SECTION XVI.

 

BESHALLACH.

 

AND it was when Pharoh had sent the people away, that the Lord led them not by the way of the land of the Philistaee because it was the nearest: for the Lord said, Lest the people be terrified at the seeing of war, and return to Mizraim. But the Lord led the people round by the way of the desert to the sea of Suph; and harnessed (or girded) went the sons of Israel up out of the land of Mizraim. And Mosheh brought up the bones of Joseph with him; for he had adjured the sons of Israel with an oath, saying, Remembering, the Lord will remember you, and you shall carry up my bones from hence. And they journeyed from Sukkoth, and encamped in Etham, which is beside the desert. And the Lord went before them by day in the column of the cloud to lead them in the way, and by night in the column of fire to enlighten them, that they might go in the day and in the night. The column of the cloud by day, nor the column of the fire by night, departed not before the people.

 

 

And the Lord spake to Mosheh, saying, Speak with the sons of Israel that they return and encamp before Pum Hiratha, between Migdol and the sea, before Beel Zephon: you shall encamp before it by the sea. And Pharoh will say of the children of Israel, They are bewildered in the land, the desert hath got hold of them:[1] and I will harden Pharoh's heart, and he will pursue them; and I will be glorified in Pharoh and in all his host; and the Mizraee shall know that I am the Lord. And they did so. And it was seen by the king of Mizraim that the people had gone. And the heart of Pharoh and of his servants was turned to the people; and they said, What is this that we have done, that we have sent Israel away from serving us? And he set his chariot in order, and took his people with him. He took also six hundred select chariots, and all the chariots of the Mizraee, and appointed strong men over them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharoh king of Mizraim, and he pursued after the children of Israel. But the children of Israel went forth with uncovered head. And the Mizraee followed after them, and overtook them while encamping by the sea; all the chariot horses of Pharoh, and his horsemen, and his army, by Pum Hiratha which is before Beel Zephon. And Pharoh drew nigh, and the sons of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Mizraee were coming after them: and they were greatly afraid, and the children of Israel cried before the Lord. But to Mosheh they said, Was it because there were no graves in Mizraim that thou hast taken us to die in the wilderness? What is this that thou hast done to bring us out of Mizraim? Was not this the word which we spake with thee in Mizraim, saying, Let us alone, and we will serve the Mizraee? for better would it have been for us to serve the Mizraee, than to die in the wilderness. And Mosheh said to the people, Fear not, stand still (or, be ready) and see the Lord's deliverance which He will work for you this day; for as you have seen the Mizraee this day, you will see them no more for ever: the Lord will fight for you the fight, and you shall be quiet.

 

And the Lord said to Mosheh, I have heard thy prayer. Speak to the children of Israel that they go onward: and thou, take thy rod and stretch forth thy hand over the sea, and divide it, and the children of Israel shall go in the midst of the sea on dry ground. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Mizraee, and they will go in after them; and I will be glorified by Pharoh and by all his army, by his chariots and his horsemen;[2] and the Mizraee shall know that I am the Lord, when I have been glorified by Pharoh and his chariots and his horsemen.[3]

 

And the angel of the Lord who went before the camp of Israel passed by and came behind them; and the column of the cloud passed from before them and abode behind them. And it entered between the camp of the Mizraee and the camp of Israel; and was a cloud and darkness to the Mizraee, but unto Israel a light all the night: and that came not near to this all the night.

 

And Mosheh stretched forth his hand over the sea; and the Lord drave the sea by a mighty east wind all the night, and caused the sea to be dry, and the waters were disparted; and the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon dry ground; and the waters were to them a wall[4] on their right hand and on their left. And the Mizraee followed and entered in after them, all the horses of Pharoh, and his chariots and horsemen, into the midst of the sea. And it was in the morning watch that the Lord looked upon the host of the Mizraee from the column of fire and cloud, and perturbed the host of the Mizraee. And he removed the wheels of the chariots, so that they drave them by strength;[5] and the Mizraee said, Let us flee from before Israel; for this is the power of the Lord which hath done battle for them against Mizraim.

 

And the Lord said to Mosheh, Stretch forth thy hand over the sea, and the waters shall return upon the Mizraee, upon their chariots and their horsemen. And Mosheh stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned, at the time of the morning, unto its strength; and the Mizraee fled before it; and the Lord drowned the Mizraee in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned and covered the chariots and horsemen and all the host of Pharoh who had gone after them into the sea, and there remained of them not one. But the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. And the Lord delivered Israel that day from the Mizraee, and Israel saw the Mizraee dead upon the shore of the sea. And Israel saw the Power of the Great Hand which the Lord had made (to appear) in Mizraim; and the people feared before the Lord, and believed in the Word of the Lord, and in the prophetic (work) of Mosheh His servant.

