These are the commandments and the laws which Yahva ordained through Moses to the Israelites in the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho.
In the wilderness of Sinai, at the meeting tent, on the first day of the second month of the second year after departing Egypt, Yahva said to Moses; "Take a census of all the Israelites, by tribe, listing the names every male aged 20 and over who is able to bear arms for Israel. You and Aaron shall count them in the presence of men of each tribe. These men shall assist you:"
- For the tribe of Reuben; Elizur, son of Shedeur.
- For Simeon; Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai.
- For Judah; Nahshon, son of Amminadab.
- For Issachar; Nsaidaneel, son of Zuar.
- For Zebulun; Eliab, son of Helon.
- For the sons of Joseph:
- For Ephraim; Elishama, son of Ammihud.
- For Manasseh; Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur.
- For Benjamin; Abidan, son of Gideoni.
- For Dan; Ahiezer, son of Ammishaddai.
- For Asher; Pagiel, son of Ocran.
- For Gad; Eliasaph, son of Deuel.
- For Naphtali; Ahira, son of Enan.
These were the elect of the community, tribal chiefs or army leaders of Israel. Moses and Aaron, with these men, assembled all the Israelites on the first day of the second month. They declared their pedigrees within the tribe of their ancestors. The males able to go to war were counted and tabulated for each tribe.
The Levites were not counted because Yahva had said to Moses; “Do not count the tribe of Levi nor include their number among the Israelites. Appoint the Levites to care for the meeting tent with all the vessels and things that belong to it: They shall carry the meeting tent and its vessels; and they shall tend it and camp around it. When the meeting tent is moved, the Levites shall take it down and set it up at the new site. Any other person who comes near it shall be killed.”
Yahva said to Moses and Aaron; "The Israelites shall camp with their tribes under their ancestral banners and flags surrounding the meeting tent at a good distance. But the Levites shall camp around the meeting tent so that Yahva's wrath will not fall on the Israelites. The Levites shall take charge of the meeting tent.”
On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, the tribe of Judah shall pitch their armies: Nahshon, son of Amminadab, shall be their captain. The tribe of Issachar shall pitch next to Judah: Nethaneel, son of Zuar, shall be their captain. Next the tribe of Zebulun: Eliab, son of Helon, shall be their captain. The army of Judah was 186,400. They shall travel in the first rank.
On the south side shall be the tribe of Reuben; their captain shall be Elizur, son of Shedeur. Next to him shall be the tribe of Simeon: their captain shall be Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai. Then the tribe of Gad: their captain shall be Eliasaph, son of Reuel. The army of Reuben was 150,450. They shall travel in the second rank.
When the meeting tent of the community sets forth, the Levites shall be in the midst of the army: As they camp, so shall they travel, every man in his place under their flags.
On the west side shall be tribe of Ephraim; their captain shall be Elishama, son of Ammihud. Next to him shall be the tribe of Manasseh: their captain shall be Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur. Then the tribe of Benjamin: their captain shall be Abidan, son of Gideoni. The army of Ephraim was 180,100. They shall travel in the third rank.
On the north side shall be tribe of Dan; their captain will be Ahiezer, son of Ammishaddai. Next to him shall be the tribe of Asher: their captain shall be Pagiel, son of Ochran. Then the tribe of Naphtali: their captain shall be Ahira, son of Enan. The army of Dan was 157,600. They shall travel in the fourth rank.”
The Israelites did as Yahva commanded and traveled under the ensigns of their tribes.
But the Levites were not counted, as Yahva commanded Moses. These are the descendants of Aaron and Moses2 on the day that Yahva spoke with Moses in Mount Sinai. The sons of Aaron are; Nadab the firstborn, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Aaron anointed his sons as priests and consecrated them to fulfill the priest's office. Nadab and Abihu died when they offered profane fire to Yahva in the wilderness of Sinai. They had no children. Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office under direction of Aaron.
Yahva said to Moses; “Gather the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron, the priest, so that they may serve him. They shall discharge his duties and those of the whole community at the meeting tent as well as the service of the meeting tent.
They shall maintain all the furniture of the meeting tent and perform the duties for the Israelites in the meeting tent. You shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons: they are wholly given to him from the Israelites. You shall appoint Aaron and his sons to fulfill their priest's office. The stranger that comes near shall be killed.”
Yahva said; "I have chosen the Levites from the Israelites instead of every first born among the Israelites; the Levites shall be mine, for all the first born are mine. On the day that I killed all the first born of Egypt, I consecrated all the first born in Israel, both man and beast. They belong to me: I am God."
In the wilderness of Sinai, Yahva said to Moses; "Take a census of the Levites by their clans. Count males over one month old." Moses counted them as commanded. Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, was supreme chief of the Levites with oversight of those who have responsibility for the sanctuary. These are the clans of the Levites in order of their clans.
The Gershonites were to camp west of the meeting tent. The chief of the Gershonites was Eliasaph, son of Lael. The responsibility of the Gershonites was for the:
- Meeting tent include the tent itself
- Tabernacle with its covering
- Screen for the tent door
- Hangings of the court
- Screen for the door of the court—which is near the meeting tent and the altar
- Cords of the screen
- All that pertains to its service
The Kohathites were to camp on the south side of the meeting tent. The chief of the Kohathites was Elizaphan, son of Uzziel. Their responsibility was the:
- Ark of the covenant
- Lamp stand
- Vessels of the sanctuary with which the priests perform services
- All that pertains to the service
The chief of the Merarites was Zuriel, son of Abihail. They were to camp on the north side of the meeting tent. The appointed responsibility of the Merarites was the:
- Boards, bars, pillars, pedestals of the meeting tent,
- Instruments and all that pertains to their service;
- Pillars of the court, their pedestals, pegs, and cords
Those that were to camp east of the meeting tent were Moses, Aaron and his sons, bearing the responsibility for the sanctuary and the Israelites. Any common man who came near the meeting tent was to be killed.
The census of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron conducted at the command of Yahva, was 22,000. Yahva said to Moses; "Count the first born Israelite males over one month old.” Moses counted, as commanded, the first born of the Israelites. The first born males, according to this census, were 22,273. Yahva said to Moses; "Take the Levites instead of the first born Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock. The Levites shall be mine: I am God.
For the redemption of the 273 first born Israelites that exceed the number of the Levites, you shall take five shekels each, according to the sanctuary standard of 20 gerahs per shekel.
Give the money to Aaron and his sons for those that are to be redeemed.” Moses took the redemption money from the first born Israelites and gave it to Aaron and his sons as Yahva commanded: 1365 shekels, according to the sanctuary standard.
Yahva said to Moses; “Also take a census of the Levites from 30 to 50 years old by clan and family for they have responsibilities in the meeting tent.
The Kohathites are responsible for the sacred objects in the meeting tent. In breaking camp, Aaron and his sons shall enter and take down the screening curtain and cover the ark of the covenant with it. They shall put a dolphin skin cover on it and spread a solid blue cloth over it. They shall set it in place on the poles to carry it.
On the oblation table, they shall spread a cloth of violet, and put on it the dishes, the bowls, the jars, and the libation pitchers: The perpetual oblation bread shall remain on it. They shall spread and a cloth of scarlet on it and over it a covering of dolphin skin, and shall set in place the poles. With a violet cloth, they shall cover the lamp stand for lighting, its lamps, tongs, and ash trays; and all the oil vessels that are used in its service. They shall put it and its accessories in a covering of dolphin skin, and put it on a carrying frame.
On the golden altar they shall spread a violet cloth and cover it with dolphin skin; and shall set in place the poles. They shall take all the vessels, with which the service is performed in the sanctuary, put them in a violet cloth, and cover them with seal skin; and shall put them on a carrying frame. They shall remove the ashes from the copper altar and spread a purple cloth over it. On it they shall put all the vessels used in its service; the fire pans, meat hooks, and scrapers, and the basins; all the vessels of the altar. They shall cover it with dolphin skin and set in place the poles.
When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sacred furniture and vessels, the Kohathites shall carry them. If they touch the holy things, they will die. The responsibility of Eleazar, son of Aaron shall be:
- Oil for the light
- Sweet incense
- Bread offering
- Anointing oil
He shall have the overall responsibility for the meeting tent and all its contents, including the sanctuary and the furniture."
Yahva said to Moses and Aaron; "Do not separate the Kohathites from the Levites. Aaron and his sons shall appoint each one his duty for the sacred objects. They may see the covered objects without dying." This is the duty of the Gershonites in serving and carrying the objects: They shall carry the curtains of the meeting tent, the meeting tent with its covering, the dolphin skin covering on it, and the door screen of the meeting tent. Also they shall carry the court hangings, the gate screen of the court—which is near the meeting tent and around the altar—their cords, all the instruments, and the accessories of the service.
The Gershonites shall under the command of Aaron and his sons in their duty and service. You shall place in charge all their duty under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron.
The Merarites have responsibility for the boards, bars, pillars, and sockets of the meeting tent; also the pillars, sockets, pins, cords, and all accessories of the court. This is the duty of the Merarites under the direction of Ithamar, son of Aaron."
|Clan||Males 30 to 50|
Moses, Aaron and the chiefs of the community took a census of the Levites by clan and family from thirty to fifty years old; everyone who had a duty in the meeting tent.
All the Levites that Moses, Aaron, and the chiefs of Israel counted, had responsibilities for the service and carrying of the meeting tent. As commanded by Yahva, they were appointed to their tasks by Moses.
These are the descendants of Aaron and Moses when Yahva talked with Moses at Mount Sinai. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, the first born, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. They were anointed and consecrated to administer the priest's office. Nadab and Abihu died when they offered profane fire before Yahva in the Sinai wilderness; they had no children. Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron.
Yahva said to Moses; "Assemble the Levites and present them to Aaron, for they will serve him. They shall keep his orders and the responsibilities of the whole community in the service of the meeting tent. They shall keep all the furniture of the meeting tent, and the charge of the Israelites, to do the service of the meeting tent. You shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are wholly given to him from the Israelites. You shall appoint Aaron and his sons as the priesthood: Any common man that comes near shall be put to death."
Yahva said to Moses: “I have taken the Levites from the Israelites instead of the first born of the Israelites. The Levites shall be mine, for all first born are mine. On the day that I killed all the first born Egyptians, I consecrated all first born in Israel, both man and beast, and they shall mine for I am God."
Yahva said; "Order the Israelites to expel from the camp every leper, every one that has running sores, and everyone who is impure from touching the dead. Expel both male and female so that they do not defile their camp wherein I dwell." The Israelites obeyed and expelled them as Yahva ordered.
Yahva said to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: When a person commits any wrong to another person, it is a trespass against Yahva. When that person realizes the guilt, they shall confess the wrong. Restitution shall be made for the wrong in full plus one fifth, giving it to the person wronged. But if the man has no kin to whom restitution may be made, the restitution shall go to Yahva for the priest in addition to the sacrificial ram through which atonement is made. Also every sacred donation of the Israelites shall be the priest's. Each priest shall retain any sacred donations given to him.”
