Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The tribe of Judah was privileged by God to lead Israel's march through the wilderness. God had already showed His blessing upon that tribe by causing them to increase in number to the largest of all the tribes. Judah means "praise," and this tribe was selected to raise the voice of praise as a battle cry for God's people. As the vast camp set out each day with the blowing of the trumpets, God was displaying to the world that His great Church sets out with a shout of praise.

The psalmist said, "God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. Sing praise to God, sing praises; sing praise to our King, sing praises!" (Psalm 47:5-6). The Church was created to praise the King. Clapping our hands and shouting with cries of joy are the most appropriate things we can do for the One who is the great King over all the earth!

Jehoshaphat taught God's people to sing and shout as they went out into battle. He "appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor" (2 Chronicles 20:21). As a result, the Lord used their praise to defeat their enemies.

What problem are you facing today? Why not "send Judah first" and watch the Lord fight the battle for you!

Numbers 2:1-3:51

The Arrangement of the Tribal Camps

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron:“The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standardPs 74:4; Isa 31:9; Jer 4:21 and holding the banners of their family.”

On the east, toward the sunrise, the divisions of the camp of Judah are to encamp under their standard. The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab.S Ex 6:23His division numbers 74,600.

The tribe of IssacharNu 10:15 will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar.S Nu 1:8His division numbers 54,400.

The tribe of Zebulun will be next. The leader of the people of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon.Nu 1:9; 10:16His division numbers 57,400.

All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first.Nu 10:14; Jdg 1:1

10 On the southS Nu 1:53 will be the divisions of the camp of Reuben under their standard. The leader of the people of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur.Nu 1:511 His division numbers 46,500.

12 The tribe of SimeonNu 10:19 will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.S Nu 1:613 His division numbers 59,300.

14 The tribe of GadNu 10:20 will be next. The leader of the people of Gad is Eliasaph son of Deuel.Many manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch and Vulgate (see also 1:14); most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text ReuelNu 1:14; 10:2015 His division numbers 45,650.

16 All the men assigned to the camp of Reuben,Nu 10:18 according to their divisions, number 151,450. They will set out second.

17 Then the tent of meeting and the camp of the LevitesNu 1:50; 10:21 will set out in the middle of the camps. They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in their own place under their standard.

18 On the westS Nu 1:53 will be the divisions of the camp of EphraimS Ge 48:20; Jer 31:18-20 under their standard. The leader of the people of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud.Nu 1:1019 His division numbers 40,500.

20 The tribe of ManassehS Ge 48:20 will be next to them. The leader of the people of Manasseh is Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.S Nu 1:1021 His division numbers 32,200.

22 The tribe of BenjaminNu 10:24 will be next. The leader of the people of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni.S Nu 1:1123 His division numbers 35,400.

24 All the men assigned to the camp of Ephraim,Nu 10:22 according to their divisions, number 108,100. They will set out third.Ps 80:2

25 On the northS Nu 1:53 will be the divisions of the camp of Dan under their standard.Nu 10:25 The leader of the people of Dan is Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.S Nu 1:1226 His division numbers 62,700.

27 The tribe of Asher will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Asher is Pagiel son of Okran.Nu 1:13; 10:2628 His division numbers 41,500.

29 The tribe of NaphtaliNu 10:27 will be next. The leader of the people of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan.Nu 1:15; 10:2730 His division numbers 53,400.

31 All the men assigned to the camp of Dan number 157,600. They will set out last,Nu 10:25; Jos 6:9 under their standards.

32 These are the Israelites, counted according to their families.Nu 1:45 All the men in the camps, by their divisions, number 603,550.S Ex 12:3733 The Levites, however, were not countedNu 1:47; 26:57-62 along with the other Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.

34 So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them with their clan and family.

The Levites

This is the account of the family of Aaron and MosesS Ex 6:27 at the time the Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai.S Ex 19:11

The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstbornNu 1:20 and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.S Ex 6:23Those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests,S Ex 28:41; S 29:30 who were ordained to serve as priests.Nadab and Abihu, however, died before the LordS Lev 10:2 when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai.S Lev 10:1 They had no sons, so Eleazar and IthamarLev 10:6, 12; Nu 4:28 served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.1Ch 24:1

The Lord said to Moses,“Bring the tribe of LeviDt 10:8; 31:9; 1Ch 15:2 and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him.Nu 8:6-22; 18:1-7; 2Ch 29:11They are to perform duties for him and for the whole communityNu 1:53; 8:19 at the tent of meeting by doing the workS Lev 8:35 of the tabernacle.They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle.Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons;ver 12, 45; Nu 8:19; 18:6 they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.Most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text; some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint (see also 8:16) to me10 Appoint AaronS Ex 30:7 and his sons to serve as priests;S Ex 29:9 anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.”Nu 1:51

