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Numbers 22:1--33:56

Context
Balaam Refuses to Curse Israel

22:1 1 The Israelites traveled on 2  and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan River 3  across from Jericho. 4  22:2 Balak son of Zippor saw all that the Israelites had done to the Amorites. 22:3 And the Moabites were greatly afraid of the people, because they were so numerous. The Moabites were sick with fear because of the Israelites.

22:4 So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “Now this mass of people 5  will lick up everything around us, as the bull devours the grass of the field. Now Balak son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at this time. 22:5 And he sent messengers to Balaam 6  son of Beor at Pethor, which is by the Euphrates River 7  in the land of Amaw, 8  to summon him, saying, “Look, a nation has come out of Egypt. They cover the face 9  of the earth, and they are settling next to me. 22:6 So 10  now, please come and curse this nation 11  for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will prevail so that we may conquer them 12  and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, 13  and whoever you curse is cursed.”

22:7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fee for divination in their hand. They came to Balaam and reported 14  to him the words of Balak. 22:8 He replied to them, “Stay 15  here tonight, and I will bring back to you whatever word the Lord may speak to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 22:9 And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 22:10 Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent a message to me, saying, 22:11 “Look, a nation has come out 16  of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Come now and put a curse on them for me; perhaps I will be able to defeat them 17  and drive them out.” 18  22:12 But God said to Balaam, “You must not go with them; you must not curse the people, 19  for they are blessed.” 20 

22:13 So Balaam got up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your land, 21  for the Lord has refused to permit me to go 22  with you.” 22:14 So the princes of Moab departed 23  and went back to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.”

Balaam Accompanies the Moabite Princes

22:15 Balak again sent princes, 24  more numerous and more distinguished than the first. 25  22:16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak son of Zippor: ‘Please do not let anything hinder you from coming 26  to me. 22:17 For I will honor you greatly, 27  and whatever you tell me I will do. So come, put a curse on this nation for me.’”

22:18 Balaam replied 28  to the servants of Balak, “Even if Balak would give me his palace full of silver and gold, I could not transgress the commandment 29  of the Lord my God 30  to do less or more. 22:19 Now therefore, please stay 31  the night here also, that I may know what more the Lord might say to me.” 32  22:20 God came to Balaam that night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, get up and go with them; but the word that I will say to you, that you must do.” 22:21 So Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

God Opposes Balaam

22:22 Then God’s anger was kindled 33  because he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose 34  him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 22:23 And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with 35  his sword drawn in his hand, so the donkey turned aside from the road and went into the field. But Balaam beat the donkey, to make her turn back to the road.

22:24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a path 36  among the vineyards, where there was a wall on either side. 37  22:25 And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself into the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he beat her again. 38 

22:26 Then the angel of the Lord went farther, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 22:27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she crouched down under Balaam. Then Balaam was angry, and he beat his donkey with a staff.

22:28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times?” 22:29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “You have made me look stupid; I wish 39  there were a sword in my hand, for I would kill you right now.” 22:30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am not I your donkey that you have ridden ever since I was yours until this day? Have I ever attempted 40  to treat you this way?” 41  And he said, “No.” 22:31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; so he bowed his head and threw himself down with his face to the ground. 42  22:32 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you because what you are doing 43  is perverse before me. 44  22:33 The donkey saw me and turned from me these three times. If 45  she had not turned from me, I would have killed you but saved her alive.” 22:34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood against me in the road. 46  So now, if it is evil in your sight, 47  I will go back home.” 48  22:35 But the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but you may only speak 49  the word that I will speak to you.” 50  So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

Balaam Meets Balak

22:36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at a city of Moab which was on the border of the Arnon at the boundary of his territory. 22:37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send again and again 51  to you to summon you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 52  22:38 Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you. Now, am I able 53  to speak 54  just anything? I must speak 55  only the word that God puts in my mouth.” 22:39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 22:40 And Balak sacrificed bulls and sheep, and sent some 56  to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. 22:41 Then on the next morning Balak took Balaam, and brought him up to Bamoth Baal. 57  From there he saw the extent of the nation.

Balaam Blesses Israel

23:1 58 Balaam said to Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” 23:2 So Balak did just as Balaam had said. Balak and Balaam then offered on each 59  altar a bull and a ram. 23:3 Balaam said to Balak, “Station yourself 60  by your burnt offering, and I will go off; perhaps the Lord will come to meet me, and whatever he reveals to me 61  I will tell you.” 62  Then he went to a deserted height. 63 

23:4 Then God met Balaam, who 64  said to him, “I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram.” 23:5 Then the Lord put a message 65  in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and speak what I tell you.” 66 

23:6 So he returned to him, and he was still 67  standing by his burnt offering, he and all the princes of Moab. 23:7 Then Balaam 68  uttered 69  his oracle, saying,

“Balak, the king of Moab, brought me 70  from Aram,

out of the mountains of the east, saying,

‘Come, pronounce a curse on Jacob for me;

come, denounce Israel.’ 71 

23:8 How 72  can I curse 73  one whom God has not cursed,

or how can I denounce one whom the Lord has not denounced?

23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see them; 74 

from the hills I watch them. 75 

Indeed, a nation that lives alone,

and it will not be reckoned 76  among the nations.

23:10 Who 77  can count 78  the dust 79  of Jacob,

Or number 80  the fourth part of Israel?

Let me 81  die the death of the upright, 82 

and let the end of my life 83  be like theirs.” 84 

Balaam Relocates

23:11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but on the contrary 85  you have only blessed them!” 86  23:12 Balaam replied, 87  “Must I not be careful 88  to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?” 89  23:13 Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from which you can observe them. You will see only a part of them, but you will not see all of them. Curse them for me from there.”

23:14 So Balak brought Balaam 90  to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, 91  where 92  he built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 23:15 And Balaam 93  said to Balak, “Station yourself here 94  by your burnt offering, while I meet the Lord there. 23:16 Then the Lord met Balaam and put a message 95  in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and speak what I tell you.” 23:17 When Balaam 96  came to him, he was still standing by his burnt offering, along with the princes of Moab. And Balak said to him, “What has the Lord spoken?”

Balaam Prophesies Again

23:18 Balaam 97  uttered 98  his oracle, and said,

“Rise up, 99  Balak, and hear;

Listen to me, son of Zippor:

23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie,

nor a human being, 100  that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it?

Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen? 101 

23:20 Indeed, I have received a command 102  to bless;

he has blessed, 103  and I cannot reverse it. 104 

23:21 He 105  has not looked on iniquity in Jacob, 106 

nor has he seen trouble 107  in Israel.

The Lord their God is with them;

his acclamation 108  as king is among them.

23:22 God brought them 109  out of Egypt.

They have, as it were, the strength of a wild bull. 110 

23:23 For there is no spell against 111  Jacob,

nor is there any divination against Israel.

At this time 112  it must be said 113  of Jacob

and of Israel, ‘Look at 114  what God has done!’

23:24 Indeed, the people will rise up like a lioness,

and like a lion raises himself up;

they will not lie down until they eat their 115  prey,

and drink the blood of the slain.” 116 

Balaam Relocates Yet Again

23:25 Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all 117  nor bless them at all!” 118  23:26 But Balaam replied 119  to Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘All that the Lord speaks, 120  I must do’?”

23:27 Balak said to Balaam, “Come, please; I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God 121  to let you curse them for me from there.” 122  23:28 So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks toward the wilderness. 123  23:29 Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars here for me, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams.” 23:30 So Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.

Balaam Prophesies Yet Again

24:1 124 When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, 125  he did not go as at the other times 126  to seek for omens, 127  but he set his face 128  toward the wilderness. 24:2 When Balaam lifted up his eyes, he saw Israel camped tribe by tribe; 129  and the Spirit of God came upon him. 24:3 Then he uttered this oracle: 130 

“The oracle 131  of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open; 132 

24:4 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground 133  with eyes open: 134 

24:5 ‘How 135  beautiful are your tents, O Jacob,

and your dwelling places, O Israel!

24:6 They are like 136  valleys 137  stretched forth,

like gardens by the river’s side,

like aloes 138  that the Lord has planted,

and like cedar trees beside the waters.

24:7 He will pour the water out of his buckets, 139 

and their descendants will be like abundant 140  water; 141 

their king will be greater than Agag, 142 

and their kingdom will be exalted.

24:8 God brought them out of Egypt.

They have, as it were, the strength of a young bull;

they will devour hostile people 143 

and will break their bones

and will pierce them through with arrows.

24:9 They crouch and lie down like a lion,

and as a lioness, 144  who can stir him?

Blessed is the one who blesses you,

and cursed is the one who curses you!’”

24:10 Then Balak became very angry at Balaam, and he struck his hands together. 145  Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have done nothing but bless 146  them these three times! 24:11 So now, go back where you came from! 147  I said that I would greatly honor you; but now the Lord has stood in the way of your honor.”

24:12 Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 24:13 ‘If Balak would give me his palace full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond 148  the commandment 149  of the Lord to do either good or evil of my own will, 150  but whatever the Lord tells me I must speak’? 24:14 And now, I am about to go 151  back to my own people. Come now, and I will advise you as to what this people will do to your people in the future.” 152 

Balaam Prophesies a Fourth Time

24:15 Then he uttered this oracle: 153 

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor;

the oracle of the man whose eyes are open;

24:16 the oracle of the one who hears the words of God,

and who knows the knowledge of the Most High,

who sees a vision from the Almighty,

although falling flat on the ground with eyes open:

24:17 ‘I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not close at hand. 154 

A star 155  will march forth 156  out of Jacob,

and a scepter 157  will rise out of Israel.

He will crush the skulls 158  of Moab,

and the heads 159  of all the sons of Sheth. 160 

24:18 Edom will be a possession,

Seir, 161  his enemies, will also be a possession;

but Israel will act valiantly.

24:19 A ruler will be established from Jacob;

he will destroy the remains of the city.’” 162 

Balaam’s Final Prophecies

24:20 Then Balaam 163  looked on Amalek and delivered this oracle: 164 

“Amalek was the first 165  of the nations,

but his end will be that he will perish.”

24:21 Then he looked on the Kenites and uttered this oracle:

“Your dwelling place seems strong,

and your nest 166  is set on a rocky cliff.

24:22 Nevertheless the Kenite will be consumed. 167 

How long will Asshur take you away captive?”

24:23 Then he uttered this oracle:

“O, who will survive when God does this! 168 

24:24 Ships will come from the coast of Kittim, 169 

and will afflict Asshur, 170  and will afflict Eber,

and he will also perish forever.” 171 

24:25 Balaam got up and departed and returned to his home, 172  and Balak also went his way.

Israel’s Sin with the Moabite Women

25:1 173 When 174  Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to commit sexual immorality 175  with the daughters of Moab. 25:2 These women invited 176  the people to the sacrifices of their gods; then the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 177  25:3 When Israel joined themselves to Baal-peor, 178  the anger of the Lord flared up against Israel.

God’s Punishment

25:4 The Lord said to Moses, “Arrest all the leaders 179  of the people, and hang them up 180  before the Lord in broad daylight, 181  so that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.” 25:5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you must execute those of his men 182  who were joined to Baal-peor.”

25:6 Just then 183  one of the Israelites came and brought to his brothers 184  a Midianite woman in the plain view of Moses and of 185  the whole community of the Israelites, while they 186  were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 25:7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, 187  he got up from among the assembly, took a javelin in his hand, 25:8 and went after the Israelite man into the tent 188  and thrust through the Israelite man and into the woman’s abdomen. 189  So the plague was stopped from the Israelites. 190  25:9 Those that died in the plague were 24,000.

The Aftermath

25:10 The Lord spoke to Moses: 25:11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites, when he manifested such zeal 191  for my sake among them, so that I did not consume the Israelites in my zeal. 192  25:12 Therefore, announce: 193  ‘I am going to give 194  to him my covenant of peace. 195  25:13 So it will be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of a permanent priesthood, because he has been zealous for his God, 196  and has made atonement 197  for the Israelites.’”

