Tim Challies – Too Low, Too Human, Too Safe

More than once I have been accused of being a bibliolater, a person who idolizes the Bible, who has excessive reverence for the letter of the Bible. I’m sure many other Christians have been accused of this as well. In my experience, this charge tends to be leveled against those who affirm the infallibility or inerrancy of Scripture; it may also be leveled against those who affirm the sufficiency of Scripture. People who level such a charge are objecting to what they see as a woodenness of faith and practice that stems from an understanding of Scripture they deem too literal.

I am quite sure that I do not idolize the Bible and I am quite sure it is far more difficult to do than the accusers may think. Let me tell you how I think about this charge.

We, as sinful human beings, have lost the right and the ability to have unmediated access to God. Before they fell into sin, Adam and Eve had the privilege of walking and talking with God. They had direct, face-to-face access to the Creator. This is a privilege we eagerly anticipate reclaiming when the Lord returns, but in the meantime, polluted as we are by sin, we have severed that direct communication. We now rely on communication from God that is mediated by Scripture. John Stott once said, “God has clothed His thoughts in words, and there is no way to know Him except by knowing the Scriptures. … We can’t even read each other’s minds, much less what is in the mind of God.” God’s Word tells us that we can only know God as he actually, truly is, through that same Word.

The Bible is the Word of God. John Frame, in Salvation Belongs To The Lord, defines the word of God as “God’s powerful, authoritative self-expression.” God’s word is powerful in that it does more than merely communicate, but also creates and controls. Frame says, “the word is the very presence of God among us, the place where God dwells. So you cannot separate the word of God from God himself.”

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Tim Keller – How Christians Should Mortify Sin

tim-keller HOSTILE TO GOD

Romans 8: 7 is simple and stark: “The sinful mind is hostile to God .” The mind is not neutral ground, and cannot love one preoccupation without rejecting the other. A mind “that is set on the flesh” (ESV translation) must also be treating God and the desires of his Spirit as an enemy. This is why our minds are, naturally, unable to deal with sin. We may realize that a particular impulse is unhelpful, or that a certain course of action is destructive. We may even decide to cut it out, and may do so successfully. But the root of sin is still implanted in the mind— hostility to God. So sin will still grow unchecked in our lives.

And that hostility makes us incapable of pleasing God. Verse 8 is an equally striking statement : “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Left to ourselves, we are totally unable to live in a way that causes our Creator to approve of us. Why? Because the mind that drives the actions is acting out of hostility to him. The person controlled by their own flesh is able to have a thought that is good, or perform an action that is right. But it cannot please God, since it is thought or done in enmity toward him.

Here is a helpful illustration: a man in a rebel army may look after his comrades, may keep his uniform smart, and so on. Those are “good” — but they are done in hostility to the rightful ruler. You would never expect that ruler to hear of this rebel’s conscientiousness or generosity and be pleased by his conduct in rebellion!

But none of this needs to be, or ought to be, the way “you” — Christians — live (v 9). Every Christian is “controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit,” since the Spirit lives in anyone who belongs to Christ. When we received Christ and became righteous in God’s sight, the Holy Spirit came in and made us spiritually alive. The Christian has a body that is decaying (v 10), yet also enjoys a spirit, a mind, that is alive.

And, Paul says, not only must our spirits/ minds not follow our flesh now, but one day our flesh will follow our spirit. In Greek thought, the physical was bad, to be rejected and hopefully one day to be left behind; the spiritual was good, to be embraced. Verse 11 overturns all this: ”He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” Someday, even our bodies will be totally renewed and made eternally alive by the Spirit. There is no dualism (body bad, spirit good) here — one day, both will be perfected.

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Book Review – The Scriptures Testify About Me

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)

Far too often, believers center their study of Scripture solely on the New Testament, viewing the Old Testament as something of a by-gone era. This approach is unfortunate as all of Scripture is inspired by God and perhaps more importantly, a full understanding of Jesus and the scarlet thread of redemption that runs throughout Scripture can only be truly obtained by reading the front of the book. The gospel message is one established before the foundation of the world thus a proper study of salvation contained in the gospel message has to begin where the story of God’s interaction with humanity begins, namely in the Old Testament corpus.

