February 11: Day 42

Reading: Numbers 8-10, Psalm 42 (ESV)

Numbers 8

The Seven Lamps

1Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2"Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand." 3And Aaron did so: he set up its lamps in front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. 4And this was the workmanship of the lampstand, hammered work of gold. From its base to its flowers, it was hammered work; according to the pattern that the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.

Cleansing of the Levites

5And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6"Take the Levites from among the people of Israel and cleanse them. 7Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification upon them, and let them go with a razor over all their body, and wash their clothes and cleanse themselves. 8Then let them take a bull from the herd and its grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, and you shall take another bull from the herd for a sin offering. 9And you shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting and assemble the whole congregation of the people of Israel. 10When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the people of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites, 11and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the people of Israel, that they may do the service of the Lord. 12Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord to make atonement for the Levites. 13And you shall set the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and shall offer them as a wave offering to the Lord.

14"Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the people of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. 15And after that the Levites shall go in to serve at the tent of meeting, when you have cleansed them and offered them as a wave offering. 16For they are wholly given to me from among the people of Israel. Instead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the people of Israel, I have taken them for myself. 17For all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, 18and I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel. 19And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the people of Israel, that there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary."

20Thus did Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the people of Israel to the Levites. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, the people of Israel did to them. 21And the Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes, and Aaron offered them as a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22And after that the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting before Aaron and his sons; as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them.

Retirement of the Levites

23And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24"This applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. 25And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more. 26They minister to their brothers in the tent of meeting by keeping guard, but they shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites in assigning their duties."


Numbers 9

The Passover Celebrated

1And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2"Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it." 4So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. 6And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7And those men said to him, "We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the Lord's offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?" 8And Moses said to them, "Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you."

9The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10"Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the Lord. 11In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. 13But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the Lord's offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 14And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native."

The Cloud Covering the Tabernacle

15On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. 17And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. 18At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out. 20Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out. 21And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. 22Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. 23At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.


Numbers 10

The Silver Trumpets

1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2"Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp. 3And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 4But if they blow only one, then the chiefs, the heads of the tribes of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. 5When you blow an alarm, the camps that are on the east side shall set out. 6And when you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are on the south side shall set out. An alarm is to be blown whenever they are to set out. 7But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow a long blast, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. The trumpets shall be to you for a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 9And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. 10On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the Lord your God."

Israel Leaves Sinai

11In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony, 12and the people of Israel set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai. And the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. 13They set out for the first time at the command of the Lord by Moses. 14The standard of the camp of the people of Judah set out first by their companies, and over their company was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 15And over the company of the tribe of the people of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. 16And over the company of the tribe of the people of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.

17And when the tabernacle was taken down, the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who carried the tabernacle, set out. 18And the standard of the camp of Reuben set out by their companies, and over their company was Elizur the son of Shedeur. 19And over the company of the tribe of the people of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 20And over the company of the tribe of the people of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

21Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things, and the tabernacle was set up before their arrival. 22And the standard of the camp of the people of Ephraim set out by their companies, and over their company was Elishama the son of Ammihud. 23And over the company of the tribe of the people of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 24And over the company of the tribe of the people of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.

25Then the standard of the camp of the people of Dan, acting as the rear guard of all the camps, set out by their companies, and over their company was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26And over the company of the tribe of the people of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ochran. 27And over the company of the tribe of the people of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. 28This was the order of march of the people of Israel by their companies, when they set out.

29And Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will do good to you, for the Lord has promised good to Israel." 30But he said to him, "I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred." 31And he said, "Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. 32And if you do go with us, whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same will we do to you."

33So they set out from the mount of the Lord three days' journey. And the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them. 34And the cloud of the Lord was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp.

35And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, "Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you." 36And when it rested, he said, "Return, O Lord, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel."


Psalm 42

Book Two

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.


1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,

so pants my soul for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God,

for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my food

day and night,

while they say to me all the day long,

"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember,

as I pour out my soul:

how I would go with the throng

and lead them in procession to the house of God

with glad shouts and songs of praise,

a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation 6and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;

therefore I remember you

from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,

from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep

at the roar of your waterfalls;

all your breakers and your waves

have gone over me.

8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,

and at night his song is with me,

a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God, my rock:

"Why have you forgotten me?

Why do I go mourning

because of the oppression of the enemy?"

10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,

my adversaries taunt me,

while they say to me all the day long,

"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation and my God.