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Numbers 12, 13, 14

Aaron and Miriam Jealous of Moses

12While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had indeed married a Cushite woman); 2and they said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?’ And the Lord heard it. 3Now the man Moses was very humble,* more so than anyone else on the face of the earth. 4Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, ‘Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.’ So the three of them came out. 5Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the entrance of the tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. 6And he said, ‘Hear my words:
When there are prophets among you,
   I the Lord make myself known to them in visions;
   I speak to them in dreams.
7 Not so with my servant Moses;
   he is entrusted with all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face—clearly, not in riddles;
   and he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’ 9And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed.

10 When the cloud went away from over the tent, Miriam had become leprous,* as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam and saw that she was leprous. 11Then Aaron said to Moses, ‘Oh, my lord, do not punish us* for a sin that we have so foolishly committed. 12Do not let her be like one stillborn, whose flesh is half consumed when it comes out of its mother’s womb.’ 13And Moses cried to the Lord, ‘O God, please heal her.’ 14But the Lord said to Moses, ‘If her father had but spat in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp for seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.’ 15So Miriam was shut out of the camp for seven days; and the people did not set out on the march until Miriam had been brought in again. 16After that the people set out from Hazeroth, and camped in the wilderness of Paran.

Spies Sent into Canaan

13The Lord said to Moses, 2‘Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites; from each of their ancestral tribes you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.’ 3So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them leading men among the Israelites. 4These were their names: From the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur; 5from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 6from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 7from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 8from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 9from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 10from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 11from the tribe of Joseph (that is, from the tribe of Manasseh), Gaddi son of Susi; 12from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 14from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi; 15from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi. 16These were the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses changed the name of Hoshea son of Nun to Joshua.

17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, ‘Go up there into the Negeb, and go up into the hill country, 18and see what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, 19and whether the land they live in is good or bad, and whether the towns that they live in are unwalled or fortified, 20and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be bold, and bring some of the fruit of the land.’ Now it was the season of the first ripe grapes.

21 So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. 22They went up into the Negeb, and came to Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the Anakites, were there. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23And they came to the Wadi Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them. They also brought some pomegranates and figs. 24That place was called the Wadi Eshcol,* because of the cluster that the Israelites cut down from there.

The Report of the Spies

25 At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. 26And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the Israelites in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27And they told him, ‘We came to the land to which you sent us; it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29The Amalekites live in the land of the Negeb; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea, and along the Jordan.’

30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.’ 31Then the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against this people, for they are stronger than we are.’ 32So they brought to the Israelites an unfavourable report of the land that they had spied out, saying, ‘The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size. 33There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.’

The People Rebel

14Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2And all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become booty; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?’ 4So they said to one another, ‘Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt.’

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the Israelites. 6And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes 7and said to all the congregation of the Israelites, ‘The land that we went through as spies is an exceedingly good land. 8If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9Only, do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are no more than bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.’ 10But the whole congregation threatened to stone them.

Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will this people despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.’

Moses Intercedes for the People

13 But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for in your might you brought up this people from among them, 14and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people; for you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go in front of them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if you kill this people all at one time, then the nations who have heard about you will say, 16“It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them that he has slaughtered them in the wilderness.” 17And now, therefore, let the power of the Lord be great in the way that you promised when you spoke, saying,
18 “The Lord is slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
to the third and the fourth generation.”
19Forgive the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have pardoned this people, from Egypt even until now.’

20 Then the Lord said, ‘I do forgive, just as you have asked; 21nevertheless—as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord22none of the people who have seen my glory and the signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tested me these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23shall see the land that I swore to give to their ancestors; none of those who despised me shall see it. 24But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’*

An Attempted Invasion is Repulsed

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 27How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they complain against me. 28Say to them, ‘As I live’, says the Lord, ‘I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29your dead bodies shall fall in this very wilderness; and of all your number, included in the census, from twenty years old and upwards, who have complained against me, 30not one of you shall come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31But your little ones, who you said would become booty, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have despised. 32But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 33And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. 34According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ 35I the Lord have spoken; surely I will do thus to all this wicked congregation gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.

36 And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report about the land— 37the men who brought an unfavourable report about the land died by a plague before the Lord. 38But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh alone remained alive, of those men who went to spy out the land.

39 When Moses told these words to all the Israelites, the people mourned greatly. 40They rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, ‘Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.’ 41But Moses said, ‘Why do you continue to transgress the command of the Lord? That will not succeed. 42Do not go up, for the Lord is not with you; do not let yourselves be struck down before your enemies. 43For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will confront you there, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned back from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.’ 44But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, even though the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and Moses, had not left the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them, pursuing them as far as Hormah.

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Psalm 44

National Lament and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil.
1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
   our ancestors have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
   in the days of old:
2 you with your own hand drove out the nations,
   but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
   but them you set free;
3 for not by their own sword did they win the land,
   nor did their own arm give them victory;
but your right hand, and your arm,
   and the light of your countenance,
   for you delighted in them.


4 You are my King and my God;
   you command* victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we push down our foes;
   through your name we tread down our assailants.
6 For not in my bow do I trust,
   nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes,
   and have put to confusion those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
   and we will give thanks to your name for ever.
          Selah


9 Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
   and have not gone out with our armies.
10 You made us turn back from the foe,
   and our enemies have taken spoil for themselves.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
   and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
   demanding no high price for them.


13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbours,
   the derision and scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations,
   a laughing-stock* among the peoples.
15 All day long my disgrace is before me,
   and shame has covered my face
16 at the words of the taunters and revilers,
   at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.


17 All this has come upon us,
   yet we have not forgotten you,
   or been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
   nor have our steps departed from your way,
19 yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
   and covered us with deep darkness.


20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
   or spread out our hands to a strange god,
21 would not God discover this?
   For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Because of you we are being killed all day long,
   and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.


23 Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
   Awake, do not cast us off for ever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
   Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we sink down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help.
   Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

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Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

2In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah,* the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,* praising God and saying,
14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’*

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Jesus Is Named

21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;* this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.* 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon* came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon* took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant* in peace,
   according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.’

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon* blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

36 There was also a prophet, Anna* the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child* to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Return to Nazareth

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents* saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ 49He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’* 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years,* and in divine and human favour.

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10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.