Numbers 1
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1  On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, Hashem spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, saying:

vai-da-BAYR a-do-NAI el mo-SHEH b’-mid-BAR see-NAI b’-O-hel mo-AYD b’-e-KHAD la-KHO-desh ha-shay-NEE ba-sha-NAH ha-shay-NEET l’-tzay-TAM may-E-retz mitz-RA-yim lay-MOR

א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית לְצֵאתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר׃

1:1   In the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting

After a stay of almost a year in the Sinai Desert where the people received the Torah, constructed the Mishkan and studied some of their new laws, Sefer Bamidbar opens with the preparations to leave the desert and head to the Promised Land. The Ramban explains that their entry into Eretz Yisrael with the Torah in hand was the ultimate goal of the exodus from Egypt.  The Mishkan, where Hashem reveals Himself on a daily basis, will allow the people to carry the experience of revelation at Mount Sinai with them on their journey, and He will ultimately find His permanent resting place on earth in the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim.  In this way, God remains permanently in their midst.1 comment

2  Take a census of the whole Israelite community by the clans of its ancestral houses, listing the names, every male, head by head.

s’-U et ROSH kol a-DAT b’-nay yis-ra-AYL l’-mish-p’-kho-TAM l’-VAYT a-vo-TAM b’-mis-PAR shay-MOT kol za-KHAR l’-gul-g’-lo-TAM

ב  שְׂאוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ כָּל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת כָּל־זָכָר לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם׃

1:2   Take a census of the whole Israelite community

The foremost commandment given by Hashem to Moshe and Aharon in preparation for travel to the Land of Israel is to count the people. This is one of several censuses described in the Bible, and the first of two in Sefer Bamidbar. In fact, the English name of this book, Bamidbar, derives from these two countings. Since the Israelites are heading toward the Promised Land to conquer and settle it, the census serves to inform the leadership of how many soldiers they have available for their army and among how many people the land would then need to be divided. Rashi, however, gives another reason for the count.  He explains that Hashem counts His people repeatedly, simply because they are precious to Him. Just as someone with a valuable collection will count its contents over and over, so too Hashem frequently counts His people, to teach us that every individual is precious to Him.Comment

3  You and Aharon shall record them by their groups, from the age of twenty years up, all those in Yisrael who are able to bear arms.

ג  מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כָּל־יֹצֵא צָבָא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל תִּפְקְדוּ אֹתָם לְצִבְאֹתָם אַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן׃

4  Associated with you shall be a man from each tribe, each one the head of his ancestral house.

ד  וְאִתְּכֶם יִהְיוּ אִישׁ אִישׁ לַמַּטֶּה אִישׁ רֹאשׁ לְבֵית־אֲבֹתָיו הוּא׃

5  These are the names of the men who shall assist you: From Reuven, Elizur son of Shedeur.

ה  וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר יַעַמְדוּ אִתְּכֶם לִרְאוּבֵן אֱלִיצוּר בֶּן־שְׁדֵיאוּר׃

6  From Shimon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

ו  לְשִׁמְעוֹן שְׁלֻמִיאֵל בֶּן־צוּרִישַׁדָּי׃

7  From Yehuda, Nachshon son of Aminadav.

ז  לִיהוּדָה נַחְשׁוֹן בֶּן־עַמִּינָדָב׃

8  From Yissachar, Nethanel son of Zuar.

ח  לְיִשָּׂשכָר נְתַנְאֵל בֶּן־צוּעָר׃

9  From Zevulun, Eliav son of Helon.

ט  לִזְבוּלֻן אֱלִיאָב בֶּן־חֵלֹן׃

10  From the sons of Yosef: from Efraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; from Menashe, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.

י  לִבְנֵי יוֹסֵף לְאֶפְרַיִם אֱלִישָׁמָע בֶּן־עַמִּיהוּד לִמְנַשֶּׁה גַּמְלִיאֵל בֶּן־פְּדָהצוּר׃

11  From Binyamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.

יא  לְבִנְיָמִן אֲבִידָן בֶּן־גִּדְעֹנִי׃

12  From Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.

יב  לְדָן אֲחִיעֶזֶר בֶּן־עַמִּישַׁדָּי׃

13  From Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran.

יג  לְאָשֵׁר פַּגְעִיאֵל בֶּן־עָכְרָן׃

14  From Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel.

יד  לְגָד אֶלְיָסָף בֶּן־דְּעוּאֵל׃

15  From Naftali, Ahira son of Enan.

טו  לְנַפְתָּלִי אֲחִירַע בֶּן־עֵינָן׃

16  Those are the elected of the assembly, the chieftains of their ancestral tribes: they are the heads of the contingents of Yisrael.

