fbpx

Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, the Lord put out a test to the Israelites. He tells Moses to take twelve rods and mark them with the names of the fathers of each of the tribes. When the rods are brought before the Lord, Aaron’s is the only one that blossoms. Thus, the Lord says that only men from the tribe of Levi are to be his priests.

God only accepts the best from his people. If a sheep or ox is blemished or defective in any way, they cannot be offered for sacrifice. In addition, anyone who is accused of idolatry must have two or three witnesses to testify against them to limit false accusations.

God also is starting to put limitations on royal authority and any duties of a king — although having a king is many years away. Some of these laws are 1) a king must not mass an army for himself 2) must not have multiple wives.

God further promises to raise up a prophet like Moses from among the people, which will be Jesus later. There are many prophets who are like Moses, but Jesus is the only one who perfectly fulfills the role of prophet.

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!

Daily Readings

Numbers 17

1 Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said,

2 ‘Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pick the censers out of the smouldering remains and scatter the fire from them away from here,

3 for these sinful censers have become sanctified at the price of human lives. Since they were brought before Yahweh and thus became consecrated, they must be hammered into sheets to cover the altar. They will be an object-lesson to the Israelites.’

4 The priest Eleazar took the bronze censers which had been carried by the men destroyed by the fire. They were hammered into sheets to cover the altar.

5 They are a reminder to the Israelites that no unauthorised person, no one not of Aaron’s line, may approach and offer incense before Yahweh, on pain of suffering the fate of Korah and his party, as Yahweh had said through Moses.

6 On the following day, the whole community of Israelites were muttering against Moses and Aaron and saying, ‘You are responsible for killing Yahweh’s people!’

7 Now, as the community was banding together against Moses and Aaron, they turned towards the Tent of Meeting, and there was the cloud covering it, and the glory of Yahweh appeared.

8 Moses and Aaron then went to the front of the Tent of Meeting.

9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

10 ‘Get away from this community. I am going to destroy them here and now.’ They threw themselves on their faces.

11 Moses then said to Aaron, ‘Take a censer, put fire in it from the altar, place incense on it and hurry to the community to perform the rite of expiation for them: for retribution has come from Yahweh, plague has broken out.’

12 Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the middle of the community, but plague had already broken out among the people. He put in the incense and performed the rite of expiation for the people.

13 Then he stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.

14 There were fourteen thousand seven hundred victims of the plague, apart from those who died because of Korah.

15 Aaron then went back to Moses at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting; the plague had been halted.

16 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

17 ‘Tell the Israelites to give you a branch for each of their families, one for each leader of each family: twelve branches. Write the name of each on his branch;

18 and on the branch of Levi write Aaron’s name, since the head of the Levite families must have a branch too.

19 You will then put them inside the Tent of Meeting in front of the Testimony, where I make myself known to you.

20 The man whose branch sprouts will be the one I have chosen; this is how I shall put an end to the mutterings of the Israelites about you.’

21 Moses spoke to the Israelites, and all their leaders gave him one branch each, twelve branches in all for their families; Aaron’s branch was among them.

22 Moses placed them before Yahweh in the Tent of the Testimony.

23 On the following day Moses went to the Tent of the Testimony and there, already sprouting, was Aaron’s branch, representing the House of Levi; buds had formed, flowers had bloomed and almonds had already ripened.

24 Moses then brought out all the branches from before Yahweh to all the Israelites; they examined them and each one took back his own branch.

25 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Put Aaron’s branch back in front of the Testimony, where it will have its ritual place as a warning to the rebellious; thus you will rid me of their muttering for good, without their incurring death.’

26 Moses did as Yahweh had ordered. That is what he did.

27 The Israelites then said to Moses, ‘We are lost! We are dead men! We are all dead men!

28 Anyone who approaches Yahweh’s Dwelling with an offering will die. Are we to be doomed to the last man?’

Deuteronomy 17

1 ‘To Yahweh your God you must sacrifice nothing from herd or flock that has any blemish or defect whatsoever, for Yahweh your Godholds this detestable.

2 ‘If there is anyone, man or woman, among you in any of the towns given you by Yahweh your God, who does what is wrong in the eyes of Yahweh your God by violating his covenant,

3 who goes and serves other gods and worships them, or the sun or the moon or any of heaven’s array — a thing I have forbidden-

4 and this person is denounced to you: if after careful enquiry it is found true and confirmed that this hateful thing has been done in Israel,

5 you must take the man or woman guilty of this evil deed outside your city gates, and there you must stone that man or woman to death.

6 A death sentence may be passed only on the word of two witnesses or three; and no one must be put to death on the word of one witness alone.

7 The witnesses’ hands must strike the first blow in putting the condemned to death, the rest of the people following. You must banish this evil from among you.

