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Numbers 36 - Deuteronomy 1

The Laws about Married Women and Land

36 One day the family leaders from the Gilead clan of the Manasseh tribe went to Moses and the other family leaders of Israel and said, “Sir, the Lord has said that he will show[a] what land each tribe will receive as their own. And the Lord has commanded you to give the daughters of our relative Zelophehad[b] the land that he would have received. But if they marry men from other tribes of Israel, the land they receive will become part of that tribe’s inheritance and will no longer belong to us. Even when land is returned to its original owner in the Year of Celebration,[c] we will not get back Zelophehad’s land—it will belong to the tribe into which his daughters married.”

So Moses told the people that the Lord had said:

These men from the Manasseh tribe are right. I will allow Zelophehad’s daughters to marry anyone, as long as those men belong to one of the clans of the Manasseh tribe.

Tribal land must not be given to another tribe—it will remain the property of the tribe that received it. 8-9 In the future, any daughter who inherits land must marry someone from her own tribe. Israel’s tribal land is never to be passed from one tribe to another.

10-11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah the daughters of Zelophehad obeyed the Lord and married their uncles' sons 12 and remained part of the Manasseh tribe. So their land stayed in their father’s clan.

13 These are the laws that the Lord gave to Moses and the Israelites while they were camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho.

The Final Speeches of Moses

1-5 This book contains the speeches that Moses made while Israel was in the land of Moab, camped near the town of Suph in the desert east of the Jordan River. The town of Paran was in one direction from their camp, and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab[d] were in the opposite direction.

Earlier, Moses had defeated the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon. Moses had also defeated King Og of Bashan, who used to live in Ashtaroth for part of the year and in Edrei for the rest of the year.

Although it takes only eleven days to walk from Mount Sinai[e] to Kadesh-Barnea by way of the Mount Seir Road, these speeches were not made until forty years after Israel left Egypt.[f]

THE FIRST SPEECH: MOSES REVIEWS THE PAST

The Lord’s Command at Mount Sinai

The Lord had given Moses his laws for the people of Israel. And on the first day of the eleventh month,[g] Moses began explaining those laws by saying:

People of Israel, when we were in our camp at Mount Sinai,[h] the Lord our God told us:

You have stayed here long enough. Leave this place and go into the land that belongs to the Amorites and their neighbors the Canaanites. This land includes the Jordan River valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Southern Desert, the Mediterranean seacoast, the Lebanon Mountains, and all the territory as far as the Euphrates River. I give you this land, just as I promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now you must go and take the land.

Leaders Were Appointed

Moses said:

Right after the Lord commanded us to leave Mount Sinai, [i] I told you:

Israel, being your leader is too big a job for one person. 10 The Lord our God has blessed us, and so now there are as many of us as there are stars in the sky. 11 God has even promised to bless us a thousand times more, and I pray that he will. 12 But I cannot take care of all your problems and settle all your arguments alone. 13 Each tribe must choose some experienced men who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will make those men the official leaders of their tribes.

14 You answered, “That’s a good idea!” 15 Then I took these men, who were already wise and respected leaders, and I appointed them as your official leaders. Some of them became military officers in charge of groups of a thousand, or a hundred, or fifty, or ten, 16 and others became judges. I gave these judges the following instructions:

When you settle legal cases, your decisions must be fair. It doesn’t matter if the case is between two Israelites, or between an Israelite and a foreigner living in your community. 17 And it doesn’t matter if one is helpless and the other is powerful. Don’t be afraid of anyone! No matter who shows up in your court, God will help you make a fair decision.

If any case is too hard for you, bring the people to me, and I will make the decision.

18 After I gave these instructions to the judges, I taught you the Lord’s commands.

Men Were Sent To Explore the Hill Country

Moses said to Israel:

19 The Lord had commanded us to leave Mount Sinai [j] and go to the hill country that belonged to the Amorites, so we started out into the huge desert. You remember how frightening it was, but soon we were at Kadesh-Barnea, 20-21 and I told you, “We have reached the hill country. It belongs to the Amorites now, but the Lord our God is giving it to us. He is the same God our ancestors worshiped, and he has told us to go in and take this land, so don’t hesitate and be afraid.”

