TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Numbers 32

1The Reubenites and the Gadites owned cattle in very great numbers. Noting that the lands of Jazer and Gilad were a region suitable for cattle,

אוּמִקְנֶה רַב הָיָה לִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלִבְנֵי־גָד עָצוּם מְאֹד וַיִּרְאוּ אֶת־אֶרֶץ יַעְזֵר וְאֶת־אֶרֶץ גִּלְעָד וְהִנֵּה הַמָּקוֹם מְקוֹם מִקְנֶה׃

2the Gadites and the Reubenites came to Moshe, Elazar the Kohen, and the chieftains of the community, and said,

בוַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי־גָד וּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל־אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶל־נְשִׂיאֵי הָעֵדָה לֵאמֹר׃

3“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon

געֲטָרוֹת וְדִיבֹן וְיַעְזֵר וְנִמְרָה וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן וְאֶלְעָלֵה וּשְׂבָם וּנְבוֹ וּבְעֹן׃

4the land that Hashem has conquered for the community of Yisrael is cattle country, and your servants have cattle.

דהָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה יְהֹוָה לִפְנֵי עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶרֶץ מִקְנֶה הִוא וְלַעֲבָדֶיךָ מִקְנֶה׃

5It would be a favor to us,” they continued, “if this land were given to your servants as a holding; do not move us across the Yarden.”

הוַיֹּאמְרוּ אִם־מָצָאנוּ חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ יֻתַּן אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לַעֲבָדֶיךָ לַאֲחֻזָּה אַל־תַּעֲבִרֵנוּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

6Moshe replied to the Gadites and the Reubenites, “Are your brothers to go to war while you stay here?

ווַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה לִבְנֵי־גָד וְלִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן הַאַחֵיכֶם יָבֹאוּ לַמִּלְחָמָה וְאַתֶּם תֵּשְׁבוּ פֹה׃

7Why will you turn the minds of the Israelites from crossing into the land that Hashem has given them?

זוְלָמָּה תנואון [תְנִיאוּן] אֶת־לֵב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעֲבֹר אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָהֶם יְהֹוָה׃

8That is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to survey the land.

KO a-SU a-vo-tay-KHEM b'-shol-KHEE o-TAM mi-ka-DAYSH bar-NAY-a lir-OT et ha-A-retz

חכֹּה עָשׂוּ אֲבֹתֵיכֶם בְּשָׁלְחִי אֹתָם מִקָּדֵשׁ בַּרְנֵעַ לִרְאוֹת אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

 32:8   That is what your fathers did

When the tribes of Reuven and Gad request to settle in the lands conquered from Sihon and Og on the east bank of the Jordan River, instead of settling in the Land of Israel proper, Moshe’s reaction is very strong and negative. In his eyes, they are rejecting the land given to them by God, and he fears that they will influence others to also refrain from crossing into the land of Israel. He wonders: Have they learned nothing from the sin of the spies? Moshe acquiesces only when he becomes convinced that the request stems neither from a rejection of God’s land, nor from a desire to be relieved of the long and hard upcoming struggle to conquer the Promised Land. That mistake had already been made once and the people suffered the consequences; they have learned not to make the same mistake again. Let us make sure that neither our actions nor our speech in anyway rejects or belittles Eretz Yisrael.

9After going up to the wadi Eshcol and surveying the land, they turned the minds of the Israelites from invading the land that Hashem had given them.

טוַיַּעֲלוּ עַד־נַחַל אֶשְׁכּוֹל וַיִּרְאוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וַיָּנִיאוּ אֶת־לֵב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבִלְתִּי־בֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָהֶם יְהֹוָה׃

10Thereupon Hashem was incensed and He swore,

יוַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיִּשָּׁבַע לֵאמֹר׃

11‘None of the men from twenty years up who came out of Egypt shall see the land that I promised on oath to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, for they did not remain loyal to Me—

יאאִם־יִרְאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָעֹלִים מִמִּצְרַיִם מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה אֵת הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב כִּי לֹא־מִלְאוּ אַחֲרָי׃

12none except Kalev son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Yehoshua son of Nun, for they remained loyal to Hashem.'

יבבִּלְתִּי כָּלֵב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּה הַקְּנִזִּי וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן כִּי מִלְאוּ אַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה׃

13Hashem was incensed at Yisrael, and for forty years He made them wander in the wilderness, until the whole generation that had provoked Hashem's displeasure was gone.

יגוַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיְנִעֵם בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה עַד־תֹּם כָּל־הַדּוֹר הָעֹשֶׂה הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה׃

14And now you, a breed of sinful men, have replaced your fathers, to add still further to Hashem's wrath against Yisrael.

