Targum Torah Portions | Section 39: Hukkath (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

Targum | Targum: Numbers

Targum Jonathan on Numbers

Week 39

Chapters 19:1-22:1


Chapter 19


AND Yahuah spake with Mosheh and Aharon, saying:

This is the decree, the publication of the law which Yahuah hath commanded, saying; Speak to the sons of Israel, that they bring to thee from the separation of the fold a red heifer, two years old, in which there is neither spot nor white hair, on which no male hath come, nor the burden of any work been imposed, neither hurt by the thong, nor grieved by the goad or prick, nor collar (band) or any like yoke.

And thou shalt give her unto Elazar, the chief of the priests, who shall lead her alone without the camp, and set round about her a railing (border) of the branches of fig trees; and another priest shall slay her with the two signs before him, after the manner of other animals, and examine her by the eighteen kinds of divisions.

And Elazar, in his priestly dress, shall take of her blood with the finger of his right hand, without (first) containing it in a vessel, and shall sprinkle the border of fig branches, and (afterwards) from the midst of a vessel on one side towards the tabernacle of ordinance, with one dipping, seven times (shall he sprinkle).

And they shall bring her out from the midst of the railing and another priest, while Elazar looketh on, shall burn the heifer, her skin, flesh, and blood, with her dung shall he burn.

And another priest shall take a piece of cedar wood and hyssop, and (wool) whose colour hath been changed to scarlet, and throw them into the midst of the burning of the heifer; and he shall enlarge the burning, that the ashes may be increased.

And the priest who slew the heifer shall wash his dress in forty satas of water, and afterwards he may go into the camp; but the priest before his ablution shall be unclean until the evening.

And the priest who was employed in the burning shall wash his dress in forty satas of water, and his flesh in forty satas, and before his ablution shall be unclean until the evening.

And a man, a priest who is clean, shall gather up the ashes of the heifer in an earthenware receptacle, its opening covered round about with clay; and shall divide the ashes into three portions, of which one shall be placed within the wall (of Jerusalem), another in the Mount of Olives, and the third portion be in the custody of the Levites; and it shall be for the congregation of Israel, for the Water of Sprinkling: it is the heifer (immolated) for the remission of sins.

And the priest who gathered up the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and before his ablution be unclean till the evening. And this shall be for the cleansing of the children of Israel, a statute for ever.

Whoever toucheth the body of a dead man, or of a child of some months old, either his body or his blood, shall be unclean seven days.

He shall sprinkle himself with this water of the ashes on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean. But if he sprinkle not himself on the third day, his uncleanness will remain upon him, and he will not be clean on the seventh day.

Whoever hath touched the body of a dead man, or of a child nine months old, either the body or the blood, and will not sprinkle himself, he hath defiled the tabernacle of Yahuah, and that man shall be cut off from Israel; forasmuch as the water of sprinkling is not sprinkled upon him, he is unclean, his uncleanness is yet on him, until he shall sprinkle himself; yet may he sprinkle and make ablution on the seventh evening.

This is the indication of the law concerning a man when he hath died under the outspread tent every one who entereth into the tent by the way of the door, but not from its side, when its door is open, (or when one hath opened its door,) and whatever is in the tent, its floor, stone, wood, and vessels, shall be unclean seven days.

And every earthen vessel which hath no covering fastened upon its mouth, which would have kept it separate from the uncleanness, is defiled by the uncleanness of the air which toucheth its mouth, and its interior, and not the outside of it (only).

And whoever shall touch not one who hath died in his mother’s womb, but who hath been slain with the sword on the face of the field, or the sword with which he was slain, or the dead man himself, or a bone of his, or the hair, or the bone of a living man which hath been separated from him, or a grave, or a shroud, or the bier, shall be unclean seven days.

And for him who is unclean, they shall take of the ashes of the burnt sin offering, and put spring water upon them in an earthen vessel.

And let a man, a priest, who is clean, take three branches of hyssop bound. together, and dip (them) in the water at the time of receiving the uncleanness, and sprinkle the tent and all its vessels, and the men who are in it, or upon him who hath touched the bone of a living man that hath been severed from him, and hath fallen, or him who hath. been slain with the sword, or hath died by the plague, or a grave, or a wrapper, or a bier.

And the priest who is clean shall sprinkle upon the unclean man on the, third day, and on the seventh day, and shall make him clean on the seventh day; and he shall sprinkle his clothes, and wash himself with water, and at eventide be clean.

But the unclean man who will not be sprinkled, that man shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of Yahuah; the water of sprinkling hath not been sprinkled upon him, he is unclean.

And it shall be unto you an everlasting statute. The priest, also, who sprinkleth the water of sprinkling shall sprinkle his clothes, and he who toucheth the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until evening.

And whatever the unclean person hath touched, though he carry it not, shall be unclean; and the clean man who toucheth him shall be unclean till evening.


