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Numbers 33:40-35:34; Luke 5:12-39; Psalms 65:1-13; Proverbs 11:23 (Contemporary English Version)

Numbers 33:40-35:34

40 It was then that the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Southern Desert of Canaan, heard that Israel was headed that way.

41-47 The Israelites left Mount Hor and headed toward Moab. Along the way, they camped at Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Iye-Abarim in the territory of Moab, Dibon-Gad, Almon-Diblathaim, at a place near Mount Nebo in the Abarim Mountains, 48 and finally in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 49 Their camp stretched from Beth-Jeshimoth to Acacia.

The Lord’s Command To Conquer Canaan

50 While Israel was camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the Lord told Moses 51 to give the people of Israel this message:

When you cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, 52 you must force out the people living there. Destroy their idols and tear down their altars. 53 Then settle in the land—I have given it to you as your own.

54 I will show you[a] how to divide the land among the tribes, according to the number of clans in each one, so that the larger tribes will have more land than the smaller ones.

55 If you don’t force out all the people there, they will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. They will always be trouble for you, 56 and I will treat you as cruelly as I planned on treating them.

Israel’s Borders

34 The Lord told Moses to tell the people of Israel that their land in Canaan would have the following borders:

The southern border will be the Zin Desert and the northwest part of Edom. This border will begin at the south end of the Dead Sea. It will go west from there, but will turn southward to include Scorpion Pass, the village of Zin, and the town of Kadesh-Barnea. From there, the border will continue to Hazar-Addar and on to Azmon. It will run along the Egyptian Gorge and end at the Mediterranean Sea.

The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.

The northern border will begin at the Mediterranean, then continue eastward to Mount Hor.[b] After that, it will run to Lebo-Hamath and across to Zedad, which is the northern edge of your land. From Zedad, the border will continue east to Ziphron and end at Hazar-Enan.

10 The eastern border will begin at Hazar-Enan in the north, then run south to Shepham, 11 and on down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there, it will go south to the eastern hills of Lake Galilee,[c] 12 then follow the Jordan River down to the north end of the Dead Sea.

The land within those four borders will belong to you.

13 Then Moses told the people, “You will receive the land inside these borders. It will be yours, but the Lord has commanded you to divide it among the nine and a half tribes. 14 The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh have already been given their land 15 across from Jericho, east of the Jordan River.”

The Leaders Who Will Divide the Land

16 The Lord said to Moses, 17 “Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun will divide the land for the Israelites. 18 One leader from each tribe will help them, 19-28 and here is the list of their names:

Caleb son of Jephunneh
    from Judah,
Shemuel son of Ammihud
    from Simeon,
Elidad son of Chislon
    from Benjamin,
Bukki son of Jogli
    from Dan,
Hanniel son of Ephod
    from Manasseh,
Kemuel son of Shiphtan
    from Ephraim,
Elizaphan son of Parnach
    from Zebulun,
Paltiel son of Azzan
    from Issachar,
Ahihud son of Shelomi
    from Asher,
and Pedahel son of Ammihud
    from Naphtali.”

29 These are the men the Lord commanded to help Eleazar and Joshua divide the land for the Israelites.

The Towns for the Levites

35 While the people of Israel were still camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the Lord told Moses to say to them:

When you receive your tribal lands, you must give towns and pastures to the Levi tribe. That way, the Levites will have towns to live in and pastures for their animals. 4-5 The pasture around each of these towns must be in the shape of a square, with the town itself in the center. The pasture is to measure three thousand feet on each side, with fifteen hundred feet of land outside each of the town walls. This will be the Levites' pastureland.

Six of the towns you give them will be Safe Towns where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection. But you will also give the Levites forty-two other towns, so they will have a total of forty-eight towns with their surrounding pastures.

Since the towns for the Levites must come from Israel’s own tribal lands, the larger tribes will give more towns than the smaller ones.

The Safe Towns

The Lord then told Moses 10 to tell the people of Israel:

After you have crossed the Jordan River and are settled in Canaan, 11 choose Safe Towns, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection. 12 If the victim’s relatives think it was murder, they might try to take revenge.[d] Anyone accused of murder can run to one of these Safe Towns for protection and not be killed before a trial is held.

13 There are to be six of these Safe Towns, 14 three on each side of the Jordan River. 15 They will be places of protection for anyone who lives in Israel and accidentally kills someone.

Laws about Murder and Accidental Killing

The Lord said:

16-18 Suppose you hit someone with a piece of iron or a large stone or a dangerous wooden tool. If that person dies, then you are a murderer and must be put to death 19 by one of the victim’s relatives. [e] He will take revenge for his relative’s death as soon as he finds you.

20-21 Or suppose you get angry and kill someone by pushing or hitting or by throwing something. You are a murderer and must be put to death by one of the victim’s relatives.

22-24 But if you are not angry and accidentally kill someone in any of these ways, the townspeople must hold a trial and decide if you are guilty. 25 If they decide that you are innocent, you will be protected from the victim’s relative and sent to stay in one of the Safe Towns until the high priest dies. 26 But if you ever leave the Safe Town 27 and are killed by the victim’s relative, he cannot be punished for killing you. 28 You must stay inside the town until the high priest dies; only then can you go back home.

29 The community of Israel must always obey these laws.

30 Death is the penalty for murder. But no one accused of murder can be put to death unless there are at least two witnesses to the crime. 31 You cannot give someone money to escape the death penalty; you must pay with your own life! 32 And if you have been proven innocent of murder and are living in a Safe Town, you cannot pay to go back home; you must stay there until the high priest dies.

