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Numbers 9-11 Mark 5:1-20 (Easy-to-Read Version)

Numbers 9-11

Passover

The Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai. This was during the first month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to celebrate Passover at the chosen time. They must eat the Passover meal just before dark on the 14th day of this month. They must do this at the chosen time, and they must follow all the rules about Passover.”

So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate Passover. The people did this in the desert of Sinai just before dark on the 14th day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses.

But some of the people could not celebrate Passover that day. They were unclean because they had touched a dead body. So they went to Moses and Aaron that day and said to Moses, “We touched a dead body and became unclean. But why must we be kept from offering our gifts to the Lord at the chosen time with the rest of the Israelites?”

Moses said to them, “I will ask the Lord what he says about this.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Tell the Israelites this: It might happen sometimes that you or your descendants cannot celebrate the Lord’s Passover at the right time. Someone might be unclean because they touched a dead body, or they might be away on a trip. They will still be able to celebrate Passover at another time. 11 They must celebrate Passover just before dark on the 14th day of the second month. At that time they must eat the lamb, the bread made without yeast, and the bitter herbs. 12 They must not leave any of that food until the next morning. And they must not break any of the bones of the lamb. They must follow all the rules about Passover. 13 But anyone who is able must celebrate Passover at the right time. If they are clean and they are not away on a trip, there is no excuse for them not to do it. If they don’t celebrate Passover at the right time, they must be separated from their people. They are guilty and must be punished, because they did not give the Lord his gift at the right time.

14 “A foreigner living among you might want to share in the Lord’s Passover with you. This is allowed, but that person must follow all the rules about Passover. The same rules are for everyone.”

The Cloud and the Fire

15 On the day the Holy Tent, the Tent of the Agreement, was set up, a cloud covered it. At night the cloud over the Holy Tent looked like fire. 16 The cloud stayed over the Holy Tent all the time. And at night the cloud looked like fire. 17 When the cloud moved from its place over the Holy Tent, the Israelites followed it. When the cloud stopped, that is the place where the Israelites camped. 18 This was the way the Lord showed the Israelites when to move and when to stop and set up camp. While the cloud stayed over the Holy Tent, the people continued to camp in that same place. 19 Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Holy Tent for a long time. The Israelites obeyed the Lord and did not move. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the Holy Tent for only a few days. So the people obeyed the Lord’s command—they followed the cloud when it moved. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only during the night—the next morning the cloud moved. So the people gathered their things and followed it. If the cloud moved, during the day or during the night, they followed it. 22 If the cloud stayed over the Holy Tent for two days, a month, or a year, the people stayed at that place. They did not leave until the cloud moved. When the cloud rose from its place and moved, they also moved. 23 So the people obeyed the Lord’s commands. They camped when the Lord told them to, and they moved when he told them to. They watched carefully and obeyed the Lord’s commands to Moses.

The Silver Trumpets

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Make two trumpets. Use silver and hammer it to make the trumpets. These trumpets will be for calling the people together and for telling them when it is time to move the camp. If you blow long blasts on both trumpets, all the people must meet together at the entrance of the Meeting Tent. But if you blow long blasts on only one trumpet, only the leaders will come to meet with you. (These are the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel.)

“Short blasts on the trumpets will be the way to tell the people to move the camp. The first time you blow a short blast on the trumpets, the tribes camping on the east side of the Meeting Tent must begin to move. The second time you blow a short blast on the trumpets, the tribes camping on the south side of the Meeting Tent will begin to move. But if you want to gather the people together for a special meeting, blow the trumpets in a different way—blow a long steady blast on the trumpets. Only Aaron’s sons, the priests, should blow the trumpets. This is a law for you that will continue forever, for generations to come.

“If you are fighting an enemy in your own land, blow loudly on the trumpets before you go to fight them. The Lord your God will hear you, and he will save you from your enemies. 10 Also blow these trumpets for your special meetings, New Moon celebrations, and all your happy times together. Blow the trumpets when you give your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. This will be a special way for your God to remember you. I command you to do this; I am the Lord your God.”

The Israelites Move Their Camp

11 On the 20th day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites left Egypt, the cloud rose from above the Tent of the Agreement. 12 So the Israelites began their journey. They left the desert of Sinai and traveled until the cloud stopped in the desert of Paran. 13 This was the first time the people moved their camp. They moved it the way the Lord commanded Moses.

14 The three divisions from Judah’s camp went first. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Judah. Nahshon son of Amminadab was the commander of that group. 15 Next came the tribe of Issachar. Nethanel son of Zuar was the commander of that group. 16 And then came the tribe of Zebulun. Eliab son of Helon was the commander of that group.

