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Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the Bible in a year journey we see that all the tribes of Israel are given land except for the tribe of Levi. They will in turn have God as their inheritance. Their role is to serve him by leading worship. In addition, since they won’t have land, they will receive the tithe from the other tribes to provide for their needs. The Levites must also offer their own Tithe — a tenth — of what they have been given.

In Deuteronomy, we read about justice. An accused person will undergo trial if more than one accuser comes forward. This transforms the people of Isreal from a people of vengeance to a people of justice. People must always be permitted to surrender in war, except for the people of Canaan. These people live violent lives that include sacrificing their own children to a false god Molech. This brings God’s judgment upon them through the Israelites.

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 18

1 Yahweh then said to Aaron: ‘You, your sons and your ancestor’s line with you will be answerable for offences against the sanctuary. You and your sons with you will be answerable for the offences of your priesthood.

2 You will admit your brothers of the branch of Levi, your ancestor’s tribe, to join you and serve you, yourself and your sons, before the Tent of the Testimony.

3 They must be at your service and the service of the whole Tent. Provided they do not come near the sacred vessels or the altar, they will be in no more danger of death than you.

4 They must join you, they must take charge of the Tent of Meeting for the entire ministry of the Tent, and no unauthorised person willcome near you.

5 You will take charge of the sanctuary and charge of the altar, and retribution will never again befall the Israelites.

6 Of the Israelites, I myself have chosen your brothers the Levites as a gift to you. As men dedicated, they will belong to Yahweh, to serve at the Tent of Meeting.

7 You and your sons will undertake the priestly duties in all that concerns the altar and all that lies behind the curtain. You will perform the liturgy, the duties of which I entrust to your priesthood. But an unauthorised person approaching will incur death,’

8 Yahweh said to Aaron: ‘I myself have put you in charge of everything set aside for me. Everything consecrated by the Israelites I give to you and your sons as your portion by perpetual decree.

9 Of the things especially holy, of the food offered, this is what will revert to you: every offering that the Israelites give back to me, whether it be a cereal offering, a sacrifice for sin or a sacrifice of reparation, is a thing especially holy and will revert to you and your sons.

10 You will eat the things especially holy. Every male may eat them. You will regard them as sacred.

11 ‘To you will revert also whatever is set aside from the offerings of the Israelites, whatever is held out with the gesture of offering; this I give to you and your sons and daughters, by perpetual decree. All members of your household may eat it unless they are unclean.

12 All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and wheat, these first-fruits offered by them to Yahweh I give to you.

13 All the first produce of the country brought by them to Yahweh will revert to you. All members of your household may eat it unless they are unclean.

14 Everything in Israel put under the curse of destruction will revert to you.

15 Every first-born of all creatures brought to Yahweh, human or animal, will revert to you, but you will have to redeem the first-born of man; you will also redeem the first-born of an unclean animal.

16 You will redeem it in the month in which it is born, valuing it at five shekels, at the sanctuary shekel, which is twenty gerah.

17 But you will not redeem the first-born of cow, sheep and goat. They are holy: you will sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn the fat as food burnt to be a smell pleasing to Yahweh;

18 the meat will revert to you, as will the forequarter that has been presented with the gesture of offering, and the right thigh.

19 Everything the Israelites set aside for Yahweh from the holy things, I give to you and your sons and daughters, by perpetual decree. This is a covenant of salt for ever before Yahweh, for you and your descendants too.’

20 Yahweh said to Aaron: ‘You will have no heritage in their country, you will not have a portion like them; I shall be your portion and your heritage among the Israelites.

21 ‘Look, as heritage I give the Levites all the tithes collected in Israel, in return for their services, for the ministry they render in the Tent of Meeting.

22 The Israelites will no longer approach the Tent of Meeting, on pain of committing a deadly sin.

23 Levi will discharge the duties of the Tent of Meeting, and the Levites will bear the consequences of their own guilt. This is a perpetual decree binding all your descendants: the Levites will have no heritage among the Israelites,

24 for the tithe which the Israelites set aside for Yahweh is the heritage I have given the Levites. This is why I have told them that they willhave no heritage among the Israelites.’

25 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

26 ‘Speak to the Levites and say: “When from the Israelites you receive the tithe which I have given you from them as your heritage, you will set a portion of this aside for Yahweh: a tithe of the tithe.

27 It will take the place of the portion set aside that is due from you, like the wheat from the threshing-floor and new wine from the press.

28 Thus you too will set a portion aside for Yahweh out of all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. You will give what you have set aside for Yahweh to the priest Aaron.

29 Out of all the gifts you receive, you will set a portion aside for Yahweh. Out of all these things, you will set aside the best, the sacred portion.”

30 ‘You will say to them, “After you have set the best aside, the remainder will take the place, in the Levites’ case, of the produce of the threshing-floor and wine-press.

31 You may consume this anywhere, you and the members of your households; this is your recompense for serving in the Tent of Meeting,

32 and you will not incur sin by doing so, once you have set aside the best; you will not be profaning the things consecrated by the Israelites and will not incur death.” ‘

Deuteronomy 19

1 ‘When Yahweh your God has annihilated the nations whose country Yahweh your God is going to give you, and you have dispossessed them and are living in their towns and in their houses,

2 you must set aside three towns, centrally placed in the country which Yahweh your God is giving you for your own.

