Exodus 27

1 ‘You will make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar will be square and three cubits high.

2 At its four corners you will make horns, the horns must be of a piece with it, and you will overlay it with bronze.

3 And for it you will make pans for taking away the fatty ashes, and shovels, sprinkling basins, hooks and fire pans; you will make all the altar accessories of bronze.

4 You will also make a grating for it of bronze network, and on the four corners of the grating you will make four bronze rings.

5 You will put it below the ledge of the altar, underneath, so that it comes halfway up the altar.

6 You will make shafts for the altar, shafts of acacia wood and overlay them with bronze.

7 The shafts will be passed through the rings in such a way that the shafts are on either side of the altar, for carrying it.

8 You will make the altar hollow, out of boards; you will make it as you were shown on the mountain.

9 ‘Then you will make the court of the Dwelling. On the south side, the curtaining of the court must be of finely woven linen, one hundred cubits long (for the first side),

10 its twenty poles and their twenty sockets being of bronze, and the poles’ hooks and rods of silver.

11 So too for the north side, there must be a hundred cubits of curtaining, its twenty poles and their twenty sockets being of bronze, and the poles’ hooks and rods of silver.

12 Across the width of the court, on the west side, there must be fifty cubits of curtaining, with its ten poles and their ten sockets.

13 The width of the court on the east side, facing the sunrise, must be fifty cubits,

14 with fifteen cubits of curtaining on one side of the entrance, with its three poles and their three sockets,

15 and on the other side of the entrance, fifteen cubits of curtaining, with its three poles and their three sockets;

16 and for the gateway to the court there must be a twenty-cubit screen of finely woven linen embroidered with violet-purple, red-purple and crimson, with its four poles and their four sockets.

17 All the poles round the court must be connected by silver rods; their hooks must be of silver and their sockets of bronze.

18 The length of the court must be one hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits and its height five cubits. All the curtaining must be made of finely woven linen, and their sockets of bronze.

19 All the accessories for general use in the Dwelling, all its pegs and all the pegs of the court, must be of bronze.

20 ‘You will order the Israelites to bring you pure pounded olive oil for the light, and to keep a lamp burning all the time.

21 Aaron and his sons will tend it in the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain hanging in front of the Testimony, from dusk to dawn, before Yahweh. This is a perpetual decree for all generations of Israelites.’

Exodus 28

1 ‘From among the Israelites, summon your brother Aaron and his sons to be priests in my service: Aaron and Aaron’s sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

2 For your brother Aaron you will make sacred vestments to give dignity and magnificence.

3 You will instruct all the skilled men, whom I have endowed with skill, to make Aaron’s vestments for his consecration to my priesthood.

4 These are the vestments which they must make: a pectoral, an ephod, a robe, an embroidered tunic, a turban and a belt. They must make sacred vestments for your brother Aaron and his sons, for them to be priests in my service.

5 They will use gold and violet material, red-purple and crimson, and finely woven linen.

6 ‘They will make the ephod of finely woven linen embroidered with gold, violet-purple, red-purple and crimson.

7 It will have two shoulder-straps joined to it; it will be joined to them by its two edges.

8 The waistband on the ephod to hold it in position must be of the same workmanship and be of a piece with it: of gold, violet-purple, red-purple and crimson materials and finely woven linen.

9 You will then take two cornelians and engrave them with the names of the sons of Israel,

10 six of their names on one stone, the remaining six names on the other, in the order of their birth.

11 By the stone-carver’s art — seal engraving — you will engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You will have them mounted in gold settings

12 and will put the two stones on the shoulder-straps of the ephod, to commemorate the sons of Israel. In this way Aaron will bear their names on his two shoulders, before Yahweh, as a reminder.

13 You will also make golden rosettes,

14 and two chains of pure gold twisted like cord, and will attach the cord-like chains to the rosettes.

15 ‘You will make the breastplate of judgement of the same embroidered work as the ephod; you will make it of gold, violet-purple, red-purple and crimson materials and finely woven linen.

16 It must be square and doubled over, a span in length and a span in width.

17 In it you will set four rows of stones: a sard, topaz and emerald for the first row;

18 for the second row, a garnet, sapphire and diamond;

19 for the third row, a hyacinth, a ruby and an amethyst;

20 and for the fourth row, a beryl, a cornelian and a jasper. These must be mounted in gold settings.

21 The stones will correspond to the names of the sons of Israel, twelve like their names, engraved like seals, each with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

22 For the breastplate you will make chains of pure gold twisted like cords,

23 and on the breastplate you will make two gold rings, putting the two rings on the two outside edges of the breastplate

24 and fastening the two gold cords to the two rings on the outside edges of the breastplate.

25 The other two ends of the cords you will fasten to the two rosettes, putting these on the shoulder-straps of the ephod, on the front.

26 You will also make two gold rings and put them on the two edges of the breastplate, on the inner side, against the ephod;

27 and you will make two gold rings and put them low down on the front of the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod, close to the join, above the waistband of the ephod.

