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!
1 Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said,
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.’
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.
8 Moses and Aaron then went to the front of the Tent of Meeting.
9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,
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.’
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;
19 You will then put them inside the Tent of Meeting in front of the Testimony, where I make myself known to you.
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?’
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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,
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;
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.’
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,
5 Play to Yahweh on the harp, to the sound of instruments;