ידוְהִנֵּה קַמְתֶּם תַּחַת אֲבֹתֵיכֶם תַּרְבּוּת אֲנָשִׁים חַטָּאִים לִסְפּוֹת עוֹד עַל חֲרוֹן אַף־יְהֹוָה אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

15If you turn away from Him and He abandons them once more in the wilderness, you will bring calamity upon all this people.”

טוכִּי תְשׁוּבֻן מֵאַחֲרָיו וְיָסַף עוֹד לְהַנִּיחוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְשִׁחַתֶּם לְכָל־הָעָם הַזֶּה׃

16Then they stepped up to him and said, “We will build here sheepfolds for our flocks and towns for our children.

טזוַיִּגְּשׁוּ אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ גִּדְרֹת צֹאן נִבְנֶה לְמִקְנֵנוּ פֹּה וְעָרִים לְטַפֵּנוּ׃

17And we will hasten as shock-troops in the van of the Israelites until we have established them in their home, while our children stay in the fortified towns because of the inhabitants of the land.

יזוַאֲנַחְנוּ נֵחָלֵץ חֻשִׁים לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם־הֲבִיאֹנֻם אֶל־מְקוֹמָם וְיָשַׁב טַפֵּנוּ בְּעָרֵי הַמִּבְצָר מִפְּנֵי יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ׃

18We will not return to our homes until every one of the Israelites is in possession of his portion.

יחלֹא נָשׁוּב אֶל־בָּתֵּינוּ עַד הִתְנַחֵל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ נַחֲלָתוֹ׃

19But we will not have a share with them in the territory beyond the Yarden, for we have received our share on the east side of the Yarden.”

יטכִּי לֹא נִנְחַל אִתָּם מֵעֵבֶר לַיַּרְדֵּן וָהָלְאָה כִּי בָאָה נַחֲלָתֵנוּ אֵלֵינוּ מֵעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן מִזְרָחָה׃

20Moshe said to them, “If you do this, if you go to battle as shock-troops, at the instance of Hashem,

כוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם מֹשֶׁה אִם־תַּעֲשׂוּן אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אִם־תֵּחָלְצוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לַמִּלְחָמָה׃

21and every shock-fighter among you crosses the Yarden, at the instance of Hashem, until He has dispossessed His enemies before Him,

v'-a-VAR la-KHEM kol kha-LUTZ et ha-yar-DAYN lif-NAY a-do-NAI AD ho-ree-SHO et o-y'-VAV mi-pa-NAV

כאוְעָבַר לָכֶם כָּל־חָלוּץ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה עַד הוֹרִישׁוֹ אֶת־אֹיְבָיו מִפָּנָיו׃

 32:21   And every shock-fighter among you crosses the Yarden

Members of Kibbutz Amir heading to work, 1940.

Moshe was willing to accept the request of Reuven and Gad to settle on the east of the Yarden River only after they promised to help fight to inherit the Land of Israel. We learn a powerful lesson of responsibility from this story. While they already possess the land that was going to be their home, these tribes are not allowed to settle down until every other tribe in Israel also has land of their own in which to settle. Life in Eretz Yisrael demands and engenders the concept that everyone is responsible for his fellow. This spirit of collective cooperation can be seen in the Kibbutz movement formed by the original Zionist pioneers. These unique farms, known as Kibbutzim, took collective responsibility so far that members didn’t even own their own clothing or personal property. Everything was shared equally among the members.

22and the land has been subdued, at the instance of Hashem, and then you return—you shall be clear before Hashem and before Yisrael; and this land shall be your holding under Hashem.

כבוְנִכְבְּשָׁה הָאָרֶץ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְאַחַר תָּשֻׁבוּ וִהְיִיתֶם נְקִיִּים מֵיְהֹוָה וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיְתָה הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לָכֶם לַאֲחֻזָּה לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

23But if you do not do so, you will have sinned against Hashem; and know that your sin will overtake you.

כגוְאִם־לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כֵּן הִנֵּה חֲטָאתֶם לַיהֹוָה וּדְעוּ חַטַּאתְכֶם אֲשֶׁר תִּמְצָא אֶתְכֶם׃

24Build towns for your children and sheepfolds for your flocks, but do what you have promised.”

כדבְּנוּ־לָכֶם עָרִים לְטַפְּכֶם וּגְדֵרֹת לְצֹנַאֲכֶם וְהַיֹּצֵא מִפִּיכֶם תַּעֲשׂוּ׃

25The Gadites and the Reubenites answered Moshe, “Your servants will do as my lord commands.

כהוַיֹּאמֶר בְּנֵי־גָד וּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵאמֹר עֲבָדֶיךָ יַעֲשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲדֹנִי מְצַוֶּה׃

26Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all our other livestock will stay behind in the towns of Gilad;

כוטַפֵּנוּ נָשֵׁינוּ מִקְנֵנוּ וְכָל־בְּהֶמְתֵּנוּ יִהְיוּ־שָׁם בְּעָרֵי הַגִּלְעָד׃

27while your servants, all those recruited for war, cross over, at the instance of Hashem, to engage in battle—as my lord orders.”

