Numbers 17; Numbers 18; Numbers 19; Mark 6:30-56

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Tell the people of Israel to give you twelve walking sticks, one from the leader of each tribe. Write each man's name on his stick 3 and then write Aaron's name on the stick representing Levi. There will be one stick for each tribal leader. 4 Take them to the Tent of my presence and put them in front of the Covenant Box, where I meet you. 5 Then the stick of the man I have chosen will sprout. In this way I will put a stop to the constant complaining of these Israelites against you." 6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a stick, one for each tribe, twelve in all, and Aaron's stick was put with them. 7 Moses then put all the sticks in the Tent in front of the Lord's Covenant Box. 8 The next day, when Moses went into the Tent, he saw that Aaron's stick, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted. It had budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds! 9 Moses took all the sticks and showed them to the Israelites. They saw what had happened, and each leader took his own stick back. 10 The Lord said to Moses, "Put Aaron's stick back in front of the Covenant Box. It is to be kept as a warning to the rebel Israelites that they will die unless their complaining stops." 11 Moses did as the Lord commanded. 12 The people of Israel said to Moses, "Then that's the end of us! 13 If anyone who even comes near the Tent must die, then we are all as good as dead!"
1 The Lord said to Aaron, "You, your sons, and the Levites must suffer the consequences of any guilt connected with serving in the Tent of my presence; but only you and your sons will suffer the consequences of service in the priesthood. 2 Bring in your relatives, the tribe of Levi, to work with you and help you while you and your sons are serving at the Tent. 3 They are to fulfill their duties to you and their responsibilities for the Tent, but they must not have any contact with sacred objects in the Holy Place or with the altar. If they do, both they and you will be put to death. 4 They are to work with you and fulfill their responsibilities for all the service in the Tent, but no unqualified person may work with you. 5 You and your sons alone must fulfill the responsibilities for the Holy Place and the altar, so that my anger will not again break out against the people of Israel. 6 I am the one who has chosen your relatives the Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you. They are dedicated to me, so that they can carry out their duties in the Tent. 7 But you and your sons alone shall fulfill all the responsibilities of the priesthood that concern the altar and what is in the Most Holy Place. These things are your responsibility, because I have given you the gift of the priesthood. Any unqualified person who comes near the sacred objects shall be put to death." 8 The Lord said to Aaron, "Remember that I am giving you all the special contributions made to me that are not burned as sacrifices. I am giving them to you and to your descendants as the part assigned to you forever. 9 Of the most sacred offerings not burned on the altar, the following belong to you: the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the repayment offerings. Everything that is presented to me as a sacred offering belongs to you and your sons. 10 You must eat these things in a holy place, and only males may eat them; consider them holy. 11 "In addition, any other special contributions that the Israelites present to me shall be yours. I am giving them to you, your sons, and your daughters for all time to come. Every member of your family who is ritually clean may eat them. 12 "I am giving you all the best of the first produce which the Israelites give me each year: olive oil, wine, and grain. 13 It all belongs to you. Every member of your family who is ritually clean may eat it. 14 "Everything in Israel that has been unconditionally dedicated to me belongs to you. 15 "Every first-born child or animal that the Israelites present to me belongs to you. But you must accept payment to buy back every first-born child, and must also accept payment for every first-born animal that is ritually unclean. 16 Children shall be bought back at the age of one month for the fixed price of five pieces of silver, according to the official standard. 17 But the first-born of cows, sheep, and goats are not to be bought back; they belong completely to me and are to be sacrificed. Throw their blood against the altar and burn their fat as a food offering, an odor pleasing to me. 18 The meat from them belongs to you, like the breast and the right hind leg of the special offering. 19 "I am giving to you, to your sons, and to your daughters, for all time to come, all the special contributions which the Israelites present to me. This is an unbreakable covenant that I have made with you and your descendants." 20 The Lord said to Aaron, "You will not receive any property that can be inherited, and no part of the land of Israel will be assigned to you. I, the Lord, am all you need." 21 The Lord said, "I have given to the Levites every tithe that the people of Israel present to me. This is in payment for their service in taking care of the Tent of my presence. 22 The other Israelites must no longer approach the Tent and in this way bring on themselves the penalty of death. 23 From now on only the Levites will take care of the Tent and bear the full responsibility for it. This is a permanent rule that applies also to your descendants. The Levites shall have no permanent property in Israel, 24 because I have given to them as their possession the tithe which the Israelites present to me as a special contribution. That is why I told them that they would have no permanent property in Israel." 25 The Lord commanded Moses 26 to say to the Levites: "When you receive from the Israelites the tithe that the Lord gives you as your possession, you must present a tenth of it as a special contribution to the Lord. 27 This special contribution will be considered as the equivalent of the offering which the farmer makes of new grain and new wine. 28 In this way you also will present the special contribution that belongs to the Lord from all the tithes which you receive from the Israelites. You are to give this special contribution for the Lord to Aaron the priest. 29 Give it from the best that you receive. 30 When you have presented the best part, you may keep the rest, just as the farmer keeps what is left after he makes his offering. 31 You and your families may eat the rest anywhere, because it is your wages for your service in the Tent. 32 You will not become guilty when you eat it, as long as you have presented the best of it to the Lord. But be sure not to profane the sacred gifts of the Israelites by eating any of the gifts before the best part is offered; if you do, you will be put to death."