Yahva said to Moses; “Tell the Israelites: If any man, in a fit of jealousy, suspects his wife to have strayed willingly and secretly to have sexual relations with another man but there is no witness, then—whether she strayed of not—he shall bring her to the priest with an offering for her; the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal. No oil shall be poured on it, nor any frankincense put on it; for it is a bread offering of jealousy, a bread offering of remembrance which recalls wrongdoing.
The priest shall have her stand before Yahva. He shall take holy water in an earthen vessel and mix dust from the floor of the meeting tent into it. The woman will stand before Yahva with her head uncovered. The priest shall put the offering of jealousy in her hands and shall take the water of bitterness that invokes the spell in his hand. He shall have her swear and say to her; "If no man has had sex with you and if you have not strayed while married to your husband, be immune to harm from this water of bitterness that invokes the spell. But if you have strayed while married and had sexual relations with any other man”—here the priest shall administer the curse of adjuration to the woman as he goes on to say; "May Yahva make you a curse and a revolting example among your people. This water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels to make your belly swell and your thigh sag." The woman shall say; "Amen, Amen." The priest shall write these curses in a scroll, and he shall blot them with the water of bitterness. He shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness and it shall enter her and become bitter. The priest shall take the bread offering of jealousy from her hand and wave it before Yahva and bring it to the altar. The priest shall take a token part of the bread offering, as the memorial part, and burn it on the altar. Finally he shall make the woman drink the water.
Once he has made her drink the water—if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband—the water shall enter her and become bitter making her belly swell and her thigh sag. The woman shall be cursed among her people. If the woman is not defiled, but pure, then she is cleared of wrongdoing and shall be able to conceive.
This is the ritual of jealousy, when a woman strays while married and defiles herself or when in jealousy a man becomes distressed over his wife, then he shall take the woman before Yahva and the priest shall execute on her all this law. The man shall be clear of guilt but that woman shall suffer for her guilt. Yahva said to Moses; “Tell the Israelites: When a man (or woman) clearly vows to be a nazirite and consecrate himself to Yahva, he shall abstain from wine and intoxicating drink. During the period of the nazirite vow, he shall not drink grape juice, nor eat anything from the vineyard, such as pressed grapes or seeds.
During the duration of the vow, the hair shall not be cut. He consecrates himself to Yahva; he shall be holy and let the hair grow long. All the days that he vows himself to Yahva he shall not come near to a dead body. He shall not defile himself for his father, mother, brother, or sister if they die because he is consecrated to Yahva. For all the duration of his nazirite vow, he is holy to Yahva.
If any person dies suddenly beside him, he is defiled. Then he shall shave his head on the seventh day, the day of cleansing. On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or young pigeons to the priest at the door of the meeting tent. The priest shall prepare one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him for he was defiled by being near the dead. He shall reconsecrate the hair and rededicate the vow the same day. He shall bring a yearling male lamb for a guilt offering. The previous duration of his vow shall be void because he was defiled.
This is the ritual of the nazirite when the duration of his vow is finished. He shall bring his offering to the door of the meeting tent and present it to Yahva; one unblemished yearling male lamb for a burnt offering, one unblemished yearling ewe lamb for a sin offering and one unblemished ram for peace offerings; a basket of unleavened bread of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil along with the proper bread offering and libations. The priest shall bring them before Yahva and present the sin offering and the burnt offering. He shall then sacrifice the ram as a peace offering to Yahva with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall also present the bread offering and the libations. The nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the meeting tent and put the hair in the fire under the sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall take the broiled shoulder of the ram, one unleavened cake from the basket, and one unleavened wafer; and put them in the hands of the nazirite after he has shaved his head. The priest shall show them to Yahva as a wave offering; this is the portion for the priest, together with the belly and thigh. After this, the nazirite is released from the vow and may drink wine.
Yahva said to Moses; "Tell Aaron and his sons: Bless the Israelites in this manner:
May Yahva bless and keep you.
May Yahva let his radiance shine on you and be gracious to you.
May Yahva grant his favor to you and give you peace.
Thus they will impress my glory on the Israelites and I will bless them."
On the day that Moses had finished setting up the meeting tent, anointed and sanctified it with all its furniture, and the altar with all its vessels; the tribal chiefs of Israel brought offerings to Yahva: six draft carts and twelve oxen; a wagon for every two tribes and an ox for each one.
When they presented them before the meeting tent, Yahva said to Moses; "Accept these offerings from them for use in the service of the meeting tent. Give them to the Levites according to their services.” Moses took the carts and the oxen, and gave them to the Levites. He gave two wagons and four oxen to the Gershonites as required for their service; and four wagons and eight oxen to Merarites as required for their service, under the supervision of Ithamarl, son of Aaron the priest. But he gave none to the Kohathites because they were responsible for service of the holy objects: They carried their portion of the offering on their shoulders.
The tribal chiefs also brought the dedication offering of the altar on the day that it was anointed. At that time Yahva said to Moses; "Let them present their offering for the dedication of the altar, one tribe each day."
On the first day Nahshon, son of Amminadab presented the offering for the tribe of Judah.
On the second day Nethanel, son of Zuar presented the offering for the tribe of Issachar.
On the third day Eliab, son of Helon presented the offering for the tribe of Zebulun.
On the fourth day Elizur, son of Shedeur presented the offering for the tribe of Reuben.
On the fifth day Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai presented the offering for the tribe of Ephraim.
On the sixth day Eliasaph, son of Deuel presented the offering for the tribe of Gad.
On the seventh day Elishama, son of Ammihud presented the offering for the tribe of Simeon.
On the eighth day Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur presented the offering for the tribe of Manasseh.
On the ninth day Abidan, son of Gideoni presented the offering for the tribe of Benjamin.
On the tenth day Ahiezer, son of Ammishaddai presented the offering for the tribe of Dan.
On the eleventh day Pagiel, son of Ochran presented the offering for the tribe of Asher.
On the twelfth day Ahira, son of Enan presented the offering for the tribe of Naphtali.
This is the dedication offering made by each tribe of Israel. The offering was one silver dish weighing 130 shekels and one silver basin weighing 70 shekels by the sanctuary weight; both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a bread offering; one golden pan weighing ten shekels full of incense; one young bull, one ram, and one yearling male lamb for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, five yearling male lambs.
This was the dedication offering of the altar on the day it was anointed, given by the tribal chiefs of Israel: 12 silver dishes, 12 silver basins, 12 golden pans; each silver dish weighing 130 shekels and each basin 70; all the silver of the vessels 2400 shekels; twelve golden pans weighing ten shekels each, all the gold of the pans 120 shekels; total herd animals for the burnt offering, 12 bulls, 12 rams, 12 male lambs in their first year with the proper bread offering; 12 male goats for a sin offering; total herd animals for the sacrifice of peace offerings, 24 bulls, 60 rams, 60 male goats, 60 male lambs in their first year. This was the dedication offering to the altar after its anointment.
When Moses went into the meeting tent so that Yahva might speak to him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the cover of the testimonial ark, between the cherubim.
Yahva said to Moses; "Tell Aaron to mount the lamps so that the seven lamps illuminate in front of the lamp stand." Aaron arranged the lamps to give light in front of the lamp stand as Yahva commanded. The lamp stand was a work of hammered gold from the base to the branches. It was hammered according to the pattern which Yahva had shown to Moses.
Yahva said; "Take the Levites from among the Israelites and purify them in this manner: Sprinkle the water of purification on them, let them clean their entire body, and let them wash their clothes. Thus they purify themselves. Then let them take a young bull with its bread offering of fine flour mixed with oil and take another young bull for a sin offering.
Take the Levites to the meeting tent and assemble the whole community of Israelites. Bring the Levites forward before Yahva and let the Israelites touch the Levites. Aaron shall offer the Levites to Yahva as a wave offering from the Israelites so that they may do the service of Yahva. The Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bulls; one shall be offered for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering to Yahva, to make atonement for the Levites. You shall place the Levites in attendance to Aaron and his sons and designate them for a wave offering to Yahva. Thus you separate the Levites from among the Israelites and the Levites will be mine.
After this the Levites will be qualified to perform the service of the meeting tent for they are formally assigned to me from among the Israelites. I have taken them for myself instead the first born of all the Israelites. For all the first born among the Israelites are mine, both man and beast. On the day that I killed all first born of Egypt, I consecrated them to myself. Now I have taken the Levites instead of all the first born Israelites. I have assigned the Levites to Aaron and his sons, to perform the service of the Israelites in the meeting tent and to make atonement for the Israelites, so that no plague will afflict the Israelites who through come near the sanctuary."
The Levites cleaned themselves and washed their clothes. Aaron offered them as a sacred gift to Yahva and made atonement for them to purify them. After that the Levites did their service in the meeting tent before Aaron and his sons as Yahva had commanded.
Yahva said to Moses; "The Levites over 25 years old shall perform the service in meeting tent. After the age of 50 they shall be released from the service. They shall share the duties of their kin in the meeting tent but they will no longer perform the service. Thus you shall manage the duties the Levites."
In the wilderness of Sinai on the first new moon of the second year after they left Egypt, Yahva said to Moses; "The Israelites shall perform the Passover rituals on the fourteenth day of this month, at dusk, according to all the rites and rules." Moses told the Israelites that they should keep the Passover and they kept it as prescribed in the wilderness of Sinai. But there were certain men who, being impure from touching a dead body, could not keep the Passover. They came to Moses and Aaron on that day and asked; "We are impure from touching a dead body. Are we prohibited from bringing the offering of Yahva at the appointed time?" Moses answered them; "Wait until I hear what Yahva orders concerning your impurity." Yahva said to Moses; "Tell the Israelites that if any man is impure from touching a dead body or is on a distant journey, he shall keep the Passover at dusk on the fourteenth day of the second month. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, and leave none until morning nor break a bone of the sacrifice according to the rites of Passover. But if any man is pure and not on a journey and declines to keep Passover, expel that man from his people because he did not bring the Passover offering in its appointed season.
If a stranger, who lives among you, desires to keep Passover according to the ritual and rules, he may do so. Keep the same rules for the stranger and the Israelites."
When the meeting tent was erected, a cloud covered it and the testimony tent. During the night the meeting tent appeared to be afire and by day a cloud always covered it. When the cloud rose above the tent the Israelites traveled, but if the cloud settled down, they camped there, obeying the signs of Yahva. They remained camped as long as the cloud stayed above the tent and did not travel. If the cloud remained above the tent the entire night, they broke camp as soon as the cloud arose in the morning and traveled. As long as the cloud remained low on the tent, they remained camped there.
Yahva said to Moses; "Have two silver trumpets made by hammering to summon the community and to direct the motion of the divisions. Long blasts are for assembly and short blasts are alarms. When both are blown in long blasts the entire community shall assemble at the meeting tent. If only one is blown the tribal chiefs and commanders shall assemble. At an alarm of a single short blast, the east divisions shall move forward. At two short blasts, south side shall move forward. In a similar manner alarms shall be sounded for the other divisions. The assembly call does not include an alarm. The trumpets shall be blown by the priests.
