Pgs. 449-459

Ch, 30-32




AND Mosheh spake with the chiefs of the Tribes of the Beni Israel, saying: This is the Word which the Lord hath spoken, saying: A man, a son of thirteen when he shall have vowed a vow before the Lord, or have sworn an oath, saying, I will withhold from such a thing which is permitted to me, shall not be allowed to relax his word (at his own will): nevertheless, the house of judgment (beth dina) can absolve him; but if they absolve him not, whatsoever hath gone out of his mouth he shall perform.


And a female who hath not passed twelve years when she hath vowed a vow before the Lord, and hath bound herself in her father's house until her thirteenth year; and her father hear her vow, and whatever bond she hath bound upon her soul, and her father be acquiescent, and speak not to her; then every vow and every bond which she hath bound upon her soul shall be confirmed. But if her father prohibit her on the day that he heareth, or, not being prepared to confirm, annulleth after he hath heard, (then) no vow or bond that she hath bound upon her soul shall be confirmed; but is remitted and forgiven her before the Lord, because her father hath made her free from the authority of the vow, (or, nullified to her the power of the vow.) And if when she hath been taken by a husband a vow be upon her, or her lips have expressed that which is binding upon her soul while in her father's house, and her father had not absolved her while unmarried, then, when she hath been married, it shall be confirmed. But if after she is married she make a vow, and her husband hear it, and on the day that he heareth it he is minded to confirm it, and is silent to her, then the vow and the bond which she hath bound upon her soul shall be ratified. But if her husband prohibit her on the day that he heareth, then the vow which is upon her, and the utterance of her lips which bound her soul, are remitted and forgiven her. Yet the vow of a widow, or a divorced, whatever hath bound her soul, shall be confirmed upon her. But if, while she was in her husband's house, or while she had not attained to marriage years, she had vowed, or bound her soul with the bond of an oath which her husband had heard of, and had neither spoken nor prohibited her, or had died before she was married, then all her vows shall be confirmed, and all the obligations with which she had bound her soul be ratified, and her father shall have no power to absolve her. But if her husband released her [JERUSALEM. Her husband released her] on the day that he heard, then, whatever her lips had pronounced to be a vow, or a bond upon her soul, shall not be confirmed; and if her husband had annulled them, [JERUSALEM. Her husband had released them,] and she, not knowing, had performed, it shall be forgiven her before the Lord. Every vow, every oath‑bond to chasten the soul, her husband may ratify or annul. But if her husband was silent and consented when he heard from one day to the next, then all her vows and all the bonds upon her are ratified; by his silence he hath confirmed them; for be was silent to her on the day, and consented, and absolved her not on the day that he heard. But if, absolving, he would absolve her one day after he had heard, there is no force in the absolution; and if he then nullify the word, her husband or her father shall bear her sin. These are the publications of the statutes which the Lord commanded Mosheh (on these matters) between a man and his wife, and a father and his daughter in the day of her youth in her father's house; [JERUSALEM. In the time of her youth in her father's house;] but not in the time of her youth, and she be in the house of her husband.


