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Numbers 2-3

The Arrangement of the Tribes in Camp

The Lord gave Moses and Aaron the following instructions. When the Israelites set up camp, each man will camp under the banner of his division and the flag of his own clan. The camp is to be set up all around the Tent.

3-9 On the east side, those under the banner of the division of Judah shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

TribeLeaderNumber
JudahNahshon son of Amminadab74,600
IssacharNethanel son of Zuar54,400
ZebulunEliab son of Helon57,400
Total:186,400

The division of Judah shall march first.

10-16 On the south, those under the banner of the division of Reuben shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

TribeLeaderNumber
ReubenElizur son of Shedeur46,500
SimeonShelumiel son of Zurishaddai59,300
GadEliasaph son of Deuel45,650
Total:151,450

The division of Reuben shall march second.

17 Then, between the first two divisions and the last two the Levites are to march carrying the Tent. Each division shall march in the same order as they camp, each in position under its banner.

18-24 On the west, those under the banner of the division of Ephraim shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

TribeLeaderNumber
EphraimElishama son of Ammihud40,500
ManassehGamaliel son of Pedahzur32,200
BenjaminAbidan son of Gideoni35,400
Total:108,100

The division of Ephraim shall march third.

25-31 On the north, those under the banner of the division of Dan shall camp in their groups, under their leaders, as follows:

TribeLeaderNumber
DanAhiezer son of Ammishaddai62,700
AsherPagiel son of Ochran41,500
NaphtaliAhira son of En53,400
Total:157,600

The division of Dan shall march last.

32 The total number of the people of Israel enrolled in the divisions, group by group, was 603,550. 33 As the Lord had commanded Moses, the Levites were not registered with the rest of the Israelites.

34 So the people of Israel did everything the Lord had commanded Moses. They camped, each under his own banner, and they marched, each with his own clan.

Aaron's Sons

This is the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. Aaron had four sons: Nadab, the oldest, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. They were anointed and ordained as priests, but Nadab and Abihu were killed when they offered unholy fire to the Lord in the Sinai Desert. They had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during Aaron's lifetime.

The Levites Are Appointed to Serve the Priests

The Lord said to Moses, “Bring forward the tribe of Levi and appoint them as servants of Aaron the priest. They shall do the work required for the Tent of my presence and perform duties for the priests and for the whole community. They shall take charge of all the equipment of the Tent and perform the duties for the rest of the Israelites. The only responsibility the Levites have is to serve Aaron and his sons. 10 You shall appoint Aaron and his sons to carry out the duties of the priesthood; anyone else who tries to do so shall be put to death.”

11 The Lord said to Moses, 12-13 “The Levites are now to be mine. When I killed all the first-born of the Egyptians, I consecrated as my own the oldest son of each Israelite family and the first-born of every animal. Now, instead of having the first-born sons of Israel as my own, I have the Levites; they will belong to me. I am the Lord.”

The Census of the Levites

14 In the Sinai Desert the Lord commanded Moses 15 to register the Levites by clans and families, enrolling every male a month old or older, 16 and Moses did so. 17-20 Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, who were the ancestors of the clans that bear their names. Gershon had two sons: Libni and Shimei; Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; and Merari had two sons: Mahli and Mushi. They were the ancestors of the families that bear their names.

21 The clan of Gershon was composed of the families of Libni and Shimei. 22 The total number of males one month old or older that were enrolled was 7,500. 23 This clan was to camp on the west behind the Tent, 24 with Eliasaph son of Lael as chief of the clan. 25 They were responsible for the Tent, its inner cover, its outer cover, the curtain for the entrance, 26 the curtains for the court which is around the Tent and the altar, and the curtain for the entrance of the court. They were responsible for all the service connected with these items.

27 The clan of Kohath was composed of the families of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 28 The total number of males one month old or older that were enrolled was 8,600. 29 This clan was to camp on the south side of the Tent, 30 with Elizaphan son of Uzziel as chief of the clan. 31 They were responsible for the Covenant Box, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the utensils the priests use in the Holy Place, and the curtain at the entrance to the Most Holy Place. They were responsible for all the service connected with these items.

32 The chief of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the priest. He was in charge of those who carried out the duties in the Holy Place.

33 The clan of Merari was composed of the families of Mahli and Mushi. 34 The total number of males one month old or older that were enrolled was 6,200. 35 This clan was to camp on the north side of the Tent, with Zuriel son of Abihail as chief of the clan. 36 They were assigned responsibility for the frames for the Tent, its bars, posts, bases, and all its fittings. They were responsible for all the service connected with these items. 37 They were also responsible for the posts, bases, pegs, and ropes for the outer court.