This shall be an enduring institution. When an invader attacks your land, sound an alarm of short blasts so that you may be remembered by Yahva and saved from your enemies. On your joyous days, your festival seasons, and the new moons, blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you to Yahva."
On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud rose above the ark of the covenant. The Israelites set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai. The cloud paused in the wilderness of Paran.
When the journey began, the division of Judah marched in the first place troop by troop under the command of Nahshon, son of Amminadab. The division of Issachar was led by Nethanel, son of Zuar and the division of Zebulun by Eliab, son of Helon.
The meeting tent was taken down. The Gershonites and Merarites, who carried it, set out.
The division of Reuben marched troop by troop under the command of Elizur, son of Shedeur. Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai commanded division of Simeon and Eliasaph, son of Deuel commanded the division of Gad. Then the Kohathites who carried the sacred objects set out. The meeting tent would be set up by the time of their arrival.
The division of Ephraim marched troop by troop under the command of Elishama, son of Ammihud. Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur commanded the division of Manasseh and Abidan, son of Gideoni commanded the division of Benjamin.
The division of Dan (the rear division) marched troop by troop under the command of Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. Pagiel, son of Ochran commanded the division of Asher and Ahira, son of Enan commanded the division of Naphtali. Thus the Israelites set forth on their journey arrayed in their divisions.
Moses said to Hobab, son of Reuel, Moses' Midianite father-in-law; "We are going to the place which Yahva promised us. Come with us and share with us the generosity of Yahva." Hobad said to him; "I will not go with you because I wish to return to my own land and kin." Moses said; "Please do not leave us for you know the wilderness better than scouts. If you go with us whatever bounty Yahva grants us, we will share with you."
They traveled three days from the Mount of Yahva; and the ark of the covenant preceded them to find a camping place. The cloud of Yahva remained over them by day when they left the camp.
When the ark moved forward Moses would say:
Arise, O Yahva!
May your enemies be scattered,
And may those who hate you flee before you.
And when it halted, he would say:
Return, O Yahva!
To the tens of thousands of Israel.
The people started to complain bitterly. Yahva heard it and was incensed. A holy fire burnt among them and ravaged even to the outskirts of the camp. The people cried to Moses who prayed to Yahva. Then the fire abated. That place was named Taberah because the holy fire burnt among them.
The trouble makers among them began craving rich food and even the righteous Israelites lamented and said; "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish that we used to eat for free in Egypt; the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. Now our stomach are shriveled; there is nothing good to eat. We have nothing available except this manna." Now manna was the size of a coriander seed with a pearly appearance. The people gathered it and ground it in mills or crushed it in mortars; and boiled it as porridge or baked wafers which tasted like flour baked with oil. When the dew fell at night, manna appeared.
Moses said to Yahva; "Why have you mistreated your servant? Why have I not received your favor. You burden me with all these people! Have I conceived all these people? Have I given birth to them so that you should say to me; 'Carry them in your bosom,' as a nurse carries an infant, to the land which you promised to their ancestors? Where would I find meat to give to all of them? They irritate me with their lamenting; 'Give us meat to eat.' I cannot to carry their burden all alone; it is too heavy for me. If you would treat me in this manner, kill me instead, I beg you, and let me feel my wretchedness no longer." Yahva said to Moses; "Gather seventy Israelites, whom you know to be responsible elders and officers of the people. Bring them to the meeting tent and let them stand there with you. I will appear and speak with you. I will withdraw some of your responsibility and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people and you need not bear it not alone.
Tell the people; 'Purify yourselves for tomorrow you shall eat meat. You have whined before Yahva; “If only we had meat to eat! We ate well in Egypt.”' Yahva will give you meat and you shall eat, not one day, nor two, nor five, nor ten, nor twenty; but a whole month, until it come out of your nostrils and it becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected Yahva have troubled him with whining; 'Why did we ever leave Egypt?'"
Moses said; "The people who are with me include six hundred thousand men capable of combat. Yet you have said; 'I will give them meat to eat a whole month! If all the flocks and herds are killed, will that be sufficient? If all the fish of the sea be gathered, will that be sufficient?" Yahva said Moses; "Do you doubt my power? Now you shall see whether my promise will prevail!" Moses told the people the words of Yahva and assembled seventy Israelite elders and placed them around the tent. Yahva came down in a cloud and took some of the responsibility from him, and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit of that responsibility first rested on them, they prophesied in ecstasy, but did not continue.
Two men, Eldad and Medad, received the spirit. They had been called but had not gone to the tent. They prophesied in the camp. A young man ran to Moses, saying; "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." Joshua, son of Nun, assistant to Moses from his youth, answered; "Moses, our master, restrain them." Moses said to him; "Are you jealous for my sake? If only all Yahva's people were prophets with the spirit of Yahva on them!" Moses and the elders left the meeting tent and went into the camp.
Yahva sent a wind which blew quail from the sea and scattered them throughout the camp, about a day's journey in any direction from the center of the camp, about two cubits deep. The people collected quail that day and night, and the next day; the person who collected the least had ten omers. When the meat was in the mouth, before it could be chewed, Yahva's was inflamed against the people and he inflicted a great plague on the people. The place was named Kibroth-hattaavah because that is where they buried the people that lusted after rich food.
From Kibroth-hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth; and abode there. While there, Miriam and Aaron complained about Moses for he had married Cushite woman. They said; "Has Yahva spoken only through Moses? Has he not also spoken through us?" Yahva heard it.—Now Moses was very humble, more than any other man alive.—Suddenly Yahva said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam; "You three come to the meeting tent," and they came. Yahva appeared in a pillar of cloud which stood at the door of the tent. He called Aaron and Miriam and they both came before him. He said; "Heed my words! If there is a prophet among you, I appear to him in a vision or I speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is different; he is totally trusted. I speak with him plainly face to face, not in enigmas, and he sees the image of God. Why then are you not terrified to complain against my servant, against Moses?"
The anger of Yahva was kindled against them. He departed. When the cloud disappeared from over the tent, Miriam was covered with scales as white as snow. When Aaron saw her condition he pleaded to Moses; "Oh, my master, do not lay the burden of this sin on us that we committed foolishly. Let her not be as one dead who emerges from her mother with the flesh is half eaten away." Moses cried to Yahva; "Heal her, O God, I beg you." Yahva said to Moses; "If her father had spit in her face, would she not hide in shame for seven days? Let her be excluded from the camp for seven days; after that she may enter again." Miriam was excluded from the camp seven days and the people did not travel till she returned.
Yahva said to Moses; “Send men to scout Canaan which I am giving to the Israelites. Select a leader from each tribe.” By Yahva's command, Moses sent the scouts from the wilderness of Paran; all men who were leaders of in their tribes. These are the names of the men that Moses sent to scout the land:
- For the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur.
- For the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori.
- For the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh.
- For the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph.
- For the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun.
- For the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu.
- For the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi.
- For the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi.
- For the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli.
- For the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael.
- For the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi.
- For the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.
Moses changed the name of Hoshea, son of Nun to Joshua.
Moses sent them to scout the land of Canaan, telling them; “Go into the Negev and the hill country, and see what kind of country it is. The people who dwell there; are they strong or weak, few or many? Is the land good or bad? Do they dwell in camps or fortified cities? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there woods or not? Be courageous and bring us some fruit of the land.”—This was the season when grapes first ripen. So they scouted the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob at the entrance to Hamath. They went into the Negev, even to Hebron, where the Anakites; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai lived.—Hebron was founded seven years before Zoan in Egypt.—They reached the valley of Eshcol and cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes which had to be carried on a pole between two men. They also gathered pomegranates and figs. That place was named the valley of Eshcol because of the cluster which the Israelites cut down.
After 40 days, they returned from scouting the land and came to Moses, Aaron, and the assembly of the Israelites at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran; reporting to them while showing them the fruit of the land. They told Moses; “We came to the land where you sent us. It is very fertile and prosperous. This is typical of the fruit that grows there. However the people that dwell in the land are powerful, the cities are very large and fortified; moreover we saw Anakites there.—The Amalekites dwell in the Negev region while the Hittite, Jebusite, and Amorite inhabit the hill country; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the Jordan.”
Caleb hushed the people, saying; “We should attack immediately and occupy it for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men that scouted with him said; “We are not able to conquer these people since they are stronger than we."
Thus they spread a fallacious story to the Israelites about the land which they had scouted; “The country that we have traversed and scouted is one that devours its inhabitants and all the people that we saw were gigantic. We saw the Nephilim—the Anakites are of the Nephilim—and we felt as small as grasshoppers; so we must have appeared to them.”
The entire community cried out in a loud voice and the people wept all that night. The Israelites protested against Moses and Aaron, saying; “Better that we had died in Egypt than to die in this wilderness! Why does Yahva bring us here to be slaughtered? Our wives and our children will be enslaved. It would be better to be in Egypt?" They said one to another; "Let us elect a captain to return us to Egypt." Then Moses and Aaron prostrated themselves before all the assembly of the Israelites. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb, son of Jephunneh tore their clothes since they were among the ones who scouted the country.
They exhorted the entire Israelite community, saying; “The land, which we traversed, is an exceeding good land. If Yahva is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land—a fertile and prosperous land. Only do not rebel against Yahva. Do not fear the people of the land for they are our prey; their protection has failed them. Have no fear for Yahva is with us!”
As the Israelites started to stone them, the radiance of Yahva appeared above the meeting tent to all the community. Yahva said to Moses; “How long will these people spurn me? How long will they not have faith in me? Despite all the signs which I have performed before them? I will inflict them with pestilence to destroy them and make a nation greater than they for you." But Moses said to Yahva; "When the Egyptians hear—they will hear because you brought these people from among them by your strength—they will tell the inhabitants of other lands that Yahva is weak; even you who appear in plain sight when your cloud rests above them and you who lead them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. If you should kill all of these people, then the nations which have heard of your fame, will say; 'It must be because Yahva was powerless to bring these people to the land which he promised them. So he killed them in the wilderness.' I beg that you restrain yourself, for you have said; 'Yahva is slow to anger and plenteous in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation.' Please pardon the iniquity of these people with the greatness of your loving kindness, as you have forgiven them since leaving Egypt until now."
Yahva said; “I pardon them as you request, nevertheless, as I live—and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Yahva—surely all those who have seen my glory and my signs, which I manifested in Egypt and in wilderness, yet have tried me these ten times and have not heeded to my commands; truly they shall not see the land which I promised to their fathers, neither shall any people that despised me see it. But my servant Caleb, because he was imbued with a different spirit and was loyal to me, I will bring him into the land which he scouted and his descendants shall possess it. Since the Amalgamate and Canaanite now occupy the valleys, tomorrow depart into the wilderness on the Red Sea road."