XXXI. And the Lord spake with Mosheh, saying: Take retribution for the children of Israel from the Midianites; and afterward thou shalt be gathered to thy people. And Moses spake with the people, saying: Arm of you men, [JERUSALEM. Arm of you,] for the host to make war against Midian, to give the people of the Lord avengement upon Midian; a thousand of each tribe of all the tribes of Israel send ye to the war. And of the thousands of Israel fit men were chosen who gave up themselves, a thousand of a tribe, twelve thousand, armed for the war. And Mosheh sent them, a thousand of each tribe to the war, them and Phinehas bar Elazar the priest unto the war, with the Uraia and Thummaia consecrated to inquire for them, and the Jubilee trumpets in his hand for assembling, encamping, and ordering forward the host of Israel. And they warred against Midian, circumventing them from three corners, as the Lord had instructed Mosheh, and they killed every male; and they slew the kings of the Midianites with the slain of their armies, Evi, Rekem, Zur, who is Balak, and Hur and Reba, five kings of Midian; and Bileam bar Beor they killed with the sword. And it was when Bileam the guilty saw Phinehas the priest pursuing him, he made use of his magical arts, (lit., made words of enchantment,) and flew in the air of the heavens; but Phinehas forthwith pronounced the Great and Holy Name, and flew after him, and seized him by his head, and bringing him down drew the sword, and sought to kill him; but he opened his mouth with words of deprecation, and said to Phinehas: If thou wilt spare my life, I swear to thee that all the days I live I will not curse thy people. He answered him, and said: Art thou not Laban the Amarite who didst seek to destroy Jakob our father, who wentest down into Mizraim, to destroy his children, and, after they had come out of Mizraim, didst send the wicked Amalek against them; and hast thou not now been sent to curse them? But after thou hadst seen that thy works did not prosper, and that the Word of the Lord would not hear thee, thou didst give the evil counsel to Balak to set his daughters in the way to make them go wrong, when there fell of them twentyfour thousand. Therefore, it cannot be that thy life may be spared; and at once he drew the sword and slew him.


And the sons of Israel led captive the wives of the Midianites, their children, their cattle, and all their flocks, and destroyed all their goods; and all their towns, the houses, of their rulers, and the high places of their houses of worship, they burned with fire; but they took all the spoil and the prey both of men and beasts, and brought to Mosheh, Elazar the priest, and all the congregation of Israel, the captives, the prey, and the spoils, at the camp in the fields of Moab, by the Jordan, near Jericho.


And Mosheh and Elazar the priest, with all the heads of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. But Mosheh was angry with the leaders appointed over the host, the chiefs of thousands and of hundreds who came from the war with the host; and Mosheh said to them, Why have you spared all the women? These are they who caused the offence of the sons of Israel, by the counsel of Bileam, to do wrongly before the Lord in the matter of Peor, so that pestilence came upon the congregation of the Lord. Now, therefore, slay every male among the children, and every woman who hath known a man; but every female child you shall stand before the Crown of Holiness, (the priest's tiara,) and look upon her: she who is not a virgin will be pallid in the face, but she who is a virgin child will blush in the face, like fire; them you shall spare. But as for you, abide without the camp seven days; whoever hath slain a man, or touched the dead, you shall sprinkle on the third; and on the seventh day both you and your captives, and every garment, and whatever is made of skin, goats' hair, horn, or bone, and every vessel of wood, you shall sprinkle.


And Elazar the priest said to the men of the host who had returned from the war: This is the manifestation of the decree of the law which the Lord hath commanded to Mosheh. Nevertheless, these (articles) without their rust, the gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead, [JERUSALEM. Tin and lead,] their vessels, but not the unformed and simple (metals), every thing whose nature it is to abide the fire, of the pans, pots, spits, and gridirons, you shall make to pass through fire to purify them, and afterward (sprinkle them) with water such as is used to purify the unclean; but whatever will not abide the fire coverlids, cups flagons, and utensils, you shall make to pass through forty sata of water; and you shall wash your raiment on the seventh day to be clean, and afterwards come into the camp.


And the Lord spake with Mosheh saying: Take the sum of the prey of the captives, both of man and beast, and take their amount, thou and Elazar the priest, and the chiefs of the fathers of the congregation; and divide the spoil between the men of war who took the spoil in the conflict of battle, having gone forth with the host, and between all the congregation; and separate that which is to be given up to the Name of the Lord by the men of war who went forth with the host: one woman out of five hundred; so, likewise, of oxen, asses, and sheep. From their half, the portion of the men of war, shalt thou take them, and give to Elazar the priest, as a separation unto the Name of the Lord; but of the half (falling to) the children of Israel thou shalt take one out of fifty of the women, and of the oxen, the asses, and of all the cattle, and give them to the Levites who keep charge of the Lord's tabernacle; and Mosheh and Elazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Mosheh.