11 The Lord also said to Moses,12 “I have taken the LevitesNe 13:29; Mal 2:4 from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspringver 41; Nu 8:16, 18 of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine,S ver 9; Ex 13:2; Nu 8:14; 16:913 for all the firstborn are mine.S Ex 13:12 When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.”Lev 11:44

14 The Lord said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai,S Ex 19:115 “Countver 39; S Nu 1:19 the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more.”ver 22; Nu 18:16; 26:6216 So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord.

17 These were the names of the sons of Levi:S Ge 29:34; S 46:11; Nu 1:47; 1Ch 15:4; 23:6; 2Ch 29:12

Gershon,Jos 21:6 KohathJos 21:4 and Merari.S Ex 6:16

18 These were the names of the Gershonite clans:

Libni and Shimei.Ex 6:17

19 The Kohathite clans:

Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.S Ex 6:18

20 The Merarite clans:S Ge 46:11

Mahli and Mushi.S Ex 6:19

These were the Levite clans, according to their families.

21 To GershonS Ge 46:11 belonged the clans of the Libnites and Shimeites;Ex 6:17 these were the Gershonite clans.22 The number of all the males a month old or more who were counted was 7,500.23 The Gershonite clans were to camp on the west, behind the tabernacle.S Nu 2:1824 The leader of the families of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael.25 At the tent of meeting the Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacleEx 25:9; Nu 7:1 and tent, its coverings,Ex 26:14 the curtain at the entranceEx 26:36; Nu 4:25 to the tent of meeting,Ex 40:226 the curtains of the courtyardEx 27:9, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar,ver 31 and the ropesEx 35:18—and everythingNu 4:26 related to their use.

27 To KohathS Ge 46:11; S Ex 6:18 belonged the clans of the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites and Uzzielites;Ex 6:18; 1Ch 26:23 these were the KohathiteNu 4:15, 37 clans.28 The number of all the males a month old or morever 15 was 8,600.Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts 8,300 The Kohathites were responsibleNu 4:4, 15 for the care of the sanctuary.S Ex 25:8; 30:13; 2Ch 30:19; Ps 15:1; 20:2; Eze 44:2729 The Kohathite clans were to camp on the south sideS Nu 1:53 of the tabernacle.30 The leader of the families of the Kohathite clans was ElizaphanS Ex 6:22 son of Uzziel.31 They were responsible for the care of the ark,S Ex 25:10-22; Dt 10:1-8; 2Ch 5:2; Jer 3:16 the table,S Ex 25:23 the lampstand,S Ex 25:31; 1Ch 28:15; Jer 52:19 the altars,ver 26 the articlesNu 1:50 of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain,S Ex 26:33; Nu 4:5 and everything related to their use.Nu 4:15; 18:332 The chief leader of the Levites was EleazarS Ex 6:23 son of Aaron, the priest. He was appointed over those who were responsiblever 28 for the care of the sanctuary.Nu 4:19; 18:3

33 To Merari belonged the clans of the Mahlites and the Mushites;S Ex 6:19 these were the Merarite clans.S Ge 46:1134 The number of all the males a month old or morever 15 who were counted was 6,200.35 The leader of the families of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail; they were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle.S Nu 2:2536 The Merarites were appointedNu 4:32 to take care of the frames of the tabernacle,Ex 26:15-25; 35:20-29 its crossbars,Ex 26:26-29 posts,Ex 36:36 bases, all its equipment, and everything related to their use,Nu 18:337 as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyardEx 27:10-17 with their bases, tent pegsEx 27:19 and ropes.

