The People Rebel
14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people iwept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel jgrumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or kwould that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? lOur wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, m“Let us choose a leader and ngo back to Egypt.”
5 Then oMoses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. 6 pAnd Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, q“The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8 If rthe Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, sa land that flows with milk and honey. 9 Only tdo not rebel against the Lord. And udo not fear the people of the land, for vthey are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” 10 wThen all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But xthe glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.
11 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people ydespise me? And how long will they not zbelieve in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I awill make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”
Moses Intercedes for the People
13 But bMoses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for you brought up this people in your might from among them, 14 and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. cThey have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people. For you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and dyour cloud stands over them and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say, 16 ‘It is because the Lord ewas not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 18 f‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, gvisiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ 19 Please hpardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just ias you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”
God Promises Judgment
20 Then the Lord said, “I have pardoned, jaccording to your word. 21 But truly, as I live, and as all kthe earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, 22 lnone of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these mten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23 nshall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant oCaleb, because he has a different spirit and has pfollowed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25 qNow, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valleys, rturn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall sthis wicked congregation grumble against me? tI have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28 Say to them, u‘As I live, declares the Lord, vwhat you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 29 wyour dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and xof all your number, listed in the census yfrom twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 30 not one shall come into the land where I zswore that I would make you dwell, aexcept Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 bBut your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that cyou have rejected. 32 But as for you, wyour dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your children dshall be shepherds in the wilderness eforty years and shall fsuffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 gAccording to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, hforty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ 35 iI, the Lord, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all jthis wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”
36 kAnd the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land— 37 the men who brought up a bad report of the land—ldied by plague before the Lord. 38 Of those men who went to spy out the land, monly Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive.
Israel Defeated in Battle
39 When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people nmourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, o“Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.” 41 pBut Moses said, “Why now are you transgressing the command of the Lord, when that will not succeed? 42 qDo not go up, rfor the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies. 43 For there sthe Amalekites and the Canaanites are facing you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned back from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.” 44 tBut they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither uthe ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp. 45 Then vthe Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to wHormah.
Laws About Sacrifices
15 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, xWhen you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you, 3 and yyou offer to the Lord from the herd or from the flock a food offering1 or a burnt offering or a sacrifice, zto fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or aat your appointed feasts, to make a bpleasing aroma to the Lord, 4 then che who brings his offering shall offer to the Lord da grain offering of a tenth of an ephah2 of fine flour, emixed with a quarter of a hin3 of oil; 5 and you shall offer with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, a quarter of a hin of fwine for the drink offering for each lamb. 6 gOr for a ram, you shall offer for a grain offering two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil. 7 And for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine, a bpleasing aroma to the Lord. 8 And when you offer a bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, to zfulfill a vow or for hpeace offerings to the Lord, 9 then one shall offer iwith the bull a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with half a hin of oil. 10 And you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, as a food offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
11 j“Thus it shall be done for each bull or ram, or for each lamb or young goat. 12 As many as you offer, so shall you do with each one, as many as there are. 13 Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in offering a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 14 And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he shall do as you do. 15 For the assembly, kthere shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. 16 One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”
17 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 l“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land to which I bring you 19 and when you eat of mthe bread of the land, you shall present a contribution to the Lord. 20 nOf the first of your dough you shall present a loaf as a contribution; like a ocontribution from the threshing floor, so shall you present it. 21 nSome of the first of your dough you shall give to the Lord as a contribution throughout your generations.
Laws About Unintentional Sins
22 p“But if you sin unintentionally,4 and do not observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses, 23 all that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the Lord gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, 24 then if it was done unintentionally qwithout the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord, rwith its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and sone male goat for a sin offering. 25 tAnd the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord for their mistake. 26 And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake.
27 u“If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. 28 vAnd the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 29 wYou shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. 30 xBut the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has ydespised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.”
A Sabbathbreaker Executed
32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man zgathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 aThey put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said to Moses, b“The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall cstone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Tassels on Garments
37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to dmake tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. 39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, enot to follow5 after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined fto whore after. 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be gholy to your God. 41 hI am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.”
16 Now iKorah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and jDathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. 2 And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. 3 kThey assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, l“You have gone too far! For mall in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” 4 When Moses heard it, nhe fell on his face, 5 and he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will show owho is his,1 and who is pholy, and will bring him near to him. The one qwhom he chooses he will rbring near to him. 6 Do this: take scensers, Korah and all his company; 7 put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. tYou have gone too far, sons of Levi!” 8 And Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 is it utoo small a thing for you that the God of Israel has vseparated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10 and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? 11 Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is wAaron that you grumble against him?”
12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, “We will not come up. 13 Is it xa small thing that you have brought us up out of ya land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also zmake yourself a prince over us? 14 Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” 15 And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, a“Do not respect their offering. bI have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them.”
16 And Moses said to Korah, “Be present, you and all your company, cbefore the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17 And dlet every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, e250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. fAnd the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.
20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21 g“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them hin a moment.” 22 And they ifell on their faces and said, “O God, jthe God of the spirits of all flesh, kshall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?” 23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”
25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, l“Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” 27 So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood mat the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. 28 And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been nof my own accord. 29 If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, othen the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates something new, and pthe ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they qgo down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”
31 rAnd as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and sall the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and tthey perished from the midst of the assembly. 34 And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” 35 And ufire came out from the Lord and consumed vthe 250 men offering the incense.
36 2 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37 “Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy. 38 As for the censers of wthese men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. xThus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar, 40 to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so ythat no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the Lord, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the Lord said to him through Moses.
41 But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel zgrumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” 42 And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, athe cloud covered it, and bthe glory of the Lord appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 c“Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” dAnd they fell on their faces. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for ewrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.” 47 So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living, and fthe plague was stopped. 49 Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, gbesides those who died in the affair of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped.
Aaron’s Staff Buds
17 1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 h“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, iwhere I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man jwhom I choose shall sprout. Thus I will make to cease from me kthe 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 lthe 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 mthe staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept nas a sign for the rebels, othat 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 pEveryone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?”
Duties of Priests and Levites
18 So the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall qbear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, rand 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 sjoin you and tminister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. 3 They shall keep guard over you and uover the whole tent, vbut shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar wlest they, and you, die. 4 They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, xand no outsider shall come near you. 5 And you shall ykeep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, zthat there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. 6 aAnd behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. bThey are a gift to you, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting. 7 And cyou and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and dthat is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift,1 and eany outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, “Behold, fI 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 gas 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 hsin offering of theirs and every iguilt 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 jwave offerings of the people of Israel. I have given them to kyou, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. lEveryone who is clean in your house may eat it. 12 mAll the best of the oil and all the best of the wine and of the grain, nthe firstfruits of what they give to the Lord, I give to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, owhich they bring to the Lord, shall be yours. lEveryone who is clean in your house may eat it. 14 pEvery devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. 15 qEverything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or beast, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours. Nevertheless, rthe firstborn of man you shall redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And their redemption price s(at a month old you shall redeem them) you shall fix at five shekels2 in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, twhich is twenty gerahs. 17 uBut 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 vthe breast that is waved and as the right thigh are yours. 19 wAll 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. xIt 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. yI am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.
21 z“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 aso that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, blest they bear sin and die. 23 But cthe Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, dand 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 ethey 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 famong 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, ga tithe of the tithe. 27 hAnd 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, ithen 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 jyour reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting. 32 And you shall kbear no sin by reason of it, when you have contributed the best of it. But you shall not lprofane the holy things of the people of Israel, lest you die.’”