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Numbers 15:17-16:40; Mark 15:1-47; Psalms 54:1-7; Proverbs 11:5-6 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
Offering the First Bread Dough to the Lord
17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land where I’m taking you 19 and eat any of the food from the land, give some of it as a contribution to the Lord. 20 Shape one part of your dough into a ring the same way you do with the contribution you make from the threshing floor.[a] 21 For generations to come, you must give one part of your dough as a contribution to the Lord.
What Is to Be Done about Unintentional and Intentional Wrongdoings
22 “Suppose you unintentionally do something wrong by not obeying all these commands the Lord gave Moses. 23 (Everything the Lord commanded you through Moses holds as true for generations to come as it did the day the Lord gave the commands.) 24 If it was unintentional and no one else knows about it, the whole community must sacrifice a young bull as a burnt offering, a soothing aroma to the Lord, along with the proper grain and wine offerings, and a male goat as an offering for sin. 25 The priest will make peace with the Lord for the whole community of Israel. Then they will be forgiven because the wrongdoing was unintentional and they brought these two offerings to the Lord for their sin: an offering by fire and an offering for sin. 26 So the whole community of Israel will be forgiven, including foreigners who are living among them, since all the people were involved in the unintentional wrongdoing.
27 “If one person unintentionally does something wrong, a one-year-old female goat must be sacrificed as an offering for sin. 28 The priest will offer the sacrifice to make peace with the Lord for that person, and that person will be forgiven. 29 You must give the same instructions to everyone who does something wrong unintentionally, whether they are native-born Israelites or not.
30 “But any native-born Israelite or foreigner who deliberately does something wrong insults the Lord and must be excluded from the people. 31 That person has despised the word of the Lord and broken the Lord’s command. He must be excluded completely. He remains guilty.”
A Man Breaks the Rules for the Day of Worship
32 While the Israelites were in the desert, they found a man gathering wood on the day of worship. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole community. 34 They kept him in custody until they decided what to do with him.
35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “This man must be put to death. The whole community must take him outside the camp and stone him.” 36 So the whole community took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord commanded Moses.
The Israelites Are Commanded to Wear Tassels
37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: For generations to come they must wear tassels on the corners of their clothes with violet threads in each tassel. 39 Whenever you look at the threads in the tassel, you will remember all the Lord’s commands and obey them. Then you won’t do whatever you want and go after whatever you see, as if you were chasing after prostitutes. 40 You will remember to obey all my commands, and you will be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.”
16 Korah (son of Izhar), Dathan and Abiram (sons of Eliab), and On (son of Peleth) dared to challenge Moses.[b] (Korah was a descendant of Kohath and Levi. Dathan, Abiram, and On were descendants of Reuben.) 2 These four men were joined by 250 Israelite men, well-known leaders of the community, chosen by the assembly. 3 They came together to confront Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You’ve gone far enough! Everyone in the whole community is holy, and the Lord is among them. Why do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”
4 As soon as Moses heard this, he bowed with his face touching the ground. 5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers, “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him, who is holy, and who it is that he will allow to come near him. Only the person the Lord chooses will be allowed to come near him. 6 Korah, you and all your followers must do this tomorrow: Take incense burners, 7 and put burning coals and incense in them in the Lord’s presence. Then the Lord will choose the man who is holy. You’ve gone far enough!”
8 Moses also said to Korah, “Listen, you Levites! 9 Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the community of Israel? The Lord has brought you near himself to do the work for his tent and stand in front of the community to serve them. 10 He has brought you and all the other Levites near himself, but now you demand to be priests. 11 So you and all your followers have joined forces against the Lord! Who is Aaron that you should complain about him?”
12 Then Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab. But they said, “We won’t come! 13 Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey only to kill us in the desert? Do you also have to order us around? 14 Certainly you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us any fields and vineyards to own. Do you think you can still pull the wool over our eyes? We won’t come.”
15 Moses became angry and said to the Lord, “Don’t accept their offering. I haven’t taken anything from them, not even a donkey. And I haven’t mistreated any of them.”
16 Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow you and all your followers must come into the Lord’s presence. Aaron will also be there with you. 17 Each man will take his incense burner and put incense in it. They will offer all 250 incense burners to the Lord. Then you and Aaron offer your incense burners.”
18 So each man took his incense burner, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 19 When Korah had gathered all his followers—those who opposed Moses and Aaron—at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole group.
20 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 21 “Move away from these men, and I’ll destroy them in an instant.” 22 Immediately, they bowed with their faces touching the ground and said, “O God, you are the God who gives the breath of life to everyone! If one man sins, will you be angry with the whole community?”
23 Then the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Tell the community: Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
25 Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the leaders of Israel followed him. 26 He said to the community, “Move away from the tents of these wicked men. Don’t touch anything that belongs to them, or you’ll be swept away because of all their sins.” 27 So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing at the entrances to their tents with their wives and children.
28 Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord sent me to do all these things and that it wasn’t my idea: 29 If these men die like all other people—if they die a natural death—then the Lord hasn’t sent me. 30 But if the Lord does something totally new—if the ground opens up, swallows them and everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive to their graves—then you’ll know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”
31 As soon as he had finished saying all this, the ground under them split, 32 and the earth opened up to swallow them, their families, the followers of Korah, and all their property. 33 They went down alive to their graves with everything that belonged to them. The ground covered them, and so they disappeared from the assembly. 34 All the Israelites around them ran away when they heard their screams. They thought the ground would swallow them, too.
