Pgs. 555 -569
Ch. I.-III.


On The


or Deuteronomy



I. These are the words of admonition[1] which Mosheh spake with all Israel. He gathered them together to him while they were beyond the Jordan, and answered and said to them:

Was it not in the wilderness at the mountain of Sinai that the law was given to you? and in the plains of Moab you were made to understand how many miracles and signs the Holy One, blessed be He, had wrought for you, from the time that you passed over the border of the Weedy Sea, where He made for you a way for every one of your tribes. But you declined from His word, and wrought provocation before Him, in Pharan, on account of the words of the spies, and put together lying words against Him, and murmured about the manna, which He had made to come down for you, white from the heavens; in Hazeroth you demanded flesh, and made yourselves deserving to perish from the midst of the world, but for the memory, on your behalf, of the merit of your righteous fathers, the tabernacle of ordinance, and the ark of the covenant, and the holy vessels which you had covered with pure gold, and made atonement for you on account of the sin of the golden calf. It is a journey of eleven days (only) from Horeb by the way of Mount Gebal unto Rekem Giah; but because you declined and provoked the Lord to displeasure, you have been retarded forty years.

And it was at the end of forty years, in the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, on the first of the month, that Mosheh spake with the sons of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him commandment for them.

[JERUSALEM. These are the words which Mosheh, spake with all Israel, reproving them, while as yet they were situate beyond the Jordan. Mosheh answering said to them: Was it not in the wilderness at Mount Sinai, that the law was given to you? and on the plains of Moab was shown you what miracles and mighty acts the Word of the Lord had wrought on your behalf. When you stood by the Weedy Sea, the sea was divided before you, and there were made twelve ways[2] of one way, (a path) for each tribe. Yet you provoked Him at the sea, and rebelled at the Sea of Suph. On account of the matter of the spies who had been sent from the wilderness of Pharan, the decree (came forth) against you, that you should not enter into the land of Israel; and for that of the manna, of which you said, Our soul is afflicted with this bread, whose eating is too light, the serpents were let loose upon you; and in Hazeroth, where your carcasses fell on account of the flesh, and concerning the calf that you had made, He would have spoken in His Word to destroy you, had He not been mindful of the covenant which He sware to your fathers, Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob, and of the tabernacle of ordinance which you had made unto His name, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and of your burnt sacrifices in the midst (of the tabernacle and the ark) which you covered with purified gold. A journey of eleven days is it from Mount Horeb by way of Mount Gebal unto Rekem Giah; yet, because you sinned and provoked anger before Him, you have been delayed, and have been journeying for forty years. And it was at the end of forty years.]

After He had smitten Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Mathnan, who dwelt at Astarvata in Edrehath, beyond Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Mosheh to speak the words of this law, saying: The Lord our God spake with us (and not I, of my own mind) in Horeb, saying: It is enough for you, and hath been profitable for you until this time (during) which you have received the law, and have made the tabernacle and its vessels, and appointed your princes over you; but now it would be evil for you to tarry longer at this mount. Turn you, and journey to Arad and Hormah, and go up to the mountain of the Amorites; and to the dwelling‑places of Ammon, Moab, and Gebala, in the plains of the forests, in mountain and valley, and by the south on the shore of the sea, Ashkelon and Kiserin, the land of the Kenaanite unto Kaldohi, and Lebanon, the place of the mountain of the sanctuary, to the great river, the River Phrat. See, I have given up the inhabitants of the land before you; nor shall it be needful to carry arms; go in and possess the land, and appoint the allotters, and divide it, even as the Lord sware to your fathers, to Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob, that He would give it unto them and their sons after them.

And I spake to you at that time, saying: We will not leave you with but one judge, for I am not able to bear you alone. The Word of the Lord our God hath multiplied you; and, behold, you are to‑day as the stars of heaven for multitude. The Lord God of your fathers increase you a thousand fold on account of this my benediction, and bless you beyond numbering as He hath said unto you. But how can I alone sustain the labour, your sensuality, your evil thoughts, your words of strife, your offering one shekel for two? Present, then, from among you wise men, prudent in their thinking, men of wisdom, by your tribes, and I will appoint them to be chiefs over you. And you answered me and said: The thing that thou hast spoken it is right for us to do. So I took the chiefs of your tribes, and moved them kindly with words; wise men, masters of knowledge, but prudent in their thoughts, I found not;[3] and I appointed them chiefs over you, rabbans of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties; twelve thousand rabbans of tens, six myriads, officers of your tribes. And I charged your judges at that time with the orders of judgments, saying: So hear your brethren that one may not (be permitted to) speak all his words, while another is compelled to cut his words short; and so hearken to their words, as that it may be impossible for you not to judge them, and deliver judgment in truth, and to resolve (a matter) completely between a man and his brother, and between him who hireth words of litigation. You shall not have respect to persons in a judgment; you shall hear little words as well as great ones, nor be afraid before the rich man and the ruler; for a judgment is from before the Lord, and He seeth every secret. But the thing that is too hard for you bring to me, and I will hear it. And at that time I taught you all the Ten Words which you are to practise about judgments of money, and judgments of life.