17 Then the Holy Tent was taken down. And the men from the Gershon and the Merari families carried the Holy Tent. So the people from these families were next in line.

18 Then came the three divisions from Reuben’s camp. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Reuben. Elizur son of Shedeur was the commander of that group. 19 Next came the tribe of Simeon. Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was the commander of that group. 20 And then came the tribe of Gad. Eliasaph son of Deuel[a] was the commander of that group. 21 Then came the Kohath family. They carried the holy things from inside the Holy Tent. These people came at this time so that the other people could set up the Holy Tent and make it ready at the new camp before these people arrived.

22 Next came the three groups from Ephraim’s camp. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Ephraim. Elishama son of Ammihud was the commander of that group. 23 Next came the tribe of Manasseh. Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was the commander of that group. 24 Then came the tribe of Benjamin. Abidan son of Gideoni was the commander of that group.

25 The last three tribes in the line were the rear guard for all the other tribes. These were the groups from Dan’s camp. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Dan. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was their commander. 26 Next came the tribe of Asher. Pagiel son of Ocran was the commander of that group. 27 Then came the tribe of Naphtali. Ahira son of Enan was the commander of that group. 28 That was the way the Israelites marched when they moved from place to place.

29 Hobab was the son of Reuel, the Midianite. (Reuel was Moses’ father-in-law.) Moses said to Hobab, “We are traveling to the land that the Lord promised to give to us. Come with us and we will be good to you. The Lord has promised good things to the Israelites.”

30 But Hobab answered, “No, I will not go with you. I will go back to my homeland and to my own people.”

31 Then Moses said, “Please don’t leave us. You know more about the desert than we do. You can be our guide. 32 If you come with us, we will share with you all the good things that the Lord gives us.”

33 So they began traveling from the mountain of the Lord. The priests took the Box of the Lord’s Agreement and walked in front of the people. They carried the Holy Box for three days, looking for a place to camp. 34 The Lord’s cloud was over them every day. And when they left their camp every morning, the cloud was there to lead them.

35 When the people lifted the Holy Box to move the camp, Moses always said,

“Get up, Lord!
    May your enemies be scattered.
    May your enemies run away from you.”

36 And when the Holy Box was put in its place, Moses always said,

“Come back, Lord,
    to the millions of Israelites.”

The People Complain Again

11 The people started complaining about their troubles. The Lord heard their complaints. He heard these things and became angry. Fire from the Lord burned among the people. The fire burned some of the areas at the edge of the camp. So the people cried to Moses for help. He prayed to the Lord and the fire stopped burning. So that place was called Taberah.[b] The people gave the place that name because the Lord caused a fire to burn in their camp.

The 70 Older Leaders

The foreigners who had joined the Israelites began wanting other things to eat. Soon all the Israelites began complaining again. The people said, “We want to eat meat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt. That fish cost us nothing. We also had good vegetables like cucumbers, melons, chives, onions, and garlic. But now we have lost our strength. We never eat anything—only this manna!” (The manna was like small coriander seeds, and it looked like sap from a tree. The people gathered the manna. Then they used rocks to crush it and cooked it in a pot. Or they ground it into flour and made thin cakes with it. The cakes tasted like sweet cakes cooked with olive oil. The manna fell on the ground each night when the ground became wet with dew.)

10 Moses heard the people complaining. People from every family were sitting by their tents and complaining. The Lord became very angry, and this made Moses very upset. 11 He asked the Lord, “Why did you bring this trouble on me? I am your servant. What did I do wrong? What did I do to upset you? Why did you give me responsibility over all these people? 12 You know that I am not the father of all these people. You know that I did not give birth to them. But I must take care of them, like a nurse carrying a baby in her arms. Why do you force me to do this? Why do you force me to carry them to the land that you promised to our fathers? 13 I don’t have enough meat for all these people! And they continue complaining to me. They say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot take care of all these people alone. The burden is too heavy for me. 15 If you plan to continue giving me their troubles, kill me now. If you accept me as your servant, let me die now. Then I will be finished with all my troubles!”

16 The Lord said to Moses, “Bring to me 70 of the elders of Israel. These men are the leaders among the people. Bring them to the Meeting Tent. Let them stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and speak with you there. The Spirit[c] is on you now. But I will also give some of that Spirit to them. Then they will help you take care of the people. In this way you will not have to be responsible for these people alone.

