The Lamp and the Bread of the Sanctuary
24 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel to bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light [of the golden lampstand], to make a lamp burn continually. 3 Outside the veil of the Testimony [between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place] in the Tent of Meeting, Aaron shall always keep the lamps [a]burning before the Lord from evening until morning; it shall be a permanent statute throughout your generations. 4 He shall keep the lamps burning on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord continually.(A)
5 “Then you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes (bread of the Presence, showbread) with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake (loaf). 6 You shall set the bread of the Presence (showbread) in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. 7 You shall put pure frankincense [in two censers, one] beside each row, so that it may be with the bread as a memorial portion, an offering by fire to the Lord. 8 Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange the showbread before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the Israelites. 9 The bread of the Presence shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a sacred place, for it is for Aaron a most holy portion of the offerings by fire to the Lord, his portion forever.”
10 Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the Israelites, and he and a man of Israel quarreled and struggled with each other in the camp. 11 The Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name [of the Lord] and cursed. So they brought him to Moses. (Now his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) 12 They put him in custody until the will and command of the Lord might be made clear to them.
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 14 “Bring the one who has cursed [the Lord] outside the camp, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head [as witnesses to his guilt]; then let all the congregation stone him. 15 You shall speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘Whoever curses his God will bear his sin [through his own death]. 16 Further, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall most certainly be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him. The stranger as well as the native-born shall be put to death when he blasphemes the Name [of the Lord].
“An Eye for an Eye”
17 ‘If a man takes the life of any human being [unlawfully], he shall most certainly be put to death. 18 The one who kills an animal shall replace it, animal for animal. 19 If a man injures his neighbor (fellow citizen), whatever he has done shall be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so shall the same be done to him.(B) 21 The one who kills an animal shall replace it; but he who kills a human being [unlawfully] shall be put to death. 22 You shall have one standard of law for the stranger among you as well as for the native, for I am the Lord your God.’” 23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they brought the one who had cursed [the Lord] outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The Sabbatic Year and Year of Jubilee
25 The Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I am giving you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop. 4 But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow [seed in] your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 Whatever reseeds itself (uncultivated) in your harvest you shall not reap, nor shall you gather the grapes from your uncultivated vine, it shall be a year of sabbatical rest for the land. 6 And all of you shall have for food whatever the [untilled] land produces during its Sabbath year; yourself, and your male and female slaves, your hired servant, and the foreigners who reside among you, 7 even your domestic animals and the [wild] animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.
The Year of Jubilee
8 ‘You are also to count off seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven Sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall sound the ram’s horn everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month (almost October); on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year and [b]proclaim freedom [for the slaves] throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee (year of remission) for you, and each of you shall return to his own [ancestral] property [that was sold to another because of poverty], and each of you shall return to his family [from whom he was separated by bondage]. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee for you; you shall not sow [seed], nor reap what reseeds itself, nor gather the grapes of the uncultivated vines. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its crops out of the field.
13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his own [ancestral] property. 14 If you sell anything to your friend or buy from your friend, you shall not wrong one another. 15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee, you shall [c]buy from your friend. And he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops [which may be harvested before you must restore the property to him]. 16 If the years [until the next Jubilee] are many, you shall increase the price, but if the years remaining are few, you shall reduce the price, because it is the number of crops that he is selling to you. 17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God [with profound reverence]; for I am the Lord your God.
18 ‘Therefore you shall carry out My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them, so that you may live securely on the land. 19 Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 And if you say, “What are we going to eat in the seventh year if we do not sow [seed] or gather in our crops?” 21 then [this is My answer:] I will order My [special] blessing for you in the sixth year, so that it will produce [sufficient] crops for three years. 22 When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crops, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in.
The Law of Redemption
23 ‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; you are [only] foreigners and temporary residents with Me.(C) 24 So in all the country that you possess, you are to provide for the redemption of the land [in the Year of Jubilee].
25 ‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell some of his property, then his nearest relative is to come and buy back (redeem) what his relative has sold. 26 Or in case a man has no relative [to redeem his property], but he has become more prosperous and has enough to buy it back, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his [ancestral] property.(D) 28 But if [d]he is unable to redeem it, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of the purchaser until the Year of Jubilee; but at the Jubilee it shall revert, and he may return to his property.
29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then his right of redemption remains valid for a full year after its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year. 30 But if it is not redeemed for him within a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently and irrevocably to the purchaser throughout his generations. It does not revert back in the Year of Jubilee. 31 The houses of the villages that have no surrounding walls, however, shall be considered as open fields. They may be redeemed, and revert in the Year of Jubilee. 32 As for the cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses in the cities which they possess. 33 Therefore, what is [purchased] from the Levites may be redeemed [by a Levite], and the house that was sold in the city they possess reverts in the Year of Jubilee, for the houses in the Levite cities are their [ancestral] property among the Israelites. 34 But the pasture lands of their cities may not be sold, for that is their permanent possession.
