Numbers

JB NUMBERS Chapter 1

I. THE CENSUS

1:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after the exodus from the land of Egypt. He said:

1:2 ‘Take a census of the whole community of Israel’s sons, by clans and families, of the names of all the males, head by head.

1:3 Every man of Israel, twenty years of age and over, fit to bear arms, must be registered by you and Aaron answered to his fighting station.

1:4 You are to take a man from each tribe, the head of his family, to help you in this.

The census officials

1:5 ‘These are the names of those who are to be your helpers: For Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur.

1:6 For Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

1:7 For Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab.

1:8 For Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar.

1:9 For Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon.

1:10 Of the sons of Joseph: for Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; for Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.

1:11 For Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.

1:12 For Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.

1:13 For Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran.

1:14 For Gad, Eliasaph son of Reuel.

1:15 For Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.’

1:16 These were men of repute in the community; they were leaders of their ancestral clans, chiefs of Israel’s hosts.

1:17 Moses and Aaron took these men who have been named,

1:18 and on the first day of the second month they mustered the whole community. The sons of Israel established their kinship by clans and families, and one by one the names of all men of twenty years and over were singled out.

1:19 As Yahweh had commanded, Moses took a census of them in the wilderness of Sinai.

The census

1:20 When the kinship of the sons of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:21 The total of these for the tribe of Reuben was forty-six thousand five hundred.

1:22 When the kinship of the sons of Simeon had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out, one by one.

1:23 The total of these for the tribe of Simeon was fifty-nine thousand three hundred.

1:24 When the kinship of the sons of Gad had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:25 The total of these for the tribe of Gad was forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty.

1:26 When the kinship of the sons of Judah had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:27 The total of these for the tribe of Judali was seventy-four thousand six hundred.

1:28 When the kinship of the sons of Issachar had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:29 The total of these for the tribe of Issachar was fifty-four thousand four hundred.

1:30 When the kinship of the sons of Zebulun had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:31 The total of these for the tribe of Zebulun was fifty-seven thousand four hundred.

1:32 The sons of Joseph: when the kinship of the sons of Ephraim had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:33 The total of these for the tribe of Ephraim was forty thousand five hundred.

1:34 When the kinship of the sons of Manasseh had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:35 The total of these for the tribe of Manasseh was thirty-two thousand two hundred. When the kinship of the sons of Benjamin had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:36 The total of these for the tribe of Benjamin was thirty-five thousand four hundred. When the kinship of the sons of Dan had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:39 The total of these for the tribe of Dan was sixty-two thousand seven hundred.

1:40 When the kinship of the sons of Asher had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:41 The total of these for the tribe of Asher was forty-one thousand five hundred.

1:42 When the kinship of the sons of Naphtali had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were singled out one by one.

1:43 The total of these for the tribe of Naphtali was fifty-three thousand four hundred.

1:44 Such were the men registered by Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel, of whom there were twelve, each representing his patriarchal House.

1:45 Every man of Israel of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, was counted according to his patriarchal House.

1:46 Altogether the full total was six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.[*a]

1:47 But the Levites and their patriarchal tribe were not included in the count.

Statute for the Levites

1:48 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

1:49 ‘Do not, however, take any census of the Levites, or register them among the sons of Israel.

1:50 You yourself must enrol the Levites to serve the tabernacle of the Testimony and to look after its furnishings and its belongings. They are to carry the tabernacle, and all its furnishings, and they are to take care of it and pitch their camp around it.

1:51 Whenever the tabernacle is moved the Levites are to be the people to dismantle it; whenever the tabernacle is set up again, they are to do this. Any layman coming near it must be put to death.

1:52 The sons of Israel are to pitch their tents in formation each in their own encampment, every man by his standard.

1:53 But the Levites are to pitch their tents round the tabernacle of the Testimony. In this way the wrath will be kept from falling on the whole community of the sons of Israel. The Levites are to be in charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony.’

1:54 The Sons of Israel did exactly as Yahweh had ordered Moses. They did as he said.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 2

Order of the tribes

2:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron. He said:

2:2 ‘The sons of Israel are to pitch their tents, every man by his own standard, under the banner of his patriarchal House. They are to pitch their tents all round the tabernacle of the Testimony, at a measured distance.

2:3 ‘Those who are to pitch their tents on the east side: ‘Towards the sunrise, the standard of the camp of Judah, in battle array. Leader of the sons of Judah: Nahshon son of Amminadab.

2:4 His command: seventy-four thousand six hundred men.

2:5 ‘Encamped next to him: ‘The tribe of Issachar. Leader of the sons of Issachar: Nethanel son of Zuar.

2:6 His command: fifty-four thousand four hundred men.

2:7 ‘The tribe of Zebulun. Leader of the sons of Zebulun: Eliab son of Helon.

2:8 His command: fifty seven thousand four hundred men

2:9 The assembled strength of the camp. These are to be first in order of breaking camp

2:10 ‘On the south side, the standard of the camp of Reuben, in battle array. Leader of the sons of Reuben: Elizur son of Shedeur.

2:11 His command: forty-six thousand five hundred men.

2:12 ‘Encamped next to him: ‘The tribe of Simeon. Leader of the sons of Simeon: Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

2:13 His command: fifty-nine thousand three hundred men.

2:14 ‘The tribe of Gad. Leader of the sons of Gad: Eliasaph son of Reuel.

2:15 His command: forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty men.

2:16 ‘The assembled strength of the camp of Reuben numbers in all a hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred and fifty. They are to be second in order of breaking camp.

2:17 ‘Next the Tent of Meeting will move, since the camp of the Levites is situated in the middle of the other camps. The order of movement is to be the order of encampment, every man under his own standard.

2:18 ‘On the west side, the standard of the camp of Ephraim, in battle array. Leader of the sons of Ephraim: Elishama son of Ammihud.

2:19 His command: forty thousand five hundred men.

2:20 ‘Next to him: The tribe of Manasseh. Leader of the tribe of Manasseh: Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.

2:21 His command: thirty-two thousand two hundred men.

2:22 ‘The tribe of Benjamin. Leader of the sons of Benjamin: Abidan son of Gideoni.

2:23 His command: thirty-five thousand four hundred men.

2:24 ‘The assembled strength of the camp of Ephraim numbers in all a hundred and eight thousand one hundred. They are to be third in order of breaking camp.

2:25 ‘On the north side, the standard of the camp of Dan, in battle array. Leader of the sons of Dan: Ahiezer son of Ammishaddal.

2:26 His command: sixty-two thousand seven hundred men.

2:27 ‘Encamped next to him: ‘The tribe of Asher. Leader of the sons of Asher: Pagiel son of Ochran.

2:28 His command: forty-one thousand five hundred men.

2:29 ‘The tribe of Naphtali. Leader of the sons of Naphtali: Ahira son of Enan.

2:30 His command: fifty-three thousand four hundred men.

2:31 ‘The assembled strength of the camp of Dan numbers in all a hundred and fifty-seven thousand six hundred. They are to be last in order of breaking camp.’ (This concerns their stationing by standards.)

2:32 Such was the tally of the sons of Israel when the census was made according to patriarchal Houses. The full count of the entire camp, grouped under the various commands, is six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.

2:33 The Levites, as Yahweh had commanded Moses, were not included in this census of the sons of Israel.

2:34 The sons of Israel did exactly as Yahweh had ordered Moses. This was how they pitched camp, grouped by standards. This was how they broke camp, each in his own clan, every man with his own family.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 3

The tribe of Levi

a. The priests

3:1 These are the descendants of Aaron and Moses, at the time when Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai.

3:2 These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the eldest, then Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

3:3 These are the names of Aaron’s sons, priests anointed and invested with the powers of the priesthood.

3:4 Nadab and Abihu died in the presence of Yahweh, in the wilderness of Sinai, when they offered fire that was unlawful. They left no children and so it fell to Eleazar and Ithamar to exercise the priesthood under their father Aaron.

b. The Levites: their duties

3:5 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

3:6 ‘Muster the tribe of Levi and put it at the disposal of Aaron the priest: they are to be at his service.

3:7 They are to undertake the duties that are laid on him and on the entire community before the Tent of Meeting, in their service of the tabernacle.

3:8 The furnishings for the Tent of meeting are to be in their charge, and they are to undertake the duties that are laid on the sons of Israel in their service of the tabernacle.

3:9 You are to give the Levites to Aaron and his sons as ‘oblates’,[*a] they are to be given to him by the sons of Israel.

3:10 ‘You are to enrol Aaron and his sons, and they are to carry out their priestly duty. But any layman who comes near is to be put to death.’

c. Their divine election

3:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

3:12 ‘I myself have chosen the Levites from among the sons of Israel, in place of the first-born, those who open the mother’s womb among the sons of Israel; these Levites therefore belong to me.

3:13 For every first-born belongs to me. On the day when I struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the first-born of Israel, of both man and beast. They are mine; I am Yahweh.’

d. Census of the Levites

3:14 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. He said:

3:15 ‘You are to take a census of the sons of Levi by families and clans; all the males of the age of one month and over must be counted’.

3:16 At Yahweh’s word, Moses took his census, as Yahweh had ordered.

3:17 These are the names of the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

3:18 These are the names of Gershon’s sons by their clans: Libni and Shimei;

3:19 Kohath’s sons by their clans: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and. Uzziel;

3:20 Merari’s sons by their clans: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of Levi, grouped according to their patriarchal families.

3:21 From Gershon are descended the Libnite and the Shimeite clans; these are the Gershonite clans.

3:22 Their full number, counting the males of one month and over, came to seven thousand five hundred.

3:23 The Gershonite clans pitched their camp behind the tabernacle, on the west side.

3:24 The leader of the House of Gershon was Eliasaph son of Lael.

3:25 In the Tent of Meeting the sons of Gershon had charge of the tabernacle, the Tent and its covering, the screen for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting,

3:26 the hangings in the court, the screen for the entrance to the court surrounding the tabernacle and the altar, and the cords needed for all this work.

3:27 From Kohath are descended the Amramite, the Izharite, the Hebronite and the Uzzielite clans; these are the Kohathite clans.

3:28 Their full number, counting the males of one month and over, came to eight thousand three hundred. They were in charge of the sanctuary.

3:29 The Kohathite clans pitched their camp on the south side of the tabernacle.

3:30 The leader of the house of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel

3:31 They were in charge of the ark, the table, the lamp-stand, the altars, the sacred vessels used in the liturgy, and the screen with all its fittings.

3:32 The chief of the Levite leaders was Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest. He was the head of all those who were in charge of the sanctuary.

3:33 From Merari are descended the Mahlite and the Mushite clans; these are the Merarite clans;

3:34 Their full number, counting the males of one month and over, came to six thousand two hundred.

3:35 The leader of the house of the Merarite clans was Zuriel, son of Abihail. They pitched their camp on the north side of the tabernacle.

3:36 The sons of Merari were in charge of the framework of the tabernacle, with its crossbars, posts and sockets, all its accessories and fittings,

3:37 and also the posts round the court, with their sockets, pegs and cords.

3:38 Finally, on the east side, facing the tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting, towards the sunrise, was the camp of Moses and Aaron and his sons, who had charge of the sanctuary on behalf of the sons of Israel. Any layman coming near was to be put to death.

3:39 Altogether, the total count of Levites of the age of one month and over, whom Moses numbered by clans as Yahweh had ordered, came to twenty-two thousand.

e. The Levites and the ransoming of the first-born

3:40 Yahweh said to Moses: ‘Take a census of all the first-born among the sons of Israel, all the males from the age of one month and over; take a census of them by name.

3:41 Then you will present the Levites to me, Yahweh, in place of the first-born of Israel; in the same way you will give me their cattle in place of the first-born cattle of the sons of Israel.’

3:42 As Yahweh ordered, Moses took a census of all the first-born of the sons of Israel.

3:43 The total count, by name, of the first-born from the age of one month and over came to twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.

3:44 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

3:45 ‘Take the Levites in the place of all the first-born of Israel’s sons, and the cattle of the Levites in place of their cattle; the Levites shall be my own, Yahweh’s own.

3:46 For the ransom of the two hundred and seventy-three of the first-born of the sons of Israel in excess of the number of Levites,

3:47 you are to take five shekels for each, reckoning by the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel;

3:48 you must then give this money to Aaron and his sons as the ransom price for this extra number.’

3:49 Moses received this money as the ransom for this extra number unransomed by the Levites.

3:50 He received the money for the first-born of the sons of Israel, one thousand three hundred and sixty-five shekels, sanctuary shekels.

3:51 Moses handed over this ransom money to Aaron and his sons, at the bidding of Yahweh, as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 4

The Levite clans

a. The Kohathites

4:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said:

4:2 ‘Take a census of those Levites who are sons of Kohath, by clans and families:

4:3 count all the men between thirty and fifty years of age, those fit to bear arms, who are liable for service in the Tent of Meeting.

4:4 ‘These are the duties of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting: they are to have charge of the most holy things.

4:5 ‘When camp is broken, Aaron and his sons are to come and take down the veil of the screen. With it they must cover up the ark of the Testimony.

4:6 On top of this they must put a covering of fine leather, and spread over the whole a cloth all of violet. Then they are to fix the poles to the ark.

4:7 ‘Over the offertory table they are to spread a violet cloth, and put on it the dishes, cups, bowls and libation jars; the bread of perpetual offering is also to be on it.

4:8 Over these they must spread a cloth of scarlet and cover the whole with a covering of fine leather. Then they are to fix the poles to the table.

4:9 ‘They are then to take a cloth of violet and cover the light-bearing lamp-stand, together with the lamps, snuffers, trays and all the oil jars that belong to it.

4:10 They are to put it, with all its accessories, on a covering of fine leather and place it on the litter.

4:11 ‘Over the golden altar they must spread a violet cloth, and cover that with a covering of fine leather. Then they are to fix the poles to it.

4:12 ‘They are also to take all the other objects used in the service of the sanctuary. They must put them all on a violet cloth, cover them with a covering of fine leather, and place them together on the litter.

4:13 ‘When they have removed the ashes from the altar,[*a] they must spread a scarlet cloth over it,

4:14 and place on this all the objects used in the liturgical service, the fire pans, hooks, scoops, sprinkling basins and all the altar vessels. Over the whole they must spread a covering of fine leather. Then they are to fix the poles to it.

4:15 ‘When Aaron and his sons have finished covering all the sacred objects and all their accessories at the breaking of camp, the sons of Kohath are to come to take up the burden, but without touching any of the sacred things; otherwise they would die. This is the charge entrusted to the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting.

4:16 It is to fall to Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, to watch over the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the perpetual oblation and the chrism; he must watch over the whole tabernacle and everything in it: the sacred objects and their accessories.’

4:17 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said:

4:18 ‘Do not cut off the tribe of the clans of Kohath from the number of the Levites.

4:19 But deal with them in this way, so that they may live on and not incur death when they approach the most holy things: Aaron and his sons must go in and assign to each of them his task and his burden.

4:20 In this way they can go in and yet cast not their eyes, even for a moment, on any of the holy things; if they did, they would die.’

b. The Gershonites

4:21 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said to him:

4:22 ‘Take a census also of the sons of Gershon, by families and clans:

4:23 count all the men between thirty and fifty years of age, those fit to bear arms, who are liable for service in the Tent of Meeting.

4:24 ‘These are the duties of the Gershonite clans, their functions and their burdens.

4:25 They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting with its covering and the covering of fine leather that goes over it, the screen for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting,

4:26 the hangings of the court, the screen for the entrance to the court that surrounds the tabernacle and the altar, the cords and all the accessories, and all the necessary equipment. ‘They are to be responsible for these things.

4:27 All the duties of the sons of Gershon – their functions and their tasks – are to be carried out under the direction of Aaron and his sons: you must see that they fulfil their charge.

4:28 Such shall be the duties of the Gershonite clans in the Tent of Meeting. Their work will be supervised by Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

c. The Merarites

4:29 ‘You are to count the sons of Merari, by clans and families.

4:30 Count all the men between thirty and fifty years of age, those fit to bear arms, who are liable for service in the Tent of Meeting.

4:31 ‘The burden they are to carry and the duties that are to fall to them in the Tent of Meeting shall be as follows: the framework of the tabernacle, its crossbars, its posts and sockets,

4:32 the posts around the court with their sockets, pegs, cords and all their tackle. You are to draw up a list of their names with the burden that each man must carry.

4:33 ‘These are the duties of the Merarite clans. All their duties in the Tent of Meeting will be supervised by Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.’

