Daily reading for Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Numbers 26:52-28:15; Luke 3:1-22; Psalms 61:1-8; Proverbs 11:16-17 (New Living Translation)
52 Then the Lord said to Moses, 53 “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list. 54 Give the larger tribes more land and the smaller tribes less land, each group receiving a grant in proportion to the size of its population. 55 But you must assign the land by lot, and give land to each ancestral tribe according to the number of names on the list. 56 Each grant of land must be assigned by lot among the larger and smaller tribal groups.”
The Tribe of Levi
57 This is the record of the Levites who were counted according to their clans:
The Gershonite clan, named after their ancestor Gershon.
The Kohathite clan, named after their ancestor Kohath.
The Merarite clan, named after their ancestor Merari.
58 The Libnites, the Hebronites, the Mahlites, the Mushites, and the Korahites were all subclans of the Levites.
Now Kohath was the ancestor of Amram, 59 and Amram’s wife was named Jochebed. She also was a descendant of Levi, born among the Levites in the land of Egypt. Amram and Jochebed became the parents of Aaron, Moses, and their sister, Miriam. 60 To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded.
62 The men from the Levite clans who were one month old or older numbered 23,000. But the Levites were not included in the registration of the rest of the people of Israel because they were not given an allotment of land when it was divided among the Israelites.
63 So these are the results of the registration of the people of Israel as conducted by Moses and Eleazar the priest on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 64 Not one person on this list had been among those listed in the previous registration taken by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the Lord had said of them, “They will all die in the wilderness.” Not one of them survived except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
The Daughters of Zelophehad
27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph. 2 These women stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the tribal leaders, and the entire community at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a] 3 “Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons. 4 Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.”
5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord. 6 And the Lord replied to Moses, 7 “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father.
8 “And give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If a man dies and has no son, then give his inheritance to his daughters. 9 And if he has no daughter either, transfer his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 But if his father has no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan. This is a legal requirement for the people of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”
Joshua Chosen to Lead Israel
12 One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river,[b] and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. 13 After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, 14 for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh[c] in the wilderness of Zin.)
15 Then Moses said to the Lord, 16 “O Lord, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. 17 Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. 19 Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. 20 Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him. 21 When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.”
22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. 23 Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
The Daily Offerings
28 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions.
3 “Say to the people: This is the special gift you must present to the Lord as your daily burnt offering. You must offer two one-year-old male lambs with no defects. 4 Sacrifice one lamb in the morning and the other in the evening. 5 With each lamb you must offer a grain offering of two quarts[d] of choice flour mixed with one quart[e] of pure oil of pressed olives. 6 This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 7 Along with it you must present the proper liquid offering of one quart of alcoholic drink with each lamb, poured out in the Holy Place as an offering to the Lord. 8 Offer the second lamb in the evening with the same grain offering and liquid offering. It, too, is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
The Sabbath Offerings
9 “On the Sabbath day, sacrifice two one-year-old male lambs with no defects. They must be accompanied by a grain offering of four quarts[f] of choice flour moistened with olive oil, and a liquid offering. 10 This is the burnt offering to be presented each Sabbath day, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its accompanying liquid offering.
The Monthly Offerings
11 “On the first day of each month, present an extra burnt offering to the Lord of two young bulls, one ram, and seven one-year-old male lambs, all with no defects. 12 These must be accompanied by grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil—six quarts[g] with each bull, four quarts with the ram, 13 and two quarts with each lamb. This burnt offering will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 14 You must also present a liquid offering with each sacrifice: two quarts[h] of wine for each bull, a third of a gallon[i] for the ram, and one quart[j] for each lamb. Present this monthly burnt offering on the first day of each month throughout the year.
15 “On the first day of each month, you must also offer one male goat for a sin offering to the Lord. This is in addition to the regular burnt offering and its accompanying liquid offering.
- 27:2 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting.
- 27:12 Or the mountains of Abarim.
- 27:14 Hebrew waters of Meribath-kadesh.
- 28:5a Hebrew 1⁄10 of an ephah [2.2 liters]; also in 28:13, 21, 29.
- 28:5b Hebrew 1⁄4 of a hin [1 liter]; also in 28:7.
- 28:9 Hebrew 2⁄10 of an ephah [4.4 liters]; also in 28:12, 20, 28.
- 28:12 Hebrew 3⁄10 of an ephah [6.6 liters]; also in 28:20, 28.
- 28:14a Hebrew 1⁄2 of a hin [2 liters].
- 28:14b Hebrew 1⁄3 of a hin [1.3 liters].
- 28:14c Hebrew 1⁄4 of a hin [1 liter].
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler[a] over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler[b] over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
5 The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”[c]
7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”
11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”
12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”
14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.
John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with[d] water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.[e] 17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” 18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.
19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee,[f] for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. 20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.
The Baptism of Jesus
21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.[g]”
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1 O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
2 From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
3 for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude
5 For you have heard my vows, O God.
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.
6 Add many years to the life of the king!
May his years span the generations!
7 May he reign under God’s protection forever.
May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
8 Then I will sing praises to your name forever
as I fulfill my vows each day.
16 A gracious woman gains respect,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Your kindness will reward you,
but your cruelty will destroy you.