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Numbers 9-11The Message (MSG)

Passover

1-3 God spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai in the first month of the second year after leaving Egypt: “Have the People of Israel celebrate Passover at the set time. Celebrate it on schedule, on the evening of the fourteenth day of this month, following all the rules and procedures.”

4-5 Moses told the People of Israel to celebrate the Passover and they did—in the Wilderness of Sinai at evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. The People of Israel did it all just as God had commanded Moses.

6-7 But some of them couldn’t celebrate the Passover on the assigned day because they were ritually unclean on account of a corpse. So they presented themselves before Moses and Aaron on Passover and told Moses, “We have become ritually unclean because of a corpse, but why should we be barred from bringing God’s offering along with other Israelites on the day set for Passover?”

Moses said, “Give me some time; I’ll find out what God says in your circumstances.”

9-12 God spoke to Moses: “Tell the People of Israel, If one or another of you is ritually unclean because of a corpse, or you happen to be off on a long trip, you may still celebrate God’s Passover. But celebrate it on the fourteenth day of the second month at evening. Eat the lamb together with unraised bread and bitter herbs. Don’t leave any of it until morning. Don’t break any of its bones. Follow all the procedures.

13 “But a man who is ritually clean and is not off on a trip and still fails to celebrate the Passover must be cut off from his people because he did not present God’s offering at the set time. That man will pay for his sin.

14 “Any foreigner living among you who wants to celebrate God’s Passover is welcome to do it, but he must follow all the rules and procedures. The same procedures go for both foreigner and native-born.”

The Cloud

15-16 The day The Dwelling was set up, the Cloud covered The Dwelling of the Tent of Testimony. From sunset until daybreak it was over The Dwelling. It looked like fire. It was like that all the time, the Cloud over The Dwelling and at night looking like fire.

17-23 When the Cloud lifted above the Tent, the People of Israel marched out; and when the Cloud descended the people camped. The People of Israel marched at God’s command and they camped at his command. As long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, they camped. Even when the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for many days, they honored God’s command and wouldn’t march. They stayed in camp, obedient to God’s command, as long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, but the moment God issued orders they marched. If the Cloud stayed only from sunset to daybreak and then lifted at daybreak, they marched. Night or day, it made no difference—when the Cloud lifted, they marched. It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there. And when the Cloud went up, they got up and marched. They camped at God’s command and they marched at God’s command. They lived obediently by God’s orders as delivered by Moses.

The Two Bugles

10 1-3 God spoke to Moses: “Make two bugles of hammered silver. Use them to call the congregation together and give marching orders to the camps. When you blow them, the whole community will meet you at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

4-7 “When a bugle gives a single, short blast, that’s the signal for the leaders, the heads of the clans, to assemble. When it gives a long blast, that’s the signal to march. At the first blast the tribes who were camped on the east set out. At the second blast the camps on the south set out. The long blasts are the signals to march. The bugle call that gathers the assembly is different from the signal to march.

8-10 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are in charge of blowing the bugles; it’s their assigned duty down through the generations. When you go to war against an aggressor, blow a long blast on the bugle so that God will notice you and deliver you from your enemies. Also at times of celebration, at the appointed feasts and New Moon festivals, blow the bugles over your Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings: they will keep your attention on God. I am God, your God.”

The March from Sinai to Paran

11-13 In the second year, on the twentieth day of the second month, the Cloud went up from over The Dwelling of The Testimony. At that the People of Israel set out on their travels from the Wilderness of Sinai until the Cloud finally settled in the Wilderness of Paran. They began their march at the command of God through Moses.

14-17 The flag of the camp of Judah led the way, rank after rank under the command of Nahshon son of Amminadab. Nethanel son of Zuar commanded the forces of the tribe of Issachar, and Eliab son of Helon commanded the forces of the tribe of Zebulun. As soon as The Dwelling was taken down, the Gershonites and the Merarites set out, carrying The Dwelling.

18-21 The flag of the camp of Reuben was next with Elizur son of Shedeur in command. Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai commanded the forces of the tribe of Simeon; Eliasaph son of Deuel commanded the forces of the tribe of Gad. Then the Kohathites left, carrying the holy things. By the time they arrived The Dwelling would be set up.

22-24 The flag of the tribe of Ephraim moved out next, commanded by Elishama son of Ammihud. Gamaliel son of Pedahzur commanded the forces of the tribe of Manasseh; Abidan son of Gideoni commanded the forces of the tribe of Benjamin.

25-27 Finally, under the flag of the tribe of Dan, the rear guard of all the camps marched out with Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai in command. Pagiel son of Ocran commanded the forces of the tribe of Asher; Ahira son of Enan commanded the forces of the tribe of Naphtali.

28 These were the marching units of the People of Israel. They were on their way.

29 Moses said to his brother-in-law Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We’re marching to the place about which God promised, ‘I’ll give it to you.’ Come with us; we’ll treat you well. God has promised good things for Israel.”