Census of the Levites

4:34 Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community took a census of the sons of Kohath, by clans and families:

4:35 of every man between thirty and fifty years of age, fit to bear arms and liable for service in the Tent of Meeting.

4:36 The total of their clans was two thousand seven hundred and fifty men.

4:37 This was the number of the Kohathite clans, of all those who were liable for service in the Tent of Meeting, whom Moses and Aaron counted at the bidding of Yahweh given through Moses.

4:38 A census was taken of the sons of Gershon, by clans and families:

4:39 of every man between thirty and fifty years of age, fit to bear arms and liable for service in the Tent of Meeting.

4:40 By clans and families the total was two thousand six hundred and thirty men.

4:41 This was the number of the Gershonite clans, of all those who were liable for service in the Tent of Meeting, whom Moses and Aaron counted at the bidding of Yahweh.

4:42 A census was taken of the clans of the sons of Merari, by clans and families:

4:43 of every man between thirty and fifty years of age, fit to bear arms and liable for service in the Tent of Meeting.

4:44 The total of their clans was three thousand two hundred men.

4:45 This was the number of the Merarite clans, whom Moses and Aaron counted at the bidding of Yahweh through Moses.

4:46 The total number of Levites, counted according to clans and families by Moses and Aaron and the leaders of Israel-

4:47 all the men between thirty and fifty years of age, fit to bear arms and liable for serving or carrying in the Tent of Meeting-

4:48 amounted to eight thousand five hundred and eighty.

4:49 At the bidding of Yahweh through Moses, the census was taken to assign to every man his duty and his task; they were numbered as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 5

II. VARIOUS LAWS

Expulsion of the unclean

5:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

5:2 ‘Order the sons of Israel to put out of the camp all lepers, and all who suffer from a discharge, or who have become unclean by touching a corpse.

5:3 Man or woman, you must put them out and forbid them the camp. The sons of Israel must not defile in this way the camp where I dwell among them.’

5:4 The sons of Israel did so: they put them out of the camp. The sons of Israel did as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

Restitution

5:5 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

5:6 ‘Tell the sons of Israel: “If a man or woman commits any of the sins by which men break faith with Yahweh, that person incurs guilt.

5:7 “He must confess the sin he has committed and restore in full the amount for which he is liable, with one-fifth added. Payment is to be made to the person whom he has wronged.

5:8 “If, however, the latter has no kinsman to whom this restitution can be made, the restitution due to Yahweh reverts to the priest, over and above the ram of atonement with which the priest makes atonement for the guilty man.

5:9 For of everything consecrated by the sons of Israel and brought to the priest he has a right to the portion set aside.

5:10 Whatever a man consecrates is his own; whatever is given to the priest belongs to the priest.”‘

Oblation in cases of jealousy

5:11 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

5:12 ‘Say this to the sons of Israel: “If anyone has a wife who goes astray and is unfaithful to him,

5:13 if some other man sleeps with the woman without the husband’s knowledge, if she disgraces herself in secret in this way, without any witness against her, and without anyone catching her in the act;

5:14 then, if a spirit of jealousy comes over the husband and makes him jealous for the wife who has disgraced herself, or again if this spirit of jealousy comes upon him and makes him jealous for his wife even when she is innocent:

5:15 the man must bring his wife before the priest, and on her behalf make an offering of one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal. He is not to pour oil on it or put incense on it, because this is an ‘oblation for jealousy’, a memorial offering to record a fault.

5:16 “The priest is then to bring the woman forward and stand her before Yahweh.

5:17 Then he shall take living water in an earthen jar, and on the water throw dust that he has taken from the floor of the tabernacle.

5:18 After he has placed the woman before Yahweh, he shall unbind her hair and put in her hands the commemorative oblation (that is, the oblation for jealousy). In his own hands the priest will hold the water of bitterness and of cursing.

5:19 “He is then to put the woman on oath. He shall say to her: If it is not true that a man has slept with you, that you have gone astray and disgraced yourself while under your husband’s authority, then may this water of bitterness and cursing do you no harm.

5:20 But if it is true that you have gone astray, while under your husband’s authority, that you have disgraced yourself by sharing your bed with a man other than your husband…

5:21 Here the priest shall impose an imprecatory oath on the woman. He shall say to her:… May Yahweh make of you an execration and a curse among your people, making your thigh shrivel and your belly swell!

5:22 May this water of cursing enter your bowels to swell your belly and shrivel your organs!’ The woman must answer: Amen! Amen!

5:23 “Then the priest shall commit these curses to writing and wash them off in the water of bitterness.

5:24 He must make the woman drink this water of bitterness and of cursing, and this water of cursing shall go into her and be bitter inside her.

5:25 “The priest shall then take the oblation for jealousy from the woman’s hands, and hold it up before Yahweh with a gesture of offering, and so carry it up to the altar.

5:26 He shall take a handful as a memorial, and burn it on the altar.

5:27 “He shall then make the woman drink the water.. After he has made her drink it, if it is true that she has disgraced herself, deceiving her husband, then the water of cursing that goes into her shall indeed be bitter: her belly will swell and her thigh shrivel, and she will be an execration among her people.

5:28 But if she has not disgraced herself and is clean, then she will go unscathed and will bear children.

5:29 “This is the ritual in cases of jealousy, when a woman has gone astray and disgraced herself while under her husband’s authority,

5:30 or when a spirit of jealousy has come over a man and made him jealous for his wife. When a husband brings such a woman before Yahweh, the priest must apply this ritual to her in full.

5:31 The husband shall be guiltless, but the woman must bear the punishment for her sin.”‘

JB NUMBERS Chapter 6

The nazirite

6:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

6:2 ‘Say this to the sons of Israel: man or a woman wishes to make a vow, the vow of the nazirite by which he is pledged to Yahweh,

6:3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink and neither drink the juice of grapes, nor eat grapes, fresh or dried.

6:4 For the duration of his vow he shall touch nothing that comes from the vine, not even verjuice or lees.

6:5 As long as he is bound by his vow, no razor shall touch his head; until the time of his consecration to Yahweh is completed, he remains under vow and shall let his hair grow free.

6:6 For the entire period of his consecration to Yahweh he must not go near a corpse,

6:7 he must not make himself unclean for either father or mother, for either brother or sister, should they die; On his head he carries his consecration to his God.

6:8 Throughout the whole of his nazirate he is a person consecrated to Yahweh.

6:9 “If anyone dies suddenly in his presence, and so makes his consecrated hair unclean, he must shave his head on the day of his cleansing, he must shave his head on the seventh day.

6:10 On the eighth day, he is to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

6:11 The priest must offer one as a sacrifice for sin, and the other as a holocaust; he must then perform over this man the rite of atonement for the defilement that he has contracted from the corpse. The man must consecrate his head that same day;

6:12 he must consecrate himself to Yahweh for the period of his nazirate, and he must bring a male yearling lamb as a sacrifice of reparation. The time already spent shall not count, since his hair has become unclean.

6:13 “This is the ritual to be followed by the nazirite on the day when his period of consecration is completed. He is to be led to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting,

6:14 and must make his offering to Yahweh: for holocaust, a male yearling lamb without blemish; for sacrifice for sin, a yearling ewe lamb without blemish; for communion sacrifice, a ram without blemish,

6:15 and a basket of unleavened loaves made of fine flour mixed with oil, and of unleavened wafers spread with oil, with the oblations and libations appropriate to them.

6:16 When he has brought all this before Yahweh, the priest must offer the sacrifice for sin and the holocaust for the nazirite.

6:17 The nazirite must offer up the communion sacrifice with the ram and the unleavened bread in the basket, and the priest must offer the accompanying oblation and libation.

6:18 Then the nazirite shall shave off his consecrated hair at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and taking the locks of his consecrated head, he shall put them in the fire of the communion sacrifice.

6:19 The priest is to take the shoulder of the ram, as soon as it is cooked, with an unleavened cake from the basket, and an unleavened wafer. He is to put them into the hands of the nazirite when the nazirite has shaved off his hair.

6:20 With them he must make the gesture of offering before Yahweh; as it is a holy thing, it reverts to the priest, in addition to the breast that has been presented and the thigh that has been set aside. After this the nazirite may once more drink wine.

6:21 “Such is the ritual for the nazirite. If, besides the hair, he has also vowed a personal offering to Yahweh, he must (apart from anything else that his means allow) fulfil the vow that he has made, in addition to what the ritual prescribes for his hair.”‘

The form of blessing

6:22 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

6:23 ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

6:24 May Yahweh bless you and keep you.

6:25 May Yahweh let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

6:26 May Yahweh uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”

6:27 This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’

JB NUMBERS Chapter 7

III. OFFERINGS OF THE LEADERS AND CONSECRATION OF THE LEVITES

Offering of wagons

7:1 On the day Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it with all its furniture, as well as the altar and all its accessories. When he had anointed and consecrated it all,

7:2 the leaders of Israel made an offering; these were the heads of the patriarchal Houses, who were leaders of tribes and had presided over the census.

7:3 They brought their offering before Yahweh: six covered wagons and twelve oxen, one wagon for every two leaders and one ox each. They brought them before the tabernacle.

7:4 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

7:5 ‘Accept these from them, and let them be set apart for the service of the Tent of Meeting. You are to give them to the Levites, to each as his duties require.’

7:6 Moses took the wagons and the oxen, and gave them to the Levites.

7:7 To the sons of Gershon he gave two wagons and four oxen for the duties they had to perform.

7:8 To the sons of Merari he gave four wagons and eight oxen, for the duties they had to perform under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron the priest.

7:9 But to the sons of Kohath he gave none at all, because the sacred charge entrusted to them had to be carried on their shoulders.

Dedication offering

7:10 The leaders then made an offering for the dedication of the altar, on the day it was anointed. They brought their offering before the altar,

7:11 and Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Let the leaders each bring an offering on successive days for the dedication of the altar’.

7:12 On the first day an offering was brought by Nahshon son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah.

7:13 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:14 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:15 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:16 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:17 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab.

7:18 On the second day an offering was brought by Nethanel son of Zuar, leader of Issachar.

7:19 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:20 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:21 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:22 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:23 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Nethanel son of Zuar.

7:24 On the third day an offering was brought by Eliab son of Helon, leader of the sons of Zebulun.

7:25 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:26 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:27 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:28 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:29 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Eliab son of Helon.

7:30 On the fourth day an offering was brought by Elizur son of Shedeur, leader of the sons of Reuben.

7:31 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:32 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:33 one young bull, one ram, and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:34 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:35 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Elizur son of Shedeur.

7:36 On the fifth day an offering was brought by Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, leader of the sons of Simeon.

7:37 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:38 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:39 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:40 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:41 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

7:42 On the sixth day an offering was brought by Eliasaph son of Reuel, leader of the sons of Gad.

7:43 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:44 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:45 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:46 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:47 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Eliasaph son of Reuel.

7:48 On the seventh day an offering was brought by Elishama son of Ammihud, leader of the sons of Ephraim.

7:49 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with so fine flour mixed with oil,

7:50 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:51 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:52 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:53 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Elishama, son of Ammihud.

7:54 On the eighth day an offering was brought by Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, leader of the sons of Manasseh.

7:55 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:56 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:57 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:58 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:59 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.

7:60 On the ninth day an offering was brought by Abidan son of Gideoni, leader of the sons of Benjamin.

7:61 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:62 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:63 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:64 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:65 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Abidan son of Gideoni.

7:66 On the tenth day an offering was brought by Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai, leader of the sons of Dan.

7:67 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:68 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:69 one young bull, one ram, and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:70 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:71 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.

7:72 On the eleventh day an offering was brought by Pagiel son of Ochran, leader of the sons of Asher.

7:73 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:74 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:75 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:76 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:77 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Pagiel son of Ochran.

7:78 On the twelfth day an offering was brought by Ahira son of Enan, leader of the sons of Naphtali.

7:79 His offering consisted of: one silver bowl weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels (sanctuary shekels), both of them filled, for the oblation, with fine flour mixed with oil,

7:80 one golden bowl weighing ten shekels, filled with incense,

7:81 one young bull, one ram and one male yearling lamb for the holocaust,

7:82 one goat for the sacrifice for sin,

7:83 and, for the communion sacrifice, two oxen, five rams, five kids, and five male yearling lambs. This was the offering of Ahira son of Enan.

7:84 These were the offerings made by the leaders of Israel for the dedication of the altar on the day it was anointed: twelve silver bowls, twelve silver sprinkling bowls, and twelve golden bowls.

7:85 Each silver bowl weighed a hundred and thirty shekels, and each sprinkling bowl seventy, the silver of these objects weighing in all two thousand four hundred sanctuary shekels.

7:86 The twelve golden bowls filled with incense weighed ten shekels each (sanctuary shekels), the gold of these bowls weighing in all a hundred and twenty shekels.

7:87 The sum total of animals for the holocaust: twelve bulls, twelve rams, twelve male yearling lambs, together with their accompanying oblations. For the sacrifice for sin, twelve goats.

7:88 The sum total of animals for the communion sacrifice: twenty-four bulls, sixty rams, sixty kids, and sixty male yearling lambs. These were the offerings for the dedication of the altar, after it had been anointed.

7:89 When Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice that spoke to him from above the throne of mercy which was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubs. It was then that he spoke with Him.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 8

The lamps for the lamp-stand

8:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

8:2 ‘Say this to Aaron, “When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps must throw their light towards the front of the lamp-stand”‘.

8:3 Aaron saw to this. He set up the lamps to the front of the lamp-stand, as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

8:4 This lamp-stand was worked in beaten gold, including its stem and its petals, which were also of beaten gold. This lamp-stand had been made according to the pattern Yahweh had shown to Moses.

The Levites are offered to Yahweh

8:5 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

8:6 ‘Separate the Levites from the sons of Israel and purify them.

8:7 This is how you are to purify them: you must sprinkle them with lustral water, and they must shave their bodies all over and wash their clothing. They will then be clean.

8:8 They must next take a young bull, with the accompanying oblation of fine flour mixed with oil, and you must take a second young bull for a sacrifice for sin.

8:9 Then bring the Levites before the Tent of Meeting, and call together the whole community of the sons of Israel.

8:10 When you have brought the Levites before Yahweh, the sons of Israel must lay their hands on them.

8:11 Aaron shall then offer the Levites, making the gesture of offering before Yahweh on behalf of the sons of Israel. From that time, they will be dedicated to the service of Yahweh.

8:12 ‘The Levites must then lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, one of which you are to offer as a sacrifice for sin, and the other as a holocaust to Yahweh; this is how the rite of atonement for the Levites is to be performed.

8:13 Having brought the Levites before Aaron and his sons, you will present them to Yahweh with the gesture of offering.

8:14 This is how you are to set the Levites apart from he rest of the sons of Israel, so that they may be mine.

8:15 The Levites will then begin their ministry in the Tent of Meeting. ‘You must purify them and offer them with the gesture of offering

8:16 because they have been made over to me from among the sons of Israel, as ‘oblates’. They are to replace those who open the womb, all the first-born; of all the sons of Israel I have taken them for my own.

8:17 All the first-born among the sons of Israel, man and beast, do indeed belong to me: the day I struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I consecrated them to myself,

8:18 and now, in place of all the first-born among the sons of Israel, I have taken the Levites.

8:19 From among the sons of Israel I give them to Aaron and his sons, as ‘oblates’; on behalf of the sons of Israel, they will minister in the Tent of Meeting and perform the rite of atonement over them, so that none of the sons of Israel may be struck down for approaching the sanctuary.’

8:20 Moses, Aaron and the whole community of the sons of Israel dealt with the Levites exactly as Yahweh had directed Moses concerning them; this is what the sons of Israel did with them.

8:21 The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes, and Aaron presented them with the gesture of offering before Yahweh. Then he performed the rite of atonement over them to purify them.

8:22 The Levites were then allowed to perform their ministry in the Tent of Meeting in the presence of Aaron and his sons. As Yahweh had directed Moses concerning the Levites, so it was done to them.

The duration of their ministry

8:23 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

8:24 ‘This concerns the Levites. From the age of twenty-five onwards, the Levite must exercise his ministry and do duty in the Tent of Meeting.

8:25 After the age of fifty, he is no longer bound to the ministry; he will have no further duties;

8:26 but he will still help his brothers to ensure the services in the Tent of Meeting, though he himself will no longer have any ministry. See that this is the rule for the ministry of the Levites.’

