Numbers 10:1-36


Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36



10:1 VA YEDABER YHVH EL MOSHEH LEMOR

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר

KJ (King James translation): And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

BN (BibleNet translation): Then YHVH spoke to Mosheh, saying


10:2 ESEH LECHA SHTEY CHATSOTSEROT KESEPH MI KESHAH TA'ASEH OTAM VE HAYU LECHA LE MIKRA HA EDAH U LE MAS'A ET HA MACHANOT

עֲשֵׂה לְךָ שְׁתֵּי חֲצוֹצְרֹת כֶּסֶף מִקְשָׁה תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם וְהָיוּ לְךָ לְמִקְרָא הָעֵדָה וּלְמַסַּע אֶת הַמַּחֲנוֹת

KJ: Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

BN: Make two trumpets of silver; make them of beaten work; and they shall serve you for the summoning of the congregation, and for causing the camps to set forward.


The difference between the Chatsotsrah and the Shophar; see my notes to Exodus 16:9 and 19:13. Note that the Chatsotsrah is artificial, made of silver, where the shophar is always a genuine ram's horn, and much more difficult to generate a sound.

Note they are again referred to as the EDAH, which is a religious congregation; when Mosheh first went to Pharaoh to ask permission to take his people out, it was to a religious gathering - the celebration of the traditional Pesach indeed - and not for the purpose of fleeing Mitsrayim (Egypt) for some mystically promised land (Exodus 5:1).


10:3 VE TAK'U BAHEN VE NO'ADU ALEYCHA KOL HA EDAH EL PETACH OHEL MO'ED

וְתָקְעוּ בָּהֵן וְנוֹעֲדוּ אֵלֶיךָ כָּל הָעֵדָה אֶל פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד

KJ: And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

BN: And when they blow them, the entire congregation shall gather with you at the door of the tent of meeting.


10:4 VE IM BE ACHAT YITKA'U VE NO'ADU ELEYCHA HA NESIY'IM RASHEY ALPHEY YISRA-EL

וְאִם בְּאַחַת יִתְקָעוּ וְנוֹעֲדוּ אֵלֶיךָ הַנְּשִׂיאִים רָאשֵׁי אַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

KJ: And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which areheads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

BN: And if they blow only one, then the princes, the heads of the thousands of Yisra-El, shall gather themselves to you.


Surely Mosheh could have worked out a system like this on his own without needing YHVH to tell him what to do. YHVH has a terrible habit of micromanaging.


10:5 U TEKATEM TERU'AH VE NAS'U HA MACHANOT HA CHONIM KEDMAH

וּתְקַעְתֶּם תְּרוּעָה וְנָסְעוּ הַמַּחֲנוֹת הַחֹנִים קֵדְמָה

KJ: When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

BN: And when you blow the Teru'ah, the camps that lie on the east side shall start their journey.


TERU'AH: Used on Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur to this day, but not as an alarm signal; "alarm" is simply a bad translation. The word is in fact an onomatopoeia, describing the precise sound that the trumpet makes. The others are "tekiya" and "shevarim" - of which "shevarim" means "broken", because it is a series of short, individual notes, played immediately one after the other- and "tekiya gedolah". The "tekiya" is likewise onomatopoeiac, but it is also the word used here, for the making of the sound - U tekatem... yitke'u. The link is to a lady playing the four sounds on a modern ram's horn - apologies to the orthodox who won't listen to a lady playing it, but I'm assuming that if you're orthodox you know the sounds and don't need to hear them anyway.


10:6 U TEKATEM TERU'AH SHENIT VE NAS'U HA MACHANOT HA CHONIM TEYMANAH TERU'AH YITKE'U LE MASEYHEM

וּתְקַעְתֶּם תְּרוּעָה שֵׁנִית וְנָסְעוּ הַמַּחֲנוֹת הַחֹנִים תֵּימָנָה תְּרוּעָה יִתְקְעוּ לְמַסְעֵיהֶם

KJ: When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

BN: And when you blow a second teru'ah, the camps that lie on the south side shall start forward; they shall blow a teru'ah for their journeys.


