God gives rules to Israel’s people

About this book

This is the story of Israel’s people. They were travelling from Egypt to the country called Canaan. They were in the desert for 40 years.

Moses was the man that the LORD chose to guide the Israelites out of Egypt. Aaron was the brother of Moses. He was the first priest that the Israelites had.

Chapter 1

1 The Israelites were in the Desert of Sinai. It was the first day of the second month of the second year after they left Egypt. Moses was in the Tent of Meeting. The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Put the people into clans and families and count them. Make a list. Write the name of each man on the list. 3 You and Aaron must record the names of all the men in each group. But only record the names of men who are 20 years old or older. Those men can fight in the army. 4 The most important man from each tribe must help you.

5 These are the men who must help you:

Elizur, who is the son of Shedeur. He is from the tribe of Reuben.

6 Shelumiel, who is the son of Zurishaddai. He is from the tribe of Simeon.

7 Nahshon, who is the son of Amminadab. He is from the tribe of Judah.

8 Nethanel, who is the son of Zuar. He is from the tribe of Issachar.

9 Eliab, who is the son of Helon. He is from the tribe of Zebulun.

10 Elishama, who is the son of Ammihud. He is from the tribe of Ephraim.

Gamaliel, who is the son of Pedahzur. He is from the tribe of Manasseh.

(Ephraim and Manasseh were Joseph’s sons.)

11 Abidan, who is the son of Gideoni. He is from the tribe of Benjamin.

12 Ahiezer, who is the son of Ammishaddai. He is from the tribe of Dan.

13 Pagiel, who is the son of Ochran. He is from the tribe of Asher.

14 Eliasaph, who is the son of Deuel. He is from the tribe of Gad.

15 Ahira, who is the son of Enan. He is from the tribe of Naphtali.’

16 The LORD said that Moses must choose those men from among the people. They were leaders of their clans. They were Israel’s leaders. 17 Those men helped Moses and Aaron. 18 On the first day of the second month, they said that all the people must come together. The people were in clans and in families. They made a list of all the men who were 20 years old or older. 19 They obeyed the things that the LORD had said to Moses. So he recorded the names in the Desert of Sinai.

20 The men in the tribe of Reuben came first. Reuben was the first son of Israel (Jacob). They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 21 There were 46 500 men from the tribe of Reuben. 22 Next was the tribe of Simeon. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 23 There were 59 300 men from the tribe of Simeon. 24 Next was the tribe of Gad. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 25 There were 45 650 men from the tribe of Gad. 26 Next was the tribe of Judah. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 27 There were 74 600 men from the tribe of Judah. 28 Next was the tribe of Issachar. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 29 There were 54 400 men from the tribe of Issachar. 30 Next was the tribe of Zebulun. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 31 There were 57 400 men from the tribe of Zebulun. 32 Ephraim was a son of Joseph. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 33 There were 40 500 men from the tribe of Ephraim. 34 Manasseh was a son of Joseph. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 35 There were 32 200 men from the tribe of Manasseh. 36 Next was the tribe of Benjamin. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 37 There were 35 400 men from the tribe of Benjamin. 38 Next was the tribe of Dan. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 39 There were 62 700 men from the tribe of Dan. 40 Next was the tribe of Asher. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 41 There were 41 500 men from the tribe of Asher. 42 Next was the tribe of Naphtali. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 43 There were 53 400 men from the tribe of Naphtali.

44 Moses and Aaron made a list of the men. The 12 leaders of Israel helped them to do it. That was one man from each tribe. 45 They recorded the names of all the men in each family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 46 The number of all the men was 603 550.

47 But Moses and Aaron did not count the Levites among the other men. 48 The LORD had said to Moses, 49 ‘You must not count the tribe of Levi. You must not put the Levites on the list with the other Israelites. 50 The Levites’ work is in the Tent of Meeting. They must carry the Tent everywhere. They must carry everything from the Tent and their work is with all those things. And they must put their tents round it. 51 When the people move to another place, the Levites must pack the Tent. When the people make a new camp, the Levites must put the Tent up again. If any other person comes near to the Tent, he must die. 52 All the other Israelites must camp in groups. Each man must camp with his own group. Each group must put up its own flag. 53 But the Levites must camp on each side of the Tent of Meeting. They must keep it safe. Then the LORD will not be angry with the people.’

54 The Israelites did everything that the LORD had said to Moses.

Chapter 2

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 ‘The Israelites must camp on each side of the Tent of the LORD. They must not be near to it but they should be looking towards it. They must camp in tribes. Each person must be with his own tribe. Each tribe must have its own flag.

3 The people in Judah’s tribe must be on the east side of the Tent. They must have their flag with them and they must camp in groups. The leader of the tribe of Judah is Nahshon, the son of Amminadab. 4 There will be 74 600 soldiers in his army.

5 The tribe of Issachar will camp next to them. The leader of the tribe of Issachar is Nethanel, the son of Zuar. 6 There will be 54 400 soldiers in his army.

7 The tribe of Zebulun will be next. The leader of the tribe of Zebulun is Eliab, the son of Helon. 8 There will be 57 400 soldiers in his army.

9 So there will be 186 400 soldiers in the three groups in Judah’s camp. They will march first.

10 The tribe of Reuben must be on the south side of the Tent. They must have their flag with them and they must camp in groups. The leader of the tribe of Reuben is Elizur, the son of Shedeur. 11 There will be 46 500 soldiers in his army.

12 The tribe of Simeon will camp next to them. The leader of the tribe of Simeon is Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai. 13 There will be 59 300 soldiers in his army.

14 The tribe of Gad will be next. The leader of the tribe of Gad is Eliasaph, the son of Reuel. 15 There will be 45 650 soldiers in his army.

16 So there will be 151 450 soldiers in the three groups in Reuben’s camp. They will march second.

17 The Levites must march next. The Levites must carry the Tent of Meeting. They must march between the first two groups of tribes and the last two groups of tribes. Each man must be in his own place. They must march with their flag

18 The tribe of Ephraim must be on the west side of the Tent. They must have their flag with them and they must camp in groups. The leader of the tribe of Ephraim is Elishama, the son of Ammihud. 19 There will be 40 500 soldiers in his army.

20 The tribe of Manasseh will camp next to them. The leader of the tribe of Manasseh is Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur. 21 There will be 32 200 soldiers in his army.

22 The tribe of Benjamin will be next. The leader of the tribe of Benjamin is Abidan, the son of Gideoni. 23 There will be 35 400 soldiers in his army.

24 So there will be 108 100 soldiers in the three groups in Ephraim’s camp. They will march third.

25 The tribe of Dan must be on the north side of the Tent. They must have their flag with them and they must camp in groups. The leader of the tribe of Dan is Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai. 26 There will be 62 700 soldiers in his army.

27 The tribe of Asher will camp next to them. The leader of the tribe of Asher is Pagiel, the son of Ochran. 28 There will be 41 500 soldiers in his army.

29 The tribe of Naphtali will be next. The leader of the tribe of Naphtali is Ahira, the son of Enan. 30 There will be 53 400 soldiers in his army.

31 So there will be 157 600 soldiers in the three groups in Dan’s camp. They will march last with their flag.’

32 Moses and his helpers had counted all the Israelite men who were able to fight. They had counted them in groups. There were 603 550 soldiers. 33 They did not count the Levites. The LORD had told Moses that they must not count them among the other Israelites.

34 The Israelites did everything that the LORD had said to Moses. They camped in the way that the LORD wanted. Each tribe camped under its own flag. When they started to travel, each man walked with his own clan and his own family.

Chapter 3

About the Levites

1 This is the list of the family of Aaron and Moses, when the LORD spoke to Moses. The LORD spoke to Moses on the mountain called Sinai

2 The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab was the oldest son. 3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron. Aaron anointed them. And he gave authority to them to work as priests. 4 But Nadab and Abihu fell down and died in front of the LORD. That happened when they offered unholy fire to the LORD in the Sinai desert. They had no children. So only Eleazar and Ithamar worked as priests while their father Aaron was alive.

The Levites must work for the priests

5 Then the LORD said to Moses, 6 ‘Bring the tribe of Levi to Aaron the priest. They must help him. 7 They must work for him and for all the Israelites. They must work in front of the Tent of Meeting. They must work at God’s Tent. 8 They must work on behalf of the Israelites. They must do all the necessary work with the things that are in the Tent of Meeting. Their work is at God’s Tent. 9 Give the Levites to Aaron and to his descendants. So they will be the Israelites who help him. And they do not have to do anything else. 10 But you must make a list of Aaron and his descendants. They will be the priests. If any other person comes near, he must die.’ 11 The LORD also said to Moses, 12 ‘I will not take the first son of every woman of Israel. I will take all the Levites instead. 13 I killed all the first-born children of the Egyptians. Then the first-born of every person and animal of Israel became mine. Now, I will not have the first-born child. I will have all the Levites instead. They are mine. I am the LORD!’

Moses and Aaron count the Levites

14 The LORD said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, 15 ‘Put the Levites into clans and families and count them. Make a list of every male who is a month old or older.’ 16 Moses obeyed the LORD. So Moses recorded them as the LORD said. 17 The names of the sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 18 Gershon had two sons. Their names were Libni and Shimei. 19 Kohath’s sons were called Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 20 Merari’s sons were called Mahli and Mushi. Those were the sons and grandsons of Levi. They had become the leaders of the clans of Levi’s tribe.

21 There were two families in Gershon’s clan. They were the families of Libni and Shimei. 22 They had 7500 males who were one month or older in their list. 23 Gershon’s clans had to camp on the west side of God’s Tent. 24 The leader of the clan of Gershon was Eliasaph the son of Lael. 25 The descendants of Gershon had to work with the cloth of the walls and the doors of God’s Tent. 26 There was a yard outside God’s Tent. This yard was round God’s Tent and round the altar. There were curtains that hung round this yard. Those men had to work with these curtains. Also, they had to work with the ropes and the curtain for the place where people went into the yard. And they also did all the work with those things.

27 The descendants of Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel belonged to the Kohath’s clan. 28 There were 8600 males who were one month old or older in this clan. They were one month old or older when Moses counted them. They had to work in God’s Holy Tent. 29 Kohath’s descendants had to camp on the south side of God’s Tent. 30 The leader of Kohath’s descendants was Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 They had to work with the Covenant Box, the table and the lampstands. They had to work with the altar and the tools that the priests used in God’s Holy Tent. Also they had to work with the curtain in front of the Most Holy Place in God’s Tent. And they also did all the work with those things. 32 Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest was the most important leader of the Levites. He ruled over those people who did all the work in God’s Holy Tent.

33 The descendants of Mahli and Mushi belonged to Merari’s clan. 34 There were 6200 males in that list. They were one month old or older when Moses counted them. 35 The leader of Merari’s clan was Zuriel, the son of Abihail. They had to camp on the north side of God’s Tent. 36 They had to work with all the boards of God’s Tent and with all the things that held it up. 37 They also had to work with all the things that held up the cloth for the yard round God’s Tent.

38 Moses, Aaron and the sons of Aaron had to camp in front of God’s Tent. They had to camp on the east side. They were the only people who could go into God’s Holy Tent. Any other person who went near it must die. 39 So Moses and Aaron obeyed the LORD. They counted the Levites by their clans. There were 22 000 males who were one month old or older.

The Levites take the place of the first-born sons of the Israelites

40 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Record all the first-born males of the Israelites. Record every male who is one month old or older. And count their names. 41 The Israelitesfirst-born sons are mine. But I will accept all the males among the Levites instead. Also, the Israelitesfirst-born animals are mine. But I will accept the animals of the Levites instead.’

42 So Moses counted all the first-born males among the Israelites as the LORD had said. 43 He counted 22 273 first-born males who were one month old or older. He made a list of their names.

44 Then the LORD said to Moses, 45 ‘Do not use the first-born males among the people. Accept the Levites instead. Do not use the first-born animals of the people. Accept the animals of the Levites instead. The Levites will be mine. I am the LORD. 46 There are 273 more first-born males of the people than there are Levites. The people must buy them back from the LORD. 47 You must accept 5 shekels for each extra first-born male. The shekel must have the same weight as the shekel that the Levites use in God’s Holy Tent. There are 20 gerahs in one shekel. 48 Give the money that buys back the extra males to Aaron and his sons.’ 49 So Moses took the money to buy back the extra 273 first-born sons. That was because the number of first-born sons was more than the number of Levites. 50 He took 1365 shekels from them. The shekels had the same weight as the shekel that the Levites used in God’s Holy Tent. 51 Moses gave the money to Aaron and his sons. The LORD had told him that he must do that. So he did it.

Chapter 4

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 ‘Write a list of the people in Kohath’s clan in their families. That list must be separate from the list of the other Levites. 3 Record the men who can work in the Tent of Meeting. Record them if they are between 30 and 50 years old.

4 These men must work with everything that is most holy in the Tent of Meeting. 5 When the people are ready to move, Aaron and his sons must go into the Tent of Meeting. They must take down the curtain that is in front of the Covenant Box. They must cover the Covenant Box with the curtain. 6 Then they must cover the curtain with good leather. On the top of that, they must put a blue cloth. Then, they must put in its pieces of wood so that they can carry the Covenant Box.

7 They must put a blue cloth over the table for the special bread. The bread must remain on the table. The cloth must cover the plates, bowls and dishes on the table. It must also cover the jars for the wine that they offer to the LORD. 8 Then they must cover all that with a red cloth. On the top of the red cloth, they must put good leather. Then they must put in its pieces of wood so that they can carry the table.

9 They must cover the lampstand and its tools with a blue cloth. They must also cover the jars for the oil with the blue cloth. 10 Then they must cover all this with good leather. They must carry it on a board.

11 They must cover the gold altar with a blue cloth. They must cover the blue cloth with good leather. Then they must put in its pieces of wood so that they can carry the altar. 12 They must cover all the tools from God’s Holy Tent with a blue cloth. They must cover the blue cloth with good leather. They must carry all this on a board.

13 They must remove the ashes from the bronze altar. They must cover the bronze altar with a purple cloth. 14 They must put all the tools on the bronze altar. That includes the pans for the fire, the forks for the meat, the spades and the bowls. They must cover all that with good leather. Then they must put in its pieces of wood so that they can carry the altar.

15 When the camp is ready to move, the men from Kohath’s clan must be ready to carry all those things. But they must wait until Aaron and his sons have covered God’s Holy Tent and all its holy things. The men from Kohath’s clan must not touch the holy things. They will die if they touch the holy things. These are the duties of Kohath’s clan. They must carry the things from the Tent of Meeting when the Israelites travel.

16 Eleazar, who is the son of Aaron the priest, must keep the oil for the light. He must keep the incense and the offering of flour. He must keep the special oil. The special oil marks everything that the LORD chooses. Eleazar must work with the whole Tent of Meeting. He must work with God’s Holy Tent and with everything in it.’

17 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 18 ‘You must not cause the end of Kohath’s clan from among the Levites. 19 Do not let the men in that clan die. That will happen if they come near to the most holy things. You must do this: Aaron and his sons must go into the Tent of the LORD. They will tell each man the work that he must do. And they must tell each man the things that he must carry. 20 But the men from Kohath’s clan must not look at anything that is holy, even for a moment. If they do look at those things, they will die.’

21 Then the LORD said to Moses, 22 ‘Also write a list of the people in Gershon’s clan in their families. 23 Record the men who can work in the Tent of Meeting. Record them if they are between 30 and 50 years old.

24 The work of the men in Gershon’s clan is to carry everything. 25 The men from that clan must carry the curtains of God’s Tent. And they must carry the Tent of Meeting with the thing that covers it. And they must carry the good leather that covers all that. And they must carry the curtain for the place where people go into the Tent of Meeting. 26 They must carry the curtains of the yard that is round God’s Tent. Also, they must carry the curtain and ropes for the place where people go into the yard. That is the yard that is round God’s Tent and the altar. The men from Gershon’s clan must carry all the tools that belong with those curtains. They must do everything that all those things need. 27 The men in Gershon’s clan must do everything that Aaron and his sons ask them to do. Aaron and his sons must tell them the things that they should carry. And they must tell them everything that they should do. 28 That is the work for the Tent of Meeting that the descendants of Gershon must do. Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest will tell them the things that they must do.’

29 Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write a list of the people in Merari’s clan in their families. 30 Record the men who can work in the Tent of Meeting. Record them if they are between 30 and 50 years old. 31 This is the work of the men in Merari’s clan. They must carry the frames of the Tent of Meeting and its bars. And they must carry its pillars and its bases. 32 And they must carry the pillars, bases, nails of wood and ropes of the yard that is round God’s Tent. And the men in Merari’s clan must keep all the tools that belong with those things safe. Each man in Merari’s clan must keep particular things safe. Tell each man which things he must carry. 33 That is the work of the descendants of Merari in the Tent of Meeting. Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest, will tell them the things that they must do.’

34 So Moses, Aaron and the people’s leaders recorded the names of Kohath’s descendants in their clans and in their families. 35 They recorded the men who could work in the Tent of Meeting. They recorded them if they were between 30 and 50 years old. 36 They recorded them in clans. There were 2750 men. 37 Moses and Aaron recorded the descendants of Kohath who worked at the Tent of Meeting. The LORD had told Moses that they must do that.

38 Moses and Aaron also recorded the names of Gershon’s descendants in their clans and in their families. 39 They recorded the men who could work in the Tent of Meeting. They recorded them if they were between 30 and 50 years old. 40 They recorded them in clans and families. There were 2630 men. 41 Moses and Aaron recorded the descendants of Gershon who worked at the Tent of Meeting. The LORD had told Moses that they must do that.