Dr. D. A. Carson has edited a book containing the transcript of eight addresses from the plenary session of the 2011 The Gospel Coalition Conference. In these addresses, a number of theological leaders address the importance of understanding Jesus from the pages of the Old Testament in order to more fully grasp the events and message contained in the New Testament. Men such as Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Tim Keller, Dr. Alistair Begg, Dr. James McDonald, Conrad Mbewe, Matt Chandler, Mike Bullmore, and Dr. D. A. Carson, engage this topic with great elucidation and theological insight helping the reader more fully understand the Messianic patterns and statements found throughout the Old Testament. While every chapter in this book is excellent and well worth reading, I will focus on the addresses of Dr. Mohler, Dr. Keller, and Dr. Carson for purposes of this review.

In his address, Dr. Mohler aptly sums up a reason why many young people are leaving the church noting “The absence of biblical, gospel preaching explains how we have created in our churches a generation of moralizing, therapeutic, practical deists.” The rejection of the meta-narrative of Scripture by the liberal establishment should cause concern. Far too often, the Old Testament is referred to as the Hebrew Bible or Hebrew Scriptures as if its content was only intended for the Jews. Furthermore, some have taken the opposite extreme claiming the Old Testament can be read without any need to engage the New Testament. Additionally, the dispensationalist approach to Scripture often wrongly bifurcate Scripture seemingly denying the flow of the biblical message. But wait, there’s more!

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Nathan Busenitz – In What Way Was Jesus ‘Made Sin’ on the Cross?

crown_of_thorns Yesterday, as I was reading through portions of Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians, I came across the following:

“Christ took upon Himself our sins, not by constraint, but of His own good will, in order to bear the punishment and wrath of God: not for the sake of His own person (which was just and invincible, and was not in any way guilty), but for our person. So by means of a joyous substitution, He took upon Himself our sinful person, and gave to us His innocent and victorious person: with which we, being now clothed, are free from the curse of the law. . . . By faith alone therefore we are made righteous, for faith alone lays hold of this victory of Christ.” (Commentary on Gal. 3:13)

John Calvin’s comments on 2 Corinthians 5:21 are similar:

“How can we become righteous before God? In the same way as Christ became a sinner. For He took, as it were, our person, that He might be the offender in our name and thus might be reckoned a sinner, not because of His own offences but because of those of others, since He Himself was pure and free from every fault and bore the penalty that was our due and not His own. Now in the same way we are righteous in Him, not because we have satisfied God’s judgment by our own works, but because we are judged in relation to Christ’s righteousness which we have put on by faith, that it may become our own.” (Commentary on 2 Cor. 5:21)

Those quotations, which underscore the doctrines of substitutionary atonement and Christ’s imputed righteousness, reminded me of an earlier study I had done regarding 2 Corinthians 5:21 specifically with regard to this question: In what way was Jesus “made sin” on the cross?

I thought it’d be worth rehearsing some of that material in today’s post.

To state the question another way: Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary?

The heart of the question centers on Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

In what sense did Jesus become “sin on our behalf”? Does that phrase mean that Jesus literally became a sinner on the cross?

There are some today who teach that Jesus became a sinner (or took on a sin nature) at the cross. Benny Hinn is one such advocate. In a TBN broadcast, Hinn exclaimed:

“He [Jesus] who is righteous by choice said, ‘The only way I can stop sin is by me becoming it. I can’t just stop it by letting it touch me; I and it must become one.’ Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan when he became sin!” (Benny Hinn, Trinity Broadcasting Network, December 1, 1990)

Prosperity-preacher Kenneth Copeland echoes those same teachings. In Copeland’s words:

“The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, ‘Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there; the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on that pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’ He said, ‘I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.’” (Kenneth Copeland, “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne,” 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 2)

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Carl Trueman – Adam and Eve and Pinch Me