33-34 I, the Lord, live among you people of Israel, so your land must be kept pure. But when a murder takes place, blood pollutes the land, and it becomes unclean. If that happens, the murderer must be put to death, so the land will be clean again. Keep murder out of Israel!

Footnotes:

  1. 33.54 I will show you: See the note at 26.55,56.
  2. 34.7 Mount Hor: Not the same as in 33.37.
  3. 34.11 Lake Galilee: The Hebrew text has “Lake Chinnereth,” an earlier name for Lake Galilee.
  4. 35.12,19 the victim’s relatives. . . revenge: At this time in Israel’s history, the clan would appoint the closest male relative to find and kill a person who had killed a member of their clan.
  5. 35.12,19 the victim’s relatives. . . revenge: At this time in Israel’s history, the clan would appoint the closest male relative to find and kill a person who had killed a member of their clan.
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Luke 5:12-39

Jesus Heals a Man

12 Jesus came to a town where there was a man who had leprosy.[a] When the man saw Jesus, he knelt down to the ground in front of Jesus and begged, “Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”

13 Jesus put his hand on him and said, “I want to! Now you are well.” At once the man’s leprosy disappeared. 14 Jesus told him, “Don’t tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest. Offer a gift to the priest, just as Moses commanded, and everyone will know that you have been healed.”[b]

15 News about Jesus kept spreading. Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.

Jesus Heals a Crippled Man

17 One day some Pharisees and experts in the Law of Moses sat listening to Jesus teach. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem.

God had given Jesus the power to heal the sick, 18 and some people came carrying a crippled man on a mat. They tried to take him inside the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19 But because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So they went up on the roof,[c] where they removed some tiles and let the mat down in the middle of the room.

20 When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the crippled man, “My friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The Pharisees and the experts began arguing, “Jesus must think he is God! Only God can forgive sins.”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said, “Why are you thinking that? 23 Is it easier for me to tell this crippled man that his sins are forgiven or to tell him to get up and walk? 24 But now you will see that the Son of Man has the right to forgive sins here on earth.” Jesus then said to the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk home.”

25 At once the man stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and went home, giving thanks to God. 26 Everyone was amazed and praised God. What they saw surprised them, and they said, “We have seen a great miracle today!”

Jesus Chooses Levi

27 Later, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector[d] named Levi sitting at the place for paying taxes. Jesus said to him, “Come with me.” 28 Levi left everything and went with Jesus.

29 In his home Levi gave a big dinner for Jesus. Many tax collectors and other guests were also there.

30 The Pharisees and some of their teachers of the Law of Moses grumbled to Jesus' disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with those tax collectors and other sinners?”

31 Jesus answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. 32 I didn’t come to invite good people to turn to God. I came to invite sinners.”

People Ask about Going without Eating

33 Some people said to Jesus, “John’s followers often pray and go without eating,[e] and so do the followers of the Pharisees. But your disciples never go without eating or drinking.”

34 Jesus told them, “The friends of a bridegroom don’t go without eating while he is still with them. 35 But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.”

36 Jesus then told them these sayings:

No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.

37 No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins.[f] Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. 38 New wine must be put only into new wineskins.

39 No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say, “The old wine is better.”

Footnotes:

  1. 5.12 leprosy: See the note at 4.27.
  2. 5.14 everyone will know that you have been healed: People with leprosy had to be examined by a priest and told that they were well (that is, “clean”) before they could once again live a normal life in the Jewish community. The gift that Moses commanded was the sacrifice of some lambs together with flour mixed with olive oil.
  3. 5.19 roof: In Palestine the houses usually had a flat roof. Stairs on the outside led up to the roof, which was made of beams and boards covered with packed earth. Luke says that the roof was made of (clay) tiles, which were also used for making roofs in New Testament times.
  4. 5.27 tax collector: See the note at 3.12.
  5. 5.33 without eating: See the note at 2.37.
  6. 5.37 swell and burst the old skins: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored. If the skins were old and stiff, they would burst.
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Psalm 65

(A psalm by David and a song for the music leader.)

God Answers Prayer

65 Our God, you deserve[a] praise
in Zion,
    where we keep
    our promises to you.
Everyone will come to you
    because you answer prayer.
    Our terrible sins get us down,
    but you forgive us.
You bless your chosen ones,
    and you invite them
    to live near you
    in your temple.
We will enjoy your house,
    the sacred temple.

Our God, you save us,
and your fearsome deeds
    answer our prayers for justice!
You give hope to people
everywhere on earth,
    even those across the sea.
You are strong,
    and your mighty power
    put the mountains in place.
You silence the roaring waves
    and the noisy shouts
    of the nations.
People far away marvel
    at your fearsome deeds,
and all who live under the sun
    celebrate and sing
    because of you.

You take care of the earth
and send rain
    to help the soil
    grow all kinds of crops.
Your rivers never run dry,
    and you prepare the earth
    to produce much grain.
10 You water all of its fields
    and level the lumpy ground.
You send showers of rain
to soften the soil
    and help the plants sprout.
11 Wherever your footsteps
touch the earth,
    a rich harvest is gathered.
12 Desert pastures blossom,
    and mountains celebrate.
13 Meadows are filled
    with sheep and goats;
    valleys overflow with grain
    and echo with joyful songs.

Footnotes:

  1. 65.1 deserve: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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Proverbs 11:23

23 Good people want what is best,
    but troublemakers
    hope to stir up trouble.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 11.23 Good people. . . trouble: Or “Good people do what is best, but troublemakers just stir up trouble.”
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