42 Moses and Aaron also recorded the names of Merari’s descendants in their clans and in their families. 43 They counted all the men who worked in the Tent of Meeting. They counted them if they were between 30 and 50 years old. 44 They recorded them in clans. There were 3200 men. 45 Moses and Aaron recorded the descendants of Merari who worked at the Tent of Meeting. The LORD had told Moses that they must do that.

46 Moses, Aaron and the people’s leaders recorded the names of the Levites in their clans and in their families. 47 They counted all the men who worked in the Tent of Meeting. And they counted all the men who carried any of its things. They counted them if they were between 30 and 50 years old. 48 There were 8580 Levites in the list. 49 They told each man the things that he must do. Or they told him what he must carry. Moses recorded all their names. The LORD had told him that he must do that.

Chapter 5

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Speak to the Israelites. They must send any person with an illness of the skin away from the camp. Somebody may have an illness that makes water. Any person like that is not clean. Any person who has touched a dead person is not clean. Send those people out of the camp too. 3 Do those things with both males and females. Send them out of the camp. They must not make the camp, where the LORD lives among the people, not clean.’ 4 The Israelites did what the LORD had said to Moses. They sent those people outside the camp.

Gifts to the LORD and to the people when someone sins

5 The LORD said to Moses, 6 ‘Tell these rules to the Israelites: A person might do a wrong thing against another person. If they do, then they have sinned against me. 7 That person must agree that they have sinned. They must pay the right amount to the other person. Also, they must pay an extra 20% of that amount. 8 But the other person may have died. The other person may not have a relative who can accept the money. If that happens, the money must go to the LORD. The person who did a wrong thing must give the money and a male sheep to the priest. The sheep is a special gift to the LORD to make everything right. Then I will forgive that person. 9 All the special gifts from the Israelites to the LORD are for the priest. 10 The priest will keep all the special gifts.’

How to find out if a wife is doing something wrong

11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 ‘Speak to the Israelites. Tell them to follow these rules. A woman may do wrong things against her husband. 13 She might have had sex with another man. The husband might not be sure about this. His wife might have kept it secret. Nobody came in while it was happening. So there is nobody to say that it happened. 14 But the man may think that it happened. He will be angry. But she may not have made herself unholy in that way. 15 The man must take his wife to the priest. He must bring 0.1 ephahs of flour from barley with him. This is an offering of flour to discover if his wife really did do those things. So he must not put oil or incense on the offering of flour. That is an offering of flour because the man does not trust his wife.

16 Then the priest will bring the woman to stand in front of the LORD. 17 He must pour some holy water into a bowl that someone has made out of clay. He must take some dust from the floor of God’s Tent. And he must put the dust into the water. 18 Then the priest must make the woman’s hair free. He must put into her hands the offering of flour. That is the offering of flour because the man does not trust his wife. The priest must hold the bowl that contains the bitter water. The bitter water brings a curse. 19 Then the woman must agree to the special promise that the priest speaks. The priest should tell her that she must agree. He must say, “This water brings a curse. If no other man has had sex with you, it will not hurt you. 20 But if another man has had sex with you, 21 the bitter water will cause your female parts to decrease. Your stomach will become very big. 22 That will happen when you drink the bitter water.” The woman must say, “That should happen. I agree!”

23 Then the priest must write everything on special paper. Then he must wash off the words into the bitter water. 24 He must tell the woman that she must drink the bitter water. This water that brings a curse will go into her body. It may cause her to be very ill. 25 But first, the priest must take the offering of flour from her hands. That is the offering of flour because the man does not trust his wife. The priest must lift it up in front of the LORD. Then he must bring it to the altar. 26 He must burn a small part of it as a sacrifice. After that, the woman must drink the bitter water. 27 If the woman has had sex with another man, the water will cause her to have very bad pain. Her female parts will decrease. Her stomach will become very big. And people will curse her. 28 But, if she did not do those wrong things, the water will not hurt her. She will be able to have babies.

29-30 Perhaps a man is angry because his wife has had sex with another man. Or a man may think that his wife has had sex with another man. You must do this. This is the rule. The man must bring her in front of the LORD. The priest must obey all these rules. 31 If the woman did not do those wrong things, you must not punish her husband. But if the woman did do those wrong things, you must punish her.’

Chapter 6

People who make special promises to the LORD

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites this: “A man or a woman may want to make a special promise to the LORD. That will make him or her separate from other people. He or she will become a Nazirite. 3 They must not drink wine. They must not drink any beer or vinegar. They must not drink the juice of grapes or eat grapes or raisins. 4 They must not eat the seeds of grapes for all the time that they are Nazirites. They must not even eat what covers the fruit outside.

5 A person must not cut his hair during the time that he is a Nazirite. He must be different all the time that he is separate from the people. He must let the hair on his head grow long. 6 He must not go near a dead body while he is separate from the people. 7 His hair shows that he is separate for God. So, he must not go near a dead body. He must not go near it even if the dead person is his father mother, brother or sister. 8 During the time that the person is a Nazirite, he is holy to the LORD.

9 He may be with a person when that person dies. Then his head is not still clean. The Nazirite must remove all the hair from his head 7 days after the person dies. Then he will be clean. 10 On day 8, he must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the door of the Tent of Meeting. He must give them to the priest. 11 The priest must sacrifice one bird as a sin-offering and the other bird as a burnt-offering. The priest must do that because the Nazirite sinned. He went too near to a dead body. That will make the Nazirite’s head clean again on that same day. 12 He must begin his time as a Nazirite again, with a new promise to the LORD. He cannot include the days before he became unclean. He must bring a male sheep that is one year old. That is a guilt-offering.

13 He is a Nazirite for a certain time. When that time finishes, the people must bring him to the door of the Tent of Meeting. 14 He must offer to the LORD three animals that have nothing wrong with them. He must offer a young male sheep that is one year old. That is a burnt-offering. He must offer a young female sheep that is one year old. That is a sin-offering. He must offer a male sheep. That is a friendship-offering. 15 And he must bring a basket of bread that people have made without yeast. He must bring cakes that people have made with the best flour and oil. Also, he must bring thin biscuits with oil on them. But someone must have made them without yeast too. He must bring the proper offerings of flour and of wine with them.

16 The priest must offer those things to the LORD. And he must sacrifice the sin-offering and the burnt-offering. 17 Then the priest must sacrifice the male sheep as a friendship-offering to the LORD. He must offer the basket of bread. He must give the offerings of flour and of wine with it.

18 Then the Nazirite must stand at the place where people go into the Tent of Meeting. He must remove all the hair from his head. He must put his hair into the same fire where the priest has cooked the friendship-offering.

19 When the male sheep is ready to eat, the priest must take its shoulder. Also, he must take one loaf and one thin biscuit from the basket. The loaf and the biscuit must not have yeast in them. The priest must put these things into the hands of the Nazirite who has removed the hair from his head. 20 The Nazirite must give those things back to the priest. The priest must lift them up to the LORD as a special gift. They are a special gift for the priest. Also, the priest can eat the front part of the sheep and its back leg. After that, the Nazirite can drink wine.”

21 Those are the rules about Nazirites. Also, the Nazirite may give anything else that he can give. And he must bring any other gift that he promised to me.’

The priests ask the LORD to help the people

22 The LORD said to Moses, 23 ‘Tell Aaron and his sons this. They must use these words when they ask the LORD to help the Israelites.

24 They must say, “I pray that the LORD will bless you. I pray that the LORD will keep you safe.

25 I pray that the LORD will smile at you. And I pray that he will be very kind to you.

26 I pray that the LORD will look at you. And I pray that he will give peace to you.”

27 Aaron and his sons must say my name. They must ask me to help the Israelites. If they do that, I will bless the Israelites.’

Chapter 7

1 When Moses had raised God’s Tent, he marked it for the LORD with oil. He gave the Tent and everything in it to the LORD. He marked the altar and all the tools with oil. He gave the altar and all the tools to the LORD. 2 Then the 12 leaders of Israel’s tribes came to God’s Tent. They brought gifts. These men were the leaders of the people that they counted. 3 They brought their gifts to the LORD. They brought 6 carts, one cart for every two leaders. They brought 12 oxen. That was one ox for each leader. They brought it all to God’s Tent.

4 The LORD said to Moses, 5 ‘Accept these gifts from the leaders. Give them to the Levites. All the Levites can use them for their work at the Tent of Meeting.’

6 So Moses took the carts and the oxen and he gave them to the Levites. 7 He gave 2 carts and 4 oxen to the descendants of Gershon. 8 He gave 4 carts and 8 oxen to the descendants of Merari for their work. Ithamar was the son of Aaron. He had to tell the descendants of Merari the work that they should do. 9 But the descendants of Kohath had to carry everything that was special on their shoulders. So Moses did not give any carts or oxen to the descendants of Kohath.

10 When Moses marked the altar with oil, the leaders brought gifts. They put their gifts in front of the altar. 11 The LORD said to Moses: ‘One leader must bring a gift to the altar every day. That is how they will give the altar to the LORD.’

12 On the first day, Nahshon, the son of Amminadab from the tribe of Judah brought his gift. 13 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 14 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 15 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 16 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 17 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab.

18 On day two, Nethanel, the son of Zuar, from the tribe of Issachar brought his gift. 19 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 20 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 21 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 22 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 23 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Nethanel, the son of Zuar.

24 On day three, Eliab, the son of Helon, from the tribe of Zebulun brought his gift. 25 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 26 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 27 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 28 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 29 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Eliab, the son of Helon.

30 On day 4, Elizur, the son of Shedeur, from the tribe of Reuben brought his gift. 31 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 32 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 33 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 34 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 35 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Elizur, the son of Shedeur.

36 On day 5, Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai, from the tribe of Simeon brought his gift. 37 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 38 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 39 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 40 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 41 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai.

42 On day 6, Eliasaph, the son of Deuel, from the tribe of Gad brought his gift. 43 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 44 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 45 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 46 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 47 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Eliasaph, the son of Deuel.

48 On day 7, Elishama, the son of Ammihud, from the tribe of Ephraim brought his gift. 49 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 50 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 51 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 52 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 53 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Elishama, the son of Ammihud.

54 On day 8, Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur, from the tribe of Manasseh brought his gift. 55 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 56 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 57 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 58 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 59 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur.

60 On day 9, Abidan, the son of Gideoni, from the tribe of Benjamin brought his gift. 61 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 62 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 63 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 64 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 65 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Abidan, the son of Gideoni.

66 On day 10, Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai, from the tribe of Dan brought his gift. 67 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 68 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 69 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 70 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 71 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai.

72 On day 11, Pagiel, the son of Ochran, from the tribe of Asher brought his gift. 73 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 74 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 75 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 76 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 77 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Pagiel, the son of Ochran.

78 On day 12, Ahira, the son of Enan, from the tribe of Naphtali brought his gift. 79 He brought a plate and a bowl that someone had made from silver. The plate weighed 130 shekels. The bowl weighed 70 shekels. They had weighed the silver by the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. Both of those were full of best flour that he had mixed with oil. They were for an offering of flour. 80 He brought one small dish that someone had made from gold. It weighed 10 shekels and it was full of incense. 81 He brought one young bull, a male sheep and another male sheep that was less than one year old. Those animals were for a burnt-offering. 82 He brought one male goat for a sin-offering. 83 He also brought 2 oxen, 5 male sheep, 5 male goats, and another 5 male sheep that were less than one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offerings. That was the gift of Ahira, the son of Enan.

84 The leaders of Israel brought these gifts to the altar when Moses marked it with oil. They brought all the gifts in the list below. They brought 12 plates and 12 bowls that people had made from silver. 85 Each plate weighed 130 shekels and each bowl weighed 70 shekels. All the silver weighed 2400 shekels. That was the shekel of God’s Holy Tent. 86 They brought 12 small dishes that people had made from gold. Each small dish weighed 10 shekels. They were each full of incense. All the gold weighed 120 shekels. 87 All the animals for the burnt-offering were 12 young bulls, 12 male sheep and 12 male lambs that were one year old. They also brought the proper offerings of flour with those animals. And they brought 12 male goats for a sin-offering. 88 There were also another 24 oxen, 60 male sheep, 60 male goats and 60 male lambs. The male lambs were one year old. Those animals were for the friendship-offering. That was the offering when they gave the altar to the LORD. That was after Moses had marked it with oil.

89 When Moses went into the Tent of Meeting, to speak with the LORD, the LORD did speak to him. And Moses heard the LORD. The sound came from above the lid which was on the top of the Covenant Box. On the lid, there were two models of angels. The sound came from between those models. That was how the LORD spoke to Moses.

Chapter 8

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Speak to Aaron and say to him, “When you put the lamps on the lampstand, the 7 lamps must give light in front of the lampstand.” ’

3 So Aaron did that. He put its lamps at the front of the lampstand, as the LORD had said to Moses. 4 A good worker had made the lampstand from one piece of gold that he had made flat with a hammer. From its base to the flowers at the top, he had made it in that way. It was completely like the lampstand that the LORD had shown to Moses.

About the Levites

5 Again the LORD spoke to Moses and he said, 6 ‘Take the Levites from among the Israelites and make them clean. 7 You will make them clean like this: Put the water that makes people clean on them. They must remove all the hair from their whole body, and they must wash their clothes. Then they will be clean. 8 Then they must take a bull with the proper offering of flour and oil. And you must take another bull for a sin-offering. 9 Then you must bring the Levites in front of the Tent of Meeting. You must also bring all the Israelites there. 10 You must bring the Levites in front of the LORD. Then the Israelites must put their hands on the Levites’ heads. 11 Aaron must give the Levites to the LORD as a special offering from the Israelites. Then they will be ready to do the LORD’s work.

12 Then the Levites must put their hands on the heads of the bulls. Then offer one bull for a sin-offering and the other one for a burnt-offering to the LORD. That will make peace with the LORD for the Levitessin. 13 And you must cause the Levites to stand in front of Aaron and his sons. So they will be a special gift to the LORD. 14 That is how you will make the Levites separate from the other Israelites. And then the Levites will be mine.

15 Then after that the Levites can go in to work in the Tent of Meeting. But you must make them clean and you must bring them to me as a special gift. 16 That is because all the Levites among the Israelites are mine. All the Israelitesfirst-born sons are mine. But I have taken the Levites for myself instead. 17 Every first-born son among the Israelites is mine. And all the first-born male animals are mine too. On the day that I killed all the first-born sons in Egypt I made them special for myself. 18 But now I have not taken all the first-born sons among the Israelites. I have taken the Levites instead. 19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the Israelites. They will work at the Tent of Meeting on behalf of the Israelites. And they will make peace with me on behalf of the Israelites. So, there will not be a bad illness among the Israelites because they have come near to God’s Holy Tent.’

20 So Moses and Aaron and all the Israelites did those things to the Levites. The Israelites did everything that the LORD had said to Moses about the Levites. 21 The Levites, too, made themselves clean and they washed their clothes. And Aaron brought them in front of LORD as a special gift. Aaron also burnt sacrifices to make them clean. 22 After that, the Levites went in to do their work in the Tent of Meeting. They helped Aaron and his sons. The Israelites did everything with the Levites that the LORD had said to Moses about them.

23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses again and he said, 24 ‘These are the rules about the Levites: The men who are 25 years old or older must go in to work in the Tent of Meeting. 25 But they must stop that work when they are 50 years old. And they must not do that work after that. 26 But they can help the other Levites in the Tent of meeting. They can help them to do their jobs. But they themselves must not have any jobs. Those are the rules about the Levites and about their jobs.’

Chapter 9

1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the desert called Sinai. The Israelites had left the country called Egypt. It was the second year after the Israelites had left Egypt. It was the first month during that year. The LORD said, 2 ‘The Israelites must eat the Passover at the proper time. They must eat it as the rules about it say. 3 The proper time is during the evening of the 14th day of this month. It is when it starts to become dark. That is when you must eat it. You must obey all its rules and its laws.’

4 So Moses told the Israelites that they should eat the Passover. 5 So they ate the Passover in the first month, on the 14th day when it started to become dark. That was in the desert called Sinai. The Israelites did everything that the LORD had said to Moses about it.

6 But there were some people who were not clean. That was because they had touched a dead body. So they could not eat the Passover on that day. So they came to Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 And those people said to Moses, ‘We are not clean because of the dead body that we touched. But we would like to bring our gift to LORD at the proper time with the other Israelites.’

8 So Moses said to them, ‘Wait. Then I will ask the LORD about this.’

9 Then the LORD said to Moses, 10 ‘Say to the Israelites, “Anyone among you or your descendants may become not clean because of a dead body. Or they may be away because they are travelling. They can still celebrate the Passover to the LORD. 11 They must celebrate it during the evening of the 14th day of the second month. They must eat it when it starts to become dark. They must eat it with bread and with bitter herbs. The bread must not have yeast in it. 12 They must not keep any of the food until the next morning. And they must not break any of the bones of the lamb. And they must obey all the rules about the Passover. 13 But perhaps a clean person who is at home does not celebrate the Passover. You must make that person separate from his people. That is because he did not give the proper sacrifices to LORD at the proper time. So that person must have the punishment for that sin.

14 People from foreign countries can celebrate the LORD’s Passover too if they are living among you. But they must obey all the rules about the Passover. The rules are the same for a foreign person and for an Israelite.” ’

The cloud above the Tent of Meeting

15 On the day that Moses raised the Tent of Meeting, a cloud covered it. And in the evening it seemed like fire over God’s Tent, until morning. 16 It was like that all the time. The cloud covered it during the day. But at night, the cloud seemed to have fire in it. 17 When the cloud went up from the tent, the Israelites started to travel. And when the cloud came down, the Israelites camped in that place. 18 The LORD decided when the Israelites should start to travel. And the LORD decided where they should camp. During all the time that the cloud was over God’s Tent, they stayed in their camp. 19 Even when the cloud stayed over God’s Tent for many days, the Israelites obeyed the LORD. They did not start to travel. 20 Sometimes the cloud stayed over God’s Tent for a few days. Then they obeyed the LORD. They remained in their camp. Then the LORD showed that they should travel. So they started to travel. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed there from evening until morning. But, when the cloud went up in the morning, they started to travel. But sometimes it stayed for one day and one night. Then when the cloud went up, they started to travel again. 22 Sometimes the cloud continued to be over God’s Tent for two days or for a month or for a year. It stayed above it. Then, the Israelites stayed in their camp. They did not start to travel. But when it went up, they did start to travel. 23 The LORD decided when they should camp. And the LORD decided when they should start to travel. So they obeyed the LORD about everything that the LORD said to Moses.