Of Poor Countrymen
35 ‘Now if your fellow countryman becomes poor and his hand falters with you [that is, he has trouble repaying you for something], then you are to help and sustain him, [with courtesy and consideration] like [you would] a stranger or a temporary resident [without property], so that he may live among you.(E) 36 Do not charge him usurious interest, but fear your God [with profound reverence], so your countryman may [continue to] live among you. 37 You shall not give him your money at interest, nor your food at a profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39 ‘And if your fellow countryman becomes so poor [in his dealings] with you that he sells himself to you [as payment for a debt], you shall not let him do the work of a slave [who is ineligible for redemption], 40 but he is to be with you as a hired man, as if he were a temporary resident; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee, 41 and then he shall leave you, he and his children with him, and shall go back to his own family and return to the property of his fathers. 42 For the Israelites are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold in a slave sale.(F) 43 You shall not rule over him with harshness (severity, oppression), but you are to fear your God [with profound reverence].(G) 44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. 45 Moreover, from the children of the strangers who live as aliens among you, from them you may buy slaves and from their families who are with you, whom they have produced in your land; they may become your possession. 46 You may even bequeath them as an inheritance to your children after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your fellow countrymen, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with harshness (severity, oppression).
- Leviticus 24:3 Lit it in order.
- Leviticus 25:10 The quote on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is from this verse and reads, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
- Leviticus 25:15 The transfer of land in Israel was more like a lease than an outright purchase. Since all property reverted to the original owner at the Jubilee year, the purchaser would pay a price only for the years of use remaining until the next Jubilee.
- Leviticus 25:28 Lit his hand has not found enough.
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 People were bringing children to Him so that He would touch and bless them, but the disciples reprimanded them and discouraged them [from coming]. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and He said to them, “Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 16 And He took the children [one by one] in His arms and [a]blessed them [with kind, encouraging words], placing His hands on them.
The Rich Young Ruler
17 As He was leaving on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, “Good Teacher [You who are essentially good and morally perfect], what shall I do to inherit eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?”(A) 18 Jesus said to him, “[b]Why do you call Me good? No one is [essentially] good [by nature] except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not testify falsely, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”(B) 20 And he replied to Him, “Teacher, I have [carefully] kept all these [commandments] since my [c]youth.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love (high regard, compassion) for him, and He said to him, “You lack one thing: go and sell all your property and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22 But the man was saddened at Jesus’ words, and he left grieving, because he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God].
23 Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who are wealthy [and cling to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were [d]amazed and bewildered by His words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is [for those who place their hope and confidence in riches] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth or status] to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were completely and utterly astonished, and said to Him, “Then who can be saved [from the wrath of God]?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
28 Peter started saying to Him, “Look, we have given up everything and followed You [becoming Your disciples and accepting You as Teacher and Lord].” 29 Jesus said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has given up a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 who will not receive a hundred times as much now in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms—along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
- Mark 10:16 The basic meaning of the Greek word found here for “blessed” is to speak kindly of someone. Jesus was probably giving the children encouragement as only He could, with His infallible knowledge of each child’s future.
- Mark 10:18 Jesus was affirming His deity by challenging the man to recognize Him as Messiah.
- Mark 10:20 After reaching the age of thirteen a Jewish boy was personally responsible for keeping the Law.
- Mark 10:24 What Jesus said ran contrary to the conventional wisdom among the Jews (and other ancient peoples). It was commonly thought that wealthy people who did their duty financially to the poor and their community were assured entry into the kingdom of God.
But now You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor,
And You do not go out with our armies [to lead us to victory].
You make us turn back from the enemy,
And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.
You have made us like sheep to be eaten [as mutton]
And have scattered us [in exile] among the nations.
You sell Your people cheaply,
And have not increased Your wealth by their sale.
You have made us the reproach and taunt of our neighbors,
A scoffing and a derision to those around us.
You make us a byword among the nations,
A [a]laughingstock among the people.
My dishonor is before me all day long,
And humiliation has covered my face,
Because of the voice of the taunter and reviler,
Because of the presence of the enemy and the avenger.
All this has come upon us, yet we have not forgotten You,
Nor have we been false to Your covenant [which You made with our fathers].
Our heart has not turned back,
Nor have our steps wandered from Your path,
Yet You have [distressingly] crushed us in the place of jackals
And covered us with [the deep darkness of] the shadow of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
Or stretched out our hands to a strange god,
Would not God discover this?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
[b]But for Your sake we are killed all the day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.(A)
Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord?
Awaken, do not reject us forever.
Why do You hide Your face
And forget our affliction and our oppression?
For our life has melted away into the dust;
Our body clings to the ground.
Rise up! Come be our help,
And ransom us for the sake of Your steadfast love.
- Psalm 44:14 Lit shaking of the head.
- Psalm 44:22 The ancient rabbis applied this verse to Israel under persecution, especially to those who suffered under the reign of Hadrian following the Bar Cochba revolt (a.d. 132-135). One rabbi said that he was ready to die for God provided that he be killed immediately, because he could not endure the tortures of what was called “the great persecution.” The tortures included placing red-hot iron discs under the victim’s armpits or sticking needles under the nails until the victim died from the pain (shock).
The tongue of the righteous is like precious silver (greatly valued);
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
The lips of the righteous feed and guide many,
But fools [who reject God and His wisdom] die for lack of understanding.