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The Silver Trumpets
10Â Now theÂ LordÂ said to Moses,Â 2Â â€œMake two trumpets of hammered silver for calling the community to assemble and for signaling the breaking of camp.Â 3Â When both trumpets are blown, everyone must gather before you at the entrance of the Tabernacle.Â 4Â But if only one trumpet is blown, then only the leadersâ€”the heads of the clans of Israelâ€”must present themselves to you.
5Â â€œWhen you sound the signal to move on, the tribes camped on the east side of the Tabernacle must break camp and move forward.Â 6Â When you sound the signal a second time, the tribes camped on the south will follow. You must sound short blasts as the signal for moving on.Â 7Â But when you call the people to an assembly, blow the trumpets with a different signal.Â 8Â Only the priests, Aaronâ€™s descendants, are allowed to blow the trumpets. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation.
9Â â€œWhen you arrive in your own land and go to war against your enemies who attack you, sound the alarm with the trumpets. Then theÂ LordÂ your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies.Â 10Â Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind theÂ LordÂ your God of his covenant with you. I am theÂ LordÂ your God.â€
The Israelites Leave Sinai
11Â In the second year after Israelâ€™s departure from Egyptâ€”on the twentieth day of the second monthâ€”the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle of the Covenant.Â 12Â So the Israelites set out from the wilderness of Sinai and traveled on from place to place until the cloud stopped in the wilderness of Paran.
13Â When the people set out for the first time, following the instructions theÂ LordÂ had given through Moses,Â 14Â Judahâ€™s troops led the way. They marched behind their banner, and their leader was Nahshon son of Amminadab.Â 15Â They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Issachar, led by Nethanel son of Zuar,Â 16Â and the troops of the tribe of Zebulun, led by Eliab son of Helon.
17Â Then the Tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonite and Merarite divisions of the Levites were next in the line of march, carrying the Tabernacle with them.Â 18Â Reubenâ€™s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elizur son of Shedeur.Â 19Â They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Simeon, led by Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai,Â 20Â and the troops of the tribe of Gad, led by Eliasaph son of Deuel.
21Â Next came the Kohathite division of the Levites, carrying the sacred objects from the Tabernacle. Before they arrived at the next camp, the Tabernacle would already be set up at its new location.Â 22Â Ephraimâ€™s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elishama son of Ammihud.Â 23Â They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Manasseh, led by Gamaliel son of Pedahzur,Â 24Â and the troops of the tribe of Benjamin, led by Abidan son of Gideoni.
25Â Danâ€™s troops went last, marching behind their banner and serving as the rear guard for all the tribal camps. Their leader was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.Â 26Â They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Asher, led by Pagiel son of Ocran,Â 27Â and the troops of the tribe of Naphtali, led by Ahira son of Enan.
28Â This was the order in which the Israelites marched, division by division.
29Â One day Moses said to his brother-in-law, Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, â€œWe are on our way to the place theLordÂ promised us, for he said, â€˜I will give it to you.â€™ Come with us and we will treat you well, for theÂ LordÂ has promised wonderful blessings for Israel!â€
30Â But Hobab replied, â€œNo, I will not go. I must return to my own land and family.â€
31Â â€œPlease donâ€™t leave us,â€ Moses pleaded. â€œYou know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide.Â 32Â If you do, weâ€™ll share with you all the blessings theÂ LordÂ gives us.â€
33Â They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of theÂ Lord, with the Ark of theÂ Lordâ€™s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest.Â 34Â As they moved on each day, the cloud of theÂ LordÂ hovered over them.Â 35Â And whenever the Ark set out, Moses would shout, â€œArise, OÂ Lord, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!â€Â 36Â And when the Ark was set down, he would say, â€œReturn, OÂ Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel!â€
The People Complain to Moses
11Â Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and theÂ LordÂ heard everything they said. Then theÂ Lordâ€™s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.Â 2Â Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to theÂ Lord, the fire stopped.3Â After that, the area was known as Taberah (which means â€œthe place of burningâ€), because fire from theÂ LordÂ had burned among them there.
4Â Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. â€œOh, for some meat!â€ they exclaimed.Â 5Â â€œWe remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.Â 6Â But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!â€
7Â The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.Â 8Â The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.Â 9Â The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.
10Â Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and theÂ LordÂ became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.Â 11Â And Moses said to theÂ Lord, â€œWhy are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people?Â 12Â Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors?Â 13Â Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, â€˜Give us meat to eat!â€™Â 14Â I canâ€™t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy!Â 15Â If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!â€
Moses Chooses Seventy Leaders
16Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œGather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the TabernacleÂ to stand there with you.Â 17Â I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone.
