Numbers 17:1 — 19:22
17 Jehovah now spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and take from them one rod for each paternal house from all their chieftains, by the house of their fathers, twelve rods. You will write the name of each one upon his rod. 3 And Aaron’s name you will write upon Levi’s rod, because there is one rod for the head of the house of their fathers. 4 And you must deposit them in the tent of meeting before the Testimony, where I regularly present myself to YOU. 5 And what must occur is that the man whom I shall choose, his rod will bud, and I shall certainly make subside from against me the murmurings of the sons of Israel, which they are murmuring against YOU.”
6 So Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their chieftains went giving him a rod for each chieftain, a rod for each chieftain, by the house of their fathers, twelve rods; and Aaron’s rod was in among their rods. 7 Then Moses deposited the rods before Jehovah in the tent of the Testimony.
8 And it came about the next day that when Moses went into the tent of the Testimony, look! Aaron’s rod for the house of Levi had budded, and it was bringing forth buds and blossoming flowers and was bearing ripe almonds. 9 Moses then brought out all the rods from before Jehovah to all the sons of Israel, and they went looking and taking each man his own rod.
10 Subsequently Jehovah said to Moses: “Put Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony as something to be kept for a sign to the sons of rebelliousness, that their murmurings may cease from against me, that they may not die.” 11 At once Moses did just as Jehovah had commanded him. He did just so.
the sons of Israel began to say this to Moses: “Now we are bound to expire, we
are bound to perish, we are all of us bound to perish.
approaching, coming near to Jehovah’s tabernacle, will die! Must we end up in
expiring that way?”
18 And Jehovah proceeded to say to Aaron: “You and your sons and the house of your father with you will answer for error against the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you will answer for error against YOUR priesthood. 2 And bring near, also, your brothers of the tribe of Levi, the clan of your father, with you, that they may be joined to you and may minister to you, to both you and your sons with you, before the tent of the Testimony. 3 And they must keep their obligation to you and their obligation to the entire tent. Only to the utensils of the holy place and to the altar they must not come near that they may not die, neither they nor YOU men. 4 And they must be joined to you and must keep their obligation to the tent of meeting as respects all the service of the tent, and no stranger may come near to YOU men. 5 And YOU must keep YOUR obligation to the holy place and YOUR obligation to the altar, that no further indignation may occur against the sons of Israel. 6 And I, look! I have taken YOUR brothers, the Levites, from among the sons of Israel, as a gift for YOU, as those given to Jehovah to carry on the service of the tent of meeting. 7 And you and your sons with you should safeguard YOUR priesthood as regards every concern of the altar and as regards what is inside the curtain; and YOU men must render service. As a service of gift I shall give YOUR priesthood, and the stranger drawing near should be put to death.”
8 And Jehovah spoke further to Aaron: “As for me, look! I have given you the custody of the contributions made to me. Of all the holy things of the sons of Israel I have given them to you and to your sons as a portion, as an allowance to time indefinite. 9 This should become yours out of the most holy things, out of the offering made by fire, every offering of theirs together with every grain offering of theirs and every sin offering of theirs and every guilt offering of theirs, which they will return to me. It is something most holy for you and for your sons. 10 In a most holy place you should eat it. Every male should eat it. It should become something holy to you. 11 And this belongs to you: the contribution of their gift together with all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel. I have given them to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as an allowance to time indefinite. Everyone clean in your house may eat it.
12 “All the best of the oil and all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits, which they will give to Jehovah, I have given them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is on their land, which they will bring to Jehovah, yours it should become. Everyone clean in your house may eat it.
14 “Every devoted thing in Israel should become yours.
opening the womb, of every sort of flesh, which they will present to Jehovah,
among man and among beast, should become yours. However, you should without fail
redeem the firstborn of mankind; and the firstborn of the unclean beast you
with a redemption price for it from a month old onward you should redeem it, by
the estimated value, five silver shekels by the shekel of the holy place. It is
17 Only the firstborn
bull or firstborn male lamb or firstborn goat you should not redeem. They are
something holy. Their blood you should sprinkle upon the altar, and their fat
you should make smoke as an offering made by fire for a restful odor to Jehovah.
their flesh should become yours. Like the breast of the wave offering and like
the right leg, it should become yours.
the holy contributions, which the sons of Israel will contribute to Jehovah, I
have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as an allowance to
time indefinite. It is a covenant of salt to time indefinite before Jehovah for
you and your offspring with you.”
20 And Jehovah went on to say to Aaron: “In their land you will not have an inheritance, and no share will become yours in their midst. I am your share and your inheritance in the midst of the sons of Israel.
