Duties of the Kohathites
4 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families (clans), by their fathers’ households, 3 from thirty years old and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 4 This is the work and responsibility of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle): the most holy things.
5 “When the camp prepares to move out, Aaron and his sons shall come into the sanctuary and take down [a]the veil (curtain) screening off the Holy of Holies, and cover the ark of the testimony with it; 6 and they shall put on it a covering of [b]porpoise skin (fine leather), and shall spread over that a cloth of pure blue, and shall insert the carrying poles of the ark. 7 Over the table of the bread of the Presence they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the plates, the dishes [for incense], the sacrificial bowls, the jars for the drink offering, and the continual bread [of the Presence] shall be on it. 8 They shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet, and cover that with a covering of porpoise skin, and they shall insert its carrying poles. 9 Then they shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand for the light, along with its lamps, its wick cutters, its trays, and all the oil vessels, by which it is supplied; 10 and they shall put the lampstand and all its utensils in a covering of porpoise skin, and shall put it on the carrying bars. 11 Over the golden [incense] altar they shall spread a blue cloth, and cover it with a covering of porpoise skin, and shall insert its carrying poles; 12 and they shall take all the utensils of the service with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a blue cloth, and cover them with a covering of porpoise skin, and put them on the carrying bars. 13 Then they shall clean away the ashes from the altar [of burnt offering], and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 They shall also put on it all its utensils with which they minister in connection with it: the pans, the meat-forks, the shovels, the basins, and all the utensils of the altar; and they shall spread a covering of porpoise skin over it, and insert its carrying poles. 15 When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all its furniture, as the camp sets out, after all that [is done, but not before], the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them [using the poles], so that they do not touch the holy things, and die. These are the things in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle) which the sons of Kohath are to carry.
16 “The responsibility of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, is the oil for the light, the [c]fragrant incense, the continual grain offering, and the anointing oil—the responsibility of all the tabernacle and everything that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings.”
17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 18 “Do not cut off (eliminate, destroy) the tribe of the families of the Kohathites [who are only Levites and not priests], from among the Levites [by exposing them to the sin of [d]touching the most holy things]. 19 But deal with them in this way, so that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and assign each of them to his [specific] work and to his load [to be carried on the march]. 20 But the Kohathites shall not go in to see the holy things, even for an instant, or they will die.”
Duties of the Gershonites
21 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 22 “Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ households, by their families. 23 From thirty years and upward to fifty years old, you shall number them; all who enter for service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting. 24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in carrying [when on the march]: 25 they shall carry the tent curtains of the tabernacle, and the Tent of Meeting, its covering and the covering of porpoise skin (fine leather) that is on top of it, and the curtain for the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), 26 and the hangings of the courtyard, and the curtain for the entrance of the gate of the courtyard which is around the tabernacle and the altar, and their tent ropes, and all the equipment for their service; and all that is to be done, they shall [e]perform. 27 Aaron and his sons shall direct all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, all they have to carry and all they have to do. You shall assign to them as a duty all that they are to carry [on the march]. 28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); and their duties shall be [f]under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron, the [high] priest.
Duties of the Merarites
29 “As for the sons of Merari, you shall number them by their families (clans), by their fathers’ households; 30 from thirty years and upward to fifty years old, you shall number them, everyone who enters the service to do the work of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 31 This is what they are assigned to carry [on the march], according to all their service in the Tent of Meeting: the boards [for the framework] of the tabernacle and its bars and its pillars and its sockets or bases, 32 and the pillars around the courtyard with their sockets or bases and their pegs and their cords (tent ropes), with all their equipment and with all their [accessories for] service; and you shall assign each man by name the items [g]he is to carry [on the march]. 33 This is the work of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their tasks in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), [h]under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron, the priest.”
34 So Moses and Aaron and the leaders of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites by their families (clans) and by their fathers’ households, 35 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who enters the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 36 the men who were numbered by their families were 2,750. 37 These were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all who did service in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the commandment of the Lord [i]through Moses.
