Targum Jonathan on Numbers

Week 36

Chapters 8:1-12:15


Chapter 8


And Yahuah spake with Mosheh, saying:

Speak with Aharon, and say to him: At the time when thou dost kindle the lamps upon the candelabrum, (all) the seven lamps shall be alight; three on the western side, and three on the eastern side, and the seventh in the midst.

And Aharon did so; at the face of the candelabrum he lit the lamps thereof, as Yahuah commanded Mosheh.

And this was the work of the candelabrum, which was of beaten gold, from its foundations unto its lilies, the work of the artificer, with the hammer was it wrought: according to the vision which Yahuah had showed Mosheh, so did Bezalel make the candelabrum.

And Yahuah spake with Mosheh, saying:

Bring the Levites out from among the sons of Israel, and purify them.

And this shalt thou do to purify them. Sprinkle upon them the water for uncleanness through sin (chattatha), and let the razor pass over all their flesh, and let them wash their raiment, and wash themselves in forty savan of water.

And they shall take a young bullock, and his mincha of flour sprinkled with olive oil; and take thou a second young bullock for a sin offering.

And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of ordinance, and gather together also all the congregation of the sons of Israel.

Thou shalt bring the Levites before Yahuah, and the sons of Israel shall lay their hands upon the Levites.

And Aharon shall present the Levites, (as) an elevation before Yahuah from the sons of Israel, and they shall be for the work of the service of Yahuah.

And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullocks, and make one a sin offering and one a burnt offering before Yahuah, to atone for the Levites.

And thou shalt place the Levites before Aharon and his sons, and present them (as) an elevation before Yahuah;

and thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the sons of Israel, that the Levites may be ministers before Me.

And afterward the Levites may enter to fulfil the service of the tabernacle of ordinance, when thou shalt have purified them and presented them (as) an elevation;

for separated they are separate before Me from among the sons of Israel, instead of every one who openeth the womb; the first-born of all who are of the sons of Israel have I taken (to be) before Me.

For every first-born of the sons of Israel is Mine, whether of man or of beast: in the day that I slew all the first-born in the land of Mizraim, I sanctified them before Me;

and I have taken the Levites instead of all the first-born of the sons of Israel,

and have given the Levites (as) gifts unto Aharon and to his sons from among the sons of Israel, to minister the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of ordinance, and to atone for the children of Israel, lest there be mortality among the children of Israel at the time when they approach the sanctuary.

And Mosheh and Aharon and all the congregation of the Beni Israel did unto the Levites according to all that Yahuah had commanded Mosheh concerning the Levites, so did the sons of Israel to them.

And the Levites were purified, and they washed their raiment; and Aharon presented them as an elevation before Yahuah. And Aharon made atonement for them to purify them.

And afterward the Levites went in to fulfil their ministry in the tabernacle of ordinance, before Aharon and his sons: as Yahuah had commanded Mosheh concerning the Levites, so did they unto them.

And Yahuah spake with Mosheh, saying:

This is the instruction for the Levites who are not disqualified (profaned) by their blemishes: from one of twenty-five years and upward, he shall come, according to his company, to the service of the tabernacle of ordinance

and from fifty years of age he shall return from the band of the service, and serve no more.

Yet he may minister with his brethren at the tabernacle of ordinance in keeping the watch; but he shall not do any of the service. So shall the Levites act in their charge.


Chapter 9


And Yahuah spake with Mosheh in the wilderness of Sinai, in the second year from the time of their going forth from the land of Mizraim, in the first month, saying:

Let the children of Israel perform the sacrifice of the Pascha between the suns at its time.

On the fourteenth day of this mouth, between the suns, they shall perform it in its time; according to all its rites and all its statutes shall they do it.

And Mosheh spake with the children of Israel to perform the sacrifice of the Pascha.

They performed the Pascha, therefore, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the suns in the wilderness of Sinai; after all that Yahuah had commanded Mosheh, so did the children of Israel.

But certain men, who were unclean, having been defiled by the body of a man who had died near them suddenly; as the commandment (of the Pascha) came upon them, could not perform it on that day, which was the seventh of their uncleanness. And they came before Mosheh and Aharon on that day;

and these men said to him, We are unclean, on account of a man who died with us: therefore we are hindered from killing the Pascha, and shedding the blood of Yahuah’s oblation upon the altar at its time, that we may eat its flesh, being clean, among the children of Israel.

