Arrangement of the Camps
2 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the [a]banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), but at a distance. 3 Those who camp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the [b]standard of the camp of Judah, by their armies; and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall lead the sons of Judah, 4 and his army as numbered totaled 74,600. 5 Next to Judah [on the east side] the tribe of Issachar shall encamp; and Nethanel the son of Zuar shall lead the sons of Issachar, 6 and his army as numbered totaled 54,400. 7 Then [also on the east side] the tribe of Zebulun; and Eliab the son of Helon shall lead the sons of Zebulun, 8 and his army as numbered totaled 57,400. 9 The total of the numbered men [in the three tribes on the east side] in the camp of Judah was 186,400, by their armies. They shall move out first [on the march].
10 “On the south side shall be the [c]standard of the camp of Reuben, by their armies; and Elizur the son of Shedeur shall lead the sons of Reuben, 11 and his army as numbered totaled 46,500. 12 Those who camp next to Reuben [on the south side] shall be the tribe of Simeon; and Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai shall lead the sons of Simeon, 13 and his army as numbered totaled 59,300. 14 Then [completing the south side] the tribe of Gad; and Eliasaph the son of Reuel (Deuel) shall lead the sons of Gad, 15 and his army as numbered totaled 45,650. 16 The total of the numbered men [in the three tribes on the south side] in the camp of Reuben was 151,450, by their armies. They shall move out second [on the march].
17 “Then the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle) shall move out with the camp of the Levites in the middle of the [other] camps; just as they camp so shall they move out, every man in his place by their standards.
18 “On the west side shall be the [d]standard of the camp of Ephraim, by their armies; and Elishama the son of Ammihud shall lead the sons of Ephraim, 19 and his army as numbered totaled 40,500. 20 Beside Ephraim [on the west side] shall be the tribe of Manasseh; and Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur shall lead the sons of Manasseh, 21 and his army as numbered totaled 32,200. 22 Then [completing the west side shall be] the tribe of Benjamin; and Abidan the son of Gideoni shall lead the sons of Benjamin, 23 and his army as numbered totaled 35,400. 24 The total of the numbered men [of the three tribes on the west side] in the camp of Ephraim was 108,100, by their armies. They shall move out in third place.
25 “On the north side shall be the [e]standard of the camp of Dan, by their armies; and Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai shall lead the sons of Dan, 26 and his army as numbered totaled 62,700. 27 Encamped next to Dan [on the north side] shall be the tribe of Asher; and Pagiel the son of Ochran shall lead the sons of Asher, 28 and his army as numbered totaled 41,500. 29 Then [completing the north side] comes the tribe of Naphtali; and Ahira the son of Enan shall lead the sons of Naphtali, 30 and his army as numbered totaled 53,400. 31 The total of the numbered men [of the three tribes on the north side] in the camp of Dan was 157,600. They shall move out last, [f]standard after standard.”
32 These are the men of the Israelites [twenty years old and upward] as numbered by their fathers’ households. The total of the numbered men of the camps by their armies, 603,550. 33 But the Levites were not numbered with the [other] Israelites, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 34 Thus the Israelites did [as ordered]; according to everything the Lord had commanded Moses, so they camped by their standards, and so they moved out, everyone with his family (clan), according to his fathers’ household.
Levites to Be Priesthood
3 Now these are the records of the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day when the Lord spoke [by special revelation] with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests who were anointed, whom Aaron [g]consecrated and ordained to minister in the priest’s office. 4 But Nadab and Abihu died in the presence of the Lord when they offered strange (unholy, unacceptable, inappropriate) fire before the Lord in the Wilderness of Sinai; and they had no sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests [h]in the presence and under the supervision of Aaron their father.(A)
5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Bring the tribe of Levi near and present them before Aaron the priest, so that they may serve him. 7 They shall carry out the duties for him and for the whole congregation before the Tent of Meeting, doing the service of the tabernacle. 8 They shall also take care of all the furnishings and utensils of the Tent of Meeting, and [attend to] the duties of the Israelites, doing the service of the tabernacle. 9 You shall give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons [as servants and helpers]; they are to be given wholly to him from among the Israelites. 10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall observe and attend to their priesthood; but the layman (non-Levite) who approaches [the holy things] shall be put to death.”
