24 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, 2 where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, 3 and this is the message he delivered:
“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor,
the message of the man whose eyes see clearly,
4 the message of one who hears the words of God,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
who bows down with eyes wide open:
5 How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob;
how lovely are your homes, O Israel!
6 They spread before me like palm groves,[a]
like gardens by the riverside.
They are like tall trees planted by the Lord,
like cedars beside the waters.
7 Water will flow from their buckets;
their offspring have all they need.
Their king will be greater than Agag;
their kingdom will be exalted.
8 God brought them out of Egypt;
for them he is as strong as a wild ox.
He devours all the nations that oppose him,
breaking their bones in pieces,
shooting them with arrows.
9 Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down;
like a lioness, who dares to arouse her?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel,
and cursed is everyone who curses you.”
10 King Balak flew into a rage against Balaam. He angrily clapped his hands and shouted, “I called you to curse my enemies! Instead, you have blessed them three times. 11 Now get out of here! Go back home! I promised to reward you richly, but the Lord has kept you from your reward.”
12 Balaam told Balak, “Don’t you remember what I told your messengers? I said, 13 ‘Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord.’ I told you that I could say only what the Lord says! 14 Now I am returning to my own people. But first let me tell you what the Israelites will do to your people in the future.”
Balaam’s Final Messages
15 This is the message Balaam delivered:
“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor,
the message of the man whose eyes see clearly,
16 the message of one who hears the words of God,
who has knowledge from the Most High,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
who bows down with eyes wide open:
17 I see him, but not here and now.
I perceive him, but far in the distant future.
A star will rise from Jacob;
a scepter will emerge from Israel.
It will crush the heads of Moab’s people,
cracking the skulls[b] of the people of Sheth.
18 Edom will be taken over,
and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered,
while Israel marches on in triumph.
19 A ruler will rise in Jacob
who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”
20 Then Balaam looked over toward the people of Amalek and delivered this message:
“Amalek was the greatest of nations,
but its destiny is destruction!”
21 Then he looked over toward the Kenites and delivered this message:
“Your home is secure;
your nest is set in the rocks.
22 But the Kenites will be destroyed
when Assyria[c] takes you captive.”
23 Balaam concluded his messages by saying:
“Alas, who can survive
unless God has willed it?
24 Ships will come from the coasts of Cyprus[d];
they will oppress Assyria and afflict Eber,
but they, too, will be utterly destroyed.”
25 Then Balaam left and returned home, and Balak also went on his way.
Moab Seduces Israel
25 While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove,[e] some of the men defiled themselves by having[f] sexual relations with local Moabite women. 2 These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. 3 In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people.
4 The Lord issued the following command to Moses: “Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the Lord in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel.”
5 So Moses ordered Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death the men under your authority who have joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.”
6 Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into his tent, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as everyone was weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[g] 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear 8 and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, 9 but not before 24,000 people had died.
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest has turned my anger away from the Israelites by being as zealous among them as I was. So I stopped destroying all Israel as I had intended to do in my zealous anger. 12 Now tell him that I am making my special covenant of peace with him. 13 In this covenant, I give him and his descendants a permanent right to the priesthood, for in his zeal for me, his God, he purified the people of Israel, making them right with me.[h]”
14 The Israelite man killed with the Midianite woman was named Zimri son of Salu, the leader of a family from the tribe of Simeon. 15 The woman’s name was Cozbi; she was the daughter of Zur, the leader of a Midianite clan.
16 Then the Lord said to Moses, 17 “Attack the Midianites and destroy them, 18 because they assaulted you with deceit and tricked you into worshiping Baal of Peor, and because of Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, who was killed at the time of the plague because of what happened at Peor.”
The Second Registration of Israel’s Troops
26 After the plague had ended,[i] the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, 2 “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war.”
3 So there on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho, Moses and Eleazar the priest issued these instructions to the leaders of Israel: 4 “List all the men of Israel twenty years old and older, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”
This is the record of all the descendants of Israel who came out of Egypt.
The Tribe of Reuben
5 These were the clans descended from the sons of Reuben, Jacob’s[j] oldest son:
The Hanochite clan, named after their ancestor Hanoch.