Chapter 10

The silver trumpets

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Make two trumpets from one piece of silver. Use a hammer to make them in the right shape. Make a noise with them to tell the people that they must come together. Also, use the trumpets to tell the people that they must move the camp. 3 When the people hear the sound from both trumpets, all the people must meet you. They must meet you at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 4 But you may want only the leaders of Israel’s tribes to meet you. If you want that, a priest should make the sound from only one trumpet. 5 But when the sound is one short sound, the tribes at the east of the camp must start to travel. 6 When they hear the next short sound, the tribes on the south of the camp must start to travel. Short sounds on the trumpet will tell the people that they must start to travel. 7 But when you want everyone to meet together, make a different sound with the trumpet.

8 The priests, the sons of Aaron must use the trumpets to make a noise. This is a rule for you and for all your descendants. 9 Use the trumpets to tell everyone when an enemy is attacking you in your own country. Make a sound on the trumpets to tell the people that they must fight the enemy. Then the LORD your God will hear and he will save you from your enemies. 10 You must make sounds with the trumpets on your happy days, too. And you must make sounds with the trumpets at your regular festivals and on the first days of your months. And you must make sounds with the trumpets over your burnt-offerings, and over your friendship-offerings. The LORD your God will hear and he will remember you. I am the LORD your God.’

The Israelites leave the Desert called Sinai

11 In the second year, in the second month, on the 20th day of the month, the cloud went up. It went up from over God’s Tent of Meeting. 12 Then the Israelites started to travel on their journey away from the desert called Sinai. Then the cloud stopped in the desert called Paran. 13 So they started to travel from Sinai at that time. That was because the LORD used Moses to speak to them. And he told them that they should move.

14 The flag of the camp of the descendants of Judah, with all their armies, started to travel first. And Nahshon the son of Amminadab was over all their armies. 15 Over the army of the tribe of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. 16 And over the army of the tribe of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon. 17 Then the Levites packed God’s Tent. And the descendants of Gershon and the descendants of Merari, who were carrying God’s Tent, started to travel.

18 Next the flag of the camp of Reuben, and all their armies started to travel. And Elizur the son of Shedeur was over all their armies. 19 And Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai was over the army of the tribe of Simeon. 20 And Eliasaph the son of Deuel was over the army of the tribe of Gad. 21 Then the descendants of Kohath started to travel. They were carrying the holy things. And the Levites put God’s Tent up before they arrived.

22 Next the flag of the camp of the tribe of Ephraim, and all their armies, started to travel. Elishama the son of Ammihud was over all their armies. 23 And Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur was over the army of the tribe of Manasseh. 24 And Abidan the son of Gideoni was over the army of the tribe of Benjamin.

25 Then the flag of the camp of the tribe of Dan and all their armies started to travel last. They could keep the Israelites safe if an enemy attacked them from behind them. Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai was over all their armies. 26 And Pagiel the son of Ochran was over the army of the tribe of Asher. 27 And Ahira the son of Enan was over the army of the tribe of Naphtali. 28 The Israelites marched out like that every time that they started to travel.

29 Moses spoke to Hobab. Hobab was the brother of Moses’ wife. Hobab’s father was Reuel who came from Midian. Moses said, ‘We are leaving here now. We are going to another place. And the LORD has said, “I will give that place to you.” The LORD has promised good things about Israel’s people. So come with us and we will do good things for you.’

30 But Hobab said to him, ‘I will not come, but I will go to my own country and to my relatives.’

31 Then Moses said, ‘But you know where we should camp in the desert. So please do not leave us. You can be like our eyes as we travel. 32 And if you go with us, we will do good things for you. We will do for you all the good things that the LORD does for us.’

33 So the Israelites left the LORD’s mountain. They travelled for three days. The Levites carried the LORD’s Covenant Box in front of them. That was so that the LORD could show them where to camp. The Covenant Box arrived at the place three days before the other Israelites arrived there. 34 And the LORD’s cloud was over them during the day, when they started to travel from the camp.

35 Each time that the Covenant Box started to travel Moses said, ‘Rise LORD! Cause your enemies to go in every direction! Cause those who hate you to run away!’ 36 And when it stopped moving, he said, ‘Return LORD, to the 10 000 thousands of Israel’s people.’

Chapter 11

Moses chooses 70 men to be leaders of the Israelites

1 But the people started to say bad words about their problems. The LORD heard them and he became very angry. He sent fire. The LORD’s fire burned among them and it destroyed some edges of the camp. 2 So the people asked Moses to help them. And Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire stopped. 3 So that place was called Taberah, because the LORD’s fire burned among them there.

4 Some foreign people were travelling with the Israelites. Those people wanted very much to eat the wrong things. And the Israelites cried again too. And they said, ‘We want meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt. It did not cost us anything. And we remember the vegetables called cucumbers, leeks, onions and garlic. And we remember the fruit called melons. 6 But now we do not want to eat anything. There is not even anything to look at except this manna.’ 7 The manna was like the seeds called coriander. The colours of the seeds were yellow and white, like the oil called bdellium. 8 The people walked about and they picked it up. They used two stones to make it into flour. Or they hit it with a tool. They boiled it in pots and they made cakes with it. They tasted it. And it was like the cakes that people bake with oil. 9 At night, the air became wet and water fell on the ground in the camp. And the manna fell with it.

10 People from each family were crying at the doors of their tents. And Moses heard them. The LORD became very angry with the people. And so Moses was not happy. 11 So Moses said to the LORD, ‘I am your servant. But you have given this problem to me! It seems that I have done something to make you angry. You have given to me the hard job of leader of all these people. 12 They are not my children! But you have said to me, “Be like a baby’s mother to them. And carry them to the country that I have promised to their ancestors.” 13 They are crying in front of me and they are saying, “Give us meat that we may eat!” But I cannot get meat to give to all these people! 14 I cannot be the leader of all these people without help. This job is too difficult for me. 15 So if you want to do this to me, please kill me now. I do not want to know that I have wasted my life.’ 16 So the LORD said to Moses, ‘Choose 70 leaders of the Israelites and bring them to the Tent of Meeting. They must stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and I will speak with you there. And I will take some of the power that I gave to you. I will give it to them. And they will help you to lead the people. So you will not be the only man who is doing that job.

18 And say to the people, “The LORD heard you when you were crying. You said, ‘We want someone to give us meat to eat! It was better when we were in Egypt.’ So the LORD will give you meat and you will eat it. So, make yourselves clean for tomorrow, and you will eat meat. 19 You will not eat it for one day, or two days, or 5 days, or 10 days, or 20 days. 20 You will eat it for a whole month, until it comes out of your noses. It will start to seem disgusting to you. That is because you have turned away from the LORD. He is among you and you have wept in front of him. And you have said, ‘We do not know why we left Egypt. It was better there.’ ” ’ 21 But Moses said, ‘There are at least 600 000 men here. But you have said, “I will give to them meat to eat for a whole month.” 22 We would not have enough meat for them if we killed all our sheep and cows. If we caught every fish in the sea, we might not have enough!’

23 Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Perhaps you think that the LORD cannot do some things! I have promised something. Soon, you will see whether it happens!’ 24 So Moses went out and he told the people the words of the LORD. Also he chose 70 leaders of the Israelites and he put them round the tent. 25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud. And he spoke to Moses. And he took some of the power that he had given to Moses. And he gave it to the 70 leaders. And God’s Spirit stayed on them for a little time. Then they prophesied. But they did not do it again after that.

26 But two men had stayed in the camp. Their names were Eldad and Medad. They were among those that Moses had chosen. But they had not gone out to the tent.

And God’s Spirit stayed on them for a little time. Then they prophesied in the camp. 27 So a young man ran to Moses and he said, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’

28 Then Joshua the son of Nun said to Moses, ‘Moses, my master, stop them.’ Since Joshua was a boy, he had been Moses’ servant.

29 But Moses said to him, ‘Perhaps you think that this might make me sad. And that is why you are not happy. But I wish that the LORD would give his Spirit to all his people. I wish that they were all prophets!’ 30 Then Moses and the leaders returned to the camp.

The LORD sends birds called quails to the Israelites

31 Then the LORD sent a wind. It blew in birds called quails from the sea. They were everywhere round the camp. They fell to the ground round the camp. There were birds everywhere as far as a person could walk in one day in any direction. There was about a metre (3 feet) of them over the ground. 32 The people were picking up the birds all day and all night and all the next day. Each person got more than 220 litres (465 pints) of birds. And they put their dead bodies on the ground everywhere round the camp. 33 But the LORD became very angry with the people. The meat was still between their teeth, but they had not really even started to eat it. The LORD sent a very bad illness everywhere among the people. 34 They buried there the greedy people who had wanted meat. So the people called that place Kibroth-Hattaavah.

That means ‘places to bury greedy people’.

35 From Kibroth-Hattaavah the people started to travel to Hazeroth, and they stayed at Hazeroth.

Chapter 12

Miriam and Aaron speak badly about Moses

1 Moses had married a woman who was a descendant of Cush. And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because had married that woman. 2 They said, ‘We do not believe that LORD has really spoken only by Moses. We believe that he has spoken by us too.’ And the LORD heard it.

3 But Moses was a very humble man. He was the most humble person on earth.

4 And immediately the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam, ‘You three people come out to the Tent of Meeting.’ So those three people came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a tall cloud and he stood at the door of the tent. And he said that Aaron and Miriam should come nearer. They both came nearer. 6 Then he said, ‘Listen to my words! If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, will help him to know me by a vision. Or I will speak to him in a dream. 7 But It is different when I speak to Moses. He is faithful among all my people. 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth. I speak clearly to him. I do not say things to him that are hard to understand. And he sees the shape of the LORD. So you should have been afraid to speak against my servant Moses!’ 9 So the LORD was very angry with Aaron and Miriam and he left them. 10 But when the cloud had gone away from over the tent, Miriam’s skin became white. It was as white as snow. She now had the bad illness called leprosy in her skin. Aaron turned toward Miriam. And he saw that she had leprosy. 11 Then Aaron said to Moses, ‘Oh, my master, please do not punish us because we have done this very silly thing. We have sinned. 12 But do not let Miriam be like a baby that is born dead. Sometimes only half of a baby’s body seems to be there when he comes out of his mother’s body. Do not let her be like that!’ 13 So Moses shouted to the LORD, ‘Oh God! Please make her well again!’ 14 But the LORD said to Moses, ‘If her father had only spat on her face, she would have to be ashamed for 7 days. So you must keep her outside the camp for 7 days. Then after that you can let her come back inside the camp.’ 15 So Moses kept Miriam outside the camp for 7 days. And the people did not start to travel again until they had brought Miriam into the camp again.

16 But after that, the people started to travel from Hazeroth. And they camped in the desert called Paran.

Chapter 13

Moses sends men to explore the country that God had promised

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘I will give the country called Canaan to the Israelites. Send men to explore that country. Choose one man from each tribe. Each man must be a leader among them.’

3 So Moses obeyed the LORD. He sent the men from the desert called Paran into Canaan. Each man was a leader among the Israelites. 4 This is a list of their names: There was Shammua, Zaccur’s son, from Reuben’s tribe. 5 From the tribe of Simeon, there was Shaphat the son of Hori. 6 From the tribe of Judah, there was Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 7 From the tribe of Issachar, there was Igal the son of Joseph. 8 From the tribe of Ephraim, there was Hoshea the son of Nun. 9 From the tribe of Benjamin, there was Palti the son of Raphu. 10 From the tribe of Zebulun, there was Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 11 From the tribe of Joseph, that is from the tribe of Manasseh, there was Gaddi the son of Susi. 12 From the tribe of Dan, there was Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13 From the tribe of Asher, there was Sethur the son of Michael. 14 From the tribe of Naphtali, there was Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 15 And from the tribe of Gad, there was Geuel the son of Machi. 16 Those are the names of the men that Moses sent to explore the land. But Moses changed the name of Hoshea the son of Nun to Joshua.

17 Moses sent them to explore the country called Canaan. And he said to them, ‘Go north from here. Go through the south of Canaan. Then continue to go north, into the part of the country where there are hills. 18 And have a look at the country. See whether the people there are strong or weak. And see whether few people or many people live there. 19 See whether their land is good or bad. And see whether their towns have no walls or strong walls. 20 And see whether good food or not much food grows on their land. See whether there are trees in their country or not. Then try to get some fruit from the country.’ (It was the time for the first grapes to be ready to eat.) 21 So they went. And they explored the land from the desert called Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-Hamath. 22 When they had gone up into the south of the country, they came to Hebron. That was where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak were living. Hebron was 7 years older than Zoan in Egypt. 23 Then the men came to the Valley called Eshcol. There, they cut a branch from a plant. The branch had only one set of grapes on it. But the branch was so large that two men carried it between them on a piece of wood. They also brought some fruits called pomegranates and figs. 24 That valley was called Eshcol. That was because of the set of grapes that the Israelites cut down there. 25 The men returned after they had explored the country for 40 days.

The men bring news to Moses

26 They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the Israelites in the desert called Paran, at Kadesh. They told them about the country and they showed its fruit to them. 27 They said to Moses, ‘We went into the country that you sent us to. And there certainly is a lot of milk and honey there, and this is its fruit. 28 But the people who live in the country are strong. Their towns are very big and strong walls keep them safe. Also, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The descendants of Amalek are living in the south of the country. And the people called Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hills. And the Canaanites live by the sea and by the River Jordan.’

30 Then Caleb made the Israelites quiet in front of Moses. Caleb said, ‘We should go into the country. And we should get power over it. We will certainly be able to do it!’

31 But the men who had gone into the country with him said, ‘These people are stronger than we are. So we cannot go into the country and beat them.’ 32 So they gave to the Israelites a bad report of the country that they had explored. And they said, ‘We went through that whole country and we explored it. It seems to eat the people who live there! And all the people that we saw in it were very big. 33 We also saw the people called Nephilim there.’ (The descendants of Anak are also Nephilim.) ‘And we felt like very small insects when we looked at them. And we seemed like very small insects to them too.’

Chapter 14

The people speak bad words

1 Then all the people started to cry very loudly. And the people cried all night. 2 And all the Israelites spoke bad words against Moses and Aaron. And all the people said to them, ‘We wish that we had died in the country called Egypt, or even in this desert! 3 We do not know why the LORD is bringing us into this country. Its people will kill us all with swords. They will take our wives and our little children for themselves. We think that it would be better to return to Egypt.’ 4 So they said to each other, ‘We should choose a new leader and we should return to Egypt.’

5 Then Moses and Aaron threw themselves on the ground in front of all the Israelites. Their faces were touching the ground. 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh were among those who had explored the country. And they tore their clothes. 7 And they said to all the Israelites, ‘The country that we travelled through to explore is a very, very good country. 8 If the LORD is happy with us, he will bring us into this country. And he will give it to us. And there is a lot of milk and honey everywhere in that country. 9 But do not refuse to obey the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people in that country. We will beat them easily. The LORD is with us and he has made them not safe. Do not be afraid of them.’ 10 But all the people wanted to throw stones at Joshua and Caleb until they had killed them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites. 11 And the LORD said to Moses, ‘These people turn away from me all the time. I did great miracles and they saw them. But still they will not trust me. 12 I will send an illness that will kill all those people. And they will not get any of the good things that I wanted to give to them. And I will make you, Moses, the ancestor of a nation greater and more powerful than they are.’ 13 But Moses said to the LORD, ‘But you brought these people out of Egypt because you are a powerful God. If you do that, someone will tell the people in Egypt about it. 14 And they will tell the people who live in this country about it. Those people already know that you, LORD, are with your people. They know that you talk to your people. They know that your cloud is over the people. And they know that you lead them as a tall cloud during the day and as fire during the night. 15 And there are people in other nations who know a lot about you. So if you kill all your people together now the people in those nations will say, 16 “The LORD could not bring those people into the country that he had seriously promised to them. So he killed all those people in the desert.”

17 But now, I am praying. And I am asking you to show how powerful you are. Please do as you promised to do. You said, 18 “I, the LORD, do not get angry easily. My people can trust me to love them very much always. I forgive people if they sin. And I forgive them if they do not obey me. But I do punish people for the wrong things that they do. And I do say that people’s children, their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s children are guilty because of their sin.” 19 I pray that you will forgive the very bad sin of these people. Forgive them because you have promised to love them very much always. You have forgiven these people like that since they left Egypt and until now.’ 20 So the LORD said, ‘I have forgiven them as you asked me to do. 21 But I live and all the earth will be full of the LORD’s glory. 22 And these men have seen my glory and the miracles that I did in Egypt and in the desert. But they have tested me 10 times now. And they have not obeyed me. 23 So certainly, none of them will see the country that I seriously promised to their ancestors. Those men thought that I am not important. So none of those men will see the country. 24 But my servant Caleb has thought differently. And he has obeyed me completely. So, I will bring him into the country that he explored. And it will be his descendants’ country. 25 The Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys now. So turn tomorrow and start to travel to the desert past the Red Sea.’

