Towns for the Levites

35 On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho,(A) the Lord said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to give the Levites towns to live in(B) from the inheritance the Israelites will possess. And give them pasturelands(C) around the towns. Then they will have towns to live in and pasturelands for the cattle they own and all their other animals.(D)

“The pasturelands around the towns that you give the Levites will extend a thousand cubits[a] from the town wall. Outside the town, measure two thousand cubits[b](E) on the east side, two thousand on the south side, two thousand on the west and two thousand on the north, with the town in the center. They will have this area as pastureland for the towns.(F)

Cities of Refuge(G)

“Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee.(H) In addition, give them forty-two other towns. In all you must give the Levites forty-eight towns, together with their pasturelands. The towns you give the Levites from the land the Israelites possess are to be given in proportion to the inheritance of each tribe: Take many towns from a tribe that has many, but few from one that has few.”(I)

Then the Lord said to Moses: 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan,(J) 11 select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone(K) accidentally(L) may flee. 12 They will be places of refuge from the avenger,(M) so that anyone accused of murder(N) may not die before they stand trial before the assembly.(O) 13 These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge.(P) 14 Give three on this side of the Jordan and three in Canaan as cities of refuge. 15 These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there.

16 “‘If anyone strikes someone a fatal blow with an iron object, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.(Q) 17 Or if anyone is holding a stone and strikes someone a fatal blow with it, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death. 18 Or if anyone is holding a wooden object and strikes someone a fatal blow with it, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood(R) shall put the murderer to death; when the avenger comes upon the murderer, the avenger shall put the murderer to death.(S) 20 If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at them intentionally(T) so that they die 21 or if out of enmity one person hits another with their fist so that the other dies, that person is to be put to death;(U) that person is a murderer. The avenger of blood(V) shall put the murderer to death when they meet.

22 “‘But if without enmity someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at them unintentionally(W) 23 or, without seeing them, drops on them a stone heavy enough to kill them, and they die, then since that other person was not an enemy and no harm was intended, 24 the assembly(X) must judge between the accused and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. 25 The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send the accused back to the city of refuge to which they fled. The accused must stay there until the death of the high priest,(Y) who was anointed(Z) with the holy oil.(AA)

26 “‘But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which they fled 27 and the avenger of blood finds them outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder. 28 The accused must stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may they return to their own property.

29 “‘This is to have the force of law(AB) for you throughout the generations to come,(AC) wherever you live.(AD)

30 “‘Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.(AE)

31 “‘Do not accept a ransom(AF) for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die. They are to be put to death.

32 “‘Do not accept a ransom for anyone who has fled to a city of refuge and so allow them to go back and live on their own land before the death of the high priest.

33 “‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land,(AG) and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34 Do not defile the land(AH) where you live and where I dwell,(AI) for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.’”

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 35:4 That is, about 1,500 feet or about 450 meters
  2. Numbers 35:5 That is, about 3,000 feet or about 900 meters

Deliverance of Israel

27 In that day,(A)

the Lord will punish with his sword(B)
    his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Leviathan(C) the gliding serpent,(D)
    Leviathan the coiling serpent;
he will slay the monster(E) of the sea.

In that day(F)

“Sing(G) about a fruitful vineyard:(H)
    I, the Lord, watch over it;
    I water(I) it continually.
I guard(J) it day and night
    so that no one may harm(K) it.
    I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
    I would march against them in battle;
    I would set them all on fire.(L)
Or else let them come to me for refuge;(M)
    let them make peace(N) with me,
    yes, let them make peace with me.”

In days to come Jacob will take root,(O)
    Israel will bud and blossom(P)
    and fill all the world with fruit.(Q)

Has the Lord struck her
    as he struck(R) down those who struck her?
Has she been killed
    as those were killed who killed her?
By warfare[a] and exile(S) you contend with her—
    with his fierce blast he drives her out,
    as on a day the east wind(T) blows.
By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned(U) for,
    and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:(V)
When he makes all the altar stones(W)
    to be like limestone crushed to pieces,
no Asherah poles[b](X) or incense altars(Y)
    will be left standing.
10 The fortified city stands desolate,(Z)
    an abandoned settlement, forsaken(AA) like the wilderness;
there the calves graze,(AB)
    there they lie down;(AC)
    they strip its branches bare.
11 When its twigs are dry, they are broken off(AD)
    and women come and make fires(AE) with them.
For this is a people without understanding;(AF)
    so their Maker has no compassion on them,
    and their Creator(AG) shows them no favor.(AH)

12 In that day the Lord will thresh(AI) from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt,(AJ) and you, Israel, will be gathered(AK) up one by one. 13 And in that day(AL) a great trumpet(AM) will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled(AN) in Egypt(AO) will come and worship(AP) the Lord on the holy mountain(AQ) in Jerusalem.

Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah

28 Woe(AR) to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s(AS) drunkards,
    to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley(AT)
    to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!(AU)
See, the Lord has one who is powerful(AV) and strong.
    Like a hailstorm(AW) and a destructive wind,(AX)
like a driving rain and a flooding(AY) downpour,
    he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s(AZ) drunkards,
    will be trampled(BA) underfoot.
That fading flower, his glorious beauty,
    set on the head of a fertile valley,(BB)
will be like figs(BC) ripe before harvest—
    as soon as people see them and take them in hand,
    they swallow them.

In that day(BD) the Lord Almighty
    will be a glorious(BE) crown,(BF)
a beautiful wreath
    for the remnant(BG) of his people.
He will be a spirit of justice(BH)
    to the one who sits in judgment,(BI)
a source of strength
    to those who turn back the battle(BJ) at the gate.

And these also stagger(BK) from wine(BL)
    and reel(BM) from beer:
Priests(BN) and prophets(BO) stagger from beer
    and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
    they stagger when seeing visions,(BP)
    they stumble when rendering decisions.
All the tables are covered with vomit(BQ)
    and there is not a spot without filth.

“Who is it he is trying to teach?(BR)
    To whom is he explaining his message?(BS)
To children weaned(BT) from their milk,(BU)
    to those just taken from the breast?
10 For it is:
    Do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that[c];
    a little here, a little there.(BV)

11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues(BW)
    God will speak to this people,(BX)
12 to whom he said,
    “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;(BY)
and, “This is the place of repose”—
    but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
    Do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;
    a little here, a little there(BZ)
so that as they go they will fall backward;
    they will be injured(CA) and snared and captured.(CB)

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord,(CC) you scoffers(CD)
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,(CE)
    with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,(CF)
    it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie(CG) our refuge
    and falsehood[d] our hiding place.(CH)

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,(CI) a tested stone,(CJ)
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;(CK)
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.(CL)
17 I will make justice(CM) the measuring line
    and righteousness the plumb line;(CN)
hail(CO) will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
    and water will overflow(CP) your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;
    your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.(CQ)
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,(CR)
    you will be beaten down(CS) by it.
19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;(CT)
    morning after morning,(CU) by day and by night,
    it will sweep through.”

The understanding of this message
    will bring sheer terror.(CV)
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,
    the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.(CW)
21 The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,(CX)
    he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon(CY)
to do his work,(CZ) his strange work,
    and perform his task, his alien task.
22 Now stop your mocking,(DA)
    or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
    of the destruction decreed(DB) against the whole land.(DC)

23 Listen(DD) and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting,(DE) does he plow continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?(DF)
Does he not plant wheat in its place,[e]
    barley(DG) in its plot,[f]
    and spelt(DH) in its field?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches(DI) him the right way.

27 Caraway is not threshed(DJ) with a sledge,(DK)
    nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,(DL)
    and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
    so one does not go on threshing it forever.
The wheels of a threshing cart(DM) may be rolled over it,
    but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,(DN)
    whose wisdom is magnificent.(DO)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 27:8 See Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. Isaiah 27:9 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah
  3. Isaiah 28:10 Hebrew / sav lasav sav lasav / kav lakav kav lakav (probably meaningless sounds mimicking the prophet’s words); also in verse 13
  4. Isaiah 28:15 Or false gods
  5. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Isaiah 28:25 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

Psalm 140[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Rescue me,(A) Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,(B)
who devise evil plans(C) in their hearts
    and stir up war(D) every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as(E) a serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers(F) is on their lips.[b]

Keep me safe,(G) Lord, from the hands of the wicked;(H)
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare(I) for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net(J)
    and have set traps(K) for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”(L)
    Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.(M)
Sovereign Lord,(N) my strong deliverer,
    you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked(O) their desires, Lord;
    do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
    may the mischief of their lips engulf them.(P)
10 May burning coals fall on them;
    may they be thrown into the fire,(Q)
    into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
    may disaster hunt down the violent.(R)

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor(S)
    and upholds the cause(T) of the needy.(U)
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,(V)
    and the upright will live(W) in your presence.(X)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 140:1 In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.
  2. Psalm 140:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.

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