18Â â€œAnd say to the people, â€˜Purify yourselves, for tomorrow you will have meat to eat. You were whining, and theÂ Lordheard you when you cried, â€œOh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!â€ Now theÂ LordÂ will give you meat, and you will have to eat it.Â 19Â And it wonâ€™t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty.Â 20Â You will eat it for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected theÂ Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, â€œWhy did we ever leave Egypt?â€â€™â€
21Â But Moses responded to theÂ Lord, â€œThere are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you say, â€˜I will give them meat for a whole month!â€™Â 22Â Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?â€
23Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œHas my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!â€
24Â So Moses went out and reported theÂ Lordâ€™s words to the people. He gathered the seventy elders and stationed them around the Tabernacle.Â 25Â And theÂ LordÂ came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Then he gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was upon Moses. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But this never happened again.
26Â Two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed behind in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the Tabernacle. Yet the Spirit rested upon them as well, so they prophesied there in the camp.Â 27Â A young man ran and reported to Moses, â€œEldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!â€
28Â Joshua son of Nun, who had been Mosesâ€™ assistant since his youth, protested, â€œMoses, my master, make them stop!â€
29Â But Moses replied, â€œAre you jealous for my sake? I wish that all theÂ Lordâ€™s people were prophets and that theÂ Lordwould put his Spirit upon them all!â€Â 30Â Then Moses returned to the camp with the elders of Israel.
TheÂ LordÂ Sends Quail
31Â Now theÂ LordÂ sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall all around the camp. For miles in every direction there were quail flying about three feet above the ground.Â 32Â So the people went out and caught quail all that day and throughout the night and all the next day, too. No one gathered less than fifty bushels! They spread the quail all around the camp to dry.Â 33Â But while they were gorging themselves on the meatâ€”while it was still in their mouthsâ€”the anger of theÂ LordÂ blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.Â 34Â So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (which means â€œgraves of gluttonyâ€) because there they buried the people who had craved meat from Egypt.Â 35Â From Kibroth-hattaavah the Israelites traveled to Hazeroth, where they stayed for some time.
The Complaints of Miriam and Aaron
12Â While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman.Â 2Â They said, â€œHas theÂ LordÂ spoken only through Moses? Hasnâ€™t he spoken through us, too?â€ But theÂ LordÂ heard them.Â 3Â (Now Moses was very humbleâ€”more humble than any other person on earth.)
4Â So immediately theÂ LordÂ called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, â€œGo out to the Tabernacle,Â all three of you!â€ So the three of them went to the Tabernacle.Â 5Â Then theÂ LordÂ descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle.Â â€œAaron and Miriam!â€ he called, and they stepped forward.Â 6Â And theÂ LordÂ said to them, â€œNow listen to what I say:
â€œIf there were prophets among you,
9Â TheÂ LordÂ was very angry with them, and he departed.Â 10Â As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.Â When Aaron saw what had happened to her,Â 11Â he cried out to Moses, â€œOh, my master! Please donâ€™t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed.Â 12Â Donâ€™t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.â€
13Â So Moses cried out to theÂ Lord, â€œO God, I beg you, please heal her!â€
14Â But theÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œIf her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldnâ€™t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.â€
15Â So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.Â 16Â Then they left Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran.
Parable of the Lamp
21Â Then Jesus asked them,Â â€œWould anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.Â 22Â For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.Â 23Â Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.â€
24Â Then he added,Â â€œPay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be givenâ€”and you will receive even more.Â 25Â To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.â€
Parable of the Growing Seed
26Â Jesus also said,Â â€œThe Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground.Â 27Â Night and day, while heâ€™s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.Â 28Â The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.29Â And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.â€
Parable of the Mustard Seed
30Â Jesus said,Â â€œHow can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?Â 31Â It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds,Â 32Â but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.â€
33Â Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.Â 34Â In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.
Jesus Calms the Storm
35Â As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,Â â€œLetâ€™s cross to the other side of the lake.â€Â 36Â So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).Â 37Â But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38Â Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, â€œTeacher, donâ€™t you care that weâ€™re going to drown?â€
39Â When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves,Â â€œSilence! Be still!â€Â Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.Â 40Â Then he asked them,Â â€œWhy are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?â€
41Â The disciples were absolutely terrified. â€œWho is this man?â€ they asked each other. â€œEven the wind and waves obey him!â€