JB NUMBERS Chapter 9

IV. THE PASSOVER AND THE DEPARTURE

Date of the Passover

9:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, in the wilderness of Sinai, in the second year after the exodus from Egypt, in the first month. He said:

9:2 ‘Let the sons of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.

9:3 The fourteenth day of this month, between the two evenings, is the appointed time for you to keep it. You must keep it with all the laws and customs proper to it.’

9:4 Moses gave orders for the sons of Israel to keep the Passover.

9:5 They kept it, in tile wilderness of Sinai, in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings. The sons of Israel did exactly as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

Individual cases

9:6 It happened that certain men had become unclean by touching a dead body; they could not keep the Passover that day. They came the same day to Moses and Aaron,

9:7 and said to them, ‘We have become unclean by touching a dead body. Why should we be forbidden to bring an offering to Yahweh at the proper time with the rest of the sons of Israel?’

9:8 Moses answered them, ‘Wait there till I learn what orders Yahweh gives about you’.

9:9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

9:10 ‘Say this to the sons of Israel: “If anyone, among you or your descendants, becomes unclean by touching a dead body or is on a journey abroad, he can still keep a Passover for Yahweh.

9:11 Such persons shall keep it in the second month, on the fourteenth day, between the two evenings. They are to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs;

9:12 nothing of it must be left over until morning, nor must they break any of its bones: they must keep this Passover exactly according to the paschal ritual.

9:13 But if anyone who is clean, or who has not had to go on a journey, fails to keep the Passover, he shall be outlawed from his people. He has not brought the offering to Yahweh at its appointed time, and he must bear the burden of his sin.

9:14 “If a stranger is living among you and keeps a Passover for Yahweh, he must keep it in accordance with the laws and customs of the Passover. There is to be only one law among you, for settler and native alike.”‘

The cloud

9:15 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the Cloud covered the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony. From nightfall until morning, it remained over the tabernacle under the appearance of fire.

9:16 So the Cloud covered it continually, at night taking the appearance of fire.

9:17 Whenever the Cloud lifted above the Tent, the sons of Israel broke camp; whenever the Cloud halted, there the sons of Israel pitched camp.

9:18 The sons of Israel set out at the command of Yahweh, and at his command they pitched camp. The people remained encamped as long as the Cloud rested on the tabernacle.

9:19 If the Cloud stayed for many days above the tabernacle, the sons of Israel paid worship to Yahweh and did not break camp.

9:20 But if the Cloud happened to stay for only a few days above the tabernacle, they pitched camp at Yahweh’s command and broke camp at Yahweh’s command.

9:21 If the Cloud happened to remain only from evening to morning, they set out when it lifted the next morning. Or, if it stayed for a whole day and night, they set out only when it lifted.

9:22 Sometimes it stayed there for two days, a month, or a year; however long the Cloud stayed, above the tabernacle, the sons of Israel remained in camp in the same place, and when it lifted they set out.

9:23 At Yahweh’s command they pitched camp, and at Yahweh’s command they broke camp. They paid worship to Yahweh, according to the orders which Yahweh had given through Moses.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 10

The trumpets

10:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

10:2 ‘Make two trumpets; make them of beaten silver; and use them for summoning the community, and for sounding the order to break camp.

10:3 Whenever they are sounded, the whole community is to gather round you, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

10:4 But if only one trumpet is sounded, then only the leaders, the chiefs of Israel’s battalions, are to gather round you.

10:5 ‘When the trumpet blast is accompanied by a battle cry, the camps pitched to the east shall set out.

10:6 At the second blast accompanied by a battle cry, the camps pitched to the south shall set out. To break camp, the trumpet blast must be accompanied by a battle cry,

10:7 but to assemble the community the trumpets shall be sounded without battle cry.

10:8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to sound the trumpets; this is a perpetual law for you and your descendants.

10:9 ‘In your own land when you go to war against an enemy who oppresses you, you must sound the trumpet with a battle cry: Yahweh your God will remember you, and you will be delivered from your enemies.

10:10 At your festivals, solemnities, or new-moon feasts, you will sound the trumpet at the time of your holocausts and your communion sacrifices, and they will call you to the remembrance of your God. I am Yahweh your God.’

The order of march

10:11 In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the Cloud lifted over the tabernacle of the Testimony.

10:12 The sons of Israel set out, in marching order, from the wilderness of Sinai. In the wilderness of Paran the Cloud came to rest.

10:13 These are the men who set out in the vanguard, at the order of Yahweh given through Moses:

10:14 in the vanguard was the standard of the camp of the sons of Judah, in battle array. In command of Judah’s force was Nahshon son of Amminadab;

10:15 in command of the sons of Issachar, in battle array, was Nethanel son of Zuar;

10:16 in command of the tribe of the sons of Zebulun, in battle array, was Eliab son of Helon.

10:17 Then, the tabernacle being dismantled, the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set out, carrying the tabernacle.

10:18 Then came the standard of the camp of the sons of Reuben, in battle array. In command of Reuben’s force was Elizur son of Shedeur;

10:19 in command of the tribe of the sons of Simeon, in battle array, was Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;

10:20 in command of the tribe of the sons of Gad, in battle array, was Eliasaph son of Reuel.

10:21 Then came the sons of Kohath, who carried the sanctuary (the tabernacle was set up before their arrival).

10:22 Then came the standard of the camp of the sons of Ephraim, in battle array. In command of Ephraim’s force was Elishama son of Ammihud;

10:23 in command of the tribe of the sons of Manasseh, in battle array, was Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;

10:24 in command of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin was Abidan son of Gideoni.

10:25 Last of all, the rearguard of all the camps, came the standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, in battle array. In command of the force of Dan was Ahiezer, son of Ammishaddai;

10:26 in command of the tribe of the sons of Asher, in battle array, was Pagiel son of Ochran;

10:27 in command of the sons of Naphtali, in battle array, was Ahira son of Enan.

10:28 Such was the order of march for the sons of Israel, in battle array. So they set out.

Moses’ proposal to Hobab

10:29 Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, his father-in-law, ‘We are setting out for the land of which Yahweh has said: I will give it to you. Come with us, and we will treat you well, for Yahweh has promised happiness to Israel.’

10:30 ‘I will not come with you,’ he answered ‘I will go to my own land and my own kindred.’

10:31 ‘Do not leave us,’ Moses replied ‘for you know where we can camp in the wilderness, and so you will be our eyes.

10:32 If you come with us, you will share in the blessing of the happiness with which Yahweh blesses us.’

The departure

10:33 They set out from the mountain of Yahweh and journeyed for three days. The ark of the covenant of Yahweh went at their head for this journey of three days, searching out a camping place for them.

10:34 In the daytime, the Cloud of Yahweh was over them whenever they left camp.

10:35 And as the ark set out, Moses would say, ‘Arise, Yahweh, may your enemies be scattered and those who hate you run for their lives before you!’

10:36 And as it came to rest, he would say, ‘Come back, Yahweh, to the thronging hosts of Israel’.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 11

V. THE HALTS IN THE WILDERNESS

Taberah

11:1 Now the people set up a lament which was offensive to Yahweh’s ears, and Yahweh heard it. His anger blazed, and the fire of Yahweh burned among them: it destroyed one end of the camp.

11:2 The people appealed to Moses, and he interceded with Yahweh and the fire died down.

11:3 So the place was called Taberah, because the fire of Yahweh had burned among them.

Kibroth-hattaavah[*a]. The people complain

11:4 The rabble who had joined the people were overcome by greed, and the sons of Israel themselves began to wail again, ‘Who will give us meat to eat?’ they said.

11:5 ‘Think of the fish we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic!

11:6 Here we are wasting away, stripped of everything; there is nothing but manna for us to look at!’

11:7 The manna was like coriander seed, and had the appearance of bdellium.

11:8 The people went round gathering it, and ground it in a mill or crushed it with a pestle; it was then cooked in a pot and made into pancakes. It tasted like cake made with oil.

11:9 When the dew fell on the camp at night-time, the manna fell with it.

The prayer of Moses

11:10 Moses heard the people wailing, every family at the door of its tent. The anger of Yahweh flared out, and Moses greatly worried over this.

11:11 And he spoke to Yahweh: ‘Why do you treat your servant so badly? Why have I not found favour with you, so that you load on me the weight of all this nation?

11:12 Was it I who conceived all this people, was it I who gave them birth, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, like a nurse with a baby at the breast, to the land that I swore to give their fathers”?

11:13 Where am I to find meat to give to all this people, when they come worrying me so tearfully and say, “Give us meat to eat”?

11:14 I am not able to carry this nation by myself alone; the weight is too much for me.

11:15 If this is how you want to deal with me, I would rather you killed me! If only I had found favour in your eyes, and not lived to see such misery as this!’

Yahweh replies

11:16 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Gather seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know to be the people’s elders and scribes. Bring them to the Tent of Meeting, and let them stand beside you there.

11:17 I will come down to speak with you; and I will take some of the spirit which is on you and put it on them. So they will share with you the burden of this nation, and you will no longer have to carry it by yourself.

11:18 ‘To the people, say this, “Purify yourselves for tomorrow and you will have meat to eat, now that you have walled in the hearing of Yahweh and said: Who will give us meat to eat? How happy we were in Egypt! So be it! Yahweh will give you meat to eat.

11:19 You shall eat it not for one day only, or two, or five or ten or twenty,

11:20 but for a full month, until you are sick of it and cannot bear the smell of it, because you have rejected Yahweh who is with you, and have wailed before him saying: Why did we ever leave Egypt?”‘

11:21 Moses said, ‘The people round me number six hundred thousand foot soldiers, and you say, “I shall give them meat to eat for a whole month”! If all the flocks and herds were slaughtered, would that be enough for them? If all the fish in the sea were gathered, would that be enough for them?’

11:22 Yahweh answered Moses, ‘Is the arm of Yahweh so short? You shall see whether the promise I have made to you comes true or not.’

The spirit given to the elders

11:24 Moses went out and told the people what Yahweh had said. Then he gathered seventy elders of the people and brought them round the Tent.

11:25 Yahweh came down in the Cloud. He spoke with him, but took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied, but not again.

11:26 Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp.

11:27 The young man ran to tell this to Moses, ‘Look,’ he said ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp’.

11:28 Then said Joshua the son of Nun, who had served Moses from his youth, ‘My Lord Moses, stop them!’

11:29 Moses answered him, ‘Are you jealous on my account? If only the whole people of Yahweh were prophets, and Yahweh gave his Spirit to them all!’

11:30 Then Moses went back to the camp, the elders of Israel with him.

The quails

11:31 A wind came from Yahweh and it drove quails in from the sea and brought them down on the camp. They lay for a distance of a day’s march either side of the camp, two cubits thick on the ground.

11:32 The people were up all that day and night and all the next day collecting quails: the least gathered by anyone was ten homers; then they spread them out round the camp.

11:33 The meat was still between their teeth, not even chewed, when the anger of Yahweh blazed out against the people. Yahweh struck them with a very great plague.

11:34 The name given to this place was Kibroth-hattaavah, because it was there that they buried the people who had indulged their greed.

11:35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people set out for Hazeroth, and at Hazeroth they pitched camp.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 12

Hazeroth, Complaints of Miriam and Aaron

12:1 Miriam, and Aaron too, spoke against Moses in connexion with the Cushite woman[*a] he had taken. (For he had married a Cushite woman.)

12:2 They said, ‘Has Yahweh spoken to Moses only? Has he not spoken to us too?’ Yahweh heard this.

12:3 ‘Now Moses was the most humble of men, the humblest man on earth.

God’s answer

12:4 Suddenly, Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come, all three of you, to the Tent of Meeting’. They went, all three of them,

12:5 and Yahweh came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tent. He called Aaron and Miriam and they both came forward.

12:6 Yahweh said, ‘Listen now to my words: If any man among you is a prophet I make myself known to him in a vision, I speak to him in a dream.

12:7 Not so with my servant Moses: he is at home in my house;

12:8 I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles, and he sees the form of Yahweh. How then have you dared to speak against my servant Moses?’

12:9 The anger of Yahweh blazed out against them. He departed,

12:10 and as soon as the cloud withdrew from the Tent, there was Miriam a leper, white as snow! Aaron turned to look at her; she had become a leper.

The prayer of Aaron and Moses

12:11 Aaron said to Moses: ‘Help me, my lord! Do not punish us for a sin committed in folly of which we are guilty.

12:12 I entreat you, do not let her be like a monster, coming from its mother’s womb with flesh half corrupted.’

12:13 Moses cried to Yahweh, ‘O God,’ he said ‘please heal her, I beg you!’

12:14 Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘If her father had done no more than spit in her face, would she not be a thing of shame for seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp for seven days, and then let her be brought in again.

12:15 Miriam was shut outside the camp for seven days. The people did not set out until she returned.

12:16 Then the people left Hazeroth, and camp was pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 13

The reconnaissance in Canaan

13:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

13:2 ‘Send out men, one from each tribe, to make a reconnaissance of this land of Canaan which I am giving to the sons of Israel. Send the leader of each tribe.’

13:3 At Yahweh’s bidding, Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran. All these men were chiefs among the sons of Israel.

13:4 These were their names: For the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur;

13:5 for the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

13:6 for the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

13:7 for the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

13:8 for the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;

13:9 for the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

13:10 for the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

13:11 for the tribe of Joseph, for the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi;

13:12 for the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

13:13 for the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

13:14 for the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

13:15 for the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.

13:16 These were the names of the men whom Moses sent to make a reconnaissance of the land. Then Moses gave to Hoshea son of Nun the name of Joshua.

13:17 Moses sent them to reconnoitre the land of Canaan, ‘Go up into the Negeb; then go up into the highlands.

13:18 See what sort of country it is, and what sort of people the inhabitants are, whether they are strong or weak, few or many,

13:19 what sort of country they live in, whether it is good or poor; what sort of towns they have, whether they are open or fortified;

13:20 what sort of land it is, fertile or barren, wooded or open. Be bold, and bring back some of the produce of the country. It was the season for early grapes.

13:21 They went up to reconnoitre the land, from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, the Pass of Hamath.[*a]

13:22 They went up by way of the Negeb as far as Hebron, where the Anakim lived, Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai. (Hebron was founded seven years before Tanis in Egypt.)

13:23 They came to the Valley of Esheol; there they lopped off a vine branch with a cluster of grapes, which two of them carried away on a pole, as well as pomegranates and figs.

13:24 This place was called the Valley of Eshcol[*b] after the cluster which the sons of Israel had cut there.

The envoys’ report

13:25 At the end of forty days, they came back from their reconnaissance of the land.

13:26 They sought out Moses, Aaron and the whole community of Israel, in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They made their report to them, and to the whole community, and showed them the produce of the country.

13:27 They told them this story, ‘We went into the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey; this is its produce.

13:28 At the same time, its inhabitants are a powerful people; the towns are fortified and very big; yes, and we saw the descendants of Anak there.

13:29 The Amalekite holds the Negeb area, the Hittite, Amorite and Jebusite the highlands, and the Canaanite the sea coast and the banks of the Jordan.’

13:30 Caleb harangued the people gathered about Moses: ‘We must march in,’ he said ‘and conquer this land: we are well able to do it’.

13:31 But the men who had gone up with him answered, ‘We are not able to march against this people; they are stronger than we are’.

13:32 And they began to disparage the country they had reconnoitred to the sons of Israel, ‘The country we went to reconnoitre is a country that devours its inhabitants. Every man we saw there was of enormous size.

13:33 Yes, and we saw giants there (the sons of Anak, descendants of the Giants).We felt like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.’

JB NUMBERS Chapter 14

The rebellion of Israel

14:1 At this, the whole community raised their voices and cried aloud, and the people wailed all that night.

14:2 Then all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole community said, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt, or at least that we had died in this wilderness!

14:3 Why does Yahweh bring us to this land, only to have us fall by the sword, and our wives and young children seized as booty? Should we not do better to go back to Egypt?’

14:4 And they said to one another, ‘Let us appoint a leader and go back to Egypt’.

14:5 Before the whole assembled community of the sons of Israel, Moses and Aaron fell down, face to the ground.

14:6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of those who had reconnoitred the country, tore their garments;

14:7 and they said to the entire community of the sons of Israel, ‘The land we went to reconnoitre is a good land, an excellent land.

14:8 If Yahweh is pleased with us, he will lead us into this land and give it to us. It is a land where milk and honey flow.

14:9 Do not rebel against Yahweh. And do not be afraid of the people of this land; we shall gobble them up. Their tutelary shadow has gone from them so long as Yahweh is with us.[*a] Do not be afraid of them.