25:14 Now the name of the Israelite who was stabbed – the one who was stabbed with the Midianite woman – was Zimri son of Salu, a leader of a clan 198  of the Simeonites. 25:15 The name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi daughter of Zur. He was a leader 199  over the people of a clan of Midian. 200 

25:16 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 25:17 “Bring trouble 201  to the Midianites, and destroy them, 25:18 because they bring trouble to you by their treachery with which they have deceived 202  you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, 203  their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague that happened as a result of Peor.”

A Second Census Required

26:1 204 After the plague the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, 205  26:2 “Take a census of the whole community of Israelites, from twenty years old and upward, by their clans, 206  everyone who can serve in the army of Israel.” 207  26:3 So Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan River 208  across from Jericho. 209  They said, 26:4 “Number the people 210  from twenty years old and upward, just as the Lord commanded Moses and the Israelites who went out from the land of Egypt.”

Reuben

26:5 Reuben was the firstborn of Israel. The Reubenites: from 211  Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; from Pallu, the family of the Palluites; 26:6 from Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; from Carmi, the family of the Carmites. 26:7 These were the families of the Reubenites; and those numbered of them were 43,730. 212  26:8 Pallu’s descendant 213  was Eliab. 26:9 Eliab’s descendants were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. It was Dathan and Abiram who as leaders of the community rebelled against Moses and Aaron with the followers 214  of Korah when they rebelled against the Lord. 26:10 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and Korah at the time that company died, when the fire consumed 250 men. So they became a warning. 26:11 But the descendants of Korah did not die.

Simeon

26:12 The Simeonites by their families: from Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; from Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; from Jakin, the family of the Jakinites; 26:13 from Zerah, 215  the family of the Zerahites; and from Shaul, the family of the Shaulites. 26:14 These were the families of the Simeonites, 22,200. 216 

Gad

26:15 The Gadites by their families: from Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; from Haggi, the family of the Haggites; from Shuni, the family of the Shunites; 26:16 from Ozni, 217  the family of the Oznites; from Eri, 218  the family of the Erites; 26:17 from Arod, 219  the family of the Arodites, and from Areli, the family of the Arelites. 26:18 These were the families of the Gadites according to those numbered of them, 40,500. 220 

Judah

26:19 The descendants of Judah were Er and Onan, but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. 26:20 And the Judahites by their families were: from Shelah, the family of the Shelahites; from Perez, the family of the Perezites; and from Zerah, the family of the Zerahites. 26:21 And the Perezites were: from Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; from Hamul, 221  the family of the Hamulites. 26:22 These were the families of Judah according to those numbered of them, 76,500. 222 

Issachar

26:23 The Issacharites by their families: from Tola, the family of the Tolaites; from Puah, the family of the Puites; 26:24 from Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; and from Shimron, the family of the Shimronites. 26:25 These were the families of Issachar, according to those numbered of them, 64,300. 223 

Zebulun

26:26 The Zebulunites by their families: from Sered, the family of the Sardites; from Elon, the family of the Elonites; from Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. 26:27 These were the families of the Zebulunites, according to those numbered of them, 60,500. 224 

Manasseh

26:28 The descendants of Joseph by their families: Manasseh and Ephraim. 26:29 The Manassehites: from Machir, the family of the Machirites (now Machir became the father of Gilead); from Gilead, the family of the Gileadites. 26:30 These were the Gileadites: from Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; from Helek, the family of the Helekites; 26:31 from Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; from Shechem, the family of the Shechemites; 26:32 from Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; from Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. 26:33 Now Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 26:34 These were the families of Manasseh; those numbered of them were 52,700. 225 

Ephraim

26:35 These are the Ephraimites by their families: from Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; from Beker, the family of the Bekerites; from Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. 26:36 Now these were the Shuthelahites: from Eran, the family of the Eranites. 26:37 These were the families of the Ephraimites, according to those numbered of them, 32,500. 226  These were the descendants of Joseph by their families.

Benjamin

26:38 The Benjaminites by their families: from Bela, the family of the Belaites; from Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; from Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites; 26:39 from Shupham, 227  the family of the Shuphamites; from Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. 26:40 The descendants of Bela were Ard 228  and Naaman. From Ard, 229  the family of the Ardites; from Naaman, the family of the Naamanites. 26:41 These are the Benjaminites, according to their families, and according to those numbered of them, 45,600. 230 

Dan

26:42 These are the Danites by their families: from Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These were the families of Dan, according to their families. 26:43 All the families of the Shuhahites according to those numbered of them were 64,400. 231 

Asher

26:44 The Asherites by their families: from Imnah, the family of the Imnahites; from Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; from Beriah, the family of the Beriahites. 26:45 From the Beriahites: from Heber, the family of the Heberites; from Malkiel, the family of the Malkielites. 26:46 Now the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. 232  26:47 These are the families of the Asherites, according to those numbered of them, 53,400. 233 

Naphtali

26:48 The Naphtalites by their families: from Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; from Guni, the family of the Gunites; 26:49 from Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; from Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. 26:50 These were the families of Naphtali according to their families; and those numbered of them were 45,400. 234 

Total Number and Division of the Land

26:51 These were those numbered of the Israelites, 601,730. 235 

26:52 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 26:53 “To these the land must be divided as an inheritance according to the number of the names. 26:54 To a larger group you will give a larger inheritance, 236  and to a smaller group you will give a smaller inheritance. 237  To each one its inheritance must be given according to the number of people in it. 238  26:55 The land must be divided by lot; and they will inherit in accordance with the names of their ancestral tribes. 26:56 Their inheritance must be apportioned 239  by lot among the larger and smaller groups.

26:57 And these are the Levites who were numbered according to their families: from Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; from Merari, the family of the Merarites. 26:58 These are the families of the Levites: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. Kohath became the father of Amram. 26:59 Now the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, daughter of Levi, who was born 240  to Levi in Egypt. And to Amram she bore Aaron, Moses, and Miriam their sister. 26:60 And to Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 26:61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange fire 241  before the Lord. 26:62 Those of them who were numbered were 23,000, all males from a month old and upward, for they were not numbered among the Israelites; no inheritance was given to them among the Israelites.

26:63 These are those who were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the Israelites in the plains of Moab along the Jordan River opposite Jericho. 242  26:64 But there was not a man among these who had been 243  among those numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest when they numbered the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai. 26:65 For the Lord had said of them, “They will surely die in the wilderness.” And there was not left a single man of them, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Special Inheritance Laws

27:1 244 Then the daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh of the families of Manasseh, 245  the son Joseph came forward. Now these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 27:2 And they stood before Moses and Eleazar the priest and the leaders of the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, 27:3 “Our father died in the wilderness, although 246  he was not part of 247  the company of those that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but he died for his own sin, 248  and he had no sons. 27:4 Why should the name of our father be lost from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession 249  among the relatives 250  of our father.”

27:5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord. 27:6 The Lord said to Moses: 27:7 “The daughters of Zelophehad have a valid claim. 251  You must indeed 252  give them possession of an inheritance among their father’s relatives, and you must transfer 253  the inheritance of their father to them. 27:8 And you must tell the Israelites, ‘If a man dies 254  and has no son, then you must transfer his inheritance to his daughter; 27:9 and if he has no daughter, then you are to give his inheritance to his brothers; 27:10 and if he has no brothers, then you are to give his inheritance to his father’s brothers; 27:11 and if his father has no brothers, then you are to give his inheritance to his relative nearest to him from his family, and he will possess it. This will be for the Israelites a legal requirement, 255  as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Leadership Change

27:12 256 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim range, 257  and see 258  the land I have given 259  to the Israelites. 27:13 When you have seen it, you will be gathered 260  to your ancestors, 261  as Aaron your brother was gathered to his ancestors. 262  27:14 For 263  in the wilderness of Zin when the community rebelled against me, you 264  rebelled against my command 265  to show me as holy 266  before their eyes over the water – the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.”

27:15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord: 27:16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all humankind, 267  appoint 268  a man over the community, 27:17 who will go out before them, and who will come in before them, 269  and who will lead them out, and who will bring them in, so that 270  the community of the Lord may not be like sheep that have no shepherd.”

27:18 The Lord replied 271  to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is such a spirit, 272  and lay your hand on him; 273  27:19 set him 274  before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community, and commission 275  him publicly. 276  27:20 Then you must delegate 277  some of your authority 278  to him, so that the whole community of the Israelites will be obedient. 279  27:21 And he will stand before Eleazar the priest, who 280  will seek counsel 281  for him before the Lord by the decision of the Urim. 282  At his command 283  they will go out, and at his command they will come in, he and all the Israelites with him, the whole community.”

27:22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him; he took Joshua and set 284  him before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community. 27:23 He laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the Lord commanded, 285  by the authority 286  of Moses.

Daily Offerings

28:1 287 The Lord spoke to Moses: 28:2 “Command the Israelites: 288  ‘With regard to my offering, 289  be sure to offer 290  my food for my offering made by fire, as a pleasing aroma to me at its appointed time.’ 291  28:3 You will say to them, ‘This is the offering made by fire which you must offer to the Lord: two unblemished lambs one year old each day for a continual 292  burnt offering. 28:4 The first lamb you must offer in the morning, and the second lamb you must offer in the late afternoon, 293  28:5 with one-tenth of an ephah 294  of finely ground flour as a grain offering mixed with one quarter of a hin 295  of pressed olive oil. 28:6 It is a continual burnt offering that was instituted on Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

28:7 “‘And its drink offering must be one quarter of a hin for each lamb. 296  You must pour out the strong drink 297  as a drink offering to the Lord in the holy place. 28:8 And the second lamb you must offer in the late afternoon; just as you offered the grain offering and drink offering in the morning, 298  you must offer it as an offering made by fire, as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

Weekly Offerings

28:9 “‘On the Sabbath day, you must offer 299  two unblemished lambs a year old, and two-tenths of an ephah 300  of finely ground flour as a grain offering, mixed with olive oil, along with its drink offering. 28:10 This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, 301  besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering.

Monthly Offerings

28:11 “‘On the first day of each month 302  you must offer as a burnt offering to the Lord two young bulls, one ram, and seven unblemished lambs a year old, 28:12 with three-tenths of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering for each bull, and two-tenths of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering for the ram, 28:13 and one-tenth of an ephah of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering for each lamb, as a burnt offering for a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28:14 For their drink offerings, include 303  half a hin of wine with each bull, one-third of a hin for the ram, and one-fourth of a hin for each lamb. This is the burnt offering for each month 304  throughout the months of the year. 28:15 And one male goat 305  must be offered to the Lord as a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering and its drink offering.

Passover and Unleavened Bread

28:16 “‘On the fourteenth day of the first month is the Lord’s Passover. 28:17 And on the fifteenth day of this month is the festival. For seven days bread made without yeast must be eaten. 28:18 And on the first day there is to be a holy assembly; you must do no ordinary work 306  on it.

28:19 “‘But you must offer to the Lord an offering made by fire, a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs one year old; they must all be unblemished. 307  28:20 And their grain offering is to be of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil. For each bull you must offer three-tenths of an ephah, and two-tenths for the ram. 28:21 For each of the seven lambs you are to offer one-tenth of an ephah, 28:22 as well as one goat for a purification offering, to make atonement for you. 28:23 You must offer these in addition to the burnt offering in the morning which is for a continual burnt offering. 28:24 In this manner you must offer daily throughout the seven days the food of the sacrifice made by fire as a sweet aroma to the Lord. It is to be offered in addition to the continual burnt offering and its drink offering. 28:25 On the seventh day you are to have a holy assembly, you must do no regular work.

Firstfruits

28:26 “‘Also, on the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord during your Feast of Weeks, you are to have a holy assembly. You must do no ordinary work. 28:27 But you must offer as the burnt offering, as a sweet aroma to the Lord, two young bulls, one ram, seven lambs one year old, 28:28 with their grain offering of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each bull, two-tenths for the one ram, 28:29 with one-tenth for each of the seven lambs, 28:30 as well as one male goat to make an atonement for you. 28:31 You are to offer them with their drink offerings in addition to the continual burnt offering and its grain offering – they must be unblemished.

Blowing Trumpets

29:1 “‘On the first day of the seventh month, you are to hold a holy assembly. You must not do your ordinary work, for it is a day of blowing trumpets for you. 29:2 You must offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs one year old without blemish.

