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

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Numbers 7

1 When Moses finished setting up the tent, he anointed it and dedicated it and all the furnishings. He also anointed and dedicated the altar and all the utensils.
2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of the households--those tribal leaders who helped in the census--came to give their offerings.
3 They brought these gifts to the LORD: six freight wagons and twelve oxen, one wagon from every two leaders and one ox from each leader. They brought them in front of the tent.
4 The LORD said to Moses,
5 "Accept these gifts from them to use in the work done for the tent of meeting. Give them to the Levites to use wherever they need these gifts for their work."
6 Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites.
7 He gave two wagons and four oxen to the Gershonites for the work they had to do.
8 He gave four wagons and eight oxen to the Merarites for the work they had to do under the direction of Ithamar, son of the priest Aaron.
9 But Moses gave none of these gifts to the Kohathites, because they took care of the holy things. They had to carry the holy things on their own shoulders.
10 The leaders also brought offerings for the dedication of the altar when it was anointed. They presented their gifts in front of the altar.
11 The LORD said to Moses, "Each day a different leader will bring his gift for the dedication of the altar."
12 The one who brought his gifts on the first day was Nahshon, son of Amminadab, from the tribe of Judah.
13 He brought a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
14 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
15 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
16 a male goat as an offering for sin;
17 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Nahshon, son of Amminadab.
18 On the second day Nethanel, son of Zuar, the leader from the tribe of Issachar, brought his gifts.
19 He brought a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
20 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
21 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
22 a male goat as an offering for sin;
23 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Nethanel, son of Zuar.
24 On the third day the leader of the descendants of Zebulun, Eliab, son of Helon,
25 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
26 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
27 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
28 a male goat as an offering for sin;
29 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Eliab, son of Helon.
30 On the fourth day the leader of the descendants of Reuben, Elizur, son of Shedeur,
31 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
32 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
33 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
34 a male goat as an offering for sin;
35 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Elizur, son of Shedeur.
36 On the fifth day the leader of the descendants of Simeon, Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai,
37 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
38 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
39 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
40 a male goat as an offering for sin;
41 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai.
42 On the sixth day the leader of the descendants of Gad, Eliasaph, son of Deuel,
43 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
44 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
45 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
46 a male goat as an offering for sin;
47 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Eliasaph, son of Deuel.
48 On the seventh day the leader of the descendants of Ephraim, Elishama, son of Ammihud,
49 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
50 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
51 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
52 a male goat as an offering for sin;
53 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Elishama, son of Ammihud.
54 On the eighth day the leader of the descendants of Manasseh, Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur,
55 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
56 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
57 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
58 a male goat as an offering for sin;
59 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur.
60 On the ninth day the leader of the descendants of Benjamin, Abidan, son of Gideoni,
61 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
62 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
63 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
64 a male goat as an offering for sin;
65 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Abidan, son of Gideoni.
66 On the tenth day the leader of the descendants of Dan, Ahiezer, son of Amishaddai,
67 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
68 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
69 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
70 a male goat as an offering for sin;
71 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Ahiezer, son of Amishaddai.
72 On the eleventh day the leader of the descendants of Asher, Pagiel, son of Ochran,
73 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
74 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
75 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
76 a male goat as an offering for sin;
77 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Pagiel, son of Ochran.
78 On the twelfth day the leader of the descendants of Naphtali, Ahira, son of Enan,
79 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering.
80 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense;
81 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering;
82 a male goat as an offering for sin;
83 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Ahira, son of Enan.
84 These were the gifts from the leaders of Israel for the dedication of the altar when it was anointed: 12 silver plates, 12 silver bowls, and 12 gold dishes.
85 Each silver plate weighed 3¼ pounds, and each bowl weighed 1¾ pounds. Together all the silver dishes weighed 60 pounds using the standard weight of the holy place.
86 The 12 gold dishes filled with incense weighed 4 ounces each using the standard weight of the holy place. Together all the gold dishes weighed about 3 pounds.
87 The total number of animals for the burnt offerings was 12 young bulls, 12 rams, 12 one-year-old male lambs, along with their grain offerings. Twelve male goats were used as offerings for sin.
88 The total number of animals for fellowship offerings was 24 bulls, 60 rams, 60 male goats, and 60 one-year-old male lambs. These were the gifts for the dedication of the altar after it was anointed.
89 Whenever Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the throne of mercy on the ark containing the words of God's promise, from between the two angels. This is how the LORD spoke with Moses.

