Numbers 17–19; Revelation 21

Aaron's Staff Buds

17 1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, hSpeak 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, and write Aaron's name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers' house. Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, iwhere I meet with you. 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. 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. And Moses deposited the staffs before the Lord in lthe tent of the testimony.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. And you shall ykeep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, zthat there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. 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. 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,2 and eany outsider who comes near shall be put to death.

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. 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 shekels3 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 zTo 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.

Laws for Purification

19 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, mand on which a yoke has never come. And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and nit shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him. And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and osprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. And the heifer shall be burned in his sight. pIts skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned. And the priest shall take qcedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and throw them into the fire burning the heifer. Then the priest rshall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest shall be unclean until evening. sThe one who burns the heifer rshall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water and shall be unclean until evening. And a man who is clean shall gather up tthe ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a uclean place. And they shall be kept for the water for vimpurity for the congregation of the people of Israel; it is a sin offering. 10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer rshall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. And this shall be a perpetual statute for the people of Israel, and for the stranger who sojourns among them.

11 wWhoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days. 12 He xshall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. 13 Whoever touches a dead person, the body of anyone who has died, and does not cleanse himself, ydefiles the tabernacle of the Lord, zand that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown on him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still on him.

14 This is the law when someone dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean seven days. 15 And every aopen vessel that has no cover fastened on it is unclean. 16 bWhoever in the open field touches someone who was killed with a sword or who died naturally, or touches a human bone or a cgrave, shall be unclean seven days. 17 For the unclean they shall take dsome ashes of the burnt sin offering, and fresh4 water shall be added in a vessel. 18 Then a clean person shall take ehyssop and dip it in the water and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there and on whoever touched the bone, or the slain or the dead or the grave. 19 And the clean person shall sprinkle it on the unclean fon the third day and on the seventh day. gThus on the seventh day he shall cleanse him, and he shall hwash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he shall be clean.

20 If the man who is unclean does not cleanse himself, ithat person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, since he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. Because the water for impurity has not been thrown on him, he is unclean. 21 And it shall be a statute forever for them. The one who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and the one who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. 22 And jwhatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.


The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw ya new heaven and a new earth, for zthe first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw athe holy city, bnew Jerusalem, ccoming down out of heaven from God, dprepared eas a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, fthe dwelling place1 of God is with man. He will gdwell with them, and they will be his people,2 and God himself will be with them as their God.3 hHe will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and ideath shall be no more, jneither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

And khe who was seated on the throne said, Behold, I lam making all things new. Also he said, Write this down, for mthese words are trustworthy and true. And he said to me, nIt is done! oI am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. pTo the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. qThe one who conquers will have this heritage, and rI will be his God and she will be my son. tBut as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, utheir portion will be in vthe lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is wthe second death.

The New Jerusalem

Then came xone of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of ythe seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, Come, I will show you zthe Bride, the wife of the Lamb. 10 And ahe carried me away in the Spirit to ba great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 chaving the glory of God, dits radiance elike a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, fwith twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve gfoundations, and hon them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And the one who spoke with me ihad a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia.4 Its length and width and height are equal. 17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits5 by jhuman measurement, which is also kan angel's measurement. 18 The wall was built of ljasper, while the city was pure gold, like lclear glass. 19 mThe foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and nthe street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 And oI saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city phas no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for qthe glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light rwill the nations walk, and the kings of the earth swill bring their glory into it, 25 and tits gates will never be shut by dayand uthere will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But vnothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's wbook of life.