And the amount of the prey, the rest of the spoil which had been taken by the people who went forth in the host,‑the number of the sheep was six hundred and seventy‑five thousand; oxen, seventy‑two thousand; asses, sixty‑one thousand; persons, the women who had not known man, all the persons thirty‑two thousand. And the half of the portion for the men who had gone to the war, the number of the sheep was three hundred and thirty‑seven thousand five hundred; and the amount of that brought up for the Name of the Lord was of sheep six hundred and seventy‑five; oxen thirty‑six thousand, those for the Name of the Lord seventy‑two; asses thirty thousand five hundred, for the Name of the Lord sixty‑one; persons sixteen thousand, for the Name of the Lord thirty‑two. And Mosheh gave the number separated to the Name of the Lord unto Elazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Mosheh. And the half part for the children of Israel which Mosheh divided from the men's who went forth to the war, the amount was three hundred and thirty‑seven thousand five hundred sheep, thirty‑six thousand oxen, thirty thousand five hundred asses, and sixteen thousand women. And Mosheh took from the half part for the children of Israel of that which bad been captured, one out of fifty, whether of man or beast, and gave it to the Levites who kept charge of the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Mosheh.


And the officers who had been appointed over the thousands of the host, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, drew near to Mosheh, and they said to Mosheh, Thy servants have taken the account of the men of war who have been with us, and not any of them are wanting. And we have brought a gift unto the Name of the Lord, forasmuch as the Lord hath delivered the Midianites into our hands, and we have been able to subdue their land and their cities. And we entered into their chambers, and there saw their daughters, fair, tender, and delicate; and every man who found on them jewels of gold, loosened the coronets from their heads, the earrings from their ears, the necklaces from their necks, the bracelets from their arms, the rings from their fingers, and the brooches from their bosoms;‑but in all this we abstained from lifting our eyes upon themselves, or gazing on one of them, lest we should sin with any one of them, and die the death which the wicked die in the world to come. And may this be had in memorial for us in the day of the great judgment, to make propitiation for our souls before the Lord. [JERUSALEM. And we have brought the oblation of the Lord. When we entered into the houses of the Midianite kings, and into their sleeping‑chambers, and saw there the fair and delicate daughters of the Midianite kings, we took from their beads their golden coronets, the earrings from their ears, the rings from their fingers, the bracelets from their arms, and the jewels from their bosoms; yet, Mosheh our master! far was it from us,‑not one of us was united with any one of them, neither will he be companion with her in Gehinnom. In the world to come may it stand to us, in the day of the great judgment, to propitiate for our souls before the Lord.]

And Mosheh and Elazar the priest took the gold from them, every article fabricated; and the sum of all the gold of the separation which they had separated unto the Name of the Lord was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels, from the captains of thousands and of hundreds. 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 good memorial of the sons of Israel before the Lord.


XXXII. Now the sons of Reuben and of Gad possessed much cattle, exceeding much: and they surveyed the land of Mikvar and of Gilead, and, behold, it was a region suitable for cattle folds. [JERUSALEM. And they saw the land of Mikvar and of Gilead, and, behold, it was a place of wealth.] And the sons of Gad and Reuben came and spoke to Mosheh, Elazar, and the princes of the congregation, saying: Makelta, Madbeshta, Mikvar, Beth Nimre, Beth Hoshbane, Maalath Meda, Shiran, Beth Kebureth, de Moshe, and Behon, [JERUSALEM. Makalta, Madbeshta, Mikvar, Beth Nimrin, Heshbon, Elhala, Shebam, Nebo, and Behan,] the land which the Lord hath subdued, and whose inhabitants he hath smitten before the congregation of Israel, is a land suitable for cattle, and thy servants have cattle. [JERUSALEM. Wealth.] They said therefore, If we have found grace before thee, let this land be given to thy servants for a possession, and let us not pass over Jordan.


