Numbers 20; Numbers 21; Numbers 22; Mark 7:1-13

1 The entire Israelite community entered the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and they settled in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. 2 There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, "If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord. 4 Why have you brought the Lord's assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It's not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!" 6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell down with their faces [to the ground], and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord spoke to Moses, 8 "Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock." 9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord's presence just as He had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?" 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them." 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and He showed His holiness to them. 14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, "This is what your brother Israel says, 'You know all the hardships that have overtaken us. 15 Our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt many years, but the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. 16 When we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice, sent an Angel, and brought us out of Egypt. Now look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the border of your territory. 17 Please let us travel through your land. We won't travel through [any] field or vineyard, or drink [any] well water. We will travel the King's Highway; we won't turn to the right or the left until we have traveled through your territory.' " 18 But Edom answered him, "You must not travel through our land, or we will come out and confront you with the sword." 19 "We will go on the main road," the Israelites replied to them, "and if we or our herds drink your water, we will pay its price. There will be no problem; only let us travel through on foot." 20 Yet Edom insisted, "You must not travel through." And they came out to confront them with a large force of heavily-armed people. 21 Edom refused to allow Israel to travel through their territory, and Israel turned away from them. 22 After they set out from Kadesh, the entire Israelite community came to Mount Hor. 23 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom, 24 "Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will not enter the land I have given the Israelites, because you both rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up Mount Hor. 26 Remove Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron will be gathered [to his people] and die there." 27 So Moses did as the Lord commanded, and they climbed Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28 After Moses removed Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When the whole community saw that Aaron had passed away, the entire house of Israel mourned for him 30 days.
1 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming on the Atharim road, he fought against Israel and captured some prisoners. 2 Then Israel made a vow to the Lord, "If You will deliver this people into our hands, we will completely destroy their cities." 3 The Lord listened to Israel's request, the Canaanites were defeated, and Israel completely destroyed them and their cities. So they named the place Hormah. 4 Then they set out from Mount Hor by way of the Red Sea to bypass the land of Edom, but the people became impatient because of the journey. 5 The people spoke against God and Moses: "Why have you led us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!" 6 Then the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit them so that many Israelites died. 7 The people then came to Moses and said, "We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede with the Lord so that He will take the snakes away from us." And Moses interceded for the people. 8 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Make a snake [image] and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered. 10 The Israelites set out and camped at Oboth. 11 They set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim in the wilderness that borders Moab on the east. 12 From there they went and camped at Zered Valley. 13 They set out from there and camped on the other side of the Arnon [River], in the wilderness that extends from the Amorite border, because the Arnon was the Moabite border between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is stated in the Book of the Lord's Wars: Waheb in Suphah and the ravines of the Arnon, 15 even the slopes of the ravines that extend to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab. 16 From there [they went] to Beer, the well the Lord told Moses about, "Gather the people so I may give them water." 17 Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, well-sing to it! 18 The princes dug the well; The nobles of the people hollowed it out with a scepter and with their staffs. [They went] from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 from Bamoth to the valley in the territory of Moab near the Pisgah highlands that overlook the wasteland. 21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites: 22 "Let us travel through your land. We won't go into the fields or vineyards. We won't drink [any] well water. We will travel the King's Highway until we have traveled through your territory." 23 But Sihon would not let Israel travel through his territory. Instead, he gathered his whole army and went out to confront Israel in the wilderness. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, [but only up] to the Ammonite border, because it was fortified. 25 Israel took all the cities and lived in all these Amorite cities, including Heshbon and all its villages. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken control of all his land as far as the Arnon. 27 Therefore the poets say: Come to Heshbon, let it be rebuilt; let the city of Sihon be restored. 28 For fire came out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon. It consumed Ar of Moab, the lords of Arnon's heights. 29 Woe to you, Moab! You have been destroyed, people of Chemosh! He gave up his sons as refugees, and his daughters into captivity to Sihon the Amorite king. 30 We threw them down; Heshbon has been destroyed as far as Dibon. We caused desolation as far as Nophah, which reaches as far as Medeba. 31 So Israel lived in the Amorites' land. 32 After Moses sent spies to Jazer, Israel captured its villages and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og king of Bashan came out against them with his whole army to do battle at Edrei. 34 But the Lord said to Moses, "Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon." 35 So they struck him, his sons, and his whole army until no one was left, and they took possession of his land.