29:3 “‘Their grain offering is to be of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil, three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths of an ephah for the ram, 29:4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs, 29:5 with one male goat for a purification offering to make an atonement for you; 29:6 this is in addition to the monthly burnt offering and its grain offering, and the daily burnt offering with its grain offering and their drink offerings as prescribed, as a sweet aroma, a sacrifice made by fire to the Lord.

The Day of Atonement

29:7 “‘On the tenth day of this seventh month you are to have a holy assembly. You must humble yourselves; 308  you must not do any work on it. 29:8 But you must offer a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs one year old, all of them without blemish. 309  29:9 Their grain offering must be of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil, three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, 29:10 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs, 29:11 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the purification offering for atonement and the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and their drink offerings.

The Feast of Temporary Shelters

29:12 “‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you are to have a holy assembly; you must do no ordinary work, and you must keep a festival to the Lord for seven days. 29:13 You must offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire as a pleasing aroma to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs each one year old, all of them without blemish. 29:14 Their grain offering must be of finely ground flour mixed with olive oil, three-tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths of an ephah for each of the two rams, 29:15 and one-tenth for each of the fourteen lambs, 29:16 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:17 “‘On the second day you must offer twelve young bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs one year old, all without blemish, 29:18 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:19 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and their drink offerings.

29:20 “‘On the third day you must offer 310  eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs one year old, all without blemish, 29:21 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:22 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:23 “‘On the fourth day you must offer ten bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs one year old, all without blemish, 29:24 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:25 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:26 “‘On the fifth day you must offer nine bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs one year old, all without blemish, 29:27 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:28 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:29 “‘On the sixth day you must offer eight bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs one year old, all without blemish, 29:30 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:31 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:32 “‘On the seventh day you must offer seven bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs one year old, all without blemish, 29:33 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:34 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:35 “‘On the eighth day you are to have a holy assembly; you must do no ordinary work on it. 29:36 But you must offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, one bull, one ram, seven lambs one year old, all of them without blemish, 29:37 and with their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, according to their number as prescribed, 29:38 along with one male goat for a purification offering, in addition to the continual burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.

29:39 “‘These things you must present to the Lord at your appointed times, in addition to your vows and your freewill offerings, as your burnt offerings, your grain offerings, your drink offerings, and your peace offerings.’” 29:40 (30:1) 311  So Moses told the Israelites everything, just as the Lord had commanded him. 312 

Vows Made by Men

30:1 313 Moses told the leaders 314  of the tribes concerning the Israelites, “This is what 315  the Lord has commanded: 30:2 If a man 316  makes a vow 317  to the Lord or takes an oath 318  of binding obligation on himself, 319  he must not break his word, but must do whatever he has promised. 320 

Vows Made by Single Women

30:3 “If a young 321  woman who is still living 322  in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord or places herself under an obligation, 30:4 and her father hears of her vow or the obligation to which she has pledged herself, and her father remains silent about her, 323  then all her vows will stand, 324  and every obligation to which she has pledged herself will stand. 30:5 But if her father overrules her when he hears 325  about it, then none 326  of her vows or her obligations which she has pledged for herself will stand. And the Lord will release 327  her from it, because her father overruled her.

Vows Made by Married Women

30:6 “And if she marries a husband while under a vow, 328  or she uttered 329  anything impulsively by which she has pledged herself, 30:7 and her husband hears about it, but remains silent about her when he hears about it, then her vows will stand and her obligations which she has pledged for herself will stand. 30:8 But if when her husband hears it he overrules her, then he will nullify 330  the vow she has taken, 331  and whatever she uttered impulsively which she has pledged for herself. And the Lord will release her from it.

Vows Made by Widows

30:9 “But every vow of a widow or of a divorced woman which she has pledged for herself will remain intact. 332  30:10 If she made the vow in her husband’s house or put herself under obligation with an oath, 30:11 and her husband heard about it, but remained silent about her, and did not overrule her, then all her vows will stand, and every obligation which she pledged for herself will stand. 30:12 But if her husband clearly nullifies 333  them when he hears them, then whatever she says 334  by way of vows or obligations will not stand. Her husband has made them void, and the Lord will release her from them.

30:13 “Any vow or sworn obligation that would bring affliction to her, 335  her husband can confirm or nullify. 336  30:14 But if her husband remains completely silent 337  about her from day to day, he thus confirms all her vows or all her obligations which she is under; he confirms them because he remained silent about when he heard them. 30:15 But if he should nullify them after he has heard them, then he will bear her iniquity.” 338 

30:16 These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses, relating to 339  a man and his wife, and a father and his young daughter who is still living in her father’s house.

The Midianite War

31:1 340 The Lord spoke to Moses: 31:2 “Exact vengeance 341  for the Israelites on the Midianites 342  – after that you will be gathered to your people.” 343 

31:3 So Moses spoke to the people: “Arm 344  men from among you for the war, to attack the Midianites and to execute 345  the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. 31:4 You must send to the battle a thousand men from every tribe throughout all the tribes of Israel.” 346  31:5 So a thousand from every tribe, twelve thousand armed for battle in all, were provided out of the thousands of Israel.

Campaign Against the Midianites

31:6 So Moses sent them to the war, one thousand from every tribe, with Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest, who was in charge 347  of the holy articles 348  and the signal trumpets. 31:7 They fought against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed every male. 349  31:8 They killed the kings of Midian in addition to those slain – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – five Midianite kings. 350  They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 351 

31:9 The Israelites took the women of Midian captives along with their little ones, and took all their herds, all their flocks, and all their goods as plunder. 31:10 They burned 352  all their towns 353  where they lived and all their encampments. 31:11 They took all the plunder and all the spoils, both people and animals. 31:12 They brought the captives and the spoils and the plunder to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the Israelite community, to the camp on the plains 354  of Moab, along the Jordan River 355  across from Jericho. 356  31:13 Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went out to meet them outside the camp.

The Death of the Midianite Women

31:14 But Moses was furious with the officers of the army, the commanders over thousands and commanders over hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 31:15 Moses said to them, “Have you allowed all the women to live? 357  31:16 Look, these people through the counsel of Balaam caused the Israelites to act treacherously against the Lord in the matter of Peor – which resulted in the plague among the community of the Lord! 31:17 Now therefore kill every boy, 358  and kill every woman who has had sexual intercourse with a man. 359  31:18 But all the young women 360  who have not had sexual intercourse with a man 361  will be yours. 362 

Purification After Battle

31:19 “Any of you who has killed anyone or touched any of the dead, remain outside the camp for seven days; purify yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. 31:20 You must purify each garment and everything that is made of skin, everything made of goat’s hair, and everything made of wood.” 363 

31:21 Then Eleazar the priest said to the men of war who had gone into the battle, “This is the ordinance of the law that the Lord commanded Moses: 31:22 ‘Only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 31:23 everything that may stand the fire, you are to pass through the fire, 364  and it will be ceremonially clean, but it must still be purified with the water of purification. Anything that cannot withstand the fire you must pass through the water. 31:24 You must wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you will be ceremonially clean, and afterward you may enter the camp.’”

The Distribution of Spoils

31:25 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 31:26 “You and Eleazar the priest, and all the family leaders of the community, take the sum 365  of the plunder that was captured, both people and animals. 31:27 Divide the plunder into two parts, one for those who took part in the war – who went out to battle – and the other for all the community.

31:28 “You must exact 366  a tribute for the Lord from the fighting men who went out to battle: one life out of five hundred, from the people, the cattle, and from the donkeys and the sheep. 31:29 You are to take it from their half-share and give it to Eleazar the priest for a raised offering to the Lord. 31:30 From the Israelites’ half-share you are to take one portion out of fifty of the people, the cattle, the donkeys, and the sheep – from every kind of animal – and you are to give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the Lord’s tabernacle.”

31:31 So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. 31:32 The spoil that remained of the plunder which the fighting men 367  had gathered 368  was 675,000 sheep, 31:33 72,000 cattle, 31:34 61,000 donkeys, 31:35 and 32,000 young women who had never had sexual intercourse with a man. 369 

31:36 The half-portion of those who went to war numbered 337,500 sheep; 31:37 the Lord’s tribute from the sheep was 675. 31:38 The cattle numbered 370  36,000; the Lord’s tribute was 72. 31:39 The donkeys were 30,500, of which the Lord’s tribute was 61. 31:40 The people were 16,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 people. 371 

31:41 So Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord’s raised offering, to Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.

31:42 From the Israelites’ half-share that Moses had separated from the fighting men, 372  31:43 there were 337,500 sheep from the portion belonging to the community, 31:44 36,000 cattle, 31:45 30,500 donkeys, 31:46 and 16,000 people.

31:47 From the Israelites’ share Moses took one of every fifty people and animals and gave them to the Levites who were responsible for the care of the Lord’s tabernacle, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

31:48 Then the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the commanders over thousands and the commanders over hundreds, approached Moses 31:49 and said to him, 373  “Your servants have taken a count 374  of the men who were in the battle, who were under our authority, 375  and not one is missing. 31:50 So we have brought as an offering for the Lord what each man found: gold ornaments, armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and necklaces, to make atonement for ourselves 376  before the Lord.” 377  31:51 Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, all of it in the form of ornaments. 31:52 All the gold of the offering they offered up to the Lord from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds weighed 16,750 shekels. 378  31:53 Each soldier had taken plunder for himself. 31:54 So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and commanders 379  of hundreds and brought it into the tent of meeting as a memorial 380  for the Israelites before the Lord.

The Petition of the Reubenites and Gadites

32:1 381 Now the Reubenites and the Gadites possessed a very large number of cattle. When they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideal for cattle, 382  32:2 the Gadites and the Reubenites came and addressed Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the community. They said, 32:3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, 383  Nebo, and Beon, 384  32:4 the land that the Lord subdued 385  before the community of Israel, is ideal for cattle, and your servants have cattle.” 32:5 So they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, 386  let this land be given to your servants for our inheritance. Do not have us cross 387  the Jordan River.” 388 

Moses’ Response

32:6 Moses said to the Gadites and the Reubenites, “Must your brothers go to war while you 389  remain here? 32:7 Why do you frustrate the intent 390  of the Israelites to cross over into the land which the Lord has given them? 32:8 Your fathers did the same thing when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. 32:9 When 391  they went up to the Eshcol Valley and saw the land, they frustrated the intent of the Israelites so that they did not enter 392  the land that the Lord had given 393  them. 32:10 So the anger of the Lord was kindled that day, and he swore, 32:11 ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, 394  not 395  one of the men twenty years old and upward 396  who came from Egypt will see the land that I swore to give 397  to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 32:12 except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ 32:13 So the Lord’s anger was kindled against the Israelites, and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until all that generation that had done wickedly before 398  the Lord was finished. 399  32:14 Now look, you are standing in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinners, to increase still further the fierce wrath of the Lord against the Israelites. 32:15 For if you turn away from following him, he will once again abandon 400  them in the wilderness, and you will be the reason for their destruction.” 401 

The Offer of the Reubenites and Gadites

32:16 Then they came very close to him and said, “We will build sheep folds here for our flocks and cities for our families, 402  32:17 but we will maintain ourselves in armed readiness 403  and go before the Israelites until whenever we have brought them to their place. Our descendants will be living in fortified towns as a protection against 404  the inhabitants of the land. 32:18 We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has his inheritance. 32:19 For we will not accept any inheritance on the other side of the Jordan River 405  and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this eastern side of the Jordan.”

32:20 Then Moses replied, 406  “If you will do this thing, and if you will arm yourselves for battle before the Lord, 32:21 and if all your armed men cross the Jordan before the Lord until he drives out his enemies from his presence 32:22 and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be free of your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. This land will then be your possession in the Lord’s sight.

32:23 “But if you do not do this, then look, you will have sinned 407  against the Lord. And know that your sin will find you out. 32:24 So build cities for your descendants and pens for your sheep, but do what you have said 408  you would do.”

32:25 So the Gadites and the Reubenites replied to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 32:26 Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock will be there in the cities of Gilead, 32:27 but your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, to do battle in the Lord’s presence, just as my lord says.”