The Palluite clan, named after their ancestor Pallu.
6 The Hezronite clan, named after their ancestor Hezron.
The Carmite clan, named after their ancestor Carmi.
7 These were the clans of Reuben. Their registered troops numbered 43,730.
8 Pallu was the ancestor of Eliab, 9 and Eliab was the father of Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. This Dathan and Abiram are the same community leaders who conspired with Korah against Moses and Aaron, rebelling against the Lord. 10 But the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed them with Korah, and fire devoured 250 of their followers. This served as a warning to the entire nation of Israel. 11 However, the sons of Korah did not die that day.
The Tribe of Simeon
12 These were the clans descended from the sons of Simeon:
The Jemuelite clan, named after their ancestor Jemuel.[k]
The Jaminite clan, named after their ancestor Jamin.
The Jakinite clan, named after their ancestor Jakin.
13 The Zoharite clan, named after their ancestor Zohar.[l]
The Shaulite clan, named after their ancestor Shaul.
14 These were the clans of Simeon. Their registered troops numbered 22,200.
The Tribe of Gad
15 These were the clans descended from the sons of Gad:
The Zephonite clan, named after their ancestor Zephon.
The Haggite clan, named after their ancestor Haggi.
The Shunite clan, named after their ancestor Shuni.
16 The Oznite clan, named after their ancestor Ozni.
The Erite clan, named after their ancestor Eri.
17 The Arodite clan, named after their ancestor Arodi.[m]
The Arelite clan, named after their ancestor Areli.
18 These were the clans of Gad. Their registered troops numbered 40,500.
The Tribe of Judah
19 Judah had two sons, Er and Onan, who had died in the land of Canaan. 20 These were the clans descended from Judah’s surviving sons:
The Shelanite clan, named after their ancestor Shelah.
The Perezite clan, named after their ancestor Perez.
The Zerahite clan, named after their ancestor Zerah.
21 These were the subclans descended from the Perezites:
The Hezronites, named after their ancestor Hezron.
The Hamulites, named after their ancestor Hamul.
22 These were the clans of Judah. Their registered troops numbered 76,500.
The Tribe of Issachar
23 These were the clans descended from the sons of Issachar:
The Tolaite clan, named after their ancestor Tola.
The Puite clan, named after their ancestor Puah.[n]
24 The Jashubite clan, named after their ancestor Jashub.
The Shimronite clan, named after their ancestor Shimron.
25 These were the clans of Issachar. Their registered troops numbered 64,300.
The Tribe of Zebulun
26 These were the clans descended from the sons of Zebulun:
The Seredite clan, named after their ancestor Sered.
The Elonite clan, named after their ancestor Elon.
The Jahleelite clan, named after their ancestor Jahleel.
27 These were the clans of Zebulun. Their registered troops numbered 60,500.
The Tribe of Manasseh
28 Two clans were descended from Joseph through Manasseh and Ephraim.
29 These were the clans descended from Manasseh:
The Makirite clan, named after their ancestor Makir.
The Gileadite clan, named after their ancestor Gilead, Makir’s son.
30 These were the subclans descended from the Gileadites:
The Iezerites, named after their ancestor Iezer.
The Helekites, named after their ancestor Helek.
31 The Asrielites, named after their ancestor Asriel.
The Shechemites, named after their ancestor Shechem.
32 The Shemidaites, named after their ancestor Shemida.
The Hepherites, named after their ancestor Hepher.
33 (One of Hepher’s descendants, Zelophehad, had no sons, but his daughters’ names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.)
34 These were the clans of Manasseh. Their registered troops numbered 52,700.
The Tribe of Ephraim
35 These were the clans descended from the sons of Ephraim:
The Shuthelahite clan, named after their ancestor Shuthelah.
The Bekerite clan, named after their ancestor Beker.
The Tahanite clan, named after their ancestor Tahan.
36 This was the subclan descended from the Shuthelahites:
The Eranites, named after their ancestor Eran.
37 These were the clans of Ephraim. Their registered troops numbered 32,500.
These clans of Manasseh and Ephraim were all descendants of Joseph.
