Numbers 15
Contemporary English Version

Laws about Sacrifices

1The Lord told Moses 2to give the Israelites the following laws about offering sacrifices:

3Bulls or rams or goats+ are the animals that you may burn on the altar as sacrifices to please me.+ You may also offer sacrifices voluntarily or because you made a promise, or because they are part of your regular religious ceremonies. The smell of the smoke from these sacrifices is pleasing to me.

4-5If you sacrifice a young ram or goat, you must also offer a kilogram of your finest flour mixed with a liter of olive oil as a grain sacrifice. A liter of wine must also be poured on the altar.

6-7And if the animal is a full-grown ram, you must offer two kilograms of flour mixed with one and a half liters of olive oil. One and a half liters of wine must also be poured on the altar. The smell of this smoke is pleasing to me.

8If a bull is offered as a sacrifice to please me or to ask my blessing,+ 9you must offer three kilograms of flour mixed with two liters of olive oil. 10Two liters of wine must also be poured on the altar. The smell of this smoke is pleasing to me.

11-13If you are a native Israelite, you must obey these rules each time you offer a bull, a ram, or a goat as a sacrifice. 14And the foreigners who live among you must also follow these rules. 15-16 This law will never change. I am the Lord, and I consider all people the same, whether they are Israelites or foreigners living among you.

17-19When you eat food in the land that I am giving you, remember to set aside some of it as an offering to me. 20From the first batch of bread dough that you make after each new grain harvest, make a loaf of bread and offer it to me, just as you offer grain. 21All your descendants must follow this law and offer part of the first batch of bread dough.

22-23The Lord also told Moses to tell the people what must be done if they ever disobey his laws:

24If all of you disobey one of my laws without knowing it, you must offer a bull as a sacrifice to please me, together with a grain sacrifice, a wine offering, and a goat as a sacrifice for sin. 25Then the priest will pray and ask me to forgive you. And since you did not mean to do wrong, and you offered sacrifices, 26the sin of everyone—both Israelites and foreigners among you—will be forgiven.

27 But if one of you does wrong without knowing it, you must sacrifice a year-old female goat as a sacrifice for sin. 28The priest will then ask me to forgive you, and your sin will be forgiven.

29The law will be the same for anyone who does wrong without meaning to, whether an Israelite or a foreigner living among you.

30-31But if one of you does wrong on purpose, whether Israelite or foreigner, you have sinned against me by disobeying my laws. You will no longer belong to my people.

A Man Put to Death for Gathering Firewood on the Sabbath

32Once, while the Israelites were traveling through the desert, a man was caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath.+ 33He was taken to Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the community. 34But no one knew what to do with him, so he was not allowed to leave.

35Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people to take that man outside the camp and stone him to death!” 36So he was killed, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The Tassels on the People's Clothes

37The Lord told Moses 38 to say to the people of Israel, “Sew tassels onto the bottom edge of your clothes and tie a blue string to each tassel. 39-40These will remind you that you must obey my laws and teachings. And when you do, you will be dedicated to me and won't follow your own sinful desires. 41I am the Lord your God who led you out of Egypt.”


15.3 goats: See the note at 7.12-83.
15.3 sacrifices to please me: See the note at 6.11.
15.8 to ask my blessing: See the note at 6.14.
15.32 a man … Sabbath: No work was to be done on the Sabbath (see Exodus 31.12-17).

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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