38 The men who were numbered of the sons of Gershon, by their families (clans), and by their fathers’ households, 39 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service to do the work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 40 the men who were numbered by their families, by their fathers’ households, were 2,630. 41 These were numbered men of the families of the sons of Gershon, everyone who served in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle), whom Moses and Aaron numbered just as the Lord had commanded.
42 The men who were numbered of the sons of Merari, by their families (clans), by their fathers’ households, 43 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered the service for work in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 44 the men who were numbered by their families were 3,200. 45 These are the men who were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered in accordance with the commandment of the Lord through Moses.
46 All the men who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted by their families (clans) and by their fathers’ households, 47 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who could enter to do the work of service and the work of carrying in the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle); 48 the men that were numbered were 8,580. 49 According to the commandment of the Lord through Moses, they were numbered, each assigned to his work of serving and carrying. Thus they were numbered by him, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
5 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp every leper and everyone who has a discharge, and whoever is defiled [that is, ceremonially unclean] by [coming in contact with] the dead. 3 You shall send away both male and female; you shall send them outside the camp so that they will not defile their camp where I dwell in their midst.” 4 The Israelites did so, and sent them outside the camp; just as the Lord had said to Moses, so the Israelites did.
5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Say to the Israelites, ‘When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind [against other people], thus breaking faith with the Lord, and that person is guilty, 7 then he shall confess the sin which he has committed, and he shall make restitution for his wrong in full, and add a fifth to it, and give it to [the person] whom he has wronged. 8 But if the man [who was wronged] has no redeemer (relative) to whom the restitution may be made, it is to be given to the Lord for the priest, besides the ram of atonement with which atonement is made for the offender. 9 Also every contribution pertaining to all the holy gifts of the Israelites which they offer to the priest, shall be his. 10 And every man’s holy gifts shall be the priest’s; whatever any man gives the priest, it becomes his.’”
The Adultery Test
11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray (deviates) and is unfaithful to him, 13 and a man is intimate with her, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and it is kept secret, although she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act, 14 and if a spirit (sense, attitude) of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous and angry at his wife who has defiled herself—or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself— 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest, and he shall bring as an offering for her, a tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it [the symbols of favor and joy], because it is a grain offering of jealousy, a memorial grain offering, a reminder of [the consequences of] wickedness.
16 ‘Then the priest shall have her approach and have her stand before the Lord, 17 and the priest shall take holy water [from the sacred basin] in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it in the water. 18 The priest shall then have the woman stand before the Lord, and let the hair of the woman’s head hang loose, and put the memorial grain offering in her hands, which is the jealousy offering, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall have her take an oath and say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness [while married], then be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse; 20 but if you have gone astray [while married] and you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has been intimate with you” 21 (then the priest shall have the woman swear the oath of the curse, and say to the woman), “The Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people when the Lord makes your thigh [j]waste away and your abdomen swell; 22 and this water that brings a curse shall go into your stomach, and make your abdomen swell and your thigh waste away.” And the woman shall say, “Amen. Amen (so let it be).”
23 ‘The priest shall then write these curses on a scroll and shall wash them off into the water of bitterness; 24 and he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings a curse, and the water that brings the curse will go into her and cause bitterness. 25 Then the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy out of the woman’s hand, and he shall wave the grain offering before the Lord and offer it on the altar. 26 Then the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering as the memorial portion of it and offer it up in smoke on the altar, and afterward he shall make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, that if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the curse water will go into her and cause bitterness and cause her abdomen to swell and her thigh to waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she will be free and conceive children.
29 ‘This is the law of jealousy: when a wife goes astray [while married] and defiles herself, 30 or when a spirit (sense, attitude) of jealousy and suspicion comes on a man and he is jealous of his wife; then he shall have the woman stand before the Lord, and the priest shall apply this law to her. 31 Further, the husband will be free from guilt, but that woman [if guilty] shall bear her guilt.’”
