1 Meanwhile, there arose a murmur among the people against the Lord, as if they were grief-stricken because of their labors. And when the Lord had heard it, he was angry. And when the fire of the Lord was enflamed against them, it devoured those who were at the extreme end of the camp.
2 And when the people had cried out to Moses, Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire was consumed.
3 And he called the name of that place, ‘The Burning,’ because the fire of the Lord had burned against them.
4 So then, the mix of common people, who had ascended with them, were enflamed with desire, and sitting and weeping, with the sons of Israel joining them, they said, “Who will give us flesh to eat?
5 We remember the fish that we ate freely in Egypt; we call to mind the cucumbers, and melons, and leeks, and onions, and garlic.
6 Our life is dry; our eyes look out to see nothing but manna.”
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, but with the color of bdellium.
8 And the people wandered about, gathering it, and they crushed it with a millstone, or ground it with a mortar; then they boiled it in a pot, and made biscuits out of it, with a taste like bread made with oil.
9 And when the dew descended in the night over the camp, the manna descended together with it.
10 And so, Moses heard the people weeping by their families, each one at the door of his tent. And the fury of the Lord was greatly enflamed. And to Moses also the matter seemed intolerable.
11 And so he said to the Lord: “Why have you afflicted your servant? Why do I not find favor before you? And why have you imposed the weight of this entire people upon me?
12 Could I have conceived this entire multitude, or have given birth to them, so that you might say to me: Carry them in your bosom, as a nursemaid usually carries a little infant, and bring them into the land, about which you have sworn to their fathers?
13 From where would I obtain the flesh to give to so great a multitude? They weep against me, saying, ‘Give us flesh, so that we may eat.’
14 I alone am unable to sustain this entire people, because it is too heavy for me.
15 But if it seems to you otherwise, I beg you to put me to death, and so may I find grace in your eyes, lest I be afflicted with such evils.”
16 And the Lord said to Moses: “Gather to me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be elders, as well as teachers, of the people. And you shall lead them to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, and you shall cause them to stand there with you,
17 so that I may descend and speak to you. And I will take from your spirit, and I will deliver it to them, so that, with you, they may sustain the burden of the people, and so that you will not be weighed down alone.
18 You shall also say to the people: Be sanctified. Tomorrow you will eat flesh. For I have heard you say: ‘Who will give us flesh to eat? It was well with us in Egypt.’ So then, may the Lord give you flesh. And you will eat,
19 not for one day, nor for two, nor for five, nor for ten, nor even for twenty,
20 but for up to a month of days, until it exits from your nostrils, and until it turns into nausea for you, because you have slipped away from the Lord, who is in your midst, and because you have wept before him, saying: ‘Why did we go forth out of Egypt?’ “
21 And Moses said: “There are six hundred thousand footmen of this people, and yet you say, ‘I will give them flesh to eat for a whole month.’
22 Could a multitude of sheep and oxen be slain, so that there would be enough food? Or will the fishes of the sea be gathered together, in order to satisfy them?”
23 And the Lord answered him: “Can the hand of the Lord be ineffective? Soon now, you shall see whether my word will be fulfilled in this work.”
24 And so, Moses went and explained the words of the Lord to the people. Gathering together seventy men from the elders of Israel, he caused them to stand around the tabernacle.
25 And the Lord descended in a cloud, and he spoke to him, taking from the Spirit which was in Moses, and giving to the seventy men. And when the Spirit had rested in them, they prophesied; nor did they cease afterwards.
26 Now there had remained in the camp two of the men, of whom one was called Eldad, and the other Medad, upon whom the Spirit rested; for they also had been enrolled, but they did not go forth to the tabernacle.
27 And when they were prophesying in the camp, a boy ran and reported to Moses, saying: “Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp.”
28 Promptly, Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses and chosen from many, said: “My lord Moses, prohibit them.”
29 But he said, “Why are you jealous on my behalf? Who decides that any of the people may prophesy and that God may give to them his Spirit?”
30 And Moses returned, with those greater by birth of Israel, into the camp.
31 Then a wind, going out from the Lord and moving forcefully across the sea, brought quails and cast them into the camp, across a distance of one day’s journey, in every part of the camp all around, and they flew in the air two cubits high above the ground.
32 Therefore, the people, rising up, gathered quails all that day and night, and the next day; he who did least well gathered ten homers. And they dried them throughout the camp.
33 The flesh was still between their teeth, neither had this kind of food ceased, and behold, the fury of the Lord was provoked against the people, and he struck them with an exceedingly great scourge.
34 And that place was called, ‘The Graves of Lust.’ For there, they buried the people who had desired. Then, departing from the Graves of Lust, they arrived in Hazeroth, and they stayed there.
1 And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, because of his wife, an Ethiopian,
2 and they said: “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has he not also spoken similarly to us?” And when the Lord had heard this,
3 (for Moses was a man exceedingly meek, beyond all the men who were living upon the earth)
4 immediately he spoke to him, and to Aaron and Miriam, “Go out, you three only, to the tabernacle of the covenant.” And when they had gone out,
5 the Lord descended in a column of cloud, and he stood at the entrance of the tabernacle, calling to Aaron and Miriam. And when they had advanced,
6 he said to them: “Listen to my words. If there will be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him through a dream.
7 But it is not so with my servant Moses, who is the most faithful in all my house.
8 For I speak with him mouth to mouth, and plainly. And not through enigmas and figures does he perceive the Lord. Therefore, why were you not afraid to disparage my servant Moses?”