21 “And to the sons of Levi, look! I have given every tenth part in Israel as an inheritance in return for their service that they are carrying on, the service of the tent of meeting. 22 And the sons of Israel should no more come near to the tent of meeting to incur sin so as to die. 23 And the Levites themselves must carry on the service of the tent of meeting, and they are the ones who should answer for their error. It is a statute to time indefinite during YOUR generations that in the midst of the sons of Israel they should not get possession of an inheritance. 24 For the tenth part of the sons of Israel, which they will contribute to Jehovah as a contribution, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance. That is why I have said to them, ‘In the midst of the sons of Israel they should not get possession of an inheritance.’”
25 Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying: 26 “And you should speak to the Levites, and you must say to them, ‘YOU will receive from the sons of Israel the tenth part that I have given to YOU from them for YOUR inheritance, and YOU must contribute from it as a contribution to Jehovah a tenth part of the tenth part. 27 And it must be reckoned to YOU as YOUR contribution, like the grain of the threshing floor and like the full produce of the wine or oil press. 28 In this way YOU yourselves also will contribute a contribution to Jehovah from all YOUR tenth parts that YOU will receive from the sons of Israel, and from them YOU must give the contribution to Jehovah to Aaron the priest. 29 From all the gifts to YOU, YOU will contribute every sort of contribution to Jehovah, of the very best of it, as some holy thing from them.’
you must say to them, ‘When YOU contribute the best of them, then it will
certainly be reckoned to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and
as the produce of the wine or oil press.
YOU must eat it in every place, YOU and YOUR household, because it is YOUR wages
in return for YOUR service in the tent of meeting.
YOU must not incur sin for it when YOU contribute the best from them, and YOU
must not profane the holy things of the sons of Israel, that YOU may not die.’”
19 And Jehovah proceeded to speak to Moses and Aaron, saying: 2 “This is a statute of the law that Jehovah has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they should take for you a sound red cow in which there is no defect and upon which no yoke has come. 3 And YOU must give it to Eleazar the priest, and he must lead it forth outside the camp, and it must be slaughtered before him. 4 Then Eleazar the priest must take some of its blood with his finger and spatter some of its blood straight toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 And the cow must be burned under his eyes. Its skin and its flesh and its blood together with its dung will be burned. 6 And the priest must take cedarwood and hyssop and coccus scarlet material and throw it into the midst of the burning of the cow. 7 And the priest must wash his garments and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he may come into the camp; but the priest must be unclean until the evening.
8 “‘And the one who burned it will wash his garments in water and must bathe his flesh in water, and he must be unclean until the evening.
9 “‘And a clean man must gather up the ashes of the cow and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place; and they must serve the assembly of the sons of Israel as something to be kept for the water for cleansing. It is a sin offering. 10 And the one gathering the ashes of the cow must wash his garments and be unclean until the evening.
“‘And it must serve the sons of Israel and the alien resident who is residing as an alien in their midst as a statute to time indefinite. 11 Anyone touching the corpse of any human soul must also be unclean seven days. 12 Such one should purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he will be clean. But if he will not purify himself on the third day, then on the seventh day he will not be clean. 13 Everyone touching a corpse, the soul of whatever man may die, and who will not purify himself, has defiled Jehovah’s tabernacle, and that soul must be cut off from Israel. Because the water for cleansing has not been sprinkled upon him, he continues unclean. His uncleanness is still upon him.
14 “‘This is the law in case a man should die in a tent: Everyone coming into the tent, and everyone who is in the tent, will be unclean seven days. 15 And every opened vessel upon which there is no lid tied down is unclean. 16 And everyone who on the open field may touch someone slain with the sword or a corpse or a bone of a man or a burial place will be unclean seven days. 17 And they must take for the unclean one some of the dust of the burning of the sin offering and put running water upon it in a vessel. 18 Then a clean man must take hyssop and dip it into the water and spatter it upon the tent and all the vessels and the souls that happened to be there and upon the one who touched the bone or the slain one or the corpse or the burial place. 19 And the clean person must spatter it upon the unclean one on the third day and on the seventh day and must purify him from sin on the seventh day; and he must wash his garments and bathe in water, and he must be clean in the evening.
20 “‘But the man who may be unclean and who will not purify himself, well, that soul must be cut off from the midst of the congregation, because it is Jehovah’s sanctuary that he has defiled. The water for cleansing was not sprinkled upon him. He is unclean.
21 “‘And it must serve as a statute to time indefinite for them, that the one spattering the water for cleansing should wash his garments, also the one touching the water for cleansing. He will be unclean until the evening. 22 And anything the unclean one may touch will be unclean, and the soul who touches it will be unclean until the evening.’”