The anger of Yahweh. Moses makes an appeal

14:10 The entire community was talking of stoning them, when the glory of Yahweh appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the sons of Israel.

14:11 And Yahweh said to Moses: ‘How long will this people insult me? How long will they refuse to believe in me despite the signs I have worked among them?

14:12 I will strike them with pestilence and disown them. And of you I shall make a new nation, greater and mightier than they are.’

14:13 Moses answered Yahweh: ‘But the Egyptians already know that you, by your own power, have brought this people out from their midst.

14:14 They have said as much to the inhabitants of this country. They already know that you, Yahweh, are in the midst of this people, and that you show yourself to them face to face; that it is you, Yahweh, whose cloud stands over them, that you go before them in a pillar of cloud is by day and a pillar of fire by night.

14:15 If you destroy this people now as if it were one man, then the nations who have heard about you will say,

14:16 “Yahweh was not able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them, and so he has slaughtered them in the wilderness”.

14:17 No, my Lord! It is now you must display your power, according to those words you spoke,

14:18 “Yahweh is slow to anger and rich in graciousness, forgiving faults and transgression, and yet letting nothing go unchecked, punishing the father’s fault in the sons to the third and fourth generation”.

14:19 In the abundance, then, of your graciousness, forgive the sin of this people, as you have done from Egypt until now.

Pardon and punishment

14:20 Yahweh said, ‘I forgive them as you ask.

14:21 But-as I live, and as the glory of Yahweh fills all the earth-

14:22 of all the men who have seen my glory and the signs that I worked in Egypt and in the wilderness, who have put me to the test ten times already and obeyed my voice,

14:23 not one shall see the land I swore to give their fathers. Not one of those who slight me shall see it. But

14:24 my servant Caleb is of another spirit. Because he has obeyed me perfectly, I will bring him into the land he has entered, and his race shall possess it. (The Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the plain.)

14:25 Tomorrow you will turn about and go back into the wilderness, in the direction of the Sea of Suph

14:26 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said:

14:27 ‘How long does this perverse community, which complains against me…? I have heard the complaints which the sons of Israel make against me.

14:28 Say to them, “As I live – it is Yahweh who speaks – I will deal with you according to the very words you have used in my hearing.

14:29 In this wilderness your dead bodies will fall, all you men of the census, all you who were numbered from the age of twenty years and over, you who have complained against me.

14:30 I swear that you shall not enter the land where I swore most solemnly, to settle you. It is Caleb son of Jephunneh, and Joshua son of Nun,

14:31 and your young children that you said would be seized as booty, it is these I shall bring in to know the land you have disdained.

14:32 As for you, your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness,

14:33 and your sons will be nomads in the wilderness for forty years, bearing the weight of your faithlessness, until the last of you lies dead in the desert.

14:34 For forty days you reconnoitred the land. Each day shall count for a year: for forty years you shall bear the burden of your sins, and you shall learn what it means to reject me.”

14:35 I, Yahweh, have spoken: this is how I will deal with this perverse community that has conspired against me. Here in this wilderness, to the last man, they shall die.’

14:36 The men whom Moses had sent to reconnoitre the land, who on their return had incited the whole community of Israel to grumble against Yahweh by disparaging it,

14:37 these men who had disparaged the land were all struck dead before Yahweh.

14:38 Of the men who had gone to reconnoitre the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh remained alive.

An abortive attempt by the Israelites

14:39 Moses reported these words to all the sons of Israel, and the people set up a great outcry.

14:40 Then they rose early and set out for the heights of the highlands saying, ‘Look, we are setting out for this place, since Yahweh has told us that we have sinned’.

14:41 Moses replied, ‘Why disobey the command of Yahweh? Nothing will come of it.

14:42 Do not go up, for Yahweh is not among you; do not get yourselves beaten by your enemies.

14:43 Yes, there facing you are the Amalekite and the Canaanite, and you will fall to their swords because you have turned away from Yahweh, and Yahweh is not with you.’

14:44 Yet they set out presumptuously towards the heights of the highlands. Neither the ark of the covenant of Yahweh nor Moses left the camp.

14:45 The Amalekite and the Canaanite who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them, and harried them all the way to Hormah.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 15

VI. LAWS GOVERNING SACRIFICES, POWERS OF PRIESTS AND LEVITES

The oblation to accompany sacrifices

15:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

15:2 ‘Tell this to the sons of Israel: “When you have arrived in the land where you are to live, the land I give to you,

15:3 and you make burnt offering to Yahweh either as a holocaust or as a sacrifice, whether in payment of a vow, or as a voluntary gift, or on the occasion of one of your solemn feasts – taking from your herds and flocks to make an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh-

15:4 the offerer must bring, as his personal gift to Yahweh, an oblation of one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one quarter of a hin of oil.

15:5 You must also make a libation of wine, one quarter of a hin to each lamb, in addition to the holocaust or sacrifice.

15:6 For a ram, you must make an oblation of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-third of a hin of oil,

15:7 and a libation of one-third of a bin of wine, offering it as an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh.

15:8 If you offer a bull as a holocaust or sacrifice, in payment of a vow or as a communion sacrifice for Yahweh,

15:9 you must offer in addition to the beast an oblation of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil,

15:10 and you must offer a libation of half a bin of wine, as a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh.

15:11 This must be done for every bull, every ram, every lamb or kid.

15:12 Whatever the number of victims you have for sacrifice, you must do the same for each of them, however many there are.

15:13 “This must be done by every man of your own people when he makes a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh.

15:14 Any stranger living among you, or among your descendants, will also make a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh: just as you act, so must

15:15 the assembly,[*a] There shall be only one law for you and for the settler among you. This is a law that shall bind your descendants always: before Yahweh, you and the settler are alike.

15:16 There is to be one law only, and one statute for you and for the stranger who lives among you.”‘

The first-fruits of bread

15:17 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

15:18 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them: “When you have entered the land to which I am bringing you,

15:19 you must set aside a portion for Yahweh when you eat the bread of this country.

15:20 You must set aside one loaf as the first-fruits of your meal; you must set this offering aside like the one set aside from your threshing.

15:21 You are to set aside for Yahweh a portion of the best of your meal. This applies to your descendants.

Atonement for faults of inadvertence

15:22 “If through inadvertence you fail in any of these commands that Yahweh has given to Moses

15:23 (every single precept that Yahweh has laid on you through Moses, from the day he gave his commands and onwards to your descendants),

15:24 this is what must be done: “If it is an inadvertence of the community, the community as a whole must make a holocaust of a young bull, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh, with the prescribed accompanying oblation and libation, and a he-goat must be offered as a sacrifice for sin.

15:25 The priest must perform the rite of atonement over the entire community of the sons of Israel, and pardon will be given, since it was an inadvertence. When they have brought their offering as a burnt offering to Yahweh, and have presented their sacrifice for sin before Yahweh to make amends for their inadvertence,

15:26 pardon will be given to the entire community of the sons of Israel, as also to the stranger who lives among them, since the entire people has sinned through inadvertence.

15:27 “If it is an individual who has sinned by inadvertence, he must offer a yearling kid in sacrifice for sin.

15:28 The priest must perform the rite of atonement before Yahweh over the person who has gone astray by this sin of inadvertence; when the rite of atonement has been performed over him, he will be forgiven,

15:29 whether he is a native, one of the sons of Israel, or a stranger living among them. There shall be only one law among you for the man who sins by inadvertence.

15:30 “But the man who sins deliberately, whether native or stranger, outrages Yahweh himself. Such a man must be outlawed from his people;

15:31 he has despised the word of Yahweh and broken his command. This man must be entirely outlawed, since his sin is inseparable from him.”‘

Breaking the sabbath

15:32 While the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, a man was caught gathering wood on the sabbath day.

15:33 Those who caught him gathering wood brought him before Moses, Aaron and the whole community.

15:34 He was kept in custody, because the penalty he should undergo had not yet been fixed.

15:35 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘This man must be put to death. The whole community must stone him outside the camp.’

15:36 The whole community took him outside the camp and stoned him till he was dead, as Yahweh had commanded Moses.

Tassels on garments

15:37 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

15:38 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and tell them to put tassels on the hems of their garments, and to put a violet cord on this tassel at the hem.

15:39 You must have a tassel, then, and the sight of it will remind you of all the commands of Yahweh. You are to put them into practice then, and no longer follow the desires of your heart and your eyes, which have led you to make wantons of yourselves.

15:40 ‘This will remind you of all my commandments; put them into practice, and you will be consecrated to your God.

15:41 It is I, Yahweh your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt so that I may be your God, I Yahweh your God.’

JB NUMBERS Chapter 16

The rebellion of Korab, Dathan and Abiram

16:1 Korah son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi took . . .Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth (Eliab and Peleth were sons of Reuben)

16:2 rebelled against Moses, together with two hundred and fifty of the sons of Israel, leaders of the community, prominent in the solemn feasts, men of repute.

16:3 These joined forces against Moses and Aaron saying to them, ‘You take too much on yourselves! The whole community and all its members are consecrated, and Yahweh lives among them. Why set yourselves higher than the community of Yahweh?’

16:4 Moses, when he heard this, threw himself face downward on the ground.

16:5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers, ‘Tomorrow morning Yahweh will reveal who is his, who is the consecrated man that he will allow to come near him. The one he allows to come near is the one whom he has chosen.

16:6 This is what you are to do: take the censers of Korah and all his followers,

16:7 fill them with fire and, tomorrow, put incense in them before Yahweh. Yahweh will choose the one who is the consecrated man. Sons of Levi, you take too much on yourselves!’

16:8 Moses said to Korah, ‘Listen to me now, you sons of Levi!

16:9 Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has singled you out from the community of Israel, and called you close to himself for service in the tabernacle of Yahweh, to stand before this community and perform the sacred rites on their behalf?

16:10 He has called you to be near him, you and all your brother Levites with you, and now you aspire to the office of priesthood as well!

16:11 Against Yahweh himself you have joined forces, you and your followers: for what is Aaron that you should complain against him?’

16:12 Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. They replied, ‘We will not come.

16:13 Was it not enough to take us from a land where milk and honey flow to die in this wilderness, without seeking to lord it over us now?

16:14 There is no land flowing with milk and honey that you have brought us to, nor have you given us fields and vineyards for our inheritance. Do you expect this people to be blind? We will not come.’

16:15 Moses flew into a rage and said to Yahweh, ‘Pay no heed to their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I harmed any of them.’

The punishment

16:16 Moses said to Korah, ‘You and all your followers, come tomorrow into the presence of Yahweh, you and they, and Aaron too.

16:17 Let every man bring his censer, put incense in it, and carry his censer before Yahweh-two hundred and fifty censers. You and Aaron also, each of you bring his censer.’

16:18 So every man took his censer, filled it with fire, and put incense in it. And they stood at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and Moses and Aaron with them.

16:19 Then, when Korah had assembled the whole community to confront these two at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the glory of Yahweh appeared to the whole community.

16:20 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said,

16:21 ‘Stand apart from this assembly, I am going to destroy them here and now’.

16:22 They threw themselves face downward on the ground, and cried out, ‘O God, God of the spirits that give life to every living thing, will you be angry with the whole community for one man’s sin?’

16:23 Yahweh answered Moses and said,

16:24 ‘Say this to the community, “Stand clear of the dwelling of Korah”‘.

16:25 Moses stood up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed him.

16:26 He said to the community, ‘Stand away, I beg you, from the tents of these perverse men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, for fear that with all their sins you too will be swept away’.

16:27 So they moved away from the dwelling of Korah. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing at their tent doors, with their wives and their sons and their young children.

16:28 Moses said, ‘By this you will know that Yahweh himself has sent me to perform all these tasks and that this is not my doing.

16:29 If these people die a natural death such as men commonly die, then Yahweh has not sent me.

16:30 But if Yahweh does something utterly new, if the earth should open its mouth and swallow them, themselves and all that belongs to them, so that they go down alive to Sheol[*a], then you will know that these men have rejected Yahweh.’

16:31 The moment he finished saying all these words, the ground split open under their feet,

16:32 the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their families too, and all Korah’s men and all their belongings.

16:33 They went down alive to Sheol, they and all their possessions. The earth closed over them and they disappeared from the midst of the assembly.

16:34 At their cries all the Israelites around them ran away. For they said, ‘The earth must not swallow us!’

16:35 A fire came down from Yahweh and consumed the two hundred and fifty men carrying incense.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 17

The censers

17:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

17:2 ‘Tell Eleazar, son of Aaron, the priest, to pick the censers out of these ashes and take this unlawful fire elsewhere,

17:3 for these sinful censers are sanctified, at the price of these men’s lives. Since they have been brought before Yahweh and consecrated, let the metal be hammered into sheets to cover the altar. They will be an object-lesson to the sons of Israel.’

17:4 Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which had been carried by the men who were destroyed by the fire. They were hammered into sheets to cover the altar.

17:5 They are a reminder to the sons of Israel that no layman, no one outside Aaron’s line, may come near Yahweh with incense to burn, under pain of suffering the lot of Korah and his followers, according to the order given by Yahweh through Moses.

Aaron Intercedes

17:6 On the following day, the entire community of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘You have brought death to the people of Yahweh’.

17:7 As the community was banding together against Moses and Aaron, these turned towards the Tent of Meeting, and there was the Cloud covering it, and the glory of Yahweh appeared.

17:8 And Moses and Aaron went to the door of the Tent of Meeting.

17:9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

17:10 ‘Stand clear of this community; I am going to destroy them here and now’. They threw themselves face downward on the ground.

17:11 Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take the censer, fill it with fire from the altar, put incense in it and hurry to the community to perform the rite of atonement over them. The wrath has come down from Yahweh and the plague has begun.’

17:12 Aaron did as Moses said and ran among the assembly, but the plague was already at work among them. He put in the incense and performed the rite of atonement over the people.

17:13 Then he stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.

17:14 There were fourteen thousand seven hundred victims of that plague, not counting those who died because of Korah.

17:15 Then Aaron came back to Moses at the Tent of Meeting; the plague had been halted.

Aaron’s branch

17:16 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

17:17 ‘Tell the sons of Israel to give you a branch, one for each patriarchal family; let their leaders together give you twelve branches for their patriarchal families. Write the name of each on his branch; and

17:18 on the branch of Levi write the name of Aaron, because the leader of the families of Levi must have a branch too.

17:19 Then put them in the Tent of Meeting before the Testimony, the place where I meet you.

17:20 The man whose branch sprouts will be the one I have chosen; this is how I shall put an end to the complaints that the sons of Israel make against you.’

17:21 Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their leaders gave him one branch each, twelve branches in all for their patriarchal families; Aaron’s branch was among them.

17:22 Moses placed them before Yahweh in the Tent of the Testimony.

17:23 On the following day Moses came to the Tent of the Testimony and there already sprouting, was Aaron’s branch, standing for the House of Levi. Buds had opened, flowers had blossomed, and almonds had already ripened.

17:24 Moses took all the branches away from before Yahweh and brought them back to all the sons of Israel; they examined them and each one took back his own branch.

17:25 Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Put back Aaron’s branch before the Testimony, where it will have its prescribed place, a sign to these rebels. It will stop them complaining to me any more, and they will not die.’

17:26 Moses did as Yahweh had ordered. That is what he did.

Atonement: the function of the priesthood

17:27 The sons of Israel said to Moses, ‘We are lost! We are dead men! We are all dead men!

17:28 Anyone who goes near the tabernacle of Yahweh with an offering will die. Are we to be doomed to the last man?’

JB NUMBERS Chapter 18

18:1 Then Yahweh said to Aaron: ‘You and your sons, and your whole family shall bear the burden of transgressions against the sanctuary. You and your sons with you shall bear the burden of the transgressions of your priesthood.

18:2 Let your brothers of the branch of Levi, your father’s tribe, come with you too. They are to join you and serve you, yourselves and your sons, before the Tent of the Testimony.

18:3 They are to be at your service and the service of the whole Tent. Provided they do not come near the sacred vessels or the altar, they will be in no more danger of death than you.

18:4 They are to join you, they are to take charge of the Tent of Meeting for the entire ministry of the Tent, and no layman shall come near you.

18:5 You must take charge of the sanctuary and charge of the altar, and the wrath will never again fall on the sons of Israel.

18:6 I myself have chosen your brothers, the Levites, from among the sons of Israel as a gift to you. As ‘oblates’ they will belong to Yahweh, to serve at the Tent of Meeting.