Yahva said to Moses and Aaron; “How long must I tolerate this obstinate community that keep murmuring against me? I have heard the continual murmurings of the Israelites against me. Tell them: 'As I live, says Yahva, I will do to you just as you have urged me: Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. All of you, as counted in the census, who have ranted against me shall not enter the land I promised to your ancestors, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, son of Nun. But your children whom you said would be enslaved, I will let them enter and they will enjoy the land which you have rejected. But your carcasses will tumble in this wilderness. Your children will roam the wilderness for forty years, suffering because of your lack of faith until the last of your carcasses decay in the wilderness. You shall bear your torment forty years; one year for each day you scouted the country. You shall understand my displeasure every day. I have spoken, truly, this I will do to all this obstinate community that has opposed me. They shall be consumed in this wilderness and die there.”
When Moses reported these words to the Israelites, the people mourned greatly. They arose early in the morning and went to the top of the hill, saying; “We are here and will attack the place which Yahva promised for we have sinned." But Moses said; "Why do you now transgress the commandment of Yahva. Know that it will not prosper! Do not attack for Yahva does not support you. You will be slaughtered by your enemies. The Amalekite and the Canaanite oppose you. You will die by their sword because you have rejected Yahva and he will not support you.” Yet defiant, they marched to the crest of the hill country but Moses with the ark of the covenant remained in the camp. Then the Amalekite and Canaanite, who dwelt in that hill country, attacked and shattered them at Hormah.
Yahva said to Moses; “Tell the Israelites that when you enter the land which I give for you to occupy, and you desire to present an offering by fire from your herd or flock, producing a pleasing aroma to Yahva; whether it is a burnt offering, a sacrifice offering to Yahva in fulfillment of a vow clearly uttered, a freewill offering, or an appointed seasonal offering; the person who brings the offering to Yahva shall prepare a bread offering: For each lamb of the burnt offering or sacrifice, one tenth an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter hin of oil; also a quarter hin of wine as a libation for each lamb.
For a ram, you shall prepare for a bread offering; two tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil and for the libation you shall present a third of a hin of wine—as a pleasing aroma to Yahva.
When you prepare a bull for a burnt offering, a sacrifice in fulfillment of a vow clearly uttered, or for peace offerings to Yahva; there shall be a bread offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil, and you shall present for the libation you shall offer half a hin of wine—as a pleasing aroma to Yahva.
This shall be done for each bull, ram, lamb, or kid; as many as you prepare. Every person presenting an offering made by fire—of a pleasing aroma to Yahva—shall do these things in this manner. For eternity, if a foreigner or anyone who resides among you wishes to present an offering made by fire, he shall do the same as you. Throughout the community there shall be one law that endures forever, both for you and the foreigner who resides with you. This one law and ordinance shall apply to everyone. Yahva said to Moses; “Tell the Israelites that when you enter the land where I bring you; when you first eat bread of the land, set aside a portion as a gift to Yahva. From your first batch of dough, set aside a loaf as a gift equal to that set aside from the threshing floor. Throughout the ages you shall give a portion of your first batch of dough to Yahva.
When you unwittingly fail to observe any commandment of Yahva from those he first commanded to you through Moses or those he may give during the future; then if the community itself transgresses inadvertently, the entire community shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering—for a pleasant aroma to Yahva—with the appropriate bread offering and the libation, according to the rite and one male goat for a sin offering. The priest shall make atonement for all the Israelites and they are forgiven: It was not intentional, they have brought a fire offering and a sin offering before Yahva for the error. All the Israelites shall be forgiven, also the foreigner that resides among them since transgression affects the entire community. But if one person transgresses unintentionally, he shall offer a yearling female goat for a sin offering and the priest shall make atonement for that person before Yahva. He will be forgiven whether he is an Israelite or a foreigner that resides among them. There is one law for anyone that unintentionally transgresses.
But the person who behaves arrogantly, whether he is kin or foreigner, and reviles Yahva; that person shall be cut off from his people because he has ridiculed the word of Yahva and broken the commandment. That person shall be cut off; his iniquity affects only him. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath and brought him to Moses and Aaron at the assembly. They confined him since Yahva had not yet declared the punishment. Yahva said to Moses; “The man shall killed; the entire community shall stone him outside the camp." The Israelites took him outside the camp and stoned him until he died as Yahva commanded.
Yahva said to Moses; “Tell Israelites to make fringes on the corners of their garments and tie them with a blue cord. This shall be done for all future times. When you look at this fringe, you will remember all the commandments of Yahva and obey them so that you do not act on your own impulses which could lead you use to lustful transgressions. May you remember and obey all my commandments and be consecrated to your God. I am Yahva who brought you out of Egypt!”
Korah son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi; with Dathan, and Abiram sons of Eliab and On son of Peleth, descendants of Reuben, opposed Moses with 250 Israelites. They were chiefs of the community; the elect men of the assembly, men of renown. They assembled themselves to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them; “You take too many privileges for yourselves. All members the community are consecrated—every one of them!—and Yahva is among them; why then do you raise yourselves above the assembly of Yahva?” When Moses heard it, he fell prostrated himself saying to Korah and all his company; "In the morning Yahva will show who belong to him and who is consecrated. He will let the consecrated approach him. Do this! Korah and your band; tomorrow put fire in your fire pans with incense on them before Yahva. The man that Yahva chooses is holy. You exceed your reach, you descendants of Levi!"
Moses said to Korah; “Listen carefully, you descendants of Levi! Is it so trivial to you that the God of Israel has selected you from among of Israelites to conduct the service of the meeting tent standing near Yahva and to stand before the community to minister to them. He has gathered you to himself, you and all the descendants of Levi. Will you also seek the priesthood?—You with your band that are assembled against Yahva. Aaron, what is he that you murmur against him?”
Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram but they said; “We will not come; is it so small a thing that you brought us from a fertile land to kill us in the wilderness but you also make yourself our ruler? Also you have not brought us to a fertile land nor given us fields and vineyards; will you blind these men? We will not come.” Moses was very angry and said to Yahva; "Do not regard their oblation; I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I harmed one of them."
Moses said to Korah; “Tomorrow you, with all your band, appear before Yahva along with Aaron; Tomorrow! Let each man put incense in his fire pan and appear before Yahva; two hundred and fifty fire pans; plus Aaron with his fire pan.” Every man put fire in his fire pan with incense on it and assembled at the door of the meeting tent with Moses and Aaron. When Korah assembled the band against Moses at the meeting tent, the radiance of Yahva appeared to the community. Yahva said to Moses and Aaron; "Withdraw yourselves from among this community so that I may consume them in an instant." But Moses and Aaron prostrated themselves, saying; "O God, source of the essence of all life, if one man sins, will you be angry with all the community?"
Yahva said to Moses; “Tell the community to remove themselves from the area around the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” Moses, followed the elders of Israel, arose and went to Dathan and Abiram. He said to the community; “Please depart from the tents of these wicked men and do not touch anything of theirs, else you shall be swept away because of their sins." So they departed the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents with their wives and children. Moses said; “By this you shall know that Yahva sent me to do these things and that I have not devised them in my own mind. If these men die a natural death as must all men, then Yahva has not sent me. But if Yahva does something entirely new such as the ground opens to swallow them with all their belongings, and they fall alive into the pit; then you shall understand that these men have defiled Yahva." As soon he finished speaking, that the ground split open and swallowed them with their family and all their property. They and all who associated with them went down alive into the pit and the earth closed over them, Thus they perished from among the community. All Israelites near them fled at their screams, saying; “The earth could swallow us." Fire came from Yahva and consumed the 250 men who offered that incense.
Yahva said to Moses; “Tell Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, to collect the fire pans from the embers and scatter the ashes far away; for they became holy. These evil men consecrated the fire pans at the cost of their lives. Have them hammered into plates as a covering for the altar: they have been consecrated by being offered to Yahva. May this be a sign to the Israelites.”
Eleazar the priest took the brass fire pans and had them beaten for covering plates of the altar to be a memorial to the Israelites. This demonstrates that no man who is not a descendant of Aaron may burn incense to Yahva; else he would fare as Korah and his company, as Yahva told them through Moses.
On the next morning, all the community of the Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron; “You have killed the people of Yahva.” When the community was assembled against Moses and Aaron and looked toward the meeting tent, the cloud covered it and the radiance of Yahva appeared. Moses and Aaron came to the front of the meeting tent.
Yahva said to Moses; “Leave this community so that I may consume them in an instant.” But Moses and Aaron prostrated themselves. Moses said to Aaron; “Take your fire pan and put fire in it from the altar then add incense to it and quickly carry it to the community. Make atonement for them since Yahva is irate and the plague has begun." Aaron did as Moses said and ran through the assembly; and the plague had begun among the people. He burnt the incense and made atonement for the people. He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was abated. In addition to those who died from following Korah, 14,700 died from the plague. Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the meeting tent and the plague ceased.
Yahva said to Moses; “Speak to the Israelites and make a staff for the chief of each tribe; twelve staffs with the name of each chief written on his staff. Write Aaron's name upon the staff of Levi, that tribe also has a staff. Store then in the meeting tent before the ark of the covenant where I meet with you. For the man I choose; his staff shall bud. Thus I will free myself from the murmuring of the Israelites against you.”
Moses talked to the Israelites and their chiefs gave him rods, one for each tribal chief; twelve rods plus the rod of Aaron. Moses stored the rods in the tent of Yahva. The next morning, when Moses went into the meeting tent, the rod of Aaron was budded, blossomed, and bore ripe almonds. Moses brought out all the rods from the tent to show all the Israelites; they looked and each chief took his rod.
Yahva said to Moses; “Put the rod of Aaron before the ark to be kept there as a token of the rebellious children. May that be an end of their murmurings against me so that I do not kill them.” Moses did as Yahva commanded him.
But the Israelites said to Moses; “We perish, we are lost, we are all forsaken. If anyone approaches the meeting tent of Yahva he dies. Shall we perish to the last individual?”
Yahva said to Aaron; “You and your descendants along with the Levites bear the responsibility of the sanctuary but you and your descendants alone bear the responsibility of the priesthood.
Gather your kin, the Levites, your ancestral tribe, so that they may be associated with you and minister to you before the tent of the ark. They shall take care of your personal needs and bear general responsibility for the tent; but they shall not approach the consecrated objects or the altar else they will die along with you. They shall be attached to you and be responsible for whatever work that is needed for meeting tent; but a layman must not approach you. You shall be responsible for the consecrated objects and for the altar so that Yahva's wrath will fall on the Israelites no longer.
I—Yes I!—have taken your kin, the Levites from among the Israelites and have assigned to them in dedication to Yahva to perform the duties of the meeting tent. Levites! You and your sons shall perform your priestly duties in everything that concerns the altar and to everything within the veil. I make the priesthood your service of dedication. The layman who approaches shall die.”
Yahva said to Aaron; “I have placed you in charge of my gifts including all the consecrated objects the Israelites have donated. I grant them to you and your sons as an eternal privilege. Of the dedications withdrawn from the fire will be yours. Every offering of theirs including every bread, sin, and guilt offering which they render to me shall belong to you and your sons. You may partake of them as sacred gifts; only males may eat them, treat them as consecrated.
The heave and wave offerings of the Israelites shall be yours; I have given them to you, your sons and daughters as an eternal privilege. Everyone in your house who is pure may eat them.
