TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Numbers 20

1The Israelites arrived in a body at the wilderness of Zin on the first new moon, and the people stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.

אוַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־הָעֵדָה מִדְבַּר־צִן בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם בְּקָדֵשׁ וַתָּמָת שָׁם מִרְיָם וַתִּקָּבֵר שָׁם׃

2The community was without water, and they joined against Moshe and Aharon.

בוְלֹא־הָיָה מַיִם לָעֵדָה וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל־מֹשֶׁה וְעַל־אַהֲרֹן׃

3The people quarreled with Moshe, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished at the instance of Hashem!

גוַיָּרֶב הָעָם עִם־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֵאמֹר וְלוּ גָוַעְנוּ בִּגְוַע אַחֵינוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

4Why have you brought Hashem's congregation into this wilderness for us and our beasts to die there?

דוְלָמָה הֲבֵאתֶם אֶת־קְהַל יְהֹוָה אֶל־הַמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה לָמוּת שָׁם אֲנַחְנוּ וּבְעִירֵנוּ׃

5Why did you make us leave Egypt to bring us to this wretched place, a place with no grain or figs or vines or pomegranates? There is not even water to drink!”

הוְלָמָה הֶעֱלִיתֻנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם לְהָבִיא אֹתָנוּ אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם הָרָע הַזֶּה לֹא מְקוֹם זֶרַע וּתְאֵנָה וְגֶפֶן וְרִמּוֹן וּמַיִם אַיִן לִשְׁתּוֹת׃

6Moshe and Aharon came away from the congregation to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and fell on their faces. The Presence of Hashem appeared to them,

ווַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן מִפְּנֵי הַקָּהָל אֶל־פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶם וַיֵּרָא כְבוֹד־יְהֹוָה אֲלֵיהֶם׃

7and Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying,

זוַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

8“You and your brother Aharon take the rod and assemble the community, and before their very eyes order the rock to yield its water. Thus you shall produce water for them from the rock and provide drink for the congregation and their beasts.”

חקַח אֶת־הַמַּטֶּה וְהַקְהֵל אֶת־הָעֵדָה אַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְדִבַּרְתֶּם אֶל־הַסֶּלַע לְעֵינֵיהֶם וְנָתַן מֵימָיו וְהוֹצֵאתָ לָהֶם מַיִם מִן־הַסֶּלַע וְהִשְׁקִיתָ אֶת־הָעֵדָה וְאֶת־בְּעִירָם׃

9Moshe took the rod from before Hashem, as He had commanded him.

טוַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַמַּטֶּה מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּהוּ׃

10Moshe and Aharon assembled the congregation in front of the rock; and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we get water for you out of this rock?”

יוַיַּקְהִלוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶת־הַקָּהָל אֶל־פְּנֵי הַסָּלַע וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שִׁמְעוּ־נָא הַמֹּרִים הֲמִן־הַסֶּלַע הַזֶּה נוֹצִיא לָכֶם מָיִם׃

11And Moshe raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. Out came copious water, and the community and their beasts drank.

יאוַיָּרֶם מֹשֶׁה אֶת־יָדוֹ וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַסֶּלַע בְּמַטֵּהוּ פַּעֲמָיִם וַיֵּצְאוּ מַיִם רַבִּים וַתֵּשְׁתְּ הָעֵדָה וּבְעִירָם׃

12But Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon, “Because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in the sight of B'nei Yisrael, therefore you shall not lead this congregation into the land that I have given them.”

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI el mo-SHEH v'-el a-ha-RON YA-an lo he-e-man-TEM BEE l'-HAK-dee-SHAY-nee l'-ay-NAY b'-NAY yis-ra-AYL la-KHAYN LO ta-VEE-u et ha-ka-HAL ha-ZEH el ha-A-retz a-sher na-TA-tee la-HEM

יבוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן יַעַן לֹא־הֶאֱמַנְתֶּם בִּי לְהַקְדִּישֵׁנִי לְעֵינֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָכֵן לֹא תָבִיאוּ אֶת־הַקָּהָל הַזֶּה אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתִּי לָהֶם׃

 20:12   Because you did not trust Me

Rashi (1040-1105)

The account of Moshe hitting the rock to get water for his people is one of the most perplexing stories in the entire Bible. Hashem tells him to speak to the rock in order to bring forth water, but Moshe hits the rock instead and is punished by being prevented from entering the Land of Israel, “because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in the sight of the B’nei Yisrael.” What could be so terrible about hitting the rock instead of speaking to it? One explanation, given by Rashi, is that while Moshe understood that the water flowing from the rock was God’s doing, he did not make this sufficiently clear to the rest of the Children of Israel. Instead of hitting the rock, which implied that it was his own power that brought forth the water, Moshe should have spoken to it. By failing to do this, he missed an opportunity to attribute greatness to Hashem. It is not enough for us to recognize Hashem in our lives or within history; we have a duty to make sure others recognize Him as well.

13Those are the Waters of Meribah—meaning that the Israelites quarrelled with Hashem—through which He affirmed His sanctity.

