March 6, 2023
The Seven Lamps
8 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron and say to him: When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.” 3 Aaron did so; he set up its lamps in front of the lampstand, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 4 Now this was how the lampstand was made, out of hammered work of gold. From its base to its flowers, it was hammered work; according to the pattern that the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.
Consecration and Service of the Levites
5 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Take the Levites from among the Israelites and cleanse them. 7 Thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification on them; have them shave their whole body with a razor and wash their clothes and so cleanse themselves. 8 Then let them take a young bull and its grain offering of choice flour mixed with oil, and you shall take another young bull for a purification offering. 9 You shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting and assemble the whole congregation of the Israelites. 10 When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the Israelites shall lay their hands on the Levites, 11 and Aaron shall present the Levites before the Lord as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may do the service of the Lord. 12 The Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and he shall offer the one for a purification offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord, to make atonement for the Levites. 13 Then you shall have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons, and you shall present them as an elevation offering to the Lord.
14 “Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the other Israelites, and the Levites shall be mine. 15 Thereafter the Levites may go in to do service at the tent of meeting, once you have cleansed them and presented them as an elevation offering. 16 For they are unreservedly given to me from among the Israelites; I have taken them for myself, in place of all that open the womb, the firstborn of all the Israelites. 17 For all the firstborn among the Israelites are mine, both human and animal. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, 18 but I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the Israelites. 19 Moreover, I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, to do the service for the Israelites at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the Israelites, in order that there may be no plague among the Israelites for coming too close to the sanctuary.”
20 Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the Israelites did with the Levites accordingly; the Israelites did with the Levites just as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning them. 21 The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them as an elevation offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 Thereafter the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting in attendance on Aaron and his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did with them.
23 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “This applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and up they shall begin to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting; 25 and from the age of fifty years they shall retire from the duty of the service and serve no more. 26 They may assist their brothers in the tent of meeting in carrying out their duties, but they shall perform no service. Thus you shall do with the Levites in assigning their duties.”
The Passover at Sinai
9 The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Let the Israelites keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its regulations you shall keep it.” 4 So Moses told the Israelites that they should keep the Passover. 5 They kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai. Just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the Israelites did. 6 Now there were certain people who were unclean through touching a corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day. They came before Moses and Aaron on that day 7 and said to him, “Although we are unclean through touching a corpse, why must we be kept from presenting the Lord’s offering at its appointed time among the Israelites?” 8 Moses said to them, “Wait, so that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”
9 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the Israelites, saying: Anyone of you or your descendants who is unclean through touching a corpse or is away on a journey shall still keep the Passover to the Lord. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day, at twilight, they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But anyone who is clean and is not on a journey and yet refrains from keeping the Passover shall be cut off from the people for not presenting the Lord’s offering at its appointed time; such a one shall bear the consequences for the sin. 14 Any alien residing among you who wishes to keep the Passover to the Lord shall do so according to the statute of the Passover and according to its regulation; you shall have one statute for both the resident alien and the native of the land.”
The Cloud and the Fire
15 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant, and from evening until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearance of fire. 16 It was always so: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, then the Israelites would set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the Israelites would camp. 18 At the command of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the Israelites would keep the charge of the Lord and would not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud would remain a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they would remain in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud would remain from evening until morning, and when the cloud lifted in the morning, they would set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they would set out. 22 Whether it was two days or a month or a longer time that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out, but when it lifted they would set out. 23 At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.
The Silver Trumpets
10 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Make two silver trumpets; you shall make them of hammered work, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp. 3 When both are blown, the whole congregation shall assemble before you at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 4 But if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the tribes of Israel, shall assemble before you. 5 When you blow an alarm, the camps on the east side shall set out; 6 when you blow a second alarm, the camps on the south side shall set out. An alarm is to be blown whenever they are to set out. 7 But when the assembly is to be gathered, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; this shall be a perpetual institution for you throughout your generations. 9 When you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, so that you may be remembered before the Lord your God and be saved from your enemies. 10 Also on your days of rejoicing, at your appointed festivals, and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over your sacrifices of well-being; they shall serve as a reminder on your behalf before the Lord your God: I am the Lord your God.”
Departure from Sinai
11 In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle of the covenant. 12 Then the Israelites set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai, and the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. 13 They set out for the first time at the command of the Lord by Moses. 14 The standard of the camp of Judah set out first, company by company, and over the whole company was Nahshon son of Amminadab. 15 Over the company of the tribe of Issachar was Nethanel son of Zuar, 16 and over the company of the tribe of Zebulun was Eliab son of Helon.
17 Then the tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonites and the Merarites, who carried the tabernacle, set out. 18 Next the standard of the camp of Reuben set out, company by company, and over the whole company was Elizur son of Shedeur. 19 Over the company of the tribe of Simeon was Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, 20 and over the company of the tribe of Gad was Eliasaph son of Deuel.
21 Then the Kohathites, who carried the holy things, set out, and the tabernacle was set up before their arrival. 22 Next the standard of the camp of Ephraim set out, company by company, and over the whole company was Elishama son of Ammihud. 23 Over the company of the tribe of Manasseh was Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, 24 and over the company of the tribe of Benjamin was Abidan son of Gideoni.
25 Then the standard of the camp of Dan, acting as the rear guard of all the camps, set out, company by company, and over the whole company was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 Over the company of the tribe of Asher was Pagiel son of Ochran, 27 and over the company of the tribe of Naphtali was Ahira son of Enan. 28 This was the order of march of the Israelites, company by company, when they set out.
29 Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’s father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you’; come with us, and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good to Israel.” 30 But he said to him, “I will not go, but I will go back to my own land and to my kindred.” 31 He said, “Do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. 32 Moreover, if you go with us, whatever good the Lord does for us, the same we will do for you.”
33 So they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey with the ark of the covenant of the Lord going before them three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them, 34 the cloud of the Lord being over them by day when they set out from the camp.
35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses would say,
“Arise, O Lord, let your enemies be scattered
and your foes flee before you.”
36 And whenever it came to rest, he would say,
“Return, O Lord, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”
Complaining in the Desert
11 Now when the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, the Lord heard it, and his anger was kindled. Then the fire of the Lord burned against them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. 2 But the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire abated. 3 So that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned against them.
4 The camp followers with them had a strong craving, and the Israelites also wept again and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic, 6 but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color was like the color of gum resin. 8 The people went around and gathered it, ground it in mills or beat it in mortars, then boiled it in pots and made cakes of it, and the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. 9 When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna would fall with it.
10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. 11 So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12 Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a wet nurse carries a nursing child, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors’? 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. 15 If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favor in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.”
The Seventy Elders
16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting and have them take their place there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so that you will not bear it all by yourself. 18 And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wailed in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “If only we had meat to eat! Surely it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you—because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” ’ ” 21 But Moses said, “The people I am with number six hundred thousand on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month’! 22 Are there enough flocks and herds to slaughter for them? Are there enough fish in the sea to catch for them?” 23 The Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and he gathered seventy of the elders of the people and placed them all around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders, and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
31 Then a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quails from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits deep on the ground. 32 So the people worked all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quails; the least anyone gathered was ten homers, and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah,[i] because there they buried the people who had the craving. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Paul Thanks God for the Colossians
3 In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. 7 This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, so that you may have all endurance and patience, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Supremacy of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a minister of this gospel.
Paul’s Interest in the Colossians
24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25 I became its minister according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil and strive with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.
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