18 “Tell the people this: Make yourselves ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you cried out and said, ‘We need meat to eat! It was better for us in Egypt!’ So now the Lord will give you meat. And you will eat it. 19 You will eat it for more than one, or two, or five, or ten, or even twenty days! 20 You will eat that meat for a whole month until you are sick of it. This will happen to you because you complained against the Lord. He lives among you and knows what you need, but you cried and complained to him! You said, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”

21 Moses said, “There are 600,000 soldiers here, and you say, ‘I will give them enough meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 If we were to kill all the sheep and cattle, that would still not be enough to feed this many people for a month. And if we caught all the fish in the sea, it would not be enough for them!”

23 But the Lord said to Moses, “Don’t limit my power! You will see that I can do what I say I can do.”

24 So Moses went out to speak with the people. He told them what the Lord said. Then he gathered 70 of the elders together and told them to stand around the Tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. He put on the 70 elders some of the same Spirit that was on Moses. After the Spirit came down on them, they began to prophesy.[d] But that was the only time they ever did this.

26 Two of the elders, Eldad and Medad, did not go out to the Tent. Their names were on the list of elders, but they stayed in camp. But the Spirit also came on them, and they began prophesying in camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses. The man said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in camp.”

28 Joshua son of Nun said to Moses, “Moses, sir, you must stop them!” (Joshua had been Moses’ helper since Joshua was a boy.)

29 But Moses answered, “Are you afraid the people will think that I am not the leader now? I wish that all the Lord’s people were able to prophesy. I wish that the Lord would put his Spirit on all of them!” 30 Then Moses and the leaders of Israel went back to the camp.

The Quail Come

31 Then the Lord made a powerful wind to blow in from the sea, and it blew quail into the area all around the camp. There were so many birds that the ground was covered. They were about three feet deep on the ground. There were quail in every direction as far as a man can walk in one day. 32 They went out and gathered quail all that day and all that night. And they gathered quail all the next day too! The smallest amount anyone gathered was 60 bushels. Then the people spread the quail meat all around the camp to dry in the sun.

33 People began to eat the meat, but the Lord became very angry. While the meat was still in their mouths, before the people could finish eating it, the Lord caused the people to become very sick and die. 34 So the people named that place Kibroth Hattaavah,[e] because there they buried those who had the strong desire for meat.

35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 10:20 Deuel Or “Reuel.”
  2. Numbers 11:3 Taberah This name means “burning.”
  3. Numbers 11:17 Spirit Or “spirit.” Also in verses 25, 29.
  4. Numbers 11:25 prophesy Usually this means “to speak for God.” But here, it might mean that God’s Spirit took control of these men in some special way. Also in verse 26.
  5. Numbers 11:34 Kibroth Hattaavah This name means “Graves of Strong Desire.”
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Mark 5:1-20

Jesus Frees a Man From Evil Spirits

Jesus and his followers went across the lake to the area where the Gerasene people[a] lived. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man came to him from the caves where the dead are buried. This man had an evil spirit living inside him. He lived in the burial caves. No one could keep him tied up, even with chains. Many times people had put chains on his hands and feet, but he broke the chains. No one was strong enough to control him. Day and night he stayed around the burial caves and on the hills. He would scream and cut himself with rocks.

While Jesus was still far away, the man saw him. He ran to Jesus and bowed down before him. 7-8 As Jesus was saying, “You evil spirit, come out of this man,” the man shouted loudly, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you in God’s name not to punish me!”

Then Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”

The man answered, “My name is Legion,[b] because there are many spirits inside me.” 10 The spirits inside the man begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of that area.

11 A large herd of pigs was eating on a hill near there. 12 The evil spirits begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs. Let us go into them.” 13 So Jesus allowed them to do this. The evil spirits left the man and went into the pigs. Then the herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. They were all drowned. There were about 2000 pigs in that herd.

14 The men who had the work of caring for the pigs ran away. They ran to the town and to the farms and told everyone what happened. The people went out to see. 15 They came to Jesus, and they saw the man who had the many evil spirits. He was sitting down and was wearing clothes. He was in his right mind again. When they saw this, they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what Jesus did told the others what happened to the man who had the demons living in him. And they also told about the pigs. 17 Then the people began to beg Jesus to leave their area.

18 Jesus was preparing to leave in the boat. The man who was now free from the demons begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus did not allow the man to go. He said, “Go home to your family and friends. Tell them about all that the Lord did for you. Tell them how the Lord was good to you.”

20 So the man left and told the people in the Ten Towns about the great things Jesus did for him. Everyone was amazed.

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 5:1 Gerasene people Some Greek copies have “Gadarenes” and others have “Gergesenes.”
  2. Mark 5:9 Legion This name means very many. A legion was about 6000 men in the Roman army.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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