One oddity with this: it means that the camp sets off in staggered format. The east is the front, as per the diagram in chapter 7; so it is logical that they should set off first, but would south and north not then leave together?


10:7 U VE HAK'HIL ET HA KAHAL TITKE'U VE LO TARI'U

וּבְהַקְהִיל אֶת הַקָּהָל תִּתְקְעוּ וְלֹא תָרִיעוּ

KJ: But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

BN: But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound a teru'ah.


Meaning there are two kinds of signals that could be blown, one for each purpose. Today we only know of one, the onomatopaeic sound based on the name: Teru'ah. Or was the Tekiya then used in this circumstance?


10:8 U VENEY AHARON HA KOHANIM YITKE'U BA CHATSOTSROT VE HAYU LACHEM LE CHUKAT OLAM LE DOROTEYCHEM

וּבְנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים יִתְקְעוּ בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לְחֻקַּת עוֹלָם לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם

KJ: And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

BN: And the Beney Aharon, the Kohanim, shall blow the trumpets; and they shall be to you for a statute for ever throughout your generations.


Why then does this not count as one of the 613 commandments? In fact, almost none of the commandments concerning daily priestly matters are included.


10:9 VE CHI TAVO'U MILCHAMAH BE ARTSECHEM AL HA TSAR HATSORER ET'CHEM VA HAR'E'OTEM BA CHATSOTSEROT VE NIZKARTEM LIPHNEY YHVH ELOHEYCHEM VE NOSATEM ME OYEVEYCHEM


וְכִי תָבֹאוּ מִלְחָמָה בְּאַרְצְכֶם עַל הַצַּר הַצֹּרֵר אֶתְכֶם וַהֲרֵעֹתֶם בַּחֲצֹצְרֹת וְנִזְכַּרְתֶּם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְנוֹשַׁעְתֶּם מֵאֹיְבֵיכֶם



KJ: And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

BN: And when you go to war in your land against an adversary who is oppressing you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets; and you will be remembered by YHVH your god, and you will be saved from your enemies.


Here the word teru'ah is not used, and the translation as "alarm" is entirely valid. 


10:10 U VE YOM SIMCHAT'CHEM U VE MO'ADEYCHEM U VE RASHEY CHADSHEYCHEM U TEK'ATEM BA CHATSOTSEROT AL OLOTEYCHEM VE AL ZIVCHEY SHALMEYCHEM VE HAYU LACHEM LE ZIKARON LIPHNEY ELOHEYCHEM ANI YHVH ELOHEYCHEM

וּבְיוֹם שִׂמְחַתְכֶם וּבְמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם וּבְרָאשֵׁי חָדְשֵׁיכֶם וּתְקַעְתֶּם בַּחֲצֹצְרֹת עַל עֹלֹתֵיכֶם וְעַל זִבְחֵי שַׁלְמֵיכֶם וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לְזִכָּרוֹן לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם

KJ: Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

BN: Also on your festival days, and in your appointed seasons, and on your new moons, you shall sound the trumpets over your burnt-offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace-offerings; and they shall serve you as a memorial before your gods: I am YHVH your god.


ELOHEYCHEM: should really be translated as "gods" on both occasions in this verse.


pey break



10:11 VA YEHI BA SHANAH HA SHENIT BA CHODESH HA SHENI BE ESRIM BA CHODESH NA'ALAH HE ANAN MEY AL KISHKAN HA EDUT

וַיְהִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּעֶשְׂרִים בַּחֹדֶשׁ נַעֲלָה הֶעָנָן מֵעַל מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת

KJ: And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.

BN: And it came to pass in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle of the testimony.


The end of the volcano?