38 Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp to the eastNu 2:3 of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise, in front of the tent of meeting.S Nu 1:53; 1Ch 9:27; 23:32 They were responsible for the care of the sanctuaryver 7; Nu 18:5 on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else who approached the sanctuary was to be put to death.ver 10; Nu 1:51

39 The total number of Levites countedS ver 15 at the Lord’s command by Moses and Aaron according to their clans, including every male a month old or more, was 22,000.Nu 26:62

40 The Lord said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or morever 15 and make a list of their names.Nu 1:241 Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites,ver 12 and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the Lord.”Lev 11:44

42 So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the Lord commanded him.43 The total number of firstborn males a month old or more,ver 15 listed by name, was 22,273.ver 39

44 The Lord also said to Moses,45 “Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites are to be mine.S ver 9 I am the Lord.Lev 11:4446 To redeemEx 13:13; Nu 18:15 the 273 firstborn Israelites who exceed the number of the Levites,47 collect five shekelsThat is, about 2 ounces or about 58 gramsS Lev 27:6 for each one, according to the sanctuary shekel,S Ex 30:13 which weighs twenty gerahs.S Lev 27:2548 Give the money for the redemptionver 51 of the additional Israelites to Aaron and his sons.”ver 50

49 So Moses collected the redemption moneyver 48 from those who exceeded the number redeemed by the Levites.50 From the firstborn of the Israelitesver 41, 45 he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels,That is, about 35 pounds or about 16 kilogramsS ver 46-48 according to the sanctuary shekel.51 Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord.

Organization for Israel’s Camp

Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron:“When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle,Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 2:17. but at some distance from it.

3-4 “The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:

TribeLeaderNumber
JudahNahshon son of Amminadab74,600
5-6 IssacharNethanel son of Zuar54,400
7-8 ZebulunEliab son of Helon57,400

So the total of all the troops on Judah’s side of the camp is 186,400. These three tribes are to lead the way whenever the Israelites travel to a new campsite.

10-11 “The divisions of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are to camp on the south side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:

TribeLeaderNumber
ReubenElizur son of Shedeur46,500
12-13 SimeonShelumiel son of Zurishaddai59,300
14-15 GadEliasaph son of DeuelAs in many Hebrew manuscripts, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Latin Vulgate (see also 1:14); most Hebrew manuscripts read son of Reuel.45,650

16 So the total of all the troops on Reuben’s side of the camp is 151,450. These three tribes will be second in line whenever the Israelites travel.

17 “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner.

18-19 “The divisions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are to camp on the west side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:

TribeLeaderNumber
EphraimElishama son of Ammihud40,500
20-21 ManassehGamaliel son of Pedahzur32,200
22-23 BenjaminAbidan son of Gideoni35,400

24 So the total of all the troops on Ephraim’s side of the camp is 108,100. These three tribes will be third in line whenever the Israelites travel.

25-26 “The divisions of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners. These are the names of the tribes, their leaders, and the numbers of their registered troops:

TribeLeaderNumber
DanAhiezer son of Ammishaddai62,700
27-28 AsherPagiel son of Ocran41,500
29-30 NaphtaliAhira son of Enan53,400

31 So the total of all the troops on Dan’s side of the camp is 157,600. These three tribes will be last, marching under their banners whenever the Israelites travel.”

32 In summary, the troops of Israel listed by their families totaled 603,550.33 But as the Lord had commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration.34 So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.

Levites Appointed for Service

This is the family line of Aaron and Moses as it was recorded when the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai:The names of Aaron’s sons were Nadab (the oldest), Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.These sons of Aaron were anointed and ordained to minister as priests.But Nadab and Abihu died in the Lord’s presence in the wilderness of Sinai when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. Since they had no sons, this left only Eleazar and Ithamar to serve as priests with their father, Aaron.

Then the Lord said to Moses,“Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants.They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle.Hebrew around the Tent of Meeting, doing service at the Tabernacle.They will also maintain all the furnishings of the sacred tent,Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; also in 3:25. serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all the Israelites.Assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They have been given from among all the people of Israel to serve as their assistants.10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to carry out the duties of the priesthood. But any unauthorized person who goes too near the sanctuary must be put to death.”

11 And the Lord said to Moses,12 “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me,13 for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord.”

Registration of the Levites

14 The Lord spoke again to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. He said,15 “Record the names of the members of the tribe of Levi by their families and clans. List every male who is one month old or older.”16 So Moses listed them, just as the Lord had commanded.

17 Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

18 The clans descended from Gershon were named after two of his descendants, Libni and Shimei.

19 The clans descended from Kohath were named after four of his descendants, Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

20 The clans descended from Merari were named after two of his descendants, Mahli and Mushi.

These were the Levite clans, listed according to their family groups.

21 The descendants of Gershon were composed of the clans descended from Libni and Shimei.22 There were 7,500 males one month old or older among these Gershonite clans.23 They were assigned the area to the west of the Tabernacle for their camp.24 The leader of the Gershonite clans was Eliasaph son of Lael.25 These two clans were responsible to care for the Tabernacle, including the sacred tent with its layers of coverings, the curtain at its entrance,26 the curtains of the courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle and altar, the curtain at the courtyard entrance, the ropes, and all the equipment related to their use.