This is one of four matters of judgment brought before Mosheh the prophet, which he decided according to the Word of the Holy One: in some of which Mosheh was deliberate, because they were judgments about life; but in the others Mosheh was prompt, they being (only) judgments concerning money: but in those (the former) Mosheh said, I have not heard; that he might teach the princes of the Sanhedrin who should arise after him to be deliberate in judgements regarding life, but prompt in judgments about money; and not to be ashamed to ask counsel in things too hard for them, inasmuch as Mosheh himself, the Rabbi of Israel, had need to say, I have not yet heard. Therefore, said Mosheh to them, Wait until I have heard what will be commanded from before Yahuah concerning your case.

And Yahuah spake with Mosheh, saying:

Speak with the sons of Israel, saying: A man, whether young or old, when unclean by defilement from the dead, or an issue, or the leprosy, or who is hindered in the way of the world by the accidents of the night, or who shall be at a distance from the threshold of his house: if such things happen to you, or to your generations, then may he defer to perform the Pascha before Yahuah.

But in the second month, which is the month of Ijar, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the suns they shall perform it; with unleavened bread and with bitters they shall eat it.

They shall not leave of it till the morning, and a bone in it shall not be broken; according to every instruction in the decree of the Pascha in Nisan, they shall perform it. In the Pascha of Nisan (such persons) may eat unleavened bread, but not perform the oblation of the Pascha on account of their defilement; but in the Pascha of Ijar being purified they shall offer it.

But the man who, being clean and undefiled by the way of the world, and not at a distance from the threshold of his home, neglecteth to perform the oblation of the Pascha of Nisan, that man shall be cut off from his people, because he hath not offered Yahuah’s oblation in its season; that man shall bear his sin.

And if the stranger who is sojourning with you will perform the Pascha before Yahuah, he shall do it after the proper manner of the Paschal decree, according to its form so shall he do it. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native of the land.

And on the day on which the tabernacle was reared the Cloud of Glory covered the Tabernacle; it overspread the Tabernacle of Testimony by day, and at evening, it was over the Tabernacle like a vision of Fire until the morning.

So was it continually, a Cloud of Glory covering it by day, and a vision of Fire by night.

And what time the Cloud of Glory was uplifted from the Tabernacle, then the children of Israel went forward; and at the place where the Cloud rested, there did the children of Israel rest.

By the mouth of the Word of Yahuah the children of Israel went forward, and by the Word of Yahuah they rested. All the days that the Cloud of Glory abode upon the Tabernacle, (so long) did they abide.

And if the Cloud tarried over the Tabernacle many days the children of Israel observed the watch of the Word of Yahuah, and did not proceed.

If for the time of a number of days, suppose the seven days of the week, the Cloud of Glory was upon the Tabernacle, by the mouth of the Word of Yahuah they rested, and by the mouth of the Word of Yahuah they went forward.

Or, if the Cloud of Glory (rested only) from evening until morning, and was uplifted in the morning, then went they onward; whether by day or by night, when the Cloud was lifted up they went forward;

whether it was two days, or a month, or a year complete, while the Cloud of Glory made stay over the Tabernacle, abiding on it, the children of Israel abode, and journeyed not, and at the time of its uplifting they went forward.

By the mouth of the Word of Yahuah they encamped, and by it they journeyed; they kept the observance of the Word of Yahuah, by the mouth of the Word of Yahuah through Mosheh.


Chapter 10


And Yahuah spake with Mosheh, saying:

Make for thee, of thine, two trumpets of silver of solid material, the work of the artificer shalt thou make them; and let them be thine, with which to convoke the assembly, and for the removing of the camps.

And thou shalt blow upon them, and bring together to thee all the congregation at the door of the tabernacle of ordinance.

If they blow upon one (only), the princes of the heads of the thousands of Israel shall assemble to thee.

But when you blow an alarm, then the camps which are on the east are to go forward;

and when they blow a second alarm, the camps on the south shall go forward; they shall blow the alarm for their journeys.

And at the time of assembling the congregation you shall blow, but not an alarm.

The sons of Aharon, the priests only, shall blow with the trumpets, which shall be to you, for a perpetual statute for your generations.

And when you enter upon the order of the line of battle for your country, with oppressors who oppress you, then shall you blow the alarm on the trumpets, that the remembrance of you may come up for good before Yahuah your Elohim, that you may be delivered from your enemies.

And in the day of your rejoicings, and in your solemnities, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your consecrated victims, and they shall be for a good memorial to you before Yahuah your Elohim; for Satana shall be troubled at the sound of your jubel notes: I am Yahuah your Elohim.

And it was in the second year, the second month, which is the month of Ijar, the twentieth day of the month, that the Cloud of Glory was uplifted from above the Tabernacle of Testimony;

and the children of Israel went forward upon their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai, and the Cloud of Glory rested in the wilderness of Pharan.

