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Day 51 Day 52Day 53

Numbers chapter 8

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The LORD said to Moses,
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"Speak to Aaron and say to him, 'When you set up the seven lamps, they are to light the area in front of the lampstand.'"
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Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the LORD commanded Moses.
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This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold-- from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the LORD had shown Moses.
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The LORD said to Moses:
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"Take the Levites from among the other Israelites and make them ceremonially clean.
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To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes, and so purify themselves.
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Have them take a young bull with its grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil; then you are to take a second young bull for a sin offering.
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Bring the Levites to the front of the Tent of Meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community.
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You are to bring the Levites before the LORD, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them.
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Aaron is to present the Levites before the LORD as a wave offering from the Israelites, so that they may be ready to do the work of the LORD.
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"After the Levites lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, use the one for a sin offering to the LORD and the other for a burnt offering, to make atonement for the Levites.
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Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the LORD.
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In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
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"After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the Tent of Meeting.
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They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman.
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Every firstborn male in Israel, whether man or animal, is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself.
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And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel.
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Of all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the Tent of Meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary."
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Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the LORD commanded Moses.
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The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the LORD and made atonement for them to purify them.
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After that, the Levites came to do their work at the Tent of Meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the LORD commanded Moses.
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The LORD said to Moses,
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"This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the Tent of Meeting,
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but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer.
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They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the Tent of Meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites."

Numbers chapter 9

1
The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said,
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"Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time.
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Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations."
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So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover,
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and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD commanded Moses.
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But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day
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and said to Moses, "We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the LORD's offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?"
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Moses answered them, "Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you."
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Then the LORD said to Moses,
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"Tell the Israelites: 'When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they may still celebrate the LORD's Passover.
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They are to celebrate it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
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They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations.
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But if a man who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people because he did not present the LORD's offering at the appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin.
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"'An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD's Passover must do so in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for the alien and the native-born.'"
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On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.
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That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.
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Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.
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At the LORD's command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.
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When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD's order and did not set out.
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Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD's command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out.
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Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.
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Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.
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At the LORD's command they encamped, and at the LORD's command they set out. They obeyed the LORD's order, in accordance with his command through Moses.

Acts chapter 28

1
Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.
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The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
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Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.
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When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live."
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But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
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The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
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There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably.
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His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.
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When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.
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They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
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After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.
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We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days.
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From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli.
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There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.
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The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.
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When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.
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Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: "My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.
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They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death.
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But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar-- not that I had any charge to bring against my own people.
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For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain."
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They replied, "We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you.
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But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect."
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They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
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Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.
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They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
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"'Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving."
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For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'
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"Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!"
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For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.
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Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
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