Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 42

Numbers 32–36, 1 Corinthians 11

Bible text(s)

The Tribes East of the Jordan

(Deut 3.12–22)

1The tribes of Reuben and Gad had a lot of livestock. When they saw how suitable the land of Jazer and Gilead was for cattle, 2they went to Moses, Eleazar, and the other leaders of the community and said, 3-4“This region which the LORD has helped the Israelites to occupy — the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah, Nebo, and Beon — is good land for livestock, and we have so much livestock. 5Please give us this land as our property, and do not make us cross the River Jordan and settle there.”

6Moses replied, “Do you want to stay here while your fellow-Israelites go to war? 7How dare you try to discourage the people of Israel from crossing the Jordan into the land which the LORD has given them? 8That is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. 9They went as far as the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, but when they returned, they discouraged the people from entering the land which the LORD had given them. 10The LORD was angry that day and made a promise: 11‘I swear that because they did not remain loyal to me, none of the men twenty years old or older who came out of Egypt will enter the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ 12This included everyone, except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun; they remained loyal to the LORD. 13The LORD was angry with the people and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until that whole generation that had displeased him was dead. 14And now you have taken your fathers' place, a new generation of sinful men ready to bring down the fierce anger of the LORD on Israel again. 15If you people of Reuben and Gad refuse to follow him now, he will once again abandon all these people in the wilderness, and you will be responsible for their destruction.”

16They approached Moses and said, “First, allow us to build stone enclosures here for our sheep and fortified towns for our dependants. 17Then we will be ready to go with our fellow-Israelites into battle and lead the attack until we have settled them in the land that will be theirs. In the meantime, our dependants can live here in the fortified towns, safe from the people of this land. 18We will not return to our homes until all the other Israelites have taken possession of the land assigned to them. 19We will not take possession of any property among them on the other side of the Jordan, because we have received our share here east of the Jordan.”

20Moses answered, “If you really mean what you say, then here in the presence of the LORD get ready to go into battle. 21All your fighting men are to cross the Jordan and under the command of the LORD they are to attack our enemies until the LORD defeats them 22and takes possession of the land. After that, you may return, because you will have fulfilled your obligation to the LORD and to your fellow-Israelites. Then the LORD will acknowledge that this land east of the Jordan is yours. 23But if you do not keep your promise, I warn you that you will be sinning against the LORD. Make no mistake about it; you will be punished for your sin. 24So build your towns and the enclosures for your sheep, but do what you have promised!”

25The men of Gad and Reuben said, “Sir, we will do as you command. 26Our wives and children and our cattle and sheep will remain here in the towns of Gilead. 27But all of us are ready to go into battle under the LORD's command. We will cross the Jordan and fight, just as you have said.”

28So Moses gave these commands to Eleazar, Joshua, and the other leaders of Israel: 29“If the men of Gad and Reuben cross the Jordan ready for battle at the LORD's command and if with their help you are able to conquer the land, then give them the land of Gilead as their property. 30But if they do not cross the Jordan and go into battle with you, they are to receive their share of the property in the land of Canaan, as you do.”

31The men of Gad and Reuben answered, “Sir, we will do as the LORD has commanded. 32Under his command we will cross into the land of Canaan and go into battle, so that we can retain our property here east of the Jordan.”

33So Moses assigned to the tribes of Gad and Reuben and to half the tribe of Manasseh all the territory of King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan, including the towns and the country round them. 34The tribe of Gad rebuilt the fortified towns of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35Atroth Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36Beth Nimrah, and Beth Haran. 37The tribe of Reuben rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38Nebo, Baal Meon (this name was changed), and Sibmah. They gave new names to the towns they rebuilt.

39The clan of Machir son of Manasseh invaded the land of Gilead, occupied it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 40So Moses gave Gilead to the clan of Machir, and they lived there. 41Jair, of the tribe of Manasseh, attacked and captured some villages and named them “Villages of Jair”. 42Nobah attacked and captured Kenath and its villages, and he renamed it Nobah, after himself.

