Day 93 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. God sets up laws for Murder. Israelites must marry from their own tribe. Jesus reveals his divine power to his closest followers.
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The Levites’ Towns
The LORD spoke to Moses in the plain of Moab by the Jor- dan River across from Jericho. He said, 2 “Tell the Israelites that they should give some of the towns in their part of the land to the Levites. The Israelites should give these towns and the pastures around them to the Levites. 3 The Levites will be able to live in them. And all the cattle and other animals that belong to the Levites will be able to eat from the pastures around these towns. 4 The pastureland you give to the Levites will go out 450 meters from the walls of the towns. 5 The outer border of this pastureland around the town will be 900 meters on each side, north, east, south, and west. The town will be in the center of this area. 6 Six of those towns will be cities of safety. If a person accidentally kills someone, that person can run to those cities for safety. In addition to those six cities, you will also give 42 more towns to the Levites. 7 So you will give a total of 48 towns to the Levites. You will also give them the land around those towns. 8 The large tribes of Israel will get large pieces of land. The small tribes of Israel will get small pieces of land. So the large tribes will give more towns and the small tribes will give fewer towns to the Levites.”
9 Then the LORD said to Moses, 10 “Tell the people this: You will cross the Jordan River and go into the land of Canaan. 11 You must choose towns to be cities of safety. Then any person who accidentally kills someone can run to one of those cities for safety. 12 There the person will be safe from the dead per- son’s relative who has the duty of punishing the killer. The killer must be protected from death until there can be a public trial. 13 There will be six cities of safety. 14 Three of them will be east of the Jordan River and three of them will be in the land of Canaan, west of the Jordan River. 15 These cities will be places of safety for citizens of Israel and for im- migrants who live among you. Any of these people will be able to run to one of these cities, if they accidentally kill someone.
16 “If you use anything made of iron to kill someone, you are a murderer, and you must die. 17 If you use a rock large enough to kill someone and you kill another person, you are a murderer, and you must die.
18 If you use a piece of wood large enough to kill someone and you kill another person, you are a murderer, and you must die. 19 A member of the dead person’s family can chase you and kill you as soon as he finds you.
20–21 “You might hit someone with your hand or push someone or throw something at them and kill them. If you did that from hate, you are a murderer, and you must be killed. A member of the dead person’s family can chase you and kill you as soon as he finds you.
22 “You might accidentally kill someone, maybe by pushing them or by throwing something and accidentally hitting them. 23 Perhaps you threw a rock that was large enough to kill, but it hit someone you didn’t see and killed them. You didn’t plan to kill anyone. You didn’t hate the person you killed—it was only an accident. 24 If that happens, the community must decide what to do. The court must decide if a member of the dead person’s family can kill you. 25 If the community decides to protect you from the dead person’s family, the community must take you back to your city of safety. You must stay there until the high priest dies.
26–27 “You must never go outside the limits of your city of safety. If you do and if a member of the dead person’s family catches you and kills you, that family member will not be guilty of murder. 28 Whoever accidentally killed someone must stay in their city of safety until the high priest dies. After the high priest dies, that person can go back to their own land. 29 These rules will be the law forever in all the towns of your people.
30 “A killer should be put to death as a murderer only if there are witnesses. No one can be put to death if there is only one witness.
31 “A murderer must be put to death. Don’t take money to change the punishment. That murderer must be killed. 32 “If a person killed someone and then ran to one of the cities of safety, don’t take money to let that person go home. That person must stay in that city until the high priest dies.
33 “Don’t let your land be polluted with innocent blood. If a person murders someone, the only payment for that crime is that the murderer must be killed! There is no other way to purify the land from that crime. 34 I am the LORD. I will be living in your country with you Israelites, so don’t make it unclean with the blood of innocent people.”
The Land of Zelophehad’s Daughters
Manasseh was Joseph’s son. Makir was Manasseh’s son. Gilead was Makir’s son. The leaders of Gilead’s family went to talk to Moses and the leaders of the tribes of Israel.
2 They said, “Sir, the LORD commanded you to divide the land among the people of Israel by throwing lots. And sir, the LORD commanded you to give the land of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. 3 But if a man from one of the other tribes marries one of Zelophehad’s daughters, that land will leave our family. The people of that other tribe get the land. So we lose the land that we got by throwing lots. 4 In the year of Jubilee, all the land is returned to the tribe that really owns it. At that time the land that belongs to Zelophehad’s daughters will be taken from us. Our tribe will lose that land forever.”
