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?”
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
20 hOne day, ias Jesus1 was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, jthe chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us kby what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” 3 He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4 was the baptism of John lfrom heaven or from man?” 5 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, m‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was na prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
9 oAnd he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted pa vineyard and qlet it out to tenants and rwent into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant2 to the tenants, so that qthey would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. sBut the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 tAnd she sent another servant. But they also beat and utreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 sAnd he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my vbeloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, w‘This is the heir. xLet us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they ythrew him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 zHe will acome and destroy those tenants and bgive the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he clooked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
d“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?3