I give to you the best of the oil, wine, and grain, the first part which they give to Yahva. The first harvest of all that is in their land, which they bring to Yahva, shall be yours. Every one that is pure in your house may eat them. Everything devoted in Israel shall be yours. Every first born of the kind offered to Yahva, both of man and beast, shall be yours; but you shall let the first born of man and the first born of unclean beasts be redeemed. Take as their redemption price—from a month old redeem them—shall be five shekels of silver, by the shekel of the sanctuary which is twenty gerahs. But the first born of cattle, sheep, or goat shall not be redeemed; they are consecrated: you shall splash their blood against the altar and shall broil their fat as an offering made by fire—a pleasant aroma to Yahva.
The meat of the wave offering, the belly and right thigh, shall be yours. All the heave offerings of the consecrated objects which the Israelites offer to Yahva are given you and your children as an eternal privilege; it is an everlasting covenant from Yahva to you and your descendants.”
Yahva said to Aaron; “You have no share of their land, neither will you share any wealth among them: I am your wealth and your residence among the Israelites. To the Levites; I have given all the tithe in Israel for a share in return for their service including that of the meeting tent. From this day the Israelites will not approach the meeting tent, else they transgress and die. The Levites alone may perform the service of the meeting tent and they have the responsibility for it. This shall be an eternal law that they have no property among the Israelites. The tithe of the Israelites, which they set apart as a gift to Yahva, I have given to the Levites as their income. Thus I tell them that among the Israelites they inherit no land.”
Yahva said to Moses; “Tell the Levites that when you take the tithe from the Israelites, which I have given you, then set aside part of it as a gift for Yahva; one tenth of the tithe. The gift which you set aside shall be considered as though it were the grain of the threshing floor or the fullness of the wine press. Set aside a gift to Yahva from all your tithes which you receive from the Israelites. Give that to Aaron the priest. You shall set apart that which is the best for Yahva including the consecrated part. When you set the best, the rest of it shall be credited to the Levites as if they had produced it on the threshing floor or the wine press. You and your family may eat it anywhere for it is your compensation in return for your service in the meeting tent. You do not trespass by eating it since you have set aside the best. Do not profane the consecrated objects of the Israelites else you will die.”
Yahva said to Moses and Aaron; “This is the rite which Yahva's law prescribes: Tell the Israelites to bring you a faultless red heifer which has no blemish and has never been yoked. Give her to Eleazar the priest and have her taken outside the camp where she shall be slain while he watches. Eleazar shall take some of her blood with his fingers and sprinkle it toward the front of the meeting tent seven times. Then the entire heifer shall be burned in his sight; everything including skin, flesh, blood, and dung shall be burned. The priest shall take cedar and hyssop, tied with scarlet yarn, and toss it on the burning heifer. Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water. He may return to the camp that evening but he will be unclean until then. Each person who assists in burning shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water. He shall be unclean until the evening. A man who is pure shall gather the ashes of the heifer and store them outside the camp in a purified place. They shall be kept for the Israelites for a lustration to be used for purification from sin. He who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. This shall be an eternal law for the Israelites and the foreigner that resides among them.
Any person who touches any dead body shall be impure for seven days. He shall purify himself on the third day and seventh day, then he shall be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and seventh day, he shall not be pure. Whoever touches the dead body of any man and fails to purify himself, defiles the meeting tent of Yahva. That person shall be cut off from Israel. Since the lustral water was not dashed against him, he remains unclean; his impurity is an affliction to him.
This is the law: When a man dies in a tent, everyone who comes into the tent and everything in the tent will be impure for seven days. And every vessel which has no covering sealed on it is impure. Anyone in the open field who touches one that is killed or one that dies a natural death; or a bone of a man, or a grave shall be impure seven days. For the impure, they shall mix the ashes of purification from sin with running water and put it into a vessel. A pure person shall take hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, all the vessels and people that were there, and anyone who touched the bone, the corpse, or the grave. The pure person shall sprinkle it on the impure on the third and seventh days. On the seventh day he shall purify himself then wash his clothes and bathe himself in water to be pure in the evening. But the impure man who does not purify himself shall be cut off from the assembly because he defiles the sanctuary of Yahva. The lustral water has not been sprinkled over him: Thus he is impure. This shall be an eternal law for the Israelites and the foreigner that resides among them. Whatever an impure person touches shall be impure and any person who touches him shall be impure until evening.”
The whole Israelite community came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month and abode in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.
There was no water for the community and they opposed Moses and Aaron, saying; “It would have been better to perish with our kin before Yahva! Why have you brought the Israelites into this desert to die here along with our livestock? Why have you brought us from Egypt to this evil place? It is not a place of grain, figs, vines, or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.” Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the door of the meeting tent and prostrated themselves. The radiance of Yahva appeared to them.
Yahva said to Moses; “Take your staff and assemble the community. You, with your brother Aaron, speak to this rock; water will flow and from it. Thus you shall give the community and their livestock water to drink.”
Moses took the staff as commanded. Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock and said to them; “Hear now—you rebels—are we to bring water out of this rock for you?" Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod, then water flowed abundantly. The community and their livestock drank. Yahva said to Moses and Aaron; “Because you did not demonstrate my divinity to the Israelites, you shall not lead this nation into the land which I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites opposed Yahva but he revealed his divinity to them.
Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom; “Israel, your kin says: 'You know all the travail that has happened to us; how our ancestors went to Egypt and dwelt there for a long time; and how the Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors. When we prayed to Yahva, he heard our voice and sent an angel who brought us from Egypt. Now we are in Kadesh, a city on your remotest border. Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, neither will we drink from the water of the wells. We will go along the king's highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed your border.'”
Edom replied to him; “You may not pass through my land for I would oppose you with the sword.” Then the Israelites said to him; “We will go up by the highway; and if we drink of your water—my people and livestock—then we will pay your price. Only let us pass through. We will do no harm" But he said; "You shall not pass through," then Edom opposed the Israelites with a large and strong army. Thus Edom refused to give passage to Israel through his border and the Israelites detoured around Edom.
Leaving Kadesh the Israelites traveled to Mount Hor. Yahva said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, bordering the land of Edom; “Aaron will be taken to his ancestors. He shall not enter the land which I have given to the Israelites because you both rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. Take Aaron and Eleazar, his son, up Mount Hor. Then strip Aaron of his vestments and give them to Eleazar for Aaron shall be gathered to his ancestors in death." Moses did as Yahva commanded. They went up Mount Hor in view of all the community. Moses stripped Aaron of his vestments and put them on Eleazar. Aaron died there at the top of the Mountain. Moses and Eleazar descended. When the community saw that Aaron was dead, all the Israelites wept for him for thirty days.
The Canaanite king of Arad, who dwelt in the Negev, heard that the Israelites came by the way of Atharim. He assaulted Israel, and took some of them captive. The Israelites made this vow to Yahva; “If you will deliver these people into our hand we will completely destroy their cities." Yahva heard their vow and delivered the Canaanites. They completely destroyed the Canaanites and their cities. The place was named Hormah.
They journeyed from Mount Hor by the road to the Red Sea to detour around the land of Edom. With their patience worn by the long journey, the people murmured against Yahva and Moses; “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water and we are disgusted by this wretched food." Yahva sent venomous serpents among the people. They bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses, saying; "We have transgressed because we have spoken against Yahva and you. Pray to Yahva to take away the serpents." Moses prayed for the people. Yahva said to Moses; "Make a venomous serpent and set it on a pole; and when a person that was bitten sees it, he will live." Moses made a serpent of brass and set it on the pole; and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the brass serpent, he lived.
The Israelites journeyed and camped in Oboth; then from Oboth to Ije-abarim in the desert east of Moab. From there they moved to the valley of Zered; then to the east side of the Arnon where it borders the Amorites.—Arnon is the border between Moab and the Amorites; as described in the book of the Wars of the Gods.
Vaheb in Suphah and the valleys,
Arnon its tributary streams
That stretch to the settled country of Ar,
That slopes to the border of Moab.
Then to Beer, the well where Yahva said to Moses; “Gather the people together and I will give them water.” Then the Israelites sang this song:
Spring up, O well, sing you to it.
The well which the chiefs dug,
Which the nobles of the people delved,
With their scepters and staffs.
Then they moved from the desert to Mattanah, to Nahaliel, and then to Bamoth. Then they moved from Bamoth to the valley below the peak of Pisgah in the land of Moab which overlooks the desert.
The Israelites sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites; "Let us pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard. We will not drink water from the wells. We will go by the king's highway until we have passed your border." But Sihon would not permit Israel to pass through his border. Sihon assembled his army to oppose the Israelites and attacked them at Jahaz. The Israelites slaughtered him and possessed his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the fortified frontier of Ammon. Israel took all the cities of the Amorites; in Heshbon and its dependencies, and settled in them.—Now Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land as far as the Arnon.
Thus the poets would sing:
Come to Heshbon!
Sihon's city is well established!
For a fire is gone out of Heshbon,
A flame from the city of Sihon;
It has devoured Ar of Moab,
The lords of high places of Arnon.
Woe to you, Moab!
You are undone, O people of Chemosh;
He has given his sons as fugitives,
And his daughters into captivity,
To Sihon, king of the Amorites.
Their generations have been destroyed
From Heshbon to Dibon,
We have laid waste as far as Nophah,
And consumed Medeba.
Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites while Moses sent spies to Jazer. They took the towns and expelled the Amorites. Then they went toward Bashan where Og king of Bashan attacked them at Edrei with all his army. Yahva said to Moses; "Do not fear him for I have delivered him to you with his people and land. You shall destroy him as you did Sihon king of the Amorites who dwelt at Heshbon." So they slaughtered him, his sons, and people until none remained. Then they occupied his land.
The Israelites moved to the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan near Jericho. Balak the son of Zippor saw what Israel had done to the Amorites. Moab was overcome with dread because of the numerous Israelite warriors.
Moab said to the elders of Midian; "Now this multitude conquers all nations near us as the ox grazes the grass of the field."—Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.—He sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, at Pethor on the Euphrates in the land of the Amawites; "People who come from Egypt cover the face of the earth and are settling near me. Please come and curse these people for they are too strong for me. I know that he whom you bless is blessed and he whom you curse is cursed. With your aid, I shall prevail and slaughter them and drive them out of the land."
The elders of Moab and Midian carried rewards for divination to Balaam and gave him the message of Balak. He said to them; "Lodge here tonight and I will take your word so that my god may speak to me." The chiefs of Moab stayed with Balaam.
His god appeared to Balaam, saying; "Who are these people with you?" Balaam replied; "Balak, son of Zippor king of Moab, has sent me a message: The people who have come out of Egypt cover the face of the earth. Curse them, then, by chance, I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out." His god said to Balaam; "Do not go with them; do not curse the people; for they are blessed." Balaam arose the next morning and said to the chiefs of Balak; "Return to your land; my god refuses to let me go with you." The chiefs of Moab returned to Balak, saying; "Balaam refuses to come with us."
