Numbers 18:25–20:13

25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

26 “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, ‘When you take from the sons of Israel athe tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the Lord, a btithe of the tithe.

27 ‘Your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat.

28 ‘So you shall also present an offering to the Lord from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the Lord’s offering to Aaron the priest.

29 ‘Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the Lord, from all the 1best of them, 2the sacred part from them.’

30 “You shall say to them, ‘When you have 1offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat.

31 ‘You may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the tent of meeting.

32 ‘You will bear no sin by reason of it when you have 1offered the 2best of it. But you shall not aprofane the sacred gifts of the sons of Israel, or you will die.’ ”

Chapter 19

Ordinance of the Red Heifer

1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

2 “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an aunblemished red heifer in which is no defect and bon which a yoke has never 1been placed.

3 ‘You shall give it to aEleazar the priest, and it shall bbe brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence.

4 ‘Next Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and asprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times.

5 ‘Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight; aits hide and its flesh and its blood, with its refuse, shall be burned.

6 ‘The priest shall take acedar wood and hyssop and scarlet material and cast it into the midst of the 1burning heifer.

7 ‘The priest ashall then wash his clothes and bathe his 1body in water, and afterward come into the camp, but the priest shall be unclean until evening.

8 ‘The one who burns it shall also wash his clothes in water and bathe his 1body in water, and shall be unclean until evening.

9 ‘Now a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place, and 1the congregation of the sons of Israel shall keep it as awater to remove impurity; it is 2purification from sin.

10 ‘The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer ashall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; and it shall be a perpetual statute to the sons of Israel and to the alien who sojourns among them.

11 aThe one who touches the corpse of any 1person shall be unclean for seven days.

12 ‘That one shall apurify himself from uncleanness with 1the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he will be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.

13 aAnyone who touches a corpse, the 1body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, bdefiles the 2tabernacle of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not 3csprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.

14 ‘This is the law when a man dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean for seven days.

15 ‘Every open vessel, which has no covering 1tied down on it, shall be unclean.

16 aAlso, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.

17 ‘Then for the unclean person they shall take some of the 1ashes of the 2burnt 3apurification from sin and 4flowing water shall be 5added to them in a vessel.

18 ‘A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there, and on the one who touched the bone or the one slain or the one dying naturally or the grave.

19 ‘Then the clean person ashall sprinkle on the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify him from uncleanness, and he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and shall be clean by evening.

20 ‘But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has adefiled the sanctuary of the Lord; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean.

21 ‘So it shall be a perpetual statute for them. And he awho sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening.

22 aFurthermore, anything that the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening.’ ”

Chapter 20

Death of Miriam

1 Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the awilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there.

2 aThere was no water for the congregation, band they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron.

3 aThe people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, “bIf only we had perished cwhen our brothers perished before the Lord!

4 aWhy then have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die 1here?

5 “Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? aIt is not a place of 1grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.”

6 Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and afell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them;

7 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

The Water of Meribah

8 “Take athe rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”

9 So Moses took the rod afrom before the Lord, just as He had commanded him;

10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “aListen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?”

11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and awater came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.

12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “aBecause you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

13 Those were the waters of 1aMeribah, 2because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.

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