Numbers 32GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Journey from Egypt to Moab

1The following account gives the names of the places where the Israelites set up camp after they left Egypt in their tribes under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 2At the command of the LORD, Moses wrote down the name of the place each time they set up camp.

3The people of Israel left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month of the year, the day after the first Passover. Under the LORD's protection they left the city of Rameses in full view of the Egyptians, 4who were burying the firstborn sons that the LORD had killed. By doing this, the LORD showed that he was more powerful than the gods of Egypt.

5The people of Israel left Rameses and set up camp at Sukkoth. 6Their next camp was at Etham on the edge of the desert. 7From there they turned back to Pi Hahiroth, east of Baal Zephon, and camped near Migdol. 8They left Pi Hahiroth and passed through the Red Sea into the desert of Shur; after a three days' march they camped at Marah. 9From there they went to Elim, where they camped, because there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees there.

10They left Elim and camped near the Gulf of Suez. 11Their next camp was in the desert of Sin. 12Then they camped at Dophkah, 13and after that at Alush. 14Next was Rephidim, where there was no water for them to drink.

15-37From Rephidim to Mount Hor they set up camp at the following places: the Sinai Desert, Kibroth Hattaavah (or “Graves of Craving”), Hazeroth, Rithmah, Rimmon Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah, Mount Shepher, Haradah, Makheloth, Tahath, Terah, Mithkah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, Bene Jaakan, Hor Haggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Eziongeber, the wilderness of Zin (that is, Kadesh), and Mount Hor, at the edge of the land of Edom.

38-39At the command of the LORD, Aaron the priest climbed Mount Hor. At the age of 123 he died there on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites had left Egypt.

40The king of Arad in southern Canaan heard that the Israelites were coming.

41-49From Mount Hor to the plains of Moab the Israelites set up camp at the following places: Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, the ruins of Abarim in the territory of Moab, Dibon Gad, Almon Diblathaim, the Abarim Mountains near Mount Nebo, and in the plains of Moab across the River Jordan from Jericho, between Beth Jeshimoth and the Valley of Acacia.

Instructions before Crossing the Jordan

50There in the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho the LORD gave Moses 51the following instructions for Israel: “When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land. Destroy all their stone and metal idols and all their places of worship. 53Occupy the land and settle in it, because I am giving it to you. 54Divide the land among the various tribes and clans by drawing lots, giving a large piece of property to a large clan and a small one to a small clan. 55But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those that are left will be as troublesome as splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will fight against you. 56If you do not drive them out, I will destroy you, as I planned to destroy them.”

Numbers 33GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Boundaries of the Land

1The LORD gave Moses 2the following instructions for the people of Israel: “When you enter Canaan, the land which I am giving you, the borders of your territory will be as follows. 3The southern border will extend from the wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom. It will begin on the east at the southern end of the Dead Sea. 4Then it will turn southwards towards Akrabbim Pass and continue on through Zin as far south as Kadesh Barnea. Then it will turn north-west to Hazar Addar and on to Azmon, 5where it will turn towards the valley at the border of Egypt and end at the Mediterranean.

6“The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.

7“The northern border will follow a line from the Mediterranean to Mount Hor 8and from there to Hamath Pass. It will continue to Zedad 9and to Ziphron, and will end at Hazar Enan.

10“The eastern border will follow a line from Hazar Enan to Shepham. 11It will then go south to Harbel, east of Ain, and on to the hills on the eastern shore of Lake Galilee, 12then south along the River Jordan to the Dead Sea.

“These will be the four borders of your land.”

13So Moses said to the Israelites, “This is the land that you will receive by drawing lots, the land that the LORD has assigned to the nine and a half tribes. 14The tribes of Reuben and Gad and the eastern half of Manasseh have received their property, divided according to their families, 15on the eastern side of the Jordan, opposite Jericho.”

