52 Then the Lord said to Moses, 53 “The land these people will possess must be divided using the list of names from the census. 54 Give more land to larger tribes and less land to smaller ones. Use the totals from the census in giving land to each tribe. 55 But the land must be divided by drawing lots. The tribes will receive their land based on the names of their ancestors. 56 Whether the tribes are large or small, the land must be divided by drawing lots.”
57 The families descended from Levi were listed as the family of Gershon, the family of Kohath, and the family of Merari.
58 These were the families of Levi: the Libnite family, the Hebronite family, the Mahlite family, the Mushite family, and the Korahite family.
Kohath was the ancestor of Amram. 59 The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, who was born in Egypt. She gave birth to Amram’s children: Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam. 60 Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61 But Nadab and Abihu had died because they offered unauthorized fire in the Lord’s presence.
62 The total number of all the Levite males at least one month old was 23,000. They were not counted along with the other Israelites, because they were given no land of their own.
63 Moses and the priest Eleazar added up the total number of Israelites on the plains of Moab near the Jordan River across from Jericho. 64 Among them there wasn’t a single one of the Israelites Moses and the priest Aaron had counted in the Desert of Sinai. 65 The Lord had said, “They must all die in the desert.” The only ones left were Caleb (son of Jephunneh) and Joshua (son of Nun).
A Request from Zelophehad’s Daughters
27 The daughters of Zelophehad, son of Hepher, grandson of Gilead, descendant of Machir, whose father was Manasseh, belonged to the families of Manasseh, son of Joseph. Their names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They came 2 to Moses and stood in front of him, the priest Eleazar, the leaders, and the whole community at the entrance to the tent of meeting. They said, 3 “Our father died in the desert. He was not a part of Korah’s followers who joined forces against the Lord. He died for his own sin and left no sons. 4 Why should our father’s name be allowed to die out in his family because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”
5 So Moses brought their case to the Lord, 6 and the Lord said to him, 7 “Zelophehad’s daughters are right. You must give them property of their own among their father’s relatives. Turn their father’s property over to them.
8 “Tell the Israelites: If a man dies and leaves no sons, turn his property over to his daughters. 9 If he has no daughters, give his property to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his property to his uncles on his father’s side of the family. 11 If he has no uncles, give his property to the nearest relative in his family, and that relative will take possession of it. This will be a rule for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.”
The Lord Appoints Joshua to Succeed Moses
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Go up into the Abarim Mountains, and take a look at the land I will give the Israelites. 13 After you see it, you, too, will join your ancestors in death, as your brother Aaron did. 14 You both rebelled against my command in the Desert of Zin. You didn’t show the people how holy I am when they were complaining at the oasis.” (This was the oasis of Meribah at Kadesh in the Desert of Zin.)
15 Moses said to the Lord, 16 “Lord, you are the God who gives the breath of life to everyone. Please appoint someone over the community 17 who will lead them in and out of battle so that the Lord’s community will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man who has the Spirit, and place your hand on him. 19 Make him stand in front of the priest Eleazar and the whole community, and give him his instructions in their presence. 20 Give him some of your authority so that the whole community of Israel will obey him. 21 He will stand in front of the priest Eleazar, who will use the Urim[a] to make decisions in the Lord’s presence. At his command Joshua and the whole community of Israel will go into battle. And at his command they will return.”
22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand in front of the priest Eleazar and the whole community. 23 Moses placed his hands on Joshua and gave him his instructions as the Lord had told him.
28 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give this command to the Israelites: Be sure to bring me my offerings at the right times. They are my food. They are offerings by fire, a soothing aroma. 3 These are the offerings by fire that you must bring to the Lord. Every day you must bring as a daily burnt offering two one-year-old lambs that have no defects. 4 Offer one in the morning and the other at dusk. 5 With each of them also bring a grain offering of eight cups of flour mixed with one quart of virgin olive oil. 6 This is the daily burnt offering which was established on Mount Sinai. This offering is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord. 7 Also bring a wine offering of one quart of wine for each lamb. Pour it out to the Lord in a holy place. 8 Offer the other lamb at dusk along with the same grain offering and wine offering as you brought in the morning. This is an offering by fire, a soothing aroma to the Lord.
