God has given two great commandments, the first of which deals with devotion and service to God. Numbers 4:1-33 explains how the three divisions of Levites supervised such work: they were to care for the tabernacle, furniture, and courtyard with the utmost precision and dedication. Similarly, our service to God is not to be slipshod and haphazard, but precise, heartfelt, and fervent. Whatever our ministries, whether small or great, we must serve the Lord with passion. Having even the slightest responsibility for holy things is a privilege!
The second commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself, is illustrated in Numbers 5:6-7 through the law of restitution. With all our effort, we must make restitution with our neighbors, reconciling any differences with them and treating them with respect and honor, for God keeps account of our dealings with others. As Christians, we are compelled to go the extra mile to ensure our relationships are secured in love.
Let us build our lives on zealous love for both God and humanity. Such love is the Kingdom of God.
4 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron:2 “Take a census
4 “This is the work
7 “Over the table of the Presence
9 “They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays,
13 “They are to remove the ashes
15 “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move,
17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,18 “See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites.19 So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things,
21 The Lord said to Moses,22 “Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans.23 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age
24 “This is the service of the Gershonite clans in their carrying and their other work:25 They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle,
34 Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites
38 The Gershonites
42 The Merarites were counted by their clans and families.43 All the men from thirty to fifty years of age
46 So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted
Thus they were counted,
5 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease
5 The Lord said to Moses,6 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way
11 Then the Lord said to Moses,12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray
16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord.17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair
“‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.
23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll
29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray
4 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,2 “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Kohathite division of the tribe of Levi.3 List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle.
4 “The duties of the Kohathites at the Tabernacle will relate to the most sacred objects.5 When the camp moves, Aaron and his sons must enter the Tabernacle first to take down the inner curtain and cover the Ark of the Covenant
7 “Next they must spread a blue cloth over the table where the Bread of the Presence is displayed, and on the cloth they will place the bowls, ladles, jars, pitchers, and the special bread.8 They must spread a scarlet cloth over all of this, and finally a covering of fine goatskin leather on top of the scarlet cloth. Then they must insert the carrying poles into the table.
9 “Next they must cover the lampstand with a blue cloth, along with its lamps, lamp snuffers, trays, and special jars of olive oil.10 Then they must cover the lampstand and its accessories with fine goatskin leather and place the bundle on a carrying frame.
11 “Next they must spread a blue cloth over the gold incense altar and cover this cloth with fine goatskin leather. Then they must attach the carrying poles to the altar.12 They must take all the remaining furnishings of the sanctuary and wrap them in a blue cloth, cover them with fine goatskin leather, and place them on the carrying frame.
13 “They must remove the ashes from the altar for sacrifices and cover the altar with a purple cloth.14 All the altar utensils—the firepans, meat forks, shovels, basins, and all the containers—must be placed on the cloth, and a covering of fine goatskin leather must be spread over them. Finally, they must put the carrying poles in place.15 The camp will be ready to move when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the sacred articles. The Kohathites will come and carry these things to the next destination. But they must not touch the sacred objects, or they will die. So these are the things from the Tabernacle that the Kohathites must carry.
16 “Eleazar son of Aaron the priest will be responsible for the oil of the lampstand, the fragrant incense, the daily grain offering, and the anointing oil. In fact, Eleazar will be responsible for the entire Tabernacle and everything in it, including the sanctuary and its furnishings.”
17 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,18 “Do not let the Kohathite clans be destroyed from among the Levites!19 This is what you must do so they will live and not die when they approach the most sacred objects. Aaron and his sons must always go in with them and assign a specific duty or load to each person.20 The Kohathites must never enter the sanctuary to look at the sacred objects for even a moment, or they will die.”
21 And the Lord said to Moses,22 “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Gershonite division of the tribe of Levi.23 List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle.
24 “These Gershonite clans will be responsible for general service and carrying loads.25 They must carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle itself with its coverings, the outer covering of fine goatskin leather, and the curtain for the Tabernacle entrance.26 They are also to carry the curtains for the courtyard walls that surround the Tabernacle and altar, the curtain across the courtyard entrance, the ropes, and all the equipment related to their use. The Gershonites are responsible for all these items.27 Aaron and his sons will direct the Gershonites regarding all their duties, whether it involves moving the equipment or doing other work. They must assign the Gershonites responsibility for the loads they are to carry.28 So these are the duties assigned to the Gershonite clans at the Tabernacle. They will be directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.
29 “Now record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Merarite division of the tribe of Levi.30 List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle.
31 “Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases;32 also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name.33 So these are the duties of the Merarite clans at the Tabernacle. They are directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.”
34 So Moses, Aaron, and the other leaders of the community listed the members of the Kohathite division by their clans and families.35 The list included all the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle,36 and the total number came to 2,750.37 So this was the total of all those from the Kohathite clans who were eligible to serve at the Tabernacle. Moses and Aaron listed them, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
38 The Gershonite division was also listed by its clans and families.39 The list included all the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle,40 and the total number came to 2,630.41 So this was the total of all those from the Gershonite clans who were eligible to serve at the Tabernacle. Moses and Aaron listed them, just as the Lord had commanded.
42 The Merarite division was also listed by its clans and families.43 The list included all the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle,44 and the total number came to 3,200.45 So this was the total of all those from the Merarite clans who were eligible for service. Moses and Aaron listed them, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
46 So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel listed all the Levites by their clans and families.47 All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation48 numbered 8,580.49 When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry.