יגהֵמָּה מֵי מְרִיבָה אֲשֶׁר־רָבוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיִּקָּדֵשׁ בָּם׃

14From Kadesh, Moshe sent messengers to the king of Edom: “Thus says your brother Yisrael: You know all the hardships that have befallen us;

ידוַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה מַלְאָכִים מִקָּדֵשׁ אֶל־מֶלֶךְ אֱדוֹם כֹּה אָמַר אָחִיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת כָּל־הַתְּלָאָה אֲשֶׁר מְצָאָתְנוּ׃

15that our ancestors went down to Egypt, that we dwelt in Egypt a long time, and that the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our ancestors.

טווַיֵּרְדוּ אֲבֹתֵינוּ מִצְרַיְמָה וַנֵּשֶׁב בְּמִצְרַיִם יָמִים רַבִּים וַיָּרֵעוּ לָנוּ מִצְרַיִם וְלַאֲבֹתֵינוּ׃

16We cried to Hashem and He heard our plea, and He sent a messenger who freed us from Egypt. Now we are in Kadesh, the town on the border of your territory.

טזוַנִּצְעַק אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁמַע קֹלֵנוּ וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָךְ וַיֹּצִאֵנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ בְקָדֵשׁ עִיר קְצֵה גְבוּלֶךָ׃

17Allow us, then, to cross your country. We will not pass through fields or vineyards, and we will not drink water from wells. We will follow the king's highway, turning off neither to the right nor to the left until we have crossed your territory.”

יזנַעְבְּרָה־נָּא בְאַרְצֶךָ לֹא נַעֲבֹר בְּשָׂדֶה וּבְכֶרֶם וְלֹא נִשְׁתֶּה מֵי בְאֵר דֶּרֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ נֵלֵךְ לֹא נִטֶּה יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול עַד אֲשֶׁר־נַעֲבֹר גְּבוּלֶךָ׃

18But Edom answered him, “You shall not pass through us, else we will go out against you with the sword.”

יחוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֱדוֹם לֹא תַעֲבֹר בִּי פֶּן־בַּחֶרֶב אֵצֵא לִקְרָאתֶךָ׃

19“We will keep to the beaten track,” the Israelites said to them, “and if we or our cattle drink your water, we will pay for it. We ask only for passage on foot—it is but a small matter.”

יטוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמְסִלָּה נַעֲלֶה וְאִם־מֵימֶיךָ נִשְׁתֶּה אֲנִי וּמִקְנַי וְנָתַתִּי מִכְרָם רַק אֵין־דָּבָר בְּרַגְלַי אֶעֱבֹרָה׃

20But they replied, “You shall not pass through!” And Edom went out against them in heavy force, strongly armed.

כוַיֹּאמֶר לֹא תַעֲבֹר וַיֵּצֵא אֱדוֹם לִקְרָאתוֹ בְּעַם כָּבֵד וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה׃

21So Edom would not let Yisrael cross their territory, and Yisrael turned away from them.

כאוַיְמָאֵן אֱדוֹם נְתֹן אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבֹר בִּגְבֻלוֹ וַיֵּט יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעָלָיו׃

22Setting out from Kadesh, the Israelites arrived in a body at Mount Hor.

כבוַיִּסְעוּ מִקָּדֵשׁ וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־הָעֵדָה הֹר הָהָר׃

23At Mount Hor, on the boundary of the land of Edom, Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon,

כגוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אַהֲרֹן בְּהֹר הָהָר עַל־גְּבוּל אֶרֶץ־אֱדוֹם לֵאמֹר׃

24“Let Aharon be gathered to his kin: he is not to enter the land that I have assigned to B'nei Yisrael, because you disobeyed my command about the waters of Meribah.

כדיֵאָסֵף אַהֲרֹן אֶל־עַמָּיו כִּי לֹא יָבֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל אֲשֶׁר־מְרִיתֶם אֶת־פִּי לְמֵי מְרִיבָה׃

25Take Aharon and his son Elazar and bring them up on Mount Hor.

KAKH et a-ha-RON v'-et el-a-ZAR b'-NO v'-HA-al o-TAM hor ha-HAR

כהקַח אֶת־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ וְהַעַל אֹתָם הֹר הָהָר׃

26Strip Aharon of his vestments and put them on his son Elazar. There Aharon shall be gathered unto the dead.”

כווְהַפְשֵׁט אֶת־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וְהִלְבַּשְׁתָּם אֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ וְאַהֲרֹן יֵאָסֵף וּמֵת שָׁם׃

27Moshe did as Hashem had commanded. They ascended Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community.

כזוַיַּעַשׂ מֹשֶׁה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶל־הֹר הָהָר לְעֵינֵי כָּל־הָעֵדָה׃

28Moshe stripped Aharon of his vestments and put them on his son Elazar, and Aharon died there on the summit of the mountain. When Moshe and Elazar came down from the mountain,

כחוַיַּפְשֵׁט מֹשֶׁה אֶת־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וַיַּלְבֵּשׁ אֹתָם אֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ וַיָּמָת אַהֲרֹן שָׁם בְּרֹאשׁ הָהָר וַיֵּרֶד מֹשֶׁה וְאֶלְעָזָר מִן־הָהָר׃

29the whole community knew that Aharon had breathed his last. All the house of Yisrael bewailed Aharon thirty days.

כטוַיִּרְאוּ כָּל־הָעֵדָה כִּי גָוַע אַהֲרֹן וַיִּבְכּוּ אֶת־אַהֲרֹן שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם כֹּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