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.
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.