Reading 49/341, Numbers 33-36

[A] This is the end of the book of Numbers. It ends with a complete itinerary for the past 40 years. Now that the book has ended, it is time for Moses to die, but not before he gives one last speech. That speech is the book of Deuteronomy.
[B] The "avenger of blood" in this reading is the closest male relative of a murdered person who has a responsibility in the age before police to catch and kill the murderer. They have this responsibility even if the death is an accident, but if the death is an accident, the killer can flee to one of the cities of refuge and live there safely.

...Numbers

These are the journeys of the children of Israel, when they went forth out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Moses wrote down their points of departure for each journey by the command of the Lord, and these are their journeys according to their departures. So the people of Israel set out from Rameses and camped at Succoth. And they set out from Succoth and camped at Etham, which is on the edge of the desert. And they set out from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which is east of Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol. And they set out from before Hahiroth and passed through the middle of the sea into the desert, and they went a three days' journey in the desert of Etham and camped at Marah.

And they set out from Marah and came to Elim; at Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there. And they set out from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. And they set out from the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin. And they set out from the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah. And they set out from Dophkah and camped at Alush. And they set out from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. And they set out from Rephidim and camped in the desert of Sinai. And they set out from the desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. And they set out from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. And they set out from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah. And they set out from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. And they set out from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah. And they set out from Libnah and camped at Rissah. And they set out from Rissah and camped at Kehelathah. And they set out from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. And they set out from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah. And they set out from Haradah and camped at Makheloth. And they set out from Makheloth and camped at Tahath. And they set out from Tahath and camped at Terah. And they set out from Terah and camped at Mithkah. And they set out from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah. And they set out from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. And they set out from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan. And they set out from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. And they set out from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. And they set out from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah. And they set out from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. And they set out from Ezion-geber and camped in the desert of Zin (that is, Kadesh). And they set out from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom. Aaron the priest went up onto Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month. Aaron was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor. The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel. And they set out from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah. And they set out from Zalmonah and camped at Punon. And they set out from Punon and camped at Oboth. And they set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the territory of Moab. And they set out from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad. And they set out from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim. And they set out from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo. And they set out from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho; they camped by the Jordan from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.

The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their carved idols, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places, and you shall take possession of the land, and dwell in it, for to you I have given the land to possess it. You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the more you shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer you shall give the less inheritance, wherever the lot falls to any man, that shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers shall you inherit. If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you let remain shall be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land in which you dwell. It shall happen that as I thought to do to them, so will I do to you.’”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan according to the borders of it), then your south quarter shall be from the desert of Zin along by the side of Edom, and your south border shall be from the end of the Salt Sea eastward, and your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and pass along to Zin, and the limits of it shall be south of Kadesh Barnea, and it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon, and the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and the limits of it shall be at the sea. For the western border, you shall have the great sea and its border, this shall be your west border. This shall be your north border, from the great sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor; from Mount Hor you shall draw a line to the entrance of Hamath, and the limits of the border shall be at Zedad, and the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the limits of it shall be at Hazar-enan; this shall be your north border. You shall draw a line for your east border from Hazar-enan to Shepham, and the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain, and the border shall go down, and shall reach to the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward, and the border shall go down to the Jordan, and the limits of it shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land according to the borders of it round about.’” Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, “‘This is the land which you shall inherit by lot, which the Lord has commanded to give to the nine tribes, and to the half-tribe; for the tribe of the children of Reuben according to their fathers' houses, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to their fathers' houses, have received, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received, their inheritance; the two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan at east of Jericho, toward the sunrise.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land for your inheritance: Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun. You shall take one prince from every tribe, to divide the land for the inheritance. These are the names of the men: From the tribe of Judah: Caleb the son of Jephunneh. From the tribe of the people of Simeon: Shemuel the son of Ammihud. From the tribe of Benjamin: Elidad the son of Chislon. From the tribe of the people of Dan: a chief, Bukki the son of Jogli. From the people of Joseph: from the tribe of the people of Manasseh: a chief, Hanniel the son of Ephod. And from the tribe of the people of Ephraim: a chief, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. From the tribe of the people of Zebulun: a chief, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. From the tribe of the people of Issachar: a chief, Paltiel the son of Azzan. And from the tribe of the people of Asher: a chief, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. From the tribe of the people of Naphtali: a chief, Pedahel the son of Ammihud. These are the ones whom the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance for the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.

The Lord spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites, out of the inheritance in their possession, cities to dwell in, and fields for the cities round about them, you shall give to the Levites. The cities they shall have to dwell in, and their fields shall be for their livestock, and for their subsistence, and for all their animals. The fields of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall be from the wall of the city and outward one thousand cubits round about. You shall measure outside of the city for the east side two thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle. This shall be for them the fields of the cities. The cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, which you have for the manslayer to flee to, and, besides these, you shall give forty-two cities. All the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty-eight cities; these with their fields. Concerning the cities which you shall give out of the possession of the children of Israel, from the many you shall take many, and from the few you shall take few, everyone according to his inheritance which he inherits shall give of his cities to the Levites.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall appoint cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person unwittingly may flee there. The cities shall be for you for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer not die, until he stands before the congregation for judgment. The cities which you shall give shall be for you six cities of refuge. You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan; they shall be cities of refuge. For the children of Israel, and for the stranger and for the foreigner living among them, these six cities will be refuge; that everyone who kills any person unwittingly may flee there. But if he struck him with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. If he struck him with a stone in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he struck him with a weapon of wood in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death. When he meets him, he shall put him to death. If he thrust him of hatred, or hurled at him, lying in wait, so that he died, or in enmity struck him with his hand, so that he died; he who struck him shall surely be put to death; he is a murderer, the avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death, when he meets him. But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or hurled at him anything without lying in wait, or with any stone, by which a man may die, not seeing him, and cast it toward him, so that he died, and he was not his enemy, nor sought his harm; then the congregation shall judge between the striker and the avenger of blood according to these ordinances, and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled, and he shall dwell there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil. But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the border of his city of refuge, where he fled, and the avenger of blood find him outside of the border of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer; he shall not be guilty of blood, because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, but after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return into the land of his possession. These things shall be a statute and ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be slain at the word of witnesses, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death; he shall surely be put to death. You shall take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. So you shall not pollute the land in which you are, for blood pollutes the land, and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it except the blood of him who shed it. You shall not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.

