THE TARGUM OF ONKELOS

ON

THE BOOK BEMIDBAR

OR

NUMBERS.

SECTION OF THE TORAH XXXIV.

TITLE BEMIDBAR.

      I. AND the Lord spake with Mosheh in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of ordinance, on the first of the second month, in the second year of their coming out from the land of Mizraim, saying: Take the sum[1] of all the congregation of the children of Israel after their kindreds, and after the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their capitations: from a son of twenty years and upwards, every one who can go forth to war in Israel, thou and Aharon number them by their hosts. And with you let there be a man of each tribe, a man who is chief of the house of his fathers. And these are the names of the men who shall stand with you. Of Reuben, Elizur bar Shedeur; of Shemeon, Shelumiel bar Zuri-Shaddai; of Jehudah, Nachshon bar Aminadab; of Issakar, Nethanel bar Zuar; of Zebulon, Eliab bar Chelon; of the Beni-Joseph, of Ephraim, Elishama bar Amihud; of Menasheh, Gamliel bar Pheda-Zur; of Benyamin, Abidan bar Gideoni;

of Dan, Achiezer bar Ami-Shaddai; of Asher, Phagiel bar Akran; of Gad, Eljasaph bar Dehuel; of Naphtali, Achira bar Enan. These were the called ones of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, chiefs of the thousands of Israel were they. And Mosheh and Aharon took these men who were expressed by their names; and they assembled all the congregation on the first of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees according to the house of their fathers, with the number of their names from twenty years old and upwards, by their polling. As the Lord commanded Mosheh, he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.

      And the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, by their generations and their families, according to the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, by their polls; every male from twenty years old and upward, all going forth in the host: of the tribe of Reuben were numbered forty and six thousand and five hundred. Of the sons of Shemeon, by their generations and their families and the house of their fathers, were numbered, by the number of their names, according to their polls, every male from twenty years old and upwards, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Shemeon, were numbered fifty and nine thousand and three hundred. Of the sons of Gad, the generations of the families of the house of their fathers, according to the number of their names from twenty years old and upwards, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Gad, were numbered forty and five thousand and six hundred and fifty. Of the sons of Jehudah, the generations of the families of the house of their fathers, by the number of their names, from twenty years old and upwards, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Jehudah, were numbered seventy and four thousand and six hundred. Of the sons of Issakar, the generations of the families of the house of their fathers, by the number of their names, from twenty years old and upwards, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Issakar, were numbered fifty and four thousand and four hundred. Of the tribe of Zebulon, the generations of the families of the house of their fathers, by the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upward, every one going forth in the host; of the tribe of Zebulon, were numbered fifty and seven thousand and four hundred. Of the sons of Joseph, the generations of the Beni Ephraim by the kindreds of the house of their fathers, in the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upwards, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Ephraim, forty thousand and five hundred. The generations of the Beni Menasheh by the kindreds of the house of their fathers, in the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upwards, every one going forth in the host; of the tribe of Menasheh, were numbered thirty and two thousand and two hundred. The generations of the sons of Benyamin, by the kindreds of the house of their fathers, in the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upward, everyone going forth in the host;

of the tribe of Benyamin, were numbered thirty and five thousand and four hundred. The generations of the Beni Dan, by the kindreds of the house of their fathers, in the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upward, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Dan, were numbered sixty and two thousand and seven hundred. Of the generations or the Beni Asher, by the kindreds of the house of their fathers, in the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upward, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe of Asher, were numbered forty and one thousand and five hundred. The generations of the sons of Naphtali, by the kindreds of the house of their fathers, in the number of their names, from a son of twenty years and upwards, everyone going forth in the host; of the tribe Naphtali, were numbered fifty and three thousand and four hundred.

      These were the numbered ones whom Mosheh and Aharon, and the twelve men, the princes of Israel, did number, severally, according to the house of their fathers. And all those who were numbered of the Beni Israel according to the house of their fathers, from a son of twenty years and upward, everyone going forth in the host of Israel; all the numbered ones were six hundred and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. But the Levites, by the tribe of their fathers, were not numbered among them.

