SECTION XLII.

MATTOTH.

      AND Mosheh spake with the heads of the tribes of the Beni Israel, saying: This is the word which the Lord hath commanded: When a man shall make a vow before the Lord, or swear an oath to bind a bond upon his soul, he shall not make void his word; according to all that hath come out of his mouth he shall perform. And if a woman make a vow before the Lord, and bind (herself) with a bond in her father's house, (being) in her youth, and her father shall hear her vow, and the obligation she hath bound upon her soul, and her father be silent to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every bond that she hath bound upon her soul shall be confirmed. But if her father prohibit (or undo) them on the day that he heareth, all the vows and the bonds that she hath bound upon her soul shall not stand, and she shall be forgiven before the Lord, because her father undid them. And if she hath a husband, and taketh a vow upon her, or if her lips pronounce that which becometh binding upon her soul, and her husband heard and was silent to her on the day that he heard, her vows shall stand, and the obligation she hath bound upon her soul be confirmed: but if her husband on the day that he heareth shall prohibit them, the vows which are on her and the utterance of her lips which became binding on her soul shall be void, and be forgiven her before the Lord.

      But every vow of the widow, or of one divorced, which she hath bound upon her soul, shall be confirmed upon her. And if (while in her husband's house) she had vowed, or had bound aught upon her soul with an oath, and her husband heard and was silent to her, and did not prohibit them, all her vows shall be confirmed, every bond with which she hath bound her soul shall be confirmed.

But if indeed her husband shall make them void in the day that he heard, that which her lips expressed in her vow and in the binding of her soul shall not be confirmed; her husband hath made them void, and she shall be absolved before the Lord. Every vow and every covenant (oath) to chastise the soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void. But if her husband was entirely silent to her from day to day, then he hath confirmed all her vows, or whatever bonds (she taketh) upon her, he confirmeth them, because he was silent to her on the day that he heard. But if he shall indeed make them void after (the day that) he had heard, then he shall bear her sin. These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Mosheh between a man and his wife, (and) between a father and his daughter, in her youth in her father's house.

      XXXI. And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites; afterward thou shalt be gathered to thy people. And Mosheh spake with the people, saying: Arm, of you, men for the host against Midian, to avenge this people of the Lord upon Midian: a thousand of a tribe, a thousand of a tribe, of all the tribes or Israel, shall you send to the host.

      And from the thousands of Israel there were chosen a thousand of a tribe, twelve thousand armed for the host. And Mosheh sent them one thousand of a tribe to array them, and Phinehas bar Elazar the priest, with the host, and the holy vessels, and the Jubela trumpets in his hand. And the host gathered against Midian, as tile Lord had commanded Mosheh; and they slaughtered every male.

But the kings of Midian they killed with their slain, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Chur, and Reba, five kings of Midian, and Bileam bar Beor, they killed with the sword. And the sons of Israel took the women of Midian captives, with their children and all their cattle, and all their flocks and all their goods they despoiled.

And all their cities where they dwelt, and their houses of worship, they burned with fire. And they took all the spoil, and all the prey of man and of cattle, and brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, to Mosheh, and to Elazar the priest, and to all the congregation of the Beni Israel, to the camp in the fields of Moab, by the Jordan, over against Jericho.

      And Mosheh and Elazar the priest and all the princes of the congregation went out to meet them, without the camp. But Mosheh was angry with those who had been appointed over the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the battle. And Mosheh said to them, Have you spared every woman? Behold, these it was (who caused) the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Bileam, to do wickedly before the Lord in the matter of Peor, and the plague came upon the congregation of the Lord. But now, slay every male among the children, and every woman who hath known a man you shall slay.

But all the females who have not known a man ye may preserve alive unto you.

And you, abide without the camp seven days; whoever have destroyed life or touched the dead, sprinkle yourselves on the third day, and on the seventh day yourselves and your captives. And every garment, and whatever is made of skin, and every work of goat's hair, and every vessel of wood you shall sprinkle.

      And Elazar the priest said to the men of war who came from the battle, This is the decree of the law which the Lord hath commanded Mosheh: Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, iron, tin, and lead, everything that can abide in the fire, you shall make to go through fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be sprinkled with the water of sprinkling; and whatever may not abide the fire you shall make to pass through water. And cleanse your garments on the seventh day; purify yourselves, and afterwards come into the camp.

      And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Take the account of the spoil of the captives, man and beast; thou, Elazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation, and divide the spoil among the men who fought the battle, who went forth in the host, and among all the congregation: and separate a portion before the Lord from (that of) the men who fought the battle, who went forth in the host, one living thing in five hundred, of man and beast, oxen, asses, and sheep.  Take it of their half, and give it to Elazar the priest, for a separation before the Lord. And of the half (belonging) to the children of Israel, take one of every fifty, of man, of oxen, sheep, and all cattle, and give them to the Levites who keep charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.

      And Mosheh and Elazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Mosheh; and the booty, the rest of the prey which the people who went forth to the war had taken, was, sheep six hundred and seventy-five thousand, oxen seventy-two thousand, asses sixty-one thousand, persons, women who had not known man, every soul thirty-two thousand. And the half portion of the men who had gone out to the war, the number was, sheep three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred; and that which was brought up before the Lord, of the sheep six hundred and seventy-five;  and of the thirty-six thousand oxen, the portion brought before the Lord seventy-two. And the asses, thirty thousand five hundred, of which the portion brought before the Lord sixty-one. And the persons sixteen thousand, those of them brought before the Lord thirty-two persons. And Mosheh gave the separation brought up before the Lord to Elazar the priest, as the Lord had commanded Mosheh. And of the children of Israel's half, which Mosheh divided from (that) of the men who had gone out in the host,and the half part for the congregation as, sheep three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred, oxen thirty-six thousand, and asses thirty thousand five hundred, and persons sixteen thousand: and Mosheh took from the children of Israel's half one portion of fifty of man and beast, and gave them to the Levites who kept charge of the Lord's tabernacle, as the Lord had commanded Mosheh.