26 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 27 ‘These bad people have said bad things about me too many times! I have heard the bad things that the Israelites are saying about me. 28 Say to them, “I live,” says the LORD. “And I will do to you as you have said. I heard your words. And I will certainly do as you have asked. 29 Your dead bodies will fall to the ground in this desert. All the men that Moses counted will die. All the men who were 20 years old or older will die. All those men said bad words about me and they will die in this desert. 30 None of those men will go into the country that I promised to put you in. The only men who will go in are Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 You said that the people in Canaan would take your children for themselves. But I will bring those children into the country. And the country that you did not want will be their home. 32 But you will be different. Your dead bodies will fall to the ground in this desert. 33 And your sons will be shepherds for 40 years in the desert. And they will have trouble because you did not trust me. They will have trouble until all your dead bodies are lying in the desert. 34 You explored the country for 40 days. So you will have trouble because of your sins for 40 years. And you will know that I am angry with you. 35 I, the LORD, have spoken. I will certainly do all those things to these very bad people. That is because they have all come together against me. In this desert they will die. So that will be the end of them.” ’

36 But the men that Moses sent to explore the country had returned. And they had given a bad report to the people about the country. So they caused all the people to say bad things against Moses. 37 So the LORD sent a bad illness. And it killed those men who gave a bad report about the country to the people. 38 But only two men who had gone to explore the country did not die. They were Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh.

39 And when Moses spoke these words to all the Israelites, the people were very sad. 40 But the next morning, they got up early. And they went up to the top of the hills in the country. And they said, ‘Here we are. We certainly did sin. But we will go to the place that the LORD has promised to us.’

41 But Moses said, ‘I do not know why you are not obeying the LORD. Your ideas will not happen. 42 Do not go into that country. The LORD is not with you. So your enemies will beat you. 43 The Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you. That is because you have refused to obey the LORD. So the LORD will not be with you. And so they will kill you with their swords.’

44 But the people did not listen to Moses. They went up to the top of the hills in the country. But Moses and the LORD’s Covenant Box stayed in the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down. And they attacked the Israelites. So the people had to run away to Hormah.

Chapter 15

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Say to the Israelites, “You will go into the country that I am giving to you. And you will live there. 3 When you are living there, you can sacrifice bulls, male sheep or goats to the LORD. You will burn them on the altar. That is called a burnt-offering. You can give other sacrifices to the LORD because you have promised to do it. Or you can give sacrifices because you want to do it. Also you can givesacrifices during your regular holidays. The smell of these sacrifices as they burn will make the LORD happy. 4 The person who gives the gift to the LORD must also give a gift of flour. He must mix the flour with oil. It should be 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of your best flour Mix this flour with 1 litre (2 pints) of olive oil. 5 You must also give a litre (2 pints) of wine for each lamb. You must give that as a drink-offering with each burnt-offering or sacrifice.

6 If the animal is a male sheep, you must also offer 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of flour. Mix this flour with 1.5 litres (2.6 pints) of olive oil. 7 Also you must pour 1.5 litres (2.6 pints) of wine on the altar as a drink-offering. The smell of the smoke from this sacrifice will make the LORD happy.

8 A person can give a bull as a burnt-offering. Or it can be a special sacrifice. Or he can give it because he promised to give it. Or it may be for a friendship-offering to the LORD. 9 Also you must offer 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of flour. Mix this flour with 2 litres (4 pints) of olive oil. Do that if the bull is a burnt-offering, or a friendship-offering. Do the same if you offer this sacrifice because of a promise. 10 Also, you must pour 2 litres (4 pints) of wine on the altar as a drink-offering. The smell of this smoke will make the LORD happy.

11 You must do the same thing for each bull, or for each male sheep. And you must do the same thing for each male lamb, or for each young goat. 12 You must do that for every animal that you offer as a gift to the LORD. 13 All the Israelites must do that when they burn a gift to the LORD. The smell of them as they burn will make the LORD happy. 14 A stranger who is living in your country may want to give a gift by fire to the LORD. He must do the same as you do now, and for all future time. 15 These rules will be the same for the Israelites and for all foreign people who live with them. These rules are for now and for all future time. Both you and the foreign person must obey the LORD’s rules. 16 There is only one law for you and for the foreign person who is living among you. And there is only one set of rules.” ’

17 The LORD said to Moses, 18 ‘Tell the Israelites this. I am bringing them into the country called Canaan. After they have gone into it, they must obey my rules. 19 When they eat the food from that country they must give a special offering to the LORD. 20 From the first of your dough you must give a cake as a special offering. You must do it as you give your special gift from your threshing-floor. 21 From the first of their dough, all your descendants must give to the LORD a special offering.

22 The people might not obey a rule that the LORD told Moses about. But they might not know that they are not obeying a rule. 23 It might be any rule that the LORD gave to you by Moses. 24 Perhaps all the people did not know that they were not obeying my rules. But they did not obey them all. When that happens, they must sacrifice a bull as a burnt-offering. The smell of the smoke from this sacrifice will make the LORD happy. Also, they must give an offering of flour, a drink-offering and a male goat as a sin-offering. 25 Then the priest will make things right with God for all the Israelites and God will forgive them. That is because it was a mistake. And they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the LORD. And they have brought their sin-offering to the LORD, for their mistake. 26 The LORD will forgive all the Israelites and the foreign people who live among you. That is because you did not want to sin. It was a mistake. And also you offered the proper sacrifices to me.

27 Also a person may not know that something is a sin. If he does that thing, he must sacrifice a female goat. The goat must be one year old. It will be a sin-offering. 28 The priest will bring the gift to the LORD. That is to make things right. Then the LORD will forgive that person who sinned. The person did not know that he was sinning. 29 The same rule is for the Israelites and for all the foreign people who live among them. That is when it was a mistake. 30 But a person might do something that he knows to be wrong. He does it because he wants to do it. That person is as bad as someone who says bad words against the LORD. It does not matter whether he is an Israelite or a foreign person. You must make that person separate from all the people. 31 That person thought that the LORD’s words were not important. And he has not obeyed God’s rules. So you must make that person completely separate from the people. He is a guilty person.’

A man does not obey the rules for the day of rest

32 When the Israelites were in the desert, a man was picking up sticks on the day of rest. 33 Some people found him while he was picking up the sticks. The people who found him took him to Moses and Aaron and to all the people. 34 They were not sure what to do with the man. So they put him in a tent. Men stood at the door of the tent so that he could not leave it. 35 The LORD said to Moses, ‘This man must die. All the people must take him outside the camp and they must kill him. They must throw stones at him until he is dead.’ 36 So the people took the man outside the camp. They threw stones at him until he died. That was what the LORD had said to Moses.

37 The LORD said to Moses, 38 ‘Tell the Israelites that they must put tassels on the corners of their clothes. They must put the tassels on soft blue rope. They must do this now and for all future time. 39 You will be able to look at the tassels and then you will remember all the LORD’s rules. Then you can do them. Then you will not only do what you want to do. And you will not still want everything that you see. 40 When you see the tassels you will remember to obey all my rules. You will be holy for your God. 41 I am the LORD your God. And I brought you out from the country called Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’

Chapter 16

1 Then Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi decided to speak against Moses. And Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, descendants of Reuben, were with him. 2 So they stood up in front of Moses, together with 250 leaders of the Israelites. Those leaders were famous men that the people had chosen. 3 They all came to Moses and Aaron and they said, ‘All the Israelites are special, and the LORD is with them. So, you should not say that you are better than the people.’

4 When Moses heard that, he threw himself on to the ground. He prayed to the LORD. 5 Moses said to Korah and to all the other men, ‘Tomorrow the LORD will show us who is special. He will show us which person is near to him. He will make the person that he chooses come near to him. 6 Do this: Get some pots for yourselves, Korah and all your friends. 7 And put fire and incense in them, in front of the LORD tomorrow. Then the LORD will choose the man who is holy. You make yourselves too important, you descendants of Levi!’

8 Then Moses said to Korah, ‘Listen, you descendants of Levi. 9 The God of Israel has made you separate from all the other Israelites. And he has brought you near to himself, to work in the LORD’s Tent. And he has chosen you to stand in front of all the people and to be their servants. But it seems that that is not enough for you. 10 He has brought you near to himself, Korah, and all the other descendants of Levi. But it seems that you want to be priests as well. 11 You are not speaking bad words about Aaron. You are speaking bad words about the LORD.’

12 Then Moses said to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, ‘Come here.’ They said, ‘No, we will not. 13 You have brought us up out of a country where there is a lot of milk and honey everywhere. You have brought us here, where we will die in the desert. But it seems that that is not enough for you. It seems that you want to be our master as well! 14 You have certainly not brought us into a country where there is a lot of milk and honey everywhere. And you have not given to us fields and vineyards for us and for our descendants. Perhaps you do not want these men to understand what you are really doing. We will not come up!’

15 Moses was angry. He said to the LORD, ‘Do not take any gifts from these men. I did not take anything from them. I did not do anything wrong to them.’ 16 Moses said to Korah, ‘Tomorrow, you and your men must come to the Tent of Meeting. Aaron will be there. 17 Each of you must take a pot and you must put incense in it. You must put the pots on the altar.’ 18 So, each man took a pot. He put incense and fire in it. They stood with Moses and Aaron at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 19 So Korah brought all the people against Moses and Aaron at the door of the Tent of Meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. 20 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 21 ‘Stand away from these men so that I can kill them.’

22 But Moses and Aaron threw themselves on the ground. Their faces were touching the ground. And they said, ‘You, our God, are the God of the spirits of all people. When one man sins, will you be angry with all the people?’

23 The LORD said to Moses, 24 ‘Tell the people that they should stand away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’

25 Moses got up from the ground. He went to Dathan and Abiram. The leaders of the Israelites went with him. 26 And Moses said to all the people, ‘Move away from the tents of these very bad men. And do not be touching anything that is theirs. If you do not move away, you might die. You might die when they die because of their sin.’ 27 So the people moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram were standing with their wives and their children at the door of their tents.

28 Then Moses said to the people, ‘You will know that the LORD chose me to lead you. This is how you will know. 29 If these men die in a usual way, then the LORD did not choose me. 30 But if the LORD causes a completely new thing to happen, you will know something. See whether the ground opens. See whether these men fall alive into Sheol with all their things. If that happens, you will understand something. These men thought that the LORD was not important. That is what you will understand.’

31 When Moses finished speaking, the ground opened. 32 The ground opened. The men, their families and everything that was theirs fell down into the hole. The earth covered Korah and all his men and everything that was theirs, too. 33 They went alive into Sheol. The ground closed over them and they died. 34 As it happened to them, they were shouting loudly. All the Israelites who were round them heard that. So they ran away and they were saying, ‘We might fall into the earth too!’

35 Also fire came out from the LORD. And it killed the 250 men who were offering the incense to God.

36 The LORD said to Moses, 37 ‘Tell Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest that he must take the pots out of the burning fire. That is because those pots are holy. Then you must throw all the burning materials over all the ground round that place. 38 And these men died because they sinned. But the pots that they were holding are holy. That is because they were offering the incense to the LORD. So workers must use hammers to make the pots into thin pieces of metal. Then cover the altar with those thin pieces of metal. Then they will be like a sign for the Israelites.’ 39 So Eleazar lifted the pots up. He hit them until they were flat. He put the flat metal on the altar. 40 Then the people would know that only people of the family of Aaron could burn incense on the altar.

Aaron saves the Israelites

41 But on the next day, all the Israelites together said bad things about Moses and Aaron. And they said, ‘You are the men who have caused the death of the LORD’s people.’ 42 When they turned towards the Tent of Meeting, a cloud was covering it. There was a bright light. 43 Moses and Aaron went to the front of the Tent of Meeting. 44 The LORD said to Moses, 45 ‘Get away from the people so that I can kill them.’ Moses and Aaron fell to the ground. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, ‘God is so angry with the people that he is punishing them. People have started to die from a very bad illness! So take your pot and put into it fire from the altar. And put incense on the fire. Then bring it quickly to all the people and make things right with God for them.’ 47 The bad things and illnesses started to happen. But Aaron did what Moses said. 48 He stood between the people who were living and the dead people. The bad things and illnesses stopped. 49 But 14 700 people died because of those things. 50 Aaron went back to Moses at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

Chapter 17

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites that they must give to you 12 sticks, one for each tribe. Write the name of the leader of one tribe on each stick. 3 On the stick from the tribe of Levi write the name of Aaron. 4 Take the sticks to the Tent of Meeting and put them in front of the Covenant Box. 5 Then leaves will start to grow on the stick of the man that I choose. In that way I will stop the bad words that the Israelites are always saying against you.’

6 Moses spoke to the Israelites. The leaders gave him 12 sticks. 7 Moses put the sticks in front of the Covenant Box that was in the Tent of Meeting.

8 The next day, Moses went to the Tent of Meeting. He saw that the stick of the tribe of Levi was growing. It had the name of Aaron on it. It was growing flowers and almonds. 9 Moses brought all the sticks out of the Tent of Meeting. Each leader took his own stick.

10 But the LORD said to Moses, ‘Put Aaron’s stick in front of the Covenant Box again. The people will see it there like a sign. And then they will remember that they must not refuse to obey me. That will stop their bad words against me so that they will not have to die.’ 11 Moses did as the LORD said to him.

12 The Israelites said to Moses, ‘We will die. 13 Any person who comes near the Tent of Meeting will die. We will all die!’

Chapter 18

The work of the priests and the Levites

1 So the LORD said to Aaron, ‘You and your sons and your clan will be guilty for any wrong thing that happens in God’s Holy Tent. And you and your sons will be guilty for any wrong thing that a priest does. 2 Bring the people of your tribe to the Tent of Meeting. 3 They must do the work in the Tent of Meeting. You must tell them what they should do. They must not go near anything in God’s Holy Tent or the altar. If they do, you will die. They will also die. 4 The Levites must work in the Tent of Meeting. No other people must come near the Tent of Meeting when you are working in there.

5 You must work in God’s Holy Tent and at the altar. If you do that, I will not be angry with the Israelites again. 6 I chose the other Levites as a gift to you to work in the Tent of Meeting with you. 7 But only you and your sons will be priests. You will work at the altar. I am choosing you as my priests. Any other person who comes near the Holy Place must die.’

Gifts for priests and for Levites

8 The LORD said to Aaron, ‘I am giving to you and to your family parts of the gifts that the people give to me. I am giving to you the parts that the people do not burn. They are for you and for your family, now and for always. 9 You must have a part of all the gifts. 10 All the men in your family must eat the gifts. The gifts are holy.

11 Also, you will receive part of the special gifts that the Israelites lift up in front of me. I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters for all time. Every person who lives in your houses can eat it. But they must be clean at the time.

12 I will give to you the best oil, the best wine and the best grain. 13 I am giving to you the best parts of the oil, wine and grain gifts. Any person of your family who is clean can eat them.

14 Everything in Israel that should go to the LORD is yours. 15 Every first-born animal and male child that the people give to me I will give to you. But you must buy them from me. 16 When they are one month old you must buy them from me for 5 shekels of silver each. The shekel must have the same weight as the shekel that the Levites use in God’s Holy Tent. There are 20 gerahs in one shekel.

17 You must not buy the first-born of an ox or a sheep or a goat. Those animals are holy. Splash the blood from those animals on the altar and burn the fat from them. The smell will make the LORD happy. 18 And the meat of those animals is yours. It is like the breast and the right back leg of the special gifts that you lift up to me.

See Numbers 6:20.

19 I have given all the gifts that the Israelites offer to the LORD to you, your sons and your daughters. That is a rule for all time. That is the LORD’s special promise to you and to your descendants for all time.’

20 Then the LORD said to Aaron, ‘You will have no land in the Israelites’ country. And your descendants will not receive any land when you die. Nothing among the Israelites will be yours. Among the Israelites, Levites do not have those things. They have me instead.

21 The Israelites give to me 10% of everything. I will give it to the Levites because they do my work in the Tent of Meeting. 22 And the other Israelites must not come near the Tent of Meeting again. If they do come near it, they will be guilty. And then they will die. 23 Only the Levites must do the work in the Tent of Meeting. And if they do anything wrong there, they will be guilty. That will be a rule for you and for all your descendants. And their children will not receive any land when they die. 24 That is because I have given the tithe of the Israelites to the Levites. The Israelites bring it as an offering to the LORD but I have given it to the Levites. I have said about them, “They will not receive any land among the Israelites as their own land.” But I have given the tithes to them instead.’

25 The LORD said to Moses, 26 ‘Also you must say to the Levites, “You will receive from the Israelites the tithe that I have given to you from them. I have not given any land to you. I have given the tithes to you instead. Then you must give some from it to the LORD. It will be a tithe of the tithe. 27 This gift will be the same as when a farmer is giving grain or wine to me. It will be special. 28 So you will give something to the LORD from your tithes, which you receive from the Israelites. And from it you will give the LORD’s gift to Aaron the priest. 29 From all the gifts from the people to you, you must make separate every offering that the LORD should have. The best part of each gift is the part that you must make separate for the LORD.”

30 And you must say to them, “After you have made separate from it the best part of it, the other part will be for the Levites. They do not get food because they thresh food plants. And they do not make wine from grapes. They receive that gift instead. 31 They can eat the other part of the gift because they do the work in the Tent of Meeting. 32 And you will not be guilty because you take it. That is because you have given the best part of it to God. But you must do the right things with the holy gifts of the Israelites. If you do the right things you will not die for that reason.” ’

Chapter 19

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 ‘This is one rule in the LORD’s law that I am telling to you: Tell the Israelites that they must bring to you a young red cow. It must not have anything wrong with it. And nobody must have put a yoke on it. 3 They must take it outside the camp. They must kill it and they must give it to Eleazar the priest. 4 Eleazar must take some of the blood from the cow. He must splash it 7 times in front of the Tent of Meeting. 5 Then the people must burn the whole cow while Eleazar is watching. They must burn its body with the skin, meat, blood and everything inside its body. 6 He must take some wood, some plants and some red wool. He must throw them on the fire. 7 Then priest must wash his clothes and he must bathe his body with water. After that, he can come into the camp but he will not be clean until the evening. 8 And the man who burns it must wash his clothes in water. And he must bathe his body in water. And he will not be clean until the evening.

