Numbers 14–15; Psalm 90

The People Rebel

14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people iwept that night. 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! 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? And they said to one another, mLet us choose a leader and ngo back to Egypt.

Then oMoses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. 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 and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, qThe land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 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. 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 fThe 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, uAs 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 landldied 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, oHere 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, 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, 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, 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; 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. 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. And for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine, a bpleasing aroma to the Lord. And when you offer a bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, to zfulfill a vow or for hpeace offerings to the Lord, 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 jThus 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 lSpeak 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 pBut 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 uIf 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, bThe 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.


Book Four

From Everlasting to Everlasting

A sPrayer of Moses, the tman of God.

90  Lord, you have been our udwelling place1

in all generations.

vBefore the wmountains were brought forth,

or ever you had formed the earth and the world,

xfrom everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You return man to dust

and say, yReturn, zO children of man!2

For aa thousand years in your sight

are but as byesterday when it is past,

or as ca watch in the night.

You dsweep them away as with a flood; they are like ea dream,

like fgrass that is renewed in the morning:

in ithe morning it flourishes and is renewed;

in the evening it jfades and kwithers.

For we are brought to an end by your anger;

by your wrath we are dismayed.

You have lset our iniquities before you,

our msecret sins in the light of your presence.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;

we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

10  The years of our life are seventy,

or even by reason of strength eighty;

yet their span3 is but toil and trouble;

they are soon gone, and we fly away.

11  Who considers the power of your anger,

and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12  nSo teach us to number our days

that we may get a heart of wisdom.

13  oReturn, O Lord! pHow long?

Have qpity on your servants!

14  Satisfy us in the smorning with your steadfast love,

that we may trejoice and be glad all our days.

15  Make us glad for as many days as you have uafflicted us,

and for as many years as we have seen evil.

16  Let your vwork be shown to your servants,

and your glorious power to their children.

17  Let the xfavor4 of the Lord our God be upon us,

and establish ythe work of our hands upon us;

yes, establish the work of our hands!