The heads of the fathers' houses of the family of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spoke before Moses, and before the princes, the heads of the fathers' houses of the children of Israel, and they said, “The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. If they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then will their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of our fathers, and will be added to the inheritance from the tribe to which they shall belong, so it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. When the jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then will their inheritance be added to the inheritance from the tribe to which they shall belong, so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.” Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks right. This is the thing which the Lord does command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them be married to whom they think best, but only into a family from the tribe of their father shall they be married. So shall no inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe; for the children of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance from the tribe of his fathers. Every daughter, who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife to one of the family from the tribe of her father, that every man of the children of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. So shall no inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe, for everyone of the tribes of the children of Israel shall hold on to their own inheritance.” As the Lord commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did, for Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to their father's brothers' sons. They were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father. These are the commandments and the ordinances which the Lord commanded through Moses to the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

Reading 48/341, Numbers 31-32

[A] They kill Balaam today. Here we are told that it was he who came up with the strategy of corrupting Israel through having the Midianite women entice the Israelite men to worship the false gods.
[B] We see the first example here of the complete destruction of a nation. Israel kills men, women, and boys. Note that this is at Moses' command, not the Lord's. This is very significant when, as you have surely noticed, the usual pattern is "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying..."
[C] Without trying to defend the practice of killing non-combatants, there is a certain practicality to it. In modern warfare, we try to rebuild the country instead of destroy it. This seems more just to us, but it is surely not very successful. With all of our military superiority, we have been unable to rebuild Afghanistan. If, after 9-11-01 we had simply gone there and killed 100,000 people in retribution, and then left, fewer people would have died. We cannot do this because we have high ideals, but, on a purely practical level, it would have made more sense.
[D] The reason for the genocide, as Moses gives it today, is that leaving a corrupt people in the midst of Israel would not make the corrupt people better. It would merely corrupt Israel as well.

...Numbers...

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the children of Israel on the Midianites, and then you shall be gathered to your people.” Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian, to execute the Lord's vengeance on Midian. Of every tribe, throughout all the tribes of Israel, you shall send one thousand to the war.” So there were sent, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. Moses sent them, one thousand of every tribe, to the war, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the vessels of the sanctuary and the trumpets for the alarm in his hand. They warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed every male. They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. The children of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones, and all their livestock, and all their flocks, and all their goods. They took these as plunder. All their cities in the places where they lived, and all their encampments, they burnt with fire. They took all the spoil, and all the plunder, both of man and of animal.

They brought the captives, and the plunder, and the spoil, to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho. Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them outside of the camp. Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war. Moses said to them, “Have you saved all the women alive? Behold, it was they who caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and so the disease was among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the girls, who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Encamp outside of the camp seven days, whoever has killed any person, and whoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves on the third day and on the seventh day, you and your captives. As to every garment, and all that is made of skin, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood, you shall purify them. Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who went to the battle, “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, and the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, (everything that can pass through fire), you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless it shall also be purified with the water for impurity, and all that does not withstand the fire you shall pass through the water. You shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you shall be clean, and afterward you shall come into the camp.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the sum of the plunder that was taken, both of man and of animal, you, and Eleazar the priest, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the congregation, and divide the plunder into two parts, between the men skilled in war, who went out to battle, and all the congregation. Levy a tribute to the Lord of the men of war who went out to battle, one soul of five hundred, of the persons and of the oxen, the donkeys, and the flocks, take it from their half, and give it to Eleazar the priest, for the Lord's wave offering. Of the children of Israel's half, you shall take one drawn out of every fifty, of the persons, of the oxen, of the donkeys, and of the flocks, and of all the livestock, and give them to the Levites, who keep the charge of the tent of the Lord.” Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.

Now the plunder, besides the booty which the men of war took, was 675,000 sheep, and 72,000 oxen, and 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 persons in all, of the women who had not known man by lying with him. The half, which was the portion of those who went out to war, was in number 337,500 sheep, and the Lord's tribute of the sheep was 675. The oxen were 36,000, of which the Lord's tribute was 72. The donkeys were 30,500; of which the Lord's tribute was 61. The people were 16,000, of whom the Lord's tribute was 32 people. Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord's wave offering, to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses. Of the children of Israel's half, which Moses divided off from the men who went to war (now the congregation's half was 337,500 sheep, and 36,000 oxen, and 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 people), of the children of Israel's half, Moses took one drawn out of every fifty, both of man and of animal, and gave them to the Levites, who kept the charge of the tent of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The officers who were over the thousands of the army, the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, came near to Moses, and they said to Moses, “Your servants have counted the men of war who are under our charge, and there is not one man missing. We have brought the Lord's offering, what every man has gotten, jewelry of gold, armlets, and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces, to make atonement for our souls before the Lord.” Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, all worked jewelry. All the gold of the wave offering that they offered up to the Lord, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was 16,750 shekels. (For the men of war had taken booty, every man for himself.) Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting, as a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.

Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very large multitude of livestock, and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, and beheld that the place was a place for livestock, the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the princes of the congregation, saying, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, the land which the Lord struck before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” They said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession; do not bring us over the Jordan.” Moses said to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to the war while you sit here? Why discourage the hearts of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? Thus your fathers did, when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the Lord had given them. The Lord's anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, for they have not wholly followed me, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, who have wholly followed the Lord.’ The Lord's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander back and forth in the desert for forty years, until all the generation, who had done evil in the sight of the Lord, was consumed. Behold, you have taken your fathers' place, a harvest of sinful men, to yet add to the fierce anger of the Lord toward Israel. For if you turn away from following him, he will yet again leave them in the desert, and you will destroy all this people.”

They came near to him, and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, but we ourselves will be ready armed to go before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place, and our little ones shall dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our houses until the children of Israel have inherited, every man his inheritance. For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side of the Jordan eastward.” Moses said to them, “If you will do this; if you will arm yourselves to go before the Lord to war, and every armed man of you passes over the Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him, and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you shall return and be guiltless toward the Lord, and toward Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be certain that your sin will find you out. Build cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep, and do what has proceeded out of your mouth.” The children of Gad and the children of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock, shall be there in the cities of Gilead, but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, before the Lord to battle, as my lord says.”

So Moses gave charge concerning them to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the children of Israel. Moses said to them, “If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben pass with you over the Jordan, every man who is armed to battle, before the Lord, and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession, but if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.” The children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, “As the Lord has said to your servants, so will we do. We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.”

Moses gave to them, to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, according to the cities of it with their borders, the cities of the land round about. The children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, and Atrothshophan, and Jazer, and Jogbehah, and Beth Nimrah, and Beth Haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. The children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kiriathaim, and Nebo, and Baal Meon, (their names being changed), and Sibmah, and they gave other names to the cities which they built. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were there. Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he lived there. Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the towns of it, and called them Havvoth-jair. Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages of it, and called it Nobah, after his own name.

Reading 47/341, Numbers 28-30

[A] Today is a summary of all the feasts in Israel. Some of them are still celebrated today (like the Passover and the Day of Atonement), other feasts that are celebrated today did not come along until later (like Hanukkah).

...Numbers...

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘My offering, my food for my offerings made by fire, of a sweet savor to me, you shall be careful to offer to me in their due season.’ You shall tell them, ‘This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the Lord: male lambs a year old without blemish, two day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb shall you offer at evening, and the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil. It is the continual burnt offering which was ordained on Mount Sinai for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the Lord. The drink offering of it shall be the fourth part of a hin for the one lamb, in the holy place shall you pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the Lord. The other lamb you shall offer at evening, as the grain offering of the morning, and as the drink offering of it, you shall offer it, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord. On the Sabbath day two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, and the drink offering of it. This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the continual burnt offering, and the drink offering of it.

At the beginnings of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord, two young bulls, and one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish, and three tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, for each bull, and two tenth parts of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, for the one ram, and a tenth part of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering for every lamb, for a burnt offering of sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the Lord. Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull, and the third part of a hin for the ram, and the fourth part of a hin for a lamb. This is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. Also, one male goat for a sin offering to the Lord; it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering, and the drink offering of it.

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, is the Lord's Passover. On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast, seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. On the first day, there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work, but you shall offer an offering made by fire, a burnt offering to the Lord, two young bulls, and one ram, and seven male lambs a year old (see that they are without blemish), and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil, you shall offer three tenths for a bull, and two tenths for the ram; you shall offer a tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs, and one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you. You shall offer these besides the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering. After this manner you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of the offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord, it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering, and the drink offering of it. On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation, you shall do no servile work.

Also on the day of the first fruits, when you offer a new grain offering to the Lord in your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work, but you shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savor to the Lord: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs a year old, and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for each bull, two tenths for the one ram, a tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs. Also, one male goat, to make atonement for you. Besides the continual burnt offering, and the grain offering of it, you shall offer them (see that they are without blemish), and their drink offerings.

In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work, it is a day of blowing of trumpets for you. You shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savor to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish, and their grain offering: fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for the bull, two tenths for the ram, and one tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs. Also, one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you. This is all besides the burnt offering of the new moon, and the grain offering of it, and the continual burnt offering and the grain offering of it, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall afflict your souls, you shall do no manner of work, but you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord for a sweet savor: one young bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old (see that they are without blemish), and their grain offering: fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for the bull, two tenths for the one ram, a tenth for every lamb of the seven lambs. Also, one male goat for a sin offering, besides the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the grain offering of it, and their drink offerings.

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast to the Lord for seven days, and you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old (see that they are without blemish), and their grain offering: fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for every bull of the thirteen bulls, two tenths for each ram of the two rams, and a tenth for every lamb of the fourteen lambs. Also, one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it.

On the second day: twelve young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, and the grain offering of it, and their drink offerings.

On the third day: eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, and the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it.

On the fourth day: ten bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it.

On the fifth day: nine bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, and the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it.

On the sixth day: eight bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, the grain offering of it, and the drink offerings of it.

On the seventh day: seven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it.

On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly. You shall do no servile work, but you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish; their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, and the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it.

These you shall offer to the Lord in your set feasts, besides your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your grain offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the Lord commanded Moses.

Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded. When a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Also, when a woman vows a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by a bond, being in her father's house, in her youth, and her father hears her vow, and her bond with which she has bound her soul, and her father holds his peace toward her, then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she has bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallows her on the day that he hears of it, none of her vows, or of her bonds with which she has bound her soul, shall stand, and the Lord will forgive her, because her father disallowed her. If she is married to a husband, while her vows are on her, or the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul, and her husband hears of it, and holds his peace toward her on the day that he hears of it, then her vows shall stand, and her bonds with which she has bound her soul shall stand, but if her husband disallows her in the day that he hears of it, then he shall make void her vow which is on her, and the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul, and the Lord will forgive her. As for the vow of a widow, or of a woman who is divorced, everything with which she has bound her soul, shall stand against her. If she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath, and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and did not disallow her, then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she bound her soul shall stand, but if her husband made them null and void on the day that he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband has made them void, and the Lord will forgive her. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. If her husband altogether holds his peace toward her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows, or all her bonds, which are on her. He has established them, because he held his peace toward her on the day that he heard them. If he shall make them null and void after he has heard them, then he shall bear her iniquity. These are the statutes, which the Lord commanded Moses, between a man and his wife and between a father and his daughter, being in her youth, in her father's house.

Reading 46/341, Numbers 25-27

[A] Today the last of the plagues occurs. A new census is taken and, of those who were older than 20 at the time the people refused to enter the Promised Land, only Moses, Caleb, and Joshua have survived the 40 years in the wilderness. It now is time to enter the Promised Land, but first Moses must die; this will take the next 14 days of readings. We are now 2/3 of the way through the Law.
[B] The plague occurs because the Israelites are taken in by the hospitality of the Moabites to worship their gods. What Balak was unable to do by asking Balaam to curse Israel, he accomplishes by inviting them to curse themselves.

...Numbers...

Israel dwelt in Shittim, and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab, for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. Israel yoked himself to Baal-Peor, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you, kill your men who have joined themselves to Baal-Peor.” Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his family a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into his tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. So the disease was stayed from the children of Israel. Those who died by this disease were twenty-four thousand. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in my jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, and it shall be to him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’” Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a house of the fathers among the Simeonites. The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a house of the fathers in Midian. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Vex the Midianites, and strike them, for they vex you with their wiles, with which they have deceived you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the disease in the matter of Peor.”

It happened after the disease, that the Lord spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, “Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all who are able to go forth to war in Israel.” Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Take a census of the people, from twenty years old and upward, as the Lord commanded Moses and the children of Israel, that came forth out of the land of Egypt.”

Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites; of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites. These are the families of the Reubenites, and those who were numbered of them were forty-three thousand seven hundred thirty. The sons of Pallu, Eliab. The sons of Eliab, Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. These are that Dathan and Abiram, who were called of the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the Lord, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, at which time the fire devoured two hundred fifty men, and they became a sign. Nevertheless, the sons of Korah did not die.

The sons of Simeon after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites. These are the families of the Simeonites, twenty-two thousand two hundred.

The sons of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites; of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites; of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites. These are the families of the sons of Gad according to those who were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred.

The sons of Judah, Er and Onan, and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. The sons of Judah after their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Perezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites. The sons of Perez were, of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites. These are the families of Judah according to those who were numbered of them, seventy-six thousand five hundred.

The sons of Issachar after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites; of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites. These are the families of Issachar according to those who were numbered of them, sixty-four thousand three hundred.

The sons of Zebulun after their families: of Sered, the family of the Seredites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those who were numbered of them, sixty thousand five hundred.

The sons of Joseph after their families: Manasseh and Ephraim. The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites, and Machir became the father of Gilead; of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites. These are the sons of Gilead, of Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites, and of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites, and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites, and of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites, and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters, and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. These are the families of Manasseh, and those who were numbered of them were fifty-two thousand seven hundred. These are the sons of Ephraim after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the family of the Becherites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. These are the sons of Shuthelah, of Eran, the family of the Eranites. These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those who were numbered of them, thirty-two thousand five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph after their families.

The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites; of Shephupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman, of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. These are the sons of Benjamin after their families, and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand six hundred.

These are the sons of Dan after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan after their families. All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those who were numbered of them, were sixty-four thousand four hundred.

The sons of Asher after their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the family of the Berites. Of the sons of Beriah, of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. The name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those who were numbered of them, fifty-three thousand and four hundred.

The sons of Naphtali after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites; of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. These are the families of Naphtali according to their families, and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand four hundred.

These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred one thousand seven hundred thirty. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “To these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the larger you shall give the larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give the smaller inheritance, to everyone according to those who were numbered of him shall his inheritance be given. Nevertheless, the land shall be divided by lot, according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. According to the lot shall their inheritance be divided between the larger and the smaller.”

These are those who were numbered of the Levites after their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites. These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. Kohath became the father of Amram. The name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt, and she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister. To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the Lord. Those who were numbered of them were twenty-three thousand, every male from a month old and upward, for they were not numbered among the children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel.

These are the ones numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. But among these there was not a one of them who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the desert of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, “They shall surely die in the desert.” There was not left a man of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

The daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, drew near, and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. They stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, at the entrance to the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the desert, and he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah, but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be taken away from among his family, because he had no son? Give to us a possession among the brothers of our father.” Moses brought their cause before the Lord. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “The daughters of Zelophehad speak rightly. You shall surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers, and you shall cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘If a man die, and have no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. If he have no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. If he have no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. If his father have no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman who is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it, and it shall be to the children of Israel a statute and ordinance, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

The Lord said to Moses, “Go up into this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered, because you rebelled against my word in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the desert of Zin.) Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord not be as sheep which have no shepherd.” The Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight. You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may obey him. He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the Lord. At his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, all the congregation.” Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and he laid his hands on him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord spoke through Moses.

