Cleansing from Skin Diseases
14 And the Lord said to Moses, 2 “The following instructions are for those seeking ceremonial purification from a skin disease.[a] Those who have been healed must be brought to the priest, 3 who will examine them at a place outside the camp. If the priest finds that someone has been healed of a serious skin disease, 4 he will perform a purification ceremony, using two live birds that are ceremonially clean, a stick of cedar,[b] some scarlet yarn, and a hyssop branch. 5 The priest will order that one bird be slaughtered over a clay pot filled with fresh water. 6 He will take the live bird, the cedar stick, the scarlet yarn, and the hyssop branch, and dip them into the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water. 7 The priest will then sprinkle the blood of the dead bird seven times on the person being purified of the skin disease. When the priest has purified the person, he will release the live bird in the open field to fly away.
8 “The persons being purified must then wash their clothes, shave off all their hair, and bathe themselves in water. Then they will be ceremonially clean and may return to the camp. However, they must remain outside their tents for seven days. 9 On the seventh day they must again shave all the hair from their heads, including the hair of the beard and eyebrows. They must also wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water. Then they will be ceremonially clean.
10 “On the eighth day each person being purified must bring two male lambs and a one-year-old female lamb, all with no defects, along with a grain offering of six quarts[c] of choice flour moistened with olive oil, and a cup[d] of olive oil. 11 Then the officiating priest will present that person for purification, along with the offerings, before the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[e] 12 The priest will take one of the male lambs and the olive oil and present them as a guilt offering, lifting them up as a special offering before the Lord. 13 He will then slaughter the male lamb in the sacred area where sin offerings and burnt offerings are slaughtered. As with the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest. It is a most holy offering. 14 The priest will then take some of the blood of the guilt offering and apply it to the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified.
15 “Then the priest will pour some of the olive oil into the palm of his own left hand. 16 He will dip his right finger into the oil in his palm and sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the Lord. 17 The priest will then apply some of the oil in his palm over the blood from the guilt offering that is on the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified. 18 The priest will apply the oil remaining in his hand to the head of the person being purified. Through this process, the priest will purify[f] the person before the Lord.
19 “Then the priest must present the sin offering to purify the person who was cured of the skin disease. After that, the priest will slaughter the burnt offering 20 and offer it on the altar along with the grain offering. Through this process, the priest will purify the person who was healed, and the person will be ceremonially clean.
21 “But anyone who is too poor and cannot afford these offerings may bring one male lamb for a guilt offering, to be lifted up as a special offering for purification. The person must also bring two quarts[g] of choice flour moistened with olive oil for the grain offering and a cup of olive oil. 22 The offering must also include two turtledoves or two young pigeons, whichever the person can afford. One of the pair must be used for the sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 23 On the eighth day of the purification ceremony, the person being purified must bring the offerings to the priest in the Lord’s presence at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 24 The priest will take the lamb for the guilt offering, along with the olive oil, and lift them up as a special offering to the Lord. 25 Then the priest will slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering. He will take some of its blood and apply it to the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified.
26 “The priest will also pour some of the olive oil into the palm of his own left hand. 27 He will dip his right finger into the oil in his palm and sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord. 28 The priest will then apply some of the oil in his palm over the blood from the guilt offering that is on the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the person being purified. 29 The priest will apply the oil remaining in his hand to the head of the person being purified. Through this process, the priest will purify the person before the Lord.
30 “Then the priest will offer the two turtledoves or the two young pigeons, whichever the person can afford. 31 One of them is for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, to be presented along with the grain offering. Through this process, the priest will purify the person before the Lord. 32 These are the instructions for purification for those who have recovered from a serious skin disease but who cannot afford to bring the offerings normally required for the ceremony of purification.”
Treatment of Contaminated Houses
33 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 34 “When you arrive in Canaan, the land I am giving you as your own possession, I may contaminate some of the houses in your land with mildew.[h] 35 The owner of such a house must then go to the priest and say, ‘It appears that my house has some kind of mildew.’ 36 Before the priest goes in to inspect the house, he must have the house emptied so nothing inside will be pronounced ceremonially unclean. 37 Then the priest will go in and examine the mildew on the walls. If he finds greenish or reddish streaks and the contamination appears to go deeper than the wall’s surface, 38 the priest will step outside the door and put the house in quarantine for seven days. 39 On the seventh day the priest must return for another inspection. If he finds that the mildew on the walls of the house has spread, 40 the priest must order that the stones from those areas be removed. The contaminated material will then be taken outside the town to an area designated as ceremonially unclean. 41 Next the inside walls of the entire house must be scraped thoroughly and the scrapings dumped in the unclean place outside the town. 42 Other stones will be brought in to replace the ones that were removed, and the walls will be replastered.
43 “But if the mildew reappears after all the stones have been replaced and the house has been scraped and replastered, 44 the priest must return and inspect the house again. If he finds that the mildew has spread, the walls are clearly contaminated with a serious mildew, and the house is defiled. 45 It must be torn down, and all its stones, timbers, and plaster must be carried out of town to the place designated as ceremonially unclean. 46 Those who enter the house during the period of quarantine will be ceremonially unclean until evening, 47 and all who sleep or eat in the house must wash their clothing.
48 “But if the priest returns for his inspection and finds that the mildew has not reappeared in the house after the fresh plastering, he will pronounce it clean because the mildew is clearly gone. 49 To purify the house the priest must take two birds, a stick of cedar, some scarlet yarn, and a hyssop branch. 50 He will slaughter one of the birds over a clay pot filled with fresh water. 51 He will take the cedar stick, the hyssop branch, the scarlet yarn, and the live bird, and dip them into the blood of the slaughtered bird and into the fresh water. Then he will sprinkle the house seven times. 52 When the priest has purified the house in exactly this way, 53 he will release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. Through this process, the priest will purify the house, and it will be ceremonially clean.
54 “These are the instructions for dealing with serious skin diseases,[i] including scabby sores; 55 and mildew,[j] whether on clothing or in a house; 56 and a swelling on the skin, a rash, or discolored skin. 57 This procedure will determine whether a person or object is ceremonially clean or unclean.
“These are the instructions regarding skin diseases and mildew.”
- 14:2 Traditionally rendered leprosy; see note on 13:2a.
- 14:4 Or juniper; also in 14:6, 49, 51.
- 14:10a Hebrew 3⁄10 of an ephah [6.6 liters].
- 14:10b Hebrew 1 log [0.3 liters]; also in 14:21.
- 14:11 Hebrew Tent of Meeting; also in 14:23.
- 14:18 Or will make atonement for; similarly in 14:19, 20, 21, 29, 31, 53.
- 14:21 Hebrew 1⁄10 of an ephah [2.2 liters].
- 14:34 Traditionally rendered leprosy; see note on 13:47.
- 14:54 Traditionally rendered leprosy; see note on 13:2a.
- 14:55 Traditionally rendered leprosy; see note on 13:47.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
30 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. 33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. 34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. 36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
37 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money[a] to buy food for all these people!”
38 “How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
41 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. 42 They all ate as much as they wanted, 43 and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. 44 A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.[b]
Jesus Walks on Water
45 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. 46 After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
47 Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. 48 He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning[c] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 50 They were all terrified when they saw him.
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here![d]” 51 Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, 52 for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
53 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore 54 and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once, 55 and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]—
you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
7 Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
8 I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.”
9 I have told all your people about your justice.
I have not been afraid to speak out,
as you, O Lord, well know.
10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11 The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
12 Hatred stirs up quarrels,
but love makes up for all offenses.