Good News Translation (GNB)
19

Ashes of the Red Cow

191The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron 2to give the Israelites the following regulations. Bring to Moses and Aaron a red cow which has no defects and which has never been put to work, 3and they will give it to Eleazar the priest. It is to be taken outside the camp and killed in his presence.19.3 Itpresence; or He is to take it outside to the east of the camp and kill it. 4Then Eleazar is to take some of its blood and with his finger sprinkle it seven times in the direction of the Tent. 5The whole animal, including skin, meat, blood, and intestines, is to be burnt in the presence of the priest. 6Then he is to take some cedar wood, a sprig of hyssop, and a red cord and throw them into the fire. 7After that, he is to wash his clothes and pour water over himself, and then he may enter the camp; but he remains ritually unclean until evening. 8The man who burnt the cow must also wash his clothes and pour water over himself, but he also remains unclean until evening. 9

19.9:
Heb 9.13
Then a man who is ritually clean is to collect the ashes of the cow and put them in a ritually clean place outside the camp, where they are to be kept for the Israelite community to use in preparing the water for removing ritual uncleanness. This ritual is performed to remove sin. 10The man who collected the ashes must wash his clothes, but he remains unclean until evening. This regulation is valid for all time to come, both for the Israelites and for the foreigners living among them.

Contact with a Corpse

11Whoever touches a corpse is ritually unclean for seven days. 12He must purify himself with the water for purification on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on both the third and the seventh day, he will not be clean. 13Whoever touches a corpse and does not purify himself remains unclean, because the water for purification has not been thrown over him. He defiles the LORD's Tent, and he will no longer be considered one of God's people.

14If someone dies in a tent, anyone who is in the tent at the time of death or who enters it becomes ritually unclean for seven days. 15Every jar and pot in the tent that has no lid19.15 no lid; or no lid fastened. on it also becomes unclean. 16If someone touches a person who has been killed or has died a natural death out of doors or if someone touches a human bone or a grave, he becomes unclean for seven days.

17To remove the uncleanness, some ashes from the red cow which was burnt to remove sin shall be taken and put in a pot, and fresh water added. 18In the first case, someone who is ritually clean is to take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle the tent, everything in it, and the people who were there. In the second case, someone who is ritually clean is to sprinkle the water on the man who had touched the human bone or the dead body or the grave. 19On the third day and on the seventh the person who is ritually clean is to sprinkle the water on the unclean person. On the seventh day he is to purify the man, who, after washing his clothes and pouring water over himself, becomes ritually clean at sunset.

20Anyone who has become ritually unclean and does not purify himself remains unclean, because the water for purification has not been thrown over him. He defiles the LORD's Tent and will no longer be considered one of God's people. 21You are to observe this rule for all time to come. The person who sprinkles the water for purification must also wash his clothes; anyone who touches the water remains ritually unclean until evening. 22Whatever an unclean person touches is unclean, and anyone else who touches it remains unclean until evening.

20

Events at Kadesh

(Ex 17.1–7)

201In the first month the whole community of Israel came to the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.

2There was no water where they camped, so the people gathered round Moses and Aaron 3and complained: “It would have been better if we had died in front of the LORD's Tent along with our fellow-Israelites. 4Why have you brought us out into this wilderness? Just so that we can die here with our animals? 5Why did you bring us out of Egypt into this miserable place where nothing will grow? There's no corn, no figs, no grapes, no pomegranates. There is not even any water to drink!” 6Moses and Aaron moved away from the people and stood at the entrance of the Tent. They bowed down with their faces to the ground, and the dazzling light of the LORD's presence appeared to them.

7The LORD said to Moses, 8“Take the stick that is in front of the Covenant Box, and then you and Aaron assemble the whole community. There in front of them all speak to that rock over there, and water will gush out of it. In this way you will bring water out of the rock for the people, for them and their animals to drink.” 9Moses went and got the stick, as the LORD had commanded.

10He and Aaron assembled the whole community in front of the rock, and Moses said, “Listen, you rebels! Do we have to get water out of this rock for you?” 11Then Moses raised the stick and struck the rock twice with it, and a great stream of water gushed out, and all the people and animals drank.

12But the LORD reprimanded Moses and Aaron. He said, “Because you did not have enough faith to acknowledge my holy power before the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land that I promised to give them.”

13This happened at Meribah,20.13 Meribah: This name in Hebrew means “complaining”. where the people of Israel complained against the LORD and where he showed them that he was holy.

The King of Edom Refuses to Let Israel Pass

14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. They said, “This message is from your kinsmen, the tribes of Israel. You know the hardships we have suffered, 15how our ancestors went to Egypt, where we lived many years. The Egyptians ill-treated our ancestors and us, 16and we cried to the LORD for help. He heard our cry and sent an angel, who led us out of Egypt. Now we are at Kadesh, a town at the border of your territory. 17Please permit us to pass through your land. We and our cattle will not leave the road or go into your fields or vineyards, and we will not drink from your wells. We will stay on the main road20.17 main road; or king's highway. until we are out of your territory.”

18But the Edomites answered, “We refuse to let you pass through our country! If you try, we will march out and attack you.”

19The people of Israel said, “We will stay on the main road, and if we or our animals drink any of your water, we will pay for it — all we want is to pass through.”

