Leviticus 24-25; Psalm 81; Hebrews 9
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
‘Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly.
Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the LORD regularly. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
He shall arrange the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold before the LORD regularly.
‘You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf.
And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the LORD.
Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the LORD regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever.
And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the LORD’s food offerings, a perpetual due.”
Now an Israelite woman’s son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel. And the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought in the camp,
and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.
And they put him in custody, till the will of the LORD should be clear to them.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
‘Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin.
Whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.
‘Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.
Whoever takes an animal’s life shall make it good, life for life.
If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him,
fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him.
Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death.
You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God.”
So Moses spoke to the people of Israel, and they brought out of the camp the one who had cursed and stoned him with stones. Thus the people of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.
The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,
‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the LORD.
For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits,
but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.
You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land.
The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired servant and the sojourner who lives with you,
and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food.
‘You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years.
Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.
And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.
That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines.
For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field.
‘In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property.
And if you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another.
You shall pay your neighbor according to the number of years after the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of years for crops.
If the years are many, you shall increase the price, and if the years are few, you shall reduce the price, for it is the number of the crops that he is selling to you.
You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God.
‘Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely.
The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely.
And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’
I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years.
When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating some of the old crop; you shall eat the old until the ninth year, when its crop arrives.
‘The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.
And in all the country you possess, you shall allow a redemption of the land.
‘If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold.
If a man has no one to redeem it and then himself becomes prosperous and finds sufficient means to redeem it,
let him calculate the years since he sold it and pay back the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and then return to his property.
But if he has not sufficient means to recover it, then what he sold shall remain in the hand of the buyer until the year of jubilee. In the jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his property.
‘If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, he may redeem it within a year of its sale. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption.
If it is not redeemed within a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong in perpetuity to the buyer, throughout his generations; it shall not be released in the jubilee.
But the houses of the villages that have no wall around them shall be classified with the fields of the land. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the jubilee.
As for the cities of the Levites, the Levites may redeem at any time the houses in the cities they possess.
And if one of the Levites exercises his right of redemption, then the house that was sold in a city they possess shall be released in the jubilee. For the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the people of Israel.
But the fields of pastureland belonging to their cities may not be sold, for that is their possession forever.
‘If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.
Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.
You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.
‘If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave:
he shall be with you as a hired servant and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee.
Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and go back to his own clan and return to the possession of his fathers.
For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.
You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God.
As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.
You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property.
You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.
‘If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan,
then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him,
or his uncle or his cousin may redeem him, or a close relative from his clan may redeem him. Or if he grows rich he may redeem himself.
He shall calculate with his buyer from the year when he sold himself to him until the year of jubilee, and the price of his sale shall vary with the number of years. The time he was with his owner shall be rated as the time of a hired servant.
If there are still many years left, he shall pay proportionately for his redemption some of his sale price.
If there remain but a few years until the year of jubilee, he shall calculate and pay for his redemption in proportion to his years of service.
He shall treat him as a servant hired year by year. He shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight.
And if he is not redeemed by these means, then he and his children with him shall be released in the year of jubilee.
For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.
For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a language I had not known:
‘I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
‘But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.
Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the LORD would cringe toward him, and their fate would last forever.
But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.
For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.
Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place,
having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.
Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,
but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.
By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing
(which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,
but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh,
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.
For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
saying, ”This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.”
And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.