9 Then a man who is clean must pick up all the ashes of the cow. And he must put them outside the camp in a clean place. And all the Israelites must keep them. You must mix them with water to make special water. It will be water for someone who is not clean to make them holy again. It is water to remove sin. 10 The man who picks up the ashes must wash himself and his clothes. He will not be clean until evening. This rule is for the Israelites and for all the people who are living with them.

11 Any person who touches a dead body will not be clean for 7 days. 12 He must wash himself on day 3 and day on 7. Then he will be clean. If he does not wash himself on day 3 and on day 7, he will not be clean. 13 A person might touch the body of a person who has died. If he does not make himself clean, he has made God’s Tent of Meeting not clean. You must make that person separate from the Israelites. Because the special water did not fall on him, he will not be clean. He will still be like a dirty person.

14 This is the rule when a person dies in a tent. Any person who is in the tent will not be clean for 7 days. 15 Any pot in the tent that does not have a lid will not be clean.

16 Also, someone might have killed a person with a sword out in the country. Or a person may have died because he was old or ill. Anyone who touches that dead body in the country or a human bone will not be clean for 7 days. Or someone may touch a place where people have buried a dead body. That person will not be clean for 7 days.

17 Then for the person who is not clean, you must take some of the ashes of the young red cow. That is the cow to make people clean. You must put these ashes into a pot and you must mix them with water from a river. 18 Then a person who is clean must take hyssop. He must put it into the water. Then he must use it to throw the water on the tent and on everything that is in it. And he must throw the water on all the people who have been there. And he must throw it on the person who touched the bone or the dead body. Or he must throw it on the person who touched the grave. 19 And the clean person must throw the water on the person who is not clean on the 3rd day too. And he must do it on day 7 too. On day 7 he will make the person clean. And then the person who had not been clean must wash his clothes. And he must bathe himself in water. In the evening, that person will become clean. 20 The person who is not clean might not wash himself and his clothes. If he does not do it, you must make that person separate from the people. That is because he has made the LORD’s Holy Tent like something not clean. Because the priest did not splash holy water on him he will not be clean. 21 This rule is for now and for always. The man who splashes the holy water must wash his clothes. Any person who touches the holy water will not be clean until evening. 22 A person who is not clean must not touch anything. Anything that he touches will not be clean until evening.’

Chapter 20

Water from the rock

1 In the first month, the Israelites came to the Desert of Zin. They camped at Kadesh. Miriam died there and the people buried her.

2 The people did not have any water. They came to Moses and Aaron. 3 They said to Moses, ‘When the LORD killed our brothers in front of the Tent of Meeting, he should have killed us. 4 We are the LORD’s people. You should not have brought us into this desert. Now both we and our animals will die here! 5 You should not have brought us from Egypt to this very bad place. It is not a place where we can get grain or figs or vines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink.’

6 Moses and Aaron went from the people to the front of the Tent of Meeting. They threw themselves on to the ground. Their faces were on the ground. The special light from the LORD came to them. 7 The LORD said to Moses, 8 ‘Get the stick. Get your brother Aaron and get the Israelites. Speak to the rock that is in front of you. Water will come from it. It is for the people and for the animals. They can drink it.’

9 So Moses took the stick from in front of the LORD, as the LORD had said to him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron brought all the people to meet in front of the rock. And Moses said to them, ‘Listen now, you people who refuse to obey God. It seems that we must bring water out of this rock for you!’ 11 Moses lifted up his arm. He hit the rock twice with his stick. Water poured from the rock. The people and the animals drank the water. 12 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘You did not believe in me enough to show the people that I am holy. So you will not lead them into the country that I am giving to them.’ 13 That place was called ‘The Waters of Meribah’, because the Israelites quarrelled with the LORD there. But he showed to them there that he is holy.

The word Meribah means ‘to say that you are not happy about what someone is doing’.

14 From Kadesh, Moses sent men to the king of Edom with this message: ‘We are Israelites and our ancestor was your ancestor’s brother. We should be friendly to each other. We are saying to you, “You know all the bad things that have happened to us. 15 Our ancestors went to Egypt. We lived there for many years. The people in Egypt were bad to us. 16 But when we asked the LORD to help us, he heard us. And he sent an angel and he brought us out from Egypt. Now we are at Kadesh, which is a town at the edge of your land. 17 Please let us travel through your land. We will not go through any fields or through any vineyards. We will not even drink water from your wells. We will go along the king’s important road. We will not leave that road on either side until we have gone through all your land.” ’ 18 The king of Edom said, ‘You must not travel through my country. If you do, we will attack you.’ 19 The Israelites said, ‘We will stay on the road. If our animals drink your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through your country.’ 20 The king of Edom said, ‘No you must not travel through our country.’ Then the people in Edom came out to attack the Israelites. 21 The Israelites turned away from Edom.

Aaron dies

22 All the Israelites went from Kadesh to the mountain called Hor. 23 When they were at the edge of Edom, the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron. 24 He said, ‘Aaron will not go in to the country that I am giving to the Israelites. Because you did not obey me, he will die. 25 Aaron and his son Eleazar must climb up the mountain called Hor. 26 Moses must take the priest’s clothes from Aaron and he must put them on Eleazar. Aaron will die there.’ 27 Moses, Aaron and Eleazar climbed up the mountain called Hor. The Israelites watched. 28 Moses took the priest’s clothes from Aaron. He put them on Eleazar. Then Aaron died. Moses and Eleazar walked down the mountain. 29 The Israelites were sad for 30 days because Aaron died.

Chapter 21

1 The king of Canaan was Arad. He lived in the south of the country. People told him that the Israelites were coming. He attacked the Israelites. And he caught some Israelites. 2 The Israelites said to the LORD, ‘If you give to us power over the people in Canaan, we will destroy their cities.’ 3 The LORD heard the Israelites. They attacked and they got power over the people in Canaan. They destroyed all their cities. The name of the place was Hormah.

The bronze snake

4 The Israelites travelled round the edge of Edom to the Red Sea. The people were angry. 5 They said to the LORD and to Moses, ‘You should not have brought us from Egypt to die in the desert. There is no bread. There is no water. We do not like the food that the LORD gives to us.’ 6 Then the LORD put snakes among the people. They bit the people and many of the people died. 7 So the people came to Moses and they said, ‘We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Please speak to LORD on our behalf and ask him to remove the snakes from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a snake out of bronze. Put the snake on a stick. If a snake bites a person, the person must look at the bronze snake. Then he will not die.’ 9 Moses did what the LORD said. Then when the snake bit anyone, he looked at the bronze snake. Then he did not die.

The Israelites travel to Moab

10 The Israelites camped at Oboth. 11 And they travelled from Oboth, and they camped at Iye-Abarim, in the desert. That place is on the east border of the country called Moab. 12 Then they camped in the Valley called Zered. 13 Then they camped on the north side of the River Arnon. The River Arnon is the border between the Moabites and the Amorites. 14 So someone wrote in the Book of the LORD’s Wars about Waheb in Suphah. And he wrote about the valleys of the River Arnon. 15 He wrote, ‘The sides of the valleys lead the way to the town called Ar on the edge of Moab.’ 16 And from there they continued to travel until they arrived at Beer. That is the well where the LORD said to Moses, ‘Bring the people together. Then I will give water to them.’ 17 The Israelites sang this song:

            ‘Sing to this well.

            Ask it to give water to us.

            18 This was the well that our rulers dug.

            This was the well that our leaders made.

            They dug it with the poles and sticks that showed their authority.’

After that the Israelites went from the desert to Mattanah. 19 They went from Mattanah to Nahaliel. They went from Nahaliel to Bamoth. 20 They went from Bamoth to the valley of Moab. They camped below the top of the mountain called Pisgah.

21 The Israelites said to Sihon, the king of the Amorites, 22 ‘Please let us go through your country. We will travel on the road. We will not touch your food or drink your water. We will pass through your country.’ 23 Sihon would not let the Israelites travel through his country. Sihon and his army marched to Jahaz and they attacked the Israelites. 24 The Israelites fought against the army of Sihon. They got power over the land from the River Arnon to the River Jabbok. 25 They got power over all the cities of the Amorites. They got power over Heshbon and over all the places round it. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon, the king of the Amorites. This king had fought against the king of Moab. He won the land as far as the River Arnon from the king of Moab. 27 So the people who say clever things say, ‘Come to Heshbon and build it up again. Build the city of Sihon again. 28 An army that was like a fire went out from Heshbon. It was like a flame that went out from Sihon’s city. It destroyed Ar in Moab. And it destroyed everything on the high hills near the River Arnon. 29 It is sad for you, people of Moab. Sihon has killed the people of Chemosh. Your god has let the king of the Amorites put the people in a prison. 30 Now, we have killed them. We have destroyed Heshbon as far as Dibon. We have killed them from Nophah to Medeba.’ 31 So, the Israelites stayed in the country of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent men to find the best way to attack Jazer. The Israelites attacked Jazer. They caused the Amorites to leave the country. 33 Next, they travelled towards Bashan. Og, the king of Bashan marched out to meet them. He wanted to attack them. They met at Edrei.

34 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Do not be afraid of Og. I will give him, his army and his land to you. Attack him in the same way that you attacked Sihon, the king of the Amorites.’

35 So they killed him and his sons and all his people. So all those people were dead and their land became the Israelites’ land.

Chapter 22

1 The Israelites travelled to Moab. They lived in tents at the side of the River Jordan. On the other side of the river was the city called Jericho. 2 Balak was the son of Zippor. He saw what the Israelites did to the Amorites. 3 So the people in Moab were afraid because there were very many Israelites. And all the people in Moab became very afraid of the Israelites. 4 So the Moabites said to the leaders of the Midianites, ‘This very large group of people will destroy everything round us. They will be like a bull that eats all the grass in a field!’ Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 He sent men to get Balaam who was the son of Beor. Balaam was near the river at Pethor. Pethor was his home. Balak told them that they should say to Balaam, ‘Many people have come from Egypt. And they cover the ground, everywhere. They want to take our land. 6 They are more powerful than I am. Put a curse on them. Then maybe I will be more powerful than I already am. Then I can send them away from our land. When you bless people, it is good for them. When you curse people, they fail. I know that.’

7 The leaders of Moab and Midian went to find Balaam. They took the money for the curse with them. They found him. And they told him what Balak had said. 8 Balaam said to them, ‘Stay here tonight. I will talk to the LORD. Tomorrow I will tell you what he says.’ The leaders of Moab and Midian stayed with Balaam. 9 Then God came to Balaam and he said, ‘Who are these men who are with you?’

10 And Balaam said to God, ‘Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent a message to me. 11 He said, “Many people have come from Egypt. And they cover the ground, everywhere. So come and curse them for me. Then perhaps I will be able to fight them. And perhaps I will be able to send them away.” ’

12 The LORD said to Balaam, ‘Do not curse these people. They are special people. I have blessed them.’ 13 The next day, Balaam said to the men from Moab, ‘Go back to Moab. The LORD told me that I should not go with you.’ 14 The men went back to Moab. They told Balak that Balaam would not come with them.

15 Then Balak sent more leaders to Balaam. These leaders were even more important than the first group of leaders. 16 They said to him, ‘Balak says, “Do not let anything stop you coming to me. 17 I will certainly make you rich and famous. And I will do for you anything that you want. So please come and curse these people for me.” ’ 18 Balaam said to them, ‘No, not even if Balak gives me his house, all his gold and all his silver. I will only do what the LORD says.’ 19 Balaam said, ‘Stay here tonight as the other men did. I will talk to the LORD.’ 20 That night, the LORD spoke to Balaam. He said to him, ‘Go with these men. But only do what I say.’

Balaam and his donkey

21 In the morning, Balaam put a blanket on his donkey. He went with the men to Moab. 22 The LORD was angry because Balaam went with the men. He put an angel on the road to stop Balaam. Balaam was riding on his donkey and two servants were with him. 23 The angel was holding a sword. The donkey saw the angel. So it tried to leave the road and it tried to go into a field. Balaam hit the donkey to make it go back to the road.

24 Then the angel stood on a narrow road. There were walls on each side of the road. 25 When the donkey saw the angel, it pushed towards the wall. Balaam had his foot fixed between the donkey and the wall. Balaam hit the donkey again.

26 The angel moved and he stood in another narrow place. There was no space to turn round. 27 When the donkey saw the angel it lay down on the road. Balaam was angry. He hit the donkey with his stick. 28 The LORD made the donkey speak. It said, ‘What have I done? Why have you hit me 3 times?’

29 Balaam said to the donkey, ‘You have made me look silly. If I had a sword, I would kill you.’ 30 The donkey said to Balaam, ‘I am your own donkey. Do I usually do things like this to you?’ Balaam said, ‘No.’ 31 Then the LORD let Balaam see the angel who was standing in the road. Balaam lay down with his face on the road.

32 The angel said to him, ‘You have hit your donkey 3 times! I have come here to stop you. What you are doing is against me. 33 If the donkey had not turned from me 3 times, I would have killed you. I would not have killed the donkey.’

34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, ‘I have sinned. But I did not know that you were standing in the road to stop me. So, if this is making you angry, I will return to my home.’ 35 But the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, ‘Go with the men. But you must say only the words that I will tell you.’ So Balaam went with Balak’s important men.

36 People told Balak that Balaam was coming. Balak went out to meet him at the town in Moab on the river Arnon that is on the border. 37 Balak said to Balaam, ‘I will not give anything to you because you did not come to me quickly.’

38 So Balaam said to Balak, ‘I have come to you now! But I cannot choose to say the things that I want to say. I can only say the words that God puts into my mouth.’

39 Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath-Huzoth. 40 And Balak sacrificed bulls and sheep. And he sent some to Balaam and to the important men who were with him. 41 The next day Balak and Balaam went to Bamoth-Baal. Balaam saw some of the Israelites.

Chapter 23

1 Balaam said, ‘Build 7 altars here. Kill 7 bulls and 7 male sheep.’ 2 Balak did this. Balaam and Balak gave a gift of a bull and a male sheep on each altar.

3 Then Balaam said to Balak, ‘Stand next to your burnt-offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me. And whatever he shows to me I will tell to you.’ So Balaam went to the top of a hill where there were no trees.

4 Balaam said to the LORD, ‘I made 7 altars. I killed 7 bulls and 7 male sheep. I offered a bull and a male sheep on each altar.’

5 The LORD told Balaam what he should say to Balak.

6 So Balaam returned to Balak, and Balak was still standing by his burnt-offering. And all the leaders of Moab’s people were with him.

7 So Balaam started to speak a prophecy. And he said, ‘Balak, the king of Moab has brought me from Aram. He brought me from the mountains in the East. He said “Come and curse Jacob’s descendants for me. And say bad things about the Israelites!”

8 But I cannot curse these people because the LORD does not curse them. I cannot speak bad words to these people because the LORD does not speak bad words to them.

9 I look at them when I am on the hills. I see people. They are separate from us. They know that the LORD blesses them.

10 Nobody can count Jacob’s descendants. They are like the bits of dust on the ground! It would be too difficult to count even a quarter of the Israelites! I would like to die like those good people. And I want the end of my life to be like the end of theirs!’

11 Balak said to Balaam, ‘You have not done what I wanted you to do! I brought you to curse these people and you have blessed them.’

12 But Balaam answered, ‘I have to be careful. I have to speak only the words that the LORD puts into my mouth!’

Balaam speaks again

13 Then Balak said to him, ‘Please come with me to another place where you can see only a small part of the Israelites. You will not be able to see all the Israelites from there. Then curse them for me from there.’

14 They went to the field of Zophim on the top of the mountain called Pisgah. He built 7 altars. He killed 7 bulls and 7 male sheep. And he offered a bull and a male sheep on each altar.

15 Balaam said to Balak, ‘Stay here with your gift while I talk with the LORD.’

16 The LORD told Balaam what he should say to Balak.

17 So Balaam went back to Balak. Balak and the men were standing by his gift. Balak said, ‘What did the LORD say?’

18 Balaam spoke his message, ‘Balak, son of Zippor listen to me.

19 The LORD is not a man. He does not speak words that are not true. If he promises something, it happens.

20 He told me that I must bless the Israelites. He has blessed them, so I must do it too.

21 The LORD is with the Israelites. He blesses them. Bad things will not happen to them in the future. 22 The LORD brought them out of Egypt. He fights for them. 23 Nobody can curse the Israelites. Other people will say about them, “See what the LORD has done.” 24 The Israelites are like a lion. It eats the animals that it has killed. It does not rest until it can eat them. It also drinks their blood.’

25 Balak said to Balaam, ‘Do not curse the Israelites and do not bless them.’ 26 Balaam said, ‘I told you, “I must do what the LORD says.” ’

Balaam speaks again

27 Balak said to Balaam, ‘Let me take you to a different place. Perhaps the LORD will let you curse the Israelites from this place.’ 28 Balak took Balaam to the top of the mountain called Peor. From there they could look over the desert. 29 Balaam said, ‘Build 7 altars here. Kill 7 bulls and 7 male sheep.’ 30 Balak did as Balaam asked him to. He offered a bull and a male sheep on each altar.

Chapter 24

1 Now Balaam knew that the LORD wanted him to bless the Israelites. So he stopped looking for ways to change this. He looked over the desert. 2 Balaam looked up. And he saw Israel’s people. They were camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him. 3 And so he said, ‘This is the message of Balaam the son of Beor. It is the words of a man. This man understands what the LORD says. 4 This man can hear the LORD. This man sees a picture as in a dream from the LORD.