     And the Lord had spoken with Mosheh, saying: Only the tribe of Levi thou shalt not number, nor take the account of them among the sons of Israel. But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its vessels, and over all that belongeth to it: and they shall carry the tabernacle and all its vessels, and serve it; and they shall encamp round about the tabernacle. And when the tabernacle is to go forward, the Levites shall take it apart; and when the tabernacle is to be stationary, the Levites shall set it up; but the stranger who cometh nigh shall be put to death.

      And the sons of Israel shall encamp every man upon his own dwelling-place, and every man by his standard, according to their hosts. But the Levites shall dwell round about the tabernacle of the testimony, that there may not be wrath upon the congregation of the sons of Israel; and the Levites shall watch the watching of the tabernacle of testimony. And the sons of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Mosheh, so did they.

      II.And the Lord spake with Mosheh and with Aharon, saying: Every man (shall encamp) by his standard, by the ensign of the house of their fathers shall the sons of Israel encamp. Over against the tabernacle of ordinance shall they encamp round about.

      The standard of the camp of Jehudah shall they pitch, according to their hosts, eastward toward the sunrise: and the chief of the sons of Jehudah is Nachshon bar Aminadab.[2] And his host, and the number of them, seventy and four thousand and six hundred. And they who pitch next by him shall be the tribe of Issakar; and the chief of the sons of Issakar, Nethanel bar Zuar; and his host, and the numbered of it, fifty and four thousand and four hundred. The tribe of Zebulon, and the chief of the sons of Zebulon, Eliab bar Chelon. And his host, and the numbered of them, fifty and seven thousand and four hundred. All that were numbered of the camp of Jehudah, a hundred and eighty and six thousand and four hundred, by their hosts: they shall go forward in front.

      The standard of the camp of Reuben (shall be) to the south, by their hosts: and the chief of the Beni Reuben, Elizur bar Shedeur. And his host, and the numbered of it, forty and six thousand and five hundred. And they who pitch by him shall be the tribe of Shemeon; and the chief of the Beni Shemeon, Shelumiel bar Zuri-Shaddai; and his host, and the numbered of them, fifty and nine thousand and three hundred. And the tribe of Gad, and the chief of the Beni Gad, Eljasaph bar Dehuel; and his host, and the numbered of them, forty and five thousand six hundred and fifty. All who were numbered of the camp of Reuben, a hundred and fifty and one thousand four hundred and fifty, by their hosts: they shall go forward secondly.

      But the tabernacle of ordinance shall be taken forward with the camp of the Levites, in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they go onward, every man in his place, by their standard.

      The standard of the camp of Ephraim, by their hosts, shall be to the west: and the chief of the Beni Ephraim, Elishama bar Ammihud. And his host and their numbered ones, forty thousand and five hundred. And they who shall be next by him shall be the tribe of Menasheh: and the chief of the Beni Menasheh, Gamliel bar Phedazur. And his host, and the numbered thereof, thirty and two thousand and two hundred. And the tribe of Benyamin, and the chieftain of the sons of Benyamin, Abidan bar Gideoni: and his host, and the numbered thereof, thirty and five thousand and four hundred. All the numbered of the camp of Ephraim were a hundred and eight thousand and one hundred, by their hosts: and they went forward thirdly.

      The standard of the camp of Dan (shall be) to the north, by their hosts; and the chieftain of the Beni Dan, Achiezer bar Ammi-Shaddai. And his host, and the numbered thereof, sixty and two thousand and seven hundred. And those who encamp by him shall be the tribe of Asher; and the chieftain of the Beni Asher, Phagiel bar Akran. And his host, and the numbered of it, forty and one thousand and five hundred. And the tribe of Naphtali, and the chief of the Beni Naphtali, Achira bar Enan: and his host, and the numbered thereof, fifty and three thousand and four hundred. All who were numbered of the camp of Dan, a hundred and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred: they shall go hindmost by their standards.

