Pgs. 380-391

Ch. 13-15




AND the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Send thou keen‑sighted men who may explore the land of Kenaan, which I will give to the children of Israel; one man for each tribe of their fathers, thou shalt send from the presence of all their leaders. And Mosheh sent them from the wilderness of Pharan, according to the mouth of the Word of the Lord; all of them acute men, who had been appointed heads over the sons of Israel. And these are the names of the twelve men, the explorers: the messenger of the tribe of Reuben, Shamua bar Zakkur; of the tribe of Shemeon, Shaphat bar Hori; for Jehudah, Kaleb bar Jephunneh; for Issakar, Yiggeal bar Joseph; for Ephraim, Hoshea bar Nun; for Benjamin, Palti bar Raphu; for Zebulon, Gadiel bar Zodi; for Menasheh, Gaddi bar Susi; for Dan, Ammiel bar Gemmalli; for Asher, Sether bar Michael; for Naphtali, Nachbi bar Vaphsi; and for Gad, Geuel bar Machi. These are the names of the men whom Mosheh sent to explore the land; and when Mosheh saw his humility, he called Hoshea bar Nun Jehoshua.


And Mosheh sent them to survey the land of Kenaan, and said to them, Go up on this side by the south, and ascend the mountain, and survey the country, what it is, and the people who dwell in it; whether they be strong or weak, few or many; what the land is in which they dwell, whether good or bad; what cities they inhabit, whether they live in towns that are open or walled; and what the reputation of the land, whether its productions are rich or poor, and the trees of it fruitful or not. And do valiantly, and bring back some of the fruit of the land. [JERUSALEM. And what the land is, whether the fruits of it are rich: or trees.]


And the day on which they went was the nineteenth of the month of Sivan, (about) the days of the first grapes. They went up, therefore, and explored the country, from the wilderness of Zin, unto the roads by which thou comest unto Antiochia. They went up from the side of the south and came to Hebron, where were Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, sons of Anak the giant Now Hebron was built seven years before Tanis in Mizraim. They came then to the stream of the grapes (or bunches, ethkala), and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and carried it on a staff on the shoulders of two of them, and also took they of the pomegranates and the figs. [JERUSALEM. And they came to the stream of the grape clusters, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and carried it on a rod between two men; and also of the pomegranates and of the figs.] Now that place they call the stream of the cluster, from the branch which the sons of Israel cut down there; and wine was dropping from it like a stream.


And they returned from exploring the land on the eighth day of the month Ab, at the end of forty days. And they came to Mosheh and Aharon, and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the wilderness of Pharan, at Rekem, and returned them word, to them and the whole congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.


And they recounted to him, and said: We went into the country to which thou didst send us; and it indeed produceth milk and honey, and this is the fruit of it. But the people who inhabit the country are strong, and the fortified cities they inhabit very great; and we saw also there the sons of Anak the giant. The Amalekites dwell in the south, the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites in the mountains; but the Kenaanites dwell by the sea, and by the bank of the Jordan.


And Kaleb stilled the people, and made them listen to Mosheh, and said: Let us go up and possess it, for we are able to take it. [JERUSALEM. And he stilled.] But the men who had gone up with him said, We are not able to go up to the people, for they are stronger than we. And they brought out an evil report about the land which they had surveyed, to the sons of Israel, saying, The country through which we have passed to explore it is a land that killeth its inhabitants with diseases; and all the people who are in it are giants, masters of evil ways. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, of the race of the giants; and we appeared to ourselves to be as locusts; and so we appeared to them.


XIV. And all the congregation lifted up and gave forth their voice, and the people wept that night: and it was confirmed (as a punishment) that they should weep on that night[1] in their generations. And all the sons of Israel murmured against Mosheh and Aharon, and said: Would that we had died in the land of Mizraim, or that we may die in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword of the Kenaanaah, and our wives and little ones to become a prey? Will it not be better to return into Mizraim? And one man said to his brother, Let us appoint a king over us for a chief, and return to Mizraim. [JERUSALEM. Let us set a king over us, and go round to Mizraim.]


