Numbers 15

Laws concerning Offerings

Then the Lord told Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.

“When you finally settle in the land I am giving you, you will offer special gifts as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. These gifts may take the form of a burnt offering, a sacrifice to fulfill a vow, a voluntary offering, or an offering at any of your annual festivals, and they may be taken from your herds of cattle or your flocks of sheep and goats. When you present these offerings, you must also give the Lord a grain offering of two quarts[a] of choice flour mixed with one quart[b] of olive oil. For each lamb offered as a burnt offering or a special sacrifice, you must also present one quart of wine as a liquid offering.

“If the sacrifice is a ram, give a grain offering of four quarts[c] of choice flour mixed with a third of a gallon[d] of olive oil, and give a third of a gallon of wine as a liquid offering. This will be a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

“When you present a young bull as a burnt offering or as a sacrifice to fulfill a vow or as a peace offering to the Lord, you must also give a grain offering of six quarts[e] of choice flour mixed with two quarts[f] of olive oil, and give two quarts of wine as a liquid offering. This will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

“Each sacrifice of a bull, ram, lamb, or young goat should be prepared in this way. Follow these instructions with each offering you present. All of you native-born Israelites must follow these instructions when you offer a special gift as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. And if any foreigners visit you or live among you and want to present a special gift as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, they must follow these same procedures. Native-born Israelites and foreigners are equal before the Lord and are subject to the same decrees. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation. The same instructions and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigners living among you.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.

“When you arrive in the land where I am taking you, and you eat the crops that grow there, you must set some aside as a sacred offering to the Lord. Present a cake from the first of the flour you grind, and set it aside as a sacred offering, as you do with the first grain from the threshing floor. Throughout the generations to come, you are to present a sacred offering to the Lord each year from the first of your ground flour.

“But suppose you unintentionally fail to carry out all these commands that the Lord has given you through Moses. And suppose your descendants in the future fail to do everything the Lord has commanded through Moses. If the mistake was made unintentionally, and the community was unaware of it, the whole community must present a young bull for a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. It must be offered along with its prescribed grain offering and liquid offering and with one male goat for a sin offering. With it the priest will purify the whole community of Israel, making them right with the Lord,[g] and they will be forgiven. For it was an unintentional sin, and they have corrected it with their offerings to the Lord—the special gift and the sin offering. The whole community of Israel will be forgiven, including the foreigners living among you, for all the people were involved in the sin.

“If one individual commits an unintentional sin, the guilty person must bring a one-year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest will sacrifice it to purify[h] the guilty person before the Lord, and that person will be forgiven. These same instructions apply both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.

“But those who brazenly violate the Lord’s will, whether native-born Israelites or foreigners, have blasphemed the Lord, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the Lord’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment for their guilt.”

Penalty for Breaking the Sabbath

One day while the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they discovered a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. The people who found him doing this took him before Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the community. They held him in custody because they did not know what to do with him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must be put to death! The whole community must stone him outside the camp.” So the whole community took the man outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Tassels on Clothing

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord. When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the Lord instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt that I might be your God. I am the Lord your God!”


Footnotes
  1. 15:4a Hebrew 1⁄10 of an ephah [2.2 liters].
  2. 15:4b Hebrew 1⁄4 of a hin [1 liter]; also in 15:5.
  3. 15:6a Hebrew 2⁄10 of an ephah [4.4 liters].
  4. 15:6b Hebrew 1⁄3 of a hin [1.3 liters]; also in 15:7.
  5. 15:9a Hebrew 3⁄10 of an ephah [6.6 liters].
  6. 15:9b Hebrew 1⁄2 of a hin [2 liters]; also in 15:10.
  7. 15:25 Or will make atonement for the whole community of Israel.
  8. 15:28 Or to make atonement for.

Read More of Numbers 15

Numbers 16:1-35

Korah’s Rebellion

One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?”

When Moses heard what they were saying, he fell face down on the ground. Then he said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show us who belongs to him[a] and who is holy. The Lord will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence. Korah, you and all your followers must prepare your incense burners. Light fires in them tomorrow, and burn incense before the Lord. Then we will see whom the Lord chooses as his holy one. You Levites are the ones who have gone too far!”

Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them? Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”

Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied, “We refuse to come before you! Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men?[b] We will not come.”

Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not accept their grain offerings! I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, and I have never hurt a single one of them.” And Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers must come here tomorrow and present yourselves before the Lord. Aaron will also be here. You and each of your 250 followers must prepare an incense burner and put incense on it, so you can all present them before the Lord. Aaron will also bring his incense burner.”

So each of these men prepared an incense burner, lit the fire, and placed incense on it. Then they all stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle[c] with Moses and Aaron. Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all gathered at the Tabernacle entrance. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to the whole community, and the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Get away from all these people so that I may instantly destroy them!”

But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. “O God,” they pleaded, “you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Must you be angry with all the people when only one man sins?”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”

So Moses got up and rushed over to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, followed by the elders of Israel. “Quick!” he told the people. “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them. If you do, you will be destroyed for their sins.” So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents, together with their wives and children and little ones.

And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave,[d] then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord.”

He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. “The earth will swallow us, too!” they cried. Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.


Footnotes
  1. 16:5 Greek version reads God has visited and knows those who are his. Compare 2 Tim 2:19.
  2. 16:14 Hebrew Are you trying to put out the eyes of these men?
  3. 16:18 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 16:19, 42, 43, 50.
  4. 16:30 Hebrew into Sheol; also in 16:33.

Read More of Numbers 16