The Leaders Responsible for Dividing the Land

16The LORD said to Moses, 17“Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun will divide the land for the people. 18Take also one leader from each tribe to help them divide it.” 19-28These are the men the LORD chose:

Tribe Leader
Judah Caleb son of Jephunneh
Simeon Shelumiel son of Ammihud
Benjamin Elidad son of Chislon
Dan Bukki son of Jogli
Manasseh Hanniel son of Ephod
Ephraim Kemuel son of Shiphtan
Zebulun Elizaphan son of Parnach
Issachar Paltiel son of Azzan
Asher Ahihud son of Shelomi
Naphtali Pedahel son of Ammihud

29These are the men that the LORD assigned to divide the property for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan.

Numbers 34GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Cities Assigned to the Levites

1In the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho the LORD said to Moses, 2“Tell the Israelites that from the property they receive they must give the Levites some cities to live in and pasture land round the cities. 3These cities will belong to the Levites, and they will live there. The pasture land will be for their cattle and all their other animals. 4The pasture land is to extend outwards from the city walls 450 metres in each direction, 5so that there is a square area measuring 900 metres on each side, with the city in the middle. 6You are to give the Levites six cities of refuge to which a man can escape if he kills someone accidentally. In addition, give them 42 other cities 7with their pasture land, making a total of 48. 8The number of Levite cities in each tribe is to be determined according to the size of its territory.”

The Cities of Refuge

(Deut 19.1–13; Josh 20.1–9)

9The LORD told Moses 10to say to the people of Israel: “When you cross the River Jordan and enter the land of Canaan, 11you are to choose cities of refuge to which a man can escape if he kills someone accidentally. 12There he will be safe from the dead person's relative who seeks revenge. No one accused of manslaughter is to be put to death without a public trial. 13Choose six cities, 14three east of the Jordan and three in the land of Canaan. 15These will serve as cities of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners who are temporary or permanent residents. Anyone who kills someone accidentally can escape to one of them.

16-18“If, however, anyone uses a weapon of iron or stone or wood to kill someone, he is guilty of murder and is to be put to death. 19The dead person's nearest relative has the responsibility for putting the murderer to death. When he finds him, he is to kill him.

20“If anyone hates someone and kills him by pushing him down or by throwing something at him 21or by striking him with his fist, he is guilty of murder and is to be put to death. The dead man's nearest relative has the responsibility for putting the murderer to death. When he finds him, he is to kill him.

22“But suppose anyone accidentally kills someone he does not hate, whether by pushing him down or by throwing something at him. 23Or suppose that, without looking, anyone throws a stone that kills someone whom he did not intend to hurt and who was not his enemy. 24In such cases the community shall judge in favour of the one who caused the death and not in favour of the dead person's relative who is seeking revenge. 25The community is to rescue the one guilty of manslaughter from the dead person's relative, and they are to return him to the city of refuge to which he had escaped. He must live there until the death of the man who is then High Priest. 26If the one guilty of manslaughter leaves the city of refuge to which he has escaped 27and if the dead person's relative finds him and kills him, this act of revenge is not murder. 28The person guilty of manslaughter must remain in the city of refuge until the death of the High Priest, but after that he may return home. 29These rules apply to you and your descendants wherever you may live.

30“Anyone accused of murder may be found guilty and put to death only on the evidence of two or more witnesses; the evidence of one witness is not sufficient to support an accusation of murder. 31A murderer must be put to death. He cannot escape this penalty by the payment of money. 32If someone has fled to a city of refuge, do not allow him to make a payment in order to return home before the death of the High Priest. 33If you did this, you would defile the land where you are living. Murder defiles the land, and except by the death of the murderer there is no way to perform the ritual of purification for the land where someone has been murdered. 34Do not defile the land where you are living, because I am the LORD and I live among the people of Israel.”