9 “On the day of rest—a holy day, offer two one-year-old lambs that have no defects, a grain offering of 16 cups of flour mixed with olive oil, and the wine offering that goes with it. 10 This burnt offering is for every day of rest—a holy day, in addition to the daily burnt offerings and the wine offerings that go with them.
11 “On the first of every month bring the Lord a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram, and seven one-year-old lambs that have no defects. 12 With each bull there will be a grain offering of 24 cups of flour mixed with olive oil, with each ram a grain offering of 16 cups of flour mixed with olive oil, 13 and with each one-year-old lamb a grain offering of 8 cups of flour mixed with olive oil. This is a burnt offering, a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord. 14 The wine offering that goes with each bull will be 2 quarts of wine, with each ram 1½ quarts of wine, and with each lamb 1 quart of wine. This will be the monthly burnt offering for every month of the year. 15 In addition to the daily burnt offering with its wine offering, one male goat must be offered to the Lord as an offering for sin.
- Numbers 27:21 The Urim and Thummim were used by the chief priest to determine God’s answer to questions.
John Prepares the Way(A)
3 It was the fifteenth year in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea. Herod ruled Galilee, and his brother Philip ruled Iturea and Trachonitis. Lysanias was the ruler of Abilene. 2 It was at the time when Annas and Caiaphas were chief priests that God spoke to John, son of Zechariah, in the desert. 3 John traveled throughout the region around the Jordan River. He told people about a baptism of repentance[a] for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As the prophet Isaiah wrote in his book,
“A voice cries out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord!
Make his paths straight!
5 Every valley will be filled.
Every mountain and hill will be leveled.
The crooked ways will be made straight.
The rough roads will be made smooth.
6 All people will see the salvation that God gives.’”
7 Crowds of people were coming to be baptized by John. He would say to them, “You poisonous snakes! Who showed you how to flee from God’s coming anger? 8 Do those things that prove that you have turned to God and have changed the way you think and act. Don’t say, ‘Abraham is our ancestor.’ I guarantee that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones. 9 The ax is now ready to cut the roots of the trees. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.”
10 The crowds asked him, “What should we do?”
11 He answered them, “Whoever has two shirts should share with the person who doesn’t have any. Whoever has food should share it too.”
12 Some tax collectors came to be baptized. They asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He told them, “Don’t collect more money than you are ordered to collect.”
14 Some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He told them, “Be satisfied with your pay, and never use threats or blackmail to get money from anyone.”
15 People’s hopes were rising as they all wondered whether John was the Messiah. 16 John replied to all of them, “I baptize you with water. But the one who is more powerful than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie his sandal straps. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing[b] shovel is in his hand to clean up his threshing floor.[c] He will gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn the husks in a fire that can never be put out.”
18 With many other encouraging words, he told the Good News to the people.
19 John spoke out against the ruler Herod because Herod had married his own sister-in-law, Herodias. He also spoke out against Herod for all the evil things he had done. 20 So Herod added one more evil to all the others; he locked John in prison.
The Baptism of Jesus(B)
21 When all the people were baptized, Jesus, too, was baptized. While he was praying, heaven opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit came down to him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you.”
For the choir director; on a stringed instrument; by David.
1 Listen to my cry for help, O God.
Pay attention to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth, I call to you
when I begin to lose heart.
Lead me to the rock that is high above me.
3 You have been my refuge,
a tower of strength against the enemy.
4 I would like to be a guest in your tent forever
and to take refuge under the protection of your wings. Selah
5 O God, you have heard my vows.
You have given me the inheritance
that belongs to those who fear your name.
6 Add days upon days to the life of the king.
May his years endure throughout every generation.
7 May he sit enthroned in the presence of God forever.
May mercy and truth protect him.
8 Then I will make music to praise your name forever,
as I keep my vows day after day.
16 A gracious woman wins respect,
but ruthless men gain riches.
17 A merciful person helps himself,
but a cruel person hurts himself.