      These are they who were numbered of the sons of Israel, by the house of their fathers; all who were numbered in the camps by their hosts, six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty. But the Levites were not numbered among the sons of Israel, as the Lord commanded Mosheh. And the sons of Israel did according to all which the Lord commanded Mosheh: so did they encamp by their standards, and so went they forward every man by his family, and by the house of his fathers.

      III. And these are the generations of Aharon and Mosheh in the day that the Lord spake with Mosheh in the mountain of Sinai. And these; are the names of the sons of Aharon. His firstborn, Nadab; and Abihu, Elazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aharon, the priests, who were consecrated that their oblations might be offered, (and that they might) minister. But Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord; in their offering the strange fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai: and they had no children. And Elazar and Ithamar ministered before Aharon their father.

      And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Bring the tribe of Levi near, and appoint them before Aharon the priest, that they may minister with him. And they shall keep the watch and the charge of all the congregation by the tabernacle of ordinance to perform the service of the tabernacle. And they shall keep all the vessels of the tabernacle of ordinance, and the charge of the sons of Israel to perform the service of the tabernacle. And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aharon, and to his sons; they are delivered and given to him from the sons of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aharon and his sons, that they may keep their priesthood; but the stranger who cometh near shall be put to death.

     And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: And I, behold, I have brought near the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn that openeth the womb of the sons of Israel; and the Levites shall minister before Me. For every firstborn is Mine; on the day that I slew every firstborn in the land of Mizraim, I sanctified before Me every firstborn in Israel from man to animal; they are Mine: I am the Lord.

      And the Lord spake with Mosheh in the wilderness of Sinai, saying:

Number the sons of Levi, after the house of their fathers, by their families; every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Mosheh numbered them according to the word of the Lord, as he had been commanded.

      And these were the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon and Kehath and Merari. And these are the names of the Beni Gershon after their families: Lebni and Shemei. And the Beni Kehath after their families: Amram and Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. And the Beni Merari by their families, Mahali and Mushi; these are the families of the Levites after the house of their fathers.

      Of Gershon were the family of Libni and the family of Shemei; these are the families of Gershon. Those that were numbered of them, every male from the son of a month and upward, the number of them was seven thousand and five hundred. The families of Gershon shall encamp behind the tabernacle, westward:

and the Rab of the house of the fathers of Gershon, Eljasaph bar Lael. And the charge of the Beni Gershon in the tabernacle of ordinance (shall be) the tent and its covering, and the hanging of the door of the tabernacle of ordinance; and the curtains of the court, and the hanging of the gate of the court which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it, for all its service.

      And of Kehath was the family of Amram, and the family of Izhar, and the family or Hebron, and the family of Uzziel: these are the families of Kehath.

According to the number of all the males, from the son of a month and upward, eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary. The families of the Beni Kehath shall encamp by the side of the tabernacle, southward. And the Rab of the house of the fathers of the Kehath families (shall be) Elizaphan bar Uzziel. And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candelabrum, and the altar, and the vessels of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the tent, (or hanging, Sam. Vers. , "covering,") and all (that pertaineth to) the service thereof.And the chief (armarkella) who is appointed over the chiefs (rabbins) of the Levites is Elazar bar Aharon the priest: under his hand shall they be appointed who have the charge of the keeping of the sanctuary.

      Of Merari, the families of Mahli and the families of Mushi. And the numbers of them, according to the numbers of all the males, from the son of a month and upwards, six thousand and two hundred. And the Rab of the house of the fathers of the Merari families, Zuriel bar Abichael; and they shall encamp on the side of the tabernacle northward. And the charge[3] for the custody of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and its bars, and its pillars, and its sockets, and all its vessels, and whatever (pertaineth) to its service; and the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, their pins, and their cords. But they who encamp before the tabernacle eastward, even before the tabernacle of ordinance toward the sunrise, shall be Mosheh, and Aharon and his sons, keeping charge of the sanctuary, to watch over the children of Israel; and the stranger who cometh near shall be put to death. All who were numbered of the Levites whom Mosheh and Aharon numbered by the word of the Lord, by their families, every male, from the son of a month and upward, twenty and two thousand.[4]

      And the Lord spake unto Mosheh, Number all the firstborn males of the children of Israel, from the son of a month upward, and the number of their names. And thou shalt take the Levites before me, I am the Lord, instead of all the firstborn of the sons of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings of the cattle of the Beni Israel. And Mosheh numbered, as the Lord commanded him, all the firstborn of the sons of Israel. And all the firstborn males, by the number of their names, from the son of a month and upward by their numbers, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and seventy and three.