 

Then sang Mosheh and the children of Israel this hymn before the Lord; and they spake, saying, We will sing and give thanks before the Lord, because He is magnified upon the mighty, and the power is His own; the horse and his rider hath He cast into the sea. My strength and my song[6] is the terrible Lord; He hath said by His Word that He will be mine to redeem. This is my God, and I will build Him a sanctuary; the God of my fathers, and I will worship before Him. The Lord is the Lord of Victory in battles, the Lord is His Name. The chariots of Pharoh and his horses He hath cast into the sea, his chosen warriors are drowned in the sea of Suph. The depths covered them over, they went down to the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, 0 Lord, is illustrious in power; Thy right hand, 0 Lord, shattereth the adversary; and in the greatness of Thy might Thou hast broken down them who arose against Thy people. Thou didst send forth Thy wrath, and it consumed them as stubble in the flame, and by the word of Thy mouth the waters, (as if) wise, stood up like a wall; the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. The adversary said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my soul shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, and my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst speak by Thy Word, the sea covered them over, they sank like lead in the mighty waters. There is none beside Thee, 0 God, (who art) glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders. Thou didst uplift Thy right hand, the earth swallowed them up. Thou hast led forth in goodness Thy people whom Thou hast redeemed; Thou wilt bring them by Thy strength to the dwelling of Thy holiness. The nations will hear it, and be moved; terror will seize on the inhabiters of Pelasheth; then will the princes of Edom be alarmed, the strong ones of Moab will be seized with trembling and they who dwell in Kenaan will be broken down. Fear and dread will fall upon them, by the greatness of Thy power they will be silent as a stone, until Thy people, 0 Lord, pass over Arnona, until Thy people whom Thou hast redeemed pass over Jardena. Thou wilt bring them in, and cause them to dwell in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place which Thou hast ordained for the house of Thy Shekina, the sanctuary which Thy hands, 0 Lord, have prepared. The kingdom of the Lord endureth for ever, and for ever, evermore! Because, when the horses of Pharoh with his chariots and his horsemen had entered into the sea, the Lord caused the waters of the sea to return upon them, and the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea.

 

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aharon, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and choruses. And Miriam answered them: Sing and give thanks before the Lord, for He hath magnified Himself upon the proud: and the majesty belongeth (only) unto Him; the horse and his rider hath He cast into the sea.

 

And Mosheh caused Israel to remove from the sea of Suph, and they went forth into the desert of Chagra, and went three days in the desert, but found no water. And they came to Marah, and could not drink the waters of Marah because they were bitter; therefore he called the name of it Marah. And the people were fretful against Mosheh, saying, What shall we drink? And he prayed before the Lord; and the Lord instructed him (in the properties of) a tree, and he cast it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There decreed He a statute, and a judgment, and there He tried him. And He said, If hearkening thou wilt hearken unto the Word of the Lord thy God, and wilt do what is right in His eyes, and wilt listen to His precepts and keep all His statutes, none of the maladies which I have set upon Mizraim will I put upon thee; for I am the Lord thy Healer.

 

And they came to Elim, and there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there before the waters. And they journeyed from Elim, and came, the whole assembly of the sons of Israel, to the desert of Sir, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month from their outgoing from the land of Mizraim. And all the congregation of the children of Israel were troublous against Mosheh and against Aharon in the desert; and the children of Israel said to them, 0 that we had died before the Lord in the land of Mizraim, when we sat by the caldrons of flesh, and could eat bread and be satisfied! Why have you brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with famine?

 

And the Lord said to Mosheh, Behold, I will cause bread to come down to you from heaven; and the people shall go out and collect the matter of the day for the day; that I may prove them whether they will walk in My law, or not. And in the sixth day, when they prepare that which they bring in, it shall be two for one upon what they collect from day to day. And Mosheh and Aharon said to all the children of Israel, In the evening you shall know that the Lord brought you out of the land of Mizraim, and in the morning shall you see the Glory of the Lord; for your tumults are heard before the Lord: and we ‑what, that you are restive against us? And Mosheh said, When the Lord will give you at evening flesh to eat, and bread in the morning to satisfy, while are heard before the Lord your tumults against Him! For what are we? your tumults are not against us, but against the Word of the Lord. And Mosheh said to Aharon, Bid all the congregation of the sons of Israel to come together before the Lord; for your tumult is heard before the Lord.[7] And it was, while Aharon was speaking with all the congregation of the sons of Israel, that they turned towards the desert, and, behold, the glory of the Lord was revealed in the cloud.