32:28 So Moses gave orders about them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua son of Nun, and to the heads of the families of the Israelite tribes. 32:29 Moses said to them: “If the Gadites and the Reubenites cross the Jordan with you, each one equipped for battle in the Lord’s presence, and you conquer the land, 409  then you must allot them the territory of Gilead as their possession. 32:30 But if they do not cross over with you armed, they must receive possessions among you in Canaan.” 32:31 Then the Gadites and the Reubenites answered, “Your servants will do what the Lord has spoken. 410  32:32 We will cross armed in the Lord’s presence into the land of Canaan, and then the possession of our inheritance that we inherit will be ours on this side of the Jordan River.” 411 

Land Assignment

32:33 So Moses gave to the Gadites, the Reubenites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph the realm of King Sihon of the Amorites, and the realm of King Og of Bashan, the entire land with its cities and the territory surrounding them. 412  32:34 The Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 32:35 Atroth Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 32:36 Beth Nimrah, and Beth Haran as fortified cities, and constructed pens for their flocks. 32:37 The Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 32:38 Nebo, Baal Meon (with a change of name), and Sibmah. They renamed 413  the cities they built.

32:39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 32:40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir, son of Manasseh, and he lived there. 414  32:41 Now Jair son of Manasseh went and captured their small towns and named them Havvoth Jair. 32:42 Then Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages and called it Nobah after his own name.

Wanderings from Egypt to Sinai

33:1 415 These are the journeys of the Israelites, who went out of the land of Egypt by their divisions under the authority 416  of Moses and Aaron. 33:2 Moses recorded their departures 417  according to their journeys, by the commandment 418  of the Lord; now these are their journeys according to their departures. 33:3 They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day 419  after the Passover the Israelites went out defiantly 420  in plain sight 421  of all the Egyptians. 33:4 Now the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had killed among them; the Lord also executed judgments on their gods.

33:5 The Israelites traveled from Rameses and camped in Succoth.

33:6 They traveled from Succoth, and camped in Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness. 33:7 They traveled from Etham, and turned again to Pi-hahiroth, which is before Baal-Zephon; and they camped before Migdal. 33:8 They traveled from Pi-hahiroth, 422  and passed through the middle of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and camped in Marah. 33:9 They traveled from Marah and came to Elim; in Elim there are twelve fountains of water and seventy palm trees, so they camped there.

33:10 They traveled from Elim, and camped by the Red Sea. 33:11 They traveled from the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Zin. 33:12 They traveled from the wilderness of Zin and camped in Dophkah. 33:13 And they traveled from Dophkah, and camped in Alush.

33:14 They traveled from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. 33:15 They traveled from Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai.

Wanderings in the Wilderness

33:16 They traveled from the desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah. 33:17 They traveled from Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. 33:18 They traveled from Hazeroth and camped in Rithmah. 33:19 They traveled from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. 33:20 They traveled from Rimmon-perez and camped in Libnah. 33:21 They traveled from Libnah and camped at Rissah. 33:22 They traveled from Rissah and camped in Kehelathah. 33:23 They traveled from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. 33:24 They traveled from Mount Shepher and camped in Haradah. 33:25 They traveled from Haradah and camped in Makheloth. 33:26 They traveled from Makheloth and camped at Tahath. 33:27 They traveled from Tahath and camped at Terah. 33:28 They traveled from Terah and camped in Mithcah. 33:29 They traveled from Mithcah and camped in Hashmonah. 33:30 They traveled from Hashmonah and camped in Moseroth. 33:31 They traveled from Moseroth and camped in Bene-jaakan. 33:32 They traveled from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. 33:33 They traveled from Hor-haggidgad and camped in Jotbathah. 33:34 They traveled from Jotbathah and camped in Abronah. 33:35 They traveled from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. 33:36 They traveled from Ezion-geber and camped in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.

Wanderings from Kadesh to Moab

33:37 They traveled from Kadesh and camped in Mount Hor at the edge of the land of Edom. 33:38 Aaron the priest ascended Mount Hor at the command 423  of the Lord, and he died there in the fortieth year after the Israelites had come out of the land of Egypt on the first day of the fifth month. 33:39 Now Aaron was 123 years old when he died in Mount Hor. 33:40 The king of Arad, the Canaanite king who lived in the south of the land of Canaan, heard about the approach of the Israelites.

33:41 They traveled from Mount Hor and camped in Zalmonah. 33:42 They traveled from Zalmonah and camped in Punon. 33:43 They traveled from Punon and camped in Oboth. 33:44 They traveled from Oboth and camped in Iye-abarim, on the border of Moab. 33:45 They traveled from Iim 424  and camped in Dibon-gad. 33:46 They traveled from Dibon-gad and camped in Almon-diblathaim. 33:47 They traveled from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim before Nebo. 33:48 They traveled from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan River 425  across from Jericho. 426  33:49 They camped by the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.

At the Border of Canaan

33:50 The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho. He said: 33:51 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 33:52 you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images, all their molten images, 427  and demolish their high places. 33:53 You must dispossess the inhabitants of the land and live in it, for I have given you the land to possess it. 33:54 You must divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families. To a larger group you must give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group you must give a smaller inheritance. Everyone’s inheritance must be in the place where his lot falls. You must inherit according to your ancestral 428  tribes. 33:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those whom you allow to remain will be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your side, and will cause you trouble in the land where you will be living. 33:56 And what I intended to do to them I will do to you.”

1 sn The fifth section of the book (22:1-33:56) traces the Israelite activities in Transjordan. It is hard to determine how long they were in Transjordan, but a good amount of time must have elapsed for the number of moves they made and the wars they fought. There is a considerable amount of information available on this section of the book. Some of the most helpful works include: H. C. Brichto, The Problem of “Curse” in the Hebrew Bible (JBLMS); E. Burrows, The Oracles of Jacob and Balaam; G. W. Coats, “Balaam, Sinner or Saint?” BR 18 (1973): 21-29; P. C. Craigie, “The Conquest and Early Hebrew Poetry,” TynBul 20 (1969): 76-94; I. Parker, “The Way of God and the Way of Balaam,” ExpTim 17 (1905): 45; and J. A. Wharton, “The Command to Bless: An Exposition of Numbers 22:4123:25,” Int 13 (1959): 37-48. This first part introduces the characters and sets the stage for the oracles. It can be divided into four sections: the invitation declined (vv. 1-14), the second invitation extended (vv. 15-21), God opposes Balaam (vv. 22-35), and Balaam meets Balak (vv. 36-41).

2 tn The verse begins with the vav (ו) consecutive.

3 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

5 tn The word is simply “company,” but in the context he must mean a vast company – a horde of people.

6 sn There is much literature on pagan diviners and especially prophecy in places in the east like Mari (see, for example, H. B. Huffmon, “Prophecy in the Mari Letters,” BA 31 [1968]: 101-24). Balaam appears to be a pagan diviner who was of some reputation; he was called to curse the Israelites, but God intervened and gave him blessings only. The passage forms a nice complement to texts that deal with blessings and curses. It shows that no one can curse someone whom God has blessed.

7 tn Heb “by the river”; in most contexts this expression refers to the Euphrates River (cf. NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

8 tn Heb “in the land of Amaw” (cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV); traditionally “in the land of the sons of his people.” The LXX has “by the river of the land.”

9 tn Heb “eye.” So also in v. 11.

10 tn The two lines before this verse begin with the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh), and so they lay the foundation for these imperatives. In view of those circumstances, this is what should happen.

11 tn Heb “people.” So also in vv. 10, 17, 41.

12 tn The construction uses the imperfect tense אוּכַל (’ukhal, “I will be able”) followed by the imperfect tense נַכֶּה (nakkeh, “we will smite/attack/defeat”). The second verb is clearly the purpose or the result of the first, even though there is no conjunction or particle.

13 tn The verb is the Piel imperfect of בָּרַךְ (barakh), with the nuance of possibility: “whomever you may bless.” The Pual participle מְבֹרָךְ (mÿvorakh) serves as the predicate.

14 tn Heb “spoke.”

15 tn The verb לִין (lin) means “to lodge, spend the night.” The related noun is “a lodge” – a hotel of sorts. Balaam needed to consider the offer. And after darkness was considered the best time for diviners to consult with their deities. Balaam apparently knows of the Lord; he testifies to this effect in 22:18.

16 tn In this passage the text differs slightly; here it is “the nation that comes out,” using the article on the noun, and the active participle in the attributive adjective usage.

17 tn Here the infinitive construct is used to express the object or complement of the verb “to be able” (it answers the question of what he will be able to do).

18 tn The verb is the Piel perfect with vav (ו) consecutive. It either carries the force of an imperfect tense, or it may be subordinated to the preceding verbs.

19 tn The two verbs are negated imperfects; they have the nuance of prohibition: You must not go and you must not curse.

20 tn The word בָּרוּךְ (barukh) is the Qal passive participle, serving here as the predicate adjective after the supplied verb “to be.” The verb means “enrich,” in any way, materially, spiritually, physically. But the indication here is that the blessing includes the promised blessing of the patriarchs, a blessing that gave Israel the land. See further, C. Westermann, Blessing in the Bible and the Life of the Church (OBT).

21 tc The LXX adds “to your lord.”

22 tn The main verb is the Piel perfect, “he has refused.” This is followed by two infinitives. The first (לְתִתִּי, lÿtitti) serves as a complement or direct object of the verb, answering the question of what he refused to do – “to give me.” The second infinitive (לַהֲלֹךְ, lahalokh) provides the object for the preceding infinitive: “to grant me to go.”

23 tn Heb “rose up.”

24 tn The construction is a verbal hendiadys. It uses the Hiphil preterite of the verb “to add” followed by the Qal infinitive “to send.” The infinitive becomes the main verb, and the preterite an adverb: “he added to send” means “he sent again.”

25 tn Heb “than these.”

26 tn The infinitive construct is the object of the preposition.

27 tn The construction uses the Piel infinitive כַּבֵּד (kabbed) to intensify the verb, which is the Piel imperfect/cohortative אֲכַבֶּדְךָ (’akhabbedkha). The great honor could have been wealth, prestige, or position.

28 tn Heb “answered and said.”

29 tn Heb “mouth.”

30 sn In the light of subsequent events one should not take too seriously that Balaam referred to Yahweh as his God. He is referring properly to the deity for which he is acting as the agent.

31 tn In this case “lodge” is not used, but “remain, reside” (שְׁבוּ, shÿvu).

32 tn This clause is also a verbal hendiadys: “what the Lord might add to speak,” meaning, “what more the Lord might say.”

33 sn God’s anger now seems to contradict the permission he gave Balaam just before this. Some commentators argue that God’s anger is a response to Balaam’s character in setting out – which the Bible does not explain. God saw in him greed and pleasure for the riches, which is why he was so willing to go.

34 tn The word is שָׂטָן (satan, “to be an adversary, to oppose”).

35 tn The word has the conjunction “and” on the noun, indicating this is a disjunctive vav (ו), here serving as a circumstantial clause.

36 tn The word means a “narrow place,” having the root meaning “to be deep.” The Greek thought it was in a field in a narrow furrow.

37 tn Heb “a wall on this side, and a wall on that side.”

38 tn Heb “he added to beat her,” another verbal hendiadys.

39 tn The optative clause is introduced with the particle לוּ (lu).

40 tn Here the Hiphil perfect is preceded by the Hiphil infinitive absolute for emphasis in the sentence.

41 tn Heb “to do thus to you.”

42 tn The Hishtaphel verb חָוָה (khavah) – שָׁחָה (shakhah) with metathesis – has a basic idea of “bow oneself low to the ground,” and perhaps in some cases the idea of “coil up.” This is the normal posture of prayer and of deep humility in the ancient religious world.

43 tn Heb “your way.”

44 tn The verb יָרַט (yarat) occurs only here and in Job 16:11. Balaam is embarking on a foolish mission with base motives. The old rendering “perverse” is still acceptable.

45 tc Many commentators consider אוּלַי (’ulay, “perhaps”) to be a misspelling in the MT in place of לוּלֵי (luley, “if not”).

46 sn Balaam is not here making a general confession of sin. What he is admitting to is a procedural mistake. The basic meaning of the word is “to miss the mark.” He now knows he took the wrong way, i.e., in coming to curse Israel.