And they went forth at the first by the mouth of the Word of Yahuah through Mosheh.

The standard of the camps of the Beni Jehudah went forward by their hosts, and the Rabba who was appointed over the host of the tribe of the Beni Jehudah was Nachshon bar Amminadab;

the Rabba of the Beni Issakar was Nethanel bar Zuar;

and the Rabba of the Beni Zebulon, Eliab bar Chelon.

And the tabernacle was taken down, and the sons of Gershon and of Merari went forward, carrying the tabernacle.

The standard of the camps of Reuben went forward by their hosts. The Rabba set over the hosts of the tribe of the Beni Reuben was Elizur bar Shedeur;

the Rabba of the Beni Shemeon, Shelumiel bar Zurishaddai;

and the Rabba of the Beni Gad, Eljasaph bar Dehuel.

And the family of Kehath went forward, carrying the sanctuary; and they (the men of Gershon) reared up the tabernacle against their coming.

The standard of the camps of the Beni Ephraim went forward by their hosts: the Rabba set over the host of the tribe of Ephraim was Elishama bar Ammihud;

the Rabba of that of Menasheh, Gamaliel bar Pedazur;

and the Rabba of Benjamin, Abidan bar Gideoni.

And the standard of the camps of the Beni Dan went forward, completing all the camps according to their hosts; and the Rabba set over his host was Ahiezer bar Ammishaddai;

the Rabba of the tribe of Asher, Pagiel bar Achran;

and the Rabba of the Beni Naphtali, Ahira bar Enan.

These are the journeys of the children of Israel by their hosts; the Cloud of Glory was lifted up from above the tabernacle, and they went forward.

And Mosheh said unto Hobab bar Reuel the Midianite, father-in-law of Mosheh, We are journeying from hence to the place of which Yahuah hath said, I will give it to you: come with us, and we will do thee good; for Yahuah hath spoken to do good unto the sojourner with Israel.

But he answered him, I will not go (with you) but to my (own) land and to my kindred will I go.

But he said, Do not now leave us; for when we were encamped in the wilderness, thou knewest how to judge, and didst teach us the method (or business) of judgment, and thou art dear to us as the apple of our eyes.

And it shall be that if thou wilt go on with us, with the good that Yahuah shall benefit us will we benefit thee, in the division of the land.

And they went forward from the mountain where the glory of the Shekinah of Yahuah had been revealed, going three days; and the Ark of Yahuah’s covenant went before them. Thirty and six miles it went that day; it preceded the camp of Israel, going three days, to provide for them a place to encamp in.

And the Cloud of Yahuah’s Shekinah overshadowed them by day in their going out from the encampment.

And it was when the ark should go forward, the Cloud gathered itself together and stood still, not going on, until Mosheh, standing in prayer, prayed and supplicated mercy from before Yahuah, and thus spake: Let the Word of Yahuah be now revealed in the power of Thy anger, that the adversaries of Thy people may be scattered; and let not the banner of those who hate them be uplifted before Thee.

But when the ark should rest, the Cloud gathered itself to ether and stood, but did not overspread, until Mosheh, standing in prayer, prayed and besought mercy from before Yahuah, thus speaking: Return now, Thou Word of Yahuah, in the goodness of Thy mercy, and lead Thy people Israel, and let the glory of Thy Shekinah dwell among them, and (Thy) mercy with the myriads of the house of Jakob, and with the multitudes of the thousands of Israel.


Chapter 11


But there were wicked men of the people, who, being discontent, devised and imagined evil before Yahuah; and it was heard before Yahuah, whose displeasure was moved; and a flaming fire was kindled among them from Yahuah, which destroyed some of the wicked in the outskirts of the house of Dan, with whom was a graven image.

And the people cried to Mosheh to pray for them; and Mosheh did pray before Yahuah, and the fire was extinguished where it was.

And he called the name of that place Enkindlement, because the flaming fire had been enkindled there from before Yahuah.

And the strangers who had gathered together among them demanded with demand, and they turned and wept; and the sons of Israel said, Who will give us flesh to eat?

We remember the fish which we had to eat in Mizraim freely, without (being restricted by prohibitory) precept, the cucumbers and melons, the leeks, onions, and potherbs.

But now our life is dried up; there is not anything; we see only the manna, as the pauper who looks upon a morsel (bestowed) by the hands.

Alas for the people whose food is bread from the heavens! And so murmured they, because the manna was like coriander-seed, round, when it came down from the heavens, and when it had been sanctified its appearance was as the likeness of Bedilcha.

And the wicked people looked about, and collected, and ground it in the mill. But he who would, bruised it in the mortar, or dressed it in the pot, or made cakes of it; and the taste of it was like the taste of cream covered with oil.