5 The tents of the Israelites are beautiful.

6 They are like gardens on the side of a river. They are like plants that the LORD puts in the ground. They are like trees at the side of the water.

7 They will always have plenty of water to plant their seeds. Their king will be more powerful than Agag. The LORD will bless their land.

8 God brought them out of Egypt. God fights for them like a wild bull with its dangerous horns. He will destroy the nations who are their enemies. And he will break their enemies’ bones into pieces. And he will make holes in their bodies with his arrows.

9 The Israelites are like a lion. When they are sleeping, no other person is brave enough to wake them. The LORD blesses those who bless them. And the LORD curses those who curse them.’

10 Balak was angry with Balaam. He raised his fist to Balaam. He said, ‘I asked you to come here and to curse the Israelites. You have blessed them three times. 11 Go home. I said that I would give you money. The LORD has not let you get my money.’

12 Balaam said to Balak, ‘I said this to the men that you sent to get me. 13 “I can only say the LORD’s words. I cannot do good things or bad things because I want to do them. I will only say what the LORD is saying. Even if Balak gives to me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot do anything different.” 14 And so now I will return to my people. But first I will tell you what these people will do to your people in future days’

Balaam speaks again

15 Balaam spoke and he said, ‘This is the message of Balaam the son of Beor. It is the words of a man. This man understands what the LORD says. 16 This is the prophecy of a man who hears the words of God. This man knows some things that the Most High God knows. This man sees a vision from the most powerful God. I fall to the ground in front of him but my eyes are still open.

17 I see that at a future time a king will come from the Israelites. He will be like a bright star. He will attack the leaders of Moab. He will attack the people who were born from Sheth (Seth).

18 He will attack his enemies in Edom and Seir. The Israelites will grow strong.

19 A descendant of Jacob will have power. And he will kill all the people who are still alive in the city.’ 20 Then, in the dream picture, Balaam saw Amalek. He said, ‘Amalek was the most powerful of all the countries. The LORD will destroy it now and for always.’ 21 Then he saw the Kenites. He said, ‘The place where you live is safe. It is as safe as the home of a bird on the side of a rock. 22 But Assyria’s people will take you away as prisoners.’

23 Then Balaam said, ‘Almost nobody can live when the LORD does these things! 24 Ships will come from the north. They will bring people from Cyprus who will destroy Assyria and Eber. Then the LORD will destroy them.’ 25 Balaam returned to his home. And Balak went away too.

Chapter 25

1 The Israelites were staying in Shittim. The men began to have sex with the women from Moab. 2 The women from Moab took Israel’s men to watch them as they gave gifts to the god of Moab. Israel’s men ate those women’s food. And they prayed to the god of Moab. 3 So the LORD was angry with them. 4 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Kill all the leaders of these people. Do this during the day, not at night. Then I will not be angry.’

5 Moses told the leaders of the Israelites that they must kill the men. They must kill the men who prayed to the god of Peor.

6 A man brought a Midianite woman to his family. Moses and all the people could see them. Moses and all the people were at the door of the Tent of Meeting. They were weeping. 7 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it. So he stood up among all the people and he took a spear in his hand.

8 He went into the man’s tent. And he pushed the spear through the body of the man and the Midianite woman. Then, the bad things and illnesses that were hurting the Israelites stopped. 9 But 24 000 people had already died as a result of the illness.

10 The LORD said to Moses, 11 ‘I am not still angry with the Israelites now. That is because of what Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, did. He thought as I thought about this matter. He did not want the people to worship any god except me. That is why I did not kill all the Israelites. 12 So you must say, “I have promised my peace to him. 13 And that promise will be for him and for his descendants after him. They will always be priests. That is because he did not want the people to worship any god except me. And he made things right again after what the Israelites had done.” ’ 14 The name of the man that Phinehas killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri. He was the son of Salu. Salu was the leader of a family from the tribe of Simeon. 15 The name of the Midianite woman was Cozbi. She was the daughter of Zur. Zur was a leader of a Midianite family.

16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 ‘The Midianites are your enemies. You must kill them. 18 That is because they have been against you. They deceived you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi. Cozbi was the daughter of a leader of the Midianites. Phinehas killed her on the day when there was the very bad illness among the people. That illness was the result of what happened at Peor.’

Chapter 26

Moses counts the people again

1 When the bad things and illnesses stopped, the LORD said to Moses and Eleazar the son of Aaron, 2 ‘Count all the Israelites. Count in their clans all the men who are more than 20 years old. Count only those men who can join the army.’ 3 So Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke to the Israelites. They were on the flat ground in Moab at the River Jordan. Jericho was on the other side of the river. They said, 4 ‘Count all the men who are 20 years old or more. The LORD has told Moses that we must do that.’ So these are the names of the Israelites who came out of Egypt:

5 There was the tribe of Reuben, Israel’s first-born son. Among Reuben’s descendants were the descendants of Hanoch and of Pallu. 6 And there were the descendants of Hezron and of Carmi. 7 Those are the clans of the descendants of Reuben. There were 43 730 men in the tribe of Reuben.

8 The son of Pallu was Eliab. 9 The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram were the men who did not obey Moses and Aaron. Korah was their leader. 10 The ground opened. Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their families fell into the hole and they died. And fire killed 250 other men. So they became a warning to the other Israelites. 11 But Korah’s sons did not die then.

12 There was the tribe of Simeon. Among Simeon’s descendants were the descendants of Nemuel and of Jamin and of Jachin. 13 And there were the descendants of Zerah and of Shaul. 14 Those are the clans of the descendants of Simeon. There were 22 200 men in the tribe of Simeon.

15 There was the tribe of Gad. Among Gad’s descendants were the descendants of Zephon and of Haggi and of Shuni. 16 And there were the descendants of Ozni and of Eri. 17 And there were the descendants of Arod and of Areli. 18 Those are the clans of the descendants of Gad. There were 40 500 men in the tribe of Gad.

19 The sons of Judah were Er and Onan. But Er and Onan died in Canaan. 20 These are the clans in the tribe of Judah. Among Judah’s descendants were the descendants of Shelah and of Perez and of Zerah. 21 And there were the descendants of Hezron and of Hamul. 22 Those are the clans of the descendants of Judah. There were 76 500 men in the tribe of Judah.

23 There was the tribe of Issachar. Among Issachar’s descendants were the descendants of Tola and of Puvah. 24 And there were the descendants of Jashub and of Shimron. 25 Those are the clans of the descendants of Issachar. There were 64 300 men in the tribe of Issachar.

26 There was the tribe of Zebulun. Among Zebulun’s descendants were the descendants of Sered and of Elon and of Jahleel. 27 Those are the clans of the descendants of Zebulun. There were 60 500 men in the tribe of Zebulun.

28 The descendants of Joseph became two tribes. Those tribes were called Manasseh and Ephraim.

29 So there was the tribe of Manasseh. Among Manasseh’s descendants were the descendants of Machir and of Gilead. 30 Among Gilead’s descendants were the descendants of Iezer and of Helek. 31 There were also the descendants of Asriel and of Shechem. 32 And there were the descendants of Shemida and of Hepher. 33 Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters. And the names of Zelophehad’s daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. 34 Those are the clans of the descendants of Manasseh. There were 52 700 men in the tribe of Manasseh.

35 There was the tribe of Ephraim. Among Ephraim’s descendants were the descendants of Shuthelah and of Becher and of Tahan. 36 And there were the descendants of Eran. 37 Those are the clans of the descendants of Ephraim. There were 32 500 men in the tribe of Ephraim. Those last two tribes came from the sons of Joseph.

38 There was the tribe of Benjamin. Among Benjamin’s descendants were the descendants of Bela and of Ashbel and of Ahiram. 39 And there were the descendants of Shupham and of Hupham. 40 Among the descendants of Bela there were the descendants of Ard and of Naaman. 41 Those are the clans of the descendants of Benjamin. There were 45 600 men in the tribe of Benjamin.

42 There was the tribe of Dan. Among Dan’s descendants were the descendants of Shuham. Those are the clans of the descendants of Dan. 43 There were 64 400 men among the descendants of Shuham.

44 There was the tribe of Asher. Among Asher’s descendants were the descendants of Imnah and of Ishvi and of Beriah. 45 And among the descendants of Beriah there were the descendants of Heber and of Malchiel. 46 There was also a daughter of Asher who was called Serah. 47 Those are the clans of the descendants of Asher. There were 53 400 men in the tribe of Asher.

48 There was the tribe of Naphtali. Among Naphtali’s descendants were the descendants of Jahzeel and of Guni. 49 And there were the descendants of Jezer and of Shillem. 50 Those are the clans of the descendants of Naphtali. There were 45 400 men in the tribe of Naphtali.

51 There were 601 730 men on the list of the Israelites. 52 The LORD said to Moses, 53 ‘I will give the land to the tribes. 54 The big tribes will have a big piece of land. The small tribes will have a small piece of land. 55 You must use lots to give land to each tribe. 56 The larger tribes must have more land than the smaller tribes.’

57 The list of the Levites included the clans of Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 58 And it included the clans of Libni, Hebron, Mahli, Mushi and Korah. Kohath was the father of Amram. 59 The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed. Amram and Jochebed were the parents of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. 60 Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 61 Nadab and Abihu died. They gave wrong gifts to the LORD.

62 There were 23 000 male Levites who were more than one month old. But Moses did not give any land to them among the Israelites. So he did not put them on the list of the Israelites.

63 Those are the men that Moses and Eleazar the priest counted. They counted them on the flat ground in Moab by the Jordan. The place was near Jericho but it was on the other side of the River Jordan. 64 Moses did not count any of these men when he counted the people the first time. This happened in the Desert called Sinai. 65 That was because the LORD had said about them, ‘They will certainly die in the desert.’ Not one man among them was still alive, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

Chapter 27

Zelophehad’s daughters

1 Then the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher came near to Moses. Hepher was the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, the son of Joseph. So Zelophehad was in the tribe of Manasseh. And his daughters were called Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. 2 They went to the front of the Tent of Meeting. They stood in front of Moses, Eleazar and all the leaders of the people and they said, 3 ‘Our father died in the desert. But he was not in the group of men who came together against the LORD with Korah. But he died for his own sin, and he did not have any sons. 4 Please give us some of our tribe’s land. Then the people will not forget our father.’

5 Moses spoke to the LORD about this. 6 The LORD said to Moses, 7 ‘What the daughters of Zelophehad said is right. You must give to them some of the tribe of Manasseh’s land. Give to them everything that was their father’s.

8 Tell the people this. “Sometimes a man only has daughters. He may die. Then, everything that was his must be theirs. 9 And if he does not have any sons or daughters, you must give his land to his brothers. 10 But if he does not have any brothers, you must give his land to his father’s brothers. 11 Sometimes the man with no children may have no brothers of his father. If that happens, you must give his land to another person in his family. This is a rule for all the people.” ’

Joshua is the new leader

12 The LORD said to Moses, ‘Go up the Abiram mountains. Look at the country that I am giving to the Israelites. 13 You will see it. And then you will die as your brother Aaron died. 14 That is because of what happened in the desert at Zin. It was when the people were quarrelling with me there. You did not obey what I said to you. And all the people saw it. So you did not show to the people that I am holy. That was at the water.’ (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh in the desert called Zin.)

15 Moses said to the LORD, 16 ‘You are the LORD, the God of the spirits of all people. Please choose another man to be over all the people. 17 Then he can go out and he can come in in front of them. He can lead them out and he can bring them in. Then all the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.’

18 So the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun. My Spirit is in him. Lay your hand on him. 19 He must stand in front of Eleazar the priest and in front of all the Israelites. Tell Joshua and all the people this. He will be the leader when you die. 20 Tell the people that they must obey him. 21 Eleazar the priest will use everything that is holy. He will know what I am saying. He will tell Joshua. Then the Israelites must obey Joshua.’

22 Moses did as the LORD told him. He took Joshua and he brought him to stand in front of Eleazar the priest. 23 He put his hands on Joshua. So Joshua became the new leader. The LORD had told Moses that he should do that.

Chapter 28

Gifts for the LORD

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites that they must give their gifts to the LORD at the proper time. The smell of the gifts when they burn will make the LORD happy. 3 And you must say to them, “This is the offering by fire that you must offer to the LORD: It must be two male lambs that are one year old. They must not have anything wrong with them. That is the burnt-offering every day. 4 You must give one lamb in the morning and one lamb in the evening. 5 You must give to the LORD a gift of grain or flour that you have mixed with oil. 6 It is a regular burnt-offering that God told you about. He told you about it on the mountain called Sinai. It is an offering by fire to the LORD. And the smell as it burns makes the LORD happy. 7 Then the drink-offering with it will be one litre (2 pints) of wine for each lamb. In God’s Holy Tent you must pour out a drink-offering of the best wine to the LORD. 8 And you must offer the other lamb when it begins to get dark. Offer it with an offering of flour and a drink-offering like the offerings in the morning. You must give it as an offering by fire. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices will make the LORD happy.

9 Then on the Sabbath day, you must offer two male lambs that are one year old. They must not have anything wrong with them. And you must offer 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of best flour. Mix that with oil as an offering of flour. And you must give the proper drink-offering with it. 10 This is the burnt-offering for every Sabbath. But you must also give the regular burnt-offering with its proper drink-offering.

11 Also on the first day of every month you must give a burnt-offering to the LORD. It must be two bulls, one male sheep and 7 male lambs. The lambs must be one year old and they must not have anything wrong with them. 12 With each bull and with the male sheep, you must give an offering of flour. Mix together 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of the best flour with olive oil. Offer it to me with each bull. Mix together 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of the best flour with olive oil. Offer it to me with the male sheep. 13 And with each lamb you must give an offering of flour. Mix together 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of the best flour with olive oil. Offer it to me with each male lamb as a burnt-offering to the LORD. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices will make the LORD happy. 14 And there must be drink-offerings with these sacrifices. The offering must be 2 litres (4 pints) of wine for a bull. It must be 1.5 litres (3 pints) for the male sheep and 1 litre (2 pints) for a lamb. That is the burnt-offering of each month for every month of the year. 15 Also, you must offer one male goat as a sin-offering. You must offer it with the proper drink-offering. But you must still offer the regular burnt-offering.

Remember the Passover

16 On the 14th day of the first month you must remember the Passover. 17 Day 15 is the start of a week when you must eat the flat bread. You must not put anything in the bread to make it rise. You must do that for 7 days. 18 The first day will be a holy day and all the people must meet together. You must not work at your jobs on that day. 19 And you must give an offering by fire, a burnt-offering to the LORD. The offering must be 2 bulls, one male sheep and 7 male lambs that are one year old. But these animals must not have anything wrong with them. 20 Offer the proper grain-offering with each animal. Mix together 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of the best flour and olive oil. Offer it to me with each bull. Offer 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of flour with oil with the male sheep. 21 With the 7 lambs, you must give a gift of grain that you have mixed with oil. 22 You must also give one male goat as a sin-offering. That is to make things right with God for you. 23 But you must still give the burnt-offering in the morning that is the regular burnt-offering. 24 You must offer those gifts every day for 7 days. They are the food of an offering by fire. The smell of them as they burn will make the LORD happy. But you must still give the regular burnt-offering with the proper drink-offering. 25 And the 7th day must be a holy day and all the people must meet together. You must not work at your jobs on that day.

26 The day when you offer to the LORD the first part of the harvest must also be a holy day. That is also the day when you give to the LORD an offering of new grain. That is the Feast of Weeks. All the people must meet together. You must not work at your jobs on that day. 27 And you must give a burnt-offering to the LORD. The offering must be 2 bulls, one male sheep and 7 male lambs that are one year old. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices will make the LORD happy. 28 With the bull and the male sheep you must give a gift of grain that you have mixed with oil. 29 With the 7 lambs you must give a gift of grain that you have mixed with oil. 30 You must also give one male goat. The goat is because of their sins. 31 You must still give the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour. You must give them with the proper drink-offerings. The animals must not have anything wrong with them.

Chapter 29

1 On the first day of the seventh month, all the people must come together for a holy meeting. You must not work at your jobs. It is a day for you to make music with your trumpets. 2 And you must offer a burnt-offering to the LORD. You must give one young bull and one male sheep. Also offer 7 male sheep that are one year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices will make the LORD happy. 3 Offer to me the proper offering of flour with each animal. Mix together 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of the best flour with olive oil. Offer it to me with the young bull. Offer 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of flour with oil with the male sheep. 4 Offer 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of flour with each young male sheep. 5 Also offer one male goat as a sin-offering, so that I will forgive the people’s sins. 6 Offer these sacrifices with the burnt-offerings, offerings of flour and drink-offerings that you give each month. Offer these sacrifices with the burnt-offerings, offerings of flour and drink-offerings that you give each day. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices will make the LORD happy.

7 On the 10th day of the 7th month, you must come together for a holy meeting. During that day, you must make yourselves humble. And you must not do any work. 8 You must offer a burnt-offering to the LORD. The smell of the smoke will make the LORD happy. Offer one young bull, one male sheep and 7 male lambs that are one year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 9 Offer to me the proper offering of flour with each animal. Mix together 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of the best flour with olive oil. Offer it to me with the young bull. Offer 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of flour with oil with the male sheep. 10 Offer 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of flour with oil with each lamb. 11 Also offer one male goat as a sin-offering. Give these gifts with the burnt-offering, the flour and the drink-offering that you give each day and each month.