30 But Hobab said, “I’m not coming; I’m going back home to my own country, to my own family.”

31-32 Moses countered, “Don’t leave us. You know all the best places to camp in the wilderness. We need your eyes. If you come with us, we’ll make sure that you share in all the good things God will do for us.”

33-36 And so off they marched. From the Mountain of God they marched three days with the Chest of the Covenant of God in the lead to scout out a campsite. The Cloud of God was above them by day when they marched from the camp. With the Chest leading the way, Moses would say,

Get up, God!
Put down your enemies!
Chase those who hate you to the hills!

And when the Chest was set down, he would say,

Rest with us, God,
Stay with the many,
Many thousands of Israel.

Camp Taberah

11 1-3 The people fell to grumbling over their hard life. God heard. When he heard his anger flared; then fire blazed up and burned the outer boundaries of the camp. The people cried out for help to Moses; Moses prayed to God and the fire died down. They named the place Taberah (Blaze) because fire from God had blazed up against them.

Camp Kibroth Hattaavah

4-6 The riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, “Why can’t we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt—and got it free!—to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna.”

7-9 Manna was a seedlike substance with a shiny appearance like resin. The people went around collecting it and ground it between stones or pounded it fine in a mortar. Then they boiled it in a pot and shaped it into cakes. It tasted like a delicacy cooked in olive oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna was right there with it.

10 Moses heard the whining, all those families whining in front of their tents. God’s anger blazed up. Moses saw that things were in a bad way.

11-15 Moses said to God, “Why are you treating me this way? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? Did I conceive them? Was I their mother? So why dump the responsibility of this people on me? Why tell me to carry them around like a nursing mother, carry them all the way to the land you promised to their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people who are whining to me, ‘Give us meat; we want meat.’ I can’t do this by myself—it’s too much, all these people. If this is how you intend to treat me, do me a favor and kill me. I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here.”

16-17 God said to Moses, “Gather together seventy men from among the leaders of Israel, men whom you know to be respected and responsible. Take them to the Tent of Meeting. I’ll meet you there. I’ll come down and speak with you. I’ll take some of the Spirit that is on you and place it on them; they’ll then be able to take some of the load of this people—you won’t have to carry the whole thing alone.

18-20 “Tell the people, Consecrate yourselves. Get ready for tomorrow when you’re going to eat meat. You’ve been whining to God, ‘We want meat; give us meat. We had a better life in Egypt.’ God has heard your whining and he’s going to give you meat. You’re going to eat meat. And it’s not just for a day that you’ll eat meat, and not two days, or five or ten or twenty, but for a whole month. You’re going to eat meat until it’s coming out your nostrils. You’re going to be so sick of meat that you’ll throw up at the mere mention of it. And here’s why: Because you have rejected God who is right here among you, whining to his face, ‘Oh, why did we ever have to leave Egypt?’”

21-22 Moses said, “I’m standing here surrounded by 600,000 men on foot and you say, ‘I’ll give them meat, meat every day for a month.’ So where’s it coming from? Even if all the flocks and herds were butchered, would that be enough? Even if all the fish in the sea were caught, would that be enough?”

23 God answered Moses, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.”

24-25 So Moses went out and told the people what God had said. He called together seventy of the leaders and had them stand around the Tent. God came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit rested on them they prophesied. But they didn’t continue; it was a onetime event.

26 Meanwhile two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed in the camp. They were listed as leaders but they didn’t leave camp to go to the Tent. Still, the Spirit also rested on them and they prophesied in the camp.

27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ right-hand man since his youth, said, “Moses, master! Stop them!”

29 But Moses said, “Are you jealous for me? Would that all God’s people were prophets. Would that God would put his Spirit on all of them.”

30-34 Then Moses and the leaders of Israel went back to the camp. A wind set in motion by God swept quails in from the sea. They piled up to a depth of about three feet in the camp and as far out as a day’s walk in every direction. All that day and night and into the next day the people were out gathering the quail—huge amounts of quail; even the slowest person among them gathered at least sixty bushels. They spread them out all over the camp for drying. But while they were still chewing the quail and had hardly swallowed the first bites, God’s anger blazed out against the people. He hit them with a terrible plague. They ended up calling the place Kibroth Hattaavah (Graves-of-the-Craving). There they buried the people who craved meat.

35 From Kibroth Hattaavah they marched on to Hazeroth. They remained at Hazeroth.

The Message (MSG)

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

Mark 5:1-20The Message (MSG)

The Madman

1-5 They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones.

6-8 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then bellowed in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”)

9-10 Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.”

He replied, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country.

11-13 A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.

14-15 Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man.

16-17 Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. At first they were in awe—and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back.

18-20 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.

The Message (MSG)

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

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