Reading 45/341, Numbers 22-24

[A]Today we have the fascinating story of Balaam. His relationship with God is not entirely clear. He has the power to bless and curse. He hears prophecies from the Lord. God tells him not to go, then to go, then threatens him for going. The consensus of the rest of the Bible, which several times refers back to this story, is that Balaam, motivated by the money, kept asking the Lord to do what he had already been told the Lord would not do.
[B]Ultimately he gives some beautiful prophecies. The fourth prophecy is of the Messiah.

...Numbers...

The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. Moab was very afraid of the people, because they were many, and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will lick up all that is round about us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is by the River in the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt. Behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they dwell opposite me. Please come now to curse this people for me; for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, that we may strike them and drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand, and they came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak. He said to them, “Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak to me, and the princes of Moab dwelt with Balaam.” God came to Balaam, and said, “What men are these with you?” Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, ‘Behold, the people that have come out of Egypt. They cover the surface of the earth. Come curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and shall drive them out.’” God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.” Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Get back to your land, for the Lord refuses to give me leave to go with you.” The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.” Balak sent yet again more princes, and more prestigious than the others.” They came to Balaam, and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me, for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.’” Balaam answered the servants of Balak, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what else the Lord will speak to me.” God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, “If the men are come to call you, rise up, go with them, but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.”

Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord placed himself on the road as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. The donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing on the road, with his sword drawn in his hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the road, and went into the field, and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her back to the road. Then the angel of the Lord stood on a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. The donkey saw the angel of the Lord, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall, and he struck her again. The angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. The donkey saw the angel of the Lord, and she lay down under Balaam, and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. The Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have mocked me, I wish that there were a sword in my hand, for now I would have killed you.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Did I ever tend to do this to you?” and he said, “No.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand, and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I am come forth as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me, and the donkey saw me, and turned aside before me these three times, unless she had turned aside from me, surely now I would have slain you, and saved her alive.” Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the way against me, now therefore, if it displease you, I will go back again.” The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

When Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him in the city of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is on the edge of the border. Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to promote you to honor?” Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you. Do I now have any power at all to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that shall I speak.” Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. It happened in the morning, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, and he saw from there a few of the people. Balaam said to Balak, “Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me.” Balak did as Balaam had spoken, and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. Balaam said to Balak, “Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go, perhaps the Lord will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you.” He went to a bare height. God met Balaam, and he said to him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.”

The Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab. He took up his discourse, and said,
“From Aram has Balak brought me,
the king of Moab from the mountains of the East.
‘Come, curse Jacob for me. Come, defy Israel.’
How shall I curse them whom God has not cursed?
How shall I defy, whom the Lord has not defied?
For from the top of the rocks I see him.
From the hills I see him.
Behold, it is a people that dwells apart,
who shall not be reckoned among the nations.
Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous. Let my last end be like his!”

Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but blessed them.” He answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”

Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, where you can see them. You shall see only the smallest part of them, and shall not see them all. Curse them from there for me.” He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. He said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet the Lord over yonder.” The Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.” He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?” He took up his discourse, and said,
“Rise up, Balak, and hear!
Listen to me, you son of Zippor.
God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor the son of man, that he should repent.
Has he spoken what he will not do?
Or has he spoken what he will not make good?
Behold, I have received a command to bless.
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
He has not seen iniquity in Jacob.
Nor has he seen perverseness in Israel.
The Lord his God is with him. The shout of a king is among them.
God brings them out of Egypt.
He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.
Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob,
nor is there any divination with Israel.
Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘What has God done!’
Behold, the people rises up as a lioness.
As a lion, he lifts himself up.
He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey,
and drinks the blood of the slain.”

Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.” But Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell you, saying, ‘All that the Lord speaks, that I must do?’

Balak said to Balaam, “Come now, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there.” Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert. Balaam said to Balak, “Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me.” Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at the other times, to search for oracles, but he set his face toward the desert. Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, and the Spirit of God came on him. He took up his discourse, and said,
“Balaam the son of Beor says:
The man whose eye is opened says:
He who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down and having his eyes opened, says:
How lovely are your tents, Jacob, your encampments, Israel!
As valleys they are spread forth,
as gardens by the riverside,
as aloes which the Lord has planted,
as cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets.
His seed shall be in many waters.
His king shall be higher than Agag.
His kingdom shall be exalted.
God brings him out of Egypt.
He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.
He shall eat up the nations his adversaries, shall break their bones in pieces, and pierce them with his arrows.
He couched, he lay down as a lion, as a lioness, who shall rouse him up?
Everyone who blesses you is blessed.
Everyone who curses you is cursed.”


Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together, and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have done nothing but bless them these three times. Therefore now flee you to your place. I planned to promote you to great honor, but, behold, the Lord has kept you back from honor.” Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not even tell your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own mind; what the Lord speaks, that will I speak?’ Now, behold, I go to my people, come, and I will imform you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days.” He took up his discourse, and said,
“Balaam the son of Beor says:
The man whose eye is opened says:
He who hears the words of God, knows the knowledge of the Most High, and who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down and having his eyes opened, says:
I see him, but not now.
I see him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob.
A scepter will rise out of Israel.
It shall crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.
Edom shall be dispossessed. Seir, his enemies, also shall be dispossessed.
Israel does valiantly.
Out of Jacob shall one have dominion,
and he shall destroy the remnant from the city.”