Again Balak sent higher and more honorable nobles. They came to Balaam, saying; "Balak the son of Zippor said; 'Please let nothing prevent you from coming to me; I will promote you to the highest honor and whatever you ask me, I will do. Please come and curse these people for me.'" Balaam replied to the servants of Balak; "Even if Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of my god to do anything, small or great. Now I ask you stay here tonight so that I may learn what more my god may tell me."
His god came to Balaam that night, saying; "If the men have come to call you, arise up and go with them but you shall speak only what I tell you." Balaam arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the chiefs of Moab.
Yahva's anger was kindled because he went. The angel of Yahva placed himself to block him. Balaam was riding his donkey with two servants. The donkey saw the angel blocking the road with his sword drawn and turned aside into a field. Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the road. Then the angel stood in a narrow path between the vineyard with fences on both sides. The donkey saw the angel and thrust herself against the fence crushing Balaam's leg; then he struck her again. Then the angel stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either right or left. When the donkey saw the angel she lay down under Balaam; Balaam was irate and struck the donkey with his staff.
Then Yahva gave speech to the donkey and she asked Balaam; "What have I done to make you strike me these three times?" Balaam replies to the donkey; "Because you have mocked me. If I had a sword in my hand, I would have killed you." The donkey replied; "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Was I ever inclined mock you?" He answered; "No."
Then Yahva opened Balaam's eyes and he saw the angel in the road with his sword drawn. He bowed his head and prostrated himself. The angel said to him; "Why have you beat yours donkey these three times? I am to prevent you from acting contrary to my commands. The donkey saw me and turned aside these three times otherwise I would have killed you and let her live." Balaam said to the angel; "I have erred for I did not know that you opposed me. If my task displeases you, I will return to my home." But the angel said to Balaam; "Go with these men but say only what I tell you to say." So Balaam went with the nobles of Balak. When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went to meet him at Ir-moab on the remote border of Arnon. Balak asked Balaam; "Did I not earnestly request you to come? Why did you not come? Am I unable indeed to promote you to honor?" And Balaam replied; "Now, I have come to you; do I have power to speak anything I wish? My god puts the words in my mouth that I must say." Balaam went with Balak and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep for a feast to Balaam the nobles that were with him.
The next morning Balak took Balaam into Bamoth-baal and from there he saw the greatest part of the Israelites. Balaam said; "Build seven altars for me here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams." Balak did as Balaam said, then Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. Balaam said to Balak; "Stand by your burnt offering and I will go; perhaps my god will meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you." Then he went to a high peak and Yahva came to Balaam who said to him; "I have prepared the seven altars offering a bull and a ram on each altar." Yahva said to Balaam; "Return to Balak and say as I tell you." He returned to Balak who was by his burnt offering with all the nobles of Moab.
Then he started his oracle;
From Aram, Balak, king of Moab, brings me
From the Mountains of the East, saying;
"Come, curse Jacob for me, and condemn Israel."
How shall I curse one who god has not cursed?
How shall I condemn one who god has not condemned?
For from the top of the rocks I see him,
And from the hills I observe him,
These people shall dwell alone,
And not be reckoned among the nations.
Who has counted the dust of Jacob
Or numbered the descendants of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,
And let mine end be like his!
Balak said to Balaam; "What have you done to me? I hired you to curse my enemies and you have blessed them lavishly." Balaam answered; "Must I not speak that which god gives me?" Balak said to him; "Please come with me to another place, from where you may see them. You shall see only a remote part of them and not all of them; and from there curse them for me." He took Balaam to Sedeh-Zophim on the summit of Pisgah where built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. He said to Balak; "Stand here by your burnt offering while I go to a meeting there." Yahva met Balaam, saying; "Return to Balak and tell him as I tell you." He returned to Balak who stood by his burnt offering with the nobles of Moab. Balak asked to him; "What has god said?"
And he started his oracle, saying;
Arise, Balak and hear me, you son of Zippor;
God is not a man that he should lie;
Nor the son of man that he should repent:
When he has said, will he not do it?
When he has promised, will he not make it good?
Behold, I am bidden to bless;
When he has blessed, I cannot call it back.
None has beheld iniquity in Jacob,
Nor has one seen perverseness in Israel;
Yahva their God is with them,
Shouting, for the King is among them.
Yahva who brought them out of Egypt
Is for them like the lofty horns of the wild ox.
For there is no enchantment with Jacob,
Nor is there any divination with Israel;
Now is it said of Jacob and of Israel:
"What has God wrought!"
Behold a people that rise up like a lioness,
And as a lion does he lift himself up;
He shall not lie down until he eats the prey,
And drink the blood of the slain.
Balak said to Balaam; "If you cannot curse them, do not bless them." But Balaam answered Balak; "Did I not tell you; I must do all that god says?" Balak said to Balaam; "Come and I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please god for you to curse them from there."
Balak took Balaam to the summit of Peor where it looks down on the desert. Balaam said to Balak; "Build me seven altars, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams." Balak did as Balaam asked and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.
When Balaam saw that it pleased God to bless Israel he did not go as previously to meet with enchantments but turned his face toward the wilderness. Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel dwelling tribe by tribe Then the spirit of Yahva came on him. And he started his oracle, saying;
The words of Balaam, son of Beor,
Are the words of a man whose eye has been opened;
The saying of him who hears the words of God,
Who sees the vision of the almighty,
Fallen down yet with eyes opened.
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob,
And your dwellings, O Israel!
As valleys stretched out,
As a garden by the river side,
As aloes planted by Yahva,
As cedars beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his branches,
His seed shall be in many waters,
His king shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.
The god who brought him out of Egypt
Is for him like the lofty horns of the wild ox;
He shall eat up the nations that are his adversaries,
Break their bones in pieces,
And pierce them through with his arrows.
He reclined, he lay down as a lion,
And as a lioness; who shall rouse him?
Blessed be every one that blesses you,
Cursed be every one that curses you.
Balak's anger flamed against Balaam and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam; "I called you to curse my enemies but you have lavishly blessed them three times. Flee to your place. I had thought to bestow great honor and wealth on you but your god has kept you back from that honor." Balaam replied; "Did I not reply to your messengers that you sent me: 'If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of god to do either good or bad on my own; what god speaks, that I will say.'
Now I go to my people; come and I will announce to you what these people shall do to your people in the end of days." And he took up his oracle, saying:
“The saying of Balaam, son of Beor
Is the saying of the man whose eye is open;
The saying of him who hears the words of god,
And knows the knowledge of the most high,
Who sees the vision of the almighty,
Fallen down yet with opened eyes:
I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not nigh;
There shall step forth a star out of Jacob,
A scepter shall rise out of Israel,
Shall strike through the corners of Moab,
And break all the sons of Seth.
Edom shall be a possession, Seir also,
All his enemies shall be a possession;
While Israel does valiantly.
Out of Jacob shall one have dominion
And shall destroy the remnant from the city.”
He looked on Amalek and continued his oracle, saying;
“Amalek was the greatest of the nations
But his end shall come to destruction.”
He looked on the Kenite and continued his oracle, saying;
“Though firm is your dwelling,
And your nest is set in the rock;
Nevertheless, Kain shall be wasted;
How long? Asshur shall carry you away captive.”
And he ended his oracle, saying;
“Alas, who shall live after god has appointed him?
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim,
They shall afflict Asshur, and Eber,
And he too shall come to destruction.”
Balaam arose and returned to his place. Balak also went his way. Israel resided in Shittim and the men were seduced by the daughters of Moab. They called the Israelites to the sacrifices of their gods; The Israelites ate and bowed to their gods. Israel joined the Baal of Peor. Yahva was inflamed against Israel. Yahva said to Moses; "Take all the leaders of the people and hang them facing of the sun so that the fierce anger of Yahva may turn away from Israel." Moses said to the judges of Israel; "Kill every man who have joined themselves to the Baal of Peor." One of the Israelites brought a Midianite woman to his kin in view of Moses and the community of the Israelites while they were weeping at the door of the meeting tent. When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it he arose from the community and took a spear. He followed the man into the chamber and thrust it through both of them; through the belly of the man and the woman. So the plague was avoided; only 24,000 died by the plague.
Yahva said to Moses; "Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger from the Israelites because he was very jealous of my honor among them. I did not consume the Israelites in my anger. I give to him my covenant of peace; the covenant of an everlasting priesthood shall be for him and his descendants, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the Israelites."
The name of the Israelite killed with the Midianitish woman was Zimri, son of Salu, a clan leader of the Simeonites. The name of the Midianitish woman was Cozbi daughter of Zur. He was head of a clan in Midian.
Yahva said to Moses; "Attack the Midianites and slaughter them for they attack you with their wiles and beguiled you to worship Peor, as did Cozbi, daughter of a Midian leader who was killed during the plague."
And after the plague Yahva said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron; "Take census of all the Israelites from 20 years and older who are able to go to war for Israel." Moses and Eleazar, the priest, said to them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho; "Take a census of the people from 20 years and older as Yahva commanded of the Israelites that left Egypt."
The Israelites by their clans;
- Reuben, first born of Israel
- Hanoch, clan of the Hanochites
- Pallu, clan of the Palluites
- Dathan, and Abiram died with Korah, when they defied Yahva
- Hezron, clan of the Hezronites
- Carmi, clan of the Carmites
- Nemuel, clan of the Nemuelites
- Jamin, clan of the Jaminites
- Jachin, clan of the Jachinites
- Zerah, clan of the Zerahites
- Shaul, clan of the Shaulites
- Zephon, clan of the Zephonites
- Haggi, clan of the Haggites
- Shuni, clan of the Shunite
- Ozni, clan of the Oznites
- Eri, clan of the Erites
- Arod, clan of the Arodites
- Areli, clan of the Arelites
- Er and Onan died in Canaan
- Shelah, clan of the Shelanites
- Perez, clan of the Perezites
- Hezron, clan of the Hezronites
- Hamul, clan of the Hamulites
- Zerah, clan of the Zerahites
- Tola, clan of the Tolaites
- Puvah, clan of the Punites
- Jashub, clan of the Jashubites
- Shimron, clan of the Shimronites
- Sered, clan of the Seredites
- Elon, clan of the Elonites
- Jahleel, clan of the Jahleelites
- Machir, clan of the Machirites
- Gilead, clan of the Gileadites
- Iezer, clan of the Iezerites
- Helek, clan of the Helekites
- Asriel, clan of the Asrielites
- Shechem, clan of the Shechemites
- Shemida, clan of the Shemidaites
- Hepher, clan of the Hepherites.
- Zelophehad had no sons but daughters Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah
- Shuthelah, clan of the Shuthelahites
- Eran, clan of the Eranites
- Becher, clan of the Becherites
- Tahan, clan of the Tahanites
- Bela, clan of the Belaites
- Ard, clan of the Ardites
- Naaman, clan of the Naamites
- Ashbel, clan of the Ashbelites
- Ahiram, clan of the Ahiramites
- Shephupham, clan of the Shuphamites
- Hupham, clan of the Huphamites
- Shuham, clan of the Shuhamites
- Imnah, clan of the Imnites
- Ishvi, clan of the Ishvites
- Beriah, clan of the Beriites
- Heber, clan of the Heberites
- Malchiel, clan of the Malchielites.
