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Chapter 15

Secondary Offerings. The Lord spoke to Moses: [a]Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you for your settlements, if you make to the Lord an oblation from the herd or from the flock—either a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow, or as a voluntary offering, or for one of your festivals—to produce a pleasing aroma for the Lord, the one presenting the offering shall also present to the Lord a grain offering, a tenth of a measure[b] of bran flour mixed with a fourth of a hin of oil, as well as wine for a libation, a fourth of a hin. You will do this with the burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb. Alternatively for a ram you shall make a grain offering of two tenths of a measure of bran flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil, and for a libation, a third of a hin of wine, thereby presenting a pleasing aroma to the Lord. If you make an offering from the herd—either a burnt offering, or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow, or as a communion offering to the Lord, with it a grain offering of three tenths of a measure of bran flour mixed with half a hin of oil will be presented; 10 and you will present for a libation, half a hin of wine—a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. 11 The same is to be done for each ox, ram, lamb or goat. 12 Whatever the number you offer, do the same for each of them.

13 All the native-born shall make these offerings in this way, whenever they present a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. 14 Likewise, in any future generation, any alien residing with you or anyone else in your midst, who presents an oblation of pleasing aroma to the Lord, must do as you do. 15 There is but one statute for you and for the resident alien, a perpetual statute throughout your generations. You and the resident alien will be alike before the Lord; 16 you and the alien residing with you will have the same rule and the same application of it.

17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land into which I am bringing you 19 and eat of the bread of the land, you shall offer the Lord a contribution. 20 A round loaf from your first batch of dough[c] you shall offer as a contribution. Just like a contribution from the threshing floor you shall offer it.(A) 21 Throughout your generations you shall give a contribution to the Lord from your first batch of dough.

Purification Offerings.[d] 22 If through inadvertence you fail to do any of these commandments which the Lord has given to Moses—(B) 23 anything the Lord commanded you through Moses from the time the Lord first gave the command down through your generations— 24 if it was done inadvertently without the community’s knowledge, the whole community shall sacrifice one bull from the herd as a burnt offering of pleasing aroma to the Lord, along with its prescribed grain offering and libation, as well as one he-goat as a purification offering. 25 (C)Then the priest shall make atonement for the whole Israelite community; and they will be forgiven, since it was inadvertence, and for their inadvertence they have brought their offering: an oblation to the Lord as well as their purification offering before the Lord. 26 Not only the whole Israelite community but also the aliens residing among you shall be forgiven, since the inadvertent fault affects all the people.

27 If it is an individual who sins inadvertently,(D) this person shall bring a yearling she-goat as a purification offering. 28 And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred, since the sin was inadvertent, making atonement for the person to secure forgiveness. 29 You shall have but one rule for the person who sins inadvertently, whether a native-born Israelite or an alien residing among you.

30 But anyone who acts defiantly,(E) whether a native or an alien, reviles the Lord, and shall be cut off from among the people. 31 (F)For having despised the word of the Lord and broken his commandment, he must be cut off entirely and bear the punishment.

The Sabbath-breaker. 32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was discovered gathering wood on the sabbath day. 33 Those who caught him at it brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole community. 34 But they put him in custody, for there was no clear decision[e] as to what should be done with him.(G) 35 Then the Lord said to Moses: This man shall be put to death; let the whole community stone him outside the camp. 36 So the whole community led him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Tassels on the Cloak. 37 The Lord said to Moses: 38 Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels[f] for the corners of their garments, fastening a violet cord to each corner.(H) 39 When you use these tassels, the sight of the cord will remind you of all the commandments of the Lord and you will do them, without prostituting yourself going after the desires of your hearts and your eyes. 40 Thus you will remember to do all my commandments and you will be holy to your God. 41 I, the Lord, am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I, the Lord your God.(I)


  1. 15:2–16 These laws on sacrifice are complementary to those of Lv 1–3. Since the food of the Israelites consisted not only of meat but also of bread, oil and wine, they offered flour, wine and oil in sacrifice to the Lord besides the animal oblations.
  2. 15:4 Measure: the word, supplied from the context, does not appear in the Hebrew (as also in vv. 6, 9; 28:9, 12, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14). Probably the ephah (which is named in 5:15; 28:5) is intended. Hin: see note on Ez 45:24.
  3. 15:20 Dough: the meaning of the Hebrew term is uncertain; some render, “baking utensils.” This word is used elsewhere only in Ez 44:30 and Neh 10:33; a related Hebrew word is used in Lv 2:14.
  4. 15:22–31 See note on Lv 4:2. Although Lv 4–5 and Nm 15:22–31 both concern inadvertent sins, the emphasis here, as opposed to Lv 4–5, is on the failure of the community to perform “positive commands” rather than on doing what is prohibited.
  5. 15:34 No clear decision: either it was not clear that gathering wood constituted “work” and as such a willful violation of the sabbath and a capital offense; or they did not yet know how the death penalty was to be inflicted.
  6. 15:38 Tassels: at the time of Jesus these tassels were worn by all pious Jews, including Jesus (Mt 9:20–21; Mk 6:56); some Pharisees wore very large ones in a display of their zeal for the law (Mt 23:5).