And we journeyed from Horeb, and came through all that great and fearful desert, where you saw serpents like boughs, and loathsome scorpions darting at you like arrows, on the way of the mountain of the Amoraah, as the Lord our God had commanded us, and came to Rekem Giah. And I said to you, Ye are come to the mountain of the Amoraah, which the Lord our God will give to us. Behold, the Lord our God hath given you the land; arise and possess it, as the Lord your God hath told you; fear not, nor be dismayed (broken). And all of you came to me in a body, and said, We will send men before us to examine the land for us, and bring us back word by what way we shall go up to it, and the cities we should enter. And the thing was proper in my eyes; and I took from you twelve chosen men, one man for a tribe, and they turned and went up into the mountain, and came to the stream of Ethkela, and explored it. [JERUSALEM. And they prepared and went up into the mountain, and came to the stream of the Grapes, and surveyed it.] And they took in their hands of the produce of the land and brought to us. And they returned us word; and Kaleb and Jehoshua said, The land which the Lord our God hath given us is good. But you were not willing to go up, but believed the words of the ten wicked ones, and rebelled against the Word of the Lord your God. And you cried in your tents, taking your sons and your daughters to your breasts, saying, Woe to you, ye stricken ones! to‑morrow ye will be slain. Why hath the Lord hated us, to have brought us out of the land of Mizraim, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us? How shall we go up? Our brethren have dissolved our hearts, saying, The people are greater and mightier than we; their cities are vast and walled to the height of heaven, and we saw there also the sons of Ephron the giant.

And I said to you, Be not broken down, nor be afraid of them: the Word of the Lord your God who goeth before you will Himself fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Mizraim before your eyes. And in the desert, where thou sawest burning serpents full of deadly venom, the Lord thy God bare thee with the glorious clouds of His Shekinah, as a man carrieth his child, all the way that you went, until you have come to this place. But in this thing you believed not in the Word of the Lord your God, who led before you in the way[4] to prepare for you the place of your encampments, in the pillar of fire by night to light you in the way you should go, and in the pillar of the cloud by day. And the voice of your words was heard before the Lord, and He was displeased, and did make oath saying, If any one of the men of this evil generation shall see the good land which I covenanted to give unto their fathers, except Kaleb bar Jephunneh, who shall see it, and to whom I will give the good land, the land of Hebron through which he walked, and to his children, because he hath followed with integrity the fear of the Lord. Against me also was there displeasure before the Lord on your account, saying, Thou too art not to go in thither; Jehoshua bar Nun, who ministereth in thy house of instruction, he is to go in thither: strengthen him, for he is to make Israel possess it. But your little ones, of whom you said, They will be for prey, and your children, who as yet know not between good and evil, they shall go in thither: I will give it to them, and they shall possess it for an inheritance. As for you, turn, and go (back) into the wilderness by the way of the Weedy Sea. Then answered you, and said to me, We have sinned before the Lord ; we will go up and fight according to all that the Lord our God commanded us. And you girded on every man his arms, and began to ascend the mountain. But the Lord said to me, Say to them, Go not up, nor prepare for battle, for My Shekinah goeth not among you; that you be not crushed before your enemies. And I spake with you, but you would not obey but were rebellious against the Word of the Lord, and did wickedly, and went up to the mountain. And the Amoraah who dwelt in that mountain came out to meet you, and pursued you, as they drive away and destroy hornets, and smote you from Gebal unto Hormah. [JERUSALEM. And they chased you as bees are chased, and slew you in Gebal unto destruction.] And you returned, and wept before the Lord: but the Lord would not receive your prayers, nor hearken to your words. So you abode in Rekem many days, according to the days that you abode.