      And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the Beni Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall minister before Me: I am the Lord. And of the redeemed ones of the two hundred and seventy and three of the sons of Israel who are more than the Levites, thou shalt take of each five shekels, by poll, in the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take; twenty mahin are a shekel. And thou shalt give the silver of the redeemed who exceed them to Aharon and his sons. And Mosheh took the silver of the redeemed who were more than the redeemed by the Levites. Of the firstborn of the Beni Israel he took the silver, a thousand and three hundred and sixty-five shekels, in the shekel of the sanctuary. And Mosheh gave the silver of the redeemed ones to Aharon and to his sons, by the Word of the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Mosheh.

      IV. And the Lord spake with Mosheh and with Aharon, saying: Take the reckoning of the Beni Kehath from among the sons of Levi by the house of their fathers, from thirty years and upward, unto fifty years; all that come to the host, to do the work of the tabernacle of ordinance. And this (shall be) the service of the Beni Kehath in the tabernacle of ordinance, the Holy of Holies. And Aharon and his sons shall enter in, what time the camp is to proceed; and they shall unloose the veil that is hung, and cover therewith the ark of the testimony, and put over it a covering of hyacinthine skins, and overspread it with a wrapper, wholly purple, having inset its staves. And upon the table of the presence bread they shall spread a wrapper of purple, and on it put the bowls and mortars, and the measures and cups for libations, and the bread that is ever on it; and overspread it with a wrapper of scarlet, and cover it with a covering of hyacinth skins, having inset its staves. And they shall take a purple wrapper, and cover the candelabrum of the light, and its lamps, and its tongs, and its snuff dishes, and all the vessels of the service by which they serve it; and put it and all its vessels into a covering of hyacinthine skins, and set it upon a bar. And upon the golden altar they shall spread a purple wrapper, and cover it with a covering of hyacinth skins, and fix its staves. And they shall take all the vessels of the ministry with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of purple, and cover them with a covering of hyacinth skins, and set them upon bars.

      And they shall collect the cinders from the altar, and spread upon it a wrapper of crimson, and put thereon all its vessels by which they minister upon it; censers, fleshhooks, shovels, and basins; all the vessels of the altar; and spread over it a covering of hyacinthine skins, and inset its staves. And when Aharon and his sons have completed to cover up the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary in the moving of the camp, the sons of Kehath shall go in to carry (them), but they shall not touch the holy things (themselves), lest they die; but these are the burden of the sons of Kehath in the tabernacle of ordinance.

      And that delivered unto Elazar bar Aharon the priest (shall be) the oil for the light, and the aromatic incense, and the continual mincha, and the anointing oil, (with) the charge of all the tabernacle, and whatever belongeth to the sanctuary and its vessels.

     And the Lord spake with Mosheh and with Aharon, saying: Cut not off the tribe of the family of Kehath from among the Levites;[5] but do this to them, that they may live and not die, in their approach to the Holy of Holies: Let Aharon and his sons go in, and appoint each man his service and his burden. But they shall not go in to see, when the vessels of the sanctuary are covered, lest they die.



[1] Chushban, “reckoning account.”

[2] Matt. i. 3, 4; Luke iii. 32, 33.

[3] Sam. Vers., “business.”

[4] On the difficulties connected with these numbers, see “Bishop Colenso’s Objections to the Pentateuch, examined by Dr. Abraham Benisch.” London. 1863. Also “An Examination of Bishop Colenso’s Difficulties,” by the late Dr. M’Caul. London. 1864.

[5] Do not occasion their death.