18:7 You and your sons will undertake the priestly duties in all that concerns the altar and all that lies behind the veil.[*a] You will perform the liturgy, the duties of which I entrust to your priesthood. But the layman who comes near shall die.’

The priests’ portion

18:8 Yahweh said to Aaron: ‘I myself have given you charge of all that is set aside for me. Everything that the sons of Israel consecrate I give to you as your portion, as well as to your sons, by perpetual ordinance.

18:9 This is what shall be yours of the most holy things, of the consecrated food: every offering that the sons of Israel give back to me, whether it be an oblation or a sacrifice for sin or a sacrifice of reparation, is a thing most holy; it shall belong to you and your sons

18:10 You may eat these most holy things. Every male may eat them. You are to count them sacred.

18:11 ‘To you also shall belong whatever is set aside from the offerings of the sons of Israel to be held out with the gesture of offering; this I give to you, as well as to your sons and daughters by perpetual ordinance. Every undefiled person in your house may eat it.

18:12 All the best of the oil, all the best of the wine and wheat, the first-fruits made over by them to Yahweh, these I give to you.

18:13 All the first produce of their land which they bring to Yahweh shall be yours. Every undefiled person in your house may eat them.

18:14 All in Israel on which the ban is laid shall be yours.

18:15 Every first-born brought to Yahweh shall be yours, of all living creatures, whether man or beast; nevertheless you must redeem the first-born of man, and you must redeem the first-born of an unclean beast.

18:16 You must redeem it in the month in which it is born at the price of five shekels, each of sanctuary weight-which is twenty gerahs.

18:17 The first-born of cow, sheep and goat, these alone you shall not redeem. They are holy: you must sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn the fat as a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh;

18:18 the meat shall be yours, together with the breast that has been presented with the gesture of offering, and the right thigh.

18:19 All that the sons of Israel set aside for Yahweh from the holy things, this I give to you, and to your sons and daughters, by perpetual ordinance. This is a covenant of salt for ever before Yahweh, for you and your descendants after you.’

The Levites’ portion

18:20 Yahweh said to Aaron: ‘You shall have no inheritance in their land, no portion of it among them shall be yours. It is I who will be your portion and your inheritance amongst the sons of Israel.

18:21 See, to the sons of Levi I give as their inheritance all the tithes collected in Israel, in return for their services, for the ministry they render in the Tent of Meeting.

18:22 The sons of Israel must no longer go near the Tent of Meeting; they would be burdened with sin and die.

18:23 To Levi belongs the ministry of the Tent of Meeting, and the Levites will bear the burden of their sin. This is a perpetual law for all your descendants: the Levites are to have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.

18:24 The tithe that the sons of Israel set aside for Yahweh, I give the Levites for their inheritance. For this reason I have told them that they are to have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.’

Tithes

18:25 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

18:26 ‘You are to say to the Levites: “When you receive the tithe from the sons of Israel which they must pay you and which I am giving you as your inheritance, out of this you are to set aside a portion for Yahweh, a tithe of the tithe.

18:27 This is to take the place of the portion set aside that is due from you, like the corn from the threshing-floor and new wine from the press.

18:28 Thus you too will set aside a portion for Yahweh, of all the tithes you receive from the sons of Israel. You will give what you have set aside for Yahweh to Aaron the priest.

18:29 Out of all the gifts you receive you will set aside a portion for Yahweh. From the best of all these things you will set aside the sacred portion.”

18:30 ‘You are to say to them, “After you have set aside the best, all these gifts shall, for the Levites, take the place of the produce of the threshing-floor and of the wine press.

18:31 You may consume them anywhere, you and your people: this is your payment for serving in the Tent of Meeting.

18:32 You will not incur the burden of any sin on this account, once you have set aside the best; you will not be profaning the things consecrated by the sons of Israel, and you will not die.”‘

JB NUMBERS Chapter 19

The ashes of the red heifer[*a]

19:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said:

19:2 ‘This is a statute of the Law which Yahweh has prescribed. Say this to the sons of Israel, They are to bring you a red heifer without fault or blemish, one that has never borne the yoke.

19:3 You will give it to Eleazar the priest. It must be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence.

19:4 Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of the victim’s blood on his finger, and sprinkle this blood seven times towards the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

19:5 The heifer must then be burned in his presence: hide, flesh, blood, and the dung too, must be burnt.

19:6 Then the priest is to take cedar wood, hyssop and cochineal red, and throw them on the fire where the heifer is burning.

19:7 Then he must wash his clothing and bathe his body in water; after which he may go back to the camp, though he will remain unclean until evening.

19:8 The man who has burnt the heifer must wash his clothing and bathe his body in water and will remain unclean until evening.

19:9 The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must be ritually clean; he will deposit them outside the camp, in a clean place. They must be kept for the ritual use of the community of the sons of Israel for making lustral water; it is a sacrifice for sin.

19:10 The man who has gathered up the ashes of the heifer must wash his clothing and will remain unclean until evening. For the sons of Israel as for the stranger living among them, this will be a perpetual law.

A case of uncleanness

19:11 ‘Anyone who touches a corpse, of any person whatsoever, shall be unclean for seven days.

19:12 He shall purify himself with these waters on the third and the seventh day, and he will be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third and the seventh day he will not be clean.

19:13 Anyone who touches a dead person, the body of a man that has died, and has not purified himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh; such a man must be outlawed from Israel because the lustral waters have not flowed over him; he is unclean, and his uncleanness remains in him.

19:14 This is the law when a man dies in a tent. Anyone who goes into the tent, or anyone who is already there, shall be unclean for seven days.

19:15 Equally unclean also shall be every open vessel that has not been closed with a lid or fastening.

19:16 Anyone in the open country who touches a man who has been killed, or a man who has died, or human bones or a tomb, shall be unclean for seven days.

The ritual of lustral water

19:17 ‘For a man thus unclean, some of the ashes must be taken from the victim burnt as a sacrifice for sin. Spring water must be poured on them, in a vessel.

19:18 Then one who is ritually clean shall take hyssop and dip it in the water. He must then sprinkle the tent, all the vessels and everyone there, and also the man who has touched the bones, or the body of the person, whether he was killed or died of natural causes, or the tomb.

19:19 The man who is clean must sprinkle the unclean on the third and the seventh day, and on the seventh day he will have freed him from his sin. The man who is unclean must then wash his clothing and bathe himself in water, and by evening he will be clean.

19:20 If an unclean man fails to purify himself in this way, he must be cut off from the community, for he would defile the sanctuary of Yahweh. The lustral waters have not flowed over him, and he is unclean.

19:21 ‘This is to be a perpetual law for them. The person who sprinkles the lustral water must wash his clothing, and the person who touches these waters shall be unclean until evening.

19:22 Anything that an unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.’

JB NUMBERS Chapter 20

VII. FROM KADESH TO MOAB

The waters of Meribah

20:1 The sons of Israel, the whole community, arrived in the first month at the desert of Zin. The people settled at Kadesh. It was there that Miriam died and was buried.

20:2 There was no water for the community, and they were all united against Moses and Aaron.

20:3 The people challenged Moses: ‘We would rather have died,’ they said ‘as our brothers died before Yahweh!

20:4 Why did you bring the assembly of Yahweh into this wilderness, only to let us die here, ourselves and our cattle?

20:5 Why did you lead us out of Egypt, only to bring us to this wretched place? It is a place unfit for sowing, it has no figs, no vines, no pomegranates, and there is not even water to drink!’

20:6 Leaving the assembly, Moses and Aaron went to the door of the Tent of Meeting. They threw themselves face downward on the ground, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to them.

20:7 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

20:8 ‘Take the branch and call the community together, you and your brother Aaron. Then, in full view of them, order this rock to give water. You will make water flow for them out of the rock, and provide drink for the community and their cattle.’

20:9 Moses took up the branch from before Yahweh, as he had directed him.

20:10 Then Moses and Aaron called the assembly together in front of the rock and addressed them, ‘Listen now, you rebels. Shall we make water gush from this rock for you?’

20:11 And Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the branch; water gushed in abundance, and the community drank and their cattle too.

The punishment of Moses and Aaron

20:12 Then Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe that I could proclaim my holiness in the eyes of the sons of Israel, you shall not lead this assembly into the land I am giving them’.[*a]

20:13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the sons of Israel challenged Yahweh and he proclaimed his holiness.

Edom refuses right of way

20:14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh, ‘To the king of Edom. A message from your brother Israel. You know well enough the extremity to which we have been reduced.

20:15 Our ancestors went down into Egypt, and there we stayed for a long time. But the Egyptians treated us badly, as they did our ancestors.

20:16 We cried to Yahweh. He listened to us and sent an angel to bring us out of Egypt. Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the borders of your territory.

20:17 We ask permission to pass through your land. We will not cross any fields or vineyards; we will not drink any water from the wells; we will keep to the king’s highway without turning to right or left until we are clear of your frontiers.’

20:18 Edom answered, ‘You shall not pass through my country; if you do, I will come out to attack you’.

20:19 The answer of the sons of Israel was, ‘We will keep to the high road; if we use any of your water for myself and my cattle, I will pay for it. I am asking only to pass through on foot.’

20:20 Edom replied, ‘You shall not pass’, and Edom marched out to meet them with many men and in great force.

20:21 At Edom’s refusal to allow Israel a passage through his territory, Israel turned away.

The death of Aaron

20:22 They set out from Kadesh, and the whole community of the sons of Israel came to Mount Hor.

20:23 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the frontier of the land of Edom.[*b] He said,

20:24 ‘Aaron must be gathered to his people: he is not to enter the land that I am giving to the sons of Israel, since you disobeyed my order at the waters of Meribah.

20:25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up Mount Hor.

20:26 There, strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son, and Aaron will be gathered to his people: he is to die there.’

20:27 Moses did as Yahweh ordered. In the sight of the whole community they went up Mount Hor.

20:28 Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came back down the mountain.

20:29 The whole community saw that Aaron had died, and all the House of Israel wept for Aaron for thirty days.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 21

The capture of Hormah

21:1 The king of Arad,[*a] a Canaanite living in the Negeb, learned that Israel was coming by way of Atharim. He attacked Israel and took some prisoners.

21:2 Israel then made this vow to Yahweh, ‘If you deliver this people into my power, I will lay their towns under ban’.

21:3 Yahweh heard the voice of Israel and delivered the Canaanites into their power. And they laid them under ban, both them and their towns. This place was given the name Hormah.

The bronze serpent

21:4 They left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph,[*b] to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience.

21:5 They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

21:6 At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel.

21:7 The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against Yahweh and against you. Intercede for us with Yahweh to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people,

21:8 and Yahweh answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’

21:9 So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

By stages to Transjordania

21:10 The sons of Israel set out and camped at Oboth.

21:11 Then they left Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that borders Moab, towards the sunrise.

21:12 They set out from there and camped in the wadi Zered.

21:13 They set out from there and camped beyond the Arnon…[*c] This wadi in the desert begins in the land of the Amorites. For the Arnon is the frontier of Moab, between the Moabites and the Amorites.

21:14 Hence it is written in the Book of the Wars of Yahweh:

21:15 …Waheb by Suphah and the wadi Arnon and the slope of the ravine that runs down to the site of Ar and leans over the frontier of Moab…..

21:16 and from there they went on to Beer…[*d] It was of the well here that Yahweh had said to Moses, ‘Call the people together and I will give them water’.

21:17 Then it was that Israel sang this song: ‘For the well. Sing out for the well

21:18 that was sunk by the princes and dug by the leaders of the people with the sceptre, with their staves.’ …and from Beer to Mattanah,

21:19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth,

21:20 and from Bamoth to the valley that gives on to the country of Moab, towards the heights of Pisgah which marks the edge of the desert and looks down on it.

The conquest of Transjordania

21:21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon, king of the Amorites,

21:22 ‘I wish to pass through your land. We will not stray into fields or vineyards; we will not drink any water from the wells; we will keep to the king’s highway until we are clear of your frontiers.’

21:23 But Sihon would not give Israel leave to pass through his land. He gathered all his people, marched into the desert to meet Israel, and reached Jahaz, where he gave battle to Israel.

21:24 Israel struck him down with the edge of the sword and conquered his country from the Anion to the Jabbok, as far as the sons of Ammon, for Jazer was the Ammonite frontier.

21:25 Israel took all these towns, and occupied all the Amorite towns, Heshbon and all the towns under its jurisdiction,

21:26 Heshbon being the capital of Sihon, king of the Amorites. It was the same Sihon who had waged war on the first king of Moab and captured all his territory as far as the Arnon.

21:27 Hence the poets sing: Courage, Heshbon! Well built and well founded, city of Sihon!

21:28 For a fire came out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon, it devoured Ar of Moab, it engulfed the heights of the Anion.

21:29 Woe to you, Moab! You are lost, people of Chemosh! He has turned his sons into fugitives, his daughters into captives for Sihon, king of the Amorites.

21:30 Heshbon has destroyed the little children as far as Dibon, the women as far as Nophah, the men as far as Medeba.

21:31 Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.

21:32 Moses sent men to reconnoitre Jazer, and Israel took it and all the towns in its jurisdiction and evicted the Amorites who dwelt there.

21:33 Then they turned and marched in the direction of Bashan. Og king of Bashan marched out to meet them with all his people to give battle at Edrei.

21:34 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Do not be afraid of him, for I have given him into your power, him and all his people and his country. Deal with him as you dealt with Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.’

21:35 So they defeated him, his sons and all his people; not one of them escaped. And they took possession of his country.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 22

22:1 Then the sons of Israel set out and pitched their camp in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho.[*a]

The king of Moab appeals to Balaam[*b]

22:2 Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites,

22:3 and Moab was seized with panic before this people because of their immense number. Moab was afraid of the sons of Israel;

22:4 he said to the elders of Midian, ‘Here is a horde now cropping everything round us as an ox crops the grass of the fields’. Now Balak son of Zippor was king of Moab at the time.

22:5 He sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, at Pethor on the river,[*c] in the land of the sons of Amaw, saying, ‘Look how this people coming from Egypt has overrun the whole countryside; they have settled at my door.

22:6 Come, please, and curse this people for me, for they are stronger than I am. We may then be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For this I know: the man you bless is blessed, the man you curse is accursed.’

22:7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian set out, taking the fee for the divination with them. They found Balaam and gave him Balak’s message.

22:8 He said to them, ‘Stay the night here, and I will answer as Yahweh directs me.’ So the chiefs of Moab stayed with Balaam.

22:9 God came to Balaam and said, ‘Who are these men staying with you?’

22:10 Balaam gave God this answer, ‘Balak son of Zippor has sent me this message,

22:11 “Look how this people coming from Egypt has overrun the whole countryside. Come and curse them for me; I may then be able to defeat them and drive them out.”‘

22:12 God said to Balaam, ‘You are not to go with them. You are not to curse this people, for they are blessed.’ In the morning Balaam rose and said to the chiefs sent by Balak,

22:13 ‘Go back to your country, for Yahweh will not let me go with you’.

22:14 So the chiefs of Moab rose and returned to Balak and said, ‘Balaam would not come with us’.

22:15 And again Balak sent chiefs, more numerous and more renowned than the first.

22:16 They came to Balaam and said, ‘A message from Balak son of Zippor, “Do not refuse, I beg you, to come to me.

22:17 I will load you with honours and do whatever you say. Come, I beg you, and curse this people for me.”‘

22:18 Balaam answered the envoys of Balak, Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go against the order of Yahweh my God in anything, great or small.

22:19 Now please stay the night here yourselves, and I will learn what else Yahweh has to tell me.’

22:20 God came to Balaam during the night and said to him, ‘Have not these men come to summon you? Get up, go with them. But you must do nothing except what I tell you.’

22:21 In the morning Balaam rose and saddled his she-donkey and set out with the chiefs of Moab.

Balaam’s donkey

22:22 His going kindled the wrath of Yahweh, and the angel of Yahweh took his stand on the road to bar his way. He was riding his donkey and his two servants were with him.

22:23 Now the donkey saw the angel of Yahweh standing on the road, a drawn sword in his hand, and she turned off the road and made off across country. But Balaam beat her to turn her back on to the road.

22:24 The angel of Yahweh then took his stand on a narrow path among the vineyards, with a wall to the right and a wall to the left.

22:25 The donkey saw the angel of Yahweh and brushed against the wall, grazing Balaam’s foot. Balaam beat her again.

22:26 The angel of Yahweh moved and took up his stand in a place so narrow that there was no room to pass, right or left.