It is encouraging to see that Dr. Albert Mohler is one of the two leaders of the TGC seminar on Adam (the other being Dr. Bryan Chapell). Kudos to TGC for a very good choice. Dr. Mohler has made it clear that evolution is not simply wrong but has gone so far as to describe it as a myth which is ‘not only incompatible with any historical affirmation of Genesis, but … also with the claim that all humanity is descended from Adam and the claim that in Adam all humanity fell into sin and guilt.’ He has also stated that ‘[t]he Bible’s account of the Fall and its consequences is utterly incompatible with evolutionary theory. The third chapter of Genesis is as problematic for evolutionary theory as the first two.’ In other words, he thinks that evolution excludes the biblical view of an historical Adam and therefore of original sin. In short, consistent affirmation of evolution ultimately requires denial of the gospel. You can read the whole statement here. As always, I appreciate Dr. Mohler’s forthright candor on this issue, as on so many others. And I find his argument on the significance of evolution for orthodox conceptions of the gospel to be persuasive, compelling and timely.

Dr. Tim Keller, one of the two most senior TGC leaders, also sees the church’s attitude to evolution as a watershed issue for the gospel. Unlike Dr. Mohler, however, he has made it clear over the last few years that he is not only committed to some form of theistic evolution (though maintaining an historical Adam, reconstructed in light of evolutionary theory) but also regards the church’s failure to take evolution on board as potentially catastrophic. His comments to this effect at a Biologos-sponsored colloquy were reported by Christianity Today here; and Mike Kruger offers an excellent response to that particular gathering here.

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Michael Boling – Reflections on Numbers 26-27

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Numbers 26-27

Numbers 26 contains another census of the people ordered by God. Since there had been several judgments levied upon Israel including plagues and people being swallowed up by the earth, God spoke to Moses and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest and told them to take a census of the people, specifically those twenty years old and up, by their father’s house counting only those in that category who are able to go to war. The finally tally was 601,730.

It was to these God commanded the land of promise to be divided as their inheritance with the larger tribes receiving a larger inheritance and the smaller tribes receiving a smaller inheritance. The Levites were not numbered in the census and were given no inheritance of land.

The daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, the son of Joseph stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest in the presence of all the leaders of the congregation at the doorway to the tent of meeting. They noted that their father had died in the wilderness, but he was not part of the rebellion against God. He died in his own sin, leaving no sons. These daughters were understandably worried as to where their inheritance would be, if anything and why would they have no inheritance simply because they had no sons. Their request was to be given a possession from among their father’s brothers.

Moses brought their case before God and the Lord told Moses that what the daughters of Zelophehad spoke of was correct. They should receive an inheritance among their father’s brothers. God told Moses to tell the people that if a man dies and has no son, the inheritance would pass to his daughter. If has no daughter, the inheritance would go to his brothers. If he has no brothers, the inheritance would go to his father’s brothers. If his family has no brothers, the inheritance would go to his nearest relative.

God told Moses to go up to Mount Abarim so he could view the land of promise so that after he observed the land, he could be gathered to his people (or die). God commanded Moses to take Joshua the son of Nun with him and to lay his hands upon Joshua. He was to be set before Eleazar the priest and before the congregation to be inaugurated as the next leader of the people of Israel upon Moses’ death. Moses did as God commanded.

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Intelmin Week in Review: 20-26 May 2013

Here is what made it on Intelmin this past week. It was yet another busy week with lots of great articles, book reviews, and videos to share. Thanks for stopping by.

Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell – BSA and Gay: Phase One

The Feasts of the Lord – The Fullfillment of the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)

Tedd Tripp – Listening at Home

Andrew Shanks – What’s the Difference Between Erotica and Song of Solomon?

