Numbers 20-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Death of Miriam. 1 The Israelites, the whole community, arrived in the wilderness of Zin[b] in the first month, and the people stayed at Kadesh. It was here that Miriam died, and here that she was buried.
Need for Water at Kadesh. 2 Since the community had no water, they held an assembly against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses, exclaiming, “Would that we had perished when our kindred perished before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, only to bring us to this wretched place? It is not a place for grain nor figs nor vines nor pomegranates! And there is no water to drink!” 6 But Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting, where they fell prostrate.
Sin of Moses and Aaron. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them, 7 and the Lord said to Moses: 8 Take the staff and assemble the community, you and Aaron your brother, and in their presence command the rock to yield its waters. Thereby you will bring forth water from the rock for them, and supply the community and their livestock with water. 9 So Moses took the staff from its place before the Lord, as he was ordered. 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly in front of the rock, where he said to them, “Just listen, you rebels! Are we to produce water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then, raising his hand, Moses struck the rock twice[c] with his staff, and water came out in abundance, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 [d]But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: Because you did not have confidence in me, to acknowledge my holiness before the Israelites, therefore you shall not lead this assembly into the land I have given them.
13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and through which he displayed his holiness.
Edom’s Refusal. 14 From Kadesh Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom: “Thus says your brother Israel:[e] You know of all the hardships that have befallen us, 15 how our ancestors went down to Egypt, and we stayed in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians treated us and our ancestors harshly. 16 When we cried to the Lord, he heard our cry and sent an angel who led us out of Egypt. Now here we are at Kadesh, a town at the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not cross any fields or vineyards, nor drink any well water, but we will go straight along the King’s Highway[f] without turning to the right or to the left, until we have passed through your territory.”
18 But Edom answered him, “You shall not pass through here; if you do, I will advance against you with the sword.” 19 The Israelites said to him, “We will go up along the highway. If we or our livestock drink any of your water, we will pay for it. It is nothing—just let us pass through on foot.” 20 But Edom replied, “You shall not pass through,” and advanced against them with a large and heavily armed force. 21 Therefore, since Edom refused to let Israel pass through their territory, Israel turned away from them.
Death of Aaron. 22 Setting out from Kadesh, the Israelites, the whole community, came to Mount Hor.[g] 23 There at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 24 Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land I have given to the Israelites, because you both rebelled against my directions at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up on Mount Hor. 26 Then strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar, his son; but there Aaron shall be gathered up in death.
27 Moses did as the Lord commanded. When they had climbed Mount Hor in view of the whole community, 28 Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. Then Aaron died there on top of the mountain. When Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, 29 all the community understood that Aaron had breathed his last; and for thirty days the whole house of Israel mourned Aaron.
Victory over Arad. 1 When the Canaanite, the king of Arad,[h] who ruled over the Negeb, heard that the Israelites were coming along the way of Atharim, he engaged Israel in battle and took some of them captive. 2 Israel then made this vow to the Lord: “If you deliver this people into my hand, I will put their cities under the ban.” 3 The Lord paid attention to Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they put them and their cities under the ban. Hence that place was named Hormah.[i]
The Bronze Serpent. 4 From Mount Hor they set out by way of the Red Sea, to bypass the land of Edom, but the people’s patience was worn out by the journey; 5 so the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”[j]
6 So the Lord sent among the people seraph[k] serpents, which bit the people so that many of the Israelites died. 7 Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you. Pray to the Lord to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, 8 and the Lord said to Moses: Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and everyone who has been bitten will look at it and recover.[l] 9 Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent[m] and mounted it on a pole, and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.
Journey Around Moab. 10 The Israelites moved on and encamped in Oboth. 11 Then they moved on from Oboth and encamped in Iye-abarim[n] in the wilderness facing Moab on the east. 12 Moving on from there, they encamped in the Wadi Zered. 13 Moving on from there, they encamped on the other side of the Arnon, in the wilderness that extends from the territory of the Amorites; for the Arnon forms Moab’s boundary, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Hence it is said in the “Book of the Wars of the Lord”:[o]
“Waheb in Suphah and the wadies,
16 From there they went to Beer,[q] which is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, Gather the people together so that I may give them water. 17 Then Israel sang this song:
Spring up, O well!—so sing to it—
19 From Beer to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 from Bamoth to the valley in the country of Moab at the headland of Pisgah that overlooks Jeshimon.[r]
Victory over Sihon. 21 Now Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, with the message, 22 “Let us pass through your land. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, nor will we drink any well water, but we will go straight along the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.” 23 Sihon, however, would not permit Israel to pass through his territory, but mustered all his forces and advanced against Israel into the wilderness. When he reached Jahaz, he engaged Israel in battle. 24 But Israel put him to the sword, and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok and as far as Jazer of the Ammonites, for Jazer is the boundary of the Ammonites. 25 Israel seized all the towns here, and Israel settled in all the towns of the Amorites, in Heshbon and all its dependencies. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land from him as far as the Arnon. 27 That is why the poets say:
“Come to Heshbon, let it be rebuilt,
31 So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent spies to Jazer; and the Israelites captured it with its dependencies and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.
Victory over Og. 33 Then they turned and went up along the road to Bashan. But Og, king of Bashan, advanced against them with all his forces to give battle at Edrei. 34 The Lord, however, said to Moses: Do not fear him; for into your hand I deliver him with all his forces and his land. You will do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon. 35 So they struck him down with his sons and all his forces, until not a survivor was left to him, and they took possession of his land.
Psalm 79 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
A Prayer for Jerusalem
1 A psalm of Asaph.
O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
5 How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever?
9 Help us, God our savior,
11 Let the groaning of the imprisoned come in before you;
Acts 15:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Council of Jerusalem. 1 [a]Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.”[b] 2 Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and presbyters about this question. 3 They were sent on their journey by the church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, as well as by the apostles and the presbyters, and they reported what God had done with them. 5 But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”
6 [c]The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter. 7 [d]After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”[e] 12 The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.
James on Dietary Law. 13 [f]After they had fallen silent, James responded, “My brothers, listen to me. 14 Symeon[g] has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:
16 ‘After this I shall return
19 It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. 21 For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”