- Serah, daughter of Asher
- Jahzeel, clan of the Jahzeelites
- Guni, clan of the Gunites
- Jezer, clan of the Jezerites
- Shillem, clan of the Shillemites
Dathan and Abiram opposed Moses and Aaron with Korah when they defied Yahva and the earth opened and swallowed them along with Korah.
Yahva said to Moses; "Divide the land among the clans according to their size. Give more inheritance to the larger clans and less to the smaller clans. The land shall be divided by lot and they shall inherit according to the size of the tribes."The Levites by their clans:
Kohath fathered Amram. Amram's wife was Jochebed, daughter of Levi, who was born in Egypt. She bore to Amram; Aaron, Moses, and Miriam their sister.
To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died when they offered profane fire before Yahva.
The census of the Levites counted 23,000 males over a month old; they were not included among the Israelites, because no land was given to them.
These were counted when Moses and Eleazar, the priest, made a census of the Israelites in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. But not one among them had been counted by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai. For Yahva had said of them: "They shall surely die in the wilderness." None of them was left, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, son of Nun.
Then the daughters of Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph, approached. These are daughters of Zelophehad: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They stood before Moses and Eleazar, the priest; and before the chiefs and all the community at the door of the meeting tent; "Our father died in the wilderness but he was not among the band that plotted against Yahva with Korah. He died in his own iniquity and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be lost from among his clan because he had no son? Give to us a share among the kin of our father."
Moses brought their cause before Yahva who said to Moses; "The daughters of Zelophehad are right. Give them a share of the inheritance among their father's kin; they shall receive the inheritance of their father. You shall tell the Israelites; 'If a man dies without son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his uncles. If his father has no brothers, give his inheritance to his closest kin in his clan.' This shall be a statute of judgment to the Israelites."
Yahva said to Moses; "Go up this Mountain of Abarim and survey the land which I have given to the Israelites. When you have seen it, you also will be taken to your ancestors as your brother Aaron was taken because you both defied my command in the wilderness of Zin during the strife of the community and failed to manifest my sanctify before them at the waters of Meribath-kadesh." Moses said to Yahva; "May Yahva, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the community, who may be their leader in all things and guide them in their actions so that the community of Yahva may not be like sheep without a shepherd."
Yahva said; "Take Joshua son of Nun—he is a courageous man—and place your hands on him in blessing. Have him stand in the presence of Eleazar and the community and give him a commission before their eyes. Invest him with your dignity so that all the Israelites will obey him.
He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who will inquire the judgment of the Urim for him before Yahva; as he directs Joshua, all the Israelites and the entire community shall perform all their activities." Moses did as Yahva commanded. Having Joshua stand in the presence Eleazar the priest and the entire community, he laid his hands on him and gave him a commission, as Yahva had directed.
Yahva spoke to Moses; “Command the Israelites; The food presented to me as offerings made by fire—a pleasant aroma to me—you shall offer in its due season.” This is the offering made by fire which you shall bring to Yahva: yearling lambs without blemish, two each day, for a continual burnt offering; one lamb in the morning, and the other at sunset with a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a bread offering mixed with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, as was offered in Mount Sinai—a pleasant aroma—made by fire to Yahva. The libation shall be a fourth of a hin for each lamb; in the consecrated place pour out a libation of strong drink to Yahva. Present the other lamb at sunset, the bread offering and the libation shall be like the morning offering—an offering made by fire for a pleasant aroma to Yahva.
On the sabbath day, offer two yearling lambs without blemish with two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a bread offering and the appropriate libation.
At the new moons, present a burnt offering to Yahva; two young bulls, one ram, and seven yearling lambs without blemish, with three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a bread offering for each bull; two tenths of fine flour mixed with oil for a bread offering for the ram, and a tenth of fine flour mixed with oil as bread offering for each lamb—as a burnt offering of a pleasant aroma to Yahva. The libation shall be half a hin of wine for each bull, a third of a hin for the ram, and the fourth of a hin for each lamb. This is the burnt offering at every new moon throughout the year. A goat for a sin offering to Yahva shall be offered in addition the continual burnt offering, and the libation.
In the first month, the fourteenth day is passover. On the fifteenth day of this month there shall be a feast; for seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. No common work shall be done but you shall present a burnt offering to Yahva: two young bulls, one ram, and seven yearling lambs without blemish with their bread offering, fine flour mixed with oil; three tenths measure for each bull, two tenths for the ram, and one tenth for each lamb. Offer one male goat for a sin offering as atonement in addition to the burnt offering of the morning which is for a continual burnt offering. In this manner, you shall offer daily for seven days the food of the offering made by fire—of a pleasant aroma to Yahva.
On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. No common work shall be done. Also, on the day of the first harvest, you shall bring a new bread offering to Yahva in your feast of weeks. You shall have a holy convocation. No common work shall be done but you shall present a burnt offering of a pleasant aroma to Yahva: two young bulls, one ram, and seven yearling lambs with the bread offering; fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for each bull, two tenths for the ram, and a tenth for each lamb; plus a male goat without blemish, as atonement; in addition to the continual burnt offering, the bread offering, and their libations.
On the first day of the seventh month, you shall have a holy convocation. No common work shall be done: It is a day for blowing the horn. You shall prepare a burnt offering as a pleasant aroma to Yahva: one young bull, one ram, and seven yearling lambs without blemish with their bread offering; fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths measure for the bull, two tenths for the ram, and one tenth for each lamb; plus one male goat for a sin offering as atonement, in addition to the burnt offering of the new moon with its bread offering and the continual burnt offering with its bread offering and their libations, according to the law—a pleasant aroma made by fire to Yahva.
On the tenth day of the seventh month, you shall have a holy convocation and lament your spirit. No common work shall be done but you shall present a burnt offering to Yahva of a pleasant aroma: one young bull, one ram, and seven yearling lambs without blemish with their bread offering; fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths measure for the bull, two tenths for the ram, and a tenth parts for each lamb plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the sin offering of atonement and the continual burnt offering with their appropriate bread offerings and libations.
On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. No common work shall be done. You shall keep a feast to Yahva for seven days and present a burnt offering made by fire—a pleasant aroma to Yahva: thirteen young bulls, two rams, fourteen male yearling lambs without blemish; for their bread offering, fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths for each bull, two tenths for each ram, and a tenth for each lamb plus one male goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering, the bread offering, and the libation.
On the second day: Twelve young bulls, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
On the third day: Eleven young bulls, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
On the fourth day: Ten young bulls, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs; plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
On the fifth day: Nine young bulls, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs; plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
On the sixth day: Eight young bulls, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs; plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
On the seventh day: Seven young bulls, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs; plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly. No common work shall be done; but you shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet aroma to Yahva: one bull, one ram, seven yearling lambs without blemish with their specified bread offering and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs; plus one goat for a sin offering in addition to the continual burnt offering with the prescribed bread offering and libation.
You shall offer these to Yahva, in the specified seasons, in addition to your vows and freewill offerings whether they be burnt offerings, bread offerings, libations, or peace offerings. Moses told the Israelites all that Yahva commanded him. Moses said to the tribal leaders of the Israelites; “This is what Yahva commanded. When a man makes a vow to Yahva or swears an oath to perform a service, he shall not break his word; he shall do all that he promised.
If an unmarried woman makes a vow to Yahva or obligates herself to perform a service while living in her father's house and her father learns of it and offers no objection, then all her obligations shall stand. But if her father forbids her on the day he learns, then none of her obligations shall stand. Yahva will forgive her because her father restrained her.
If she marries and her husband learns it and offers no objection, then all her obligations shall stand. But if her husband forbids her on the day that he hears it, then he voids her obligations and Yahva will forgive her.
For the vow of a widow or a divorced woman, every obligation that she has promised shall stand. If a married woman makes a vow to Yahva or obligates herself to perform a service while living with her husband and her husband learns it and offers no objection nor forbids her, then all her obligations shall stand. But if her husband forbids on the day that he learns of them, then her obligations shall not stand: her husband has voided them and Yahva will forgive her. For every obligation, her husband may let it stand by not forbidding it when learning about it or void it. But if he voids it after the day he learned it, then he shall bear her obligation.”
These are the laws, as Yahva ordained between a man and his wife, and between a father and unmarried his daughter.
Yahva said to Moses; "Avenge the Israelites on the Midianites and then shall you be gathered to your ancestors."
Moses said to the people; "Arm your men for war to attack Midian to achieve Yahva's vengeance. From every tribe select a thousand men as warriors." So they assembled as commanded; twelve thousand armed for war. With them Moses sent Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, with consecrated vessels and trumpets to sound the alarm.
They attacked Midian as Yahva commanded and killed every male along with the Midianite kings: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam, son of Beor. The Israelites took captive the women and children of Midian; all their cattle, flocks, and their belongings. They burned all the Midian cities and camps. They took all the spoil including people and animals and brought it to Moses, Eleazar and all the Israelites at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho.
Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. Moses was angry with the commanders and the lesser officers who were coming from the combat. Moses said to them; "So you spared all the women? These seduced the Israelites on the counsel of Balaam, to unfaithfulness from Yahva in the Peor affair. This brought the plague among the Israelites. Now kill every male child and every woman that has had sexual intercourse. But keep the girls who have not had sexual intercourse alive. Remain outside the camp seven days. Anyone who killed a person or touched a corpse shall purify themselves and your captives on the third and seventh day. Purify every garment, whether it is made of skin, hair, or wood."
Eleazar said to warriors; "This is the law which Yahva has commanded Moses: The metals: gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, or lead; everything that will not burn, you shall purify by heating it in fire then sprinkling it with lustral water. Anything that will burn shall be purified in water. You shall wash your clothes on the seventh day. Then you will be pure and may return to the camp." Yahva said to Moses; "Take all the loot that was captured, including women and animals, and divide it into equal parts between the warriors that battled and the rest of the community.
|Yahva's tribute (from warriors)||675||72||61||32|
|Levites share (from community)||6,750||720||610||320|
Levy a tribute to Yahva from the warriors share: one out of five hundred; women, cattle, donkeys, and flocks; and give them to Eleazar the priest as a portion for Yahva. From the community's half, take one out of every fifty; women, cattle, donkeys, and flocks, and give them to the Levites who care for the meeting tent." Moses and Eleazar did as Yahva commanded.
The officers of the army approached Moses saying; "Your servants have polled all the warriors that went to attack and not one is missing. As thanks to Yahva we have brought an offering from the loot of every man: jewels of gold, armlets, bracelets, signet rings, ear rings, and girdles; we offer these as atonement to Yahva." Moses and Eleazar took the offered gold and finished jewels; all the gold they set apart for Yahva. From the officers of all the army units, 16,650 shekels was offered for every warrior had taken loot. Moses and Eleazar brought the gold into the meeting tent as a memorial from the Israelites to Yahva.
