Numbers 7; Numbers 8; Mark 4:21-41

1 On the day Moses finished setting up the Tent of the Lord's presence, he anointed and dedicated the Tent and all its equipment, and the altar and all its equipment. 2 Then the clan chiefs who were leaders in the tribes of Israel, the same men who were in charge of the census, 3 brought their offerings to the Lord: six wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for every two leaders and an ox for each leader. After they had presented them, 4 the Lord said to Moses, 5 "Accept these gifts for use in the work to be done for the Tent; give them to the Levites according to the work they have to do." 6 So Moses gave the wagons and the oxen to the Levites. 7 He gave two wagons and four oxen to the Gershonites, 8 and four wagons and eight oxen to the Merarites. All their work was to be done under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron. 9 But Moses gave no wagons or oxen to the Kohathites, because the sacred objects they took care of had to be carried on their shoulders. 10 The leaders also brought offerings to celebrate the dedication of the altar. When they were ready to present their gifts at the altar, 11 the Lord said to Moses, "Tell them that each day for a period of twelve days one of the leaders is to present his gifts for the dedication of the altar." 12 They presented their offerings in the following order: The offerings each one brought were identical: one silver bowl weighing 50 ounces and one silver basin weighing 30 ounces, by the official standard, both of them full of flour mixed with oil for the grain offering; one gold dish weighing 4 ounces, full of incense; one young bull, one ram, and a one-year-old lamb, for the burnt offering; one goat for the sin offering; and two bulls, five rams, five goats, and five one-year-old lambs, for the fellowship offering. 84 The totals of the offerings brought by the twelve leaders for the dedication of the altar were as follows: -twelve silver bowls and twelve silver basins weighing a total of 60 pounds -twelve gold dishes weighing a total of 48 ounces, filled with incense -twelve bulls, twelve rams, and twelve one-year-old lambs, plus the grain offerings that go with them, for the burnt offerings -twelve goats for the sin offerings -twenty-four bulls, sixty rams, sixty goats, sixty one-year-old lambs, for the fellowship offerings 89 When Moses went into the Tent to talk with the Lord, he heard the Lord speaking to him from above the lid on the Covenant Box, between the two winged creatures.
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Tell Aaron that when he puts the seven lamps on the lampstand, he should place them so that the light shines toward the front." 3 Aaron obeyed and placed the lamps facing the front of the lampstand. 4 From top to bottom the lampstand was made of hammered gold, according to the pattern that the Lord had shown Moses. 5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 "Separate the Levites from the rest of the people of Israel and purify them 7 in the following way: sprinkle them with the water of purification and have them shave their whole bodies and have them wash their clothes. Then they will be ritually clean. 8 Then they are to take a young bull and the required grain offering of flour mixed with olive oil; and you are to take another bull for the sin offering. 9 Then assemble the whole community of Israel and have the Levites stand in front of the Tent of my presence. 10 The people of Israel are to place their hands on the heads of the Levites, 11 and then Aaron shall dedicate the Levites to me as a special gift from the Israelites, so that they may do my work. 12 The Levites shall then put their hands on the heads of the two bulls; one is to be offered as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, in order to perform the ritual of purification for the Levites. 13 "Dedicate the Levites as a special gift to me, and put Aaron and his sons in charge of them. 14 Separate the Levites in this way from the rest of the Israelites, so that they will belong to me. 15 After you have purified and dedicated the Levites, they will be qualified to work in the Tent. 16 I have claimed them in the place of all the first-born sons of the Israelites, and they belong to me alone. 17 When I killed all the first-born in Egypt, I consecrated as my own the oldest son of each Israelite family and the first-born of every animal. 18 I am now taking the Levites instead of all the first-born of the Israelites, 19 and I assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons, as a gift from the Israelites, to work in the Tent for the people of Israel and to protect the Israelites from the disaster that would strike them if they came too near the Holy Place." 20 So Moses, Aaron, and all the people of Israel dedicated the Levites, as the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes, and Aaron dedicated them as a special gift to the Lord. He also performed the ritual of purification for them. 22 The people did everything the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites. And so the Levites were qualified to work in the Tent under Aaron and his sons. 23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 "From the age of twenty-five each Levite shall perform his duties in the Tent of my presence, 25 and at the age of fifty he shall retire. 26 After that, he may help his fellow Levites in performing their duties in the Tent, but he must not perform any service by himself. This is how you are to regulate the duties of the Levites."
21 Jesus continued, "Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Isn't it put on the lampstand? 22 Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be uncovered. 23 Listen, then, if you have ears!" 24 He also said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear! The same rules you use to judge others will be used by God to judge you - but with even greater severity. 25 Those who have something will be given more, and those who have nothing will have taken away from them even the little they have." 26 Jesus went on to say, "The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. 27 He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. 28 The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain. 29 When the grain is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come. 30 "What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?" asked Jesus. "What parable shall we use to explain it? 31 It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. 32 After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade." 33 Jesus preached his message to the people, using many other parables like these; he told them as much as they could understand. 34 He would not speak to them without using parables, but when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything to them. 35 On the evening of that same day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." 36 So they left the crowd; the disciples got into the boat in which Jesus was already sitting, and they took him with them. Other boats were there too. 37 Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water. 38 Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, "Teacher, don't you care that we are about to die?" 39 Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, "Be quiet!" and he said to the waves, "Be still!" The wind died down, and there was a great calm. 40 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?" 41 But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, "Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
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