Which second month? Given that the story has them leave at Passover, which Exodus 13:4 told us, and Deuteronomy 16:1 will confirm, was the month of Aviv... but there is no month of Aviv in the Jewish calendar, though it does coincide with the month now called Nisan, except that Nisan is the seventh month, if we count the year from Rosh ha Shanah, which falls on the first of Tishrey; however Tishrey was not originally the first month... click here for more details of the calendar


10:12 VA YIS'U VENEY YISRA-EL LE MAS'EYHEM MI MIDBAR SINAI VA YISHKON HE ANAN BE MIDBAR PARAN



וַיִּסְעוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַסְעֵיהֶם מִמִּדְבַּר סִינָי וַיִּשְׁכֹּן הֶעָנָן בְּמִדְבַּר פָּארָן

KJ: And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

BN: So the Beney Yisra-El began their journey in stages from the Sinai desert; and the cloud remained in the wilderness of Paran.


Suggesting that they are now leaving the volcano behind them.


10:13 VA YIS'U BA RISHONAH AL PI YHVH BE YAD MOSHEH

וַיִּסְעוּ בָּרִאשֹׁנָה עַל פִּי יְהוָה בְּיַד מֹשֶׁה

KJ: And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

BN: And they made their first journey, on the instruction of YHVH, under the supervision of Mosheh.


Passover is a hajj, or chag in Yehudit, a pilgrim festival; we have witnessed the journey to the Ka'aba of Mount Chorev; now, stage by stage, we will witness the circumambulation of the Ka'aba, forty circuits of "years", from Kadesh where they started all the way to... Kadesh. And every "stage" of that journey a water-shrine.


10:14 VA YIS'A DEGEL MACHANEH VENEY YEHUDAH BA RISHONAH LE TSIVOTAM VE AL TSEVA'O NACHSHON BEN AMI-NADAV



וַיִּסַּע דֶּגֶל מַחֲנֵה בְנֵי יְהוּדָה בָּרִאשֹׁנָה לְצִבְאֹתָם וְעַל צְבָאוֹ נַחְשׁוֹן בֶּן

 עַמִּינָדָב


KJ: In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

BN: And the flag of the camp of the Beney Yehudah was at the head of the travelling-party as it set forward troop by troop; and Nachshon ben Ami-Nadav was its leader.


We have already been given these names - twice in fact - in the previous chapters of Numbers.


10:15 VE AL TSEVA MATEH BENEY YISSACHAR NETAN-EL BEN TSU'AR



וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְּנֵי יִשָּׂשכָר נְתַנְאֵל בֶּן צוּעָר

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar wasNethaneel the son of Zuar.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Yisaschar was Netan-El ben Tsu'ar.


10:16 VE AL TSEVA MATEH BENEY ZEVULUN ELI-AV BEN CHELON



וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְּנֵי זְבוּלֻן אֱלִיאָב בֶּן חֵלֹן

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Zevulun was Eli-Av ben Chelon.


10:17 VE HURAD HA MISHKAN VE NAS'U VENEY GERSHON U VENEY MERARI NOSEY HA MISHKAN



וְהוּרַד הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְנָסְעוּ בְנֵי גֵרְשׁוֹן וּבְנֵי מְרָרִי נֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן

KJ: And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.

BN: And the tabernacle was taken down; and the Beney Gershon, and the Beney Merari, whose job was to carry the tabernacle, set out.


10:18 VE NASA DEGEL MACHANEH RE'U-VEN LE TSIVOTAM VE AL TSEVA'O ELI-TSUR BEN SHEDEY-UR

וְנָסַע דֶּגֶל מַחֲנֵה רְאוּבֵן לְצִבְאֹתָם וְעַל צְבָאוֹ אֱלִיצוּר בֶּן שְׁדֵיאוּר

KJ: And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.

BN: And the flag of the camp of the Beney Re'u-Ven was at its head; and its leader was Eli-Tsur ben Shedey-Ur.


10:19 VE AL TSEVA MATEH BENEY SHIMON SHELUMI-EL BEN TSURI-SHADAI



וְעַל צְבָאמַטֵּה בְּנֵי שִׁמְעוֹן שְׁלֻמִיאֵל בֶּן צוּרִישַׁדָּי

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon wasShelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Shimon was Shelumi-El ben Tsuri-Shadai.


