SECTION XXXIX.

HUKKATH.

      XIX. AND the Lord spake with Mosheh and to Aharon, saying: This is the decree of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying: Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring to thee a red heifer, unblemished, with no spot in her, and upon which no yoke hath been put. And you shall give her unto Elazar the priest, that he may bring her without the camp, and (one) shall slaughter her before him.

And Elazar, the priest, shall take (some) of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood against the face of the tabernacle of ordinance seven times. And (one) shall burn the heifer before his eyes; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her food shall he burn. And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. And the priest shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterwards come into the camp: but the priest shall be unclean until the evening. And he who burneth her shall wash his clothes with water, and bathe his flesh in water, and be unclean until evening. And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be for the congregation of the children of Israel to keep, for the sprinkling with water; it is (a purification) for sin. And he who gathereth up the ashes of the heifer shall wash his raiment, and be unclean until the evening; and it shall be for the children of Israel, and for the strangers who dwell among you, a statute for ever.

      Whosoever toucheth the dead of any of mankind shall be unclean seven days. He shall sprinkle with it on the third day, and on the seventh day shall be clean; but if he sprinkle it not on the third day, on the seventh day he shall not be clean. Whoever toucheth the dead body of a man who hath died, and sprinkleth not with it, defileth the tabernacle of the Lord; and that man shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of sprinkling is not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean, (for) his uncleanness is yet upon him.

      This is the law when a man dieth in a tent: every one who entereth the tent, and everyone who is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. And every open earthen vessel which hath not a covering fastened upon it round about is unclean. And whoever toucheth one who is slain with the sword upon the face of the field, or a dead body, or the bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. And for the unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt sin offering, and put spring water upon it in a vessel. And a man who is clean shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle upon the tent, and upon every vessel, and upon the persons who are there, and upon him who had touched the bone, or the slain, or the dead body, or the grave. And the clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall be clean; and shall sprinkle his raiment, and wash with water, and at the evening he shall be clean. But the man who is unclean, and it bath not been sprinkled upon him, shall be cut off from the congregation, because he would defile the sanctuary of the Lord. The water of sprinkling was not sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. And it shall be to them for an everlasting statute, that he who applieth the water of sprinkling shall wash his clothes, and whoever toucheth the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until the evening; and whatever may be touched by the unclean person shall be unclean, and the man who toucheth it shall be unclean until the evening.

      XX. And the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people abode in Rekem; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

      And there was no water for the congregation; and they gathered against Mosheh and against Aharon; and the people were contentious with Mosheh, and spake, saying, Would that we had died when our brethren died[1] before the Lord!

And why have you brought the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle may die here? And wherefore have you made us come up from Mizraim, to bring us into this evil place? This is not a place for sowing; here are neither fig trees, nor vines, nor pomegranates, neither is there water to drink.

      And Mosheh and Aharon went up from before the congregation unto the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, and fell upon their faces; and the glory of the Lord was revealed to them. And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying,

 Take the rod, and gather the congregation together, thou and Aharon thy brother, and speak to the Rock, before their eyes, and it shall give its waters; and thou shalt bring forth water for them from the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.

      And Mosheh took the rod from before the Lord, as He had commanded him.

And Mosheh and Aharon assembled the congregation before the rock; and he said to them: Hear now, rebels! Are we to draw forth water for you from this rock?

And Mosheh lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with the rod two times; and the waters came forth greatly, and the congregation drank and their cattle.

      But the Lord spake unto Mosheh and Aharon: Because you have not believed in My Word to sanctify Me in the eyes of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land that I have given them. These are the Waters of Strife,[2] because the sons of Israel strove before the Lord, and He was sanctified in them.

      And Mosheh sent ambassadors from Rekem to the king of Edom:[3] Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the trouble we have found; that our fathers went down into Mizraim, and we dwelt in Mizraim many days, and the Mizraee badly treated us and our fathers. And we prayed before the Lord, and He accepted our prayers, and sent an Angel, and brought us out from Mizraim; and, behold, we are in Rekem, a city which is on the side of thy border. Let us now pass through thy country: we will not go through a field or through a vineyard, nor will we drink up the water of the cistern: on the king's highway will we travel; we will not turn to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through thy border.

      But Edomea said to him, Thou shalt not pass through my border, lest I come out against thee with the slaughtering sword. And the sons of Israel said to him, We would go up by the trodden way; and if we drink of thy water, I and my cattle, we will give thee the price of it; we will do nothing evil; upon my feet I will pass through. But he said, Thou shalt not pass through. And Edomea came out to meet him with great force and with a strong hand. So Edomea refused to permit Israel to go through his border; and Israel turned away from him.

      And they went forward from Rekem, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to Mount Hor. And the Lord spake to Mosheh and to Aharon at Mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying: Aharon shall be gathered unto his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against My Word at the waters of strife.

Take Aharon and Elazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; and strip Aharon of his vestments, and put them upon Elazar his son; and Aharon shall be gathered (to his people), and shall die there.