27 The descendants of Kohath were composed of the clans descended from Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.28 There were 8,600Some Greek manuscripts read 8,300; see total in 3:39. males one month old or older among these Kohathite clans. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary,29 and they were assigned the area south of the Tabernacle for their camp.30 The leader of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel.31 These four clans were responsible for the care of the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the various articles used in the sanctuary, the inner curtain, and all the equipment related to their use.32 Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, was the chief administrator over all the Levites, with special responsibility for the oversight of the sanctuary.

33 The descendants of Merari were composed of the clans descended from Mahli and Mushi.34 There were 6,200 males one month old or older among these Merarite clans.35 They were assigned the area north of the Tabernacle for their camp. The leader of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail.36 These two clans were responsible for the care of the frames supporting the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the pillars, the bases, and all the equipment related to their use.37 They were also responsible for the posts of the courtyard and all their bases, pegs, and ropes.

38 The area in front of the Tabernacle, in the east toward the sunrise,Hebrew toward the sunrise, in front of the Tent of Meeting. was reserved for the tents of Moses and of Aaron and his sons, who had the final responsibility for the sanctuary on behalf of the people of Israel. Anyone other than a priest or Levite who went too near the sanctuary was to be put to death.

39 When Moses and Aaron counted the Levite clans at the Lord’s command, the total number was 22,000 males one month old or older.

Redeeming the Firstborn Sons

40 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now count all the firstborn sons in Israel who are one month old or older, and make a list of their names.41 The Levites must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn sons of Israel; I am the Lord. And the Levites’ livestock must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the whole nation of Israel.”

42 So Moses counted the firstborn sons of the people of Israel, just as the Lord had commanded.43 The number of firstborn sons who were one month old or older was 22,273.

44 Then the Lord said to Moses,45 “Take the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. And take the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me; I am the Lord.46 There are 273 more firstborn sons of Israel than there are Levites. To redeem these extra firstborn sons,47 collect five pieces of silverHebrew 5 shekels [2 ounces or 57 grams]. for each of them (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs).48 Give the silver to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for the extra firstborn sons.”

49 So Moses collected the silver for redeeming the firstborn sons of Israel who exceeded the number of Levites.50 He collected 1,365 pieces of silverHebrew 1,365 [shekels] of silver [34 pounds or 15.5 kilograms]. on behalf of these firstborn sons of Israel (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel).51 And Moses gave the silver for the redemption to Aaron and his sons, just as the Lord had commanded.

And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.

And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies: and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall be captain of the children of Judah.

And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.

And those that do pitch next unto him shall be the tribe of Issachar: and Nethaneel the son of Zuar shall be captain of the children of Issachar.

And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.

Then the tribe of Zebulun: and Eliab the son of Helon shall be captain of the children of Zebulun.

And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.

All that were numbered in the camp of Judah were an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth.

10 On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their armies: and the captain of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur.

11 And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.

12 And those which pitch by him shall be the tribe of Simeon: and the captain of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

13 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.

14 Then the tribe of Gad: and the captain of the sons of Gad shall be Eliasaph the son of Reuel.

15 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and five thousand and six hundred and fifty.

16 All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben were an hundred thousand and fifty and one thousand and four hundred and fifty, throughout their armies. And they shall set forth in the second rank.

17 Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.

18 On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies: and the captain of the sons of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud.

19 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty thousand and five hundred.

20 And by him shall be the tribe of Manasseh: and the captain of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

21 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.

22 Then the tribe of Benjamin: and the captain of the sons of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni.

23 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.

24 All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim were an hundred thousand and eight thousand and an hundred, throughout their armies. And they shall go forward in the third rank.

25 The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their armies: and the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

26 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.

27 And those that encamp by him shall be the tribe of Asher: and the captain of the children of Asher shall be Pagiel the son of Ocran.

28 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.

29 Then the tribe of Naphtali: and the captain of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira the son of Enan.

30 And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.

31 All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan were an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go hindmost with their standards.

32 These are those which were numbered of the children of Israel by the house of their fathers: all those that were numbered of the camps throughout their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.

33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses.

34 And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers.

These also are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the Lord spake with Moses in mount Sinai.

And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office.

And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.

And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.

And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.

And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.

10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;

13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord.

14 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,

15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.

16 And Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded.

17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.

18 And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei.

19 And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

20 And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.

21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites.

22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred.