22:27 When the donkey saw the angel of Yahweh, she lay down under Balaam. Balaam flew into a rage and beat her with his stick.

22:28 Then Yahweh opened the mouth of the donkey, who said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you? Why beat me three times like this?’

22:29 Balaam answered the donkey, ‘Because you are playing the fool with me! If I had had a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.’

22:30 The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your donkey, and have I not been your mount from your youth? In all this time, have I ever failed to serve you?’ He answered, ‘No’.

22:31 Then Yahweh opened the eyes of Balaam. He saw the angel of Yahweh standing on the road, a drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed down and fell prostrate on his face.

22:32 And the angel of Yahweh said to him, ‘Why did you beat your donkey three times like that? I myself had come to bar your way; while I am here your road is blocked.

22:33 The donkey saw me and turned aside from me three times. You are lucky she did turn aside, or I should have killed you by now, though I would have spared her.’

22:34 Balaam answered the angel of Yahweh, ‘I have sinned. I did not know you were standing in my path. However, if you are angry with me, I will go back.’

22:35 The angel of Yahweh answered Balaam, ‘Go with these men, but only say what I tell you to say.’ So Balaam went with the chiefs sent by Balak.

Balaam and Balak

22:36 Balak learned that Balaam was coming and went out to meet him, in the direction of Ar of Moab, at the Arnon frontier on the country’s furthest boundary.

22:37 Balak said to Balaam, ‘Did I not send messengers to summon you? Why did you not come to me? Did you think, perhaps, I could confer no honours on you?’

22:38 Balaam answered Balak, ‘Here I am at your side. May I make myself clear to you now? The word that God puts into my mouth, this I shall speak.’

22:39 Balaam set out with Balak. They came to Kiriath-huzoth.

22:40 Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and offered portions to Balaam and the chiefs who were with him.

22:41 Next morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, from where he could see the end of the camp.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 23

23:1 Balaam said to Balak, ‘Build me seven altars, and bring here to me seven bulls and seven rams’.

23:2 Balak did as Balaam asked and he offered a holocaust of one bull and one ram on each altar.

23:3 Balaam then said to Balak, ‘Stand beside your holocausts. I will go; perhaps Yahweh will allow me to meet him. Whatever he shows me I shall tell you.’ And he withdrew to a bare hill.

The oracles of Balaam

23:4 God came to meet Balaam, who said to him, ‘I have prepared the seven altars and offered a holocaust of one bull and one ram on each altar’.

23:5 Yahweh then put a word into his mouth and said to him, ‘Go back to Balak and that is what you must say to him’.

23:6 So Balaam went back to him, and found him still standing beside his holocaust, with all the chiefs of Moab.

23:7 Then he declaimed his poem. He said: ‘Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the hills of Kedem, “Come, curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel”.

23:8 How shall I curse one when God does not curse? How shall I denounce when God does not denounce?

23:9 Yes, from the top of the crags I see him, from the hills I observe him. See, a people dwelling apart, not reckoned among the nations.

23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob? Who can number the cloud of Israel? May I die the death of the just! May my end be one with theirs!’

23:11 Balak said to Balaam, ‘What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, and you heap blessings on them!’

23:12 Balaam answered, ‘Am I not obliged to say what Yahweh puts into my mouth?’

23:13 Balak said to him, ‘Come with me to another place. What you see from here is only the fringe of this people, you do not see them all. Curse them for me over there.’

23:14 He led him to the Field of Spies, towards the summit of Pisgah. There he built seven altars and offered a holocaust of one bull and one ram on each altar.

23:15 Balaam said to Balak, ‘Stand beside these holocausts. I will wait over there.’

23:16 God came to meet Balaam, he put a word into his mouth and said to him, ‘Go back to Balak and that is what you must say to him’.

23:17 So Balaam went to him, and found him still standing beside his holocaust and all the chiefs of Moab with him. ‘What did Yahweh say?’ Balak asked him.

23:18 Then Balaam declaimed his poem. He said: ‘Arise, Balak, and listen, give ear to me, son of Zippor.

23:19 God is no man that he should lie, no son of Adam to draw back. Is it his to say and not to do, to speak and not fulfil?

23:20 The charge laid on me is to bless, I shall bless and not take it back.

23:21 I have seen no evil in Jacob I marked no suffering in Israel. Yahweh his God is with him; in him sounds the royal acclaim.

23:22 God brings him out of Egypt, he is like the wild ox’s horns to him.

23:23 There is no omen against Jacob, no divination against Israel. Though men say to Jacob, say to Israel, “What wonder has God to show?”

23:24 here is a people like a lioness rising, poised like a lion to spring; not lying down till he has devoured his prey and drunk the blood of his victims.’

23:25 Balak said to Balaam, ‘Very well! Do not curse them. But at least do not bless them!’

23:26 Balaam answered Balak, ‘Have I not told you: whatever Yahweh says, I must do?’

23:27 Balak said to Balaam, ‘Come then, let me take you somewhere else. From there perhaps it will please God to curse them.’

23:28 So Balak led Balaam to the summit of Peor, dominating the desert.

23:29 Then Balaam said to Balak, ‘Build me seven altars here and find me seven bulls and seven rams’.

23:30 Balak did as Balaam asked, and offered a holocaust of one bull and one ram on each altar.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 24

24:1 Balaam then saw that it pleased Yahweh to bless Israel. He did not go as before to seek omens but turned towards the wilderness.

24:2 Raising his eyes Balaam saw Israel, encamped by tribes; the spirit of God came on him and he declaimed his poem.

24:3 He said: ‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man with far-seeing eyes,

24:4 the oracle of one who hears the word of God. He sees what Shaddai makes him see, receives the divine answer, and his eyes are opened.

24:5 How fair are your tents, O Jacob! How fair your dwellings, Israel!

24:6 Like valleys that stretch afar, like gardens by the banks of a river, like aloes planted by Yahweh, like cedars beside the waters!

24:7 A hero arises from their stock, he reigns over countless peoples. His king is greater than Agag, his majesty is exalted.

24:8 God brings him out of Egypt, he is like the wild ox’s horns to him. He[*a] feeds on the carcase of his enemies, and breaks their bones in pieces.

24:9 He has crouched, he has lain down, like a lion, like a lioness; who dare rouse him? Blessed be those who bless you, and accursed be those who curse you!’

24:10 Balak flew into a rage with Balaam. He beat his hands together and said to Balaam, ‘I brought you to curse my enemies, and you bless them three times over!

24:11 Be off with you, and go home. I promised to load you with honours. Yahweh himself has deprived you of them.’

24:12 Balaam answered Balak, ‘Did I not tell the messengers you sent me:

24:13 Even if Balak gave me his house full of gold and silver I could not go against the order of Yahweh and do anything of my own accord, good or evil; what Yahweh says is what I will say.

24:14 Now that I am going back to my own folk, let me warn you what this people will do to your people, in time to come.’

24:15 Then he declaimed his poem. He said: The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man with far-seeing eyes,

24:16 the oracle of one who hears the word of God, of one who knows the knowledge of the Most High. He sees what Shaddai makes him see, receives the divine answer, and his eyes are opened.

24:17 I see him – but not in the present, I behold him – but not close at hand: a star from Jacob takes the leadership, a sceptre arises from Israel. It crushes the brows of Moab the skulls of all the sons of Sheth[*b].

24:18 Edom becomes a conquered land; a conquered land is Seir.

24:19 Israel exerts his strength, Jacob dominates his enemies and destroys the fugitives from Ar.’

24:20 Balaam looked on Amalek and declaimed his poem. He said: ‘Amalek, first among the nations! But his posterity shall perish for ever.’

24:21 Then he looked on the Kenites and declaimed his poem. He said: ‘Your house was firm, Kain, and your nest[*c] perched high in the rock.

24:22 But the nest belongs to Beor; how long will you be Asshur’s captive?’

24:23 Then he looked on Og[*d] and declaimed his poem. He said: ‘The Sea-people[*e] gather in the north,

24:24 ships from the coasts of Kittim. They bear down on Asshur, they bear down on Eber; he too shall perish for ever.’

24:25 Then Balaam rose, left and went home. Balak too went his way.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 25

Israel at Peor

25:1 Israel settled at Shittim. The people gave themselves over to debauchery with the daughters of Moab.

25:2 These invited them to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down before their gods.

25:3 With Israel thus committed to the Baal of Peor, the anger of Yahweh blazed out against them.

25:4 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Take all the leaders of the people. Impale them for Yahweh, here in the sun; then the burning anger of Yahweh will turn away from Israel.’

25:5 Moses said to the judges in Israel, ‘Every one of you must put to death those of his people who have committed themselves to the Baal of Peor’.

25:6 A man of the sons of Israel came along, bringing the Midianite woman into his family, under the very eyes of Moses and the whole community of the sons of Israel as they wept at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

25:7 When he saw this, Phinehas the priest, son of Eleazar son of Aaron, stood up and left the assembly, seized a lance,

25:8 followed the Israelite into the alcove, and there ran them both through, the Israelite and the woman, right through the groin. And the plague that had struck the sons of Israel was arrested.

25:9 In the plague twenty-four thousand of them had died.

25:10 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

25:11 ‘Phinehas the priest, son of Eleazar son of Aaron, has turned my wrath away from the sons of Israel, because he was the only one among them to have the same zeal as I have; for this I did not make an end, in my zeal, of the sons of Israel.

25:12 Proclaim this, therefore: To him I now grant my covenant of peace.

25:13 For him and for his descendants after him, this covenant shall ensure the priesthood for ever. In reward for his zeal for his God, he shall have the right to perform the ritual of atonement over the sons of Israel.’

25:14 The Israelite who was killed (he who had been killed with the Midianite woman) was called Zimri son of Salu, leader of one of the patriarchal Houses of Simeon.

25:15 The woman, the Midianite who was killed, was called Cozbi, daughter of Zur, chief of a clan, of a patriarchal House in Midian.

25:16 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

25:17 ‘Harry the Midianites and strike them down,

25:18 for they have harassed you with their guile in the Peor affair and in the affair of Cozbi their sister, daughter of a prince of Midian, the woman who was killed the day the plague came on account of Peor’.

VIII. FURTHER LEGISLATION

The census

25:19 After this plague,

JB NUMBERS Chapter 26

26:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest. He said:

26:2 ‘Take a census of all the community of the sons of Israel, by families: all those of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms.

26:3 So Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke to the people in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan opposite Jericho. They counted:

26:4 (As Yahweh had ordered Moses and the sons of Israel on their coming out of the land of Egypt:) Men of twenty years and over:

26:5 Reuben, the first-born of Israel. The sons of Reuben: for Hanoch, the Hanochite clan; for Pallu, the Palluite clan;

26:6 for Hezron, the Hezronite clan; for Carmi, the Carmite clan.

26:7 These were the Reubenite clans. They numbered forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty men.

26:8 The sons of Pallu: Eliab.

26:9 The sons of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan and Abiram. These two, Dathan and Abiram, men of repute in the community, were the ones who challenged Moses and Aaron; they belonged to the followers of Korah who challenged Yahweh.

26:10 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them (Korah perished with his followers), when fire consumed the two hundred and fifty men. They were a sign.

26:11 The sons of Korah did not perish.

26:12 The sons of Simeon by clans; for Nemuel, the Nemuelite clan; for Jamin, the Jaminite clan; for Jachin, the Jachinite clan;

26:13 for Zerah, the Zerahite clan; for Shaul, the Shaulite clan.

26:14 These were the Simeonite clans. They numbered twenty-two thousand two hundred men.

26:15 The sons of Gad by clans: for Zephon, the Zephonite clan; for Haggi, the Haggite clan; for Shuni, the Shunite clan;

26:16 for Ozni, the Oznite clan; for En, the Erite clan;

26:17 for Arod, the Arodite clan; for Areli, the Arelite clan.

26:18 These were the clans of the sons of Gad. They numbered forty thousand five hundred men.

26:19 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan. Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.

26:20 The sons of Judah became clans: for Shelah, the Shelanite clan; for Perez, the Perezzite clan; for Zerah, the Zerahite clan.

26:21 The sons of Perez were: for Hezron, the Hezronite clan; for Hamul, the Hamulite clan.

26:22 These were the clans of Judah. They numbered seventy-six thousand five hundred men.

26:23 The sons of Issachar, by clans: for Tola, the Tolaite clan; for Puvah, the Puvite clan;

26:24 for Jashub, the Jashubite clan; for Shimron, the Shimronite clan.

26:25 These were the clans of Issachar. They numbered sixty-four thousand three hundred men.

26:26 The sons of Zebulun by clans: for Sered, the Seredite clan; for Elon, the Elonite clan; for Jahleel, the Jahleelite clan.

26:27 These were the clans of Zebulun. They numbered sixty thousand five hundred men.

26:28 The sons of Joseph, by clans: Manasseh and Ephraim.

26:29 The sons of Manasseh: for Machir, the Machirite clan; Machir was the father of Gilead: for Gilead, the Gileadite clan.

26:30 These were the clans of Gilead; for Iezer, the Iezerite clan; for Helek, the Helekite clan;

26:31 Asriel, the Asrielite clan Shechem, the Shechemite clan;

26:32 Shemida, the Shemidaite clan; Hepher, the Hepherite clan.

26:33 Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons but only daughters; these are the names of Zelophehad’s daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.

26:34 These were the clans of Manasseh. They numbered fifty-two thousand seven hundred men.

26:35 These are the sons of Ephraim by clans: for Shuthelah, the Shuthelahite clan; for Becher, the Becherite clan; for Tahan, the Tahanite clan.

26:36 These are the sons of Shuthelah: for Eran, the Eranite clan.

26:37 These were the clans of Ephraim. They numbered thirty-two thousand five hundred men. These were the sons of Joseph, by clans.

26:38 The sons of Benjamin, by clans: for Bela, the Belaite clan; for Ashbel, the Ashbelite clan: for Ahiram, the Ahiramite clan;

26:39 for Shephupham, the Shephuphamite clan; for Hupham, the Huphamite clan.

26:40 Bela had Ard and Naaman for sons: for Ard, the Ardite clan; for Naaman, the Naamite clan.

26:41 These were the sons of Benjamin by clans. They numbered forty-five thousand six hundred men.

26:42 These were the sons of Dan, by clans: for Shuham, the Shuhamite clan. These were the sons of Dan, by clans.

26:43 All the Shuhamite clans numbered sixty-four thousand four hundred men.

26:44 The sons of Asher, by clans: for Imnah the Imnite clan; for Ishvi, the Ishvite clan; for Beriah, the Berute clan.

26:45 For the sons of Beriah: for Heber, the Heberite clan; for Malchiel, the Malchielite clan.

26:46 The daughter of Asher was called Serah.

26:47 These were the clans of Asher. They numbered fifty-three thousand four hundred men.

26:48 The sons of Naphtali, by clans: for Jahzeel, the Jahzeelite clan; for Guni, the Gunite clan;

26:49 for Jezer, the Jezerite clan; for Shillem the Shillemite clan.

26:50 These were the clans of Naphtali grouped by clans. The sons of Naphtali numbered forty-five thousand four hundred men

26:51 The sons of Israel numbered in all six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty men.

26:52 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

26:53 ‘The land is to be shared out among these as a heritage, according to the number of those inscribed.

26:54 To the large in number you are to give a large area of land, to the small in number a small area; to each the heritage will be in proportion to the registered.

26:55 The dividing of the land is, however, to be done by lot. Each is to receive his inheritance according to the number of names in the patriarchal tribes;

26:56 the inheritance of each tribe is to be divided by lot, each receiving in accordance with its larger or smaller numbers.’

Census of the Levites

26:57 These are, by clans, the Levites that were registered: for Gershon, the Gershonite clan; for Kohath, the Kohathite clan; for Merari, the Merarite clan.

26:58 These are the Levite clans: the Libnite clan, the Hebronite clan, the Mahlite clan, the Mushite clan, the Korahite clan. Kohath was the father of Amram.

26:59 The wife of Amram was called Jochebed daughter of Levi, born to him in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and Miriam their sister.

26:60 Aaron was the father of Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

26:61 Nadab and Abihu died when they brought unlawful fire before Yahweh.

26:62 Altogether there were registered twenty-three thousand males of one month and over. They were not registered with the sons of Israel, having received no inheritance among them.

26:63 These were the men registered by Moses and Eleazar the priest who took this census of the sons of Israel in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan, opposite Jericho.