20The Edomites repeated, “We refuse!” and they marched out with a powerful army to attack the people of Israel. 21Because the Edomites would not let the Israelites pass through their territory, the Israelites turned and went another way.

The Death of Aaron

22The whole community of Israel left Kadesh and arrived at Mount Hor, 23on the border of Edom. There the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 24“Aaron is not going to enter the land which I promised to give to Israel; he is going to die, because the two of you rebelled against my command at Meribah. 25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar up Mount Hor, 26and there remove Aaron's priestly robes and put them on Eleazar. Aaron is going to die there.” 27Moses did what the LORD had commanded. They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community, 28

20.28:
Ex 29.29
Num 33.38
Deut 10.6
and Moses removed Aaron's priestly robes and put them on Eleazar. There on the top of the mountain Aaron died, and Moses and Eleazar came back down. 29The whole community learnt that Aaron had died, and they all mourned for him for thirty days.

21

Victory over the Canaanites

211

21.1:
Num 33.40
When the Canaanite king of Arad in the southern part of Canaan heard that the Israelites were coming by way of Atharim, he attacked them and captured some of them. 2Then the Israelites made a vow to the LORD: “If you will let us conquer these people, we will unconditionally dedicate21.2 unconditionally dedicate: Anything dedicated in this way belonged completely to the LORD and could not be used; it had to be destroyed. them and their cities to you and will destroy them.” 3The LORD heard them and helped them to conquer the Canaanites. So the Israelites completely destroyed them and their cities, and named the place Hormah.21.3 Hormah: This name in Hebrew means “destruction”.

The Snake Made of Bronze

4

21.4:
Deut 2.1
The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road that leads to the Gulf of Aqaba, in order to go round the territory of Edom. But on the way the people lost their patience 5
21.5–6:
1 Cor 10.9
and spoke against God and Moses. They complained, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We can't stand any more of this miserable food!” 6Then the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many Israelites were bitten and died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Now pray to the LORD to take these snakes away.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8Then the LORD told Moses to make a metal snake and put it on a pole, so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and be healed. 9
21.9:
2 Kgs 18.4
Jn 3.14
So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone who had been bitten would look at the bronze snake and be healed.

From Mount Hor to the Valley of the Moabites

10The Israelites moved on and camped at Oboth. 11After leaving that place, they camped at the ruins of Abarim in the wilderness east of Moabite territory. 12Then they camped in the Valley of Zered. 13From there they moved again and camped on the north side of the River Arnon, in the wilderness which extends into Amorite territory. (The Arnon was the border between the Moabites and the Amorites.) 14That is why The Book of the LORD's Battles speaks of “…the town of Waheb in the area of Suphah, and the valleys; the River Arnon, 15and the slope of the valleys that extend to the town of Ar and towards the border of Moab.”

16From there they went on to a place called Wells, where the LORD said to Moses, “Bring the people together, and I will give them water.” 17At that time the people of Israel sang this song:

“Wells, produce your water;

And we will greet it with a song —

18The well dug by princes

And by leaders of the people,

Dug with a royal sceptre

And with their sticks.”

They moved from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19and from there they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley in the territory of the Moabites, below the top of Mount Pisgah, looking out over the desert.

Victory over King Sihon and King Og

(Deut 2.26—3.11)

21Then the people of Israel sent messengers to the Amorite king Sihon to say: 22“Let us pass through your land. We and our cattle will not leave the road and go into your fields or vineyards, and we will not drink water from your wells; we will stay on the main road21.22 main road; or king's highway. until we are out of your territory.” 23But Sihon would not permit the people of Israel to pass through his territory. He gathered his army and went out to Jahaz in the wilderness and attacked the Israelites. 24But the Israelites killed many of the enemy in battle and occupied their land from the River Arnon north to the Jabbok, that is, to the Ammonites, because the Ammonite border was strongly defended.21.24 becausestrongly defended; some ancient translations as far as Jazer on the Ammonite border. 25So the people of Israel captured all the Amorite cities, including Heshbon and all the surrounding towns, and settled in them. 26Heshbon was the capital city of the Amorite king Sihon, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had captured all his land as far as the River Arnon. 27That is why the poets sing,

“Come to Heshbon, to King Sihon's city!

We want to see it rebuilt and restored.

28

21.28–29:
Jer 48.45–46
Once from this city of Heshbon

Sihon's army went forth like a fire;

It destroyed the city of Ar in Moab

And devoured21.28 One ancient translation devoured; Hebrew the lords of. the hills of the upper Arnon.

29How terrible for you, people of Moab!

You worshippers of Chemosh are brought to ruin!

Your god let the men become refugees,

And the women became captives of the Amorite king.

30But now their descendants are destroyed,

All the way from Heshbon to Dibon,

From Nashim to Nophah, near Medeba.”21.30 Verse 30 in Hebrew is unclear.

31So the people of Israel settled in the territory of the Amorites, 32and Moses sent men to find the best way to attack the city of Jazer. The Israelites captured it and its surrounding towns and drove out the Amorites living there.

33Then the Israelites turned and took the road to Bashan, and King Og of Bashan marched out with his army to attack them at Edrei. 34The LORD said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him. I will give you victory over him, all his people, and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who ruled at Heshbon.” 35So the Israelites killed Og, his sons, and all his people, leaving no survivors, and then they occupied his land.