טז  אֵלֶּה קריאי [קְרוּאֵי] הָעֵדָה נְשִׂיאֵי מַטּוֹת אֲבוֹתָם רָאשֵׁי אַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם׃

17  So Moshe and Aharon took those men, who were designated by name,

יז  וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֵת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר נִקְּבוּ בְּשֵׁמוֹת׃

18  and on the first day of the second month they convoked the whole community, who were registered by the clans of their ancestral houses—the names of those aged twenty years and over being listed head by head.

יח  וְאֵת כָּל־הָעֵדָה הִקְהִילוּ בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי וַיִּתְיַלְדוּ עַל־מִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם׃

19  As Hashem had commanded Moshe, so he recorded them in the wilderness of Sinai.

יט  כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפְקְדֵם בְּמִדְבַּר סִינָי׃

20  They totaled as follows: The descendants of Reuven, Yisrael’s first-born, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, head by head, all males aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

כ  וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי־רְאוּבֵן בְּכֹר יִשְׂרָאֵל תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

21  those enrolled from the tribe of Reuven: 46,500.

כא  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה רְאוּבֵן שִׁשָּׁה וְאַרְבָּעִים אֶלֶף וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

22  Of the descendants of Shimon, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, their enrollment as listed by name, head by head, all males aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

כב  לִבְנֵי שִׁמְעוֹן תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם פְּקֻדָיו בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם כָּל־זָכָר מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

23  those enrolled from the tribe of Shimon: 59,300.

כג  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה שִׁמְעוֹן תִּשְׁעָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים אֶלֶף וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

24  Of the descendants of Gad, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

כד  לִבְנֵי גָד תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

25  those enrolled from the tribe of Gad: 45,650.

כה  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה גָד חֲמִשָּׁה וְאַרְבָּעִים אֶלֶף וְשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים׃

26  Of the descendants of Yehuda, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

כו  לִבְנֵי יְהוּדָה תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

27  those enrolled from the tribe of Yehuda: 74,600.

כז  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה יְהוּדָה אַרְבָּעָה וְשִׁבְעִים אֶלֶף וְשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

28  Of the descendants of Yissachar, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

כח  לִבְנֵי יִשָּׂשכָר תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

29  those enrolled from the tribe of Yissachar: 54,400.

כט  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה יִשָּׂשכָר אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים אֶלֶף וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת׃

30  Of the descendants of Zevulun, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

ל  לִבְנֵי זְבוּלֻן תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

31  those enrolled from the tribe of Zevulun: 57,400.

לא  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה זְבוּלֻן שִׁבְעָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים אֶלֶף וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת׃

32  Of the descendants of Yosef: Of the descendants of Efraim, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

לב  לִבְנֵי יוֹסֵף לִבְנֵי אֶפְרַיִם תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

33  those enrolled from the tribe of Efraim: 40,500.

לג  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה אֶפְרָיִם אַרְבָּעִים אֶלֶף וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

34  Of the descendants of Menashe, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

לד  לִבְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

35  those enrolled from the tribe of Menashe: 32,200.

לה  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה מְנַשֶּׁה שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁים אֶלֶף וּמָאתָיִם׃

36  Of the descendants of Binyamin, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

לו  לִבְנֵי בִנְיָמִן תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

37  those enrolled from the tribe of Binyamin: 35,400.

לז  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה בִנְיָמִן חֲמִשָּׁה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים אֶלֶף וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת׃

38  Of the descendants of Dan, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

לח  לִבְנֵי דָן תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

39  those enrolled from the tribe of Dan: 62,700.

לט  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה דָן שְׁנַיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים אֶלֶף וּשְׁבַע מֵאוֹת׃

40  Of the descendants of Asher, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

מ  לִבְנֵי אָשֵׁר תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

41  those enrolled from the tribe of Asher: 41,500.

מא  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה אָשֵׁר אֶחָד וְאַרְבָּעִים אֶלֶף וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת׃

42  [Of] the descendants of Naftali, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house as listed by name, aged twenty years and over, all who were able to bear arms—

מב  בְּנֵי נַפְתָּלִי תּוֹלְדֹתָם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמֹת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כֹּל יֹצֵא צָבָא׃

43  those enrolled from the tribe of Naftali: 53,400.