47 sn The reference is to Balaam’s way. He is saying that if what he is doing is so perverse, so evil, he will turn around and go home. Of course, it did not appear that he had much of a chance of going forward.

48 tn The verb is the cohortative from “return”: I will return [me].

49 tn The imperfect tense here can be given the nuance of permission.

50 tn The Hebrew word order is a little more emphatic than this: “but only the word which I speak to you, it you shall speak.”

51 tn The emphatic construction is made of the infinitive absolute and the perfect tense from the verb שָׁלַח (shalakh, “to send”). The idea must be more intense than something like, “Did I not certainly send.” Balak is showing frustration with Balaam for refusing him.

52 sn Balak again refers to his ability to “honor” the seer. This certainly meant payment for his service, usually gold ornaments, rings and jewelry, as well as some animals.

53 tn The verb is אוּכַל (’ukhal) in a question – “am I able?” But emphasizing this is the infinitive absolute before it. So Balaam is saying something like, “Can I really say anything?”

54 tn The Piel infinitive construct (without the preposition) serves as the object of the verb “to be able.” The whole question is rhetorical – he is saying that he will not be able to say anything God does not allow him to say.

55 tn The imperfect tense is here taken as an obligatory imperfect.

56 sn The understanding is that Balak was making a sacrifice for a covenant relationship, and so he gave some of the meat to the men and to the seer.

57 sn The name Bamoth Baal means “the high places of Baal.”

58 sn The first part of Balaam’s activity ends in disaster for Balak – he blesses Israel. The chapter falls into four units: the first prophecy (vv. 1-10), the relocation (vv. 11-17), the second prophecy (vv. 18-24), and a further location (vv. 25-30).

59 tn The Hebrew text has “on the altar,” but since there were seven of each animal and seven altars, the implication is that this means on each altar.

60 tn The verb הִתְיַצֵּב (hityatsev) means “to take a stand, station oneself.” It is more intentional than simply standing by something. He was to position himself by the sacrifice as Balaam withdrew to seek the oracle.

61 tn Heb “and the word of what he shows me.” The noun is in construct, and so the clause that follows functions as a noun clause in the genitive. The point is that the word will consist of divine revelation.

62 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. This clause is dependent on the clause that precedes it.

63 sn He went up to a bald spot, to a barren height. The statement underscores the general belief that such tops were the closest things to the gods. On such heights people built their shrines and temples.

64 tn The relative pronoun is added here in place of the conjunction to clarify that Balaam is speaking to God and not vice versa.

65 tn Heb “word.”

66 tn Heb “and thus you shall speak.”

67 tn The Hebrew text draws the vividness of the scene with the deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) – Balaam returned, and there he was, standing there.

68 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

69 tn Heb “took up.”

70 tn The passage calls for a past tense translation; since the verb form is a prefixed conjugation, this tense should be classified as a preterite without the vav (ו). Such forms do occur, especially in the ancient poetic passages.

71 sn The opening lines seem to be a formula for the seer to identify himself and the occasion for the oracle. The tension is laid out early; Balaam knows that God has intended to bless Israel, but he has been paid to curse them.

72 tn The figure is erotesis, a rhetorical question. He is actually saying he cannot curse them because God has not cursed them.

73 tn The imperfect tense should here be classified as a potential imperfect.

74 tn Heb “him,” but here it refers to the Israelites (Israel).

75 sn Balaam reports his observation of the nation of Israel spread out below him in the valley. Based on that vision, and the Lord’s word, he announces the uniqueness of Israel – they are not just like one of the other nations. He was correct, of course; they were the only people linked with the living God by covenant.

76 tn The verb could also be taken as a reflexive – Israel does not consider itself as among the nations, meaning, they consider themselves to be unique.

77 tn The question is again rhetorical; it means no one can count them – they are innumerable.

78 tn The perfect tense can also be classified as a potential nuance. It does not occur very often, but does occur several times.

79 sn The reference in the oracle is back to Gen 13:16, which would not be clear to Balaam. But God had described their growth like the dust of the earth. Here it is part of the description of the vast numbers.

80 tn Heb “and as a number, the fourth part of Israel.” The noun in the MT is not in the construct state, and so it should be taken as an adverbial accusative, forming a parallel with the verb “count.” The second object of the verse then follows, “the fourth part of Israel.” Smr and the LXX have “and who has numbered” (וּמִסְפָּר, umispar), making this colon more parallel to the preceding one. The editor of BHS prefers this reading.

81 tn The use of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) for the subject of the verb stresses the personal nature – me.

82 sn Here the seer’s words link with the promise of Gen 12:3, that whoever blesses Israel will be blessed. Since the blessing belongs to them, the upright (and not Balak), Balaam would like his lot to be with them.

83 tn Heb “my latter end.”

84 tn Heb “his.”

85 tn The Hebrew text uses הִנֵּה (hinneh) here to stress the contrast.

86 tn The construction is emphatic, using the perfect tense and the infinitive absolute to give it the emphasis. It would have the force of “you have done nothing but bless,” or “you have indeed blessed.” The construction is reminiscent of the call of Abram and the promise of the blessing in such elaborate terms.

87 tn Heb “he answered and said.” The referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

88 tn The verb שָׁמַר (shamar) means “to guard, watch, observe” and so here with a sense of “be careful” or even “take heed” (so KJV, ASV). The nuance of the imperfect tense would be obligatory: “I must be careful” – to do what? to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth. The infinitive construct “to speak” is therefore serving as the direct object of שָׁמַר.

89 tn The clause is a noun clause serving as the direct object of “to speak.” It begins with the sign of the accusative, and then the relative pronoun that indicates the whole clause is the accusative.

90 tn Heb “he brought him”; the referents (Balak and Balaam) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

91 tn Some scholars do not translate this word as “Pisgah,” but rather as a “lookout post” or an “elevated place.”

92 tn Heb “and he built.”

93 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

94 tn The verse uses כֹּה (koh) twice: “Station yourself here…I will meet [the Lord] there.”

95 tn Heb “word.”

96 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

97 tn Heb “he.” The antecedent has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

98 tn Heb “took up.”

99 tn The verb probably means “pay attention” in this verse.

100 tn Heb “son of man.”

101 tn The verb is the Hiphil of קוּם (qum, “to cause to rise; to make stand”). The meaning here is more of the sense of fulfilling the promises made.

102 tn The Hebrew text simply has “I have received [to] bless.” The infinitive is the object of the verb, telling what he received. Balaam was not actually commanded to bless, but was given the word of blessing so that he was given a divine decree that would bless Israel.

103 sn The reference is probably to the first speech, where the Lord blessed Israel. Balaam knows that there is nothing he can do to reverse what God has said.

104 tn The verb is the Hiphil of שׁוּב (shuv), meaning “to cause to return.” He cannot return God’s word to him, for it has been given, and it will be fulfilled.

105 tn These could be understood as impersonal and so rendered “no one has discovered.”

106 sn The line could mean that God has regarded Israel as the ideal congregation without any blemish or flaw. But it could also mean that God has not looked on their iniquity, meaning, held it against them.

107 tn The word means “wrong, misery, trouble.” It can mean the idea of “disaster” as well, for that too is trouble. Here it is parallel to “iniquity” and so has the connotation of something that would give God reason to curse them.

108 tn The people are blessed because God is their king. In fact, the shout of acclamation is among them – they are proclaiming the Lord God as their king. The word is used normally for the sound of the trumpet, but also of battle shouts, and then here acclamation. This would represent their conviction that Yahweh is king. On the usage of this Hebrew word see further BDB 929-30 s.v. תְּרוּעָה; HALOT 1790-91 s.v.

109 tn The form is the Hiphil participle from יָצַא (yatsa’) with the object suffix. He is the one who brought them out.

110 sn The expression is “the horns of the wild ox” (KJV “unicorn”). The point of the image is strength or power. Horns are also used in the Bible to represent kingship (see Pss 89 and 132).

111 tn Or “in Jacob.” But given the context the meaning “against” is preferable. The words describe two techniques of consulting God; the first has to do with observing omens in general (“enchantments”), and the second with casting lots or arrows of the like (“divinations” [Ezek 21:26]). See N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers (NCB), 295-96.

112 tn The form is the preposition “like, as” and the word for “time” – according to the time, about this time, now.

113 tn The Niphal imperfect here carries the nuance of obligation – one has to say in amazement that God has done something marvelous or “it must be said.”

114 tn The words “look at” are not in the Hebrew text but have been added in the translation for clarity.

115 tn The pronoun “their” has been supplied for clarity; it is not present in the Hebrew text.

116 sn The oracle compares Israel first to a lion, or better, lioness, because she does the tracking and hunting of food while the lion moves up and down roaring and distracting the prey. But the lion is also the traditional emblem of Judah, Dan and Gad, as well as the symbol of royalty. So this also supports the motif of royalty as well as power for Israel.

117 tn The verb is preceded by the infinitive absolute: “you shall by no means curse” or “do not curse them at all.” He brought him to curse, and when he tried to curse there was a blessing. Balak can only say it would be better not to bother.

118 tn The same construction now works with “nor bless them at all.” The two together form a merism – “don’t say anything.” He does not want them blessed, so Balaam is not to do that, but the curse isn’t working either.

119 tn Heb “answered and said.”

120 tn This first clause, “all that the Lord speaks” – is a noun clause functioning as the object of the verb that comes at the end of the verse. It is something of an independent accusative case, since it is picked up with the sign of the accusative: “all that the Lord speaks, it I must do.”

121 tn Heb “be pleasing in the eyes of God.”

122 sn Balak is stubborn, as indeed Balaam is persistent. But Balak still thinks that if another location were used it just might work. Balaam had actually told Balak in the prophecy that other attempts would fail. But Balak refuses to give up so easily. So he insists they perform the ritual and try again. This time, however, Balaam will change his approach, and this will result in a dramatic outpouring of power on him.

123 tn Or perhaps as a place name, “Jeshimon” (cf. 21:20).

124 sn For a thorough study of the arrangement of this passage, see E. B. Smick, “A Study of the Structure of the Third Balaam Oracle,” The Law and the Prophets, 242-52. He sees the oracle as having an introductory strophe (vv. 3, 4), followed by two stanzas (vv. 5, 6) that introduce the body (vv. 7b-9b) before the final benediction (v. 9b).

125 tn Heb “it was good in the eyes of the Lord.”

126 tn Heb “as time after time.”

127 tn The word נְחָשִׁים (nÿkhashim) means “omens,” or possibly “auguries.” Balaam is not even making a pretense now of looking for such things, because they are not going to work. God has overruled them.

128 tn The idiom signifies that he had a determination and resolution to look out over where the Israelites were, so that he could appreciate more their presence and use that as the basis for his expressing of the oracle.

129 tn Heb “living according to their tribes.”

130 tn Heb “and he took up his oracle and said.”

131 tn The word נְאֻם (nÿum) is an “oracle.” It is usually followed by a subjective genitive, indicating the doer of the action. The word could be rendered “says,” but this translations is more specific.

132 tn The Greek version reads “the one who sees truly.” The word has been interpreted in both ways, “shut” or “open.”

133 tn The phrase “flat on the ground” is supplied in the translation for clarity. The Greek version interprets the line to mean “falling asleep.” It may mean falling into a trance.

134 tn The last colon simply has “falling, but opened eyes.” The falling may simply refer to lying prone; and the opened eyes may refer to his receiving a vision. See H. E. Freeman, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets, 37-41.

135 tn Here מָה (mah) has an exclamatory sense: “How!” (see Gen 28:17).

136 tn Heb “as valleys they spread forth.”

137 tn Or “rows of palms.”

138 sn The language seems to be more poetic than precise. N. H. Snaith notes that cedars do not grow beside water; he also connects “aloes” to the eaglewood that is more exotic, and capable of giving off an aroma (Leviticus and Numbers [NCB], 298).

139 tc For this colon the LXX has “a man shall come out of his seed.” Cf. the Syriac Peshitta and Targum.

140 tn Heb “many.”

141 sn These two lines are difficult, but the general sense is that of irrigation buckets and a well-watered land. The point is that Israel will be prosperous and fruitful.

