Numbers 10:1-11:23; Mark 14:1-21; Psalms 51:1-19; Proverbs 10:31-32 (Contemporary English Version)
The Silver Trumpets
10 The Lord told Moses:
2 Have someone make two trumpets out of hammered silver. These will be used to call the people together and to give the signal for moving your camp. 3 If both trumpets are blown, everyone is to meet with you at the entrance to the sacred tent. 4 But if just one is blown, only the twelve tribal leaders need to come together.
5-6 Give a signal on a trumpet when it is time to break camp. The first blast will be the signal for the tribes camped on the east side, and the second blast will be the signal for those on the south. 7 But when you want everyone to come together, sound a different signal on the trumpet. 8 The priests of Aaron’s family will be the ones to blow the trumpets, and this law will never change.
9 Whenever you go into battle against an enemy attacking your land, give a warning signal on the trumpets. Then I, the Lord, will hear it and rescue you. 10 During the celebration of the New Moon Festival and other religious festivals, sound the trumpets while you offer sacrifices. This will be a reminder that I am the Lord your God.
The Israelites Begin Their Journey
11 On the twentieth day of the second month[a] of that same year, the cloud over the sacred tent moved on. 12 So the Israelites broke camp and left the Sinai Desert. And some time later, the cloud stopped in the Paran Desert.[b] 13 This was the first time the Lord had told Moses to command the people of Israel to move on.
14 Judah and the tribes that camped alongside it marched out first, carrying their banner. Nahshon son of Amminadab was the leader of the Judah tribe, 15 Nethanel son of Zuar was the leader of the Issachar tribe, 16 and Eliab son of Helon was the leader of the Zebulun tribe.
17 The sacred tent had been taken down, and the Gershonites and the Merarites carried it, marching behind the Judah camp.
18 Reuben and the tribes that camped alongside it marched out second, carrying their banner. Elizur son of Shedeur was the leader of the Reuben tribe, 19 Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was the leader of the Simeon tribe, 20 and Eliasaph son of Deuel was the leader of the Gad tribe.
21 Next were the Kohathites, carrying the objects for the sacred tent, which was to be set up before they arrived at the new camp.
22 Ephraim and the tribes that camped alongside it marched next, carrying their banner. Elishama son of Ammihud was the leader of the Ephraim tribe, 23 Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was the leader of the Manasseh tribe, 24 and Abidan son of Gideoni was the leader of the Benjamin tribe.
25 Dan and the tribes that camped alongside it were to protect the Israelites against an attack from behind, and so they marched last, carrying their banner. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was the leader of the tribe of Dan, 26 Pagiel son of Ochran was the leader of the Asher tribe, 27 and Ahira son of Enan was the leader of the Naphtali tribe.
28 This was the order in which the Israelites marched each time they moved their camp.
29 Hobab[c] the Midianite, the father-in-law of Moses, was there. And Moses said to him, “We’re leaving for the place the Lord has promised us. He has said that all will go well for us. So come along, and we will make sure that all goes well for you.”
30 “No, I won’t go,” Hobab answered. “I’m returning home to be with my own people.”
31 “Please go with us!” Moses said. “You can be our guide because you know the places to camp in the desert. 32 Besides that, if you go, we will give you a share of the good things the Lord gives us.”
33 The people of Israel began their journey from Mount Sinai.[d] They traveled three days, and the Levites who carried the sacred chest led the way, so the Lord could show them where to camp. 34 And the cloud always stayed with them.
35 Each day as the Israelites began their journey, Moses would pray, “Our Lord, defeat your enemies and make them run!” 36 And when they stopped to set up camp, he would pray, “Our Lord, stay close to Israel’s thousands and thousands of people.”
The Israelites Complain
11 One day the Israelites started complaining about their troubles. The Lord heard them and became so angry that he destroyed the outer edges of their camp with fire.
2 When the people begged Moses to help, he prayed, and the fire went out. 3 They named the place “Burning,”[e] because in his anger the Lord had set their camp on fire.
The People Grumble about Being Hungry
4 One day some worthless foreigners among the Israelites became greedy for food, and even the Israelites themselves began moaning, “We don’t have any meat! 5 In Egypt we could eat all the fish we wanted, and there were cucumbers, melons, onions, and garlic. 6 But we’re starving out here, and the only food we have is this manna.”
7 The manna was like small whitish seeds 8-9 and tasted like something baked with sweet olive oil. It appeared at night with the dew. In the morning the people would collect the manna, grind or crush it into flour, then boil it and make it into thin wafers.
10 The Israelites stood around their tents complaining. Moses heard them and was upset that they had made the Lord angry. 11 He prayed:
I am your servant, Lord, so why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this? You’ve made me responsible for all these people, 12 but they’re not my children. You told me to nurse them along and to carry them to the land you promised their ancestors. 13 They keep whining for meat, but where can I get meat for them? 14 This job is too much for me. How can I take care of all these people by myself? 15 If this is the way you’re going to treat me, just kill me now and end my miserable life!