Numbers 35GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Inheritance of Married Women

1The heads of the families in the clan of Gilead, the son of Machir and grandson of Manasseh son of Joseph, went to Moses and the other leaders. 2They said, “The LORD commanded you to distribute the land to the people of Israel by drawing lots. He also commanded you to give the property of our relative Zelophehad to his daughters. 3But remember, if they marry men of another tribe, their property will then belong to that tribe, and the total allotted to us will be reduced. 4In the Year of Restoration, when all property that has been sold is restored to its original owners, the property of Zelophehad's daughters will be permanently added to the tribe into which they marry and will be lost to our tribe.”

5So Moses gave the people of Israel the following command from the LORD. He said, “What the tribe of Manasseh says is right, 6and so the LORD says that the daughters of Zelophehad are free to marry anyone they wish but only within their own tribe. 7The property of every Israelite will remain attached to his tribe. 8Every woman who inherits property in an Israelite tribe must marry a man belonging to that tribe. In this way all Israelites will inherit the property of their ancestors, 9and the property will not pass from one tribe to another. Each tribe will continue to possess its own property.”

10-11So Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, did as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they married their cousins. 12They married within the clans of the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph, and their property remained in their father's tribe.

13These are the rules and regulations that the LORD gave the Israelites through Moses in the plains of Moab across the River Jordan from Jericho.

Numbers 36GNBOpen in Bible reader

1Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ.

Covering the Head in Worship

2I praise you because you always remember me and follow the teachings that I have handed on to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is supreme over every man, the husband is supreme over his wife, and God is supreme over Christ. 4So a man who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with his head covered disgraces Christ. 5And any woman who prays or proclaims God's message in public worship with nothing on her head disgraces her husband; there is no difference between her and a woman whose head has been shaved. 6If the woman does not cover her head, she might as well cut her hair. And since it is a shameful thing for a woman to shave her head or cut her hair, she should cover her head. 7A man has no need to cover his head, because he reflects the image and glory of God. But woman reflects the glory of man; 8for man was not created from woman, but woman from man. 9Nor was man created for woman's sake, but woman was created for man's sake. 10On account of the angels, then, a woman should have a covering over her head to show that she is under her husband's authority. 11In our life in the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as woman was made from man, in the same way man is born of woman; and it is God who brings everything into existence.

13Judge for yourselves whether it is proper for a woman to pray to God in public worship with nothing on her head. 14Why, nature itself teaches you that long hair on a man is a disgrace, 15but on a woman it is a thing of beauty. Her long hair has been given her to serve as a covering. 16But if anyone wants to argue about it, all I have to say is that neither we nor the churches of God have any other custom in worship.

The Lord's Supper

(Mt 26.26–29; Mk 14.22–25; Lk 22.14–20)

17In the following instructions, however, I do not praise you, because your meetings for worship actually do more harm than good. 18In the first place, I have been told that there are opposing groups in your meetings; and this I believe is partly true. 19(No doubt there must be divisions among you so that the ones who are in the right may be clearly seen.) 20When you meet together as a group, it is not the Lord's Supper that you eat. 21For as you eat, you each go ahead with your own meal, so that some are hungry while others get drunk. 22Haven't you got your own homes in which to eat and drink? Or would you rather despise the church of God and put to shame the people who are in need? What do you expect me to say to you about this? Shall I praise you? Of course I don't!

23For I received from the Lord the teaching that I passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a piece of bread, 24gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me.” 25In the same way, after the supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is God's new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.”

26This means that every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27It follows that if anyone eats the Lord's bread or drinks from his cup in a way that dishonours him, he or she is guilty of sin against the Lord's body and blood. 28So then, you should all examine yourselves first, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29For if people do not recognize the meaning of the Lord's body when they eat the bread and drink from the cup, they bring judgement on themselves as they eat and drink. 30That is why many of you are weak and ill, and several have died. 31If we would examine ourselves first, we would not come under God's judgement. 32But we are judged and punished by the Lord, so that we shall not be condemned together with the world.

33So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather together to eat the Lord's Supper, wait for one another. 34Anyone who is hungry should eat at home, so that you will not come under God's judgement as you meet together. As for the other matters, I will settle them when I come.

1 Corinthians 11GNBOpen in Bible reader
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