142 sn Many commentators see this as a reference to Agag of 1 Sam 15:32-33, the Amalekite king slain by Samuel, for that is the one we know. But that is by no means clear, for this text does not identify this Agag. If it is that king, then this poem, or this line in this poem, would have to be later, unless one were to try to argue for a specific prophecy. Whoever this Agag is, he is a symbol of power.

143 tn Heb “they will devour nations,” their adversaries.

144 tn On the usage of this word see HALOT 517 s.v. לָבִיא.

145 sn This is apparently a sign of contempt or derision (see Job 27:23; and Lam 2:15).

146 tn The construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the perfect tense for “bless.”

147 tn Heb “flee to your place.”

148 tn Heb “I am not able to go beyond.”

149 tn Heb “mouth.”

150 tn Heb “from my heart.”

151 tn The construction is the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) suffixed followed by the active participle. This is the futur instans use of the participle, to express something that is about to happen: “I am about to go.”

152 tn Heb “in the latter days.” For more on this expression, see E. Lipinski, “באחרית הימים dans les textes préexiliques,” VT 20 (1970): 445-50.

153 tn Heb “and he took up his oracle and said.”

154 tn Heb “near.”

155 sn This is a figure for a king (see also Isa 14:12) not only in the Bible but in the ancient Near Eastern literature as a whole. The immediate reference of the prophecy seems to be to David, but the eschatological theme goes beyond him. There is to be a connection made between this passage and the sighting of a star in its ascendancy by the magi, who then traveled to Bethlehem to see the one born King of the Jews (Matt 2:2). The expression “son of a star” (Aram Bar Kochba) became a title for a later claimant to kingship, but he was doomed by the Romans in a.d. 135.

156 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it is equal to the imperfect expressing the future. The verb דָּרַךְ (darakh), related to the noun “way, road,” seems to mean something like tread on, walk, march.”

157 sn The “scepter” is metonymical for a king who will rise to power. NEB strangely rendered this as “comet” to make a parallel with “star.”

158 tn The word is literally “corners,” but may refer to the corners of the head, and so “skull.”

159 tc The MT reads “shatter, devastate.” Smr reads קֹדְקֹד (qodqod, “head; crown; pate”). Smr follows Jer 48:45 which appears to reflect Num 24:17.

160 sn The prophecy begins to be fulfilled when David defeated Moab and Edom and established an empire including them. But the Messianic promise extends far beyond that to the end of the age and the inclusion of these defeated people in the program of the coming King.

161 sn Seir is the chief mountain range of Edom (Deut 33:2), and so the reference here is to the general area of Edom.

162 tn Or, understanding the Hebrew word for “city” as a place name, “of Ir” (cf. NRSV, NLT).

163 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Balaam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

164 tn Heb “and he lifted up his oracle and said.” So also in vv. 21, 23.

165 sn This probably means that it held first place, or it thought that it was “the first of the nations.” It was not the first, either in order or greatness.

166 sn A pun is made on the name Kenite by using the word “your nest” (קִנֶּךָ, qinnekha); the location may be the rocky cliffs overlooking Petra.

167 tc Heb “Nevertheless Cain will be wasted; how long will Asshur take you captive?” Cain was believed to be the ancestor of the Kenites. The NAB has “yet destined for burning, even as I watch, are your inhabitants.” Asshur may refer to a north Arabian group of people of Abrahamic stock (Gen 25:3), and not the Assyrian empire.

168 tc Because there is no parallel line, some have thought that it dropped out (see de Vaulx, Les Nombres, 296).

169 tc The MT is difficult. The Kittim refers normally to Cyprus, or any maritime people to the west. W. F. Albright proposed emending the line to “islands will gather in the north, ships from the distant sea” (“The Oracles of Balaam,” JBL 63 [1944]: 222-23). Some commentators accept that reading as the original state of the text, since the present MT makes little sense.

170 tn Or perhaps “Assyria” (so NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

171 tn Or “it will end in utter destruction.”

172 tn Heb “place.”

173 sn Chapter 25 tells of Israel’s sins on the steppes of Moab, and God’s punishment. In the overall plan of the book, here we have another possible threat to God’s program, although here it comes from within the camp (Balaam was the threat from without). If the Moabites could not defeat them one way, they would try another. The chapter has three parts: fornication (vv. 1-3), God’s punishment (vv. 4-9), and aftermath (vv. 10-18). See further G. E. Mendenhall, The Tenth Generation, 105-21; and S. C. Reif, “What Enraged Phinehas? A Study of Numbers 25:8,” JBL 90 (1971): 200-206.

174 tn This first preterite is subordinated to the next as a temporal clause; it is not giving a parallel action, but the setting for the event.

175 sn The account apparently means that the men were having sex with the Moabite women. Why the men submitted to such a temptation at this point is hard to say. It may be that as military heroes the men took liberties with the women of occupied territories.

176 tn The verb simply says “they called,” but it is a feminine plural. And so the women who engaged in immoral acts with Hebrew men invited them to their temple ritual.

177 sn What Israel experienced here was some of the debased ritual practices of the Canaanite people. The act of prostrating themselves before the pagan deities was probably participation in a fertility ritual, nothing short of cultic prostitution. This was a blatant disregard of the covenant and the Law. If something were not done, the nation would have destroyed itself.

178 tn The verb is “yoked” to Baal-peor. The word is unusual, and may suggest the physical, ritual participation described below. It certainly shows that they acknowledge the reality of the local god.

sn The evidence indicates that Moab was part of the very corrupt Canaanite world, a world that was given over to the fertility ritual of the times.

179 sn The meaning must be the leaders behind the apostasy, for they would now be arrested. They were responsible for the tribes’ conformity to the Law, but here they had not only failed in their duty, but had participated. The leaders were executed; the rest of the guilty died by the plague.

180 sn The leaders who were guilty were commanded by God to be publicly exposed by hanging, probably a reference to impaling, but possibly some other form of harsh punishment. The point was that the swaying of their executed bodies would be a startling warning for any who so blatantly set the Law aside and indulged in apostasy through pagan sexual orgies.

181 tn Heb “in the sun.” This means in broad daylight.

182 tn Heb “slay – a man his men.” The imperative is plural, and so “man” is to be taken collectively as “each of you men.”

183 tn The verse begins with the deictic particle וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh), pointing out the action that was taking place. It stresses the immediacy of the action to the reader.

184 tn Or “to his family”; or “to his clan.”

185 tn Heb “before the eyes of Moses and before the eyes of.”

186 tn The vav (ו) at the beginning of the clause is a disjunctive because it is prefixed to the nonverbal form. In this context it is best interpreted as a circumstantial clause, stressing that this happened “while” people were weeping over the sin.

187 tn The first clause is subordinated to the second because both begin with the preterite verbal form, and there is clearly a logical and/or chronological sequence involved.

188 tn The word קֻבָּה (qubbah) seems to refer to the innermost part of the family tent. Some suggest it was in the tabernacle area, but that is unlikely. S. C. Reif argues for a private tent shrine (“What Enraged Phinehas? A Study of Numbers 25:8,” JBL 90 [1971]: 200-206).

189 tn Heb “and he thrust the two of them the Israelite man and the woman to her belly [lower abdomen].” Reif notes the similarity of the word with the previous “inner tent,” and suggests that it means Phinehas stabbed her in her shrine tent, where she was being set up as some sort of priestess or cult leader. Phinehas put a quick end to their sexual immorality while they were in the act.

190 sn Phinehas saw all this as part of the pagan sexual ritual that was defiling the camp. He had seen that the Lord himself had had the guilty put to death. And there was already some plague breaking out in the camp that had to be stopped. And so in his zeal he dramatically put an end to this incident, that served to stop the rest and end the plague.

191 tn Heb “he was zealous with my zeal.” The repetition of forms for “zeal” in the line stresses the passion of Phinehas. The word “zeal” means a passionate intensity to protect or preserve divine or social institutions.

192 tn The word for “zeal” now occurs a third time. While some English versions translate this word here as “jealousy” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV), it carries the force of God’s passionate determination to defend his rights and what is right about the covenant and the community and parallels the “zeal” that Phinehas had just demonstrated.

193 tn Heb “say.”

194 tn Here too the grammar expresses an imminent future by using the particle הִנְנִי (hinni) before the participle נֹתֵן (noten) – “here I am giving,” or “I am about to give.”

195 tn Or “my pledge of friendship” (NAB), or “my pact of friendship” (NJPS). This is the designation of the leadership of the priestly ministry. The terminology is used again in the rebuke of the priests in Mal 2.

196 tn The motif is reiterated here. Phinehas was passionately determined to maintain the rights of his God by stopping the gross sinful perversions.

197 sn The atonement that he made in this passage refers to the killing of the two obviously blatant sinners. By doing this he dispensed with any animal sacrifice, for the sinners themselves died. In Leviticus it was the life of the substitutionary animal that was taken in place of the sinners that made atonement. The point is that sin was punished by death, and so God was free to end the plague and pardon the people. God’s holiness and righteousness have always been every bit as important as God’s mercy and compassion, for without righteousness and holiness mercy and compassion mean nothing.

198 tn Heb “a father’s house.” So also in v. 15.

199 tn Heb “head.”

200 sn The passage makes it clear that this individual was a leader, one who was supposed to be preventing this thing from happening. The judgment was swift and severe, because the crime was so great, and the danger of it spreading was certain. Paul refers to this horrible incident when he reminds Christians not to do similar things (1 Cor 10:6-8).

201 tn The form is the infinitive absolute used in place of a verb here; it clearly is meant to be an instruction for Israel. The idea is that of causing trouble, harassing, vexing Midian. The verb is repeated as the active participle in the line, and so the punishment is talionic.

202 tn This is the same word as that translated “treachery.”

203 sn Cozbi’s father, Zur, was one of five Midianite kings who eventually succumbed to Israel (Num 31:8). When the text gives the name and family of a woman, it is asserting that she is important, at least for social reasons, among her people.

204 sn The breakdown of ch. 26 for outlining purposes will be essentially according to the tribes of Israel. The format and structure is similar to the first census, and so less comment is necessary here.

205 tc The MT has also “saying.”

206 tn Heb “house of their fathers.”

207 tn Heb “everyone who goes out in the army in Israel.”

208 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity (also in v. 62).

209 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

210 tn “Number the people” is added here to the text for a smooth reading.

211 tc The Hebrew text has no preposition here, but one has been supplied in the translation for clarity. Cf. vv. 23, 30, 31, 32.

212 sn The Reubenites had decreased from 46,500 to 43,730.

213 tc The MT has “and the sons of Pallu.”

214 tn Or “company” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); Heb “congregation.”

215 tc This is “Zohar” in Exod 6:15 and Gen 46:10.

216 sn Before entering Sinai the tribe numbered 59,300, the third largest. Now it was about one-third its original size.

217 tc The MT of Gen 46:16 reads this as “Ezbon.”

218 tc The Greek version and Smr have “Ad[d]i,” probably by confusion of letters.

219 tc Gen 46:16 and the LXX here read “Arodi.”

220 sn The Gadites decreased from 45,650 to 40,500.

221 tc Smr and the Greek version have “Hamuel.”

222 sn The Judahites increased from 74,600 to 76,500.

223 sn The Issacharites increased from 54,400 to 64,300.

224 sn The Zebulunites showed a slight increase from 57,400 to 60,500.

225 sn The Manassehites increased from 32,200 to 52,700.

226 sn This is a significant reduction from the first count of 40,500.

227 tc With the exception of a few manuscripts the MT has Shephupham. The spelling in the translation above is supported by Smr and the ancient versions.

228 tc The LXX has Adar. Cf. 1 Chr 8:3.

229 tc “From Ard” is not in the Hebrew text.

230 sn The Benjaminites increased from 35,400 to 45,600. The Greek version has here 35,500.

231 sn The Danites increased from 62,700 to 64,400.

232 tn Also mentioned in 1 Chr 7:30.

233 sn The Asherites increased from 41,500 to 53,400.

234 sn The Naphtalites decreased from 53,400 to 45,400.

235 sn This number shows only a slightly smaller total in the second census; the first was 603,550.

236 tn Heb “to many you will multiply his inheritance.”