- Numbers 4:5 Lit the veil of the curtain.
- Numbers 4:6 The meaning of the Hebrew word is not certain; some scholars have suggested that the material is instead a fine leather of unspecified origin.
- Numbers 4:16 Or incense of spices.
- Numbers 4:18 The Kohathites would die if they touched the holy things unless some provision was made for them.
- Numbers 4:26 Lit serve.
- Numbers 4:28 Lit in the hand of.
- Numbers 4:32 Lit the duty of their loads.
- Numbers 4:33 Lit in the hand of.
- Numbers 4:37 Lit by the hand of.
- Numbers 5:21 Lit fall.
18 Some Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection) came to Him, and began questioning Him, saying,(A) 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us [a law] that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but leaves no child, his brother is to [a]marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.(B) 20 There were seven brothers; the first [one] took a wife, and died leaving no children. 21 The second brother married her, and died leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 and so all seven [married her and died, and] left no children. Last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? For all seven [brothers] were married to her.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not why you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures [that teach the resurrection] nor the power of God [who is able to raise the dead]? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they do not marry nor are they given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the raising of the dead, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?(C) 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken and you are deceiving yourselves!”
28 Then one of the scribes [an expert in Mosaic Law] came up and listened to them arguing [with one another], and noticing that Jesus answered them well, asked Him, “Which commandment is first and most important of all?”(D) 29 Jesus answered, “The first and most important one is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’(E) 31 This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] [b]love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”(F) 32 The scribe said to Him, “Admirably answered, Teacher; You truthfully stated that He is One, and there is no other but Him; 33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to [unselfishly] love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”(G) 34 When Jesus saw that he answered thoughtfully and intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one would dare to ask Him any more questions.
35 Jesus began to say, as He taught in [a portico or court of] the temple, “[c]How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?(H) 36 David himself said [when inspired] by the Holy Spirit,
‘The Lord (the Father) said to my Lord (the Son, the Messiah),
“Sit at My right hand,
Until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’(I)
37 David himself calls Him (the Son, the Messiah) ‘Lord’; so how can it be that He is [d]David’s Son?” The large crowd enjoyed hearing Jesus and listened to Him with delight.
- Mark 12:19 The purpose of this was to carry on the family line and keep property within the family.
- Mark 12:31 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
- Mark 12:35 It is no coincidence that Jesus raises this question after His preceding discussion with the lawyer/scribe. Matthew (22:35) notes that the lawyer had questioned Jesus to test Him. His goal was to extract from Jesus the admission that there is only one God (see v 32), and eventually to use that admission against Him when He claimed to be the Son of God and therefore God Himself. In reality, Jesus had admitted nothing that posed a problem for the concept of one God existing as three distinct Persons, and He drew attention to this fact by raising the issue of David’s relationship to the Messiah.
- Mark 12:37 Lit his.
The Beauty and Glory of Zion.
A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.
48 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
Fair and beautiful in elevation, the joy of all the earth,
Is Mount Zion [the City of David] in the far north,
The city of the great King.(A)
God, in her palaces,
Has made Himself known as a stronghold.
For, lo, the kings assembled themselves,
They [came and] passed by together.
They saw it, then they were amazed;
They were stricken with terror, they fled in alarm.
Panic seized them there,
And pain, as that of a woman in childbirth.
With the east wind
You shattered the ships of Tarshish.
As we have heard, so have we seen
In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God:
God will establish her forever. Selah.
We have thought of Your lovingkindness, O God,
In the midst of Your temple.
As is Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness (rightness, justice).
Let Mount Zion be glad,
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your [righteous] judgments.
Walk about Zion, go all around her;
Count her towers,
Consider her ramparts,
Go through her palaces,
That you may tell the next generation [about her glory].
For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide even until death.
Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy one to those who send him to work.