And Mosheh and Aharon bowed upon their faces before all the congregation of the sons of Israel; and Jehoshua bar Nun and Kaleb bar Jephunneh of the explorers of the land rent their clothes, and spake to the congregation, saying: The land we went to see is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord hath pleasure in us, He will bring us into this land, and give it us, a land producing milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the commandments of the Lord, and you need not fear the people of the land, for they are delivered into our hands; the strength of their power hath failed from them, but the Word of the Lord will be our helper; fear them not. But all the congregation said they would stone them with stones.


And the glorious Shekinah of the Lord was revealed in bright clouds at the tabernacle. And the Lord said to Mosheh, How long will this people provoke Me to anger? How long will they disbelieve in My Word, for all the signs I have wrought among them? I will strike them with deadly plague and destroy them, and will appoint thee for a people greater and stronger than they. But Mosheh said, The children of the Mizraee, whom Thou didst drown in the sea, will hear that Thou didst bring up this people from among them by Thy power, and will say with exultation to the people of this land, who have heard that Thou art the Lord, whose Shekinah dwelleth among this people, in whose eyes, O Lord, the Glory of Thy Shekinah appeared on the mountain of Sinai, and who there received Thy law; Thy Cloud hath shadowed, that neither heat nor rain might hurt them; and whom in the pillar of the Cloud Thou hast led on by day, that the moun­tains and hills might be brought low, and the valleys lifted up, and hast guided in the pillar of Fire by night: and after all of these miracles wilt Thou kill this people as one man? Then the nations who have heard the fame and of Thy power will speak saying: Because there was no (more) strength with the Lord to bring this people into the land which swearing He a promised to them, He hath killed them in the wilderness! And now, I beseech Thee, magnify Thy power, O Lord, and let mercies be fulfilled upon us, and appoint me for (this) great people, as Thou hast spoken, saying: The Lord is long­ suffering, and nigh in mercy, forgiving sins and covering transgressions, justifying such as return to His law though them who turn not He will not absolve, but will visit the sins of wicked fathers upon rebellious children unto the third and fourth generation. [JERUSALEM. The Lord is long‑suffering, far from anger, near in mercy, multiplying the exercise of goodness and truth; though the Lord will not justify sinners, but will remember, in the day of judgment, the guilt of wicked fathers upon rebellious children.] Pardon now the sin of this people according to Thy great goodness, even as Thou hast forgiven them from the time that they came out from Mizraim until now. And the Lord said, I have forgiven, according to thy word. [JERUSALEM. And the Word of the Lord said, Behold, I have absolved and pardoned, according to thy word.] Nevertheless, by oath have I sworn that the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all the men who have beheld My glory, and My signs, which I have wrought in Mizraim and in the Desert, have tempted Me now ten times, and have not obeyed My Word: by oath have I said this, That they shall not see the land which I covenanted to their fathers; and the generation which have been provokeful before me shall not behold it. [JERUSALEM. For I have uplifted My hand with an oath.] But My servant, Kaleb, because there is in him another spirit, and he hath entirely followed (in) My fear, him will I bring into the land to which he went, and his children shall possess it. But the Amalekites and Kenaanites dwell in the valley: to‑morrow turn you and go into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.


And the Lord spake with Mosheh and Aharon, saying: How long (shall I bear with) this evil congregation who gather together against Me? The murmurs of the sons of Israel which they murmur against Me are heard before Me. Say to them, By oath I decree that according to (what) you have spoken, so will I do to you. In this wilderness your carcasses shall fall, the whole number of all who were counted from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against Me. By a fast oath (have I sworn) that you shall not enter into the land which I covenanted in My Word to give you to inhabit, except Kaleb bar Jephunneh and Jehoshua bar Nun. But your children, who you said would be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which you rejected; but your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. Yet your children will have to wander in this wilderness forty years, and bear your sins until the time that your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you were exploring the land, forty days, a day for a year, a day for a year, you shall receive for your sins, forty years, and shall know (the consequence) of your murmuring against Me. I the Lord have decreed in My Word,‑if I have not made a decree in My Word against all this evil congregation who have gathered a rebel against Me in this wilderness, that they shall be consumed and die there.


But the men whom Mosheh had sent to explore the land, and who returning had made the whole congregation murmur against him, by bringing forth an evil report of the land, (even those) men who had brought forth the evil of the report of the land died, on the seventh day of the month of Elul, with worms coming from their navels, and with worms devouring their tongues; and were buried in death from before the Lord. Only Jehoshua bar Nun and Kaleb bar Jephunneh survived of those men who had gone to explore the land.