Supplementary Offerings

15 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘After you enter the land I am giving you(A) as a home and you present to the Lord food offerings from the herd or the flock,(B) as an aroma pleasing to the Lord(C)—whether burnt offerings(D) or sacrifices, for special vows or freewill offerings(E) or festival offerings(F) then the person who brings an offering shall present to the Lord a grain offering(G) of a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour(H) mixed with a quarter of a hin[b] of olive oil. With each lamb(I) for the burnt offering or the sacrifice, prepare a quarter of a hin of wine(J) as a drink offering.(K)

“‘With a ram(L) prepare a grain offering(M) of two-tenths of an ephah[c](N) of the finest flour mixed with a third of a hin[d] of olive oil,(O) and a third of a hin of wine(P) as a drink offering.(Q) Offer it as an aroma pleasing to the Lord.(R)

“‘When you prepare a young bull(S) as a burnt offering or sacrifice, for a special vow(T) or a fellowship offering(U) to the Lord, bring with the bull a grain offering(V) of three-tenths of an ephah[e](W) of the finest flour mixed with half a hin[f] of olive oil, 10 and also bring half a hin of wine(X) as a drink offering.(Y) This will be a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.(Z) 11 Each bull or ram, each lamb or young goat, is to be prepared in this manner. 12 Do this for each one, for as many as you prepare.(AA)

13 “‘Everyone who is native-born(AB) must do these things in this way when they present a food offering as an aroma pleasing to the Lord.(AC) 14 For the generations to come,(AD) whenever a foreigner(AE) or anyone else living among you presents a food(AF) offering(AG) as an aroma pleasing to the Lord, they must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.(AH) You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigner residing among you.(AI)’”

17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land to which I am taking you(AJ) 19 and you eat the food of the land,(AK) present a portion as an offering to the Lord.(AL) 20 Present a loaf from the first of your ground meal(AM) and present it as an offering from the threshing floor.(AN) 21 Throughout the generations to come(AO) you are to give this offering to the Lord from the first of your ground meal.(AP)

Offerings for Unintentional Sins

22 “‘Now if you as a community unintentionally fail to keep any of these commands the Lord gave Moses(AQ) 23 any of the Lord’s commands to you through him, from the day the Lord gave them and continuing through the generations to come(AR) 24 and if this is done unintentionally(AS) without the community being aware of it,(AT) then the whole community is to offer a young bull for a burnt offering(AU) as an aroma pleasing to the Lord,(AV) along with its prescribed grain offering(AW) and drink offering,(AX) and a male goat for a sin offering.[g](AY) 25 The priest is to make atonement for the whole Israelite community, and they will be forgiven,(AZ) for it was not intentional(BA) and they have presented to the Lord for their wrong a food offering(BB) and a sin offering.(BC) 26 The whole Israelite community and the foreigners residing among them will be forgiven, because all the people were involved in the unintentional wrong.(BD)

27 “‘But if just one person sins unintentionally,(BE) that person must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering.(BF) 28 The priest is to make atonement(BG) before the Lord for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made, that person will be forgiven.(BH) 29 One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner residing among you.(BI)

30 “‘But anyone who sins defiantly,(BJ) whether native-born or foreigner,(BK) blasphemes the Lord(BL) and must be cut off from the people of Israel.(BM) 31 Because they have despised(BN) the Lord’s word and broken his commands,(BO) they must surely be cut off; their guilt remains on them.(BP)’”

The Sabbath-Breaker Put to Death

32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness,(BQ) a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day.(BR) 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.(BS) 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die.(BT) The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.(BU) 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him(BV) to death,(BW) as the Lord commanded Moses.(BX)

Tassels on Garments

37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come(BY) you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments,(BZ) with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember(CA) all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves(CB) by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts(CC) and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands(CD) and will be consecrated to your God.(CE) 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God.(CF) I am the Lord your God.(CG)’”


  1. Numbers 15:4 That is, probably about 3 1/2 pounds or about 1.6 kilograms
  2. Numbers 15:4 That is, about 1 quart or about 1 liter; also in verse 5
  3. Numbers 15:6 That is, probably about 7 pounds or about 3.2 kilograms
  4. Numbers 15:6 That is, about 1 1/3 quarts or about 1.3 liters; also in verse 7
  5. Numbers 15:9 That is, probably about 11 pounds or about 5 kilograms
  6. Numbers 15:9 That is, about 2 quarts or about 1.9 liters; also in verse 10
  7. Numbers 15:24 Or purification offering; also in verses 25 and 27