28 The breastplate will be secured by a violet-purple cord passed through its rings and those of the ephod, so that the breastplate will sit above the waistband and not come apart from the ephod.

29 Thus Aaron will bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgement, on his heart, when he enters the sanctuary, as a reminder, before Yahweh, always.

30 To the breastplate of judgement you will add the urim and the thummim, and these will be on Aaron’s heart when he goes into Yahweh’s presence, and Aaron will bear the Israelites’ judgement on his heart, in Yahweh’s presence, always.

31 ‘You will make the robe of the ephod entirely of violet-purple.

32 In the centre it will have an opening for the head, the opening to have round it a border woven like the neck of a coat of mail, so that it will not get torn.

33 On its lower hem, you will make pomegranates of violet-purple, red-purple and crimson, and finely woven linen all round the hem, with golden bells between them all round:

34 a golden bell and then a pomegranate, alternately, all round the lower hem of the robe.

35 Aaron must wear it when he officiates, and the tinkling will be heard when he goes into the sanctuary into Yahweh’s presence, or leaves it, and so he will not incur death.

36 ‘You will make a flower of pure gold and on it, as you would engrave a seal, you will engrave, “Consecrated to Yahweh”.

37 You will put it on a violet-purple cord; it will go on the turban; the front of the turban is the place where it must go.

38 This will go on Aaron’s brow, and Aaron will thus take on himself the short-comings in the holy things consecrated by the Israelites, in all their holy offerings. It will be on his brow permanently, to make them acceptable to Yahweh.

39 The tunic you will weave of fine linen, and make a turban of fine linen, and an embroidered waistband.

40 ‘For the sons of Aaron you will make tunics and waistbands. You will also make them head-dresses to give dignity and magnificence.

41 You will dress your brother Aaron and his sons in these; you will then anoint them, invest them and consecrate them to serve me in the priesthood.

42 You will also make them linen breeches reaching from waist to thigh, to cover their bare flesh.

43 Aaron and his sons will wear these when they go into the Tent of Meeting and when they approach the altar to serve in the sanctuary, as a precaution against incurring mortal guilt. This is a perpetual decree for Aaron and for his descendants after him.’

Leviticus 20

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

2 ‘Say to the Israelites: “Anyone, be he Israelite or alien resident in Israel, who gives any of his children to Molech, will be put to death. The people of the country must stone him,

3 and I shall set my face against that man and outlaw him from his people; for by giving a child of his to Molech he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.

4 If the people of the country choose to close their eyes to the man’s action when he gives a child of his to Molech, and do not put him to death,

5 I myself shall turn my face against that man and his clan. I shall outlaw them from their people, both him and all those after him who prostitute themselves by following Molech.

6 “If anyone has recourse to the spirits of the dead or to magicians, to prostitute himself by following them, I shall set my face against him and outlaw him from his people.

7 “Sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am Yahweh your God.

8 “You will keep my laws and put them into practice, for it is I, Yahweh, who make you holy.

9 Hence: “Anyone who curses father or mother will be put to death. Having cursed father or mother, the blood will be on that person’s own head.

10 “The man who commits adultery with his neighbour’s wife will be put to death, he and the woman.

11 “The man who has intercourse with his father’s wife has infringed his father’s sexual prerogative. Both of them will be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

12 “The man who has intercourse with his daughter-in-law: both of them will be put to death; they have violated nature, their blood willbe on their own heads.

13 “The man who has intercourse with a man in the same way as with a woman: they have done a hateful thing together; they will be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

14 “The man who marries a woman and her mother: this is incest. They will be burnt alive, he and they; you will not tolerate incest.

15 “The man who has intercourse with an animal will be put to death; you will kill the animal too.

16 “The woman who approaches any animal to have intercourse with it: you will kill the woman and the animal. They will be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

17 “The man who marries his father’s or his mother’s daughter: if they have intercourse together, this is an outrage. They will be executed in public, for the man has had intercourse with his sister; he will bear the consequences of his guilt.

18 “The man who has intercourse with a woman during her monthly periods and exposes her nakedness: he has laid bare the source of her blood, and she has exposed the source of her blood, and both of them will be outlawed from their people.

19 “You will not have intercourse with your mother’s sister or your father’s sister. Whoever does so, has had intercourse with a close relation; they will bear the consequences of their guilt.

20 “The man who has intercourse with the wife of his paternal uncle has infringed his uncle’s sexual prerogative; they will bear the consequences of their guilt and die childless.

21 “The man who marries his brother’s wife: this is pollution; he has infringed his brother’s sexual prerogative; they will die childless.

22 “You will keep all my laws, all my decisions, and put them into practice, so that the country where I am taking you to live will not vomit you out.

23 You will not follow the laws of the nations whom I am driving out before you; they practised all these things, which is why I detested them.

24 As I have already told you, you will take possession of their soil, I myself shall give you possession of it, a country flowing with milk and honey. “Since I, Yahweh your God, have set you apart from these peoples,

25 you for your part will make a distinction between clean animals and unclean ones and between unclean birds and clean ones, and willnot make yourselves detestable with any animal or bird or reptile, which I have set apart from you as unclean.

