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Numbers 19-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Purification Ritual

19 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “This is the legal statute that the Lord has commanded: Instruct the Israelites to bring you an unblemished red cow that has no defect and has never been yoked. Give it to Eleazar the priest, and he will have it brought outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood with his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. The cow must be burned in his sight. Its hide, flesh, and blood, are to be burned along with its dung. The priest is to take cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson yarn, and throw them onto the fire where the cow is burning. Then the priest must wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; after that he may enter the camp, but he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. The one who burned the cow must also wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he will remain unclean until evening.

“A man who is clean is to gather up the cow’s ashes and deposit them outside the camp in a ceremonially clean place. The ashes must be kept by the Israelite community for preparing the water to remove impurity; it is a sin offering. 10 Then the one who gathers up the cow’s ashes must wash his clothes, and he will remain unclean until evening. This is a permanent statute for the Israelites and for the foreigner who resides among them.

11 “The person who touches any human corpse will be unclean for seven days. 12 He is to purify himself with the water[a] on the third day and the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third and seventh days, he will not be clean. 13 Anyone who touches a body of a person who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord. That person will be cut off from Israel. He remains unclean because the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, and his uncleanness is still on him.

14 “This is the law when a person dies in a tent: everyone who enters the tent and everyone who is already in the tent will be unclean for seven days, 15 and any open container without a lid tied on it is unclean. 16 Anyone in the open field who touches a person who has been killed by the sword or has died, or who even touches a human bone, or a grave, will be unclean for seven days. 17 For the purification of the unclean person, they are to take some of the ashes of the burnt sin offering, put them in a jar, and add fresh water to them. 18 A person who is clean is to take hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle the tent, all the furnishings, and the people who were there. He is also to sprinkle the one who touched a bone, a grave, a corpse, or a person who had been killed.

19 “The one who is clean is to sprinkle the unclean person on the third day and the seventh day. After he purifies the unclean person on the seventh day, the one being purified must wash his clothes and bathe in water, and he will be clean by evening. 20 But a person who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person will be cut off from the assembly because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. The water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean. 21 This is a permanent statute for them. The person who sprinkles the water for impurity is to wash his clothes, and whoever touches the water for impurity will be unclean until evening. 22 Anything the unclean person touches will become unclean, and anyone who touches it will be unclean until evening.”

Water from the Rock

20 The entire Israelite community entered the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and they[b] settled in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.

There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord. Why have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It’s not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!”

Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell down with their faces to the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.”

So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence just as He had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah,[c] where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and He showed His holiness to them.

Edom Denies Passage

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, “This is what your brother Israel says, ‘You know all the hardships that have overtaken us. 15 Our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt many years, but the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. 16 When we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice, sent an angel,[d] and brought us out of Egypt. Now look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the border of your territory. 17 Please let us travel through your land. We won’t travel through any field or vineyard, or drink any well water. We will travel the King’s Highway; we won’t turn to the right or the left until we have traveled through your territory.’”

18 But Edom answered him, “You must not travel through our land, or we will come out and confront you with the sword.”

19 “We will go on the main road,” the Israelites replied to them, “and if we or our herds drink your water, we will pay its price. There will be no problem; only let us travel through on foot.”

20 Yet Edom insisted, “You must not travel through.” And they came out to confront them with a large force of heavily-armed people.[e] 21 Edom refused to allow Israel to travel through their territory, and Israel turned away from them.

Aaron’s Death

22 After they set out from Kadesh, the entire Israelite community came to Mount Hor. 23 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will not enter the land I have given the Israelites, because you both rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up Mount Hor. 26 Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron will be gathered to his people and die there.”

27 So Moses did as the Lord commanded, and they climbed Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28 After Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When the whole community saw that Aaron had passed away, the entire house of Israel mourned for him 30 days.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 19:12 Or ashes; lit with it
  2. Numbers 20:1 Lit the people
  3. Numbers 20:13 = quarreling
  4. Numbers 20:16 Or a messenger
  5. Numbers 20:20 Lit with numerous people and a strong hand

Luke 1:1-25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Dedication to Theophilus

Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.[b]

Gabriel Predicts John’s Birth

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division[c] named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. But they had no children[d] because Elizabeth could not conceive,[e] and both of them were well along in years.[f]

When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and overcome with fear.[g] 13 But the angel said to him:

Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you will name him John.
14 There will be joy and delight for you,
and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord
and will never drink wine or beer.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit
while still in his mother’s womb.
16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel
to the Lord their God.
17 And he will go before Him
in the spirit and power of Elijah,
to turn the hearts of fathers
to their children,
and the disobedient
to the understanding of the righteous,
to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.

18 “How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”[h]

19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. 20 Now listen! You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept making signs to them and remained speechless. 23 When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 “The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 1:1 Or events that have been accomplished, or events most surely believed
  2. Luke 1:4 Or informed
  3. Luke 1:5 One of the 24 divisions of priests appointed by David for temple service; 1Ch 24:10
  4. Luke 1:7 Lit child
  5. Luke 1:7 Lit Elizabeth was sterile or barren
  6. Luke 1:7 Lit in their days
  7. Luke 1:12 Lit and fear fell on him
  8. Luke 1:18 Lit in her days

Psalm 56 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 56

A Call for God’s Protection

For the choir director: according to “A Silent Dove Far Away.”[a] A Davidic Miktam. When the Philistines seized him in Gath.

Be gracious to me, God, for man tramples me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.[b]

When I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts against me are evil.
They stir up strife,[c] they lurk;
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
Will they escape in spite of such sin?
God, bring down the nations in wrath.

You Yourself have recorded my wanderings.[d]
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your records?
Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

12 I am obligated by vows[e] to You, God;
I will make my thank offerings to You.
13 For You delivered me from death,
even my feet from stumbling,
to walk before God in the light of life.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 56:1 Possibly a tune
  2. Psalm 56:2 Or many fight against me, O exalted One, or many fight against me from the heights
  3. Psalm 56:6 Or They attack
  4. Psalm 56:8 Or misery
  5. Psalm 56:12 Lit On me the vows

Proverbs 11:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The righteous one is rescued from trouble;
in his place, the wicked one goes in.

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