The Tribe of Benjamin
38 These were the clans descended from the sons of Benjamin:
The Belaite clan, named after their ancestor Bela.
The Ashbelite clan, named after their ancestor Ashbel.
The Ahiramite clan, named after their ancestor Ahiram.
39 The Shuphamite clan, named after their ancestor Shupham.[o]
The Huphamite clan, named after their ancestor Hupham.
40 These were the subclans descended from the Belaites:
The Ardites, named after their ancestor Ard.
The Tribe of Dan
42 These were the clans descended from the sons of Dan:
The Shuhamite clan, named after their ancestor Shuham.
43 These were the Shuhamite clans of Dan. Their registered troops numbered 64,400.
The Tribe of Asher
44 These were the clans descended from the sons of Asher:
The Imnite clan, named after their ancestor Imnah.
The Ishvite clan, named after their ancestor Ishvi.
The Beriite clan, named after their ancestor Beriah.
45 These were the subclans descended from the Beriites:
The Heberites, named after their ancestor Heber.
The Malkielites, named after their ancestor Malkiel.
46 Asher also had a daughter named Serah.
47 These were the clans of Asher. Their registered troops numbered 53,400.
The Tribe of Naphtali
48 These were the clans descended from the sons of Naphtali:
The Jahzeelite clan, named after their ancestor Jahzeel.
The Gunite clan, named after their ancestor Guni.
49 The Jezerite clan, named after their ancestor Jezer.
The Shillemite clan, named after their ancestor Shillem.
50 These were the clans of Naphtali. Their registered troops numbered 45,400.
Results of the Registration
51 In summary, the registered troops of all Israel numbered 601,730.
52 Then the Lord said to Moses, 53 “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list. 54 Give the larger tribes more land and the smaller tribes less land, each group receiving a grant in proportion to the size of its population. 55 But you must assign the land by lot, and give land to each ancestral tribe according to the number of names on the list. 56 Each grant of land must be assigned by lot among the larger and smaller tribal groups.”
The Tribe of Levi
57 This is the record of the Levites who were counted according to their clans:
The Gershonite clan, named after their ancestor Gershon.
The Kohathite clan, named after their ancestor Kohath.
The Merarite clan, named after their ancestor Merari.
58 The Libnites, the Hebronites, the Mahlites, the Mushites, and the Korahites were all subclans of the Levites.
Now Kohath was the ancestor of Amram, 59 and Amram’s wife was named Jochebed. She also was a descendant of Levi, born among the Levites in the land of Egypt. Amram and Jochebed became the parents of Aaron, Moses, and their sister, Miriam. 60 To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded.
62 The men from the Levite clans who were one month old or older numbered 23,000. But the Levites were not included in the registration of the rest of the people of Israel because they were not given an allotment of land when it was divided among the Israelites.
63 So these are the results of the registration of the people of Israel as conducted by Moses and Eleazar the priest on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 64 Not one person on this list had been among those listed in the previous registration taken by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the Lord had said of them, “They will all die in the wilderness.” Not one of them survived except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
24:6 Or like a majestic valley.
24:17 As in Samaritan Pentateuch; the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain.
24:22 Hebrew Asshur; also in 24:24.
24:24 Hebrew Kittim.
25:1a Hebrew Shittim.
25:1b As in Greek version; Hebrew reads some of the men began having.
25:6 Hebrew the Tent of Meeting.
25:13 Or he made atonement for the people of Israel.
26:1 The initial phrase in verse 26:1 is numbered 25:19 in Hebrew text.
26:5 Hebrew Israel’s; see note on 1:20-21b.
26:12 As in Syriac version (see also Gen 46:10; Exod 6:15); Hebrew reads Nemuelite . . . Nemuel.
26:13 As in parallel texts at Gen 46:10 and Exod 6:15; Hebrew reads Zerahite . . . Zerah.
26:17 As in Samaritan Pentateuch and Greek and Syriac versions (see also Gen 46:16); Hebrew reads Arod.
26:23 As in Samaritan Pentateuch, Greek and Syriac versions, and Latin Vulgate (see also 1 Chr 7:1); Hebrew reads The Punite clan, named after its ancestor Puvah.