12 On the 15th day of the 7th month, you must come together for a holy meeting. You must not work at your jobs. You must have a feast to the LORD for 7 days. 13 Give an offering by fire as a smell to make the LORD happy. Give a burnt-offering of 13 young bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 14 With each of the 13 bulls give an offering of flour. Mix together 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) of the best flour with olive oil. Offer it to me with each bull. Offer 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of flour with each male sheep. 15 Offer 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of flour that you have mixed with oil with each male lamb. 16 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

17 On the second day give 12 young bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 18 With the bulls, male sheep and lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 19 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and their drink-offerings.

20 On the third day give 11 bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 21 With the bulls, male sheep and lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 22 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

23 On the 4th day give 10 bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 24 With the bulls, male sheep and lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 25 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

26 On the 5th day give 9 bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 27 With the bulls, male sheep and lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 28 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

29 On the 6th day give 8 bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 30 With the bulls, male sheep and lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 31 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

32 On the 7th day give 7 bulls, two male sheep and 14 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 33 With the bulls, male sheep and lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 34 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

35 On the 8th day, all the people must come together for a holy meeting. You must not work at your jobs. 36 Give an offering by fire as a smell to make the LORD happy. Give a burnt-offering of one bull, one male sheep and 7 male lambs that are a year old. The animals must not have anything wrong with them. 37 With the bull, the male sheep and the lambs, give the right offerings of flour and drink-offerings for each animal. 38 Include one male goat as a sin-offering. Sacrifice it with the regular burnt-offering with the proper offering of flour and the drink-offering.

39 You must offer those gifts to the LORD at the times of the feasts. You must do that even if you have given your usual burnt-offerings, offerings of flour, drink-offerings or friendship-offerings. And you must do it even if you have given other offerings. You might have given those other offerings because you wanted to give them. Or you might have given them because you had promised to give them.” ’

40 Moses told the Israelites everything that the LORD had said him.

Chapter 30

1 Moses said to the leaders of the tribes: 2 ‘The LORD says this. A man must do everything that he promised to the LORD.

3 A young woman who lives in the house of her father might make a promise to the LORD. She must do everything that she has said. 4 She must do this if her father does not say anything. 5 But her father may say that she must not do it. Then she does not have to do it. The LORD will understand why she does not do it.

6 But the young woman might marry after she promised something to the LORD. Or she might have promised something when she had not thought carefully about it. 7 If her husband does not say anything about it, she must keep her promise. 8 But her husband may say that he does not agree about the promise. He must say that on the day when he first knows about it. It might be a serious promise. Or it might be a promise that the woman had not thought carefully about. The woman does not have to do the thing now because of what her husband has said. And the LORD will forgive her.

9 If the husband of a woman has died, she must keep her promise. If the woman and her husband do not live together, they are not still married. If she makes a promise, she must do it.

10 A woman who is living with her husband might make a promise. 11 If her husband does not say anything about it, she must do it. 12 Her husband may say that she must not do it. She must obey him. The LORD will let her do that. 13 The husband can let her do what she promised to do. He can also say that she must not do it. 14 If the husband does not say anything about the promise, the woman must do it. 15 The husband may wait for a long time after he hears about the promise. Then, he may say that she must not do it. If that happens, the LORD will be angry with the man. He will not be angry with the woman.’

16 The LORD gave to Moses those rules about a man and his wife. They are also about a father and a young daughter.

Chapter 31

War against the Midianites

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Go to war against the Midianites. After you have done that, you will die.’

3 Moses said to the people, ‘Give swords to some of the men. Go to war against the Midianites. This is what the LORD wants you to do. 4 Send 1000 men from each tribe to war.’ 5 And 12 000 men were ready for war. There were 1000 men from each tribe. 6 Moses sent those men to the war. There were 1000 men from each tribe. Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest went with them. Phinehas took with him the things from God’s Holy Tent. Also, he took in his hand the trumpets to make warning sounds.

7 They fought against the Midianites. And they killed every man among them. 8 And they killed the kings of Midian with the other men that they killed. Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba were the 5 kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam the son of Beor with a sword. 9 Israel’s men took the women and children of Midian. They took their animals and everything that was valuable. 10 They burned their towns and camps. 11 They took the people, the animals and everything that was valuable. 12 And they brought the prisoners and the things that they took to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest. And they brought it to all the Israelites, to their camp. That was at the flat ground in Moab by the River Jordan. The place was near Jericho but it was on the other side of the River Jordan.

13 Moses, Eleazar and the leaders of the tribes went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the leaders of the army.

15 He said to them, “Have you let all the women live? 16 These women here caused the Israelites not to obey the LORD by what they did at Peor. Balaam told them how they could do it. So there was a bad illness among all the LORD’s people. 17 So kill all the boys. And kill every woman who had had sex with a man. 18 But you can keep for yourselves all the girls who have not had sex with a man.’

19 Moses said, ‘Any soldier who has killed any person must stay outside the camp for 7 days. Any soldier who has touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for 7 days. On day 3 and on day 7, you must make yourselves clean. You must also make the people of Midian that you took clean. 20 You must make anything that someone has made out of leather, wool or wood clean.’ 21 Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers, ‘This is what the LORD told Moses. 22 You must put all the gold and silver in the fire. 23 You must put all the metals that will not burn in the fire. This will make them clean. You must also wash them. You must clean, with water, everything that will burn. 24 On day 7, you must wash your clothes. Then you will be clean. Then you can come into the camp.’

25 The LORD said to Moses, 26 ‘You and Eleazar and the leaders of the tribes must count all the people and animals that you took. 27 Give anything that is valuable to the soldiers and all the people. Be sure that every person gets some of them. 28 From that which would go to the soldiers, keep one out of every 500 Midianite soldiers for the LORD. Do the same with the animals. 29 Give what is for the LORD to Eleazar the priest. 30 From what is for the people give one out of every 50 Midianite soldiers to the Levites. Do the same with the animals.’ 31 Moses and Eleazar did as the LORD said.

32 The soldiers took 675 000 sheep, 33 72 000 cows, 34 61 000 donkeys 35 and 32 000 women who had not had sex with a man.

36 The gift for the soldiers included 337 500 sheep. 37 So there were 675 sheep for the LORD. 38 The gift for the soldiers also included 36 000 cows. So there were 72 cows for the LORD. 39 The gift for the soldiers also included 30 500 donkeys. So there were 61 donkeys for the LORD. 40 The gift for the soldiers also included 16 000 people. So there were 32 people for the LORD.

41 Moses gave the gift that was for the LORD to Eleazar, the priest. The LORD had told Moses that he must do that.

42 Moses made the gift that was for the people separate from the gift that was for the soldiers. 43 The gift for the people included 337 500 sheep. 44 It also included 36 000 cows. 45 It also included 30 500 donkeys. 46 And it included 16 000 people. 47 From the gift that was for the Israelites, Moses took one out of every 50. And he gave them to the Levites.

48 The leaders of the army went to Moses. 49 They said to him: ‘We have counted the soldiers. They are all present. 50 We have brought a gift to the LORD. We have brought gold rings and other gold that people wear. They are gifts for when we sinned.’

51 Moses and Eleazar took all the gold. 52 And they weighed all the gold of the offering that they lifted up to the LORD. That was the offering from the captains over 1000 men and the captains over 100 men. The weight was 16 750 shekels. 53 The soldiers took anything that was gold from the enemy. They took it when they were at war. 54 Moses and Eleazar took all the gold into the Tent of Meeting. It was a gift. It was to remember the time when the LORD told the people to go to war against the Midianites.

Chapter 32

1 The people in the tribes of Reuben and Gad had very many animals. They saw that the land in Jazer and Gilead was good for their animals. 2 They came to Moses, Eleazar and the leaders of the tribes. 3 They said, ‘The land at Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon 4 is good for animals. We have very many animals. 5 Please let us take this land for our animals. Please do not take us across the River Jordan.’

6 Moses said to the men: ‘The Israelites are going to war. It seems that you want to watch them. But you want to stay here! 7 You should not tell the people in your tribes that they should not cross over the River Jordan. The LORD is giving this country to them. 8 Your fathers did the same thing when I sent them from Kadesh-Barnea to look at the country. 9 They went to the valley of Eshcol and they saw the country. But they told the Israelites that it was not a good idea to go into the country. So the Israelites did not go into the country that the LORD had given to them. 10 The LORD was angry with them. 11 He said, “They do not obey me. None of the men who came from Egypt will go into this country. If they are more than 20 years old, they will not go into this country. It is the country that I am giving to them. I promised the country to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 12 Jephunneh’s son Caleb and Joshua the son of Nun are the only men who will go into the country. It is the country that I am giving to the Israelites. Caleb and Joshua have obeyed me. So they will go in.” 13 The LORD was angry with all the Israelites because of those men who would not go in. He caused them to walk about in the desert for 40 years. Then all the men who did not obey him were dead.

14 You are doing the same sins that your fathers did. You are making the LORD even more angry with the Israelites. 15 If you do not obey him, he will not let the people leave the desert. If they die, it will be because of you.’

16 The men said to Moses, ‘Let us build houses from stone for our animals, our women and our children. 17 Then we will be ready to go to war with the Israelites. When we are at war, our women and children will be safe. 18 We will not return to our homes until all the Israelites receive the land. It is the land that the LORD is giving to them. 19 We will not receive any of the land on the other side of the River Jordan. Our land is here.’

20 Moses said to the men, ‘You must really do as you have said. You must go to war. 21 You must cross over the River Jordan with the people to get power over the country. 22 If you really do that, you can return to this land. And the LORD will not be angry. The LORD will give this land to you.

23 But if you do not do it, you will have sinned against the LORD. And be sure that your sin will cause your punishment. 24 Build towns for your families and build pens for your animals. But then do the things that you have promised to do.’

25 The men in the tribes of Gad and Reuben said to Moses, ‘We will do what we promised to do. 26 Our women and children will stay here in Gilead. Our animals will stay here in Gilead. 27 But we are your servants. And we will cross over. Everyone among us who has weapons for war will cross over. And we will fight in the LORD’s fight, as you have said, my master.’

28 Moses told Eleazar the priest what the men in Reuben’s tribe and in Gad’s tribe were doing. He also told Joshua the son of Nun and the leaders of the tribes. 29 He said to them, ‘The men in Reuben’s tribe and in Gad’s tribe must cross over the River Jordan to fight with you. If they do, you must give the land called Gilead to them. 30 If they do not do that, they must build their houses in Canaan.’

31 The men in the tribes of Reuben and Gad said, ‘We will do what we promised to do. 32 We will go into Canaan to fight, but we will live in Gilead.’

33 So Moses gave to them all the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites and Og, the king of Bashan. He gave to them the land with its towns and all the land round the towns near those towns. He gave it to the descendants of Gad and of Reuben and half of the tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh.

34 The men in the tribe of Gad built up again Dibon, Ataroth and Aroer. 35 They also built up again Atroth-Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-Nimrah and Beth-Haran. They built houses for their families and their animals. 37 The men in the tribe of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh and Kiriathaim up again. 38 They built Nebo and Baal-Meon and Sibmah. They gave new names to the cities that they built up.

39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh attacked Gilead. They sent away the people who lived there. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to the descendants of Machir who was the son of Manasseh. And they lived there. 41 Jair, who was a descendant of Manasseh attacked some villages. He got power over them and he called them Havvoth-Jair. 42 Nobah attacked Kenath and the villages round it. He called it Nobah, like himself.

Chapter 33

1 This is the journey of the Israelites. Moses and Aaron led them out of Egypt. They travelled in their tribes. 2 The LORD told Moses that he should write about the journey. This is the journey:

3 They left Rameses in the first month. They started to travel from Rameses on the 15th day of the first month. That was the day after the Passover. The Israelites marched out bravely. And all Egypt’s people watched them as they went. 4 As they left, Egypt’s people were burying all their oldest sons. The LORD had killed their oldest sons. The LORD had also shown that he is more powerful than their gods.

5 They travelled to Succoth and they camped there.

6 They travelled to Etham. And they camped on the edge of the desert.

7 They travelled from Etham to Pi-Hahiroth, which is east of Baal-Zephon. They camped near Migdol.

8 They travelled from Pi-Hahiroth. They went through the sea into the desert. They travelled for three days and then they camped at Marah in the desert.

9 They travelled from Marah to Elim. At Elim, there were 12 streams and 70 trees. The trees were called palm trees. They camped there.

10 They travelled from Elim and they camped by the side of the Red Sea.

11 They travelled from the Red Sea. And they camped in the Desert called Sin.

12 They travelled from the Desert called Sin. And they camped at Dophkah.

13 They travelled from Dophkah and they camped at Alush.

14 They travelled from Alush and they camped at Rephidim. There was no water here for the people to drink.

15 They travelled from Rephidim. And they camped in the Desert called Sinai.

16 They travelled from the Desert called Sinai. And they camped at Kibroth-Hattaavah.

17 They travelled from Kibroth-Hattaavah and they camped at Hazeroth.

18 They travelled from Hazeroth and they camped at Rithmah.

19 They travelled from Rithmah and they camped at Rimmon-Perez.

20 They travelled from Rimmon-Perez and they camped at Libnah.

21 They travelled from Libnah and they camped at Rissah.

22 They travelled from Rissah and they camped at Kehelathah.

23 They travelled from Kehelathah. And they camped at the mountain called Shepher.

24 They travelled from the mountain called Shepher. And they camped at Haradah.

25 They travelled from Haradah and they camped at Makheloth.

26 They travelled from Makheloth and they camped at Tahath.

27 They travelled from Tahath and they camped at Terah.

28 They travelled from Terah and they camped at Mithkah.

29 They travelled from Mithkah and they camped at Hashmonah.

30 They travelled from Hashmonah and they camped at Moseroth.

31 They travelled from Moseroth and they camped at Bene-Jaakan.

32 They travelled from Bene-Jaakan and they camped at Hor-Haggidgad.

33 They travelled from Hor-Haggidgad and they camped at Jotbathah.

34 They travelled from Jotbathah and they camped at Abronah.

35 They travelled from Abronah and they camped at Ezion-Geber.

36 They travelled from Ezion-Geber and they camped at Kadesh in the Desert of Zin.

37 They travelled from Kadesh. And they camped at the mountain called Hor. It is on the edge of Edom.

38 The LORD told Aaron that he must go up a mountain. The mountain was called Hor. So Aaron went up it. He died there. That was on the first day of the fifth month. It was in the 40th year after the Israelites travelled from Egypt.

39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died.

40 The king of Arad lived in the south, in the country called Canaan. People told him that the Israelites were coming.

41 They travelled from the mountain called Hor. And they camped at Zalmonah.

42 They travelled from Zalmonah and they camped at Punon.

43 They travelled from Punon and they camped at Oboth.

44 They travelled from Oboth and they camped at Iye-Abarim on the edge of Moab.

45 They travelled from Iye-Abarim and they camped at Dibon-Gad.

46 They travelled from Dibon-Gad and they camped at Almon-Diblathaim.

47 They travelled from Almon-Diblathaim and they camped in the mountains of Abarim, near Nebo.

48 They travelled from the mountains of Abarim and they camped in Moab by the side of the River Jordan. They were on the other side of the river from Jericho.

49 They camped by the side of the River Jordan from Beth-Jeshimoth to Abel-Shittim on the flat ground in Moab.

50 Then the LORD spoke to Moses on the flat ground in Moab by the River Jordan. The place was near Jericho but it was on the other side of the River Jordan. He said, 51 ‘Say to the Israelites, “You will cross over the River Jordan to Canaan. 52 Then you must send out all the people who live in that country in front of you. You must not let any of those people stay in the country. And you must destroy all their stones in the shape of people. And you must destroy all the idols that they have made from metal. And you must destroy all their high places for worship. 53 And you must get power over the country and you must live in it. Do that because I have given the country to you. I have given it to you so that you can live it. 54 And you must use lots to give the land to your clans. You must give more land to the larger clans and you must give less land to the smaller clans. Whatever land somebody gets as a result of the lots, that will be his land. Each of your ancestorstribes will get its own land.

55 If any Canaanites remain in the country, they will be a problem to the Israelites. 56 And I will do to you what I wanted to do to them.” ’

Chapter 34

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell the Israelites this: When you go into Canaan, your land will have edges to it.

3 The south edge will include a part of the Desert of Zin. In the east, it will begin at the south end of the Dead Sea. 4 It will go south of the place called Scorpion Pass, on to Zin. And then it will go south of Kadesh-Barnea. It will go to Hazar-Addar and over to Azmon. 5 It will turn and it will join the Wadi of Egypt. It will finish at the sea.

6 The west edge is the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

7 The north edge is a line from the Mediterranean Sea to the mountain called Hor. 8 From the mountain called Hor it will go to Lebo-Hamath. Then it will go to Zedad. 9 It will go to Ziphron and it will finish at Hazar-Enan.

10 The east edge is a line from Hazar-Enan to Shepham. 11 The line will go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. It will go along the east of the lake called Chinnereth. 12 Then it will go along the River Jordan and it will finish at the Dead Sea.’

Chinnereth is called Galilee in the New Testament.

13 Moses said to the Israelites, ‘Cut this country into parts in the way that the LORD told you. The LORD said that you must give it to 9 and a half tribes. 14 That is because the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of Manasseh’s tribe have their land already. 15 Their land is on the east side of the River Jordan. It is opposite Jericho.’

16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 ‘Joshua, the son of Nun and Eleazar the priest must cut the country into parts. They must give the parts to the people. 18 One leader from each tribe must help them. 19 These are the names of the men who will help them: Caleb the son of Jephunneh will be the leader from the tribe of Judah. 20 And the leader from the tribe of Simeon will be Shemuel the son of Ammihud. 21 And the leader from the tribe of Benjamin will be Elidad the son of Chislon. 22 And the leader from the tribe of Dan will be Bukki the son of Jogli. 23 These will be the leaders from the descendants of Joseph: Hanniel the son of Ephod will be the leader from the tribe of Manasseh. 24 And Kemuel the son of Shiphtan will be the leader from the tribe of Ephraim. 25 And the leader from the tribe of Zebulun will be Elizaphan the son of Parnach. 26 And the leader from the tribe of Issachar will be Paltiel the son of Azzan. 27 And the leader from the tribe of Asher will be Ahihud the son of Shelomi. 28 And the leader from the tribe of Naphtali will be Pedahel the son of Ammihud.’