35 Fire came from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering incense.[c]
36 Then the Lord said to Moses, 37 “Tell Eleazar, son of the priest Aaron, to take the incense burners out of the fire and scatter the coals and incense somewhere else, because the incense burners have become holy. 38 The incense burners of these men who sinned and lost their lives are holy, because they were offered to the Lord. Hammer them into thin metal sheets to cover the altar. This will be a sign to the Israelites.”
39 So the priest Eleazar took the bronze incense burners which had been brought by those who had been burned to death. The incense burners were then hammered into thin metal sheets to cover the altar, 40 following the command that the Lord had given through Moses. The bronze-covered altar will remind Israel that no one but a descendant of Aaron can come near to burn incense to the Lord. Everyone else will die like Korah and his followers.
- Numbers 15:20 A threshing floor is an outdoor area where grain is separated from its husks.
- Numbers 16:1 The beginning of verse 2 (in Hebrew) has been placed in verse 1 to express the complex Hebrew sentence structure more clearly in English.
- Numbers 16:35 Numbers 16:36–50 in English Bibles is Numbers 17:1–15 in the Hebrew Bible.
Pilate Questions Jesus
15 Early in the morning the chief priests immediately came to a decision with the leaders and the experts in Moses’ Teachings. The whole Jewish council decided to tie Jesus up, lead him away, and hand him over to Pilate.
2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Yes, I am,” Jesus answered him.
3 The chief priests were accusing him of many things.
4 So Pilate asked him again, “Don’t you have any answer? Look how many accusations they’re bringing against you!”
5 But Jesus no longer answered anything, so Pilate was surprised.
The Crowd Rejects Jesus
6 At every Passover festival, Pilate would free one prisoner whom the people asked for. 7 There was a man named Barabbas in prison. He was with some rebels who had committed murder during a riot. 8 The crowd asked Pilate to do for them what he always did. 9 Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to free the king of the Jews for you?” 10 Pilate knew that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.
11 The chief priests stirred up the crowd so that Pilate would free Barabbas for them instead.
12 So Pilate again asked them, “Then what should I do with the king of the Jews?”
13 “Crucify him!” they shouted back.
14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What has he done wrong?”
But they shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”
15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the people, so he freed Barabbas for them. But he had Jesus whipped and handed over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus
16 The soldiers led Jesus into the courtyard of the palace and called together the whole troop. 17 They dressed him in purple, twisted some thorns into a crown, and placed it on his head. 18 Then they began to greet him, “Long live the king of the Jews!” 19 They kept hitting him on the head with a stick, spitting on him, and kneeling in front of him with false humility.
20 After the soldiers finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the purple cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. 21 A man named Simon from the city of Cyrene was coming into Jerusalem from his home in the country. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus. As he was about to pass by, the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.
22 They took Jesus to Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 They tried to give him wine mixed with a drug called myrrh, but he wouldn’t take it. 24 Next they crucified him. Then they divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice to see what each one would get. 25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 There was a written notice of the accusation against him. It read, “The king of the Jews.”
27 They crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and the other on his left.[a]
29 Those who passed by insulted him. They shook their heads and said, “What a joke! You were going to tear down God’s temple and build it again in three days. 30 Come down from the cross, and save yourself!” 31 The chief priests and the experts in Moses’ Teachings made fun of him among themselves in the same way. They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with him were insulting him.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
33 At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
35 When some of the people standing there heard him say that, they said, “Listen! He’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink. The man said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”
37 Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died. 38 The curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom.
39 When the officer who stood facing Jesus saw how he gave up his spirit, he said, “Certainly, this man was the Son of God!”
40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary from Magdala, Mary (the mother of young James and Joseph), and Salome. 41 They had followed him and supported him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him were there too.
Jesus Is Placed in a Tomb
42 It was Friday evening, before the day of worship, 43 when Joseph arrived. He was from the city of Arimathea and was an important member of the Jewish council. He, too, was waiting for the kingdom of God. Joseph boldly went to Pilate’s quarters to ask for the body of Jesus.
44 Pilate wondered if Jesus had already died. So he summoned the officer to ask him if Jesus was, in fact, dead. 45 When the officer had assured him that Jesus was dead, Pilate let Joseph have the corpse.
46 Joseph had purchased some linen cloth. He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in the cloth. Then he laid the body in a tomb, which had been cut out of rock, and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary from Magdala and Mary (the mother of Joses) watched where Jesus was laid.
- Mark 15:27 Some manuscripts and translations add verse 28: “And what the Scriptures said came true: ‘He was counted with criminals.’”
For the choir director; on stringed instruments; a maskil by David when people from the city of Ziph told Saul that David was hiding among them.
1 O God, save me by your name,
and defend me with your might.
2 O God, hear my prayer,
and open your ears to the words from my mouth.
3 Strangers have attacked me.
Ruthless people seek my life.
They do not think about God.[a] Selah
4 God is my helper!
The Lord is the provider for my life.
5 My enemies spy on me.
Pay them back with evil.
Destroy them with your truth!
6 I will make a sacrifice to you along with a freewill offering.
I will give thanks to your good name, O Lord.
7 Your name rescues me from every trouble.
My eyes will gloat over my enemies.
- Psalm 54:3 Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
5 The righteousness of innocent people makes their road smooth,
but wicked people fall by their own wickedness.
6 Decent people are saved by their righteousness,
but treacherous people are trapped by their own greed.