26 “Be consecrated to me, for I, Yahweh, am holy, and I shall set you apart from all these peoples, for you to be mine.

27 “Any man or woman of yours who is a necromancer or magician will be put to death; they will be stoned to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” ‘

Psalm 119:57-120

57 My task, I have said, Yahweh, is to keep your word.

58 Wholeheartedly I entreat your favour; true to your promise, take pity on me!

59 I have reflected on my ways, and I turn my steps to your instructions.

60 I hurry without delay to keep your commandments.

61 Though caught in the snares of the wicked, I do not forget your Law.

62 At midnight I rise to praise you for your upright judgements.

63 I am a friend to all who fear you and keep your precepts.

64 Your faithful love fills the earth, Yahweh, teach me your judgements.

65 You have been generous to your servant, Yahweh, true to your promise.

66 Teach me judgement and knowledge, for I rely on your commandments.

67 Before I was punished I used to go astray, but now I keep to your promise.

68 You are generous and act generously, teach me your will.

69 The arrogant blacken me with lies though I wholeheartedly observe your precepts.

70 Their hearts are gross like rich fat, but my delight is in your Law.

71 It was good for me that I had to suffer, the better to learn your judgements.

72 The Law you have uttered is more precious to me than all the wealth in the world.

73 Your hands have made me and held me firm, give me understanding and I shall learn your commandments.

74 Those who fear you rejoice at the sight of me since I put my hope in your word.

75 I know, Yahweh, that your judgements are upright, and in punishing me you show your constancy.

76 Your faithful love must be my consolation, as you have promised your servant.

77 Treat me with tenderness and I shall live, for your Law is my delight.

78 Let the arrogant who tell lies against me be shamed, while I ponder your precepts.

79 Let those who fear you rally to me, those who understand your instructions.

80 My heart shall be faultless towards your will; then I shall not be ashamed.

81 I shall wear myself out for your salvation, for your word is my hope.

82 My eyes, too, are worn out waiting for your promise, when will you have pity on me?

83 For I am like a smoked wineskin, but I do not forget your will.

84 How long has your servant to live? When will you bring my persecutors to judgement?

85 The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me in defiance of your Law.

86 All your commandments show constancy. Help me when they pursue me dishonestly.

87 They have almost annihilated me on earth, but I have not deserted your precepts.

88 True to your faithful love, give me life, and I shall keep the instructions you have laid down.

89 For ever, Yahweh, your word is planted firm in heaven.

90 Your constancy endures from age to age; you established the earth and it stands firm.

91 Through your judgements all stands firm to this day, for all creation is your servant.

92 Had your Law not been my delight, I would have perished in my misery.

93 I shall never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

94 I am yours, save me, for I seek your precepts.

95 The wicked may hope to destroy me, but all my thought is of your instructions.

96 I have seen that all perfection is finite, but your commandment has no limit.

97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day long.

98 You make me wiser than my enemies by your commandment which is mine for ever.

99 I am wiser than all my teachers because I ponder your instructions.

100 I have more understanding than the aged because I keep your precepts.

101 I restrain my foot from evil paths to keep your word.

102 I do not turn aside from your judgements, because you yourself have instructed me.

103 How pleasant your promise to my palate, sweeter than honey in my mouth!

104 From your precepts I learn wisdom, so I hate all deceptive ways.

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

106 I have sworn — and shall maintain it — to keep your upright judgements.

107 I am utterly wretched, Yahweh; true to your promise, give me life.

108 Accept, Yahweh, the tribute from my mouth, and teach me your judgements.

109 My life is in your hands perpetually, I do not forget your Law.

110 The wicked have laid out a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.

111 Your instructions are my eternal heritage, they are the joy of my heart.

112 I devote myself to obeying your statutes, their recompense is eternal.

113 I hate a divided heart, I love your Law.

114 You are my refuge and shield, I put my hope in your word.

115 Leave me alone, you wicked, I shall observe the commandments of my God.

116 True to your word, support me and I shall live; do not disappoint me of my hope.

117 Uphold me and I shall be saved, my gaze fixed on your will.

118 You shake off all who stray from your will; deceit fills their horizon.

119 In your sight all the wicked of the earth are like rust, so I love your instructions.

120 My whole body trembles before you, your judgements fill me with fear.

Thoughts and Reflection

Every priest comes from the tribe of Levi so one has to be born to be a priest in the Old Testament. The garments that the priests must wear are not to glorify the priests but God himself. Today the priests also wear vestments and they are to take the emphasis away from themselves and highlight the word of the Lord and something greater than himself.

In the Levitical priesthood, as he approaches the Lord, he is not approaching as only himself but as a representative of the entire people of Israel. In the Old Testament, every priest carries engraved stones over his heart to signify the twelve tribes of Israel.

To be a priest is to be a father that carries the names of his sons and daughters in his heart as he approaches the Lord. In all my years of going to Church and being raised in the Catholic faith, I have never had it described this way. It gives me comfort in knowing that we are always being prayed and cared for by our Father.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

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