John Knight – Beyond the Rhetoric: Gosnell and the Late-Term Reality

Carl Trueman – Tragic Worship

Daniel Darling – 5 Ways Adult Children Can Honor Their Parents

Steve DeWitt – Arrows Out

Michael Kruger – The Difference Between Original Autographs and Original Texts

Lindsey Carlson – The Plastic Fruit of Online Living

Daniel Darling – Why Your Spiritual Growth Matters to the Community

Dr. Danny Faulkner – Universe by Design: Twentieth-Century Cosmology

Dr. Danny Faulkner – Universe by Design: Twentieth-Century Cosmology

Dr. Albert Mohler – Boy Scouts at the Brink: The Moment of Decision Arrives

Marc Ambler – Biblical Creation—Truly, a Theory of Everything (ToE)

Charles Hodge – Theology Proper

Mike Leake – Tornadoes and Theology

Sam Storms – Tornadoes, Tsunamis, and the Mystery of Suffering and Sovereignty

Dr. Albert Mohler – The Goodness of God and the Reality of Evil

Glenn Stanton – FactChecker: Is the ‘I Only Need Jesus!’ Declaration Christian?

Winston Hottman – The Gospel and the (Im)perfect Marriage

Michael Horton – Christless Christianity: Getting in Christ’s Way

Glenn Stanton – FactChecker: Does Abba Mean ‘Daddy’?

Tedd Tripp – The Power of Presentation

E.H. Askwith – The Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel

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Stephen Charnock – Discourse on the Wisdom of God

rp_stephencharnock.jpeg Romans. 16:27.—To God only wise be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever. Amen.

THIS chapter being the last of this Epistle, is chiefly made up of charitable and friendly salutations and commendations of particular persons, according to the earliness and strength of their several graces, and their labor of love for the interest of God and his people. In verse 17, he warns them not to be drawn aside from the gospel doctrine, which had been taught them, by the plausible pretences and insinuations which the corrupters of the doctrine and rule of Christ never want from the suggestions of their carnal wisdom. The brats of soul-destroying errors may walk about the world in a garb and disguise of good words and fair speeches, as it is in the 18th. verse; by “good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” And for their encouragement to a constancy in the gospel doctrine, he assures them, that all those that would dispossess them of truth, to possess them with vanity, are but Satan’s instruments, and will fall under the same captivity and yoke with their principal (ver. 18); “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” Whence, observe,

1. All corrupters of divine truth, and troublers of the church’s peace, are no better than devils. Our Saviour thought the name, Satan, a title merited by Peter, when he breathed out an advice, as an axe at the root of the gospel, the death of Christ, the foundation of all gospel truth; and the apostle concludes them under the same character, which hinder the superstructure, and would mix their chaff with his wheat (Matt. 16:23), “Get thee behind me, Satan.” It is not, Get thee behind me, Simon, or, Get thee behind me, Peter; but “Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offence to me.” Thou dost oppose thyself to the wisdom, and grace, and authority of God, to the redemption of man, and to the good of the world. As the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth, so is Satan the spirit of falsehood as the Holy Ghost inspires believers with truth, so doth the devil corrupt unbelievers with error. Let us cleave to the truth of the gospel, that we may not be counted by God as part of the corporation of fallen angels, and not be barely reckoned as enemies of God, but in league with the greatest enemy to his glory in the world.

2. The Reconciler of the world will be the Subduer of Satan. The God of peace sent the Prince of peace to be the restorer of his rights, and the hammer to beat in pieces the usurper of them. As a God of truth, he will make good his promise; as a God of peace, he will perfect the design his wisdom hath laid, and begun to act. In the subduing Satan, he will be the conqueror of his instruments: he saith not, God shall bruise your troublers and heretics, but Satan: the fall of a general proves the rout of the army. Since God, as a God of peace, hath delivered his own, he will perfect the victory, and make them cease from bruising the heel of his spiritual seed.

3. Divine evangelical truth shall be victorious. No weapon formed against it shall prosper: the head of the wicked shall fall as low as the feet of the godly. The devil never yet blustered in the world, but he met at last with a disappointment: his fall hath been like lightning, sudden, certain, vanishing.

4. Faith must look back as far as the foundation promise. “The God of peace shall bruise,” &c. The apostle seems to allude to the first promise (Gen. 2:15),—a promise that hath vigor to nourish the church in all ages of the world: it is the standing cordial; out of the womb of this promise all the rest have taken their birth. The promises of the Old Testament were designed for those under the New, and the full performance of them is to be expected, and will be enjoyed by them. It is a mighty strengthening to faith, to trace the footsteps of God’s truth and wisdom, from the threatening against the serpent in Eden, to the bruise he received in Calvary, and the triumph over him upon Mount Olivet.