And so the registration was completed, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
5 The Lord gave these instructions to Moses:2 “Command the people of Israel to remove from the camp anyone who has a skin disease
5 Then the Lord said to Moses,6 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people—men or women—betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty.7 They must confess their sin and make full restitution for what they have done, adding an additional 20 percent and returning it to the person who was wronged.8 But if the person who was wronged is dead, and there are no near relatives to whom restitution can be made, the payment belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest. Those who are guilty must also bring a ram as a sacrifice, and they will be purified and made right with the Lord.
11 And the Lord said to Moses,12 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.
“Suppose a man’s wife goes astray, and she is unfaithful to her husband13 and has sex with another man, but neither her husband nor anyone else knows about it. She has defiled herself, even though there was no witness and she was not caught in the act.14 If her husband becomes jealous and is suspicious of his wife and needs to know whether or not she has defiled herself,15 the husband must bring his wife to the priest. He must also bring an offering of two quarts
16 “The priest will then present her to stand trial before the Lord.17 He must take some holy water in a clay jar and pour into it dust he has taken from the Tabernacle floor.18 When the priest has presented the woman before the Lord, he must unbind her hair and place in her hands the offering of proof—the jealousy offering to determine whether her husband’s suspicions are justified. The priest will stand before her, holding the jar of bitter water that brings a curse to those who are guilty.19 The priest will then put the woman under oath and say to her, ‘If no other man has had sex with you, and you have not gone astray and defiled yourself while under your husband’s authority, may you be immune from the effects of this bitter water that brings on the curse.20 But if you have gone astray by being unfaithful to your husband, and have defiled yourself by having sex with another man—’
21 “At this point the priest must put the woman under oath by saying, ‘May the people know that the Lord’s curse is upon you when he makes you infertile, causing your womb to shrivel
25 “The priest will take the jealousy offering from the woman’s hand, lift it up before the Lord, and carry it to the altar.26 He will take a handful of the flour as a token portion and burn it on the altar, and he will require the woman to drink the water.27 If she has defiled herself by being unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings on the curse will cause bitter suffering. Her abdomen will swell and her womb will shrink,
29 “This is the ritual law for dealing with suspicion. If a woman goes astray and defiles herself while under her husband’s authority,30 or if a man becomes jealous and is suspicious that his wife has been unfaithful, the husband must present his wife before the Lord, and the priest will apply this entire ritual law to her.31 The husband will be innocent of any guilt in this matter, but his wife will be held accountable for her sin.”
4 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
4 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:
5 And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it:
6 And shall put thereon the covering of badgers' skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.
7 And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon:
8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.
9 And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it:
10 And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put it upon a bar.
11 And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put to the staves thereof:
12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put them on a bar:
13 And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon:
14 And they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, the fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basons, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers' skins, and put to the staves of it.
15 And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.
16 And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.
17 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron saying,
18 Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:
19 But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden:
20 But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.
21 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
22 Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families;
23 From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, to serve, and for burdens:
25 And they shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle, and the tabernacle of the congregation, his covering, and the covering of the badgers' skins that is above upon it, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,
26 And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve.
27 At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens.
28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation: and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
29 As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;
30 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation.
31 And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof,
32 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.
33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tabernacle of the congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
34 And Moses and Aaron and the chief of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites after their families, and after the house of their fathers,
35 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation:
36 And those that were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty.
37 These were they that were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, which Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
38 And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon, throughout their families, and by the house of their fathers,
39 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,
40 Even those that were numbered of them, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers, were two thousand and six hundred and thirty.
41 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord.
42 And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers,
43 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,
44 Even those that were numbered of them after their families, were three thousand and two hundred.
45 These be those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
46 All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers,
47 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation.
48 Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore,
49 According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the Lord commanded Moses.
5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:
3 Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.
4 And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the Lord spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.
5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
6 Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and that person be guilty;
7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.
8 But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the Lord, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him.
9 And every offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they bring unto the priest, shall be his.
10 And every man's hallowed things shall be his: whatsoever any man giveth the priest, it shall be his.
11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
12 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,
13 And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner;
14 And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:
15 Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord:
17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:
18 And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:
19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse:
20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:
21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;
22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.
23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:
24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.
25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar:
26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.
27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;
30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.
31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.
18 Then the Sadducees,
24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures
28 One of the teachers of the law
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd
18 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question:19 “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.
24 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.25 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.
26 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses,
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”
34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
35 Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David?36 For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’
37 Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.
18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.
22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.
23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
35 And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?
36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
the joy of the whole earth,
the city of the Great King.
he has shown himself to be her fortress.
4 When the kings joined forces,
when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded;
6 Trembling seized
pain like that of a woman in labor.
shattered by an east wind.
8 As we have heard,
so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
9 Within your temple, O God,
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
1 How great is the Lord,
how deserving of praise,
in the city of our God,
which sits on his holy mountain!
2 It is high and magnificent;
the whole earth rejoices to see it!
Mount Zion, the holy mountain,
is the city of the great King!
3 God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers,
revealing himself as its defender.
4 The kings of the earth joined forces
and advanced against the city.
5 But when they saw it, they were stunned;
they were terrified and ran away.
6 They were gripped with terror
and writhed in pain like a woman in labor.
7 You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish
shattered by a powerful east wind.
8 We had heard of the city’s glory,
but now we have seen it ourselves—
the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
It is the city of our God;
he will make it safe forever. Interlude
9 O God, we meditate on your unfailing love
as we worship in your Temple.
10 As your name deserves, O God,
you will be praised to the ends of the earth.
Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
11 Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice.
Let all the towns of Judah be glad
because of your justice.
12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
13 Take note of the fortified walls,
and tour all the citadels,
that you may describe them
to future generations.
14 For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever,
and he will guide us until we die.
48 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.
5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.
6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
8 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 it for ever. Selah.
9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
26 Lazy people irritate their employers,
like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.