Week 10, Day 4 in the LEB

Mar 7, 2024

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The reading for today is Numbers 19-21; Colossians 4.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

Numbers 19

And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, "This is the decree of the law that Yahweh has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the Israelites and let them take to you a red heifer without a physical defect, on which a yoke has not been placed. And you will give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will be brought out to a place outside the camp, and it will be slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest will take some of its blood on his finger and spatter it toward the mouth of the tent of assembly seven times. The heifer will be burned in his sight; its skin, its meat, and its blood, in addition to its offal, will burn. The priest will take cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson thread, and he will throw them in the midst of the burning heifer. The priest will wash his garments and his body in the water, and afterward he will come to the camp; the priest will be unclean until the evening. The one who burns it will wash his garments and his body in water; he will be unclean until the evening. A clean man will gather the ashes of the heifer, and he will put them in a clean place outside the camp; it will be for the community of the Israelites as a requirement for waters of impurity; it is a purification offering. The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer will wash his garments; he will be unclean until evening. It will be an eternal decree for the Israelites and for one who dwells as an alien in their midst.

"‘The one who touches a corpse of any person will be unclean for seven days. He will purify himself on the third day, and on the seventh day he will be clean. If he does not purify himself on the third day, he will not be clean on the seventh day. Anyone who touches a corpse, the person of a human being who died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh, and that person will be cut off from Israel because the waters of impurity were not sprinkled on him. He will still be unclean, and uncleanness is on him.

"‘This is the law of a person who dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and all who are in the tent will be unclean seven days. Every container that is opened that does not have a lid cord on it is unclean. Anyone in the open field who touches one who has been slain, or a corpse, or a bone of a person, or a burial site, he will be unclean for seven days. For the unclean person they will take from the powder of the burnt purification offering, and they will put running water into a container. A clean person will take hyssop and dip it into the water and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the objects and persons who were there, and on one who touched the bone, or the one slain, or the dead, or the burial site. The clean person will spatter the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he will purify him, and he will wash his garments; he will bathe in the waters, and in the evening he will be clean. But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person will be cut off from the midst of the assembly because he defiled the sanctuary of Yahweh; the water of impurity was not sprinkled on him; he is unclean.

"‘It will be an eternal decree for them. The one who spatters the waters of impurity will wash his garments, and the one who touches the waters of impurity will be unclean until the evening. Anything that the unclean person touches will be unclean, and the person who touches it will be unclean until the evening.’"

Numbers 20

Then the entire community of the Israelites came to the desert of Zin on the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; Miriam died and was buried there.

There was no water for the community, and they were gathered before Moses and Aaron. And the people quarreled with Moses and spoke, saying, "If only we died when our brothers were dying before Yahweh! Why have you brought the assembly of Yahweh, us and our livestock, into this desert to die here? Why have you brought us from Egypt to bring us to this bad place? It is not a place of seed or figs or vines or pomegranate trees, and there is not water to drink." And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of assembly. They fell on their faces, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to them. Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "Take the staff and summon the community, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give water. Bring out for them water from the rock, and let the community and their livestock drink."

So Moses took the staff from before Yahweh just as he command him, and Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly to the presence of the rock, and he said to them, "Please listen, you rebels; can we bring out water for you from this rock?" Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice. And abundant water went out, and the community and their livestock drank. But Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not trusted in me, to regard me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land that I have given to them." Those were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with Yahweh, and he showed himself holy among them.

From Kadesh Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom: "Thus your brother Israel has said, ‘You know all the hardship that has found us; our ancestors went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors. Then we cried to Yahweh, and he heard our voice; he sent an angel and brought us out from Egypt. And look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. Please let us go through your land. We will not go through a field or vineyard, and we will not drink water from a well. We will go along the road of the king; we will not turn aside right or left until we have gone through your territory.’"

Then Edom said to him, "You will not pass through us lest we will go out to meet you with the sword." The Israelites said to him, "We will go up on the main road, and if we and our livestock drink your water, we will pay for it. It is only a small matter; let us pass through on our feet." But he said, "You will not go through." And Edom went out to meet them with a large army and a strong hand. So Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, and Israel turned aside from him.

And they set out from Kadesh. The Israelites, the whole community, came to Mount Hor. Yahweh said to Moses and to Aaron on Mount Hor, on the boundary of the land of Edom, saying, "Let Aaron be gathered to his people; he will not come into the land that I have given to the Israelites because you rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah. Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and take them up Mount Hor. Strip off Aaron’s garments, and put them on Eleazar his son; Aaron will be gathered to his people, and he will die there." So Moses did just as Yahweh commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor before the eyes of all the community. And Moses stripped off Aaron’s garments and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron died there on the top of the mountain; and Moses and Eleazar went down from the mountain. All the community saw that Aaron died; so all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.

