Tell the Truth

Tell the Truth

It’s better to come forward with the truth
Than cover it in mud and grime the way
A child might hide a stolen toy, for God
Knows everything and he will bring each deed

To an account–and yes, the voting booth
Can state a nation’s conscience too, and say,
“Beware of loyalties misplaced, let fraud
Have no position, and let none succeed

In public office who would lie and cheat
For private gain or to protect a friend.”
The public has a right to know the facts,

For public men are paid by income tax,
And the accounting must not twist or bend,
On earth or at the final Judgment Seat.

~Day Williams



1 The Lord told Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites:

              ‘If anybody makes a special vow

              To dedicate a person to the Lord

By giving corresponding value, 3 set

              The value of a male who’s twenty to

              Sixty years old at fifty silver shekels,

Of silver by the sanctuary shekel;

              4 And for a female, set her value at

              Thirty shekels; 5 and for a person who’s

Between five years of age and twenty, set

              The value of a male at twenty shekels;

              A female, at ten shekels; 6 for a person

Between one month and five years old, you are

              To set the value of the male at five

              Shekels of silver and a female’s at

Three silver shekels, 7 for a person who

              Is sixty years old or is older, set

              The value of a male at fifteen shekels

And of a female at ten shekels. 8 If

              Anybody who makes the vow lacks funds

              To pay the stated sum, you must present

The person being dedicated to

              The priest, who’ll set the value in accord

              With what the person vowing can afford.

9 If they have vowed an animal that is

              Acceptable to be an offering

              To God, the animal that’s given God

Becomes a holy one. 10 They are not to

              Exchange it or to substitute a good

              One for a bad one, or a bad one for

A good one; and if they should substitute

              One animal for yet another, both

              It and the substitute are sanctified.

11 But if the animal they vowed is unclean

              Ceremonially—one that is not

              Acceptable to be an offering

To God—the person who has vowed has to

              Present the animal before the priest,

              12 Who’ll judge its quality as good or bad.

Whatever value that the priest then sets,

              That’s what it will be. 13 If the owner wishes

              To buy the animal back, you must add

A fifth part to its value. 14 If a man

              Shall dedicate his house as something holy

              To God, the priest will judge its quality

As good or bad. Whatever value that            

              The priest sets, so it will remain, 15 and if

              The one who dedicates his house desires

To buy it back, he has to add a fifth

              Part to its value, and the house again

              Will be his. 16 If somebody dedicates

To God a part of family land they own,

              Its value shall be set by how much seed

              The land needs—fifty silver shekels to

A homer of the barley seed. 17 And if,

              During the Year of Jubilee, they go

              To dedicate a field, the value that’s

Been set remains, 18 but if the Jubilee

              Has come and gone, and they go dedicate

              A field, the priest will fix the value by

How many years remain until the next

              Jubilee Year, and its set value will

              Be lowered. 19 If the one who dedicates

The field desires to buy it back, they must

              Add a fifth to its value, and the field

              Will then be theirs again, 20 but if they don’t

Redeem the field, or if they have sold it

              To someone, it can never be redeemed.

              21 When in the Jubilee the field’s released,

It will become a holy one, much like

              A field devoted to the Lord; it will

              Become the property of priests. 22 And if

Somebody dedicates to God a field

              That they have bought, which is not part of their

              Own family land, 23 the priest will set its value

Up to the Year of Jubilee; the owner

              Must pay its value on that day as something

              That’s holy to the Lord, 24 and in the Year

Of Jubilee the field will go back to

              The seller, one whose land it was. 25 You shall

              Set every value by the sanctuary

Shekel, with twenty gerahs to the shekel,

              26 But no one is to dedicate the firstborn

              Of any animal, because the firstborn

Already is the Lord’s; if it’s an ox

              Or it’s a sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27 If it’s

              An unclean animal, the seller may

Redeem at the value set, plus he

              Must add a one-fifth value to it. If

              It’s not redeemed, you must sell it at its

Set value. 28 But whatever someone owns

              And dedicates to God—a human being,

              An animal, or family land—he can

Not sell or buy back; everything that’s so

              Devoted is most holy to the Lord.

              29 You cannot ransom someone who’s devoted

To ruin; you must execute them. 30 God

Does own a tithe of everything out of

              The land, such as the grain from soil or fruit

From trees–all this belongs to God; it’s holy

To God. 31 Whoever would redeem some of

              Their tithe must add a one-fifth value to

It. 32 Every tithe of herd and flock—each

Tenth animal that passes underneath

              The shepherd’s rod—it will be holy to

The Lord. 33 Nobody may pick out the good

From bad or substitute an animal.

              If someone substitutes an animal,

Both the animal and its substitute

Turn holy and you can’t redeem it.’” 34 These

              Are the commands the Lord gave Moses right

There at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.