Numbers 32
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

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

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

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

ב  וַיָּבֹאוּ 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

ג  עֲטָרוֹת וְדִיבֹן וְיַעְזֵר וְנִמְרָה וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן וְאֶלְעָלֵה וּשְׂבָם וּנְבוֹ וּבְעֹן׃

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

ד  הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה יְהוָה לִפְנֵי עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶרֶץ מִקְנֶה הִוא וְלַעֲבָדֶיךָ מִקְנֶה׃

5  It 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.”

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

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

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

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

ז  וְלָמָּה תנואון [תְנִיאוּן] אֶת־לֵב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעֲבֹר אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָהֶם יְהוָה׃

8  That 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

ח  כֹּה 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.Comment

9  After 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.

ט  וַיַּעֲלוּ עַד־נַחַל אֶשְׁכּוֹל וַיִּרְאוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וַיָּנִיאוּ אֶת־לֵב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבִלְתִּי־בֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָהֶם יְהוָה׃

10  Thereupon Hashem was incensed and He swore,

י  וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהוָה 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—

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

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

יב  בִּלְתִּי כָּלֵב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּה הַקְּנִזִּי וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן כִּי מִלְאוּ אַחֲרֵי יְהוָה׃

13  Hashem 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.

יג  וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיְנִעֵם בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה עַד־תֹּם כָּל־הַדּוֹר הָעֹשֶׂה הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה׃

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

יד  וְהִנֵּה קַמְתֶּם תַּחַת אֲבֹתֵיכֶם תַּרְבּוּת אֲנָשִׁים חַטָּאִים לִסְפּוֹת עוֹד עַל חֲרוֹן אַף־יְהוָה אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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

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

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

טז  וַיִּגְּשׁוּ אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ גִּדְרֹת צֹאן נִבְנֶה לְמִקְנֵנוּ פֹּה וְעָרִים לְטַפֵּנוּ׃

17  And 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.

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

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

יח  לֹא נָשׁוּב אֶל־בָּתֵּינוּ עַד הִתְנַחֵל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ נַחֲלָתוֹ׃

19  But 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.”

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

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

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם מֹשֶׁה אִם־תַּעֲשׂוּן אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אִם־תֵּחָלְצוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה לַמִּלְחָמָה׃

21  and 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

כא  וְעָבַר לָכֶם כָּל־חָלוּץ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן לִפְנֵי יְהוָה עַד הוֹרִישׁוֹ אֶת־אֹיְבָיו מִפָּנָיו׃

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

Moshe’s 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.Comment

22  and 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.

כב  וְנִכְבְּשָׁה הָאָרֶץ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְאַחַר תָּשֻׁבוּ וִהְיִיתֶם נְקִיִּים מֵיְהוָה וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיְתָה הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לָכֶם לַאֲחֻזָּה לִפְנֵי יְהוָה׃

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

כג  וְאִם־לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כֵּן הִנֵּה חֲטָאתֶם לַיהוָה וּדְעוּ חַטַּאתְכֶם אֲשֶׁר תִּמְצָא אֶתְכֶם׃

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

כד  בְּנוּ־לָכֶם עָרִים לְטַפְּכֶם וּגְדֵרֹת לְצֹנַאֲכֶם וְהַיֹּצֵא מִפִּיכֶם תַּעֲשׂוּ׃

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

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

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

כו  טַפֵּנוּ נָשֵׁינוּ מִקְנֵנוּ וְכָל־בְּהֶמְתֵּנוּ יִהְיוּ־שָׁם בְּעָרֵי הַגִּלְעָד׃

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

כז  וַעֲבָדֶיךָ יַעַבְרוּ כָּל־חֲלוּץ צָבָא לִפְנֵי יְהוָה לַמִּלְחָמָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲדֹנִי דֹּבֵר׃

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

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

29  Moshe 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.

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

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

ל  וְאִם־לֹא יַעַבְרוּ חֲלוּצִים אִתְּכֶם וְנֹאחֲזוּ בְתֹכְכֶם בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן׃

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

לא  וַיַּעֲנוּ בְנֵי־גָד וּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן לֵאמֹר אֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה אֶל־עֲבָדֶיךָ כֵּן נַעֲשֶׂה׃

32  We 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.”

לב  נַחְנוּ נַעֲבֹר חֲלוּצִים לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וְאִתָּנוּ אֲחֻזַּת נַחֲלָתֵנוּ מֵעֵבֶר לַיַּרְדֵּן׃

33  So 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.

לג  וַיִּתֵּן 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׃

34  The Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,

לד  וַיִּבְנוּ בְנֵי־גָד אֶת־דִּיבֹן וְאֶת־עֲטָרֹת וְאֵת עֲרֹעֵר׃

35  Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,

לה  וְאֶת־עַטְרֹת שׁוֹפָן וְאֶת־יַעְזֵר וְיָגְבֳּהָה׃

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

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

37  The Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,

לז  וּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן בָּנוּ אֶת־חֶשְׁבּוֹן וְאֶת־אֶלְעָלֵא וְאֵת קִרְיָתָיִם׃

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

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

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

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

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

מ  וַיִּתֵּן מֹשֶׁה אֶת־הַגִּלְעָד לְמָכִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה וַיֵּשֶׁב בָּהּ׃

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

מא  וְיָאִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה הָלַךְ וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת־חַוֺּתֵיהֶם וַיִּקְרָא אֶתְהֶן חַוֺּת יָאִיר׃

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

 

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

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Numbers 31
Numbers 33

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Numbers 32

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