And Mosheh spake these words with all the sons of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. And they arose in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain., saying: Behold, we will go up to the place of which the Lord hath spoken; for we have sinned. But Mosheh said, Why will you act against the decree of the Word of the Lord? But it will not prosper with you. Go not up, for the Lord's Shekinah dwelleth not among you; and the ark, the tabernacle, and the Cloud of Glory proceed not; and be not crushed before your enemies. For the Amalekites and Kenaanites are there prepared for you, and you will fall slaughtered by the sword. For, because you have turned away from the service of the Lord, the Word of the Lord will not be your Helper. But they armed themselves in the dark before the morning to go up to the height of the mountain: but the ark, in which was the covenant of the Lord, and Mosheh, stirred not from the midst of the camp. And the Amalekites and Kenaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and slaughtered and destroyed them, and drave them hard to destruction.


XV. And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Speak with the sons of Israel, and say to them: When you have entered into the land of your habitation which I will give you, and you may make an oblation upon the altar before the Lord, burnt offering or consecrated sacrifice for release of a vow, or by free‑will offering; or at the time of your feasts you offer what is acceptable to the Lord of the world, to be received with approval before the Lord from the herd or from the flock: let the man who offers his oblation before the Lord bring a mincha of a tenth of flour mingled with the fourth of a hina of olive oil; and wine of grapes for a libation, the fourth of a hina, to be made upon the burnt offering or hallowed sacrifice‑for one lamb. Or for a ram, let him perform a mincha of two tenths of flour mingled with the third of a hin of olive oil, and wine of grapes let him offer in a vase for the libation, the third of a hin, to be received with acceptance before the Lord. But when he maketh a bullock a burnt offering, or a sacrifice for release from a vow, or a hallowed sacrifice before the Lord, let him bring for the bullock a mincha of three tenths of flour mixed with half of a hin of olive oil, and wine of grapes half a hin, for a libation to be received with acceptance before the Lord. So let him do with each bullock, with each ram, and each lamb, whether it be from the lambs or the kids: according to the number of the bullocks or lambs or goats with which the oblation is made so shall you do, each according to their number. All who are native born in Israel, and not of the sons of the Gentiles, shall so make these libations in offering an oblation to be received with acceptance before the Lord. And when a sojourner who sojourneth with you, or whoever is among you now, or in your generations, will bring an oblation to be received with favour before the Lord, as you do so shall he. For the whole congregation there is one statute, for you and the sojourner who sojourneth; it is an everlasting statute for your generations; as with you, so shall it be with the sojourner before the Lord. One law and one judgment shall be for you and for the sojourner who sojourneth with you.


And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Speak with the sons of Israel, and say to them: When you have entered the land into which I will bring you, and you eat the bread of the produce of it, (not rice, nor millet, nor pulse,) you shall set apart a separation before the Lord. Of the first of your dough one cake of twenty‑four you shall set apart as a separation for the priest; as with the separation from the threshing floor, so shall you set it apart. Of the first of your dough you shall give a separation before the Lord in your generations. [JERUSALEM. Of the first of your dough you shall give a separation unto the Name of the Lord.]


And should you have erred, and not performed some one of all these commandments which the Lord hath spoken with Mosheh; whatsoever the Lord hath commanded you by Mosheh from the day He commanded it, and thenceforth unto your generations‑if without the knowledge of the congregation sin hath been committed through ignorance, let all the congregation make one young bullock a burnt offering to be received with acceptance before the Lord, with his mincha and libation. as are proper; and one kid of the goats without mixture for a sin offering; and let the priest make atonement for all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it was an error, and they have brought their oblation, an offering before the Lord, even an offering for their sin have they presented before the Lord for their error; and all the congregation of Israel shall be forgiven before the Lord, and the sojourners who sojourn among them; for an error hath occurred to the people.