II. And turning we journeyed into the wilderness, by the way of the Sea of Suph, as the Lord had bidden me, and we compassed Mount Gebal many days. And the Lord spake to me, saying: It is enough for you to have dwelt about this mountain: turn you to the north, and command the people, saying, You are to pass by the border of your brethren, the children of Esau, who dwell in Gebala, and they will be afraid of you; be very heedful therefore; provoke them not; for of their land I have not given you as much as the sole of the foot; for I have given Mount Gebal an inheritance unto Esau on account of the honour which he did unto his father. You shall buy fresh provision of them for silver, that you may eat, and water shall you buy with silver, to drink. Be careful that you vex them not : for the Lord your God hath blessed you in all the works of your hands, he hath supplied your wants in thy journeying in the great wilderness; these forty years hath the Word of the Lord your God been your helper; you have not wanted anything.

So we passed by our brethren the sons of Esau, who dwell in Gebala, from Elath and the fortress of Tarnegola and turned and went by the way of the wilderness of Moab [JERUSALEM. So we passed by our brethren the sons of Esau, who dwell in Gebala, by the way of the plain from Elath and from the fortress of Tarnegola, and we turned and went by the way of the wilderness of Moab.] And the Lord spake to me, saying: Thou shalt not aggrieve the Moabaee, nor make war against them; for I have not given you their land to inherit, because I have given Lachaiath for a possession to the children of Lot. The Emthanaia dwelt in it of old, a people great and many, and mighty as the giants. The giants[5] who dwelt in the plain of Geyonbere were also reputed as the giants who perished in the Flood; but the Moabites called them Emethanee[6]. And in Gebala dwelt the Genosaia in old times, and the Beni Esau drave them out and destroyed them, and dwelt in their place; as did Israel in the land of their inheritance, which the Lord gave to them. Now arise, and pass over the stream of Tarvaja. And we crossed the stream of Tarvaja. And the days in which (from the time) we came from Rekem Giah till we crossed the stream of Tarvaja, were thirty and eight years, until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. But a plague also from the Lord had scourged them to consume them from the host, until they were brought to an end.

And when all the men of war, the makers of the high places, were consumed by dying out of the host, the Lord spake with me, saying: You are this day to pass the border of Moab towards Lechaiath. But coming near over against the children of Ammon, you are not to vex, nor provoke them to war; for I have not given you the land of the Beni Ammon for a possession: I have given it an inheritance to the children of Lot, for the sake of Abraham's righteousness. That also was accounted a land of giants; in old time the giants dwelt in it, and the Ammonites called them Zimthanee, a people great and mighty as giants: but the Word of the Lord destroyed them, and drave them out before them, and they dwelt in their place; as He did for the Beni Esau who dwell in Seir: for He destroyed the Horaee before them, and drave them out, and they dwell in their place to this day. And the rest of the escaped of the Kenaanah which dwelt in the cities of Dephia to Gaza, the Kapotkaee who came out of Kapotkaia destroyed them, and dwelt in their place. Arise, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnona; behold, I have delivered into your hands Sihon the king of Heshbon and the Amoraah, and his land: begin to drive them out, and to provoke him to wage war. To‑day I will begin to put thy terror and fear upon the faces of all the peoples which are under the whole heavens who shall hear the report of thy virtue, that the sun and moon have stood still, and have ceased from speaking (their) song for the space of a day and a half, standing still in their habitation until thou hadst done battle with Sihon; and they will shiver and tremble before thee.

And I sent messengers from Nehardea, which is by the wilderness of Kedemoth, to Sihon king of the Amorites, with words of peace, saying, I would pass through thy land; by the way which is the beaten road will I go; I will not turn aside to do thee harm on the right hand or the left. I will buy fresh provision with silver, to eat, and thou shalt give me water for silver, to drink; I will only pass through: as the Beni Esau, who dwell in Gebal, and the Moabaee, who dwell in Lechaiath have done to me, until the time that I pass over the Jordan into the land which the Lord our God giveth us. But Sihon the king of Heshbon was not willing to allow us to pass through his borders; for the Lord our God had hardened the form of his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, to deliver him into thy hand as at this day. And the Lord said to me, See, within the space of a sun and a moon I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country into thy hand; begin thou to cast him out, to inherit his land.

And Sihon came out to meet us, he and all his people, to do battle at Jehaz. And the Lord our God delivered him up before us, and we smote him, and his children, and all his people. And we subdued all his cities at that time, and destroyed all the towns, the men, women, and children, we left none to escape; only the cattle took we for prey and the spoil of the towns which we subdued. From Aroer, on the bank of the river Arnona, and the city which is built in the midst of the river, even unto Gilead, there was no city too strong for us, the Lord our God gave all of them up before us. Only to the land of the children of Ammon we went not nigh, nor to any place on the river Jobeka, nor to the cities of the mountain, according to all that the Lord our God had commanded us.