9 And being angry against them, he went away.
10 Likewise, the cloud which was over the tabernacle withdrew. And behold, Miriam appeared to be white with a leprosy, like snow. And when Aaron had looked upon her, and he had seen the spreading of the leprosy,
11 he said to Moses: “I beg you, my lord, not to impose upon us this sin, which we have committed foolishly.
12 Do not let this one be like one who is dead, or like an abortion that has been cast from the womb of her mother. Behold, half of her flesh is already consumed by leprosy.”
13 And Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, I beg you: heal her.”
14 And the Lord answered him: “If her father had spit on her face, should she not have been filled with shame for at least seven days? Let her be separated, outside the camp, for seven days, and after that, she will be called back.”
15 And so Miriam was excluded from the camp for seven days. And the people did not move from that place, until Miriam was called back.
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2 You shall not take a wife, and there shall be no sons or daughters for you in this place.
3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are conceived in this place, and concerning their mothers who give birth to them, and concerning their fathers, from whose stock they have been born in this land:
4 They will die from grievous mortal illnesses. They will not be mourned, and they will not be buried. They will be like manure on the face of the earth. And they will be consumed by sword and by famine. And their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the land.”
5 For thus says the Lord: “You shall not enter the house of feasting, and you shall not go to mourn or to console them. For I have taken away from this people, says the Lord, my peace, my mercy, and my pity.
6 Both the great and the small will die in this land. They will not be buried, and they will not be mourned. And no one will cut themselves or make themselves bald on their behalf.
7 And they will not break bread among themselves for the sake of him who mourns, so as to console him over the dead. And they will not give them a chalice to drink, so as to console them over their father and mother.
8 And so, you shall not enter the house of feasting, so as to sit with them, and to eat and drink.”
9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will take away from this place, in your sight and in your days, the voice of gladness and the voice of rejoicing, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.
10 And when you announce all these words to this people, they will say to you: ‘Why would the Lord pronounce all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity and what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’
11 And you shall say to them: It is because your fathers abandoned me, says the Lord. And they went after strange gods, and they served them and adored them. And they abandoned me, and they did not keep my law.
12 But you have acted even worse than your fathers. For behold, each one walks after the depravity of his own evil heart, so that he does not listen to me.
13 And so, I will cast you out of this land, into a land that you do not know, and that your fathers did not know. And in that place, you will serve, day and night, strange gods who will not give you rest.
14 Therefore, behold, the days are approaching, says the Lord, when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who led the sons of Israel away from the land of Egypt,’
15 but instead, ‘As the Lord lives, who led the sons of Israel away from the land of the north,’ and from all the lands to which I have cast them out. And I will lead them back into their own land, which I gave to their fathers.
16 Behold, I will send many fishermen, says the Lord, and they will fish for them. And after this, I will send many hunters to them, and they will hunt for them on every mountain, and on every hilltop, and in the caverns of the rocks.
17 For my eyes are upon all their ways. They have not been hidden from my face, and their iniquity has not been concealed from my eyes.
18 But first, I will repay their double iniquities and their sins. For they have defiled my land with the dead bodies of their idols, and they have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”
19 O Lord, my strength, and my health, and my refuge in the day of tribulation: the Gentiles will approach you from the ends of the earth, and they will say: ‘Truly, our fathers possessed a lie, an emptiness that has not benefited them.’
20 How can man make gods for himself, though these are not gods?”
21 Concerning this, behold: I will make it clear to them, in this turn. I will reveal to them my hand and my virtue. And they will know that the Lord is my name.
1 A psalm for David, for a remembrance of the sabbath.
2 Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy indignation; nor chastise me in thy wrath.
3 For thy arrows are fastened in me: and thy hand hath been strong upon me.
4 There is no health in my flesh, because of thy wrath: there is no peace for my bones, because of my sins.
5 For my iniquities are gone over my head: and as a heavy burden are become heavy upon me.
6 My sores are putrified and corrupted, because of my foolishness.
7 I am become miserable, and am bowed down even to the end: I walked sorrowful all the day long.
8 For my loins are filled with illusions; and there is no health in my flesh.
61 And they said to her, “But there is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.”
62 Then they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him to be called.
63 And requesting a writing tablet, he wrote, saying: “His name is John.” And they all wondered.
64 Then, at once, his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosened, and he spoke, blessing God.
65 And fear fell upon all of their neighbors. And all these words were made known throughout all the hill country of Judea.
66 And all those who heard it stored it up in their heart, saying: “What do you think this boy will be?” And indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit. And he prophesied, saying:
68 Blessed is the Lord God of Israel. For he has visited and has wrought the redemption of his people.
69 And he has raised up a horn of salvation for us, in the house of David his servant,
70 just as he spoke by the mouth of his holy Prophets, who are from ages past:
71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all those who hate us,
72 to accomplish mercy with our fathers, and to call to mind his holy testament,
73 the oath, which he swore to Abraham, our father, that he would grant to us,
74 so that, having been freed from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and in justice before him, throughout all our days.
76 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High. For you will go before the face of the Lord: to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people for the remission of their sins,
78 through the heart of the mercy of our God, by which, descending from on high, he has visited us,
79 to illuminate those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to direct our feet in the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew, and he was strengthened in spirit. And he was in the wilderness, until the day of his manifestation to Israel.