And if any one man sin through ignorance, let him bring one goat of the year without mixture for a sin offering, and let the priest make atonement for the man who hath erred in sinning through ignorance before the Lord to atone for him, that it may be forgiven him; as well for the native‑born of the children of Israel, and for the strangers who sojourn among you, there shall be one law for him who transgresseth through ignorance: but a man who transgresseth. with presumption, whether of the native‑born or strangers, and who turneth. not away from his sin before the Lord,‑he causeth anger, and that man shall perish from among his people; for, the primal word which the Lord commanded on Sinai he hath despised, and hath made the commandment of circumcision vain; with destruction in this world shall that man be destroyed; in the world that cometh shall he give account of his sin at the great day of judgment. [JERUSALEM. Because he hath despised the Word of the Lord, and broken His commandments, that soul shall perish, and shall bear his sin.]


And while the sons of Israel were dwelling in the wilderness, the decree of the Sabbath was known to them, but the punishment (for the profanation) of the Sabbath was not known. And there arose a man of the house of Joseph, and said with himself:[2] I will go and pull up wood on the Sabbath day; and witnesses saw it, and told Mosheh; and Mosheh sought instructtion from the presence of the Lord, that he might teach me judgment, and make known the discipline of all the house of Israel. And the witnesses of the man who pulled up and collected wood came, and, after they had monished him, and he had wounded the witnesses who had found him pulling up wood, [JERUSALEM. Steal­ing wood,] brought him to Mosheh and Aharon, and all the congregation. This is one of four judgments which were brought before Mosheh the prophet, which he adjudged according to the Word of the Holy. Of these judgments some related to money, and some to life. In the judgments regarding money Mosheh was prompt, but in those affecting life he was deliberate, and in each he said, I have not heard,‑to teach the princes of the future Sanhedrin to be prompt in decisions on mammon, and deliberate in those that involved life, nor to be ashamed to inquire for counsel in what may be difficult, forasmuch as Mosheh the Rabbi of Israel himself had need to say, I have not heard. Therefore put they him in confinement, because they had not yet heard the explanation of the judgment they should execute upon him. [JERUSALEM. This is one of four cases which are written above, on that of the blasphemer, and they who were defiled by the dead. And they put him in ward till the time when it should be plainly showed to them from before the Lord, with what judgment they were to deal with him.]


And the Lord said to Mosheh: The man shall be surely put to death; the whole congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp; and the congregation led him forth without the camp, and stoned him with stones that he died, as the Lord had commanded Mosheh.


And the Lord said unto Mosheh: Speak with the sons of Israel, and bid them make for themselves fringes,[3] not of threads, nor of yarns, nor of fibres, but after a manner of their own (lesumhon) shall they make them, and shall cut off the heads of their filaments, and suspend by five ligatures, four in the midst of three,[4] upon the four corners of their garment in which they enwrap themselves, unto their generations; and they shall put upon the edge of their robes an embroidery of hyacinth (shezir de‑thikela). [JERUSALEM. And let them make to themselves fringes for the edges of their robes, throughout their generations, and put upon the fringes of their robes an embroidery of hyacinth.] And this shall be to you a precept for fringes, that you may look upon them at the time when you dress yourselves daily, and remember all My commandments to do them, and not go aside to wander after the imaginations of your heart and the sight of your eyes, after which you have gone astray. To the end that you may remember and perform all My precepts, and be holy, like the angels who minister before the Lord your God. I am the Lord your God who have delivered and brought you free out of the land of Mizraim, to be to you Eloha. I am the Lord your God.



[1] The ninth of Ab, a day remarkable for a succession of calamities in the history of the Jews.

[1] Be memrieh, "in his word,--his inmost self, or personality."

[1] Tsitsith, either a fringe or a tassel, probably the latter. Tsits sometimes means a flower. In the similar precept, Deut. xxii. 12, the word employed is gedilim, tufts or tassels of a conical form, like a flower bud. Onkelos has keruspidin, "borderings."

[1] Arbea bego telatha. (Query.)

[1] The ninth of Ab, a day remarkable for a succession of calamities in the history of the Jews.

[2] Be memrieh, "in his word,--his inmost self, or personality."

[3] Tsitsith, either a fringe or a tassel, probably the latter. Tsits sometimes means a flower. In the similar precept, Deut. xxii. 12, the word employed is gedilim, tufts or tassels of a conical form, like a flower bud. Onkelos has keruspidin, "borderings."

[4] Arbea bego telatha. (Query.)