Laws for Purification
1Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2"This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come. 3And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him. 4And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5And the heifer shall be burned in his sight. Its skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned. 6And the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and throw them into the fire burning the heifer. 7Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8The one who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water and shall be unclean until evening. 9And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place. And they shall be kept for the water for impurity for the congregation of the people of Israel; it is a sin offering. 10And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. And this shall be a perpetual statute for the people of Israel, and for the stranger who sojourns among them.
11"Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days. 12He shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. 13Whoever touches a dead person, the body of anyone who has died, and does not cleanse himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown on him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still on him.
14"This is the law when someone dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean seven days. 15And every open vessel that has no cover fastened on it is unclean. 16Whoever in the open field touches someone who was killed with a sword or who died naturally, or touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt sin offering, and fresh water shall be added in a vessel. 18Then a clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there and on whoever touched the bone, or the slain or the dead or the grave. 19And the clean person shall sprinkle it on the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day. Thus on the seventh day he shall cleanse him, and he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he shall be clean.
20"If the man who is unclean does not cleanse himself, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, since he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. Because the water for impurity has not been thrown on him, he is unclean. 21And it shall be a statute forever for them. The one who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and the one who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. 22And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening."
The Death of Miriam
1And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there.
The Waters of Meribah
2Now there was no water for the congregation. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3And the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! 4Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? 5And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink." 6Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, 7and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8"Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle." 9And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him.
Moses Strikes the Rock
10Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" 11And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them." 13These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.
Edom Refuses Passage
14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: "Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met: 15how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers. 16And when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well. We will go along the King's Highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory." 18But Edom said to him, "You shall not pass through, lest I come out with the sword against you." 19And the people of Israel said to him, "We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more." 20But he said, "You shall not pass through." And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force. 21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.
The Death of Aaron
22And they journeyed from Kadesh, and the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. 23And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, 24"Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land that I have given to the people of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor. 26And strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron shall be gathered to his people and shall die there." 27Moses did as the Lord commanded. And they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29And when all the congregation saw that Aaron had perished, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days.
1When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, "If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction." 3And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.
The Bronze Serpent
4From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food." 6Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7And the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." 9So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
The Song of the Well
10And the people of Israel set out and camped in Oboth. 11And they set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that is opposite Moab, toward the sunrise. 12From there they set out and camped in the Valley of Zered. 13From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,
"Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of the Arnon,
15 and the slope of the valleys
that extends to the seat of Ar,
and leans to the border of Moab."
16And from there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, "Gather the people together, so that I may give them water." 17Then Israel sang this song:
"Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—
18 the well that the princes made,
that the nobles of the people dug,
with the scepter and with their staffs."
And from the wilderness they went on to Mattanah, 19and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah that looks down on the desert.
King Sihon Defeated
21Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22"Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard. We will not drink the water of a well. We will go by the King's Highway until we have passed through your territory." 23But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. He gathered all his people together and went out against Israel to the wilderness and came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. 24And Israel defeated him with the edge of the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as to the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strong. 25And Israel took all these cities, and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon. 27Therefore the ballad singers say,
"Come to Heshbon, let it be built;
let the city of Sihon be established.
28 For fire came out from Heshbon,
flame from the city of Sihon.
It devoured Ar of Moab,
and swallowed the heights of the Arnon.
29 Woe to you, O Moab!
You are undone, O people of Chemosh!
He has made his sons fugitives,
and his daughters captives,
to an Amorite king, Sihon.
30 So we overthrew them;
Heshbon, as far as Dibon, perished;
and we laid waste as far as Nophah;
fire spread as far as Medeba."
King Og Defeated
31Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32And Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there. 33Then they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34But the Lord said to Moses, "Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people, and his land. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon." 35So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land.
God Is Our Fortress
To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.