The Reubenites and Gadites had vast herds of livestock. When they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were well suited for grazing, their leaders came to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and the other tribal leaders, saying; "Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon; the land which Yahva destroyed before the Israelites is a good land for livestock; and we, your servants, have large herds of livestock. If we have pleased you, give this land to us to possess as our inheritance. Then we would not claim land across Jordan." Moses asked the Gadites and Reubenites; "Will your kin battle across Jordan while you sit here? Will you weaken the courage of the Israelites so that they will not go to the land which Yahva promised? Your fathers did this when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to spy on the land. When they went to the valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they undermined the courage of the Israelites so that they would not go into the land which Yahva had given them.
Yahva's anger inflamed that day and he vowed: 'None of the men over 20 years that left Egypt shall see the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because they have not truly followed me; except Caleb, son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua, son of Nun: They have always followed me.' Yahva's anger inflamed against Israel, and he caused them wander in the wilderness for forty years until all the generation who had disobeyed Yahva had died.
Now! You are following your fathers' example; a brood of prideful men, to incite again the fierce anger of Yahva toward Israel. For if you reject him, he will yet again lead them into the wilderness until all these people are destroyed."
They approached him, saying; "We will build barns here for our livestock and cities for our children, but we will to go armed in the vanguard of the Israelites until we have conquered the inheritance for them. Our wives and children will dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of this land. We will not return to our homes until each Israelite has his inheritance. But we will not inherit any land across the Jordan. We already have our inheritance on the east side of the Jordan."
Moses said to them; "If you will do this? If you will arm yourselves and battle for Yahva and every warrior cross the Jordan until he has expelled his enemies and the land is subdued before you return; then you shall be redeemed to Yahva and Israel, and this land shall be given to you as inheritance from Yahva. But if you will not do this, you will have sinned against Yahva and your punishment find you. Build you cities for your children and barns for your animals; and do what you promised."
The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses; "We will do as our lord commands. Our children, wives, flocks, and herds, shall stay in the cities of Gilead; but our warriors will cross Jordan with Yahva to fight as my lord says."
So Moses gave responsibility for them to Eleazar, Joshua, and the tribal leaders of the Israelites. Moses said to them; "If the Gadites and the Reubenites will cross with you over Jordan, armed to battle, and the land is captured by you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession. If they will not go with you armed for battle, they will not have possessions in the land of Canaan but will be punished for their sin." The Gadites and Reubenites answered; "We will do as Yahva has said. We will cross for battle into the land of Canaan but the share for our inheritance shall remain east of the Jordan."
Moses gave the land to the Gadites, Reubenites, and half tribe of Manasseh. He gave the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and the cities with the surrounding land. The Gadites built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, and Beth. The Reubenites built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, Nebo, Baal-meon, and Sibmah; and gave their names to the cities which they built. The Machirites, a clan of Manasseh went to Gilead, took it, and dispossessed the Amorites that were there. Moses gave Gilead to Machir who resided there. Jair the son of Manasseh took the villages there, and called them Havvoth-jair. Nobah took Kenath with its villages and called it Nobah after his own name.
These are the stages of the Israelites by which they traveled when they left the land of Egypt commanded by Moses and Aaron. Moses wrote their travels, stage by stage, as commanded by Yahva and these are their stages at their travels. They left Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the morning after passover the Israelites left arrogantly in the sight of the Egyptians while the Egyptians were burying the first born children killed by Yahva. Yahva also exacted vengeance on their gods.
The Israelites moved from Rameses to Succoth, then to Etham on the edge of the desert. Then they moved from Etham but turned back to Pihahiroth which is near Baal-zephon and camped near Migdol. Then they moved from Penehahiroth through the Sea of Reeds into the desert; and they traveled three days in the wilderness of Etham and camped in Marah. They moved to Elim where there were twelve springs of water, and 70 palm trees. They camped there. Then they left from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. Then they traveled from the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Zin. Then they moved to Dophkah, and then to Alush. They left Alush and camped in Rephidim where there was no water for the people to drink. Then they left Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai, then to Kibroth-hattaavah. Then they moved from Kibroth-hattaavah to Hazeroth followed by Rithmah, Rimmon-perez, and Libnah. The left Libnah and went to Rissah, then Kehelah and Mount Shepher. Then they moved from Mount Shepher to Haradah followed by Makheloth, Tahath, and Terah. They left Terah for Mithkah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, and Bene-jaakan. They traveled to Hor-haggidgad followed by Jotbah, Abronah, and Ezion-geber.
They left Kadesh and moved to Mount Hor on the edge of Edom where Aaron the priest ascended Mount Hor at the command of Yahva and died there on the fortieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month. Aaron was 123 years old when he died at Mount Hor. The Canaanite king of Arad, who dwelt in the south of Canaan, learned of the movements of the Israelites.
They left Mount Hor and moved to Zalmonah followed by Punon and Oboth. They moved to Ije-abarim on the border of Moab, then to Dibon-gad and Almon-diblathaim. They traveled from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the Mountains of Abarim facing Nebo. Then they moved to the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho where they camped by the Jordan, near Beth-jeshimoth and Abel-shittim on the plains of Moab.
Yahva said to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho; "Tell the Israelites: When you cross Jordan to the land of Canaan, expel all the inhabitants of the land, then destroy all their statutes, molten images, and places of worship. When you expel the inhabitants of the land, dwell there for to I given the land for your possession. You shall inherit the land by lot according to the size of your clans; the larger clans shall receive more inheritance and the smaller shall receive less inheritance. Whatever lot falls to any man shall be his. If you do not expel all the inhabitants of the land then those that remain will harass you like thorns in your eyes and pricks in your sides. The things that I thought to do to them, I will do to you.”
Yahva said to Moses; "Assemble the Israelites and tell them; 'When you enter the land of Canaan, which you receive for an inheritance: Your southern sector will extend from the wilderness of Zin near Edom. From the east, your southern border will begin at the northern tip of the Dead Sea, run south of the slopes of Akrabbim and continue to Zin. From there it goes south of Kadesh-barnea to Hazar-addar, and continues to Azmon. From Azmon the border will run to the Brook of Egypt and terminate at the Great Sea.
The west border will be the coast of the Great Sea.
Your northern border will be from the Great Sea in a straight line to Mount Hor, then straight line to Hamath continuing to Zedad. The border will run Ziphron, and terminate at Hazar-enan.
For the eastern border, draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham, then the border shall go southward to Riblah on the east side of Ain and continue to the south until it reaches the eastern slope of the sea of Chinnereth(Galilee). The border continues along the Jordan to the tip of the Dead Sea. This shall be your land according to the borders on all sides."
Moses commanded the Israelites; "This is the land that you will receive as inheritance by lot, which Yahva has commanded to give to the nine and a half tribes; for the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance east of the Jordan." Yahva said to Moses; "Eleazar the priest, and Joshua, son of Nun will take possession of the land for you. Take one leader of each tribe to take possession of the land.” These are the names of the men selected.
- For the tribe of Judah; Caleb, son of Jephunneh
- For the tribe of Simeon; Shemuel, son of Ammihud
- For the tribe of Benjamin; Elidad, son of Chislon
- For the tribe of Dan a chief; Bukki, son of Jogli
- For the tribes of Joseph
- For the half tribe of Manasseh; Hanniel, son of Ephod
- For the half tribe of Ephraim; Kemuel, son of Shiphtan
- For the tribe of Zebulun; Eli-zaphan, son of Parnach
- For the tribe of Issachar a chief; Paltiel, son of Azzan
- For the tribe of Asher; Ahihud, son of Shelomi
- For the tribe of Naphtali; Pedahel, son of Ammihud
Yahva commanded them to divide the inheritance to the Israelites in the land of Canaan. Yahva said to Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho; “Tell the Israelites to give the Levites, from the share of their possession, cities to dwell in and open land around the cities. They shall have the cities to dwell in and open land for their animals and farms. The open land shall be 2000 cubits; east, south, west, and north with the city in the middle. These cities which you give to the Levites, shall be the six cities of refuge to which a killer may flee. The Levites shall have 48 cities with the open land around them from all of Israel. The larger tribes shall give more cities to the Levites and the smaller shall give less, each tribe according to the size of its share."
Yahva said to Moses; "Tell the Israelites that when you cross the Jordan into Canaan, you shall appoint cities to be refuges from an avenger so that anyone who kills a person through error may flee there. The killer shall not be executed until he has been judged by the community. Initially you shall give three cities of refuge beyond the Jordan and three in Canaan. For the Israelites, foreigners, and settler among them, these six cities shall be for refuge so that everyone that kills any person accidentally may flee there.
But if he struck him with an iron instrument and killed him; or if he struck him with a stone, knowing that it might be fatal, and killed him; or if he smote him with a wooden weapon, knowing that it might be fatal, and killed him; or if he stabbed him of hatred, or hurled anything at him, from a concealed place, and killed him; or struck him with his hand in hatred, and killed him—then he is a murderer and the avenger of blood shall himself kill the murderer, wherever he meets him.
But if he thrust him suddenly without hate, or hurled anything him from concealment, or struck him with a stone that might kill, without seeing him, so that he died while he was not his enemy nor sought to harm him; then the community shall judge between the killer and the avenger in accordance to these laws. If he is not a murderer, the community shall remove him from the avenger, and restore him to his city of refuge where he had fled. He may reside there until the death of the high priest. But if he should ever go beyond the border of his city of refuge; and the avenger should find him, then the avenger may kill him without incurring blood guilt. He must remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, after which the killer may return to the land of his possession.
This shall be for a law for you throughout the ages in all your dwellings. Whoever kills any person may be executed on the testimony of two witnesses but one witness is not sufficient to convict any person to die. The life of a murderer cannot be ransomed: He shall be executed. No ransom may be taken so that the killer may leave the city of refuge to reside in his land until the death of the priest. You shall not pollute the land wherever you live: Blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the blood shed except by the blood of him that shed it. You shall not defile the land which you inhabit; where I dwell; for I, Yahva, dwell among the Israelites."
The clan leaders of Gilead—of Machir, son of Manasseh among of the clans of Joseph—came near Moses and tribal leaders of Israelites, saying; "Yahva commanded my tribal leader to give the land for inheritance by lot to the Israelites and to give the inheritance of our kin Zelophehad to his daughters. If they are married to the men of any other tribe, then their inheritance be taken away from our tribe and added to that of the tribe of their husbands. Thus the inheritance of our tribe will be diminished." Moses commanded the Israelites according to the word of Yahva; "The tribe of Joseph is right. Yahva has commanded for the daughters of Zelophehad: Let them be married to the men they prefer within a clan of the tribe of Joseph, so that no inheritance of the Israelites will be moved from tribe to tribe. The Israelites shall each adhere to the inheritance of their tribe. Every daughter that possesses an inheritance in any tribe shall marry someone in tribe of her father so that each Israelite may possess the inheritance of his fathers. No inheritance will move from one tribe to another." The daughters of Zelophehad did as Yahva commanded. Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, married to their relatives in the clans of Manasseh and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father.
© Copyright 2015-2016 D E Pauley