237 tn Heb “to a few you will lessen his inheritance.”

238 tn Heb “according to those that were numbered of him,” meaning, in accordance with the number of people in his clan.

239 tn Heb “divided.”

240 tn Heb “who she bore him to Levi.” The verb has no expressed subject. Either one could be supplied, such as “her mother,” or it could be treated as a passive.

241 tn The expression אֵשׁ זָרָה (’esh zarah, “strange fire”) seems imprecise and has been interpreted numerous ways (see the helpful summary in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC 4], 132-33). The infraction may have involved any of the following or a combination thereof: (1) using coals from some place other than the burnt offering altar (i.e., “unauthorized coals” according to J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:598; cf. Lev 16:12 and cf. “unauthorized person” [אִישׁ זָר, ’ish zar] in Num 16:40 [17:5 HT], NASB “layman”), (2) using the wrong kind of incense (cf. the Exod 30:9 regulation against “strange incense” [קְטֹרֶת זָרָה, qÿtoret zarah] on the incense altar and the possible connection to Exod 30:34-38), (3) performing an incense offering at an unprescribed time (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 59), or (4) entering the Holy of Holies at an inappropriate time (Lev 16:1-2).

sn This event is narrated in Lev 10:1-7.

242 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

243 tn “who had been” is added to clarify the text.

244 sn For additional information on this section, see N. H. Snaith, “The Daughters of Zelophehad,” VT 16 (1966): 124-27; and J. Weingreen, “The Case of the Daughters of Zelophehad,” VT 16 (1966): 518-22.

245 tc The phrase “of the families of Manasseh” is absent from the Latin Vulgate.

246 tn This clause begins with a vav (ו) on a pronoun, marking it out as a disjunctive vav. In this context it fits best to take it as a circumstantial clause introducing concession.

247 tn Heb “in the midst of.”

248 tn The word order is emphatic: “but in/on account of his own sins he died.”

249 tn That is, the possession of land, or property, among the other families of their tribe.

250 tn The word is “brothers,” but this can be interpreted more loosely to relatives. So also in v. 7.

251 tn Heb “[the daughters of Zelophehad] speak right” (using the participle דֹּבְרֹת [dovÿrot] with כֵּן [ken]).

252 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense. The imperfect is functioning as the imperfect of instruction, and so the infinitive strengthens the force of the instruction.

253 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive, from the root עָבַר (’avar, “to pass over”). Here it functions as the equivalent of the imperfect of instruction: “and you shall cause to pass,” meaning, “transfer.”

254 tn Heb “a man, if he dies.”

255 tn The expression is חֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט (khuqqat mishpat, “a statute of judgment”), which means it is a fixed enactment that determines justice. It is one which is established by God.

256 sn See further J. Lindblom, “Lot Casting in the Old Testament,” VT 12 (1962): 164-78; E. Lipinski, “Urim and Thummim,” VT 20 (1970): 495-96; and S. E. Loewenstamm, “The Death of Moses,” Tarbiz 27 (1957/58): 142-57.

257 tc The Greek version adds “which is Mount Nebo.” This is a typical scribal change to harmonize two passages.

sn The area is in the mountains of Moab; Deut 34:1 more precisely identifies it as Mount Nebo.

258 tn The imperative could be subordinated to the first to provide a purpose clause, although a second instruction fits well enough.

259 tn This perfect tense would best be classified as a perfect of resolve: “which I have decided to give.” God had not yet given the land to them, but it was certain he would.

260 tn The first verb is a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, and the second verb is also. In such parallel clauses, the first may be subordinated, here as a temporal clause.

261 tn Heb “people.”

262 tn Heb “was gathered.” The phrase “to his ancestors” is elided in the Hebrew text, but is an implied repetition from the beginning of the verse, and has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

263 tn The preposition on the relative pronoun has the force of “because of the fact that.”

264 tn The verb is the second masculine plural form.

265 tn Heb “mouth.”

266 sn Using the basic meaning of the word קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be separate, distinct, set apart”), we can understand better what Moses failed to do. He was supposed to have acted in a way that would have shown God to be distinct, different, holy. Instead, he gave the impression that God was capricious and hostile – very human. The leader has to be aware of what image he is conveying to the people.

267 tn Heb “flesh”; cf. NAB, NIV “all mankind”; NCV “all people”; NLT “all living things.”

268 tn This is the same verb פָּקַד (paqad) that is used throughout the book for the aspect of “numbering” the people.

269 sn This is probably technical terminology for a military leader (Josh 14:11; 1 Sam 18:13-16; 1 Kgs 3:7; 2 Kgs 11:9). The image of a shepherd can also be military in nature (1 Kgs 22:17).

270 tn The Hebrew text has the conjunction with the negated imperfect tense, “and it will not be.” This clause should be subordinated to the preceding to form a result clause, and the imperfect then function as a final imperfect.

271 tn Or “said.”

272 sn The word “spirit” probably refers to the Holy Spirit, in which case it would be rendered “in whom is the Spirit.” This would likely be a permanent endowment for Joshua. But it is also possible to take it to refer to a proper spirit to do all the things required of such a leader (which ultimately is a gift from the Spirit of God). The Hebrew text simply says “in whom is a spirit.”

273 sn This symbolic act would indicate the transfer of leadership to Joshua.

274 tn This could be translated “position him,” or “have him stand,” since it is the causative stem of the verb “to stand.”

275 tn The verb is the Piel perfect of צִוָּה (tsivvah, literally “to command”). The verb has a wide range of meanings, and so here in this context the idea of instructing gives way to a more general sense of commissioning for duty. The verb in sequence is equal to the imperfect of instruction.

276 tn Heb “in their eyes.”

277 tn The verb is simply “give,” but in this context giving some of Moses’ honor to Joshua in the presence of the people is essentially passing the leadership to him, or delegating the authority to him with the result that people would follow him.

278 tc The Greek, Syriac, and Vulgate read “glory” for this form that occurs only here in the Pentateuch. Elsewhere it is rendered “majesty, splendor” (see Ps 96:6). It could even be “vitality” here. The authority being transferred here is both spiritual and civil.

279 tn Heb “hear.”

280 tn The passage simply has “and he will ask,” but Eleazar is clearly the subject now.

281 tn Heb “ask.”

282 sn The new leader would not have the privilege that Moses had in speaking to God face to face. Rather, he would have to inquire of the Lord through the priest, and the priest would seek a decision by means of the Urim. The Urim and the Thummim were the sacred lots that the priest had in his pouch, the “breastplate” as it has traditionally been called. Since the Law had now been fully established, there would be fewer cases that the leader would need further rulings. Now it would simply be seeking the Lord’s word for matters such as whether to advance or not. The size, shape or substance of these objects is uncertain. See further C. Van Dam, The Urim and Thummim.

283 tn Heb “mouth,” meaning what he will say.

284 tn Heb “stood.”

285 tn Heb “spoke.”

286 tn Heb “hand.”

287 sn For additional reading on these chapters, see G. B. Gray, Sacrifice in the Old Testament; A. F. Rainey, “The Order of Sacrifices in the Old Testament Ritual Texts,” Bib 51 (1970): 485-98; N. H. Snaith, The Jewish New Year Festival.

288 tn Heb “and say to them.” These words have not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

289 tn Th sentence begins with the accusative “my offering.” It is suspended at the beginning as an independent accusative to itemize the subject matter. The second accusative is the formal object of the verb. It could also be taken in apposition to the first accusative.

290 tn The construction uses the imperfect tense expressing instruction, followed by the infinitive construct used to express the complement of direct object.

291 sn See L. R. Fisher, “New Ritual Calendar from Ugarit,” HTR 63 (1970): 485-501.

292 sn The sacrifice was to be kept burning, but each morning the priests would have to clean the grill and put a new offering on the altar. So the idea of a continual burnt offering is more that of a regular offering.

293 tn Heb “between the evenings” meaning between dusk and dark.

294 sn That is about two quarts.

295 sn That is about one quart.

296 tn Heb “the one lamb,” but it is meant to indicate for “each lamb.”

297 tn The word שֵׁכָר (shekhar) is often translated “strong drink.” It can mean “barley beer” in the Akkadian cognate, and also in the Hebrew Bible when joined with the word for wine. English versions here read “wine” (NAB, TEV, CEV); “strong wine” (KJV); “fermented drink” (NIV, NLT); “strong drink” (ASV, NASB, NRSV).

298 tn Heb “as the grain offering of the morning and as its drink offering.”

299 tn The words “you must offer” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied. They have been supplied in the translation to make a complete English sentence.

300 sn That is, about 4 quarts.

301 tn Heb “the burnt offering of the Sabbath by its Sabbath.”

302 tn Heb “of your months.”

303 tn The word “include” is not in the Hebrew text but is implied. It is supplied in the translation to make a complete English sentence.

304 tn Heb “a month in its month.”

305 tn Heb “one kid of the goats.”

306 tn Heb “any work [of] service”; this means any occupational work, that is, the ordinary service.

307 tn Heb “unblemished they will be to you.” So also in v. 31.

308 tn Heb “afflict yourselves”; NAB “mortify yourselves”; NIV, NRSV “deny yourselves.”

sn The verb seems to mean “humble yourself.” There is no explanation given for it. In the days of the prophets fasting seems to be associated with it (see Isa 58:3-5), and possibly the symbolic wearing of ashes.

309 tn Heb “they shall be to you without blemish.”

310 tn The words “you must offer” are implied.

311 sn Beginning with 29:40, the verse numbers through 30:16 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 29:40 ET = 30:1 HT, 30:1 ET = 30:2 HT, etc., through 30:16 ET = 30:17 HT. With 31:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

312 tn Heb “Moses.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

313 sn Num 30 deals with vows that are different than the vows discussed in Lev 27 and Num 6. The material is placed here after all the rulings of the offerings, but it could have been revealed to Moses at any time, such as the Nazirite vows, or the question of the daughters’ inheritance. The logic of placing it here may be that a festival was the ideal place for discharging a vow. For additional material on vows, see R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 465-66.

314 tn Heb “heads.”

315 tn Heb “This is the word which.”

316 tn The legal construction states the class to which the law applies, and then lays down the condition: “men [man] – if….”

317 tn The Hebrew text uses a cognate accusative construction to express this: “a man if he vows a vow.”

318 tn The expression is “swear an oath” (הִשָּׁבַע שְׁבֻעָה, hishavashÿvuah). The vow (נֵדֶר, neder) was a promise to donate something of oneself or one’s substance to the Lord. The solemn oath seals the vow before the Lord, perhaps with sacrifice. The vocabulary recalls Abraham’s treaty with Abimelech and the naming of Beer Sheba with the word (see Gen 21).

319 tn The Hebrew text hasלֶאְסֹר אִסָּר (lesorissar), meaning “to take a binding obligation.” This is usually interpreted to mean a negative vow, i.e., the person attempts to abstain from something that is otherwise permissible. It might involve fasting, or abstaining from marital sex, but it might also involve some goal to be achieved, and the abstaining from distractions until the vow is fulfilled (see Ps 132). The נֶדֶר (neder) may have been more for religious matters, and the אִסָּר more for social concerns, but this cannot be documented with certainty.

320 tn Heb “according to all that goes out of his mouth.”

321 tn The qualification comes at the end of the verse, and simply says “in her youth.”

322 tn The Hebrew text just has “in her father’s house” and not “who is still living,” but that is the meaning of the line.

323 tn The intent of this expression is that he does not object to the vow.

324 tn The verb קוּם (qum) is best translated “stand” here, but the idea with it is that what she vows is established as a genuine oath with the father’s approval (or acquiescence).

325 tn The idiom is “in the day of,” but it is used in place of a preposition before the infinitive construct with its suffixed subjective genitive. The clause is temporal.

326 tn The Hebrew “all will not stand” is best rendered “none will stand.”

327 tn The verb has often been translated “forgive” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV, NLT), but that would suggest a sin that needed forgiving. The idea of “release from obligation” is better; the idea is like that of having a debt “forgiven” or “retired.” In other words, she is free from the vow she had made. The Lord will not hold the woman responsible to do what she vowed.

328 tn Heb “and her vows are upon her.” It may be that the woman gets married while her vows are still unfulfilled.