And when the dew came down on the camp by night, the manna descended upon it.

And Mosheh heard the people lamenting with their neighbours, who had gathered every man at the gate of his tent and the displeasure of Yahuah was strongly moved, and in the eyes of Mosheh it was evil;

and Mosheh said before Yahuah, Why hast Thou done ill with Thy servant, or I have not found mercy before Thee, that Thou shouldst have laid the toil of this people upon me?

Have I made or borne all this people as from the womb? are they my children, that Thou saidst to me in Mizraim, Bear the toil of them with thy strength, as the instructor of youth beareth, until they be carried into the land which Thou hast sworn unto their fathers?

Whence am I to find meat to give all this people? for they are cry crying to me, say saying Give us flesh that we may eat.

I am not able to bear all this people, for it is too weighty for me.

But if Thou do this with me, to leave all the labour of them upon me, let me now die with the death in which the just have repose, if I have found mercy before Thee, that I may not see mine evil.

Then spake Yahuah unto Mosheh, Gather together in My name seventy righteous men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be elders of the people, and who were set over them in Mizraim, and bring them to the taberncle to stand there with thee.

And I will be revealed in the glory of My Shekinah, and will speak with thee there, and will amplify the spirit of prophecy that is upon thee, and bestow it upon them; and they shall sustain with thee the burden of the people, that thou mayest not bear it alone.

And say thou to the people, Make ready against the morrow that you may eat flesh; because you have lamented before Yahuah, saying, Who will give us flesh to eat? for it was better with us in Mizraim. Yahuah therefore will give you flesh that you may eat.

You shall not eat it one day, nor two days, nor five, nor ten, nor twenty days;

for a month of days, until the smell of it cometh forth from your nostrils, and it become a loathing to you; because you have been contemptuous against the Word of Yahuah, whose glorious Shekinah dwelleth among you, and because you have wept before Him, saying, Why should we have come out from Mizraim?

But Mosheh said, Six hundred thousand footmen are the people among whom I dwell, and Thou hast said, I will give them flesh to eat for a month of days!

Shall the flocks of Araby or the cattle of Nabatea be killed for them to satisfy them, or all the fishes of the Great Sea be collected, that they may have enough?

And Yahuah said to Mosheh, Can any thing fail before Yahuah? Now shalt thou see whether what I have said to thee shall come to pass or not.

Then Mosheh went forth from the tabernacle, the house of the Shekinah, and told the people the words of Yahuah. And he called together the seventy men, the elders of Israel, and placed them around the tabernacle.

And Yahuah was revealed in the glorious Cloud of the Shekinah, and spake with him. And He made enlargement of the (Spirit of) prophecy that was upon him, so that Mosheh lost nothing thereof, but He gave unto the seventy men, the elders: and it was that when the Spirit of prophecy rested upon them, they prophesied, and ceased not.

But two men had remained in the camp; the name of the one Eldad, and the name of the second Medad, the sons of Elizaphan bar Parnak, whom Jokebed the daughter of Levi bare to him when Amram her husband had put her away; and to whom she had been espoused before she gave birth to Mosheh. And the Spirit of prophecy resting upon them, Eldad prophe­sied, and said: Behold, Mosheh shall be gathered from the world; and Jehoshua bar Nun, the minister of the camps, will be established after him, and will lead the people of the house of Israel into the land of Kenaan, and make it their inheritance. Medad prophesied, and said: Behold, quails come up from the sea, and cover all the camp of Israel; but they will be to the people (a cause of) an offence. And both of them prophesied together, and said: Behold, a king will arise from the land of Magog, at the end of the days, and will assemble kings crowned with crowns, and captains wearing armour, and him will all nations obey. And they will set battle in array in the land of Israel against the children of the captivity; but already is it provided that in the hour of distresses all of them shall perish by the burning blast of the flame that cometh forth from beneath the Throne of Glory; and their carcases shall fall upon the mountains of the land of Israel, and the wild beasts of the field and the fowls of the sky shall come and consume their dead bodies. And afterward will all the dead of Israel live (again), and be feasted from the ox which hath been set apart for them from the beginning, and they shall receive the reward of their works. And they were of the elders who stood in the registers among them; but they had not gone forth to the tabernacle, but had hidden to escape from the dignity; yet they prophesied in the camp.

And a certain young man ran, and told to Mosheh, and said: Eldad and Medad are prophesying thus in the camp.

And Jehoshua bar Nun, the minister of Mosheh, answered and said: Ribboni Mosheh, pray for mercy before Yahuah, that the Spirit of prophecy may be withheld from them.