29 Those were the men that the LORD chose to help Joshua and Eleazar.

Chapter 35

1 The LORD spoke to Moses in Moab. Moab was by the River Jordan. Jericho was across the river. 2 He said, ‘Tell the people this. They must give the Levites towns to live in. They must also give them land round the towns. 3 The Levites must have towns to live in and land for their animals.

4 And you must give the fields of grass round the towns to the Levites. That must include every field that is less than 500 metres (1500 feet) from the town’s walls. 5 You must also measure outside the town on the east side 1000 metres (3000 feet), and on the south side. And you must measure 1000 metres on the west side and on the north side. So the town will be in the centre. Those fields of grass will become theirs for their towns.

6 Six (6) of the towns must be places in which a person can hide. He can hide there if he kills another person. They must also have another 42 towns. 7 The Levites must have 48 towns and land for their animals. 8 When the tribes give the towns to the Levites they must take many towns from the big tribes. They must take few towns from the small tribes.’ 9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 ‘Tell the Israelites this. When they cross the River Jordan, they will go into Canaan. 11 They must choose some towns in which a person can hide. He can hide there if he kills another person. 12 And those cities will be places where someone can be safe from the blood-avenger. So the mankiller will not die before all the people in the town have judged him. 13 They must choose 6 towns. 14 Three towns must be in Canaan and three towns must be on the other side of the River Jordan. 15 Those towns are places to hide in for the Israelites and for all the people who live with them.

16 A man might hit a person with a thing that someone made out of iron. If the person dies, the man is a murderer. He must die. 17 A man might hit a person with a stone. If the person dies, the man is a murderer. He must die. 18 A man might hit a person with a thing that someone made out of wood. If the person dies, the man is a murderer. He must die. 19 The blood-avenger himself must kill the murderer. He must kill him when he meets him. 20 A man might push another person and kill him. The man must die. A man might throw something at another person and kill him. The man must die. 21 Or a man might hit a person with his hand because he hates him. If the person dies as a result you must kill the man. You must kill the man who hit the other person. He is a murderer. The blood-avenger must kill the murderer when he meets him.

22 If a man pushes another person, it might be a mistake. Or if he throws something at another person, it might be a mistake. 23 Or a man might be holding a stone that could cause death. He might drop it on a person that he did not see. The person might die as a result but the man did not hate the person. The man did not want to hurt the person. 24 If that happens all the people in the town must judge. They must say whether the mankiller or the blood-avenger is right. They must use these rules to judge. 25 And all the people will save the mankiller from the blood-avenger. And all the people must send him back to the safe city that he ran to. And he will live there until the death of the most important priest that someone put the holy oil on.

26 But the mankiller might at some time go outside the border of the safe city that he ran to. 27 If he does that, the blood-avenger might find him outside the border of his safe city. If the blood-avenger kills the mankiller in that place, the blood-avenger will not be guilty of murder. 28 That is because he should have stayed in his safe city until the death of the most important priest. But after the death of the most important priest, the mankiller can return to his own home.

29 These are the rules from the LORD for now and for all future time.

30 Other people might see a man kill another person. The man must die. But perhaps only one person saw the man kill another person. Then the man must not die.

31 A person must not give money to keep a murderer alive.

32 A person must not give money to a man who killed another person. He must not help the man leave a city that is safe before the death of the most important priest.

33 Do not make the country bad. If you kill people, you make the country bad. The country is bad because men kill other people. You can make the country good. You must kill the man who kills another person. 34 You must not make the country where you live bad. It is the country where I also live. That is because I, the LORD, live among the Israelites.’

Chapter 36

Rules about women who have land

1 Gilead was the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh. And Manasseh was Joseph’s son. The leaders of the families in Gilead’s clan went to Moses and to the other leaders of the Israelitesclans. 2 And they said, ‘The LORD told you, my master, that we should use lots to give the land to the Israelites. Then each man’s land would become his sons’ land when he died. And the LORD told you, my master, that you should give Zelophehad’s land to his daughters. Zelophehad was in our clan. 3 But if the girls marry, the land will become their husbands’ land. If they marry men from other tribes, the tribe of Manasseh will lose the land. 4 They are girls. So their land will become part of the land that their husbands already have.’

5 The LORD told Moses what he should say to these men. Moses said, ‘What you are saying is right. 6 This is what the LORD has said about the daughters of Zelophehad: “Let them marry men that they want to marry. But they must marry men from the clans of their father’s tribe.” 7 So none of the Israelites’ land that is one tribe’s land will become the land of another tribe. So the people in each tribe will keep the land that their ancestors had. 8 And that must happen to every daughter who gets some land of any tribe of the Israelites. She will be the wife of someone in a clan of her father’s tribe. So every Israelite will keep the land that was his ancestors’ land. 9 So none of the Israelites’ land that is one tribe’s land will become the land of another tribe. So the people in each tribe will keep the land that their ancestors had.’

10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as Moses said. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad married sons of their father’s brothers. 12 They married men from the clans of the descendants of Joseph’s son Manasseh. And their land remained with the tribe of their father’s clan.

13 Those are the rules that the LORD gave to the Israelites. The LORD used Moses to give those rules to them when they were camping in Moab. They were camping on the flat ground in Moab by the River Jordan near Jericho.

Word List

almond
a very hard fruit (hard fruits are sometimes called nuts).
altar
special table where people burn animals or other gifts as a sacrifice to a god or to God.
Amalekites
a group of people who lived near Canaan.
Amorites
a group of people who lived in Canaan.
ancestors
people centuries ago that your grandparents’ grandparents came from.
angel
a person who is not human who works for God; OR a bad angel that was good but now he works for the worst enemy of God.
anoint
to put oil on a person to show that God has given a special job to them; an anointed person or thing is a person or a thing that somebody has anointed.
arrow
a stick with a sharp point; you shoot it from a bow.
barley
small hard seed from a grass that people and animals can eat; or the grass itself.
base
lowest part of something.
Bel
the god of Babylon.
bitter
opposite of sweet; or a very difficult life.
bless
to say or to do good things to a person; to ask God for good things to happen to a person.
blessing
a good thing that God does for us.
blood-avenger
a man who looked for someone who was a killer; he would kill him if he found him.
Book of Wars
a book of songs that the Israelites used.
bowl
a bowl is like a cup but it is wider.
breast
it can mean part of an animal near the heart.
bronze
a kind of metal; you mix two metals to make it.
bull
a male cow.
burnt-offering
an animal that the priests killed and burned; that is how they gave animals to God.
camp
place where people live in tents. Also, when people live in tents, they camp.
Canaan
the country that God promised to Abraham (Genesis 12:7).
Canaanites
the people who had lived in Canaan before God’s people came.
cart
a big box with wheels that animals pull along the ground.
celebrate
to have a very happy time; to have a happy party, sometimes because you are remembering something.
clean
for the Israelites, this meant something or someone that God is happy with. People had to be clean in order to approach God’s Tent. People had to be clean to be in the Israelites’ camp. There is no easy way to explain what was clean or not clean. We know only because God has told us, in the Bible.
clan
part of a tribe, a group of families.
clay
wet material from the ground; people use heat to make pots out of it.
Covenant Box
a box of wood that the Israelites had covered with gold. It contained stones that God had written his rules on (Deuteronomy 10:4-5).
curse
to say bad words against another person; to say that you want bad things to happen to someone.
deceive
to cause someone to believe things that are not true.
descendant
a child, grandchild, their grandchild and so on.
desert
a place where not many people live, often very dry.
disgusting
something that you really do not like; you do not want to touch it; something that is really not good.
donkey
an animal like a small horse. It carries things or people.
dough
you mix flour with other things to make dough; then you cook it so that it becomes bread or cake.
dove
a kind of bird.
drink-offering
a gift of wine to God; usually people poured it on the altar.
dust
the dry top part of the ground. Many very small pieces of this make ‘dust’.
Egyptian
a word that describes someone from Egypt or anything from Egypt.
ephah
the Israelites used an ephah to measure dry things; it was about 22 litres (5 gallons).
faithful
to believe in someone or something; to believe in God completely; or a person that you can always trust.
family
family can sometimes mean not only sons and daughters but grandchildren and their children and so on; sometimes it can mean grandfathers and their fathers.
feast
a large meal; but, in this book, a feast means a special holiday when the people came together to worship God.
feet
one foot is 12 inches; one metre is about 3 feet.
festival
a happy party; people ate and they drank; they sang and they danced.
fig
a fruit.
first-born
a man’s first child; but sometimes it means his first son.
flag
a piece of material with signs on it. People fasten it to the top of a stick. It moves when the wind blows on it.
flame
you often see flames when something is burning.
forgive
when someone stops being angry with another person who has done bad things.
frame
pieces of wood that people joined together; then they could fasten a curtain to them.
friendship-offering
a gift of food to God to thank him; a gift of food to show that you love God; you also gave some of the food to other people.
gerah
a very small weight; one shekel was 20 gerahs.
glory
the beautiful light round God. It shows how good and powerful he is.
grain
hard seed that you can eat; or you can make it into bread.
grape
a small, sweet fruit that people use to make a drink that has alcohol in it.
grave
a hole in the ground for dead bodies.
greedy
greedy people want too much of something that they do not really need.
guilt
when we have done wrong things (whether we know it or not!).
guilty
a guilty person is a person who has done wrong things.
harvest
the time when people pick all the fruits that are ready to use. It may also be the fruits themselves.
hate
not to like someone at all; to want bad things to happen to them; to want to hurt them.
herb
a small plant that you can eat; sometimes people use it when they are cooking.
Hittites
a group of people who lived in Canaan before God’s people came.
holy
what God is like; different and better than all other things; all good, with nothing bad in it; or, special for God.
honey
a special kind of sugar that insects called bees make.
horn
a long, hard bone that grows on the head of some animals.
humble
humble people do not think that they are great.
hyssop
a small plant.
idol
a thing that people make out of wood, stone or metal. It is like a man or a god. People worship it and they pray to it. But nobody should do that.
incense
something that gives a sweet smell when it burns.
Israel
God gave the name Israel to Jacob; Israel is all the people born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children; Israel is the group of people that God chose; it is also the country that those people live in.
Israelites
descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (who was also called Israel); or, the people who lived in Israel.
Jebusites
people who lived in Jerusalem before the Israelites lived there.
judge
to say who is right and who is wrong; or, the person who says that; or, the person who says what someone’s punishment must be; to judge may mean to say what someone’s punishment must be.
juice
it comes from fruit when you push it against something hard. You can drink it.
keep a promise
do what you promised to do.
Kenites
a group of people who lived near Canaan.
kingdom
a country where a king rules.
lamb
a young sheep.
lamp
a light that burns oil.
lampstand
it held 7 lamps. They contained burning oil, so that the lampstand gave a lot of light.
law
rules that a government or a king, or God makes.
Law
the special rules that God gave to Moses for the Israelites.
Levite
descendant of Levi, who was a son of Jacob. An Israelite tribe.
lion
a wild animal (like a very big cat) that kills other animals and eats them; it can kill people too.
LORD
a special name for God that his people use. He will do what he has promised to them. And he does not change. That is what this name means.
lot
people used it to find what people or things God had chosen.
mankiller
this person killed someone but he did not want to do it.
manna
special bread from God; it came down at night.
Midianites
a group of people who lived near Canaan.
miracle
a great thing that God does; a great thing that shows that a person brings a message from God.
Moabite
descendant of Moab, a son of Lot; they lived near Canaan.
model
a model of something is like it but you make the model out of wood or some other material.
murderer
someone who kills a person when it was not a mistake.
nail
a sharp thing that someone has made out of metal to fasten things together.
nation
people who live together in one country.
Nazirite
someone who had made a promise to God. He must not drink wine or cut his hair. And he must not touch dead bodies.
New Testament
the last part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after Jesus lived on earth.
offering
something that people gave to God. It could be food or drink as well as an animal. Some offerings were to give thanks to God. People also gave offerings when they had sinned.
oil
not oil for cars, but oil from a fruit called the olive.
olive
a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people used to make oil. They burned the oil to give them light. They used it in other ways too.
ox, oxen
large animal like a cow that people use to pull heavy things. Oxen is the plural.
pan
like a plate but you cook things on it.
Passover
a day on which the people ate a special meal. They remembered the time when the LORD brought them out of Egypt.
peace
at times of peace, there are no fights or wars and all people are kind to each other.
perfect
it is all good.
pigeon
a kind of bird.
pillar
a large, long piece of wood or stone that stands on its end.
poet
a person who uses words in a special (beautiful) way.
pole
a tall stick that someone has made out of wood.
pomegranate
a fruit with a lot of seeds inside it.
priest
male descendant of Aaron who gives offerings to God; or a man who works in the same way for an idol.
prisoner
person that people keep in a prison; or, a person that someone keeps where he does not want to be.
prophecy
messages that God wants to tell or to teach people, often about future events; but sometimes these messages were not really from God.
prophesy
to tell people what God thinks and what he will do; to tell people about things before they happen; to speak on God’s behalf or on behalf of another god.
prophet
a person who speaks on behalf of God. He can sometimes tell people about future events; someone who says what God thinks; or someone who says what God will do. But some prophets spoke messages that were not really from God.
punish
to hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to a prison.
punishment
when God or people hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to a prison.
purple
a colour that kings and important people use; a dark blue-red colour.
raisin
a fruit called a grape that someone has made very dry.
relative
a descendant of your grandparents or of their parents.
rope
long thin material that people use to tie things together.
Sabbath
the day when the Israelites rested. It started on Friday at sunset. They did no work until Saturday at sunset.
sacrifice
to give away something valuable, for example, an animal, to someone, perhaps to God; or the gift itself.
shekel
1 kilo is about 90 shekels; 1 pound weight is about 40 shekels.
Sheol
a word that the Israelites used to describe death; people went to that place when they were dead.
shepherd
someone who feeds sheep and keeps them safe.
silver
a white metal that shines and is very valuable.
sin
when a person does bad things against God or other people; we sin when we do not obey God’s rules.
sin-offering
a gift to ask God to forgive people for their sins.
spear
a long stick with a sharp point at the end. Soldiers used spears to fight.
spirit
the part of a person that is alive. We cannot see it.
spit
to make water come out of your mouth very quickly.
splash
this happens when a person throws blood or water at something or on the ground.
sword
a very long metal knife to attack enemies.
tassel
small thin pieces of material that someone has tied together; they usually fix it to the edge of their clothes.
tent
house of cloth or leather. People can carry it with them.
test
try to see if something or someone is good or bad.
thresh
hit wheat or barley plants until the seeds fall out.
threshing-floor
a place where people hit food plants until the seeds fall out.
tithe
God’s rules said that the Israelites must give a tenth of the harvest of oil, grain and wine to God. This tenth part was called a ‘tithe’.
tribe
a group of people that have one language and belong together; a large group of people who are descendants of one man. The first Israelites were the 12 sons of Jacob. The family of each son became a tribe.
trumpet
a metal pipe with a wide end. People use their mouths to make loud music with it.
trust
believe that someone will be good to you; or believe that someone will not rob anyone; or believe that someone will do their job well.
unclean
not clean.
unholy
not holy.
vine
plant that climbs. People make wine from its fruits (that are called grapes).
vinegar
what wine becomes if we leave it open to the air.
vineyard
place where fruits called grapes grow. People can make a drink that contains alcohol from grapes.
vision
like a dream but sometimes a person is awake when he or she sees it.
warning
a warning or to warn someone means to tell someone about danger.
weapon
something to fight people with.
wheat
a special kind of grass. People use its seeds to make bread.
wheels
round things that help things like cars to move.
wine
a drink which has alcohol in it; people make it from small, sweet fruit called grapes.
wool
soft hair from animals; people use it to make clothes.
worship
to give thanks to God (or to an idol); to tell God that he is great; to show that we love God (or an idol).
yeast
people put yeast into flour and water when they want to make bread. The yeast grows and it causes the flour to become bigger. Then it becomes like a loaf of bread. Then you can bake the bread and you can eat it.
yoke
people put this on an animal’s neck and the animal pulled things along; sometimes they used it so that two animals worked together.

Book List

Henry H. Halley ~ Halley’s Bible Handbook ~ Zondervan

Tokunboh Adeyemo (general editor) ~ Africa Bible Commentary ~ Zondervan

Pat Alexander (editor) ~ The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible ~ Lion Publishing

Pat & David Alexander (editors) ~ The New Lion Handbook to the Bible ~ Lion Publishing

Ronald B Allen (general editor - Frank E Gaebelein) ~ The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 2 ~ Zondervan

W H Bellinger, Jr. ~ New International Biblical Commentary, Leviticus, Numbers ~ Paternoster Press

D Guthrie & J A Motyer (editors) ~ New Bible Commentary (Third Edition) ~ Inter-Varsity Press

Walter Riggans (general editor, John C L Gibson) ~ The Daily Study Bible, Numbers ~ The Saint Andrew Press

Merrill C Tenney (general editor) ~ The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary ~ Zondervan

Gordon J Wenham (general editor, Professor D J Wiseman) ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Numbers ~ Inter-Varsity Press

Warren W Wiersbe ~ Be Counted, Living a Life that Counts for God, An Old Testament Study – Numbers ~ Chariot Victor Publishing

Bibles ~ NIV, Good News Bible, Living Bible, Life Application Study Bible

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2014

This version published November 2014

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.