He looked at Amalek, and took up his discourse, and said: “Amalek was the first of the nations, But his latter end shall come to destruction.” He looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse, and said, “Your dwelling place is strong. Your nest is set in the rock. Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted, until Asshur carries you away captive.” He took up his discourse, and said, “Alas, who shall live when God does this? But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim. They shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber. He also shall come to destruction.” Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.

Reading 44/341, Numbers 19-21

[A] Moses and Aaron are punished today. Whether it was because of the words Moses spoke or because he hit the rock twice instead of once is not clear, probably both. Their punishment is to die before entering the Promised Land. Aaron dies today, Moses will die at the border and never enter.
[B] The bronze serpent is a type of Jesus. Just as looking at the serpent cured the illness caused by serpents, so when we look upon the death of Jesus on the Cross, it cures death. This bronze serpent is why a serpent on a pole is a symbol of medicine. For more on this, see today's homily.
[C] Israel wins two major battles today and begins to live in the cities of the people whom they killed, yet they are still wandering in the wilderness because they have not entered the Promised Land.
[D] Remember that Edom is another name for Esau, so the people of Edom are the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob, who was renamed Israel. This is why, even though Edom will not welcome them, they do not destroy them. The relationship between Israel and Edom will always be complicated. In 1400 years, an Edomite will become king of Israel: King Herod.

...Numbers...

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Tell the children of Israel to bring you a red heifer without spot, which has no blemish, and on which there has never been a yoke. You shall give her to Eleazar the priest, and he shall bring her forth outside of the camp, and someone shall kill her before his face, and Eleazar the priest shall take some of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. Someone shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn, and the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the evening. He who burns her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the evening. A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and put them outside of the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water for impurity, it is a sin offering. He who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening, and it shall be to the children of Israel, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among them, a statute forever.

He who touches the dead body of any human shall be unclean seven days, the same shall purify himself therewith on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean, but if he does not purify himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. Whoever touches a dead person, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tent of the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off from Israel, because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet on him. This is the law when a human dies in a tent, everyone who comes into the tent, and everyone who is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. Every open vessel, which has no covering bound on it, is unclean. Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain with a sword, or a dead body, or the bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. For the unclean they shall take of the ashes of the burning of the sin offering, and running water shall be added in a vessel, and a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, and on all the vessels, and on the people who were there, and on him who touched the bone, or the slain, or the dead, or the grave, and the clean person shall sprinkle it on the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day. Thus on the seventh day he shall purify him, and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at evening. But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord, the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him: he is unclean. It shall be a perpetual statute to them, and he who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and the soul that touches it shall be unclean until evening.’”

The children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people dwelt in Kadesh, and Miriam died there and was buried there. There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves together against Moses and Aaron. The people strove with Moses, and spoke, saying, “Would that we had died when our brothers died before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this desert, that we should die here, we and our animals? Why have you made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in to this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink. Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak you to the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water, and you shall bring forth for them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock water to drink.” Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring you forth water out of this rock?” Moses lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice, and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified among them.

Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, “Thus says your brother Israel, ‘You know all the travail that has happened to us, how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians dealt ill with us, and our fathers, and when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and brought us forth out of Egypt, and behold, we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your border. Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard, nor will we drink of the water of the wells. We will go along the king's highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed your border.’” Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through me, lest I come out with the sword against you.” The children of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will give the price of it, let me just, without doing anything else, pass through on my feet.” He said, “You shall not pass through.” Edom came out against him with many people, and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border, and Israel turned away from him.

They traveled from Kadesh, and the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron on Mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying, “Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter into the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah. Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor, and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son, and Aaron shall be gathered to his people and shall die there.” Moses did as the Lord commanded, and they went up onto Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son, and Aaron died there on top of the mountain, and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. When all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, all the house of Israel. The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South, heard that Israel came by the way of Atharim, and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. Israel vowed a vow to the Lord, and said, “If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” The Lord listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities, and the name of the place was called Hormah.

They traveled from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the soul of the people was greatly discouraged because of the way. The people spoke against God, and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? For there is no bread, and there is no water, and our soul loathes this worthless food.” The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and many people of Israel died. The people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord, and against you; pray to the Lord, that he will take away the serpents from us.” Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole, and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” Moses made a serpent of bronze, and set it on the standard, and it happened, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the serpent of bronze, he lived.

The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in Oboth. They traveled from Oboth, and encamped at Iye-abarim, in the desert which is before Moab, toward the sunrise. From there they traveled, and encamped in the valley of Zered. From there they traveled, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the desert, that comes out of the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. Therefore it is said in the book of the Wars of the Lord, “Vaheb in Suphah, the valleys of the Arnon, the slope of the valleys that incline toward the dwelling of Ar, leans on the border of Moab.” From there they traveled to Beer, that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O Well; sing to it, The Well, which the princes dug, which the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter, and with their poles.” From the desert they traveled to Mattanah, and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks down on the desert.

Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, “Let me pass through your land, we will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard; we will not drink of the water of the wells, we will go by the king's highway, until we have passed your border.” Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border, but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel in the desert, and came to Jahaz, and he fought against Israel. Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, to the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. Israel took all these cities, and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the towns of it. For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, to the Arnon. Therefore the ballad singers say, “Come to Heshbon. Let the city of Sihon be built and established; for a fire has gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon. It has devoured Ar of Moab, The lords of the high places of the Arnon. Woe to you, Moab! You are undone, people of Chemosh! He has given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity, to Sihon king of the Amorites. We have shot at them. Heshbon has perished to Dibon. We have laid waste to Nophah, Which reaches to Medeba.” Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they took the towns of it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. They turned and went up by the way of Bashan, and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. The Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, and all his people, and his land, and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” So they struck him, and his sons and all his people, until there was no one remaining, and they possessed his land.