מג  פְּקֻדֵיהֶם לְמַטֵּה נַפְתָּלִי שְׁלֹשָׁה וַחֲמִשִּׁים אֶלֶף וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת׃

44  Those are the enrollments recorded by Moshe and Aharon and by the chieftains of Yisrael, who were twelve in number, one man to each ancestral house.

מד  אֵלֶּה הַפְּקֻדִים אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וּנְשִׂיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אִישׁ אִישׁ־אֶחָד לְבֵית־אֲבֹתָיו הָיוּ׃

45  All the Israelites, aged twenty years and over, enrolled by ancestral houses, all those in Yisrael who were able to bear arms—

מה  וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־פְּקוּדֵי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כָּל־יֹצֵא צָבָא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃

46  all who were enrolled came to 603,550.

מו  וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל־הַפְּקֻדִים שֵׁשׁ־מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים׃

47  The Leviim, however, were not recorded among them by their ancestral tribe.

מז  וְהַלְוִיִּם לְמַטֵּה אֲבֹתָם לֹא הָתְפָּקְדוּ בְּתוֹכָם׃

48  For Hashem had spoken to Moshe, saying:

מח  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

49  Do not on any account enroll the tribe of Levi or take a census of them with the Israelites.

מט  אַךְ אֶת־מַטֵּה לֵוִי לֹא תִפְקֹד וְאֶת־רֹאשָׁם לֹא תִשָּׂא בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

50  You shall put the Leviim in charge of the Mishkan of the Pact, all its furnishings, and everything that pertains to it: they shall carry the Mishkan and all its furnishings, and they shall tend it; and they shall camp around the Mishkan.

נ  וְאַתָּה הַפְקֵד אֶת־הַלְוִיִּם עַל־מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת וְעַל כָּל־כֵּלָיו וְעַל כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ הֵמָּה יִשְׂאוּ אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָיו וְהֵם יְשָׁרְתֻהוּ וְסָבִיב לַמִּשְׁכָּן יַחֲנוּ׃

51  When the Mishkan is to set out, the Leviim shall take it down, and when the Mishkan is to be pitched, the Leviim shall set it up; any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death.

נא  וּבִנְסֹעַ הַמִּשְׁכָּן יוֹרִידוּ אֹתוֹ הַלְוִיִּם וּבַחֲנֹת הַמִּשְׁכָּן יָקִימוּ אֹתוֹ הַלְוִיִּם וְהַזָּר הַקָּרֵב יוּמָת׃

52  The Israelites shall encamp troop by troop, each man with his division and each under his standard.

v’-kha-NU b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL EESH al ma-kha-NAY-hu v’-EESH al dig-LO l’-tziv-o-TAM

נב  וְחָנוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ עַל־מַחֲנֵהוּ וְאִישׁ עַל־דִּגְלוֹ לְצִבְאֹתָם׃

1:52   Each under his standard

Following the census  depicted at the beginning of Bamidbar, the Bible describes the layout of the Israelite camp in the desert. At the center of the camp is the Mishkan, a reminder that Hashem is always at the center of our lives. The Leviim surround the Mishkan, and the remaining tribes el, organized into groups of three, surround the Leviim.  Each tribe has its own flag featuring an insignia representative of the tribe’s unique character; each group of tribes also possessed a distinctive banner. At the First Zionist Congress in 1897, a flag was needed to represent the new movement being formed. David Wolfsohn, a prominent member of the early Zionist movement, described how he came up with the design they ultimately adopted: “What flag would we hang in the Congress Hall? Then an idea struck me. We [already] have a flag – and it is blue and white. The Tallit (prayer shawl) with which we wrap ourselves when we pray: that is our symbol. Let us take this Tallit from its bag and unroll it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations. So I ordered a blue and white flag with the Shield of David painted upon it. That is how the national flag, that flew over Congress Hall, came into being.”1 comment

53  The Leviim, however, shall camp around the Mishkan of the Pact, that wrath may not strike the Israelite community; the Leviim shall stand guard around the Mishkan of the Pact.

נג  וְהַלְוִיִּם יַחֲנוּ סָבִיב לְמִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה קֶצֶף עַל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְשָׁמְרוּ הַלְוִיִּם אֶת־מִשְׁמֶרֶת מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדוּת׃

54  The Israelites did accordingly; just as Hashem had commanded Moshe, so they did.

 

נד  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה כֵּן עָשׂוּ׃

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Numbers 2

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The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • The fact that God numbers his people is wonderful, but knowing that He knows the exact number of hairs on our heads is so precious. He is intimately involved in our being.

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Numbers 1

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