כזוַעֲבָדֶיךָ יַעַבְרוּ כָּל־חֲלוּץ צָבָא לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לַמִּלְחָמָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲדֹנִי דֹּבֵר׃

28Then Moshe gave instructions concerning them to Elazar the Kohen, Yehoshua son of Nun, and the family heads of the Israelite tribes.

כחוַיְצַו לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה אֵת אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְאֵת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן וְאֶת־רָאשֵׁי אֲבוֹת הַמַּטּוֹת לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

29Moshe said to them, “If every shock-fighter among the Gadites and the Reubenites crosses the Yarden with you to do battle, at the instance of Hashem, and the land is subdued before you, you shall give them the land of Gilad as a holding.

כטוַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֲלֵהֶם אִם־יַעַבְרוּ בְנֵי־גָד וּבְנֵי־רְאוּבֵן אִתְּכֶם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן כָּל־חָלוּץ לַמִּלְחָמָה לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וְנִכְבְּשָׁה הָאָרֶץ לִפְנֵיכֶם וּנְתַתֶּם לָהֶם אֶת־אֶרֶץ הַגִּלְעָד לַאֲחֻזָּה׃

30But if they do not cross over with you as shock-troops, they shall receive holdings among you in the land of Canaan.”

לוְאִם־לֹא יַעַבְרוּ חֲלוּצִים אִתְּכֶם וְנֹאחֲזוּ בְתֹכְכֶם בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן׃

31The Gadites and the Reubenites said in reply, “Whatever Hashem has spoken concerning your servants, that we will do.

לאוַיַּעֲנוּ בְנֵי־גָד וּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן לֵאמֹר אֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־עֲבָדֶיךָ כֵּן נַעֲשֶׂה׃

32We ourselves will cross over as shock-troops, at the instance of Hashem, into the land of Canaan; and we shall keep our hereditary holding across the Yarden.”

לבנַחְנוּ נַעֲבֹר חֲלוּצִים לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וְאִתָּנוּ אֲחֻזַּת נַחֲלָתֵנוּ מֵעֵבֶר לַיַּרְדֵּן׃

33So Moshe assigned to them—to the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the half-tribe of Menashe son of Yosef—the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of King Og of Bashan, the land with its various cities and the territories of their surrounding towns.

לגוַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה לִבְנֵי־גָד וְלִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן־יוֹסֵף אֶת־מַמְלֶכֶת סִיחֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי וְאֶת־מַמְלֶכֶת עוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן הָאָרֶץ לְעָרֶיהָ בִּגְבֻלֹת עָרֵי הָאָרֶץ סָבִיב׃

34The Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,

לדוַיִּבְנוּ בְנֵי־גָד אֶת־דִּיבֹן וְאֶת־עֲטָרֹת וְאֵת עֲרֹעֵר׃

35Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,

להוְאֶת־עַטְרֹת שׁוֹפָן וְאֶת־יַעְזֵר וְיָגְבֳּהָה׃

36Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran as fortified towns or as enclosures for flocks.

לווְאֶת־בֵּית נִמְרָה וְאֶת־בֵּית הָרָן עָרֵי מִבְצָר וְגִדְרֹת צֹאן׃

37The Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,

לזוּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן בָּנוּ אֶת־חֶשְׁבּוֹן וְאֶת־אֶלְעָלֵא וְאֵת קִרְיָתָיִם׃

38Nebo, Baal-meon—some names being changed—and Sibmah; they gave [their own] names to towns that they rebuilt.

לחוְאֶת־נְבוֹ וְאֶת־בַּעַל מְעוֹן מוּסַבֹּת שֵׁם וְאֶת־שִׂבְמָה וַיִּקְרְאוּ בְשֵׁמֹת אֶת־שְׁמוֹת הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ׃

39The descendants of Machir son of Menashe went to Gilad and captured it, dispossessing the Amorites who were there;

לטוַיֵּלְכוּ בְּנֵי מָכִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה גִּלְעָדָה וַיִּלְכְּדֻהָ וַיּוֹרֶשׁ אֶת־הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ׃

40so Moshe gave Gilad to Machir son of Menashe, and he settled there.

מוַיִּתֵּן מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַגִּלְעָד לְמָכִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה וַיֵּשֶׁב בָּהּ׃

41Yair son of Menashe went and captured their villages, which he renamed Havvoth-jair.

מאוְיָאִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה הָלַךְ וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת־חַוּׂתֵיהֶם וַיִּקְרָא אֶתְהֶן חַוּׂת יָאִיר׃

42And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its dependencies, renaming it Nobah after himself.

מבוְנֹבַח הָלַךְ וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת־קְנָת וְאֶת־בְּנֹתֶיהָ וַיִּקְרָא לָה נֹבַח בִּשְׁמוֹ׃