Reading 43/341, Numbers 16-18

Having promised to kill off all the people of Israel older than 20 years old at the time that the people rejected the Promised Land, God kills some of them sooner and more violently than others. The people rebel today as Moses turns away from the land they rejected and begins to wander in the desert for 40 years.

...Numbers...

Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men, and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred fifty princes of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, men of renown, and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone too far! All in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then lift yourselves up above the assembly of the Lord?” When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, “In the morning the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy, and will allow him to come near: him whom he shall choose he will allow to come near to him. Do this, take thuribles, Korah and all his company, and put fire in them, and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses shall be holy. You have gone too far, you sons of Levi!” Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi, Does it seem but a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do the service of the tent of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, and that he has brought you near, and all your brothers, the sons of Levi with you? Do you seek the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. What is Aaron that you murmur against him?”

Moses sent and called Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the desert, but you need to make yourself also a prince over us? Moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” Moses was very angry, and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering, I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.” Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company go before the Lord, you, and they, and Aaron, tomorrow, and every man will take his thurible, and put incense on them. Let every man bring before the Lord a thurible, two hundred fifty thuribles; you also, and Aaron, each with his thurible. Every man took his thurible, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.

The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” They fell on their faces, and said, “God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” So they got up from the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side, and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood at the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little ones. Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the ground open its mouth, and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall understand that these men have despised the Lord.” It happened, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they, and all that belonged to them, went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed on them, and they perished from among the assembly. All Israel that were round about them fled at their cry; for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up.” Fire came forth from the Lord, and devoured the two hundred fifty men who offered the incense. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take the thuribles out of the burning, and scatter the fire yonder, for they are holy. The thuribles of these sinners against their own lives: let them be made into beaten plates for a covering of the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, therefore they are holy, and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel. Eleazar the priest took the bronze thuribles, which those who were burnt had offered, and they beat them out for a covering of the altar, to be a memorial to the children of Israel, to the end that no stranger, who is not of the seed of Aaron, comes near to burn incense before the Lord, lest he be as Korah and as his company. He did as the Lord told him through Moses.

But on the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” It happened, when the congregation was assembled against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” They fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, “Take your thurible, and put fire in it from off the altar, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them, for there is wrath gone out from the Lord: the disease has begun.” Aaron took as Moses spoke, and ran into the midst of the assembly, and behold, the disease had begun among the people, and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. He stood between the dead and the living, and the disease was stopped. Now those who died by the disease were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, besides those who died in the matter of Korah. Aaron returned to Moses to the entrance to the tent of meeting, and the disease was stopped.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and take from them rods, one for each house of the fathers, of all their princes according to their fathers' houses, twelve rods. Write every man's name on his rod. You shall write Aaron's name on the rod of Levi, for there shall be one rod for each head of their fathers' house. You shall lay them up in the tent of meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you. It shall happen, that the rod of the man whom I shall choose shall bud, and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against you.” Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and all their princes gave him rods, one for each prince, according to their fathers' houses, twelve rods, and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tent of the covenant. It happened on the next day, that Moses went into the tent of the covenant, and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had budded, put forth buds and produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the children of Israel, and they looked, and every man took his rod. The Lord said to Moses, “Put back the rod of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept for a token against the children of rebellion, that you may make an end of their murmurings against me, that they not die.” Thus did Moses, as the Lord commanded him, so he did.

The children of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tent of the Lord, dies, shall we perish, all of us?” The Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your fathers' house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. Your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, bring near with you, that they may be joined to you, and minister to you, but you and your sons with you shall be before the tent of the covenant. They shall keep your charge, and the charge of all the Tent, only they shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary and to the altar, lest they die, they and you. They shall be joined to you and keep the charge of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the Tent, and a stranger shall not come near to you. You shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar; that there be wrath no more on the children of Israel. I, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel, to you they are a gift, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting. You and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood as concerns everything of the altar and that within the veil, and you shall serve: I give you the priesthood as a service of gift, and the stranger who comes near shall be put to death.”

The Lord spoke to Aaron, “I, behold, I have given you the charge of my wave offerings, all the holy things of the children of Israel. To you have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to your sons, as a portion forever. This shall be yours of the Most Holy things, reserved from the fire, every offering of theirs, every grain offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every guilt offering of theirs, which they shall render to me, shall be Most Holy for you and for your sons. As the Most Holy things shall you eat of it; every male shall eat of it, it shall be holy to you. This is yours, the wave offering of their gift, all the wave offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, as a portion forever; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the vintage, and of the grain, their first fruits which they give to the Lord, to you have I given them. The first-ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it. Everything devoted in Israel shall be yours. Everything that opens the womb, of all flesh which they offer to the Lord, both of man and animal shall be yours, nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. You shall redeem those who are to be redeemed of them from a month old, according to your estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary (this is twenty gerahs). But the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy, you shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and shall burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savor to the Lord. The flesh of them shall be yours, as the wave offering breast and as the right thigh, it shall be yours. All the wave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, as a portion forever, it is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord to you and to your seed with you.”

The Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them, I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel. To the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, the service of the tent of meeting. Henceforth the children of Israel shall not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin, and die. But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity, it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, and among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a wave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance, therefore I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.” The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, ‘When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a wave offering of it for the Lord, a tithe of the tithe. Your wave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. Thus you also shall offer a wave offering to the Lord of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel, and of it you shall give the Lord's wave offering to Aaron the priest. Out of all your gifts you shall offer every wave offering of the Lord, of all the best of it, the holy part of it.’ Therefore you shall tell them, ‘When you have offered the best of it, then it shall be reckoned to the Levites as the profit of the threshing floor, and as the profit of the winepress. You shall eat it in every place, you and your households, for it is your reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting. You shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have gifted from it the best of it, and you shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, lest you die.’”