22 Then all of you came to me and said, “Before we go into the land, let’s send some men to explore it. When they come back, they can tell us about the towns we will find and what roads we should take to get there.”

23 It seemed like a good idea, so I chose twelve men, one from each tribe. 24 They explored the hill country as far as Bunch Valley[k] 25 and even brought back some of the fruit. They said, “The Lord our God is giving us good land.”

Israel Refused To Obey the Lord

Moses said to Israel:

26 You did not want to go into the land, and you refused to obey the Lord your God. 27 You stayed in your tents and grumbled, “The Lord must hate us—he brought us out of Egypt, just so he could hand us over to the Amorites and get rid of us. 28 We are afraid, because the men who explored the land told us that the cities are large, with walls that reach to the sky. The people who live there are taller and stronger than we are,[l] and some of them are Anakim.[m] We have nowhere to go.”

29 Then I said, “Don’t worry! 30 The Lord our God will lead the way. He will fight on our side, just as he did when we saw him do all those things to the Egyptians. 31 And you know that the Lord has taken care of us the whole time we’ve been in the desert, just as you might carry one of your children.”

32 But you still would not trust the Lord, 33 even though he had always been with us in the desert. During the daytime, the Lord was in the cloud, leading us in the right direction and showing us where to camp. And at night, he was there in the fire.[n]

34 You had made the Lord angry, and he said:

35 You people of this generation are evil, and I refuse to let you go into the good land that I promised your ancestors. 36 Caleb son of Jephunneh is the only one of your generation that I will allow to go in. He obeyed me completely, so I will give him and his descendants the land he explored.

37 The Lord was even angry with me because of you people, and he said, “Moses, I won’t let you go into the land either. 38 Instead, I will let Joshua[o] your assistant lead Israel to conquer the land. So encourage him.”

39 Then the Lord spoke to you again:

People of Israel, you said that your innocent young children would be taken prisoner in the battle for the land. But someday I will let them go into the land, and with my help they will conquer it and live there.

40 Now, turn around and go back into the desert by way of Red Sea[p] Road.

41 Then you told me, “We disobeyed the Lord our God, but now we want to obey him. We will go into the hill country and fight, just as he told us to do.” So you picked up your weapons, thinking it would be easy to take over the hill country.

42 But the Lord said, “Moses, warn them not to go into the hill country. I won’t help them fight, and their enemies will defeat them.”

43 I told you what the Lord had said, but you paid no attention. You disobeyed him and went into the hill country anyway. You thought you were so great! 44 But when the Amorites in the hill country attacked from their towns, you ran from them as you would run from a swarm of bees. The Amorites chased your troops into Seir[q] as far as Hormah, killing them as they went. 45 Then you came back to the place of worship at Kadesh-Barnea and wept, but the Lord would not listen to your prayers.

Israel Spent Years in the Desert

Moses said to Israel:

46 After we had been in Kadesh for a few months, we obeyed the Lord and headed back into the desert by way of Red Sea[r] Road.

Footnotes:

  1. 36.2 that he will show: See the note at 26.55,56.
  2. 36.2 Zelophehad: See also 26.28-34; 27.1-11.
  3. 36.4 Year of Celebration: This was a sacred year for Israel, traditionally called the “Year of Jubilee.” During thisyear, all property had to go back to its original owner. But here, the property was not sold; it became part of the other tribe’s land when the daughter who owned it married into that tribe. So the property could not be returned even during this year.
  4. 1.1-5 Suph. . . Paran. . . Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab: The exact location of these towns is not known.
  5. 1.1-5 Mount Sinai: The Hebrew text has “Horeb,” another name for Mount Sinai.
  6. 1.1-5 Egypt: The Israelites would soon enter Canaan, but they would have entered the land of Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea forty years earlier if they had not rebelled against God (see verses 6-40).
  7. 1.1-5 eleventh month: Shebat, the eleventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-January to mid-February.
  8. 1.6,9,19 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  9. 1.6,9,19 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  10. 1.6,9,19 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  11. 1.24 Bunch Valley: Or “Eshcol Valley,” famous for its large bunches of grapes.
  12. 1.28 The people. . . we are: Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts and one ancient translation “the people who live there are stronger than we are, and there are more of them than there are of us.”
  13. 1.28 Anakim: Perhaps a group of very tall people that lived in or near Palestine before the Israelites. See also 2.10,11,20,21; Numbers 13.33.
  14. 1.33 the cloud. . . the fire: See Exodus 40.34-38; Numbers 9.15-23.
  15. 1.38 Joshua: Hebrew “Joshua son of Nun.”
  16. 1.40 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph, here referring to the Gulf of Aqaba, since the term is extended to include the northeastern arm of the Red Sea (see also the note at 11.4).
  17. 1.44 Seir: An area of hills and mountains that was part of the territory of Edom.
  18. 1.46 Red Sea: See the notes at 1.40; 11.4.
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Luke 6:1-11

A Question about the Sabbath

One Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields,[a] the disciples picked some wheat. They rubbed the husks off with their hands and started eating the grain.

Some Pharisees said, “Why are you picking grain on the Sabbath? You’re not supposed to do that!”

Jesus answered, “You surely have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry. He went into the house of God and took the sacred loaves of bread that only priests were supposed to eat. He not only ate some himself, but even gave some to his followers.”

Jesus finished by saying, “The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.”

A Man with a Crippled Hand

On another Sabbath[b] Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, and a man with a crippled right hand was there. Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong.

Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. And the man stood up. Then Jesus asked, “On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone’s life or destroy it?”

10 After he had looked around at everyone, he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his bad hand became completely well.

11 The teachers and the Pharisees were furious and started saying to each other, “What can we do about Jesus?”

Footnotes:

  1. 6.1 walking through some wheat fields: It was the custom to let hungry travelers pick grains of wheat.
  2. 6.6 On another Sabbath: Some manuscripts have a reading which may mean “the Sabbath after the next.”
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Psalm 66

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

Shout Praises to God

66 Tell everyone on this earth
    to shout praises to God!
    Sing about his glorious name.
    Honor him with praises.
Say to God, “Everything you do
    is fearsome,
    and your mighty power makes
    your enemies come crawling.
You are worshiped by everyone!
    We all sing praises to you.”

Come and see the fearsome things
    our God has done!
When God made the sea dry up,
    our people walked across,
    and because of him,
    we celebrated there.
His mighty power rules forever,
    and nothing the nations do
can be hidden from him.
    So don’t turn against God.

All of you people,
come praise our God!
    Let his praises be heard.
God protects us from death
    and keeps us steady.

10 Our God, you tested us,
    just as silver is tested.
11     You trapped us in a net
    and gave us heavy burdens.
12 You sent war chariots
    to crush our skulls.
We traveled through fire
    and through floods,
    but you brought us
    to a land of plenty.

13 I will bring sacrifices
    into your house, my God,
and I will do what I promised
14     when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice my best sheep
    and offer bulls and goats
    on your altar.

16 All who worship God,
    come here and listen;
    I will tell you everything
    God has done for me.
17 I prayed to the Lord,
    and I praised him.
18 If my thoughts had been sinful,
    he would have refused
    to hear me.
19 But God did listen
    and answered my prayer.
20 Let’s praise God!
He listened when I prayed,
    and he is always kind.

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Proverbs 11:24-26

24 Sometimes you can become rich
by being generous
    or poor by being greedy.
25 Generosity will be rewarded:
    Give a cup of water,
    and you will receive
    a cup of water in return.
26 Charge too much for grain,
    and you will be cursed;
    sell it at a fair price,
    and you will be praised.

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