« Numbers 16 | Numbers 17 | Numbers 18 »
Aaron’s Staff Buds 17:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. Write each man’s name on his staff,
3 and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house.
4 Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you.
5 And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout. Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you.”
6 Moses spoke to the people of Israel. And all their chiefs gave him staffs, one for each chief, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. And the staff of Aaron was among their staffs.
7 And Moses deposited the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony.
8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.
9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that you may make an end of their grumblings against me, lest they die.”
11 Thus did Moses; as the Lord commanded him, so he did.
12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone.
13 Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?”
« Numbers 17 | Numbers 18 | Numbers 19 »
Duties of Priests and Levites 18:1 So the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood.
2 And with you bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may join you and minister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony.
3 They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die.
4 They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, and no outsider shall come near you.
5 And you shall keep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, that there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel.
6 And behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting.
7 And you and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and that is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift, and any outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, “Behold, I have given you charge of the contributions made to me, all the consecrated things of the people of Israel. I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual due.
9 This shall be yours of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering of theirs and every sin offering of theirs and every guilt offering of theirs, which they render to me, shall be most holy to you and to your sons.
10 In a most holy place shall you eat it. Every male may eat it; it is holy to you.
11 This also is yours: the contribution of their gift, all the wave offerings of the people of Israel. I have given them to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it.
12 All the best of the oil and all the best of the wine and of the grain, the firstfruits of what they give to the Lord, I give to you.
13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it.
14 Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours.
15 Everything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or beast, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours. Nevertheless, the firstborn of man you shall redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem.
16 And their redemption price (at a month old you shall redeem them) you shall fix at five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.
17 But the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall burn their fat as a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
18 But their flesh shall be yours, as the breast that is waved and as the right thigh are yours.
19 All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord for you and for your offspring with you.”
20 And the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.
21 “To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting,
22 so that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.
23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the people of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
24 For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.”
25 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
26 “Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.
27 And your contribution shall be counted to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.
28 So you shall also present a contribution to the Lord from all your tithes, which you receive from the people of Israel. And from it you shall give the Lord’s contribution to Aaron the priest.
29 Out of all the gifts to you, you shall present every contribution due to the Lord; from each its best part is to be dedicated.’
30 Therefore you shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be counted to the Levites as produce of the threshing floor, and as produce of the winepress.
31 And you may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting.
32 And you shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have contributed the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy things of the people of Israel, lest you die.’”
« Proverbs 7 | Proverbs 8 | Proverbs 9 »
The Blessings of Wisdom8:1 Does not wisdom call?Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights beside the way,at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town,at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O men, I call,and my cry is to the children of man.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence;O fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things,and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth;wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands,and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.Pride and arrogance and the way of eviland perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,and nobles, all who govern justly.
17 I love those who love me,and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,and filling their treasuries.
22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,so that the waters might not transgress his command,when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman,and I was daily his delight,rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited worldand delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,watching daily at my gates,waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds lifeand obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;all who hate me love death.”
« Acts 21 | Acts 22 | Acts 23 »
22:1 “Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.”
2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet. And he said:
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day.
4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women,
5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me.
7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me.
10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’
11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.
12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him.
14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;
15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.
16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance
18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’
19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you.
20 And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.’
21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
Paul and the Roman Tribune22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.”
23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air,
24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this.
25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?”
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.”
27 So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.”
28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.”
29 So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.
Paul Before the Council30 But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.
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