1 The Lord commanded Moses and Aaron 2 to give the Israelites the following regulations. Bring to Moses and Aaron a red cow which has no defects and which has never been worked, 3 and they will give it to Eleazar the priest. It is to be taken outside the camp and killed in his presence. 4 Then Eleazar is to take some of its blood and with his finger sprinkle it seven times in the direction of the Tent. 5 The whole animal, including skin, meat, blood, and intestines, is to be burned in the presence of the priest. 6 Then he is to take some cedar wood, a sprig of hyssop, and a red cord and throw them into the fire. 7 After that, he is to wash his clothes and pour water over himself, and then he may enter the camp; but he remains ritually unclean until evening. 8 The one who burned the cow must also wash his clothes and pour water over himself, but he also remains unclean until evening. 9 Then someone who is ritually clean is to collect the ashes of the cow and put them in a ritually clean place outside the camp, where they are to be kept for the Israelite community to use in preparing the water for removing ritual uncleanness. This ritual is performed to remove sin. 10 The one who collected the ashes must wash his clothes, but he remains unclean until evening. This regulation is valid for all time to come, both for the Israelites and for the foreigners living among them. 11 Those who touch a corpse are ritually unclean for seven days. 12 They must purify themselves with the water for purification on the third day and on the seventh day, and then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on both the third and the seventh day, they will not be clean. 13 Those who touch a corpse and do not purify themselves remain unclean, because the water for purification has not been thrown over them. They defile the Lord's Tent, and they will no longer be considered God's people. 14 In the case of a person who dies in a tent, anyone who is in the tent at the time of death or who enters it becomes ritually unclean for seven days. 15 Every jar and pot in the tent that has no lid on it also becomes unclean. 16 If any touch a person who has been killed or has died a natural death outdoors or if any touch a human bone or a grave, they become unclean for seven days. 17 To remove the uncleanness, some ashes from the red cow which was burned to remove sin shall be taken and put in a pot, and fresh water added. 18 In the first case, someone who is ritually clean is to take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle the tent, everything in it, and the people who were there. In the second case, someone who is ritually clean is to sprinkle the water on those who had touched the human bone or the dead body or the grave. 19 On the third day and on the seventh the person who is ritually clean is to sprinkle the water on the unclean persons. On the seventh day he is to purify those, who, after washing their clothes and pouring water over themselves, become ritually clean at sunset. 20 Those who have become ritually unclean and do not purify themselves remain unclean, because the water for purification has not been thrown over them. They defile the Lord's Tent and will no longer be considered God's people. 21 You are to observe this rule for all time to come. The person who sprinkles the water for purification must also wash his clothes; anyone who touches the water remains ritually unclean until evening. 22 Whatever an unclean person touches is unclean, and anyone else who touches it remains unclean until evening.
30 The apostles returned and met with Jesus, and told him all they had done and taught. 31 There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn't even have time to eat. So he said to them, "Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while." 32 So they started out in a boat by themselves to a lonely place. 33 Many people, however, saw them leave and knew at once who they were; so they went from all the towns and ran ahead by land and arrived at the place ahead of Jesus and his disciples. 34 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things. 35 When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, "It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. 36 Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat." 37 "You yourselves give them something to eat," Jesus answered. They asked, "Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coins on bread in order to feed them?" 38 So Jesus asked them, "How much bread do you have? Go and see." When they found out, they told him, "Five loaves and also two fish." 39 Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. 40 So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. 41 Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate and had enough. 43 Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. 44 The number of men who were fed was five thousand. 45 At once Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, on the other side of the lake, while he sent the crowd away. 46 After saying good-bye to the people, he went away to a hill to pray. 47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, while Jesus was alone on land. 48 He saw that his disciples were straining at the oars, because they were rowing against the wind; so sometime between three and six o'clock in the morning, he came to them, walking on the water. He was going to pass them by, 49 but they saw him walking on the water. "It's a ghost!" they thought, and screamed. 50 They were all terrified when they saw him. Jesus spoke to them at once, "Courage!" he said. "It is I. Don't be afraid!" 51 Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. The disciples were completely amazed, 52 because they had not understood the real meaning of the feeding of the five thousand; their minds could not grasp it. 53 They crossed the lake and came to land at Gennesaret, where they tied up the boat. 54 As they left the boat, people recognized Jesus at once. 55 So they ran throughout the whole region; and wherever they heard he was, they brought to him the sick lying on their mats. 56 And everywhere Jesus went, to villages, towns, or farms, people would take their sick to the marketplaces and beg him to let the sick at least touch the edge of his cloak. And all who touched it were made well.
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