5. We are to confide in the promise of God, but leave the season of its accomplishment to his wisdom. He will “bruise Satan under your feet,” therefore do not doubt it; and shortly, therefore, wait for it. Shortly it will be done, that is, quickly, when you think it may be a great way off; or shortly, that is, seasonably, when Satan’s rage is hottest. God is the best judge of the seasons of distributing his own mercies, and darting out his own glory: it is enough to encourage our waiting, that it will be, and that it will be shortly; but we must not measure God’s shortly by our minutes.

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Michael Boling – Betrothal, the Believer’s Relationship with Jesus, and Eschatology (Part 1)

Betrothal, the Believer’s Relationship with Jesus, and Eschatology (Part 1)

For most Christians, the last two concepts in the title of this article are at least somewhat familiar. Our relationship with Jesus is a phrase commonly by Christians and eschatology is quite simply that fancy theological term for all things related to the end of time. Betrothal on the other hand is a term I would venture to say most Christians have only a passing understanding of. Perhaps they have heard that term used from their yearly bible reading in Hosea 2:19 or more likely from Luke 2:5 and the story of Mary and Joseph. Even then, the word betrothal is often translated as espoused or pledged, thus the reason many are not familiar with the word or concept of betrothal.

So what does the term betrothal mean and why is it of any importance for understanding our relationship with Jesus and/or eschatology? Was betrothal merely an Ancient Near East (ANE) custom that has absolutely no significance for us today or is that concept and process dripping with theological importance and something we should study in order to recognize the value of such a model both for the original hearers of the biblical message and for our lives today? With that as a background, this article will explore the betrothal process examining the various elements of this marital process. In the next part of this series, we will take the understanding gained from understanding what betrothal was all about in order to see how it applies to how we are to relate to Jesus and how he relates to us. Finally, in the third and final installment of this series, we will look at how the betrothal model relates to eschatology.

First let’s begin with some definitions. Betrothal is typically defined in most dictionaries as engagement to be married or a mutual promise to marry. When defined in that manner, betrothal does not appear to be any different than the more modern term of engagement. As definitions often do, the ANE process of betrothal is quite a bit more pregnant with meaning than the average dictionary definition provides.

So what exactly did betrothal mean in the ANE? Betrothal did involve a mutual promise to marry; however, that definition barely scratches the surface of what was actually involved. The process of betrothal consisted of two distinct and vitally important events, the first being the Kiddushin and the second being the Nissuin.

The word kiddushin comes from the Hebrew root word kadosh, meaning holy or set apart. Thus, at the kiddushin, the man and woman are betrothed or promised to one another, more appropriately defined as being set apart for one another. At this important event, a number of activities took place. The bridegroom provided the bride with a dowry, typically money or something of monetary value. Additionally, both parties signed a document known as a Ketubah which outlined the “mutual obligations of the bride and groom. At one time, this marriage contract gave the bride important legal protection. Today, the purpose of the Ketubah is to remind the couple of their moral responsibilities to each other.” (See Judaism.about.com) At this point, the bride and bridegroom were considered to be legally married without the physical “benefits” of marriage. Furthermore, the bridegroom drank wine from a special glass reserved for only the lips of the bridegroom and bride. Once the bridegroom took a drink, he handed the glass to the bride. If she drank from the glass, it was understood she accepted the terms of the Ketubah. The glass was then set aside for the Nissuin.

Once both parties had agreed to the terms of the Ketubah and the document had been signed, a period of waiting and preparation began. During this period which typically lasted at least a year, the bride and bridegroom, though married, lived apart from one another. Each individual was focused on preparing themselves for the Nissuin, a day only the father of the bridegroom knew. A main responsibility of the bridegroom was to prepare a place for him and his bride to live. Additionally, the bridegroom is instructed on how to be a husband by not only his father, but also from the men of the community. The bridegroom also underwent a period of preparation in which she is instructed in matters of marriage by her mother and the women of the community. Quite often, the bride was responsible for making her own wedding garment.