11 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of and as a substitute for every firstborn, that is, the first that opens the womb among the Israelites. So the Levites shall be Mine, 13 for all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and animal. They shall be mine; I am the Lord.”
14 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15 “Number the sons of Levi by their fathers’ households, by their families (clans). You shall number every male from a month old and upward.” 16 So Moses numbered them just as he was commanded by the word (mouth) of the Lord. 17 These are the [three] sons of Levi by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18 These are the names of the [two] sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei; 19 and the [four] sons of Kohath by their families: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; 20 and the [two] sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites by their fathers’ households.
21 Of Gershon were the families of the Libnites and of the Shimeites. These are the families of the Gershonites. 22 The males who were numbered, every male from a month old and upward totaled 7,500. 23 The families of the Gershonites were to camp behind the tabernacle on the west, 24 and the leader of the fathers’ households of the Gershonites was Eliasaph the son of Lael.
Duties of the Levites
25 Now the responsibilities of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting involved the tabernacle and the tent, its covering, and the curtain for the doorway of the Tent of Meeting, 26 and the hangings of the courtyard, the curtain for the doorway of the courtyard which is around the tabernacle and the altar, its tent ropes, and all the service [i]concerning them.
27 Of Kohath were the families of the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites; these are the families of the Kohathites. 28 The males who were numbered, every male from a month old and upward totaled [j]8,600, attending to the duties of the sanctuary. 29 The families of the sons of Kohath were to camp on the south side of the tabernacle, 30 and the leader of the fathers’ households of the families of the Kohathites was Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 31 Now their responsibilities involved the ark, the table [on which the bread of the Presence was placed], the lampstand, the altars, the utensils of the sanctuary with which the priests minister, and the curtain, and all the service concerning them. 32 Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, was chief of the leaders of the Levites; he supervised those who performed the duties of the sanctuary.
33 Of Merari were the families of the Mahlites and the Mushites; these are the families of Merari. 34 The males who were numbered, every male from a month old and upward totaled 6,200. 35 The leader of the fathers’ households of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. The Merarites were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle. 36 Now the appointed responsibilities of the sons of Merari involved the frames of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets or bases, and all the equipment, and all the service concerning them, 37 and the pillars around the courtyard with their bases and their pegs and their cords (tent ropes).
38 Now those to camp before the tabernacle toward the east, before the Tent of Meeting, toward the sunrise, were to be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, performing the duties of the sanctuary for whatever was required of the Israelites; and the [k]layman (non-Levite) who approached [the sanctuary] was to be put to death. 39 All the men of the Levites whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the [l]command of the Lord, by their families, every male from a month old and upward, were 22,000.
40 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Number every firstborn male of the Israelites from a month old and upward, and [m]make a list of their names. 41 You shall take the Levites for Me instead of and as a substitute for all the firstborn among the Israelites. I am the Lord; and you shall take the cattle of the Levites instead of and as a substitute for all the firstborn among the cattle of the Israelites.” 42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the Israelites, just as the Lord had commanded him; 43 and all the firstborn males from a month old and upward as numbered were 22,273 [273 more than the Levites].
44 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites [for Me] instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle. And the Levites shall be Mine. I am the Lord. 46 For the ransom (redemption price) of the 273 of the firstborn of the Israelites who outnumber the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head, you shall take them in terms of the sanctuary shekel (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom (redemption price) of those who outnumber the Levites to Aaron and to his sons.” 49 So Moses took the ransom (redemption) money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites; 50 from the firstborn of the Israelites he took the money in terms of the sanctuary shekel, 1,365 shekels. 51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons at the command of the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
- Numbers 2:2 Each of the twelve tribes had a colored banner. The tribes were organized into groups of three. The leading tribe in each triad had a standard representing their group.
- Numbers 2:3 The standard of the tribes of Judah contained the picture of a lion.
- Numbers 2:10 The standard of the tribes headed by Reuben contained the picture of a man.
- Numbers 2:18 The standard of the tribes headed by Ephraim contained the picture of an ox.
- Numbers 2:25 The standard of the tribes headed by Dan contained the picture of an eagle.
- Numbers 2:31 The symbol on the various tribal standards seems important in view of the cherubim of Ezek 1:10, and in view of the living creatures of Rev 4:7. God was present in each of these settings.
- Numbers 3:3 Lit filled their hand.
