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Numbers 26-28 The Message (MSG)

Census on the Plains of Moab

26 1-2 After the plague God said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, “Number the entire community of Israel by families—count every person who is twenty years and older who is able to serve in the army of Israel.”

3-4 Obeying God’s command, Moses and Eleazar the priest addressed them on the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho: “Count off from age twenty and older.”

4-7 The People of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt:

Reuben, Israel’s firstborn. The sons of Reuben were:

Hanoch and the Hanochite clan,

Pallu and the Palluite clan,

Hezron and the Hezronite clan,

Carmi and the Carmite clan.

These made up the Reubenite clans. They numbered 43,730.

The son of Pallu: Eliab.

9-11 The sons of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. (These were the same Dathan and Abiram, community leaders from Korah’s gang, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron in the Korah Rebellion against God. The Earth opened its jaws and swallowed them along with Korah’s gang who died when the fire ate them up, all 250 of them. After all these years, they’re still a warning sign. But the line of Korah did not die out.)

12-14 The sons of Simeon by clans:

Nemuel and the Nemuelite clan,

Jamin and the Jaminite clan,

Jakin and the Jakinite clan,

Zerah and the Zerahite clan,

Shaul and the Shaulite clan.

These were the clans of Simeon. They numbered 22,200 men.

15-18 The sons of Gad by clans:

Zephon and the Zephonite clan,

Haggi and the Haggite clan,

Shuni and the Shunite clan,

Ozni and the Oznite clan,

Eri and the Erite clan,

Arodi and the Arodite clan,

Areli and the Arelite clan.

These were the clans of Gad. They numbered 40,500 men.

19-22 Er and Onan were sons of Judah who died early on in Canaan. The sons of Judah by clans:

Shelah and the Shelanite clan,

Perez and the Perezite clan,

Zerah and the Zerahite clan.

The sons of Perez:

Hezron and the Hezronite clan,

Hamul and the Hamulite clan.

These were the clans of Judah. They numbered 76,500.

23-25 The sons of Issachar by clans:

Tola and the Tolaite clan,

Puah and the Puite clan,

Jashub and the Jashubite clan,

Shimron and the Shimronite clan.

These were the clans of Issachar. They numbered 64,300.

26-27 The sons of Zebulun by clans:

Sered and the Seredite clan,

Elon and the Elonite clan,

Jahleel and the Jahleelite clan.

These were the clans of Zebulun. They numbered 60,500.

28-34 The sons of Joseph by clans through Manasseh and Ephraim. Through Manasseh:

Makir and the Makirite clan

(now Makir was the father of Gilead),

Gilead and the Gileadite clan.

The sons of Gilead:

Iezer and the Iezerite clan,

Helek and the Helekite clan,

Asriel and the Asrielite clan,

Shechem and the Shechemite clan,

Shemida and the Shemidaite clan,

Hepher and the Hepherite clan.

Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons, only daughters.

Their names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

These were the clans of Manasseh. They numbered 52,700.

35-37 The sons of Ephraim by clans:

Shuthelah and the Shuthelahite clan,

Beker and the Bekerite clan,

Tahan and the Tahanite clan.

The sons of Shuthelah:

Eran and the Eranite clan.

These were the clans of Ephraim. They numbered 32,500.

These are all the sons of Joseph by their clans.

38-41 The sons of Benjamin by clans:

Bela and the Belaite clan,

Ashbel and the Ashbelite clan,

Ahiram and the Ahiramite clan,

Shupham and the Shuphamite clan,

Hupham and the Huphamite clan.

The sons of Bela through Ard and Naaman:

Ard and the Ardite clan,

Naaman and the Naamite clan.

These were the clans of Benjamin. They numbered 45,600.

42-43 The sons of Dan by clan:

Shuham and the Shuhamite clan.

These are the clans of Dan, all Shuhamite clans. They numbered 64,400.

44-47 The sons of Asher by clan:

Imnah and the Imnite clan,

Ishvi and the Ishvite clan,

Beriah and the Beriite clan.

The sons of Beriah:

Heber and the Heberite clan,

Malkiel and the Malkielite clan.

Asher also had a daughter, Serah.

These were the clans of Asher. They numbered 53,400.

48-50 The sons of Naphtali by clans:

Jahzeel and the Jahzeelite clan,

Guni and the Gunite clan,

Jezer and the Jezerite clan,

Shillem and the Shillemite clan.

