Numbers 15

Rules about sacrifices

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘Say to the Israelites, “You will go into the land that I am giving to you. 3 When you are living there, you can sacrifice bulls, male sheep or goats to the Lord. You will burn them on the altar as a burnt offering. You may offer special sacrifices to the Lord when you have promised to do it. Or you may offer sacrifices because you choose to do it. Also, you will give sacrifices during your regular festivals. The smell of these sacrifices as they burn will please the Lord. 4 The person who gives the gift to the Lord must also give a gift of flour. He must mix the flour with oil. It should be 1 kilogram of your best flour. Mix this flour with 1 litre of olive oil. 5 You must also give 1 litre of wine for each lamb. You must give that as a drink offering with each burnt offering or sacrifice.

6 If the animal is a male sheep, you must also offer 2 kilograms of flour. Mix this flour with 1.5 litres of olive oil. 7 Also, you must pour 1.5 litres of wine on the altar as a drink offering. The smell of the smoke from this sacrifice will please the Lord.

8 A person can give a young bull as a burnt offering. This may be a special sacrifice that he has promised to give to God. Or it may be a friendship offering to the Lord. 9 Also, you must offer 3 kilograms of flour. Mix this flour with 2 litres of olive oil. Do that if the bull is a burnt offering, or a friendship offering. Do the same if you offer this sacrifice because of a promise. 10 Also, you must pour 2 litres of wine on the altar as a drink offering. The smell of this smoke will please the Lord.

11 You must do the same thing for each bull or for each male sheep. And you must do the same thing for each male lamb or for each young goat. 12 You must do that for every animal that you offer as a gift to God. 13 All the Israelites must do that when they burn sacrifices. The smell of them as they burn will please the Lord. 14 A stranger who is living in your land may want to give a gift by fire to the Lord. He must do the same as you do now, and for all future time. 15 These rules will be the same for the Israelites and for all foreign people who live with them. These rules are for now and for all future time. Both you and the foreign person must obey the Lord's rules. 16 There is the same law for you and for the foreign person who is living among you. There is only one set of rules.” ’

17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 ‘Tell the Israelites this. I am bringing them into the land of Canaan. After they have gone into it, they must obey my rules. 19 When they first eat the food from that land, they must give a special offering to the Lord. 20 You must give a cake as a special offering from the first of your flour. You must do it as you give your special gift from your threshing floor. 21 From the first of your flour, you must give to the Lord a special offering. And your descendants must continue to do that.

22 The people might not obey a rule that the Lord told Moses about. But they might not know that they are not obeying a rule. 23 It might be any rule that the Lord gave to you by Moses. 24 Perhaps somebody does not know that they are not obeying one of my rules. When that happens, they must sacrifice a young bull as a burnt offering. The smell of the smoke from this sacrifice will please the Lord. Also, they must give a grain offering, a drink offering and a male goat as a sin offering. 25 Then the priest will make things right with God for all the Israelites. The Lord will forgive them. That is because their sin was a mistake. They have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the Lord. And they have brought their sin offering to the Lord, for their mistake. 26 God will forgive all the Israelites and the foreign people who live among you. That is because your sin was a mistake. And also you offered the proper sacrifices to me.

27 Also, a person may not know that something is a sin. If he does that thing, he must sacrifice a female goat. The goat must be one year old. It will be a sin offering. 28 The priest will bring the gift to the Lord. That is to make things right. Then the Lord will forgive that person who did the sin. The person did not know that he had done a wrong thing. 29 The same rule is for the Israelites and for all the foreign people who live among them. That is when it was a mistake. 30 But a person might do something that he knows to be wrong. He does it because he wants to do it. That person is as bad as someone who insults the Lord. It does not matter whether he is an Israelite or a foreign person. You must make that person separate from all the people. 31 That person thought that the Lord's command was not important. He has not obeyed God's rules. So you must make that person completely separate from the people. He is a guilty person.’

A man does not obey the rules for the day of rest

32 When the Israelites were in the desert, a man was picking up sticks on the day of rest. 33 Some people found him while he was picking up the sticks. They took him to Moses and Aaron and to all the people. 34 They were not sure what to do with the man. So they put him by himself in a tent. Men stood at the door of the tent so that he could not leave it. 35 The Lord said to Moses, ‘This man must die. All the people must take him outside the camp. They must throw stones at him to kill him.’ 36 So the people took the man outside the camp. They threw stones at him until he died. That was what the Lord had told Moses to do.


37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 ‘Tell the Israelites that they must put tassels on the corners of their clothes. They must fix the tassels on blue strings. They must do this now and for all future time. 39 You will be able to look at the tassels. They will help you to remember all the Lord's rules. Then you can obey them. Then you will not only do what you yourself want to do. You will not turn away from me. 40 When you see the tassels, you will remember to obey all my rules. You will be holy for your God. 41 I am the Lord your God. I brought you out from Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’