26:64 Not one of them. was among those whom Moses and Aaron had registered when they numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai;

26:65 for Yahweh had told them that these were to die in the wilderness and without anyone remaining, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 27

The inheritance of daughters

27:1 Then there came forward the daughters of Zelophehad. He was the son of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh; he belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. These are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.

27:2 They appeared before Moses, before Eleazar the priest, and before the leaders and the whole community, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and said,

27:3 ‘Our father died in the desert. He was not one of the company of those who conspired against Yahweh, Korah’s party; it was for his own sin that he died without sons.

27:4 Why must our father’s name be lost to his clan? Since he had no son, give us some property among our father’s kinsmen.’

27:5 Moses took their case before Yahweh,

27:6 and Yahweh spoke to Moses. He said,

27:7 ‘The daughters of Zelophehad have a just case. Give them a property for their inheritance among their father’s kinsmen; pass on to them their father’s inheritance.

27:8 Then say this to the sons of Israel, “If a man dies without sons, his inheritance is to pass to his daughter.

27:9 If he has no daughter, the inheritance is to go to his brothers.

27:10 If he has no brothers, it is to go to his father’s brothers.

27:11 If his father has no brothers, it is to go to the member of his clan who is most nearly related: he is to take possession. This shall be a statutory ordinance for the sons of Israel, as Yahweh has ordered Moses.”‘

Joshua the head of the community

27:12 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Climb this mountain of the Abarim range, and look on the land I have given to the sons of Israel.

27:13 After you have seen it, you will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was.

27:14 For you both rebelled in the wilderness of Zin when the community complained against me, when I ordered you to proclaim my holiness before their eyes by means of the water.’ (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin.)

27:15 Moses said to Yahweh,

27:16 ‘May Yahweh, God of the spirits that give life to all living creatures, appoint a leader for this community,

27:17 to be at their head in all they do, a man who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the community of Yahweh may not be like sheep without a shepherd’.

27:18 Yahweh answered Moses, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom the spirit dwells. Lay your hands on him.

27:19 Then bring him before Eleazar the priest and the whole community, to give him your orders in their presence

27:20 and to give him a share of your authority, so that the whole community of the sons of Israel may obey him.

27:21 He shall present himself to Eleazar the priest, who is to make inquiry for him before Yahweh, according to the rite of the Urim. At his command all the sons of Israel shall go out and come in with him, the whole community.’

27:22 Moses did as Yahweh had ordered. He took Joshua and brought him before Eleazar the priest and the whole community,

27:23 laid his hands on him and gave him his orders, as Yahweh had directed through Moses.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 28

Regulations for sacrifices

28:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

28:2 ‘Give the sons of Israel this order: “take care to bring at the appointed time my offering, my sustenance in the form of burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for me”.

28:3 Say to them, “These are the burnt offerings you must offer to Yahweh:

a. Daily sacrifices

28:4 Every day, two yearling lambs without blemish, as a perpetual holocaust. The first lamb you must offer in the morning, the second between the two evenings,

28:5 together with an oblation of one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one quarter of a hin of purest oil.

28:6 This is the perpetual holocaust made long ago at Mount Sinai as an appeasing fragrance, a burnt offering to Yahweh.

28:7 The accompanying libation is to be at the rate of one quarter of a hin for each lamb; the libation of strong drink for Yahweh must be poured out in the sanctuary.

28:8 The second lamb you must offer as a holocaust between the two evenings; do this with the same oblation and the same libation as in the morning, as a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh.

b. The sabbath

28:9 “On the sabbath day, you must offer two yearling lambs without blemish, and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour as an oblation, mixed with oil, as well as the accompanying libation.

28:10 The Sabbath holocaust is to be offered every sabbath in addition to the perpetual holocaust, and the accompanying libation similarly.

c. The feast of New Moon

28:11 “At the beginning of each of your months you must offer a holocaust to Yahweh: two young bulls, one ram and seven yearling lambs without blemish;

28:12 for each bull an oblation of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; for each ram, an oblation of two-tenths of fine flour mixed with oil;

28:13 for each lamb, an oblation of one-tenth of fine flour mixed with oil. This is a holocaust, an appeasing fragrance, a burnt offering to Yahweh.

28:14 The accompanying libation is to be half a hin of wine for a bull, one-third of a hin for a ram, one-quarter of a hin for a lamb. This must be the monthly holocaust, month after month, every month of the year.

28:15 In addition to the perpetual holocaust a he-goat must be offered to Yahweh, as a sacrifice for sin, with its accompanying libation.

d. The feast of Unleavened Bread

28:16 “The fourteenth day of the first month, is the Passover of Yahweh,

28:17 and the fifteenth day of this month is a feast day. For seven days unleavened bread must be eaten.

28:18 On the first day there will be a solemn assembly. You must do no laborious work.

28:19 You shall offer to Yahweh a burnt offering as a holocaust: two young bulls, a ram, seven yearling sheep without blemish.

28:20 The accompanying oblation of fine flour mixed with oil is to be three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram,

28:21 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs.

28:22 There must also be a he-goat for the sacrifice for sin, for performing the rite of atonement over you.

28:23 This must be done in addition to the morning holocaust which is a perpetual holocaust.

28:24 You must do this every day for seven days. It is nourishment, a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh; it is to be offered in addition to the perpetual holocaust and its accompanying libation.

28:25 On the seventh day you must hold a solemn assembly; you will do no laborious work.

e. The feast of Weeks

28:26 “On the day of the first-fruits, when you make your offering of new fruits to Yahweh at your feast of Weeks, you are to hold a solemn assembly; you must do no laborious work.

28:27 You must offer as a holocaust, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh: two young bulls, one ram, seven yearling lambs.

28:28 The accompanying oblation of fine flour mixed with oil is to be three-tenths of an ephah for each bull,

28:29 two-tenths for the ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs.

28:30 There must also be a he-goat for the sacrifice for sin, for performing the rite of atonement over you.

28:31 This must be done in addition to the perpetual holocaust and its accompanying oblation.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 29

f. The feast of Acclamations

29:1 “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to hold a solemn assembly; you must do no heavy work. It shall be your day of Acclamations.

29:2 You must offer as a holocaust, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh: one young bull, one ram, seven yearling lambs without blemish.

29:3 The accompanying oblation of fine flour mixed with oil is to be three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram,

29:4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs.

29:5 There must also be a he-goat for the sacrifice for sin, for performing the rite of atonement over you.

29:6 All this must be done in addition to the monthly holocaust and its oblation, the perpetual holocaust and its oblation, and the accompanying libations enjoined by law,-an appeasing fragrance, a burnt offering to Yahweh.

g. The day of Atonement

29:7 “On the tenth day of this seventh month, you are to hold a solemn assembly. You must fast and do no work.

29:8 You must offer as a holocaust to Yahweh, an appeasing fragrance: one young bull, one ram, and seven yearling lambs of your choice without blemish.

29:9 The accompanying oblation of fine flour mixed with oil is to be three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram,

29:10 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs.

29:11 A he-goat must be offered for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the victim for sin at the feast of Atonement, and to the perpetual holocaust with its accompanying oblation and libations.

h. The feast of Tabernacles

29:12 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you are to hold a solemn assembly, you must do no heavy work, and for the space of seven days you are to celebrate a feast for Yahweh.

29:13 You must offer as a holocaust, a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh: thirteen young bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish.

29:14 The accompanying oblation of fine flour mixed with oil is to be three-tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths for each of the two rams,

29:15 one-tenth for each of the fourteen lambs;

29:16 also one he-goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust and its oblation and libations.

29:17 “On the second day: twelve young bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish;

29:18 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:19 also one he-goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblation and libations.

29:20 “On the third day: eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish;

29:21 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:22 also one he-goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblations and libation.

29:23 “On the fourth day: ten bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish;

29:24 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:25 also one he-goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblation and libations.

29:26 “On the fifth day: nine bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish;

29:27 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:28 also one he-goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblation and libations.

29:29 “On the sixth day: eight bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish;

29:30 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:31 also one he-goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblation and libations.

29:32 “On the seventh day: seven bulls, two rams, fourteen yearling lambs without blemish;

29:33 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:34 also one he-goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblation and libations.

29:35 “On the eighth day you must all assemble. You must do no heavy work.

29:36 You must offer as a holocaust, a burnt offering, an appeasing fragrance for Yahweh: one bull, one ram, seven yearling lambs without blemish;

29:37 the accompanying oblation and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs;

29:38 also one goat for the sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual holocaust with its oblation and libations.

29:39 “This is what you are to do for Yahweh at your solemn feasts, over and above your votive and voluntary offerings, your holocausts, oblations and libations, and your communion sacrifice.”‘

JB NUMBERS Chapter 30

30:1 Moses told the sons of Israel exactly what Yahweh had ordered him.

Laws concerning vows

30:2 Moses spoke to the leaders of the tribes of the sons of Israel. He said, This is what Yahweh has ordered:

30:3 “If a man makes a vow to Yahweh or takes a formal pledge under oath, he must not break his word: whatever he promises by word of mouth he must do.

30:4 “If a woman makes a vow to Yahweh or takes a formal pledge during her youth, while she is still in her father’s house,

30:5 and if he hears about this vow or pledge made by her and says nothing to her, her vow, whatever it may be, shall be binding, and the pledge she has taken, whatever it may be, shall be binding.

30:6 But if the father on the day he learns of it expresses his disapproval of it, then none of the vows or pledges she has taken shall be binding. Yahweh will not hold her to it, since her father has expressed his disapproval.

30:7 “If, being bound by vows or by a pledge voiced without due reflection, she then marries,

30:8 and if her husband hears of it but says nothing on the day he learns of it, her vows shall be binding and the pledges she has taken shall be binding.

30:9 But if on the day he learns of it he expresses his disapproval to her, this will annul the vow that she has made or the pledge that binds her, voiced without due reflection. Yahweh will not hold her to it.

30:10 “The vow of a widow or a divorced woman and all pledges taken by her are binding on her.

30:11 “If she has made a vow or taken a pledge under oath while in her husband’s house,

30:12 and if when the husband learns of it he says nothing to her and does not express disapproval to her, then the vow, whatever it is, shall be binding, and the pledge, whatever it is, shall be binding.

30:13 But if the husband when he hears of them annuls them on the day he learns of them, no word of her mouth, vow or pledge, shall be binding. Since the husband has annulled them, Yahweh will not hold her to them.

30:14 “Every vow or oath that is binding on the wife may be endorsed or annulled by the husband.

30:15 “If by the following day the husband has said nothing to her, it means that he endorses her vow, whatever it may be, or her pledge, whatever it may be. He endorses them if he says nothing on the day he learns of them.

30:16 But if he annuls them a longer time after he learnt of them, then he must bear the burden of the wife’s fault.”‘

30:17 These are the laws ordained by Yahweh to Moses, concerning the relationship between man and wife, and between a father and his daughter while still young and living in her father’s home.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 31

IX. BOOTY AND ITS ALLOCATION

The holy war against Midian

31:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

31:2 ‘Exact full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites. Afterwards you will be gathered to your people.’ Moses said to the people,

31:3 ‘Some of you must take arms to wage Yahweh’s campaign against Midian, to carry out the vengeance of Yahweh on Midian.

31:4 Put a thousand men in the field from each of the tribes of Israel.’

31:5 In this way Israel’s hosts provided twelve thousand men equipped for war, one thousand from each tribe:

31:6 Moses put them in the field, one thousand from each tribe, with Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, to go with them carrying the sacred vessels and the trumpets for sounding the alarm.

31:7 They waged the campaign against Midian, as Yahweh had ordered Moses, and they put every male to death.

31:8 And further, they killed the kings of Midian, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba, the five Midianite kings; they also put Balaam son of Beor to the sword.

31:9 The sons of Israel took the Midianite women captive with their young children, and plundered all their cattle, all their flocks. and all their goods.

31:10 They set fire to the towns where they lived and all their encampments.

31:11 Then, taking all their booty, all that they had captured, man and beast,

31:12 they took the captives, spoil and booty to Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the community of the sons of Israel, at the camp in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan opposite Jericho.

The slaughter of the women and purification of the booty

31:13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went out of the camp to meet them.

31:14 Moses was enraged with the commanders of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who had come back from this military expedition.

31:15 He said, ‘Why have you spared the life of all the women?

31:16 These were the very ones who, on Balaam’s advice, perverted the sons of Israel and made them renounce Yahweh in the affair at Peor: hence the plague which struck the community of Israel.

31:17 So kill all the male children. Kill also all the women who have slept with a man.

31:18 Spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept with a man, and take them for yourselves.

31:19 As for you, you must camp for seven days outside the camp, all of you who have killed a man or touched a corpse. Purify yourselves, you and your prisoners, on the third and seventh days;

31:20 purify also all clothing, everything made of skin, everything woven of goats’ hair and everything made of wood.’

31:21 Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who had come back from this campaign, ‘This is a statute of the Law which Yahweh has commanded Moses.

31:22 Whereas the gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin and lead,

31:23 everything that can withstand fire, must be passed through the fire and it will be clean, yet it must still be purified with lustral water. Whatever cannot resist fire you must pass through water.

31:24 ‘Wash your clothes on the seventh day and you will then be clean. You may then come back to the camp.’

The allocation of the booty

31:25 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

31:26 ‘With Eleazar the priest and the heads of families in the community, count the spoils and the captives, man and beast.

31:27 Then share out the spoil, half and half, between those who fought the campaign and the rest of the community.

31:28 As Yahweh’s portion you will set aside, from the share of the combatants who took part in the campaign, one out of every five hundred persons, oxen, donkeys and sheep.

31:29 These are to be taken from the half share which is their due, and given to Eleazar the priest as an offering to Yahweh.

31:30 From the half which is due to the sons of Israel, you will take one out of every fifty persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, and all other animals, and give them to the Levites who have charge of the tabernacle of Yahweh.’

31:31 Moses and Eleazar the priest did as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

31:32 The spoils, the remainder of the booty captured by the soldiers, came to six hundred and seventy-five thousand head of small stock,

31:33 seventy-two thousand head of cattle,

31:34 sixty-one thousand donkeys,

31:35 and in persons, women who had never slept with a man, thirty-two thousand in all.

31:36 Half was assigned to those who had taken part in the war, namely three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred head of small stock,

31:37 of which Yahweh’s portion was six hundred and seventy-five,

31:38 thirty-six thousand head of cattle, of which Yahweh’s portion was seventy-two.

31:39 Thirty thousand five hundred donkeys, of which Yahweh’s

31:40 portion was sixty-one, and sixteen thousand persons, of which Yahweh’s portion was thirty-two.

31:41 Moses gave Eleazar the priest the portion set aside for Yahweh, in accordance with Yahweh’s instructions to Moses.

31:42 As for the half due to the sons of Israel, which Moses had separated from that of the combatants,

31:43 this half, the community’s share, came to three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred head of small stock,

31:44 thirty-six thousand head of cattle,

31:45 thirty thousand five hundred donkeys

31:46 and sixteen thousand persons.

31:47 From this half, the share of the sons of Israel, Moses took one out of every fifty, man and beast, and gave them to the Levites who had charge of the tabernacle of Yahweh, in accordance with Yahweh’s instructions to Moses.

The offerings

31:48 The commanders of the hosts who had fought the campaign, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, came to Moses

31:49 and said, ‘Your servants have numbered the soldiers under their command: not one is missing.

31:50 And further, we bring as an offering for Yahweh the gold ornaments we have found, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings and brooches, to have the rite of atonement performed over us before Yahweh.’

31:51 Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted this gold from them, all this jewellery.

31:52 This offering of gold given by them to Yahweh amounted to sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels, all given by the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds.

31:53 Each of the soldiers took his own booty.

31:54 But Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and carried it to the Tent of Meeting as a reminder to Yahweh of the sons of Israel.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 32

The allocation of Transjordania

32:1 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad owned great herds of fine cattle. Now they observed that the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead was an ideal region for raising stock.

32:2 The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben therefore went to Moses, Eleazar the priest and the leaders of the community, and said to them,

32:3 ‘The land of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon,

32:4 which Yahweh has conquered in the sight of the community of Israel, is ideal land for raising stock, and your servants are cattle breeders.

32:5 If we have deserved your friendship,’ they said ‘give this land to your servants for our own; do not make us cross the Jordan.’

32:6 Moses said to the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, ‘Your brothers are off to the war – are you content to stay here?

32:7 Why do you keep the sons of Israel from entering the land that Yahweh has given them?

