March 24

Numbers 17

1And the Lord said to Moses,

2Say to the children of Israel that they are to give you rods, one for every family, for every chief, the head of his father’s house, making twelve rods; let every man’s name be placed on his rod.

3And let Aaron’s name be placed on the rod of Levi: for there is to be one rod for the head of every family.

4And let them be stored up in the Tent of meeting, in front of the ark of witness where I come to you.

5And the rod of that man who is marked out by me for myself will have buds on it; so I will put a stop to the outcries which the children of Israel make to me against you.

6So Moses gave these orders to the children of Israel, and all their chiefs gave him rods, one for the head of every family, making twelve rods: and Aaron’s rod was among them.

7And Moses put the rods before the Lord in the Tent of witness.

8Now on the day after, Moses went into the Tent of witness; and he saw that Aaron’s rod, the rod of the house of Levi, had put out buds, and was covered with buds and flowers and fruit.

9Then Moses took out all the rods from before the Lord, and gave them back to the children of Israel: and they saw them, and every man took his rod.

10And the Lord said to Moses, Put Aaron’s rod back in front of the ark of witness, to be kept for a sign against this false-hearted people, so that you may put a stop to their outcries against me, and death may not overtake them.

11This Moses did: as the Lord gave orders, so he did.

12And the children of Israel said to Moses, Truly, destruction has come on us; an evil fate has overtaken us all.

13Death will overtake everyone who comes near, who comes near the House of the Lord: are we all to come to destruction?

Numbers 18

1And the Lord said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father’s family are to be responsible for all wrongdoing in relation to the holy place: and you and your sons are to be responsible for the errors which come about in your work as priests.

2Let your brothers, the family of Levi, come near with you, so that they may be joined with you and be your servants: but you and your sons with you are to go in before the ark of witness.

3They are to do your orders and be responsible for the work of the Tent; but they may not come near the vessels of the holy place or the altar, so that death may not overtake them or you.

4They are to be joined with you in the care of the Tent of meeting, doing whatever is needed for the Tent: and no one of any other family may come near you.

5You are to be responsible for the holy place and the altar, so that wrath may never again come on the children of Israel.

6Now, see, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel: they are given to you and to the Lord, to do the work of the Tent of meeting.

7And you and your sons with you are to be responsible as priests for the altar and everything on it, and everything inside the veil; you are to do the work of priests; I have given you your position as priests; and any other man who comes near will be put to death.

8And the Lord said to Aaron, See, I have given into your care my lifted offerings; even all the holy things of the children of Israel I have given to you and to your sons as your right for ever, because you have been marked with the holy oil.

9This is to be yours of the most holy things, out of the fire offerings; every offering of theirs, every meal offering and sin-offering, and every offering which they make on account of error, is to be most holy for you and your sons.

10As most holy things they are to be your food: let every male have them for food; it is to be holy to you.

11And this is yours: the lifted offering which they give and all the wave offerings of the children of Israel I have given to you and to your sons and to your daughters as your right for ever: everyone in your house who is clean may have them for food.

12All the best of the oil and the wine and the grain, the first-fruits of them which they give to the Lord, to you have I given them.

13The earliest produce from their land which they take to the Lord is to be yours; everyone in your house who is clean may have it for his food.

14Everything given by oath to the Lord in Israel is to be yours.

15The first birth of every living thing which is offered to the Lord, of man or beast, is to be yours; but for the first sons of man payment is to be made, and for the first young of unclean beasts.

16Payment is to be made for these when they are a month old, at the value fixed by you, a price of five shekels by the scale of the holy place, that is, twenty gerahs to the shekel.

17But no such payment may be made for the first birth of an ox or a sheep or a goat; these are holy: their blood is to be dropped on the altar, and their fat burned for an offering made by fire, a sweet smell to the Lord.

18Their flesh is to be yours; like the breast of the wave offering and the right leg, it is to be yours.

19All the lifted offerings of the holy things which the children of Israel give to the Lord, I have given to you and to your sons and to your daughters as a right for ever. This is an agreement made with salt before the Lord, to you and to your seed for ever.

20And the Lord said to Aaron, You will have no heritage in their land, or any part among them; I am your part and your heritage among the children of Israel.

21And to the children of Levi I have given as their heritage all the tenths offered in Israel, as payment for the work they do, the work of the Tent of meeting.

22In future the children of Israel are not to come near the Tent of meeting, so that death may not come to them because of sin.

23But the Levites are to do the work of the Tent of meeting, and be responsible for errors in connection with it: this is a law for ever through all your generations; and among the children of Israel they will have no heritage.