These were the clans of Naphtali. They numbered 45,400.

51 The total number of the People of Israel: 601,730.

52-54 God spoke to Moses: “Divide up the inheritance of the land based on population. A larger group gets a larger inheritance; a smaller group gets a smaller inheritance—each gets its inheritance based on the population count.

55-56 “Make sure that the land is assigned by lot.

“Each group’s inheritance is based on population, the number of names listed in its ancestral tribe, divided among the many and the few by lot.”

57-58 These are the numberings of the Levites by clan:

Gershon and the Gershonite clan,

Kohath and the Kohathite clan,

Merari and the Merarite clan.

The Levite clans also included:

the Libnite clan,

the Hebronite clan,

the Mahlite clan,

the Mushite clan,

the Korahite clan.

58-61 Kohath was the father of Amram. Amram’s wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, born into the Levite family during the Egyptian years. Jochebed bore Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam to Amram. Aaron was the father of Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar; however, Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unauthorized sacrifice in the presence of God.

62 The numbering of Levite males one month and older came to 23,000. They hadn’t been counted in with the rest of the People of Israel because they didn’t inherit any land.

63-65 These are the ones numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, the People of Israel counted in the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho. Not one of them had been among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest in the census of the People of Israel taken in the Wilderness of Sinai. For God had said of them, “They’ll die, die in the wilderness—not one of them will be left except for Caleb son of Jephunneh, and Joshua son of Nun.”

The Daughters of Zelophehad

27 The daughters of Zelophehad showed up. Their father was the son of Hepher son of Gilead son of Makir son of Manasseh, belonging to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

2-4 They came to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. They stood before Moses and Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and the congregation and said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He wasn’t part of Korah’s rebel anti-God gang. He died for his own sins. And he left no sons. But why should our father’s name die out from his clan just because he had no sons? So give us an inheritance among our father’s relatives.”

Moses brought their case to God.

6-7 God ruled: “Zelophehad’s daughters are right. Give them land as an inheritance among their father’s relatives. Give them their father’s inheritance.

8-11 “Then tell the People of Israel, If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give it to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give it to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give it to the nearest relative so that the inheritance stays in the family. This is the standard procedure for the People of Israel, as commanded by God through Moses.”


12-14 God said to Moses, “Climb up into the Abarim Mountains and look over at the land that I am giving to the People of Israel. When you’ve had a good look you’ll be joined to your ancestors in the grave—yes, you also along with Aaron your brother. This goes back to the day when the congregation quarreled in the Wilderness of Zin and you didn’t honor me in holy reverence before them in the matter of the waters, the Waters of Meribah (Quarreling) at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.”

15-17 Moses responded to God: “Let God, the God of the spirits of everyone living, set a man over this community to lead them, to show the way ahead and bring them back home so God’s community will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

18-21 God said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun—the Spirit is in him!—and place your hand on him. Stand him before Eleazar the priest in front of the entire congregation and commission him with everyone watching. Pass your magisterial authority over to him so that the whole congregation of the People of Israel will listen obediently to him. He is to consult with Eleazar the priest who, using the oracle-Urim, will prayerfully advise him in the presence of God. He will command the People of Israel, the entire community, in all their comings and goings.”

22-23 Moses followed God’s orders. He took Joshua and stood him before Eleazar the priest in front of the entire community. He laid his hands on him and commissioned him, following the procedures God had given Moses.


28 1-8 God spoke to Moses: “Command the People of Israel. Tell them, You’re in charge of presenting my food, my Fire-Gifts of pleasing fragrance, at the set times. Tell them, This is the Fire-Gift that you are to present to God: two healthy yearling lambs each day as a regular Whole-Burnt-Offering. Sacrifice one lamb in the morning, the other in the evening, together with two quarts of fine flour mixed with a quart of olive oil for a Grain-Offering. This is the standard Whole-Burnt-Offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing fragrance, a Fire-Gift to God. The Drink-Offering that goes with it is a quart of strong beer with each lamb. Pour out the Drink-Offering before God in the Sanctuary. Sacrifice the second lamb in the evening with the Grain-Offering and Drink-Offering the same as in the morning—a Fire-Gift of pleasing fragrance for God.

9-10 “On the Sabbath, sacrifice two healthy yearling lambs, together with the Drink-Offering and the Grain-Offering of four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the regular Sabbath Whole-Burnt-Offering, in addition to the regular Whole-Burnt-Offering and its Drink-Offering.