Reading 42/341, Numbers 14-15

[A] The Israelites were only supposed to be in the desert for a year or so, but now they will wander for 40 years, until everyone counted earlier, everyone over twenty, dies. They do not trust God, so he will teach them to trust him, or he will wait for another generation to grow up who learned to trust him in their youth.
[B] There is a stark contrast here between the punishment that the Lord prescribes for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, and Jesus' response to his disciples picking grain on the Sabbath, yet we believe that the Lord is the same God as Jesus. What changed between 1500 BC and AD 30? Not God. It is easiest to say that God changed, but he never does. The people changed. They were ready for the new teaching.

...Numbers...

All the congregation lifted up their voice and cried, and the people wept that night. All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would that we had died in this desert! Why does the Lord bring us to this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey, would it not be better for us to return into Egypt?” They said one to another, “Let us make a captain, and return to Egypt.” Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who spied out the land, tore their clothes, and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy it out is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us; their defense is removed from over them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” But all the congregation suggested stoning them with stones.

The glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the children of Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs which I have worked among them? I will strike them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear it; for you brought out this people in your might from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you the Lord are in the midst of this people, for you the Lord are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them, and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if you shall kill this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of you will speak, saying, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore to them, therefore he has slain them in the desert.’ Now please let the power of the Lord be great, according as you have spoken, saying, ‘The Lord is slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and disobedience, though will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation.’ Pardon, please, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your loving kindness, as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”

The Lord said, “I have pardoned according to your word, but in very deed, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, because all those men who have seen my glory, and my signs, which I worked in Egypt and in the desert, yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice, surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who despised me see it, but my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit in him, and has followed me fully, I will bring him to the land he went into, and his seed shall possess it. Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley, tomorrow turn, and go into the desert by the way to the Red Sea.” The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall I put up with this evil congregation, that murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Tell them, ‘As I live’, says the Lord, ‘surely as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you, your dead bodies shall fall in this desert, and all who were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me, surely you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore that I would make you dwell therein, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, that you said would be prey, I will bring them in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this desert. Your children shall be wanderers in the desert forty years, and shall bear your prostitution, until your dead bodies be consumed in the desert. After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, shall you bear your iniquities, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ I, the Lord, have spoken, I will surely do this to all this evil congregation, who are gathered together against me, in this desert they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.”

The men, whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up an evil report against the land, those men who brought up an evil report of the land, died by disease before the Lord. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, remained alive of those men who went to spy out the land. Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. They rose up early in the morning, and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Behold, we are here, and will go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.” Moses said, “Why now do you disobey the commandment of the Lord, seeing it shall not prosper? Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies. For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and you shall fall by the sword, because you are turned back from following the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you.” But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain, nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and Moses, did not depart out of the camp. Then the Amalekite came down, and the Canaanite who lived in that mountain, and struck them and beat them down, to Hormah.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, When you have come into the land of your habitations, which I give to you, and will make an offering by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice to accomplish a vow or as a freewill offering, or in your set feasts, to make a sweet savor to the Lord, of the herd, or of the flock, then he who offers his offering shall offer to the Lord a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the fourth part of a hin of oil, and wine for the drink offering. The fourth part of a hin, you shall prepare with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, for each lamb. Or for a ram, you shall prepare for a grain offering two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the third part of a hin of oil, and for the drink offering you shall offer the third part of a hin of wine, of a sweet savor to the Lord. When you prepare a bull for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice, to accomplish a vow, or for peace offerings to the Lord, then shall he offer with the bull a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil, and you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord. Thus shall it be done for each bull, or for each ram, or for each of the male lambs, or of the young goats.

According to the number that you shall prepare, so shall you do to everyone according to their number. All who are native-born shall do these things after this manner, when offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord. If a stranger lives as an immigrant with you, or whoever may be among you throughout your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the Lord; as you do, so he shall do. For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who lives as an immigrant among you, a statute forever throughout your generations, as you are, so shall the immigrant be before the Lord. One law and one ordinance shall be for you, and for the stranger who lives as an immigrant with you.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come to the land which I will bring you into, then it shall be when you eat of the bread of the land that you shall offer up a wave offering to the Lord. Of the first of your dough you shall offer up a cake for a wave offering, as the wave offering of the threshing floor, so shall you heave it. Of the first of your dough you shall give to the Lord a wave offering throughout your generations. When you shall err, and not observe all these commandments, which the Lord has spoken to Moses, all that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the Lord gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, then it shall be, if it be done unwittingly, without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, for a sweet savor to the Lord, with the grain offering of it, and the drink offering of it, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their error, and all the congregation of the children of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who lives as an immigrant among them, for with respect to all the people it was done unwittingly. If one person sins unwittingly, then he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for the soul who errs, when he sins unwittingly, before the Lord, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. You shall have one law for him who does anything unwittingly, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger who lives as an immigrant among them, but the soul who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native-born or an immigrant, the same blasphemes the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

While the children of Israel were in the desert, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. They put him in custody, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. The Lord said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death, all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside of the camp.” All the congregation brought him outside of the camp, and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them that they should make for themselves fringes on the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the fringe of each border a cord of blue, and it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look on it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them, so that you do not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which tend to play the prostitute, so that you may remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.