24For the tenths which the children of Israel give as a lifted offering to the Lord I have given to the Levites as their heritage. and so I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they will have no heritage.

25And the Lord said to Moses,

26Say to the Levites, When you take from the children of Israel the tenth which I have given to you from them as your heritage, a tenth part of that tenth is to be offered as an offering lifted up before the Lord.

27And this lifted offering is to be put to your credit as if it was grain from the grain-floor and wine from the vines.

28So you are to make an offering lifted up to the Lord from all the tenths which you get from the children of Israel, giving out of it the Lord’s lifted offering to Aaron the priest.

29From everything given to you, let the best of it, the holy part of it, be offered as a lifted offering to the Lord.

30Say to them, then, When the best of it is lifted up on high, it is to be put to the account of the Levites as the increase of the grain-floor and of the place where the grapes are crushed.

31It is to be your food, for you and your families in every place: it is your reward for your work in the Tent of meeting.

32And no sin will be yours on account of it, when the best of it has been lifted up on high; you are not to make a wrong use of the holy things of the children of Israel, so that death may not overtake you.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-8

1Put out your bread on the face of the waters; for after a long time it will come back to you again.

2Give a part to seven or even to eight, because you have no knowledge of the evil which will be on the earth.

3If the clouds are full of rain, they send it down on the earth; and if a tree comes down to the south, or the north, in whatever place it comes down, there it will be.

4He who is watching the wind will not get the seed planted, and he who is looking at the clouds will not get in the grain.

5As you have no knowledge of the way of the wind, or of the growth of the bones in the body of her who is with child, even so you have no knowledge of the works of God who has made all.

6In the morning put your seed into the earth, and till the evening let not your hand be at rest; because you are not certain which will do well, this or that–or if the two will be equally good.

7Truly the light is sweet, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.

8But even if a man’s life is long and he has joy in all his years, let him keep in mind the dark days, because they will be great in number. Whatever may come is to no purpose.

Matthew 21:1-27

1And when they were near Jerusalem, and had come to Beth-phage, to the Mountain of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,

2Saying to them, Go into the little town in front of you, and straight away you will see an ass with a cord round her neck, and a young one with her; let them loose and come with them to me.

3And if anyone says anything to you, you will say, The Lord has need of them; and straight away he will send them.

4Now this took place so that these words of the prophet might come true,

5Say to the daughter of Zion, See, your King comes to you, gentle and seated on an ass, and on a young ass.

6And the disciples went and did as Jesus had given them orders,

7And got the ass and the young one, and put their clothing on them, and he took his seat on it.

8And all the people put their clothing down in the way; and others got branches from the trees, and put them down in the way.

9And those who went before him, and those who came after, gave loud cries, saying, Glory to the Son of David: A blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord: Glory in the highest.

10And when he came into Jerusalem, all the town was moved, saying, Who is this?

11And the people said, This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

12And Jesus went into the Temple and sent out all who were trading there, overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those trading in doves.

13And he said to them, It is in the Writings, My house is to be named a house of prayer, but you are making it a hole of thieves.

14And the blind and the broken in body came to him in the Temple, and he made them well.

15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the works of power which he did, and the children crying out in the Temple, Glory to the son of David, they were angry and said to him,

16Have you any idea what these are saying? And Jesus said to them, Yes: have you not seen in the Writings, From the lips of children and babies at the breast you have made your praise complete?

17And he went away from them, and went out of the town to Bethany, and was there for the night.

18Now in the morning when he was coming back to the town, he had a desire for food.

19And seeing a fig-tree by the wayside, he came to it, and saw nothing on it but leaves only; and he said to it, Let there be no fruit from you from this time forward for ever. And straight away the fig-tree became dry and dead.

20And when the disciples saw it they were surprised, saying, How did the fig-tree become dry in so short a time?

21And Jesus in answer said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have faith, without doubting, not only may you do what has been done to the fig-tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and put into the sea, it will be done.

22And all things, whatever you make request for in prayer, having faith, you will get.

23And when he had come into the Temple, the chief priests and those in authority over the people came to him while he was teaching, and said, By what authority do you do these things? and who gave you this authority?

24And Jesus said to them in answer, I will put one question to you, and if you give me the answer, I will say by what authority I do these things.

25The baptism of John, where did it come from? from heaven or from men? And they were reasoning among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why then did you not have faith in him?

26But if we say, From men; we are in fear of the people, because all take John to be a prophet.

27And they made answer and said, We have no idea. Then he said to them, And I will not say to you by what authority I do these things.

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