23 The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward.

24 And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael.

25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,

26 And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.

27 And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites.

28 In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary.

29 The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward.

30 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.

31 And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof.

32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.

33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari.

34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred.

35 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail: these shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward.

36 And under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the vessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto,

37 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords.

38 But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

39 All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand.

40 And the Lord said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.

41 And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the Lord) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.

42 And Moses numbered, as the Lord commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel.

43 And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.

44 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord.

46 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites;

47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs:)

48 And thou shalt give the money, wherewith the odd number of them is to be redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons.

49 And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:

50 Of the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:

51 And Moses gave the money of them that were redeemed unto Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Mark 11:27-12:17

The Authority of Jesus Questioned11:27-33pp — Mt 21:23-27; Lk 20:1-8

27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)S Mt 11:9

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

The Parable of the Tenants12:1-12pp — Mt 21:33-46; Lk 20:9-19

12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard.Isa 5:1-7 He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place.At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all,Heb 1:1-3 saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;S Ac 4:11

11 the Lord has done this,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’Psalm 118:22,23?”Ps 118:22, 23

12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd;S Mk 11:18 so they left him and went away.Mt 22:22

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar12:13-17pp — Mt 22:15-22; Lk 20:20-26

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and HerodiansMt 22:16; Mk 3:6 to Jesus to catch himS Mt 12:10 in his words.14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial taxA special tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens to Caesar or not?15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”Ro 13:7

And they were amazed at him.

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

27 Again they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him.28 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?”

29 “I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied.30 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!”

31 They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John.32 But do we dare say it was merely human?” For they were afraid of what the people would do, because everyone believed that John was a prophet.33 So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”

And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Parable of the Evil Farmers

12 Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop.But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head.The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed,until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

“But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.10 Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?

‘The stone that the builders rejected

has now become the cornerstone.

11 This is the Lord’s doing,

and it is wonderful to see.’Ps 118:22-23.

12 The religious leadersGreek They. wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.

Taxes for Caesar

13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.14 “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?15 Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”

Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin,Greek a denarius. and I’ll tell you.”16 When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

His reply completely amazed them.

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

12 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.'

And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

Psalm 47:1-9

Psalm 47In Hebrew texts 47:1-9 is numbered 47:2-10.

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Clap your hands,S 2Ki 11:12 all you nations;

shout to God with cries of joy.S Ps 33:3

For the Lord Most HighGe 14:18 is awesome,S Dt 7:21

the great KingPs 2:6; 48:2; 95:3; Mt 5:35 over all the earth.

He subduedPs 18:39, 47; Isa 14:6 nations under us,

peoples under our feet.

He chose our inheritancePs 2:8; 16:6; 78:55; 1Pe 1:4 for us,

the pride of Jacob,Am 6:8; 8:7 whom he loved.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

God has ascendedPs 68:18; Eph 4:8 amid shouts of joy,S Job 8:21; S Ps 106:5

the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.S Nu 10:2; S 2Sa 6:15

Sing praisesS 2Sa 22:50 to God, sing praises;

sing praises to our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth;Zec 14:9

sing to him a psalm1Ch 16:7; Col 3:16 of praise.

God reignsS 1Ch 16:31 over the nations;

God is seated on his holy throne.S 1Ki 22:19; S Ps 9:4; Rev 4:9

The nobles of the nations assemble

as the people of the God of Abraham,

for the kingsOr shields of the earth belong to God;S Job 25:2

he is greatly exalted.Ps 46:10; 97:9

Psalm 47

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Come, everyone! Clap your hands!

Shout to God with joyful praise!

For the Lord Most High is awesome.

He is the great King of all the earth.

He subdues the nations before us,

putting our enemies beneath our feet.

He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance,

the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude

God has ascended with a mighty shout.

The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring.

Sing praises to God, sing praises;

sing praises to our King, sing praises!

For God is the King over all the earth.

Praise him with a psalm.Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.

God reigns above the nations,

sitting on his holy throne.

The rulers of the world have gathered together

with the people of the God of Abraham.

For all the kings of the earth belong to God.

He is highly honored everywhere.

47 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

Proverbs 10:24-25

24 What the wicked dreadIsa 65:7; 66:4 will overtake them;S Ge 42:36

what the righteous desire will be granted.S Ps 37:4; 145:17-19; Eze 11:8

25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,

but the righteous stand firmS Ps 20:8 forever.Pr 12:3, 7; Mt 7:24-27

24 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled;

the hopes of the godly will be granted.

25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,

but the godly have a lasting foundation.

24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

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