Numbers 8

1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 "Speak to Aaron and tell him: When you set up the seven lamps on the lamp stand, they should light up the area in front of it."
3 So Aaron set up the lamps on the lamp stand to light up the area in front of it, as the LORD commanded Moses.
4 This is how the lamp stand was made: The whole lamp stand, from top to bottom, was hammered out of gold. It was made exactly like the one the LORD had shown Moses.
5 The LORD said to Moses,
6 "Separate the Levites from the rest of the Israelites, and make them clean.
7 This is what you must do to make them clean: Sprinkle them with water to take away their sins. Make them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. Then they will be clean.
8 Next, they must take a young bull and the grain offering of flour mixed with olive oil that is offered with it. You must take a second young bull as an offering for sin.
9 Bring the Levites to the front of the tent of meeting, and assemble the whole community of Israel.
10 Then bring the Levites into the LORD's presence, and the Israelites will place their hands on them.
11 Aaron will present the Levites to the LORD as an offering from the Israelites. Then they will be ready to do the LORD's work.
12 "The Levites will place their hands on the heads of the young bulls. Sacrifice one of them as an offering for sin and the other one as a burnt offering to the LORD. These sacrifices will make peace with the LORD for the Levites.
13 Make the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons, and present them as an offering to the LORD.
14 In this way you will separate the Levites from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
15 "Once you have made them clean and presented them as an offering, the Levites may come and do their work at the tent of meeting.
16 They will be the only Israelites given to me. I have taken them to be mine as substitutes for every firstborn male offspring of the Israelites.
17 Every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal, is mine. The day I killed every firstborn male in Egypt, I set them apart as holy to me.
18 So I have taken the Levites as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the Israelites.
19 The Levites will be the only Israelites I give to Aaron and his sons. They will work for the Israelites at the tent of meeting. They will make peace with the LORD for the Israelites. Then no plague will strike the Israelites when they come near the holy place."
20 Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel did what the LORD commanded Moses to do to the Levites.
21 The Levites performed the ceremonies to take away their sins and washed their clothes. Aaron presented them as an offering to the LORD and made peace with the LORD for them in order to make them clean.
22 After that, the Levites came and did their work at the tent of meeting in the presence of Aaron and his sons. They did as the LORD had commanded Moses.
23 The LORD said to Moses,
24 "These are the instructions for the Levites: Men 25 years old or older are eligible to serve at the tent of meeting.
25 But when they're 50 years old, they must retire from active service and not work anymore.
26 They may assist the other Levites in their duties at the tent of meeting, but they may not do any regular work. This is how you will handle the Levites' duties."

Mark 4:21-41

21 Jesus said to them, "Does anyone bring a lamp into a room to put it under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it put on a lamp stand?
22 There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light.
23 Let the person who has ears listen!"
24 He went on to say, "Pay attention to what you're listening to! [Knowledge] will be measured out to you by the measure [of attention] you give. This is the way knowledge increases.
25 Those who understand [these mysteries] will be given [more knowledge]. However, some people don't understand [these mysteries]. Even what they understand will be taken away from them."
26 Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground.
27 He sleeps at night and is awake during the day. The seeds sprout and grow, although the man doesn't know how.
28 The ground produces grain by itself. First the green blade appears, then the head, then the head full of grain.
29 As soon as the grain is ready, he cuts it with a sickle, because harvest time has come."
30 Jesus asked, "How can we show what the kingdom of God is like? To what can we compare it?
31 It's like a mustard seed planted in the ground. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth.
32 However, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that birds can nest in its shade."
33 Jesus spoke [God's] word to them using many illustrations like these. In this way people could understand what he taught.
34 He did not speak to them without using an illustration. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.
35 That evening, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's cross to the other side."
36 Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus along in a boat just as he was. Other boats were with him.
37 A violent windstorm came up. The waves were breaking into the boat so that it was quickly filling up.
38 But he was sleeping on a cushion in the back of the boat. So they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to die?"
39 Then he got up, ordered the wind to stop, and said to the sea, "Be still, absolutely still!" The wind stopped blowing, and the sea became very calm.
40 He asked them, "Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith yet?"
41 They were overcome with fear and asked each other, "Who is this man? Even the wind and the sea obey him!"