At a time when the father of the bridegroom deemed it appropriate based on his confidence the bridegroom and bride were ready, the Nissuin or marriage ceremony took place. The word Nissuin literally means “to carry” which is of great significance considering the bride actually was waiting for her bridegroom to come carry her to their new home. The Nissuin was quite a celebration and “It was customary for one of the grooms party to go ahead of the bridegroom, leading the way to the bride’s house – and shout – “Behold, the bridegroom comes.” This would be followed by the sounding of the shofar. At the sounding of the shofar the entire wedding processional would go through the streets of the city to the bride’s house.” (See Nissuin) The bridegroom was responsible for erecting the chuppah under which the wedding ceremony would occur. During the Nissuin, the glass that was drank from at the Kiddusin by the bridegroom and bride was once again filled with wine. Both the bridegroom and bride would drink from the glass after which the bridegroom would step on the glass shattering it to signify the establishment of the couple as husband and wife. At the conclusion of the Nissuin, the bridegroom and bride would consummate the marriage thus fully becoming husband and wife. A sign of the bride keeping herself pure would be the stained bed sheet indicative of the bride being a virgin. The Nissuin ceremony was immediately followed by the wedding supper, a time of great celebration and feasting.

As you can see, the betrothal process involved far more than our modern day effort of “popping the question” and the giving of the engagement ring. A betrothal arrangement in ancient times involved both families and the community at large being involved in the events of the Kiddusin and Nissuin. Betrothal was a solemn commitment that could only be broken through a certificate of divorce, something that was only granted for infidelity on the part of the bridegroom or bride. Hopefully you have begun to notice some interesting parallels between the betrothal process and our relationship with our bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is those parallels that will be examined in part 2 of this series so stay tuned!

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Michael Boling – Reflections on Numbers 18-20

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Numbers 18-20

God spoke to Aaron, telling him that he and his son’s and his father’s house were to bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary and the iniquity associated with their priesthood. The sons of Levi were to attend to his needs and the needs of the sanctuary as outlined in previous chapters.

Certain offerings and portions of offerings were to be reserved for Aaron and his sons. God told Aaron that he would have no inheritance in the land of promise, meaning they would not be provide a portion of the land as would the other tribes. God would be their portion.

Guidelines for the offering of a red heifer were also provided by God. The red heifer was to be without blemish and was to be slaughtered outside the camp by the priest. Some of the blood from the red heifer was to be sprinkled seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting. The red heifer was then to be burned in the presence of the priest with cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet tossed into the fire. Following the burning of the red heifer, the priest was to wash himself and his clothes, being unclean until evening. Someone who was clean would be responsible for gathering the ashes and storing them outside the camp in a clean place for the purification of the people.

A reiteration of cleanliness laws are also noted especially concerning what must take place should one touch a dead body or when someone dies in in a tent. God provided guidelines for how the unclean person was to cleanse themselves.

The people journeyed and came to the Wilderness of Zin, staying at Kadesh. Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, died there and was buried. At this location, there was no water resulting in the people contending once again with Moses about their situation. They claimed Moses had brought them to that place to die in the wilderness, declaring they should have stayed in Egypt.

God spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to gather the people and to speak to the rock and it would yield water before the eyes of the people. Moses did not do as God commanded. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck the rock. Water did gush forth; however, this lack of obedience displeased God. For disobeying God’s command, God told Moses and Aaron they would not lead the people into the land of promise. The place was called the water of Meribah.

Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, asking permission for the people of Israel to pass through his land, noting that as they passed through, the people would not touch any of the produce of the land. They would instead travel along the King’s Highway. Edom refused their request. Even after Israel offered to pay for the ability to travel through their land, Edom refused to provide Israel passage forcing Israel to turn away.

God spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor near the border of Edom, telling them that Aaron would be gathered to his people and would die, not being able to enter the land of promise. Moses was told to take Aaron’s priestly garments and to place them on Aaron’s son Eleazar. Moses did as God commanded and Aaron died on Mount Hor. The people of Israel mourned the death of Aaron for 30 days.

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