Numbers 21

The Canaanite king of Arad, who was dwelling in the Negev, heard that Israel came along the way of Atharim; he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. Israel made a vow to Yahweh, and they said, "If you will surely give this people into our hand, then we will destroy their cities." Yahweh heard the voice of Israel; he gave to them the Canaanites, and they destroyed them and their cities. They called the name of the place Hormah.

They set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient along the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the desert? There is no food and no water, and our hearts detest this miserable food."

And Yahweh sent among the people poisonous snakes; they bit the people, and many people from Israel died. The people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned because we have spoken against Yahweh and against you. Pray to Yahweh and let him remove the snakes from among us." So Moses prayed for the people. And Yahweh said to Moses, "Make for yourself a snake and place it on a pole. When anyone is bitten and looks at it, that person will live." So Moses made a snake of bronze, and he placed it on the pole; whenever a snake bit someone, and that person looked at the snake of bronze, he lived.

The Israelites set out and encamped at Oboth. They set out from Oboth and encamped at Iye Abarim in the desert, which was in front of Moab toward the sunrise. From there they set out and encamped at the valley of Zered. From there they set out and encamped beyond Arnon, which is in the desert that goes out from the boundary of the Amorites, because Arnon is the boundary of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. Therefore thus it is said in the scroll of the Wars of Yahweh,

"Waheb in Suphah,
    and the wadis of Arnon,
and the slope of the wadis
    that spreads out to the dwelling of Ar
and lies at the boundary of Moab."

From there they went to Beer, which is the water well where Yahweh spoke to Moses, "Gather the people, that I may give them water." Then Israel sang this song, "Arise, well water! Sing to it! Well water that the princes dug, that the leaders of the people dug, with a staff and with their rods." And from the desert they continued to Mattanah, and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the territory of Moab, by the top of Pisgah, which overlooks the surface of the wasteland.

Israel sent messengers to Sihon, the king of the Amorites, saying, "Let us go through your land; we will not turn aside into a field or vineyard; we will not drink well water along the way of the king until we have gone through your territory." But Sihon did not allow Israel to go through his territory. Sihon gathered all his people and went out to meet Israel; he came to the desert, to Jahaz, and he fought against Israel. But Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and they took possession of his land from Arnon to Jabbok, until the Ammonites, because the boundary of the Ammonites was strong. Israel took all these cities, and Israel inhabited all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its environs. Because Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land from his hand until Arnon. Thus the ones who quote proverbs say,

"Come to Heshbon! Let it be built!
    And let the city of Sihon be established.
Because fire went out from Heshbon,
    a flame from the city of Sihon;
it consumed Ar of Moab,
    the lords of the high places of Arnon.
Woe to you, Moab!
    You have perished, people of Chemosh.
He has given his sons as fugitives,
    and his daughters into captivity,
to the king of the Amorites, Sihon.
    We destroyed them;
Heshbon has perished up to Dibon;
    we laid waste up to Nophah,
which reaches Medeba."

Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. Moses sent to explore Jaazer; they captured its environs and dispossessed the Amorites who were there.

Then they turned and went up by the way of the Bashan, and Og king of the Bashan and all his people went out to meet them for battle at Edrei. And Yahweh said to Moses, "Do not fear him because I will give him and all his people and all his land into your hand. You will do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who was living in Heshbon." And so they destroyed him and his sons, and all his people until they had not spared a survivor; and they took possession of his land.

Colossians 4

Masters, grant your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you also have a master in heaven.

Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving, praying at the same time for us also, that God may open for us a door of the message, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which also I am a prisoner, so that I may reveal it, as it is necessary for me to speak. Live with wisdom toward those outside, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how it is necessary for you to answer each one.

Tychicus, my dear brother and faithful servant and fellow slave in the Lord, will make known to you all my circumstances, whom I have sent to you for this very reason, in order that you may know our circumstances and he may encourage your hearts, together with Onesimus, my faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all the circumstances here.

Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions—if he should come to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only ones who are fellow workers for the kingdom of God from the circumcision, who have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, greets you, a slave of Christ always struggling on behalf of you in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify to him that he is working hard on behalf of you and those in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke the physician, our dear friend, greets you, as does Demas. Greet the brothers in Laodicea, and Nympha and the church in her house. And whenever this letter is read among you, see to it that it is read also among the Laodicean church, and that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And tell Archippus, "Direct your attention to the ministry that you received in the Lord, in order that you may complete it."

The greeting is by my hand, Paul’s. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.