But Mosheh said to the sons of Gad and Reuben, Shall your brethren go to the war, and you sit down here? And why should you enfeeble [JERUSALEM. And why do you break] the will of the sons of Israel from going over to the land which the Lord hath given to them? So did your fathers when I sent them from Rekem Giah to survey the land: they went up to the brook of Ethkela, and saw the land, [JERUSALEM. They went unto Segola, and saw the land,] but enfeebled the will of Israel's heart, that they would not enter into the land which the Lord had given to them. And the anger of the Lord was that day moved, and He sware, saying If these men who came out of Mizraim from twenty years old and up ard shall see the land which I covenanted to Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob, because they have not fully (walked) according to My fear; except Kaleb bar Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Jehoshua bar Nun, for they have fully (walked) after the fear of the Lord. And the anger of the Lord was moved against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all that generation which did evil before the Lord have been consumed. And, behold, you are risen up after your fathers, disciples of wicked men, to increase yet the anger of the Lord against Israel. [JERUSALEM. You have multiplied the men of sin yet to increase the strength of His displeasure.] For if you go back from fearing Him, He will still make them abide in the wilderness, and so will you destroy all this people.


And they drew near to him, and said, We will build sheepfolds for our flocks, and towns for our families; but we will go armed among the sons of Israel until we have brought them into their place: but our families shall dwell in towns defended against the inhabitants of the land. [JERUSALEM. In cities fortified against the (former) masters of the land.] We will not return to our homes until the sons of Israel possess every one his inheritance. For we will not inherit with them over the Jordan and beyond; for our inheritance cometh to us beyond Jordan eastward.


And Mosheh said to them, If you will perform this thing; if you will go forth armed before the people of the Lord to the war, if some of you armed will pass over Jordan before the Lord's people to go on with the war until He hath driven out the enemy before Him, and the land be subdued before the people of the Lord, then afterwards you shall return, and be acquitted before the Lord and by Israel; and this land shall be yours for an inheritance before the Lord. But if you will not perform this, behold, ye will have sinned before the Lord your God, and know that your sin will meet you. Build (then) cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do that which hath proceeded from your mouth. [JERUSALEM. Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do that which hath come out of your mouth.]


And the sons of Gad and Reuben spake to Mosheh with one consent, saying, Thy servants will do whatever my lord hath commanded: our children, wives, flocks, and all our cattle shall be here in the cities of Gilead; but thy servants will go over, every one armed for the host, before the people of the Lord to the war, as my lord hath said.


And Mosheh commanded concerning them Elazar the priest, and Jehoshua bar Nun, and the heads of the tribes of the Beni Israel, and said to them: If the sons of Gad and of Reuben go over the Jordan with you, every one armed for the war, before the people of the Lord, and the land be subdued before you, then shall you give to them the land of Gilead for a possession. But if they will not pass over armed with you, then they shall receive an inheritance among you in the land of Kenaan. But the sons of Gad and Reuben answered and said: Whatsoever the Lord hath spoken to thy servants so will we do. We will go over armed before the Lord's people into the land of Kenaan, that our inheritance may be on this side the Jordan.


And Mosheh gave to them, the sons of Gad and of Reuben, and to the half tribe of Menasheh bar Joseph, the kingdom. of Sihon king of the Amoraee, and the kingdom of Og king of Mathnan, the land with its cities by the limits of the cities of the land round about. And the sons of Gad built (rebuilt) Madbashta and Maklalta and Lechaiath, [JERUSALEM. And the sons of Gad built Debeshta, and Maklalta, and Lechaiath,] and Maklelath, Shophena, and Mikvar Geramatha, [JERUSALEM. And Maklalta of Shophan, and Makvar, and Jegbeha,] and the strong city of Beth Nimrin, and Beth Haran, fenced cities (with) folds for sheep. And the sons of Reuben built (rebuilt) Beth Heshbon and Mahalath Mera, and the city of the two streets paved with marble which is Beresha, and the place of the sepulchre of Mosheh, and (rebuilt) the city of Balak, destroying out of it the idol of Peor, in the house of his high places, and the city whose walls surrounded it, inscribed with the names of his heroes, and Shiran. And after they had built them they called their names after the names of the men who had built them.


And the sons of Makir bar Menasheh went to Gilead and subdued it, and drave out the Amoraee who were therein. And Mosheh gave Gilead to Makir bar Menasheh, and he dwelt in it. 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 own name.