3 You will keep the approaches to them in good order, dividing the area of the country which Yahweh your God is giving you as your heritage, into three parts, so that any killer can flee to these towns.

4 Here is an example of how someone may save his life by fleeing to them. ‘If anyone has struck his fellow accidentally, without any previous feud with him

5 (for example, he goes with his fellow into the forest to cut wood; his arm swings the axe to fell a tree; the head slips off the handle and strikes his companion dead), that man may take refuge in one of these towns and save his life.

6 It must not be allowed that the avenger of blood, in the heat of his anger, should pursue the killer and that the length of the road should help him to overtake and wound him fatally; for the man has not deserved to die, having had no previous feud with his victim.

7 ‘Hence I am giving you this order: You must set aside three towns,

8 and if Yahweh your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors that he would, and gives you the whole country which he promised to give to your ancestors-

9 provided that you keep and observe all the commandments which I am enjoining on you today, loving Yahweh your God and always following his ways-then, to those three towns you will add three more.

10 In this way, innocent blood will not be shed in the country which Yahweh your God is going to give you as your heritage; otherwise you would incur blood-guilt.

11 ‘But if it happens that a man has a feud with his fellow and lies in wait for him and attacks him and fatally wounds him and he dies, and the man takes refuge in one of these towns,

12 the elders of his own town must send there and have him taken and handed over to the avenger of blood, to be put to death.

13 You must show him no pity. You must banish the shedding of innocent blood from Israel, and then you will prosper.

14 ‘You must not displace your neighbour’s boundary mark, positioned by men of old in the heritage soon to be yours, in the country which Yahweh your God is about to give you.

15 ‘A single witness will not suffice to convict anyone of a crime or offence of any kind; whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two witnesses or three is required to sustain the charge.

16 ‘If someone gives false evidence against anyone, laying a charge of apostasy,

17 both parties to this dispute before Yahweh must appear before the priests and judges then in office.

18 The judges will make a careful enquiry, and if it turns out that the witness is a liar and has made a false accusation against his brother,

19 you must treat the witness as he would have treated his brother. You must banish this evil from among you.

20 The rest, hearing of this, will be afraid and never again do such an evil thing among you.

21 You must show no pity. ‘Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.’

Deuteronomy 20

1 ‘When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, you must not be afraid of them; Yahweh your God is with you, he who brought you out of Egypt.

2 When you are about to join battle, the priest must come forward and address the people.

3 He must say to them, “Listen, Israel: today you are about to join battle with your enemies. Do not be faint hearted. Let there be no fear or trembling or alarm as you face them.

4 Yahweh your God is marching with you, to fight your enemies for you and make you victorious.”

5 ‘The scribes will then address the people, as follows: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet dedicated it? Let him go home, in case he dies in battle and someone else performs the dedication.

6 “Has anyone planted a vineyard and not yet enjoyed its fruit? Let him go home, in case he dies in battle and someone else enjoys its fruit.

7 “Has anyone contracted to marry a girl and not yet married her? Let him go home, in case he dies in battle and someone else marries her.”

8 ‘Finally, the scribes will say to the people: “Is anyone frightened or faint hearted? Let him go home, in case he makes his brothers faint hearted too!”

9 ‘Then, when the scribes have finished speaking to the people, commanders will be appointed to lead them.

10 ‘When you advance on a town to attack it, first offer it peace-terms.

11 If it accepts these and opens its gates to you, all the people inside will owe you forced labour and work for you.

12 But if it refuses peace and gives battle, you must besiege it.

13 Yahweh your God having handed it over to you, you will put the whole male population to the sword.

14 But the women, children, livestock and whatever the town contains by way of spoil, you may take for yourselves as booty. You willfeed on the spoils of the enemies whom Yahweh your God has handed over to you.

15 ‘That is how you will treat towns far away and not belonging to the nations near you.

16 But as regards the towns of those peoples whom Yahweh your God is giving you as your heritage, you must not spare the life of any living thing.

17 Instead, you must lay them under the curse of destruction: Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, as Yahweh your God has commanded,

18 so that they may not teach you to do all the detestable things which they do to honour their gods: in doing these, you would sinagainst Yahweh your God.

19 ‘If, when attacking a town, you have to besiege it for a long time before you capture it, you must not destroy its trees by taking the axe to them: eat their fruit but do not cut them down. Is the tree in the fields human, that you should besiege it too?

20 Any trees, however, which you know are not fruit trees, you may destroy and cut down and use to build siege-works against the hostile town until it falls.’

Psalm 99

1 Yahweh is king, the peoples tremble; he is enthroned on the winged creatures, the earth shivers;

2 Yahweh is great in Zion. He is supreme over all nations;

3 let them praise your name, great and awesome; holy is he

4 and mighty! You are a king who loves justice, you established honesty, justice and uprightness; in Jacob it is you who are active.

5 Exalt Yahweh our God, bow down at his footstool; holy is he!

6 Moses and Aaron are among his priests, and Samuel, calling on his name; they called on Yahweh and he answered them.

7 He spoke with them in the pillar of fire, they obeyed his decrees, the Law he gave them.

8 Yahweh our God, you answered them, you were a God of forgiveness to them, but punished them for their sins.

9 Exalt Yahweh our God, bow down at his holy mountain; holy is Yahweh our God!

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