Seventy Leaders Are Chosen To Help Moses
16 The Lord said to Moses:
Choose seventy of Israel’s respected leaders and go with them to the sacred tent. 17 While I am talking with you there, I will give them some of your authority, so they can share responsibility for my people. You will no longer have to care for them by yourself.
18 As for the Israelites, I have heard them complaining about not having meat and about being better off in Egypt. So tell them to make themselves acceptable to me, because tomorrow they will have meat. 19-20 In fact, they will have meat day after day for a whole month—not just a few days, or even ten or twenty. They turned against me and wanted to return to Egypt. Now they will eat meat until they get sick of it.
21 Moses replied, “At least six hundred thousand grown men are here with me. How can you say there will be enough meat to feed them and their families for a whole month? 22 Even if we butchered all of our sheep and cattle, or caught every fish in the sea, we wouldn’t have enough to feed them.”
23 The Lord answered, “I can do anything! Watch and you’ll see my words come true.”
A Plot To Kill Jesus
14 It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Thin Bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were planning how they could sneak around and have Jesus arrested and put to death. 2 They were saying, “We must not do it during the festival, because the people will riot.”
3 Jesus was eating in Bethany at the home of Simon, who once had leprosy,[a] when a woman came in with a very expensive bottle of sweet-smelling perfume.[b] After breaking it open, she poured the perfume on Jesus' head. 4 This made some of the guests angry, and they complained, “Why such a waste? 5 We could have sold this perfume for more than three hundred silver coins and given the money to the poor!” So they started saying cruel things to the woman.
6 But Jesus said:
Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 7 You will always have the poor with you. And whenever you want to, you can give to them. But you won’t always have me here with you. 8 She has done all she could by pouring perfume on my body to prepare it for burial. 9 You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done. And they will tell others.
Judas and the Chief Priests
10 Judas Iscariot[c] was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and offered to help them arrest Jesus. 11 They were glad to hear this, and they promised to pay him. So Judas started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.
Jesus Eats with His Disciples
12 It was the first day of the Festival of Thin Bread, and the Passover lambs were being killed. Jesus' disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal?”
13 Jesus said to two of the disciples, “Go into the city, where you will meet a man carrying a jar of water.[d] Follow him, 14 and when he goes into a house, say to the owner, ‘Our teacher wants to know if you have a room where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.’ 15 The owner will take you upstairs and show you a large room furnished and ready for you to use. Prepare the meal there.”
16 The two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover meal.
17-18 While Jesus and the twelve disciples were eating together that evening, he said, “The one who will betray me is now eating with me.”
19 This made the disciples sad, and one after another they said to Jesus, “You surely don’t mean me!”
20 He answered, “It is one of you twelve men who is eating from this dish with me. 21 The Son of Man will die, just as the Scriptures say. But it is going to be terrible for the one who betrays me. That man would be better off if he had never been born.”
- 14.3 leprosy: In biblical times the word “leprosy” was used for many different skin diseases.
- 14.3 sweet-smelling perfume: The Greek text has “perfume made of pure spikenard,” a plant used to make perfume.
- 14.10 Iscariot: See the note at 3.19.
- 14.13 a man carrying a jar of water: A male slave carrying water could mean that the family was rich.
(For the music leader. A psalm by David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had been with Bathsheba.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness
51 You are kind, God!
Please have pity on me.
You are always merciful!
Please wipe away my sins.
2 Wash me clean from all
of my sin and guilt.
3 I know about my sins,
and I cannot forget
my terrible guilt.
4 You are really the one
I have sinned against;
I have disobeyed you
and have done wrong.
So it is right and fair for you
to correct and punish me.
5 I have sinned and done wrong
since the day I was born.
6 But you want complete honesty,
so teach me true wisdom.
7 Wash me with hyssop[a]
until I am clean
and whiter than snow.
8 Let me be happy and joyful!
You crushed my bones,
now let them celebrate.
9 Turn your eyes from my sin
and cover my guilt.
10 Create pure thoughts in me
and make me faithful again.
11 Don’t chase me away from you
or take your Holy Spirit
away from me.
12 Make me as happy as you did
when you saved me;
make me want to obey!
13 I will teach sinners your Law,
and they will return to you.
14 Keep me from any deadly sin.
Only you can save me!
Then I will shout and sing
about your power to save.
15 Help me to speak,
and I will praise you, Lord.
16 Offerings and sacrifices
are not what you want.
17 The way to please you
is to feel sorrow
deep in our hearts.
This is the kind of sacrifice
you won’t refuse.
18 Please be willing, Lord,
to help the city of Zion
and to rebuild its walls.
19 Then you will be pleased
with the proper sacrifices,
and we will offer bulls
on your altar once again.
- 51.7 hyssop: A small bush with bunches of small, white flowers. It was sometimes used as a symbol for making a person clean from sin.
31 Honest people speak sensibly,
but deceitful liars
will be silenced.
32 If you obey the Lord,
you will always know
the right thing to say.
But no one will trust you
if you tell lies.