11 “On the first of the month offer a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God: two young bulls, one ram, and seven male yearling lambs—all healthy.

12-14 “A Grain-Offering of six quarts of fine flour mixed with oil goes with each bull, four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil with the ram, and two quarts of fine flour mixed with oil with each lamb. This is for a Whole-Burnt-Offering, a pleasing fragrance, a Fire-Gift to God. Also, Drink-Offerings of two quarts of wine for each bull, one and a quarter quarts of wine for the ram, and a quart of wine for each lamb are to be poured out.

14-15 “This is the first of the month Whole-Burnt-Offering to be made throughout the year. In addition to the regular Whole-Burnt-Offering with its accompanying Drink-Offering, a he-goat is to be offered to God as an Absolution-Offering.

16-17 God’s Passover is to be held on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of this month hold a festival.

17-22 “For seven days, eat only unraised bread: Begin the first day in holy worship; don’t do any regular work that day. Bring a Fire-Gift to God, a Whole-Burnt-Offering: two young bulls, one ram, and seven male yearling lambs—all healthy. Prepare a Grain-Offering of six quarts of fine flour mixed with oil for each bull, four quarts for the ram, and two quarts for each lamb, plus a goat as an Absolution-Offering to atone for you.

23-24 “Sacrifice these in addition to the regular morning Whole-Burnt-Offering. Prepare the food this way for the Fire-Gift, a pleasing fragrance to God, every day for seven days. Prepare it in addition to the regular Whole-Burnt-Offering and Drink-Offering.

25 “Conclude the seventh day in holy worship; don’t do any regular work on that day.

26-30 “On the Day of Firstfruits when you bring an offering of new grain to God on your Feast-of-Weeks, gather in holy worship and don’t do any regular work. Bring a Whole-Burnt-Offering of two young bulls, one ram, and seven male yearling lambs as a pleasing fragrance to God. Prepare a Grain-Offering of six quarts of fine flour mixed with oil for each bull, four quarts for the ram, and two quarts for each lamb, plus a he-goat as an Absolution-Offering to atone for you.

31 “These are all over and above the daily Whole-Burnt-Offering and its Grain-Offering and the Drink-Offering. Remember, the animals must be healthy.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Mark 8 The Message (MSG)

A Meal for Four Thousand

1-3 At about this same time he again found himself with a hungry crowd on his hands. He called his disciples together and said, “This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll faint along the way—some of them have come a long distance.”

His disciples responded, “What do you expect us to do about it? Buy food out here in the desert?”

He asked, “How much bread do you have?”

“Seven loaves,” they said.

6-10 So Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. After giving thanks, he took the seven bread loaves, broke them into pieces, and gave them to his disciples so they could hand them out to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He pronounced a blessing over the fish and told his disciples to hand them out as well. The crowd ate its fill. Seven sacks of leftovers were collected. There were well over four thousand at the meal. Then he sent them home. He himself went straight to the boat with his disciples and set out for Dalmanoutha.

11-12 When they arrived, the Pharisees came out and started in on him, badgering him to prove himself, pushing him up against the wall. Provoked, he said, “Why does this generation clamor for miraculous guarantees? If I have anything to say about it, you’ll not get so much as a hint of a guarantee.”

Contaminating Yeast

13-15 He then left them, got back in the boat, and headed for the other side. But the disciples forgot to pack a lunch. Except for a single loaf of bread, there wasn’t a crumb in the boat. Jesus warned, “Be very careful. Keep a sharp eye out for the contaminating yeast of Pharisees and the followers of Herod.”

16-19 Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all? Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

They said, “Twelve.”

20 “And the seven loaves for the four thousand—how many bags full of leftovers did you get?”


21 He said, “Do you still not get it?”

22-23 They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man’s eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, “Do you see anything?”

24-26 He looked up. “I see men. They look like walking trees.” So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus. Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, “Don’t enter the village.”

The Messiah

27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, “Who do the people say I am?”

28 “Some say ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say ‘Elijah.’ Still others say ‘one of the prophets.’”

29 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”

Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.”

30-32 Jesus warned them to keep it quiet, not to breathe a word of it to anyone. He then began explaining things to them: “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.” He said this simply and clearly so they couldn’t miss it.

32-33 But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. “Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works.”

34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

38 “If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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