Why is it BENEY this time, but otherwise VENEY?


10:20 VE AL TSEVA MATEH VENEY GAD EL-YASAPH BEN DE'U-EL


וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְנֵי גָד אֶלְיָסָף בֶּן דְּעוּאֵל

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Gad was El-Yasaph ben De'u-El.


EL-YASAPH: Or Eli-Saph; see the link to Yoseph for the connections between this name and Yah Suph and Yam Suph


10:21 VE NAS'U HA KEHATIM NOS'EY HA MIKDASH VE HEKIMU ET HA MISHKAN AD BO'AM


וְנָסְעוּ הַקְּהָתִים נֹשְׂאֵי הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְהֵקִימוּ אֶת הַמִּשְׁכָּן עַד בֹּאָם

KJ: And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.

BN: And the Kehatim, who carried the sanctuary, set out, so that the tabernacle might be set up as soon it arrived.


Why are they the Kehatim here, and not the Beney Kehat, their normal denotation; as Gershon was Beney Gershon and not the Geshonim?


10:22 VE NASA DEGEL MACHANEH VENEY EPHRAYIM LE TSIVOTAM VE AL TSEVA'O ELI-SHAMA BEN AMI-CHUD


וְנָסַע דֶּגֶל מַחֲנֵה בְנֵי אֶפְרַיִם לְצִבְאֹתָם וְעַל צְבָאוֹ אֱלִישָׁמָע בֶּן עַמִּיהוּד

KJ: And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.

BN: And the flag of the camp of the Beney Ephrayim set out troop by troop; and Eli-Shama ben Ami-Chud was its leader.


10:23 VE AL TSEVA MATEH BENEY MENASHEH GAMLI-EL BEN PEDAH-TSUR


וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְּנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה גַּמְלִיאֵל בֶּן פְּדָהצוּר

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh wasGamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

BN: And over the host of the tribe of the Beney Menasheh was Gamli-El ben Pedah-Tsur.


10:24 VE AL TSEVA MATEH VIN-YAMIN AVI-DAN BEN GID'ONI

וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן אֲבִידָן בֶּן גִּדְעוֹנִי

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin wasAbidan the son of Gideoni.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Vin-Yamin was Avi-Dan ben Gid'oni.


10:25 VA NASA DEGEL MACHANEH VENEY DAN ME'ASEPH LE CHOL HA MACHANOT LE TSIVOTAM VE AL TSEVA'O ACHI-EZER BEN AMI-SHADAI
 



וְנָסַע דֶּגֶל מַחֲנֵה בְנֵי דָן מְאַסֵּף לְכָל הַמַּחֲנֹת לְצִבְאֹתָם וְעַל צְבָאוֹ אֲחִיעֶזֶר בֶּן עַמִּישַׁדָּי


KJ: 
And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

BN: And the flag of the camp of the Beney Dan, which was the rearguard of all the camps, set out troop by troop; and their leader was Achi-Ezer ben Ami-Shadai.



10:26 VE AL TSEVA MATEH BENEY ASHER PAGI-EL BEN ACHRAN

וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְּנֵי אָשֵׁר פַּגְעִיאֵל בֶּן עָכְרָן

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Asher was Pagi-El ben Achran.


10:27 VE AL TSEVA MATEH BENEY NAPHTALI ACHI-RA BEN EYNAN



וְעַל צְבָא מַטֵּה בְּנֵי נַפְתָּלִי אֲחִירַע בֶּן עֵינָן

KJ: And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.

BN: And the troop-leader of the tribe of the Beney Naphtali was Achi-Ra ben Eynan.


10:28 ELEH MASEY VENEY YISRA-EL LE TSIVOTM VA YISA'U

אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְצִבְאֹתָם וַיִּסָּעוּ

KJ: Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.