32:8 This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to inspect the land.

32:9 They went up as far as the Valley of Eschol and inspected the land; but they kept the sons of Israel from entering the land that Yahweh had given them.

32:10 Hence the wrath of Yahweh blazed out that day and he swore this oath,

32:11 “If ever these men of twenty years and over, who came out from Egypt, set eyes on the land that I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… [*a] For they have not followed me faithfully,

32:12 except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua son of Nun: these indeed have followed Yahweh faithfully.”

32:13 The wrath of Yahweh blazed out against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until the generation that offended Yahweh had all disappeared.

32:14 And now you, you rise up in your father’s place, offshoot of sinful stock, to add still more to the burning wrath of Yahweh against Israel!

32:15 If you turn away from him, he will prolong the time spent in the wilderness, and you will bring about the ruin of all this people.’

32:16 They came to Moses and said, ‘We would like to build sheepfolds here for our flocks and towns for our young children.

32:17 We ourselves will take up arms to lead the sons of Israel until we have brought them to the place appointed for them: only our young children will stay in the fortified towns, safe from the inhabitants of the country.

32:18 We will not return to our homes until every one of the sons of Israel has taken possession of his inheritance.

32:19 For we shall have no inheritance with them on the other bank of the Jordan or beyond, since our inheritance has fallen to us here, east of the Jordan.’

32:20 Moses said to them, ‘If you do as you have said, if you are prepared to fight before Yahweh,

32:21 and if all those of you who bear arms cross the Jordan before Yahweh, until he has driven all his enemies before him,

32:22 then, once the land has become subject to Yahweh, you may go back; you shall be free of your obligation towards Yahweh and Israel, and this land shall be your inheritance before Yahweh.

32:23 But if you do not, you will sin against Yahweh, and be sure your sin will find you out.

32:24 Build towns, then, for your young children and folds for your flocks; but do what you have promised.’

32:25 The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben said to Moses, ‘Your servants will do as you order, sir.

32:26 Our children, our wives, our flocks and all our livestock will stay in the towns of Gilead,

32:27 but your servants, every man armed for war, will cross over to fight before Yahweh as you have ordered.’

32:28 Then Moses gave directions about them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua son of Nun, and to the leaders of the patriarchal Houses of the tribes of Israel.

32:29 Moses said to them, ‘If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, all who bear arms, cross the Jordan with you to fight before Yahweh, then once the land is in your power, you will give them the land of Gilead for their possession.

32:30 But if they do not cross over in arms with you, then they must have their possessions with you in the land of Canaan.’

32:31 The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben replied, ‘What Yahweh has said to your servants, we will do.

32:32 We will cross in arms before Yahweh into the land of Canaan; but you must give us possession of our inheritance beyond the Jordan.’

32:33 Moses gave them-the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph-the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and the towns contained within its boundaries, the frontier towns of the land.

32:34 The sons of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,

32:35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,

32:36 Beth-nimrah, Beth-haran, fortified towns, and folds for the flocks.

32:37 The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,

32:38 Nebo, Baal-meon (their names were changed), Sibmah. They gave names to the towns they had built.

32:39 The sons of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead. They conquered it and drove out the Amorites who were there.

32:40 Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he settled there.

32:41 Jair son of Manasseh went and seized their encampments and called them Encampments of Jair.

32:42 Nobah went and seized Kenath with its outlying villages, and called it Nobah after himself.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 33

The Stages of the Exodus

33:1 Here are the stages of the journey made by the sons of Israel when they came out in a body from the land of Egypt, under the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

33:2 Moses recorded their starting-points in writing whenever they broke camp on Yahweh’s orders. Here are the stages according to their starting-points.

33:3 They left Rameses in the first month. It was on the fifteenth day of the first month, on the day following the Passover, that the sons of Israel set out triumphantly in the sight of all Egypt.

33:4 The Egyptians. were burying those of their own people whom Yahweh had struck down, all their first-born; Yahweh had carried out his judgement on their gods.

33:5 The sons of Israel left Rameses and camped at Succoth.

33:6 Then they left Succoth and encamped at Etham which is on the edge of the wilderness.

33:7 They left Etham, turned back to Pi-hahiroth which faces Baal-zephon, and encamped before Migdol.

33:8 They left Pi-hahiroth, crossed over the sea into the wilderness, and after marching for three days in the desert of Etham they encamped at Marah.

33:9 They left Marah and reached Elim. At Elim there are twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; they encamped there.

33:10 They left Elim and encamped by the Sea of Reeds.

33:11 They left the Sea of Reeds and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.

33:12 They left the wilderness of Sin and encamped at Dophkah.

33:13 They left Dophkah and encamped at Alush.

33:14 They left Alush and encamped at Rephidim; the people found no drinking water there.

33:15 They left Rephidim and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai.

33:16 They left the wilderness of Sinai and encamped at Kibroth-hattaavah.

33:17 They left Kibroth-hattaavah and encamped at Hazeroth.

33:18 They left Hazeroth and encamped at Rithmah.

33:19 They left Rithmah and encamped at Rimmon-perez.

33:20 They left Rimnion-perez and encamped at Libnah.

33:21 They left Libnah and encamped at Rissah.

33:22 They left Rissah and encamped at Kehelathah.

33:23 They left Kehelathah and encamped at Mount Shepher.

33:24 They left Mount Shepher and encamped at Haradah.

33:25 They left Haradah and encamped at Makheloth.

33:26 They left Makheloth and encamped at Tahath.

33:27 They left Tahath and encamped at Terah.

33:28 They left Terah and encamped at Mithkah.

33:29 They left Mithkah and encamped at Hashmonah.

33:30 They left Hashmonah and encamped at Moseroth.

33:31 They left Moseroth and encamped at Bene-jaakan.

33:32 They left Bene-jaakan and encamped at Hor-haggidgad.

33:33 They left Hor-haggidgad and encamped at Jotbathah.

33:34 They left Jotbathah and encamped at Abronah.

33:35 They left Abronah and encamped at Ezion-geber.

33:36 They left Ezion-geber and encamped in the wilderness of Zin; this is Kadesh.

33:37 They left Kadesh and encamped at Mount Hor, on the borders of the land of Edom.

33:38 Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor on Yahweh’s orders and it was there that he died, in the fortieth year of the exodus of the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month.

33:39 Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died at Mount Hor.

33:40 The king of Arad, a Canaanite who lived in the Negeb in the land of Canaan, was informed when the sons of Israel arrived.

33:41 They left Mount Hor and encamped at Zalmonah.

33:42 They left Zalmonah and encamped at Punon.

33:43 They left Punon and encamped at Oboth.

33:44 They left Oboth and encamped in Moabite territory at Iye-abarim.

33:45 They left lyim and encamped at Dibon-gad.

33:46 They left Dibon-gad and encamped at Almon-diblathaim.

33:47 They left Almon-diblathaim and encamped in the Abarim mountains facing Nebo.

33:48 They left the Abarim mountains and encamped in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan opposite Jericho.

33:49 They encamped near the Jordan between Beth-ha-jeshimoth and Abel-hash-shittim, in the plains of Moab.

The allocation of Canaan. God’s order

33:50 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan opposite Jericho. He said:

33:51 ‘Say this to the sons of Israel: “When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan,

33:52 you must drive all the inhabitants of the country before you. You must destroy their sculptured stones, you must destroy all their statues of cast metal, and you must demolish all their high places.

33:53 You will take possession of this land and you will stay in it, for I have given it to you for your own.

33:54 You are to divide it by lot among your clans. To a large clan you will give a greater inheritance, to a small clan a lesser one. Where the lot falls for each, that will be his. Make this apportionment according to patriarchal tribes.

33:55 But if you do not drive the inhabitants of the country before you, then those you have spared will be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your side, they will harass you in the land where you live

33:56 and I will deal with you as I meant to deal with them.”‘

JB NUMBERS Chapter 34

The boundaries of Canaan

34:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

34:2 ‘Give the sons of Israel this order: “When you go into the land (of Canaan), this is the territory that will be your inheritance. This is the land of Canaan defined by its boundaries.

34:3 “The southern part of your country will stretch from the wilderness of Zin, on the borders of Edom. Your southern boundary will start on the east at the end of the Salt Sea.

34:4 It will then turn south towards the Ascent of the Scorpions and go by Zin to end in the south at Kadesh-barnea. Then it will go towards Hazar-addar and pass through Azmon.

34:5 From Azmon the boundary will turn towards the wadi of Egypt and end at the Sea.

34:6 “Your seaboard will be the Great Sea; this will be your western boundary.

34:7 “This will be your northern boundary. You will draw a line from the Great Sea to Mount Hor,

34:8 then from Mount Hor you will draw a line to the Pass of Hamath, and the boundary will end at Zedad.

34:9 From there it will go on to Ziphron and end at Hazar-enan. This will be your northern boundary.

34:10 “You will then draw your eastern boundary from Hazar-enan to Shepham.

34:11 The boundary will go down from Shepham towards Riblah on the east side of Am. Further down it will keep to the eastern shore of the Sea of Chinnereth[*a].

34:12 The frontier will then follow the Jordan and end at the Salt Sea. “This will be your land with the boundaries surrounding it.”‘

34:13 Moses then laid this charge on the sons of Israel: ‘This is the land you are to apportion by lot, which Yahweh has ordered to be made over to the nine tribes and the half-tribe.

34:14 The tribe of the sons of Reuben with its patriarchal Houses and the tribe of the sons of Gad with its patriarchal Houses have already been given their heritage; the half-tribe of Manasseh has also been given its heritage.

34:15 These two tribes and the half-tribe have been given their heritage beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho, to the east, towards the sunrise.

The leaders in charge of the allocation

34:16 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

34:17 ‘These are the names of those who will share out the land: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun,

34:18 and you will take one leader from each tribe to share out the land.

34:19 Here are the names of these men: For the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

34:20 for the tribe of the sons of Simeon, Shemuel son of Ammihud;

34:21 for the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad son of Chislon;

34:22 for the tribe of the sons of Dan, the leader Bukki son of Jogli;

34:23 for the sons of Joseph: for the tribe of Manasseh, the leader Hanniel son of Ephod;

34:24 and for the tribe of the sons of Ephraim, the leader Kemuel son of Shiphtan;

34:25 for the tribe of the sons of Zebulun, the leader Elizaphan son of Parnach;

34:26 for the tribe of the sons of Issachar, the leader Paltiel son of Azzan;

34:27 for the tribe of the sons of Asher, the leader Ahihud son of Shelomi;

34:28 for the tribe of the sons of Naphtali, the leader Pedahel son of Ammihud.’

34:29 These are the men whom Yahweh ordered to divide the land of Canaan among the sons of Israel.

JB NUMBERS Chapter 35

The portion of the Levites

35:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan opposite Jericho. He said:

35:2 ‘Direct the sons of Israel to make over to the Levites, out of the inheritance they possess, towns in which to live and pasture land round the towns. Give these to the Levites.

35:3 The towns are to be their homes and the surrounding pasture land is to be for their cattle; their possessions and all their animals.

35:4 The pasture land surrounding the towns that you make over to the Levites shall extend, from the walls of the towns, for a thousand cubits all round.

35:5 ‘Outside the town, measure two thousand cubits to the east side, two thousand cubits to the south, two thousand cubits to the west and two thousand cubits to the north, the town lying in the centre: this is to be the pasture-land for these towns.

35:6 The towns you hand over to the Levites will be the six cities of refuge, ceded by you as sanctuary for men who cause another’s death; and you are to hand over forty-two towns in addition.

35:7 Altogether you will make over forty-eight towns to the Levites, towns together with their pasturage.

35:8 Of the towns that you grant out of the possession or the sons of Israel, more will be taken from those who hold more, and less from those who hold less. Everyone will make over towns to the Levites in proportion to the inheritance he himself has received.’

Cities of refuge

35:9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

35:10 ‘Say this to the sons of Israel:

35:11 “When you cross the Jordan and reach the land of Canaan, you are to select towns which you will make into cities of refuge where a man who has killed accidentally may find sanctuary.

35:12 These towns will be your refuge from the avenger of blood, so that the killer may not die without being brought to judgement before the

35:13 The towns you make over will serve you as six cities of refuge.

35:14 the three that you make over beyond the Jordan and the three that you make over in the land of Canaan are to be cities of refuge.

35:15 These six towns will be a refuge, for the sons of Israel as well as for the stranger and the settler among you, where anyone who has killed accidentally may find sanctuary

35:16 “But if he has struck the person with an iron object so as to cause death, he is a murderer. The murderer must be put to death.

35:17 If he struck him with a stone capable of killing him, and has killed him, he is a murderer. The murderer must be put to death.

35:18 Or if he has struck him with a wooden instrument capable of killing, and has killed him, he is a murderer. The murderer must be put to death.

35:19 The avenger of blood must put the murder to death. When he meets him he must put him to death.[*a]

35:20 “If the killer has maliciously manhandled his victim, or thrown some lethal missile to strike him down,

35:21 or out of enmity dealt him the death-blow with his fist, then he who struck the blow must die; he is a murderer; the avenger of blood must put him to death when he meets him.

35:22 If, however, he has manhandled his victim by chance, without malice, or thrown some missile at him not meaning to hit him,

35:23 or without seeing him dropped a stone on him capable of causing death and so killed him, so long as he bore him no malice and wished him no harm,

35:24 then the community must decide in accordance with these rules between the one who struck the blow and the avenger of blood,

35:25 and so rescue the killer from the avenger of blood. They will send him back to the city of refuge where he had sought sanctuary, and there he will stay until the death of the high priest who has been anointed with the holy oil.

35:26 If the killer should leave the bounds of the city of refuge where he has sought sanctuary

35:27 and the avenger of blood encounters him outside the bounds of his city of refuge, the avenger of blood may kill him without fear of reprisal;

35:28 since the killer should stay in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest is he free to go back to the land where he has his home.

35:29 These regulations shall have force of law for you and your descendants, wherever you may be.

35:30 In any case of homicide, the evidence of witnesses must determine whether the murderer is to be put to death; but the evidence of a single witness is not sufficient to uphold a capital charge.

35:31 You are not to accept ransom for the life of a murderer condemned to death; he must die.

35:32 Nor are you to accept ransom for anyone who, having sought sanctuary in his city of refuge, wishes to come back and live at home before the death of the high priest.

35:33 You must not profane the land you live in. Blood profanes the country, and there is no other expiation for the country for bloodshed than the blood of the one who shed it.

35:34 You must not defile the land you inhabit, the land in which I live; for I, Yahweh, live among the sons of Israel.”‘

JB NUMBERS Chapter 36

A wife’s inheritance

36:1 Then the heads of families in the clan of the sons of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, one of the clans of Joseph’s sons, came forward.

36:2 They spoke before Moses and the leaders, the heads of families of Israel’s sons, and said: ‘Yahweh has ordered my lord to give the land to the sons of Israel, sharing it out by lot; and my lord has been ordered by Yahweh to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters.

36:3 Now, if they marry someone from another tribe in the sons of Israel, their property will be taken away from the inheritance of our fathers. The property of the tribe to which they will belong will be increased, and the property allotted to us diminished.

36:4 And when the jubilee comes round for the sons of Israel, the property of these women will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they then belong, and lost to the inheritance of our own patriarchal tribe.’

36:5 Moses, at Yahweh’s bidding, gave the following ruling to the sons of Israel. He said: ‘The tribe of the sons of Joseph is in the right.

36:6 This is Yahweh’s ruling for the daughters of Zelophehad: “They may marry whom they please, providing they marry into a clan of their father’s tribe.

36:7 The heritage of the sons of Israel is not to be transferred from tribe to tribe; every man of the sons of Israel is to remain bound to the heritage of his patriarchal tribe.

36:8 Every daughter who has a heritage in one of the tribes of the sons of Israel must marry into a clan of her own paternal tribe, so that the sons of Israel may each preserve the heritage of his father.

36:9 No heritage may be transferred from one tribe to another: every tribe of the sons of Israel will stay bound to its own heritage.”‘

36:10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

36:11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hogiah, Milcah and Noah, daughters of Zelophehad, married the sons of their father’s brothers.

36:12 Since they married into the clans of the sons of Manasseh son of Joseph, their heritage reverted to the tribe of their father’s clan.

Conclusion

36:13 These are the commandments and laws that Yahweh laid down for the sons of Israel through Moses in the plains of Moab near the Jordan opposite Jericho.

END OF JB NUMBERS [36 Chapters].

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