5 Moses gave this command from the LORD to the Israelites: “The men from this tribe of Joseph’s people are right. 6 This is the LORD’s command to Zelophehad’s daughters: If you want to marry someone, you must marry someone from your own tribe. 7 In this way land will not be passed from tribe to tribe among the Israelites. Each Israelite will keep the land that belonged to their own ancestors and tribe. 8 And if a woman gets her father’s land, she must marry someone from her own tribe. That way everyone will keep the land that belonged to their ancestors. 9 So the land must not be passed from tribe to tribe among the Israelites. Each Israelite will keep the land that belonged to their own ancestors.”
10 So Zelophehad’s daughters obeyed the LORD’s command to Moses. 11 Zelophehad’s daughters—Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah—married their cousins on their father’s side of the family. 12 Their husbands were from Manasseh’s family groups, so their land remained within their father’s family group and tribe. 13 So these are the laws and commands that the LORD gave to the Israelites through Moses in the plain of Moab by the Jordan River across from Jericho.
Jesus Is Seen With Moses and Elijah (Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8)
28 About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James and went up into the hills to pray. 29 While Jesus was praying, his face be- gan to change. His clothes became shining white. 30 Then two men were there, talking with him. They were Moses and Elijah. 31 They also looked bright and glorious. They were talking with Jesus about how he would leave this earth, which he would soon make happen with his death in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and the others were asleep. But they woke up and saw the glory of Jesus. They also saw the two men who were standing with him. 33 When Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter said, “Master, it is good that we are here. We will make three shelters here—one to honor you, one to honor Moses and one to honor Eli- jah.”
Peter did not know what he was saying. 34 While Peter was still talking, a cloud came all around them. Peter, John and James were afraid when the cloud covered them.
35 A voice came from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, the one I have chosen. Do what he says!”
36 When the voice stopped, only Jesus was there. Peter, John and James said nothing. And for a long time after that, they told no one about what they had seen.
Jesus Frees a Boy From an Evil Spirit (Matt. 17:14-18; Mark 9:14-27)
37 The next day, Jesus, Peter, John and James came down from the mountain. A large group of people met Je- sus. 38 A man in the group shouted to him, “Teacher, please come and look at my son. He is the only child I have. 39 An evil spirit comes into him, and then he shouts. He loses control of himself and foams at the mouth. The evil spirit continues to hurt him and almost never leaves him. 40 I begged your followers to make the evil spirit leave my son, but they could not do it.”
41 Jesus answered, “You people today have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I be with you and be patient with you?”
Then Jesus said to the man, “Bring your son here.” 42 While the boy was coming, the de- mon threw the boy to the ground. The boy lost control of himself. But Jesus gave a strong command to the evil spirit. Then the boy was healed, and Jesus gave him back to his father. 43 All the people were amazed at the great power of God.
Jesus Talks About His Death (Matt. 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32)
The people were still amazed about all the things Jesus did. He said to his followers, 44 “Don’t forget what I will tell you now: the Son of Man will soon be handed over to the control of other men.” 45 But the followers did not un- derstand what he meant. The meaning was hidden from them so that they could not understand it. But they were afraid to ask Jesus about what he said.
Who Is the Greatest? (Matt. 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37)
46 Jesus’ followers began to have an argument about which one of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he took a little child and stood the child beside him. 48 Then he said to the followers, “When you accept a little child like this as one who belongs to me, you accept me. And anyone who accepts me also accepts the one who sent me. The one among you who is the most humble—this is the one who is great.”
Whoever Is Not Against You Is for You (Mark 9:38-40)
49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone using your name to force demons out of people. We told him to stop because he does not belong to our group.”
50 Jesus said to him, “Don’t stop him. Whoever is not against you is for you.”
A Samaritan Town
51 The time was coming near when Je- sus would leave and go back to heaven. He decided to go to Jerusalem. 52 He sent some men ahead of him. They went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for him. 53 But the people there would not welcome Jesus because he was going towards Jerusalem. 54 When his followers James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?” 55 But Jesus turned and criticized them for saying this. 56 Then he and his followers went to another town.
9 I told the good news of victory to the people in the great assembly. And, Lord, you know that I will never stop telling that good news.
10 I told about the good things you did. I did not hide these things in my heart. I spoke of how you can be trusted to save us. I did not hide your love and loyalty from those in the great assembly.
11 Lord, do not hide your mercy from me. Let your love and loyalty always protect me.
12 Troubles have surrounded me. They are too many to count! My sins have caught me, and I cannot escape them. They are more than the hairs on my head. I have lost my courage.
13 Please, Lord, rescue me! Lord, hurry and help me!
14 People are trying to kill me. Please disappoint them. Humiliate them completely! They wanted to hurt me. Make them run away in shame!
15 May those who make fun of me be too embarrassed to speak!
16 But may those who come to you be happy and rejoice. May those who love being saved by you always be able to say, “Praise the Lord!”
17 My Lord, I am only a poor, helpless man, but please pay attention to me. You are my helper, the one who can save me. My God, don’t be too late.
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