BN: This was the arrangement of the troops of the Beney Ysra-El for all their journeys. And so they set out.


samech break



10:29 VA YOMER MOSHEH LE CHOVAV BEN RE'U-EL HA MIDYANI CHOTEN MOSHEH NOS'IM ANACHNU EL HA MAKOM ASHER AMAR YHVH OTO ETEN LACHEM LECHA ITANU VE HEYTAVNU LACH KI YHVH DIBER TOV AL YISRA-EL


וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה לְחֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל הַמִּדְיָנִי חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה נֹסְעִים אֲנַחְנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהוָה אֹתוֹ אֶתֵּן לָכֶם לְכָה אִתָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֶּר טוֹב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל


KJ: And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.

BN: Then Mosheh said to Chovav, the son of Re'u-El the Midyanite, Mosheh's father-in-law: We are journeying to the place about which YHVH has told us: I will give it you; come with us, and we will do you good; for YHVH has spoken good things concerning Yisra-El.



CHOVAV: We have noted before that Mosheh appears to have more than one father-in-law, but only one wife. Yitro the Midyanite was the father of Tsiporah. Who then is this Chovav? Who indeed is this Re'u-ElAnd why is he described as the son of Mosheh's father-in-law, and not himself as Mosheh's brother-in-law; which he would be, even if he was only a half-brother to Tsiporah? 

EL HA MAKOM ASHER AMAR YHVH: Psychologically this is significant. We who read the text know where Israel is, and what will follow in Israelite history, and beyond, to the present day; but for these people, they are travelling into the frighteningly unknown; it is several generations since any of these people had family who knew the land at all. 

ORO ETEN LECHEM: Is this a gift of land in the same manner that, say, the British gave Trans-Jordanian Palestine to the Hashemites as a gift in 1923? Here is a piece of land over which you really have no rights of habitation whatsoever, but go live in it anyway...


10:30 VA YOMER ELAV LO ELECH KI IM EL ARTSI VE EL MOLADETI ELECH

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֹא אֵלֵךְ כִּי אִם אֶל אַרְצִי וְאֶל מוֹלַדְתִּי אֵלֵךְ

KJ: And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

BN: And he said to him: I will not go; rather I will go back to my own land, and to my people.


MOLADETI: "Kindred" is a poor translation. Moladet means "homeland" (technically "motherland", which is itself interesting, because some nations prefer "fatherland") - and as such is the vindication of my barbed comment in the previous verse: Re'u-El is effectively saying the same thing to Mosheh.


10:31 VA YOMER AL NA TA'AZOV OTANU KI AL KEN YADATA CHANOTENU BA MIDBAR VE HAYITA LANU LE EYNAYIM



וַיֹּאמֶר אַל נָא תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָנוּ כִּי עַל כֵּן יָדַעְתָּ חֲנֹתֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהָיִיתָ לָּנוּ לְעֵינָיִם

KJ: And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.

BN: And he said: Please do not leave us, for you know all the places where we are to encamp in the wilderness, and you could serve us as our eyes.


If the Beney Yisrael had indeed crossed the Red Sea, they would now be in Midyan, and Chovav as a local sherpa would have been extremely useful, as described here; however his statement in the previous verse is that he will "go" to his native land, and not that he prefers to "remain" in it. So we are not in Midyan now. And yet this three-day journey into the wilderness of Paran (which they haven't actually made yet - see verse 33) is all the journeying they have done in the year and two months (see verse 11) since they "crossed the Red Sea".


10:32 VE HAYAH KI TELECH IMANU VE HAYAH HA TOV HA HU ASHER YEYTIV YHVH IMANU VE HETAVNU LACH


וְהָיָה כִּי תֵלֵךְ עִמָּנוּ וְהָיָה הַטּוֹב הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר יֵיטִיב יְהוָה עִמָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ

KJ: And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.

BN: And it shall be, if you go with us, yea, it shall be, that whatever good YHVH shall do to us, the same will we do to you.


Unstated, but clearly Chovav still said no. In which case, why bother to mention it at all?