26:39 As in some Hebrew manuscripts, Samaritan Pentateuch, Greek and Syriac versions, and Latin Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts read Shephupham.
26:40 As in Samaritan Pentateuch, some Greek manuscripts, and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks named after their ancestor Ard.
For the choir director: A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.
1 O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
in days long ago:
2 You drove out the pagan nations by your power
and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
and set our ancestors free.
3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;
it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
for you loved them.
4 You are my King and my God.
You command victories for Israel.[b]
5 Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.
6 I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
7 You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us.
8 O God, we give glory to you all day long
and constantly praise your name. Interlude
9 But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10 You make us retreat from our enemies
and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11 You have butchered us like sheep
and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance,
making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us.
We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes;
they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
All we see are our vengeful enemies.
17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it,
for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day;
we are being slaughtered like sheep.
23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way?
Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust,
lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!
Ransom us because of your unfailing love.
44:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
44:4 Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler[a] over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler[b] over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
5 The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”[c]
7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”
11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”
12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”
14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.
John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with[d] water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.[e] 17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” 18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.
19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee,[f] for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. 20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.
The Baptism of Jesus
21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.[g]”
The Ancestors of Jesus
23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.
Jesus was known as the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Heli.
24 Heli was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
Levi was the son of Melki.
Melki was the son of Jannai.
Jannai was the son of Joseph.
25 Joseph was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Amos.
Amos was the son of Nahum.
Nahum was the son of Esli.
Esli was the son of Naggai.
26 Naggai was the son of Maath.
Maath was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Semein.
Semein was the son of Josech.
Josech was the son of Joda.
27 Joda was the son of Joanan.
Joanan was the son of Rhesa.
Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the son of Neri.
28 Neri was the son of Melki.
Melki was the son of Addi.
Addi was the son of Cosam.
Cosam was the son of Elmadam.
Elmadam was the son of Er.
29 Er was the son of Joshua.
Joshua was the son of Eliezer.
Eliezer was the son of Jorim.
Jorim was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
30 Levi was the son of Simeon.
Simeon was the son of Judah.
Judah was the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Jonam.
Jonam was the son of Eliakim.
31 Eliakim was the son of Melea.
Melea was the son of Menna.
Menna was the son of Mattatha.
Mattatha was the son of Nathan.
Nathan was the son of David.
32 David was the son of Jesse.
Jesse was the son of Obed.
Obed was the son of Boaz.
Boaz was the son of Salmon.[h]
Salmon was the son of Nahshon.
33 Nahshon was the son of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the son of Admin.
Admin was the son of Arni.[i]
Arni was the son of Hezron.
Hezron was the son of Perez.
Perez was the son of Judah.
34 Judah was the son of Jacob.
Jacob was the son of Isaac.
Isaac was the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the son of Terah.
Terah was the son of Nahor.
35 Nahor was the son of Serug.
Serug was the son of Reu.
Reu was the son of Peleg.
Peleg was the son of Eber.
Eber was the son of Shelah.
36 Shelah was the son of Cainan.
Cainan was the son of Arphaxad.
Arphaxad was the son of Shem.
Shem was the son of Noah.
Noah was the son of Lamech.
37 Lamech was the son of Methuselah.
Methuselah was the son of Enoch.
Enoch was the son of Jared.
Jared was the son of Mahalalel.
Mahalalel was the son of Kenan.
38 Kenan was the son of Enosh.[j]
Enosh was the son of Seth.
Seth was the son of Adam.
Adam was the son of God.
3:1a Greek Herod was tetrarch. Herod Antipas was a son of King Herod.
3:1b Greek tetrarch; also in 3:1c.
3:4-6 Isa 40:3-5 (Greek version).
3:16a Or in.
18 Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
they lash out at common sense.
2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4 Wise words are like deep waters;
wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5 It is not right to acquit the guilty
or deny justice to the innocent.
6 Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;
they are asking for a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their ruin;
they trap themselves with their lips.
8 Rumors are dainty morsels
that sink deep into one’s heart.
9 A lazy person is as bad as
someone who destroys things.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to him and are safe.
11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;
humility precedes honor.