8 ‘If a case comes before you which is too difficult for you, a case of murder, conflicting claims, damage to property — any kind of dispute — in your towns, you must make your way to the place chosen by Yahweh your God,

9 and approach the levitical priests and the judge then in office. They will hold an enquiry and let you know their sentence.

10 You must abide by the verdict which they give you in this place chosen by Yahweh, and you will take care to carry out all their instructions.

11 You will abide by the decision which they give you and by the sentence which they pronounce, not deviating to right or to left from the verdict which they have given you.

12 If anyone presumes to disobey either the priest who is there in the service of Yahweh your God, or the judge, that person must die. You must banish this evil from Israel.

13 And when the people hear of this they will all be afraid and not act presumptuously any more.

14 ‘If, having reached the country given by Yahweh your God and having taken possession of it and, while living there, you think, “I should like to appoint a king to rule me — like all the surrounding nations,”

15 the king whom you appoint to rule you must be chosen by Yahweh your God; the appointment of a king must be made from your own brothers; on no account must you appoint as king some foreigner who is not a brother of yours.

16 ‘He must not, however, acquire more and more horses, or send the people back to Egypt with a view to increasing his cavalry, since Yahweh has told you, “You must never go back that way again.”

17 Nor must he keep on acquiring more and more wives, for that could lead his heart astray. Nor must he acquire vast quantities of silver and gold.

18 Once seated on his royal throne, and for his own use, he must write a copy of this Law on a scroll, at the dictation of the levitical priests.

19 It must never leave him, and he must read it every day of his life and learn to fear Yahweh his God by keeping all the words of this Lawand observing these rules,

20 so that he will not think himself superior to his brothers, and not deviate from these commandments either to right or to left. So doing, long will he occupy his throne, he and his sons, in Israel.’

Deuteronomy 18

1 ‘The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi will be without share or heritage of their own in Israel; they will live on the foods offered to Yahweh and on his heritage.

2 Levi will have no heritage of his own among his brothers; Yahweh will be his heritage, as he has promised him.

3 ‘This is what is due to the priests from the people, from those who offer an ox or a sheep in sacrifice: the priest must be given the shoulder, the cheeks and the stomach.

4 You must give him the first-fruits of your wheat, of your new wine and of your oil, as well as the first-fruits of your sheep-shearing.

5 For Yahweh your God has chosen him from all your tribes to stand before Yahweh your God, to do the duties of the sacred ministry, and to bless in Yahweh’s name — him and his sons for all time.

6 ‘If a Levite living in one of your towns anywhere in Israel decides to move to the place chosen by Yahweh,

7 he shall minister there in the name of Yahweh his God like all his fellow Levites who stand ministering there in the presence of Yahweh,

8 eating equal shares with them — what he has from the sale of his patrimony notwithstanding.

9 ‘When you have entered the country given you by Yahweh your God, you must not learn to imitate the detestable practices of the nations there already.

10 There must never be anyone among you who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire of sacrifice, who practises divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer,

11 weaver of spells, consulter of ghosts or mediums, or necromancer.

12 For anyone who does these things is detestable to Yahweh your God; it is because of these detestable practices that Yahweh your God is driving out these nations before you.

13 ‘You must be faultless in your relationship with Yahweh your God.

14 For these nations whom you are going to dispossess have listened to soothsayers and mediums, but Yahweh your God does not permit you to do this. From among yourselves, from among your own brothers,

15 Yahweh your God will raise up a prophet like me; you will listen to him.

16 This is exactly what you asked Yahweh your God to do — at Horeb, on the day of the Assembly, when you said, “Never let me hear the voice of Yahweh my God or see this great fire again, or I shall die.”

17 Then Yahweh said to me,

18 “What they have said is well said. From their own brothers I shall raise up a prophet like yourself;

19 I shall put my words into his mouth and he will tell them everything I command him. Anyone who refuses to listen to my words, spoken by him in my name, will have to render an account to me.

20 But the prophet who presumes to say something in my name which I have not commanded him to say, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.”

21 ‘You may be privately wondering, “How are we to tell that a prophecy does not come from Yahweh?”

22 When a prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh and the thing does not happen and the word is not fulfilled, then it has not been said by Yahweh. The prophet has spoken presumptuously. You have nothing to fear from him.’

Psalm 98

1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.

2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed his saving justice for the nations to see,

3 mindful of his faithful love and his constancy to the House of Israel. The whole wide world has seen the saving power of our God.

4 Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth, burst into shouts of joy!

5 Play to Yahweh on the harp, to the sound of instruments;

6 to the sound of trumpet and horn, acclaim the presence of the King.

7 Let the sea thunder, and all that it holds, the world and all who live in it.

8 Let the rivers clap their hands, and the mountains shout for joy together,

9 at Yahweh’s approach, for he is coming to judge the earth; he will judge the world with saving justice and the nations with fairness.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe and get notified of new posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: