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

True Fasting

58 “Shout it aloud,(A) do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.(B)
Declare to my people their rebellion(C)
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.(D)
For day after day they seek(E) me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken(F) the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near(G) them.
‘Why have we fasted,’(H) they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled(I) ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’(J)

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please(K)
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,(L)
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard(M) on high.
Is this the kind of fast(N) I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble(O) themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed(P)
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?(Q)
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting(R) I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice(S)
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed(T) free
    and break every yoke?(U)
Is it not to share your food with the hungry(V)
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter(W)
when you see the naked, to clothe(X) them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?(Y)
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,(Z)
    and your healing(AA) will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a](AB) will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.(AC)
Then you will call,(AD) and the Lord will answer;(AE)
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger(AF) and malicious talk,(AG)
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,(AH)
then your light(AI) will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.(AJ)
11 The Lord will guide(AK) you always;
    he will satisfy your needs(AL) in a sun-scorched land(AM)
    and will strengthen(AN) your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,(AO)
    like a spring(AP) whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins(AQ)
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;(AR)
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,(AS)
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath(AT)
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight(AU)
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,(AV)
14 then you will find your joy(AW) in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights(AX) of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance(AY) of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.(AZ)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 58:8 Or your righteous One

Psalm 63[a]

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,(A)
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.(B)

I have seen you in the sanctuary(C)
    and beheld your power and your glory.(D)
Because your love is better than life,(E)
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,(F)
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.(G)
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;(H)
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.(I)
Because you are my help,(J)
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.(K)
I cling to you;(L)
    your right hand upholds me.(M)

Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;(N)
    they will go down to the depths of the earth.(O)
10 They will be given over to the sword(P)
    and become food for jackals.(Q)

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
    all who swear by God will glory in him,(R)
    while the mouths of liars will be silenced.(S)

Psalm 64[b]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;(T)
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.(U)

Hide me from the conspiracy(V) of the wicked,(W)
    from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords(X)
    and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.(Y)
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;(Z)
    they shoot suddenly, without fear.(AA)

They encourage each other in evil plans,
    they talk about hiding their snares;(AB)
    they say, “Who will see it[c]?”(AC)
They plot injustice and say,
    “We have devised a perfect plan!”
    Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them(AD)
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads(AE) in scorn.(AF)
All people will fear;(AG)
    they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done.(AH)

10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord(AI)
    and take refuge in him;(AJ)
    all the upright in heart will glory in him!(AK)

Psalm 65[d]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.

Praise awaits[e] you, our God, in Zion;(AL)
    to you our vows will be fulfilled.(AM)
You who answer prayer,
    to you all people will come.(AN)
When we were overwhelmed by sins,(AO)
    you forgave[f] our transgressions.(AP)
Blessed are those you choose(AQ)
    and bring near(AR) to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,(AS)
    of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,(AT)
    God our Savior,(AU)
the hope of all the ends of the earth(AV)
    and of the farthest seas,(AW)
who formed the mountains(AX) by your power,
    having armed yourself with strength,(AY)
who stilled the roaring of the seas,(AZ)
    the roaring of their waves,
    and the turmoil of the nations.(BA)
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.(BB)

You care for the land and water it;(BC)
    you enrich it abundantly.(BD)
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,(BE)
    for so you have ordained it.[g]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
    you soften it with showers(BF) and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,(BG)
    and your carts overflow with abundance.(BH)
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;(BI)
    the hills are clothed with gladness.(BJ)
13 The meadows are covered with flocks(BK)
    and the valleys are mantled with grain;(BL)
    they shout for joy and sing.(BM)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 63:1 In Hebrew texts 63:1-11 is numbered 63:2-12.
  2. Psalm 64:1 In Hebrew texts 64:1-10 is numbered 64:2-11.
  3. Psalm 64:5 Or us
  4. Psalm 65:1 In Hebrew texts 65:1-13 is numbered 65:2-14.
  5. Psalm 65:1 Or befits; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Psalm 65:3 Or made atonement for
  7. Psalm 65:9 Or for that is how you prepare the land