III. ANd turning, we went up by the way of Mathnan: and Og the king of Mathnan came out to meet us, he and all his people, to give battle in Edrehath. And the Lord said to me, Fear him not; for into thy hand I have delivered him, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou hast done to Sihon king of the Amoraah, who dwelt in Heshbon. [JERUSALEM. When Mosheh saw that wicked one, he trembled before him, and said, Is not this he who did scoff at our father Abraham and Sarah, and said to them, Ye are like trees planted by a fountain of water, but ye bear no fruit? Therefore did the Holy One, blessed be He, and let His Name be glorified, cause him to wait, and prolong him many years alive, to show to him the generations, because He would deliver him into the hands of his (Abraham's) children: therefore the Word of the Lord said to Mosheb, Be not afraid of him, for into thy hand have I given him up, and all his people, and his land, and thou shalt do to him as thou hast done to Sihon. king of the Amoraee, who dwelt in Heshbon.] And the Lord our God gave up into our hands Og the king of Mathnan, and all his people; and we smote him till no remnant remained to him. And we subdued all his cities at that time, there was no city which we took not from them, sixty cities, the whole boundary of Targona[7], the kingdom of Og in Mathnan. All these cities were fortified, surrounded with high walls, shut up with gates and bars; besides open towns very many. [JERUSALEM. All these cities were fortified, surrounded with high walls, with gates and bars.] And we utterly destroyed their cities: as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, so destroyed we with every city the men, women, and children. But all the cattle, and the prey of the cities, we made a spoil for ourselves. And at that time we took from the power of the two kings of the Amorites the land beyond the Jordan, from the streams of Arnona unto Mount Hermon. The Sidonaee call Hermon the fruit‑producing Mount,[8] but the Amoraee call it the Snowy Mountain,[9] because the snownever ceases from it either in summer or winter. [JERUSALEM. The Sidonaee call Hermon the fruit‑producing land, but the Amoraee call it the land which multiplies the fruits of the tree.] All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Mathnan, unto Selukia and Edrehi, cities of the kingdom of Og in Mathnan. For only Og king of Mathnan remained of the remnant of the giants who perished in the deluge. Behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; behold, it is placed in the archive‑house in Rabbath, of the Beni Ammon, nine‑cubits its length, and four cubits its breadth, in the cubit of his own (stature). [JERUSALEM. Is it not placed in the citadel of the Beni Ammon ?] And this land which we took in possession at that time, from Aroer unto the border of the river, and half of Mount Gilead, and the cities, I have given to the tribe of Reuben and Gad; but the remaining part of Gilead, and all Mathnan, the kingdom of Og, I have given to the half tribe of Menasheh; all the limit of the region of Targona, and all Mathnan, which is called the land of the giants.

And Jair bar Menasheh took the whole limit of the region of Targona, unto the limit of Korze and Antikiros, [JERUSALEM. All the limit of Atarkona, unto the limit of the city of Aphikeras,] and called them by his own name Mathnan, the towns of Jair, unto this day. But I gave Gilead to Makir. To the tribe Reuben and the tribe Gad have I given from Gilead to the river Arnona, half of the valley and its limit, unto the stream of Jubeka on the limit of the children of Ammon, the plain also, the Jordan, the boundary from Genesar to the sea of the plain, and the city of Tebaria, which is by the Sea of Salt, the limit of the outflow of waters from the heights of the east. [JERUSALEM. The plain, the Jordan, and the limit from Ginosar to the sea of the plain, the Sea of Salt, under the place of the pouring forth of ashes from the east.] And I commanded you, the tribe of Reuben, and of Gad, and the half tribe of Menasheh, at that time, saying: The Lord your God hath given this land to you to possess it; but you are to go over armed before your brethren, every one girded for the host. Only your wives, your children, and your cattle, (for I know that you have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you, until the time when the Lord will have given rest to your brethren as to you, that they also may possess that land which the Lord your God hath conferred upon you; then shall you return every one to his inheritance which I have given you.

And I instructed Jehoshua at that time, saying: Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord thy God hath done to these two kings; so will the Lord do unto all the kingdoms to which thou art passing over. Fear them not, for the Word of the Lord your God fighteth for you.

[1] Or, “reproof.”

[2] Or, “streets.”

[3] Lo ashkachith.

[4] Compare Glossary, p 16.

[5] Gibbaraia. Heb., Rephaim.

[6] Or, Emthanee, “Formidable.”

[7] Trachonitis, “rough or rocky.”

[8] Or, “the mount whose productions are fruit.”

[9] Tor Talga. So the present Arab name Jebel Thelj.