will be a festival to the LORD!"
6 They got up early the next day and offered up entirely burned offerings and brought well-being sacrifices. The people sat down to eat and drink and then got up to celebrate.
7 The LORD spoke to Moses: "Hurry up and go down! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, are ruining everything!
8 They've already abandoned the path that I commanded. They have made a metal bull calf for themselves. They've bowed down to it and offered sacrifices to it and declared, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'"
9 The LORD said to Moses, "I've been watching these people, and I've seen how stubborn they are.
10 Now leave me alone! Let my fury burn and devour them. Then I'll make a great nation out of you."
11 But Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, "LORD, why does your fury burn against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and amazing force?
12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He had an evil plan to take the people out and kill them in the mountains and so wipe them off the earth'? Calm down your fierce anger. Change your mind about doing terrible things to your own people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, whom you yourself promised, ‘I'll make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky. And I've promised to give your descendants this whole land to possess for all time.'"
14 Then the LORD changed his mind about the terrible things he said he would do to his people.
15 Moses then turned around and came down the mountain. He carried the two covenant tablets in his hands. The tablets were written on both sides, front and back.
16 The tablets were God's own work. What was written there was God's own writing inscribed on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "It sounds like war in the camp."
18 But Moses said, "It isn't the sound of a victory song. It isn't the sound of a song of defeat. The sound of party songs is what I hear."
19 When he got near the camp and saw the bull calf and the dancing, Moses was furious. He hurled the tablets down and shattered them in pieces at the foot of the mountain.
20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it in a fire. Then he ground it down to crushed powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.
21 Moses said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you that you led them to commit such a terrible sin?"
22 Aaron replied, "Don't get angry with me, sir. You know yourself that these people are out of control.
23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who can lead us. As for this man Moses who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't have a clue what has happened to him.'
24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off!' So they gave it to me, I threw it into the fire, and out came this bull calf!"
25 Moses saw that the people were out of control because Aaron had let them get out of control, making them an easy target for their enemies.
26 So Moses stood at the camp's gate and said, "Whoever is on the LORD's side, come to me!" All the Levites gathered around him.
27 Moses said to them, "This is what the LORD, Israel's God, says: Each of you, strap on your sword! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Each of you, kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor!"
28 The Levites did as Moses commanded. About three thousand people were killed that day.
29 Moses said, "Today you've been ordained to the LORD, each one of you at the cost of a son or a brother. Today you've gained a special blessing for yourselves."
30 The next day Moses said to the people, "You've committed a terrible sin. So now I will go up to the LORD. Maybe I can arrange reconciliation on account of your sin."
31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed! They made for themselves gods of gold.
32 But now, please forgive their sin! And if not, then wipe me out of your scroll that you've written."
33 But the LORD said to Moses, "The ones I'll wipe out of my scroll are those who sinned against me.
34 Now go and lead the people to the place I described to you. My messenger here will go in front of you. When the day of reckoning comes, I'll count their sin against them."
35 Then the LORD sent a plague on the people because of what they did with the bull calf that Aaron made.
Copyright © 2011 Common English Bible