38 Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp in front of the Tent on the east. They were responsible for carrying out the services performed in the Holy Place for the people of Israel. Anyone else who tried to do so was to be put to death. 39 The total number of all the Levite males one month old or older that Moses enrolled by clans at the command of the Lord, was 22,000.

The Levites Take the Place of the First-Born Sons

40-41 The Lord said to Moses, “All of Israel's first-born sons belong to me. So register by name every first-born male Israelite, one month old or older. But in place of them I claim all the Levites as mine! I am the Lord! I also claim the livestock of the Levites in place of all the first-born of the livestock.” 42 Moses obeyed, and registered all the first-born males 43 one month old or older; the total was 22,273.

44 The Lord said to Moses, 45 “Now dedicate the Levites as mine in place of all the first-born Israelite sons, and dedicate the livestock of the Levites in place of the first-born of the Israelites' livestock. 46 Since the first-born Israelite sons outnumber the Levites by 273, you must buy back the extra sons. 47 For each one pay five pieces of silver, according to the official standard, 48 and give this money to Aaron and his sons.” 49 Moses obeyed and took 50 the 1,365 pieces of silver 51 and gave them to Aaron and his sons.

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Mark 11:27-12:17

The Question about Jesus' Authority

27 They arrived once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders came to him 28 and asked him, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you such right?”

29 Jesus answered them, “I will ask you just one question, and if you give me an answer, I will tell you what right I have to do these things. 30 Tell me, where did John's right to baptize come from: was it from God or from human beings?”

31 They started to argue among themselves: “What shall we say? If we answer, ‘From God,’ he will say, ‘Why, then, did you not believe John?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From human beings …’” (They were afraid of the people, because everyone was convinced that John had been a prophet.) 33 So their answer to Jesus was, “We don't know.”

Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things.”

The Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard

12 Then Jesus spoke to them in parables: “Once there was a man who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to tenants and left home on a trip. When the time came to gather the grapes, he sent a slave to the tenants to receive from them his share of the harvest. The tenants grabbed the slave, beat him, and sent him back without a thing. Then the owner sent another slave; the tenants beat him over the head and treated him shamefully. The owner sent another slave, and they killed him; and they treated many others the same way, beating some and killing others. The only one left to send was the man's own dear son. Last of all, then, he sent his son to the tenants. ‘I am sure they will respect my son,’ he said. But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the owner's son. Come on, let's kill him, and his property will be ours!’ So they grabbed the son and killed him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

“What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do?” asked Jesus. “He will come and kill those tenants and turn the vineyard over to others. 10 Surely you have read this scripture?

‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless
    turned out to be the most important of all.
11 This was done by the Lord;
    what a wonderful sight it is!’”

12 The Jewish leaders tried to arrest Jesus, because they knew that he had told this parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.

The Question about Paying Taxes

13 Some Pharisees and some members of Herod's party were sent to Jesus to trap him with questions. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you tell the truth, without worrying about what people think. You pay no attention to anyone's status, but teach the truth about God's will for people. Tell us, is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor? Should we pay them or not?”

15 But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you trying to trap me? Bring a silver coin, and let me see it.”

16 They brought him one, and he asked, “Whose face and name are these?”

“The Emperor's,” they answered.

17 So Jesus said, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.”

And they were amazed at Jesus.

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Psalm 47

The Supreme Ruler[a]

47 Clap your hands for joy, all peoples!
    Praise God with loud songs!
The Lord, the Most High, is to be feared;
    he is a great king, ruling over all the world.
He gave us victory over the peoples;
    he made us rule over the nations.
He chose for us the land where we live,
    the proud possession of his people, whom he loves.

God goes up to his throne.
    There are shouts of joy and the blast of trumpets,
    as the Lord goes up.
Sing praise to God;
    sing praise to our king!
God is king over all the world;
    praise him with songs!

God sits on his sacred throne;
    he rules over the nations.
The rulers of the nations assemble
    with the people[b] of the God of Abraham.
More powerful than all armies is he;
    he rules supreme.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 47:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by the clan of Korah.
  2. Psalm 47:9 Probable text with the people; Hebrew the people.
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Proverbs 10:24-25

24 The righteous get what they want, but the wicked will get what they fear most.

25 Storms come, and the wicked are blown away, but honest people are always safe.

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