- Numbers 3:4 Lit before the face.
- Numbers 3:26 Lit of it.
- Numbers 3:28 Some suspect that this count should be 8,300 which, when added to the 7,500 of v 22 and the 6,200 of v 34 gives the total of 22,000 in v 39. Unless the figure there was rounded, the number here may have been a copyist’s error (omitting just one letter between two that are the same in Hebrew).
- Numbers 3:38 This ban against “the layman” or “the unauthorized” from coming near the sanctuary (the sacred tent, the tabernacle proper) should not be construed as discrimination against people who were not Israelites. It included everyone except the ordained descendants of Levi of the house of Aaron. The tabernacle proper was made up of two small rooms which no one except the priest or priests who had the assignment was ever to enter. The congregation entered the outside enclosure (the courtyard) only. This was true also of the later temples. Neither Jesus nor any of his disciples or Paul ever entered the sanctuary. When Jesus “taught in the temple” or “entered into the temple,” the Greek word invariably indicates that He was in the temple enclosure (hieron) and not in the sanctuary (naos). A violation of this ban is recorded in 2 Chr 26:16-21. King Uzziah attempted to enter the sanctuary to burn incense. While he was being confronted and restrained by Azariah the priest and eighty others he broke out in leprosy. He remained a leper for the rest of his life.
- Numbers 3:39 Lit mouth.
- Numbers 3:40 Lit take the number of.
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
27 They came again to Jerusalem. And as Jesus was walking in the [courts and porches of the] temple, the [a]chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him,(A) 28 and began saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John [the Baptist] from heaven [that is, ordained by God] or from men? Answer Me.” 31 They began discussing it with each other, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 But [b]shall we say, ‘From men?’” —they were afraid [to answer because] of the crowd, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet. 33 So they replied to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Parable of the Vineyard Owner
12 Jesus began to speak to them [the chief priests, scribes and elders who were questioning Him] in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a [c]wall around it, and dug a pit for the wine press and built a tower; and he rented it out to tenant farmers and left the country.(B) 2 When the harvest season came he sent a [d]servant to the tenants, in order to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 They took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another servant, and they [threw stones and] wounded him in the head, and treated him disgracefully. 5 And he sent another, and that one they killed; then many others—some they beat and some they killed. 6 He still had one man left to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to each other, ‘This man is the heir! Come on, let us kill him [and destroy the evidence], and his inheritance will be ours!’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw his body outside the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders regarded as unworthy and rejected,
This [very stone] has become the chief Cornerstone
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous and wonderful in our eyes’?”(C)
12 And they were looking for a way to seize Him, but they were afraid of the crowd; for they knew that He spoke this parable in reference to [and as a charge against] them. And so they left Him and went away.
Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes
13 Then they sent some of the [e]Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus in order to trap Him into making a statement [that they could use against Him].(D) 14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and have no personal bias toward anyone; for You are not influenced by outward appearances or social status, but in truth You teach the way of God. Is it lawful [according to Jewish law and tradition] to pay the [f]poll-tax to [[g]Tiberius] Caesar, or not? 15 Should we pay [the tax] or should we not pay?” But knowing their hypocrisy, He asked them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a [h]coin (denarius) to look at.” 16 So they brought one. Then He asked them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were greatly amazed at Him.
- Mark 11:27 These three groups composed the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court.
- Mark 11:32 Or if we say.
- Mark 12:1 It was commonplace to pile up loose rocks to serve as a low wall around one’s property.
- Mark 12:2 The servants represent the prophets sent to Israel by God.
- Mark 12:13 This was an unlikely alliance since the Pharisees were a strict religious sect while the Herodians were not religious and supported the rule of Caesar.
- Mark 12:14 Every Jew was required to pay the poll-tax. It was considered a sign of subservience to Rome.
- Mark 12:14 See note Matt 22:21.
- Mark 12:15 A day’s wages for a laborer.
God the King of the Earth.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
47 O clap your hands, all you people;
Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared [and worshiped with awe-inspired reverence and obedience];
He is a great King over all the earth.
He subdues peoples under us
And nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us,
The glory and excellence of Jacob whom He loves.(A) Selah.
God has ascended amid shouting,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding.
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
The princes of the people have gathered together as the people of the God of Abraham,
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is highly exalted.