      And Mosheh did as the Lord commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor before the eyes of all the congregation. And Mosheh took off his garments from Aharon, and put them upon Elazar his son. And Aharon died there, on the summit of the mount. And Mosheh and Elazar came down from the mount. And all the congregation saw that Aharon was dead; and all the house of Israel bewailed Aharon thirty days.

      XXI. And when the Kenaanah, king Arad, who dwelt in the south, heard that Israel was coming by the way of the explorers, he set battle in array against Israel, and took some of them captives. And Israel vowed a vow before the Lord, and said: If Thou wilt surely deliver this people into my hand, then I will destroy their cities. And the Lord accepted Israel's prayer, and gave up the Kenaanaah; and he destroyed them and their cities, and he called the name of the place Charma.[4]

      And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Sea of Suph, to go round from the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was wearied in the way.

 And the people murmured (or, growled) against the Word of the Lord, and contended with Mosheh, (saying :) Why have you brought us up out of Mizraim to die in the desert? for there is neither bread nor water, and our soul is weary of manna, this light food. And the Lord sent forth burning serpents among the people, and much people of Israel died. And the people came to Mosheh, and said: We have sinned, for we have murmured before the Lord, and have contended with thee. Intercede before the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from among us. And Mosheh prayed for the people.

      And the Lord said to Mosheh: Make thee a burning (serpent), and uplift it on an ensign; and everyone who hath been bitten, and beholdeth it, shall live (or, be saved). And Mosheh made a serpent of brass, and set it upon an ensign; and when a serpent had bitten a man, if he looked up to the serpent of brass, he lived (or, was saved).

      And the children of Israel journeyed and encamped in Oboth. And they journeyed from Oboth, and encamped at the Ford[5] of the Passengers, which is in the wilderness over against Moab, toward the sunrise. And they removed from thence, and encamped by the brook Zared. Thence they journeyed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, that is in the wilderness that stretcheth out from the coasts of the Amoraah; for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amoraah. Wherefore it is said in the Book of the Wars, That which the Lord did by the Sea of Suph, and the great deeds which (He wrought) by the torrents of Arnon, and at the flowing of the streams which lead towards Lechayath, and are joined at the confine of Moab. And from thence was given to them the well, which is the well whereof the Lord spake to Mosheh, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Therefore sang Israel this song :-Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it. The well which the princes digged, the chiefs of the people cut it, the scribes with their staves; it was given to them in the wilderness. And from (the time) that it was given to them it descended with them to the rivers, and from the rivers it went up with them to the height,[6] and from the height to the vale which is in the fields of Moab, at the head of Ramatha, which looketh towards Bethjeshimon.

      And Israel sent messengers to Sihon, king of the Amoraah, saying: I would pass through thy country: I will not turn aside into field or vineyard; we will not drink of the waters of the cistern; by the king's high way will we go until we have crossed thy border. But Sihon would not permit Israel to pass through his coast; and Sihon gathered all his people, and came out to prevent Israel in the wilderness, and came to Jahaz, and arrayed battle against Israel. And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and took possession of his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, unto the Beni Ammon; for the border of the Beni Ammon was strong. And Israel subdued all those cities, and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amoraah, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amoraah; he had made war with the former king of Moab, and had taken all his territory from his hand unto Arnon. Therefore, say the proverbs: Come to Heshbon; let the city of Sihon be builded and finished: for an east wind strong as fire hath gone out from Heshbon, and the servants of war (as) with a flame from the city of Sihon: they have slain the people who inhabited Lechayath of Moab, the priests who ministered in the idol-temple in the height of Arnona.

Woe to you, Moabaee, you are undone, ye people who have worshipped Kemosh; he hath delivered up his besieged sons and his daughters into captivity, unto Sihon, king of the Amoraah. And the kingdom hath ceased from Heshbon, the dominion hath passed away from Dibon, they have laid waste unto Nophak which joineth Medeba. And Israel dwelt in the land of the Amoraah.

      And Mosheh sent to explore Jaazer; and they subdued the towns, and drave out the Amoraah who were therein. And they turned and went up by the way of Mathnan;[7] and Og, king of Mathnan, came out to meet them, he and all his people, to give battle at Edrei. But the Lord said to Mosheh, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand with all his people and his country; and thou shalt do to him as thou hast done to Sihon, the king of the Amoraah who dwelt in Heshbon. And they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until none remained of him who were spared; and they took possession of his land.

      XXII. And the sons of Israel moved onward, and encamped in the plain of Moab (at some space) from the ford of the Jordan (towards) Jericho.



[1] Or, “with the death of our brethren.”

[2] Matsutha. Heb., Meribah, “contention.” LXX. and Vulg., “the water of contradiction.”

[3] Sam. Vers., “Gabla.”

[4] Charma, cherem, “devoted to destruction.”

[5] Peschito, “Fountain.”

[6] Or, “to Ramatha.” Heb. text, “Bamoth.”

[7] Sam. Vers., Batanin.