329 tn The Hebrew text indicates that this would be some impetuous vow that she uttered with her lips, a vow that her husband, whether new or existing, would not approve of. Several translate it “a binding obligation rashly uttered.”

330 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive from the verb פָּרַר (parar, “to annul”). The verb functions here as the equivalent of an imperfect tense; here it is the apodosis following the conditional clause – if this is the case, then this is what will happen.

331 tn Heb “which [she is] under it.”

332 tn The Hebrew text says her vow “shall stand against her.” In other words, she must fulfill, or bear the consequences of, whatever she vowed.

333 tn The verb is the imperfect tense in the conditional clause. It is intensified with the infinitive absolute, which would have the force of saying that he nullified them unequivocally, or he made them null and void.

334 tn Heb whatever proceeds from her lips.”

335 tn The sentence uses the infinitive construct לְעַנֹּת (lÿannot, “to afflict”), which is the same word used in the instructions for the day of atonement in which people are to afflict themselves (their souls). The case here may be that the woman would take a religious vow on such an occasion to humble herself, to mortify her flesh, to abstain from certain things, perhaps even sexual relations within marriage.

336 tn Heb “or her husband can nullify.”

337 tn The sentence uses the infinitive absolute to strengthen the idea.

338 sn In other words, he will pay the penalty for making her break her vows if he makes her stop what she vowed. It will not be her responsibility.

339 tn Heb “between.”

340 sn This lengthy chapter records the mobilization of the troops (vv. 1-5), the war itself (vv. 6-13), the death of the captive women (vv. 14-18), the purification of the nations (vv. 19-24), and the distribution of the spoils (vv. 25-54). For more detail, see G. W. Coats, “Moses in Midian,” JBL 92 (1973): 3-10; and W. J. Dumbrell, “Midian – a Land or a League?” VT 25 (1975): 323-37.

341 tn The imperative is followed by its cognate accusative to stress this vengeance. The Midianites had attempted to destroy Israel with their corrupt pagan practices, and now will be judged. The accounts indicate that the effort by Midian was calculated and evil.

342 sn The war was commanded by the Lord and was to be divine vengeance on the Midianites. So it was holy war. No Israelites then could take spoils in this – it was not a time for plunder and aggrandizement. It was part of the judgment of God upon those who would destroy or pervert his plan and his people.

343 sn This would be the last major enterprise that Moses would have to undertake. He would soon die and “be gathered to his people” as Aaron was.

344 tn The Niphal imperative, literally “arm yourselves,” is the call to mobilize the nation for war. It is followed by the jussive, “and they will be,” which would then be subordinated to say “that they may be.” The versions changed the verb to a Hiphil, but that is unnecessary: “arm some of yourselves.”

345 tn Heb “give.”

346 sn Some commentators argue that given the size of the nation (which they reject) the small number for the army is a sign of the unrealistic character of the story. The number is a round number, but it is also a holy war, and God would give them the victory. They are beginning to learn here, and at Jericho, and later against these Midianites under Gideon, that God does not want or need a large army in order to obtain victory.

347 tn The Hebrew text uses the idiom that these “were in his hand,” meaning that he had the responsibility over them.

348 sn It is not clear what articles from the sanctuary were included. Tg. Ps.-J. adds (interpretively) “the Urim and Thummim.”

349 sn Many modern biblical scholars assume that this passage is fictitious. The text says that they killed every male, but Judges accounts for the Midianites. The texts can be harmonized rather simply – they killed every Midianite who was in the battle. Midianite tribes and cities dotted the whole region, but that does not mean Israel went and killed every single one of them. There apparently was a core of Midianites whom Balaam had influenced to pervert Israel.

350 sn Here again we see that there was no unified empire, but Midianite tribal groups.

351 sn And what was Balaam doing among the Midianites? The implication is strong. This pagan diviner had to submit to the revealed will of God in the oracles, but he nonetheless could be hired. He had been a part of the attempt to destroy Israel that failed; he then apparently became part of the plan, if not the adviser, to destroy them with sexual immorality and pagan ritual.

352 tn Heb “burned with fire.”

353 tn The ban applied to the encampments and forts of this group of Midianite tribes living in the region of Moab.

354 tn Or “steppes.”

355 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

356 tn Again this expression, “the Jordan of Jericho,” is used. It describes the intended location along the Jordan River, the Jordan next to or across from Jericho.

map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

357 tn The verb is the Piel perfect of the word חָיָה (khayah, “to live”). In the Piel stem it must here mean “preserve alive,” or “allow to live,” rather than make alive.

358 tn Heb “every male among the little ones.”

sn The command in holy war to kill women and children seems in modern times a terrible thing to do (and it was), and something they ought not to have done. But this criticism fails to understand the situation in the ancient world. The entire life of the ancient world was tribal warfare. God’s judgment is poured out on whole groups of people who act with moral abandonment and in sinful pursuits. See E. J. Young, My Servants, the Prophets, 24; and J. W. Wenham, The Enigma of Evil.

359 tn Heb “every woman who has known [a] man by lying with a man.”

360 tn Or “girls.” The Hebrew indicates they would be female children, making the selection easy.

361 tn Heb “who have not known [a] man by lying with a man.”

362 sn Many contemporary scholars see this story as fictitious, composed by the Jews during the captivity. According to this interpretation, the spoils of war here indicate the wealth of the Jews in captivity, which was to be given to the Levites and priests for the restoration of the sanctuary in Jerusalem. The conclusion drawn from this interpretation is that returning Jews had the same problem as the earlier ones: to gain a foothold in the land. Against this interpretation of the account is a lack of hard evidence, a lack which makes this interpretation appear contrived and subjective. If this was the intent of a later writer, he surely could have stated this more clearly than by making up such a story.

363 sn These verses are a reminder that taking a life, even if justified through holy war, still separates one from the holiness of God. It is part of the violation of the fallen world, and only through the ritual of purification can one be once again made fit for the presence of the Lord.

364 sn Purification by fire is unique to this event. Making these metallic objects “pass through the fire” was not only a way of purifying (burning off impurities), but it seems to be a dedicatory rite as well to the Lord and his people. The aspect of passing through the fire is one used by these pagans for child sacrifice.

365 tn The idiom here is “take up the head,” meaning take a census, or count the totals.

366 tn The verb is the Hiphil, “you shall cause to be taken up.” The perfect with vav (ו) continues the sequence of the instructions. This raised offering was to be a tax of one-fifth of one percent for the Lord.

367 tn Heb “people.”

368 tn Heb “had plundered.”

369 sn Here again we encounter one of the difficulties of the book, the use of the large numbers. Only twelve thousand soldiers fought the Midianites, but they brought back this amount of plunder, including 32,000 girls. Until a solution for numbers in the book can be found, or the current translation confirmed, one must remain cautious in interpretation.

370 tn The word “numbered” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

371 tn Heb “soul.”

372 tn Heb “the men who were fighting.”

373 tn Heb “to Moses”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

374 tn Heb “lifted up the head.”

375 tn Heb “in our hand.”

376 tn Heb “our souls.”

377 sn The expression here may include the idea of finding protection from divine wrath, which is so common to Leviticus, but it may also be a thank offering for the fact that their lives had been spared.

378 sn Or about 420 imperial pounds.

379 tn The Hebrew text does not repeat the word “commanders” here, but it is implied.

380 tn The purpose of the offering was to remind the Lord to remember Israel. But it would also be an encouragement for Israel as they remembered the great victory.

381 sn While the tribes are on the other side of Jordan, the matter of which tribes would settle there has to be discussed. This chapter begins the settlement of Israel into the tribal territories, something to be continued in Joshua. The chapter has the petitions (vv. 1-5), the response by Moses (vv. 6-15), the proposal (vv. 16-27), and the conclusion of the matter (vv. 28-42). For literature on this subject, both critical and conservative, see S. E. Loewenstein, “The Relation of the Settlement of Gad and Reuben in Numbers 32:1-38, Its Background and Its Composition,” Tarbiz 42 (1972): 12-26; J. Mauchline, “Gilead and Gilgal, Some Reflections on the Israelite Occupation of Palestine,” VT 6 (1956): 19-33; and A. Bergmann, “The Israelite Tribe of Half-Manasseh,” JPOS 16 (1936): 224-54.

382 tn Heb “the place was a place of/for cattle.”

383 tc Smr and the LXX have Sibmah. Cf. v. 38.

384 tn Cf. Baal-meon in v. 38.

385 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect of נָכָה (nakhah), a term that can mean “smite, strike, attack, destroy.”

386 tn Heb “eyes.”

387 tn The verb is the Hiphil jussive from עָבַר (’avar, “to cross over”). The idea of “cause to cross” or “make us cross” might be too harsh, but “take across” with the rest of the nation is what they are trying to avoid.

388 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

389 tn The vav (ו) is a vav disjunctive prefixed to the pronoun; it fits best here as a circumstantial clause, “while you stay here.”

390 tn Heb “heart.” So also in v. 9.

391 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated to the parallel yet chronologically later verb in the next clause.

392 tn The infinitive construct here with lamed (ל) is functioning as a result clause.

393 tn The Lord had not given it yet, but was going to give it. Hence, the perfect should be classified as a perfect of resolve.

394 tn The clause is difficult; it means essentially that “they have not made full [their coming] after” the Lord.

395 tn The sentence begins with “if they see….” This is the normal way for Hebrew to express a negative oath – “they will by no means see….” The sentence is elliptical; it is saying something like “[May God do so to me] if they see,” meaning they won’t see. Of course here God is taking the oath, which is an anthropomorphic act. He does not need to take an oath, and certainly could not swear by anyone greater, but it communicates to people his resolve.

396 tc The LXX adds “those knowing bad and good.”

397 tn The words “to give” are not in the Hebrew text but have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

398 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

399 tn The verb is difficult to translate, since it has the idea of “complete, finish” (תָּמָם, tamam). It could be translated “consumed” in this passage (so KJV, ASV); NASB “was destroyed.”

400 tn The construction uses a verbal hendiadys with the verb “to add” serving to modify the main verb.

401 tn Heb “and you will destroy all this people.”

402 tn Heb “our little ones.”

403 tn The MT has חֻשִׁים (khushim); the verbal root is חוּשׁ (khush, “to make haste” or “hurry”). But in light of the Greek and Latin Vulgate the Hebrew should probably be emended to חֲמֻשִׁים (hamushim), a qal passive participle meaning “in battle array.” See further BDB 301 s.v. I חוּשׁ, BDB 332 s.v. חֲמֻשִׁים; HALOT 300 s.v. I חושׁ, חישׁ; HALOT 331 s.v. I חמשׁ.

404 tn Heb “from before.”

405 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

406 tn Heb “said to them.”

407 tn The nuance of the perfect tense here has to be the future perfect.

408 tn Heb “that which goes out/has gone out of your mouth.”

409 tn Heb “and the land is subdued before you.”

410 tn Heb “that which the Lord has spoken to your servants, thus we will do.”

411 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

412 tn Heb “the land with its cities in the borders of the cities of the land all around.”

413 tn Heb “called names.”

414 tn Heb “in it.”

415 sn This material can be arranged into four sections: from Egypt to Sinai (vv. 1-15), the wilderness wanderings (vv. 16-36), from Kadesh to Moab (vv. 37-49), and final orders for Canaan (vv. 50-56).

416 tn Heb “hand.”

417 tn Heb “their goings out.”

418 tn Heb “mouth.”

419 tn Heb “morrow.”

420 tn Heb “with a high hand”; the expression means “defiantly; boldly” or “with confidence.” The phrase is usually used for arrogant sin and pride, the defiant fist, as it were. The image of the high hand can also mean the hand raised to deliver the blow (Job 38:15).

421 tn Heb “in the eyes.”

422 tc So many medieval Hebrew manuscripts, Smr, Syriac, and Latin Vulgate. Other witnesses have “from before Hahiroth.”

423 tn Heb “mouth.”

424 tn Iim is a shortened form of the name Iye-abarim mentioned in v. 44.

425 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

426 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

427 tn The Hebrew text repeats the verb “you will destroy.”

428 tn Heb “of your fathers.”



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