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The People Rebel

14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!(A) Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us choose a captain and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the Israelites.(B) And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the Israelites, “The land that we went through as spies is an exceedingly good land.(C) If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.(D) Only, do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they are no more than bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”(E) 10 But the whole congregation threatened to stone them.

Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites.(F) 11 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?(G) 12 I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”(H)

Moses Intercedes for the People

13 But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for in your might you brought up this people from among them,(I) 14 and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people, for you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go in front of them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.(J) 15 Now if you kill this people as one, then the nations who have heard about you will say, 16 ‘It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them that he has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’(K) 17 And now, therefore, let the power of the Lord be great in the way that you promised when you spoke, saying,

18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
to the third and the fourth generation.’(L)

19 “Forgive the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have pardoned this people, from Egypt even until now.”(M)

20 Then the Lord said, “I do forgive, just as you have asked;(N) 21 nevertheless, as I live and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord,(O) 22 none of the people who have seen my glory and the signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness and yet have tested me these ten times and have not obeyed my voice 23 shall see the land that I swore to give to their ancestors; none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.(P) 25 Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”[a](Q)

An Attempted Invasion Is Repulsed

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they complain against me.(R) 28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘I will do to you the very things I heard you say:(S) 29 your dead bodies shall fall in this very wilderness, and of all your number included in the census from twenty years old and up who have complained against me,(T) 30 not one of you shall come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.(U) 31 But your little ones, who you said would become plunder, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have despised.(V) 32 But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness.(W) 33 And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness.(X) 34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’(Y) 35 I the Lord have spoken; surely I will do thus to all this wicked congregation gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”(Z)

36 And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report about the land,(AA) 37 the men who brought an unfavorable report about the land died by a plague before the Lord. 38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh alone remained alive, of those men who went to spy out the land.(AB)

39 When Moses told these words to all the Israelites, the people mourned greatly.(AC) 40 They rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.”(AD) 41 But Moses said, “Why do you continue to transgress the command of the Lord? That will not succeed. 42 Do not go up, for the Lord is not with you; do not let yourselves be struck down before your enemies.(AE) 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will confront you there, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned back from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.” 44 But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, even though the ark of the covenant of the Lord and Moses had not left the camp.(AF) 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them, pursuing them as far as Hormah.(AG)

Various Offerings

15 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you,(AH) and you make an offering by fire[b] to the Lord from the herd or from the flock—whether a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or at your appointed festivals—to make a pleasing odor for the Lord,(AI) then whoever presents such an offering to the Lord shall present also a grain offering, one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour, mixed with one-fourth of a hin of oil.(AJ) Moreover, you shall offer one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering with the burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb.(AK) For a ram, you shall offer a grain offering, two-tenths of an ephah of choice flour mixed with one-third of a hin of oil,(AL) and as a drink offering you shall offer one-third of a hin of wine, a pleasing odor to the Lord. When you offer a bull as a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as an offering of well-being to the Lord,(AM) then you shall present with the bull a grain offering, three-tenths of an ephah of choice flour, mixed with half a hin of oil,(AN) 10 and you shall present as a drink offering half a hin of wine, as an offering by fire,[c] a pleasing odor to the Lord.

11 “Thus it shall be done for each ox or ram or for each of the male lambs or the kids. 12 According to the number that you offer, so you shall do with each and every one. 13 Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in presenting an offering by fire,[d] a pleasing odor to the Lord. 14 An alien who lives with you or who takes up permanent residence among you and wishes to offer an offering by fire,[e] a pleasing odor to the Lord, shall do as you do. 15 As for the assembly, there shall be for both you and the resident alien a single statute, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you and the alien shall be alike before the Lord.(AO) 16 You and the alien who resides with you shall have the same law and the same ordinance.”

17 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: After you come into the land to which I am bringing you,(AP) 19 whenever you eat of the bread of the land you shall present a donation to the Lord.(AQ) 20 From your first batch of dough you shall present a loaf as a donation; you shall present it just as you present a donation from the threshing floor.(AR) 21 Throughout your generations you shall give to the Lord a donation from the first of your batch of dough.

22 “But if you unintentionally fail to observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses(AS) 23 everything that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day the Lord gave commandment and thereafter, throughout your generations— 24 then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge[f] of the congregation, the whole congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, a pleasing odor to the Lord, together with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a purification offering.(AT) 25 The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the Israelites, and they shall be forgiven; it was unintentional, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire[g] to the Lord, and their purification offering before the Lord, for their error.(AU) 26 All the congregation of the Israelites shall be forgiven, as well as the aliens residing among you, because the whole people was involved in the error.

27 “An individual who sins unintentionally shall present a female goat a year old for a purification offering.(AV) 28 And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the one who commits an error, when it is unintentional, to make atonement for the person, who then shall be forgiven.(AW) 29 For both the native among the Israelites and the alien residing among you, you shall have the same law for anyone who acts in error.(AX) 30 But whoever acts high-handedly, whether native-born or an alien, affronts the Lord and shall be cut off from among the people. 31 Because of having despised the word of the Lord and broken his commandment, such a person shall be utterly cut off and bear the guilt.”(AY)

Penalty for Violating the Sabbath

32 When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day.(AZ) 33 Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses, Aaron, and the whole congregation. 34 They put him in custody because it was not clear what should be done to him.(BA) 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him outside the camp.”(BB) 36 The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Fringes on Garments

37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord on the fringe at each corner.(BC) 39 You have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them and not follow the lust of your own heart and your own eyes.(BD) 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and you shall be holy to your God.(BE) 41 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.”


  1. 14.25 Or Sea of Reeds
  2. 15.3 Or a gift
  3. 15.10 Or a gift
  4. 15.13 Or a gift
  5. 15.14 Or a gift
  6. 15.24 Heb far from the eyes
  7. 15.25 Or a gift