But Mosheh said to him, Because they prophesy concerning me that I am to be gathered from the world, and that thou art to minister after me, art thou jealous for my sake? I would that all Yahuah’s people were prophets, and that He would bestow the Spirit of prophecy upon them.

And Mosheh proceeded to the camp, he and all the elders of Israel.

And the wind of a tempest went forth, and came violently from before Yahuah, so as to have swept the world away, but for the righteousness of Mosheh and Aharon: and it blew over the Great Sea, and made the quails fly from the Great Sea, and settle wherever there was place in the camp, as a day’s journey northward and southward, and at the height as of two cubits; they flew upon the face of the ground, and went upon their bellies, so that (the people) were not wearied while they collected them.

And they who had been wanting in faith arose: and all that day, and all the night, and all the day that followed, they gathered the quails; even he who was lame and infirm gathered ten korin, and they spread them abroad round about the camps.

The wicked ate of the flesh, yet offered no thanksgiving to Him who had given it to them: but while the flesh was between their teeth, and not consumed, the anger of Yahuah waxed strong against the evil people, and Yahuah slew the people with a very great mortality.

And he called the name of that place, The Graves of the Desirers of Flesh; for there they buried the people who had desired flesh.

And from the Graves of the Desirers the people journeyed to Hatseroth, and they were in Hatseroth.


Chapter 12


And Miriam and Aharon spake against Mosheh words that were not becoming with respect to the Kushaitha whom the Kushaee had caused Mosheh to take when he had fled from Pharoh, but whom he had sent away because they had given him the queen of Kush, and he had sent her away.

And they said, Hath Yahuah spoken only with Mosheh, that he should be separated from the married life? Hath He not spoken with us also? And it was heard before Yahuah.

But the man Mosheh was more bowed down in his mind than all the children of men upon the face of the earth; neither cared he for their words.

And Yahuah said to Mosheh, to Aharon, and to Miriam, Come forth, you three, to the tabernacle. And those three went forth.

And the Glory of Yahuah was revealed in the Cloud of Glory, and He stood at the door of the tabernacle, and called Aharon and Miriam: and those two came forth.

And He said, Hear now My words, while I speak. Have any of the prophets who have arisen from the days of old been spoken with as Mosheh hath been? To those (prophets) the Word of Yahuah hath been revealed in apparition, speaking with them in a dream.

Not so is the way with Mosheh My servant; in all the house of Israel My people he is faithful.

Speaker with speaker have I spoken with him, who hath separated himself from the married life; but in vision, and not with mystery, revealed I Myself to him at the bush, and he beheld the likeness of My Shekinah. And why have you not feared to speak such words of My servant Mosheh?

And the glory of Yahuah’s Shekinah ascended, and went.

And the glorious Cloud of Yahuah’s Shekinah went up from above the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam was seized with the leprosy. And Aharon looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she had been smitten with leprosy.

And Aharon said to Mosheh, I beseech of thee, my lord, not to lay upon us the sin we have foolishly committed, and by which we have transgressed.

I entreat thee that Miriam, our sister, may not be defiled with leprosy in the tent, as the dead, for it is with her as with the infant which, having well fulfilled the time of the womb, perishes at the birth: so Miriam was with us in the land of Mizraim, seeing us in our captivity, our dispersion, our servitude; but now, when the time hath come for our going forth to possess the land of Israel behold she is kept back from us. I entreat thee, my lord, to pray for her, that her righteousness may not come to nought among the congregation.

And Mosheh did pray, and seek mercy before Yahuah, saying: I pray through the compassions of the merciful Elohim, O Eloha, who hast power over the life of all flesh, heal her, I beseech thee.

And Yahuah said to Mosheh, If her father had corrected her, would she not have been disgraced, and secluded seven days? But today, when I correct her, much more right is it that she should be dishonoured fourteen days: yet shall it suffice to seclude her seven days without the camp; and for thy righteousness will I make the Cloud of My Glory, the tabernacle, the ark, and all Israel, tarry until the time that she is healed, and then re-admitted.

And Miriam was kept apart without the camp for seven days, and the people went not forward until the time that Miriam was healed.

But though Miriam the prophetess had made herself liable to be stricken with leprosy in this world, the doctrine is ample that in the world to come (there remaineth a reward) for the just, and for them who keep the commandments of the law. And because Miriam the prophetess had watched for a little hour to know what would be the fate of Mosheh; (Exod. ii) for the sake of that merit all Israel, numbering sixty myriads, being eighty legions, and the Cloud of Glory, the tabernacle, and the well, went not, nor proceeded, till the time that she was healed: and afterward the people journeyed from Hatseroth, and encamped in the wilderness of Pharan.