 

And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying, The tumult of the children of Israel is heard before Me. Speak with them to say, Between the evenings you shall eat flesh, and in the morning be satisfied with bread, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God. And it was in the evening that the quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning a dew descended round about the camp; and when the dew which had fallen had gone up, behold, upon the face of the desert, a small (substance) without covering,[8] small like hoar frost, heaped on the earth. And the sons of Israel saw, and said, a man to his brother, Mana‑hu! for they knew not what it was. And Mosheh said to them, This is the bread which the Lord will give you to eat. This is the word that the Lord hath commanded: Let every man gather of it according to his eating[9] an omera for every head according to the number of your souls, a man for those of his tent shall you take. And the sons of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, (others) less; and they measured with an omera, ‑and he who had (gathered) much had not more, and he who had (gathered) little had not less; every man according to his eating9 they gathered. And Mosheh said to them, No man must leave of it for the morning. But they hearkened not to Mosheh, but some left for the morning, and it swarmed worms and corrupted. And Mosheh was angry with them. And they gathered it from morning to morning a man according to his eating; and when the sun grew hot on that which remained upon the face of the field, it melted. And it was that on the sixth day they gathered a double (quantity) of bread,[10] two omers for one: and all the chiefs of the congregation came and showed Mosheh. And be said to them, To‑morrow is the rest of the holy Shabbath before the Lord. That which you prepare by baking, bake, and that which you prepare by boiling, boil, and all the remainder lay up to you, a store for the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Mosheh had instructed; and it did not corrupt, neither were there worms in it. And Mosheh said, Eat that today, for this day is Shabbath before the Lord; this day you would not find it in the field. Six days you shall collect it; but on the seventh day, the Shabbath, there will be none. And it was on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found it not.

 

And the Lord said to Mosheh, How long will you be unwilling to keep My commandments and My laws? See, because the Lord hath given you the Shabbath He hath therefore given you on the sixth day the bread for two days; let every man dwell in his resting, and not go out from his place on the seventh day. And the people reposed on the seventh day. And the house of Israel called the name of it Manna; and it was as the seed of Gida[11] white, and its taste was like cake broiled with honey. And Mosheh said, This is the word which the Lord hath commanded. Fill an omera of it to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread which I made you eat in the desert when I brought you forth from the land of Mizraim. And Mosheh said to Aharon, Take one vase, and put therein an omera full of manna, and lay it up before the Lord to be preserved for your generations. As the Lord commanded, so did Mosheh; and Aharon laid it up before the Testimony, to keep. And the children of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to the land inhabited; they did eat the manna till they came to the confines of the land of Kenaan. And one omera is the tenth of three seahs.

 

XVII. And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the desert of Sin, according to their itinerations by the Word of the Lord; and they encamped in Rephidim: but the people had no water to drink; and the people were contentious with Mosheh, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Mosheh said, Why do you contend with me? why do you tempt before the Lord? But the people thirsted there for water, and the people were turbulent against Mosheh, and said, Why is this, ‑to have brought us from Mizraim, to kill me and my children and my cattle with thirst? And Mosheh prayed before the Lord, saying, What shall I do with this people? Yet a little, and they will stone me! And the Lord said to Mosheh, Pass over before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel, and thy rod wherewith thou didst smite the river take in thy hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there, upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smite the rock, and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink. And Mosheh did so in the eyes of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place, Temptation and Strife, because of the striving of the sons of Israel, and because they tempted before the Lord, saying, Is the Majesty of the Lord among us, or not?

 

And Amaleq came, and warred battle with Israel in Rephidim. And Mosheh said to Jehoshua, Choose for us men, and go forth and do battle with Amaleq. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill, and the rod with which the miracles are wrought from before the Lord shall be in my hand. And Jehoshua did as Mosheh had said to him, and he did battle with Amaleq. And Mosheh, Aharon, and Hur ascended to the top of the hill. And it was that when Mosheh lifted up his hand, the house of Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, the house of Amaleq prevailed. But the hands of Mosheh became heavy, and they took a stone and placed it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aharon and Hur held up his hands, here one, and there one; and thus were his hands stretched out in prayer until the going of the sun. And Jehoshua shattered Amaleq and his people with the edge of the sword. And the Lord said to Mosheh: Write this memorial in the Book, and set it before Jehoshua, ‑That blotting, I will blot out the memorial of Amaleq from under the heavens. And Mosheh builded an altar, and ministered upon it before the Lord who had wrought (such) miracles for him. And he said, With an oath hath this been declared from before the Fearful One whose Shekinah is upon His glorious throne; that war shall be waged with the house of Amaleq, to destroy it from the generations of the world.

 

 

 

 



[1] Sam. Vers., “hath covered them.”

[2] Sam. Vers., “footmen.”

[3] Sam. Vers., “footmen.”

[4] Sam. Vers., “a muition.”

[5] Or, “with difficulty.”

[6] Sam. Vers., “my portion.”

[7] Other copies, “before Him.”

[8] Or, “peeled.” Sam. Vers., “shining.”

[9]Or, “the mouth of his eating.”

10 Sam. Vers., “ashes.”

[10] Or, “bread for one, two.”

[11] Heb., Gid, “coriander.” Sam. Vers., “rice.”