1 The Israelites traveled on and camped in the plains of Moab near the Jordan across from Jericho. 2 Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 Moab was terrified of the people because they were numerous, and dreaded the Israelites. 4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "This horde will devour everything around us like an ox eats up the green plants in the field." Since Balak son of Zippor was Moab's king at that time, 5 he sent messengers to Balaam son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates in the land of his people. Balak said to him: "Look, a people has come out of Egypt; they cover the surface of the land and are living right across from me. 6 Please come and put a curse on these people for me because they are more powerful than I am. I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that those you bless are blessed and those you curse are cursed." 7 The elders of Moab and Midian departed with fees for divination in hand. They came to Balaam and reported Balak's words to him. 8 He said to them, "Spend the night here, and I will give you the answer the Lord tells me." So the officials of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9 Then God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?" 10 Balaam replied to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent [this message] to me: 11 'Look, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the surface of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. I may be able to fight against them and drive them away.' " 12 Then God said to Balaam, "You are not to go with them. You are not to curse this people, for they are blessed." 13 So Balaam got up the next morning and said to Balak's officials, "Go back to your land, because the Lord has refused to let me go with you." 14 The officials of Moab arose, returned to Balak, and reported, "Balaam refused to come with us." 15 Balak sent officials again who were more numerous and higher in rank than the others. 16 They came to Balaam and said to him, "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: 'Let nothing keep you from coming to me, 17 for I will greatly honor you and do whatever you ask me. So please come and put a curse on these people for me!' " 18 But Balaam responded to the servants of Balak, "If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go against the command of the Lord my God to do [anything] small or great. 19 Please stay here overnight as the others did, so that I may find out what else the Lord has to tell me." 20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "Since these men have come to summon you, get up and go with them, but you must only do what I tell you." 21 When he got up in the morning, Balaam saddled his donkey and went with the officials of Moab. 22 But God was incensed that Balaam was going, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand on the path to oppose him. Balaam was riding his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing on the path with a drawn sword in His hand, she turned off the path and went into the field. So Balaam hit her to return her to the path. 24 Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow passage between the vineyards, with a stone wall on either side. 25 The donkey saw the Angel of the Lord and pressed herself against the wall, squeezing Balaam's foot against it. So he hit her once again. 26 The Angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn to the right or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she crouched down under Balaam. So he became furious and beat the donkey with his stick. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey's mouth, and she asked Balaam, "What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?" 29 Balaam answered the donkey, "You made me look like a fool. If I had a sword in my hand, I'd kill you now!" 30 But the donkey said, "Am I not the donkey you've ridden all your life until today? Have I ever treated you this way before?" "No," he replied. 31 Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the path with a drawn sword in His hand. Balaam knelt and bowed with his face [to the ground]. 32 The Angel of the Lord asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because what you are doing is evil in My sight. 33 The donkey saw Me and turned away from Me these three times. If she had not turned away from Me, I would have killed you by now and let her live." 34 Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, "I have sinned, for I did not know that You were standing in the path to confront me. And now, if it is evil in Your sight, I will go back." 35 Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but you are to say only what I tell you." So Balaam went with Balak's officials. 36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite city on the Arnon border at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak asked Balaam, "Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?" 38 Balaam said to him, "Look, I have come to you, but can I say anything I want? I must speak only the message God puts in my mouth." 39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent for Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 In the morning, Balak took Balaam and brought him to Bamoth-baal. From there he saw the outskirts of the people's camp.
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Him. 2 They observed that some of His disciples were eating their bread with unclean-that is, unwashed-hands. 3 (For the Pharisees, in fact all the Jews, will not eat unless they wash their hands ritually, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they have washed. And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, jugs, copper utensils, and dining couches.) 5 Then the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why don't Your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ritually unclean hands?" 6 He answered them, "Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 7 They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men. 8 Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men." 9 He also said to them, "You completely invalidate God's command in order to maintain your tradition! 10 For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. 11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is Corban ' " (that is, a gift [committed to the temple]), 12 "you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 You revoke God's word by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things."
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