      And they who had been appointed over the thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, came to Mosheh, and said to Mosheh, Thy servants have taken the account of the men who went forth to the war with us, and there is not wanting one man of us. And we bring an oblation before the Lord of what each man hath found, vessels of gold, chains, bracelets, rings, amulets, and brooches, to make atonement for our souls before the Lord. And Mosheh and Elazar the priest took the gold of them, every fabricated vessel. And all the gold of the separation which the captains of thousands and of hundreds separated before the Lord was: sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels; for the men of the host had taken spoil, every man for himself. And Mosheh and Elazar the priest took the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of ordinance, a memorial of the sons of Israel before the Lord.

      XXXII. Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad possessed much cattle, exceedingly many; and they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and, behold, the region was a place fit for folds of cattle. And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spake to Mosheh and to Elazar the priest, and to the heads of the congregation, saying: Maklelta and Malbasta and the Priests of Beth-Nemrin,  and Beth-Hesh-bena,[1] and Baale Debaba, and Seath, (the sepulchre of Mosheh,)[2]  and Beon, the land which the Lord smote before the congregation of Israel, is a country fitted for cattle folds, and thy servants have cattle. And they said, If we have found grace in thine eyes, let this land be given to thy servants for a possession, and let us not go over the Jordan.

      But Mosheh said to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben, Shall your brethren go in to fight, and you sit down here? And why turn you away the heart[3] of the sons of Israel from going over to the land which the Lord hath given to them? Thus did your fathers when I sent them from Rekem Giah to survey the land. They went up to the stream of Ethkela, and saw the land, and subverted[4] the heart of the sons of Israel, that they might not go in unto the land that the Lord had given to them; and the Lord's anger was kindled that day, and He sware, saying: If the men who have come out of Mizraim, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I covenanted to Abraham, to Izhak, and to Jakob; for they have not been wholly after my fear. Only Kaleb bar Jephuneh, the Kenezite, and Jehoshua bar Nun, for they have been wholly after the fear of the Lord. And the Lord's anger was strong against Israel, and he made them linger in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that did wickedly before the Lord had been consumed. And, behold, you have risen up after your fathers, the disciples of the men of sin, to add yet to the fierce displeasure of the Lord against Israel. For if you turn again from (following) after His service, He will yet make you remain in the wilderness, and you will destroy all this people.

      And they came near to him, and said: We will build here sheepfolds for our cattle and cities for our families; and we will go forth eagerly, armed, before the sons of Israel, to bring them into their place; and our families shall abide in cities defenced against the inhabitants of the land: nor will we return to our homes till the sons of Israel shall possess every man his inheritance.  For we will not inherit with them over the Jordan and beyond; for we receive our possession on the eastward side of the Jordan.

      And Mosheh said to them: If you will do this; if you will go armed before the people of the Lord to war, and (a host) of you all armed will pass the Jordan before the people of the Lord, until He shall have driven out the enemy before Him, and the land have been subdued before the Lord's people, then afterward you shall return, and be guiltless before the Lord and with Israel, and this land shall be to you for an inheritance before the Lord. But if you do it not, behold, you have sinned before the Lord; and know, that your sin will find you. Build you cities for your families, and folds for your sheep, and do that which hath come from your mouth. And the tribe of the Beni Gad and of the Beni Reuben spake to Mosheh, saying: Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth. Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle shall be here in the cities of Gilead;  but thy servants, a host all armed, will pass over before the people of the Lord to war, as our lord speaketh.

      And Mosheh commanded concerning them Elazar the priest, and Jehoshua bar Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the Beni Israel. And Mosheh said to them, If the sons of Gad and of Reuben pass over the Jordan with you, all armed for war, before the Lord's people, and the land be subdued before you, then shall you give them the land of Gilead for a possession. But if they go not over armed with you, they shall inherit among you in the land of Kenaan.  But the sons of Gad and of Reuben answered, saying: As the Lord hath spoken to thy servants, so will we do. We will pass over armed before the people of the Lord into the land of Kenaan, that the possession of our inheritance may be on the other side Jordan. And Mosheh gave to them, to the sons of Gad, and to the sons of Reuben, and to the half tribe of Menasheh bar Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amoraah, and the kingdom of Og the king of Mathanan,[5] the land with the cities thereof in the coasts, (even) the cities of the country round about.

      And the sons of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, and Ataroth Shophan, and Jazer, and Jagbeha, and Beth-nimra, and Beth-haran, fenced cities and sheepfolds. And the sons of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elhala, and Kirjathaim, and Nebo,[6] and Baal Meon, changing their names, and Sibama; and they called by their names the names of the cities which they built.

      And the sons of Makir bar Menasheh went unto Gilead, and subdued it, and cast out the Amoraah who were in it. And Mosheh gave Gilead to Makir bar Menasheh, and he dwelt therein. And Jair bar Menasheh went and subdued their villages, and called them the villages of Jair.  And Nobach went and subdued Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobach after his name.



[1] Kumerin de beth Nimrin.

[2] Seath beth keburta de Mosheh.

[3] Syr., “break.” Sam. Vers., “bring down the heart.”

[4] Syr., “broke.”

[5] Sam. Vers., “Batania.”

[6] Syr., “Jabok and Nobu.”