10:33 VA YIS'U ME HAR YHVH DERECH SHELOSHET YAMIM VA ARON BRIT YHVH NOSE'A LIPHNEYHEM DERECH SHELOSHET YAMIM LATOR LAHEM MENUCHAH


וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהַר יְהוָה דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וַאֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְהוָה נֹסֵעַ לִפְנֵיהֶם דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים לָתוּר לָהֶם מְנוּחָה

KJ: And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

BN: And they set out from the mountain of YHVH for a three day journey; and the ark of the covenant of YHVH went before them on this three days journey, to seek out a resting-place for them.


HAR YHVH: Mount Sinai has not been given this specific name before; it reconfirms that YHVH was a local deity.

Meaning what exactly? That the ark was at their vanguard through the three days; or that the Ark sped ahead? And why does it need to seek a resting-place, when we have been told, over several verses of this chapter, that YHVH will appoint their resting-places; and when they get there, each one being an oasis of water in the desert, the issue turns out not to be "where" at all, but the statement made to Chovav, which is the difficulty of navigating in the desert, there being no landmarks that you can use for guidance, and dunes are continuously shifting. And anyway, did they not have a guide? See the very next verse.


10:34 VA ANAN YHVH ALEYHEM YOMAM BE NAS'AM MIN HA MACHANEH



וַעֲנַן יְהוָה עֲלֵיהֶם יוֹמָם בְּנָסְעָם מִן הַמַּחֲנֶה

KJ: And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.

BN: And the cloud of YHVH was over them by day, when they set out from the camp.


MIN HA MACHANEH again seems to imply that the Ark went ahead of the camp. In which case the pillar went with it, not with the camp.


samech break (but take a look at the multiple "samech"-brackets in the Mechon-Mamre version of this verse; what does it all mean? verse 36 as well)


10:35 VA YEHI BINSO'A HA ARON VA YOMER MOSHEH KUMAH YHVH VA YAPHUTSU OYEVEYCHA VA YENUSU MESANEYCHA MI PANEYCHA

וַיְהִי בִּנְסֹעַ הָאָרֹן וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה קוּמָה יְהוָה וְיָפֻצוּ אֹיְבֶיךָ וְיָנֻסוּ מְשַׂנְאֶיךָ מִפָּנֶיךָ

KJ: And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.

BN: And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Mosheh said: Rise up, YHVH, and let your enemies be scattered; and let those who hate you flee before you.


Famous lines, recited every time the Ark is opened in synagogue for the reading of the Torah.

Mosheh's cry is rather less a cheerleader's rallying call than an overt war-cry, the pep of a man leading a religious Crusade. At what point, either historically or in the merging of texts, did the flight of the Beney Yisra-Eli slaves turn into the pilgrimage of the Mitsrim (Egyptians) to the holy mountain, turn into Ach-Mousa the Pharaoh leading the war against the Hyksos?


10:36 U VENUCHAH YOMAR SHUVAH YHVH RIVEVOT ALPHEY YISRA-EL


  וּבְנֻחֹה יֹאמַר שׁוּבָה יְהוָה רִבְבוֹת אַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

KJ: And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.

BN: And when it rested, he said: Return, YHVH, to the ten thousands of the families of Yisra-El.


Equally famous, recited when the scroll is returned to the Ark.

Both verses, however, are problematic, because neither of them really make a lot of sense, in context. The text tells us Mosheh said this whenever the Ark set forward, and whenever it was set down; so we have a ceremonial form of words, secular liturgy. Is this really what he was likely to have said? Unless the taking up and setting down were performed with accompanying religious ceremony, which is of course entirely possible, Mosheh would have said something quite different, which then became lost; and the Redactor later on had some phrases that seemed to fit, which may indeed have been part of the original, and so he included them. 

RIVEVOT: Translated as "the ten thousands". Is that simply a poetical number, as we might say "myriads" to denote a large number? Because if it is meant literally, it questions again the numbers counted in the census.

pey break






Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36


Copyright © 2017 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

No comments:

Post a Comment