Numbers 8; Psalm 44; Song of Solomon 6; Hebrews 6

The Seven Lamps

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand. And Aaron did so: he set up its lamps in front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. And ithis was the workmanship of the lampstand, hammered work of gold. From its base to its flowers, it was hammered work; according to the pattern that the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.

Cleansing of the Levites

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Take the Levites from among the people of Israel and cleanse them. Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: sprinkle the jwater of purification upon them, and klet them go with a razor over all their body, and wash their clothes and cleanse themselves. Then let them take a bull from the herd and lits grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, mand you shall take another bull from the herd for a sin offering. nAnd you shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting oand assemble the whole congregation of the people of Israel. 10 When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the people of Israel pshall lay their hands on the Levites, 11 and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the people of Israel, that they may do the service of the Lord. 12 Then the Levites qshall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer rthe one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord to make atonement for the Levites. 13 And you shall set the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and shall offer them as sa wave offering to the Lord.

14 Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the people of Israel, and tthe Levites shall be mine. 15 And after that the Levites shall go in to serve at the tent of meeting, when you have cleansed them and offered them as a swave offering. 16 For they are uwholly given to me from among the people of Israel. vInstead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the people of Israel, I have taken them for myself. 17 wFor all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, 18 and I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel. 19 uAnd I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting and xto make atonement for the people of Israel, ythat there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary.

20 Thus did Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the people of Israel to the Levites. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, the people of Israel did to them. 21 And zthe Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes, and aAaron offered them as a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 And after that the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting before Aaron and his sons; as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them.

Retirement of the Levites

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 This applies to the Levites: bfrom twenty-five years old and upward they1 shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. 25 And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more. 26 They minister2 to their brothers in the tent of meeting cby keeping guard, but they shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites in assigning their duties.


Come to Our Help

To the choirmaster. cA Maskil1 of the Sons of Korah.

44  O God, we have heard with our ears,

dour fathers have told us,

what deeds you performed in their days,

ein the days of old:

you with your own hand fdrove out the nations,

but gthem you planted;

you afflicted the peoples,

but hthem you set free;

for not iby their own sword did they win the land,

nor did their own arm save them,

but your right hand and your arm,

and jthe light of your face,

kfor you delighted in them.

lYou are my King, O God;

mordain salvation for Jacob!

Through you we npush down our foes;

through your name we otread down those who rise up against us.

For not in pmy bow do I trust,

nor can my sword save me.

But you have saved us from our foes

and have qput to shame those who hate us.

rIn God we have boasted continually,

and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah

But you have srejected us and disgraced us

and thave not gone out with our armies.

10  You have made us uturn back from the foe,

and those who hate us have gotten spoil.

11  You have made us like vsheep for slaughter

and have wscattered us among the nations.

12  xYou have sold your people for a trifle,

demanding no high price for them.

13  You have made us ythe taunt of our neighbors,

the derision and zscorn of those around us.

14  You have made us aa byword among the nations,

ba laughingstock2 among the peoples.

15  All day long my disgrace is before me,

and cshame has covered my face

16  at the sound of the taunter and reviler,

at the sight of dthe enemy and the avenger.

17  eAll this has come upon us,

though we have not forgotten you,

and we have not been false to your covenant.

18  Our heart has not turned back,

nor have our fsteps gdeparted from your way;

19  yet you have hbroken us in the place of ijackals

and covered us with jthe shadow of death.

20  If we had forgotten the name of our God

or kspread out our hands to la foreign god,

21  mwould not God discover this?

nFor he knows the secrets of the heart.

22  Yet ofor your sake we are killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

23  pAwake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?

Rouse yourself! qDo not reject us forever!

24  Why rdo you hide your face?

Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

25  For our ssoul is bowed down to the dust;

our belly clings to the ground.

26  Rise up; tcome to our help!

uRedeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!


Others

Where has your beloved gone,

O cmost beautiful among women?

Where has your beloved turned,

that we may seek him with you?

Together in the Garden of Love

She

My beloved has gone down to his qgarden

to rthe beds of spices,

to sgraze1 in the gardens

and to gather tlilies.

uI am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;

he grazes among the lilies.

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

He

You are beautiful as vTirzah, wmy love,

xlovely as yJerusalem,

zawesome as an army with banners.

Turn away your eyes from me,

for they overwhelm me

aYour hair is like a flock of goats

leaping down the slopes of Gilead.

bYour teeth are like a flock of ewes

that have come up from the washing;

all of them bear twins;

not one among them has lost its young.

cYour cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate

behind your veil.

There are dsixty equeens and eighty econcubines,

and fvirgins without number.

My gdove, my hperfect one, is the only one,

the only one of her mother,

pure to iher who bore her.

jThe young women saw her and called her blessed;

ethe queens and econcubines also, and they praised her.

10  kWho is this who looks down like the dawn,

beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,

lawesome as an army with banners?

She

11  I went down to the nut orchard

to look at mthe blossoms of the valley,

nto see whether the vines had budded,

whether the pomegranates were in bloom.

12  oBefore I was aware, my desire set me

among pthe chariots of my kinsman, a prince.2

Others

13  3 Return, return, O qShulammite,

return, return, that we may look upon you.

He

Why should you look upon qthe Shulammite,

as upon ra dance before stwo armies?4


Therefore ilet us leave jthe elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance kfrom dead works and of faith toward God, and of linstruction about washings,1 mthe laying on of hands, nthe resurrection of the dead, and oeternal judgment. And this we will do pif God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those qwho have once been enlightened, who have tasted rthe heavenly gift, and shave shared in the Holy Spirit, and thave tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and uthen have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since vthey are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For wland that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But xif it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, yand its end is to be burned.

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better thingsthings that belong to salvation. 10 For zGod is not unjust so as to overlook ayour work and the love that you have shown for his name in bserving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance cof hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but dimitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Certainty of God's Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, ehe swore by himself, 14 saying, fSurely I will bless you and multiply you. 15 And thus Abraham,2 ghaving patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes han oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to ithe heirs of the promise jthe unchangeable character of his purpose, khe guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which lit is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope mset before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into nthe inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone oas a forerunner on our behalf, phaving become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.