Chapter 20


And the whole congregation of the children of Israel came to the desert of Zin on the tenth day of the month Nisan. And Miriam died there, and was buried there.

And as on account of the innocency of Miriam a well had been given, so when she died the well was hidden, and the congregation had no water.

And they gathered against Mosheh and Aharon, and the people contended with Mosheh, and said, Would that we had died when our brethren died before Yahuah!

And why hast thou brought the congregation of Yahuah into this desert, that we and our cattle may die here?

And why didst thou make us come up out of Mizraim., to bring us to this evil place, a place which is not fit for sowing, or for planting fig trees, or vines, or pomegranates, and where there is no water to drink?

And Mosheh and Aharon went from the face of the murmuring congregation to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, and bowed upon their faces, and the Glory of Yahuah’s Shekinah was revealed to them.

And Yahuah spake with Mosheh, saying:

Take the rod of the miracles, and gather the congregation, thou, and Aharon thy brother, and both of you adjure the rock, by the Great and manifested Name, while they look on, and it shall give forth its waters: but if it refuse to bring forth, smite thou it once with the rod that is in thy hand, and thou wilt bring out water for them from the rock, that the congregation and their cattle may drink.

And Mosheh took the rod of the miracles from before Yahuah, as he had commanded him.

And Mosheh and Aharon gathered the congregation together before the rock. And Mosheh said to them, Hear now, rebels: is it possible for us to bring forth water for you from this rock?

And Mosheh lifted up his hand, and with his rod struck the rock two times: at the first time it dropped blood; but at the second time there came forth a multitude of waters. And the congregation and their cattle drank.

But Yahuah spake to Mosheh and Aharon with the oath, Because ye have not believed in My Word, to sanctify Me in the sight of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land that I will give them.

These are the Waters of Contention, where the sons of Israel contended before Yahuah on account of the well that had been hidden; and He was sanctified in them, in Mosheh and Aharon, when (the waters) were given to them.

Then Mosheh sent messengers from Rekem unto the king of Edom, saying, Thus saith thy brother Israel. Thou hast known all the trouble that hath found us;

that our fathers went down into Mizraim and dwelt in Mizraim many days, and the Mizraee afflicted us and our fathers.

And we prayed before Yahuah, who heard our prayers, and sent one of the ministering angels to lead us out of Mizraim: and, behold, we are in Rekem, a city built on the side of thy border.

Let us now pass through thy land: we will not seduce virgins, nor carry off the betrothed, nor commit adultery: on the king’s highway, under the heavens, we will go forward, and turn not to the right or to the left, to do any injury in the public way while we pass through thy border.

But Edomea answered him, You shall not go through my coast, lest I come to meet thee with the unsheathed sword.

And Israel said to him, We would go by the king’s highway; if we drink thy waters, I and my cattle, I will give thee the price of their value. I will only pass through, without doing wrong.

But he said, You shall not pass through. And Edomea came out to meet him with a large army and with a strong hand.

So Edomea would not suffer Israel to pass through his coast; and Israel turned away from him, because it was commanded from before the Word of the Heavens that they should not set battle in array against them, forasmuch as the time was not yet come when the punishment of Edom should be given into their hands.

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from Rekem, and came unto Mount Umanom.

And Yahuah spake unto Mosheh in the Mount Umanom, on the coast of the land of Edom, saying:

Aharon shall be gathered unto his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because you were rebels against My Word at the Waters of Contention.

Take Aharon and Elazar his son, and make them come up to Mount Umanom.

And thou shalt strip Aharon of his vestments, the adornment (glory) of the priesthood, and put them on Elazar his son; but Aharon shall be gathered, and die there.

And Mosheh did as Yahuah commanded him. And they ascended Mount Umanom, in the view of all the congregation.

And Mosheh stripped Aharon of his vestments, the priestly decoration, and put them on Elazar his son; and Aharon died there on the summit of the mountain and Mosheh and Elazar came down from the mount.

And when the soul of Aharon was at rest, the Cloud of Glory was lifted up on the first day of the month Ab; and all the congregation beheld Mosheh come down from the mountain with rent garments; and he wept and said, Woe unto me, for thee, my brother Aharon, the pillar of Israel’s prayers! And they too wept for Aharon thirty days, the men and the women of Israel.


Chapter 21


And Amalek, who had dwelt in the south, and changed, and came and reigned in Arad, heard that the soul of Aharon was at rest, that the pillar of the Cloud which for his sake had led the people of the house of Israel had been taken up, and that Israel was coming by the way of the explorers to the place where they had rebelled against Yahuah of the world. For, when the explorers had returned, the children of Israel abode in Rekem, but afterward returned from Rekem to Motseroth, in six encampments during forty years, when they journeyed from Motseroth, and returned to Rekem by the way of the explorers, and came unto Mount Umanom, where Aharon died; (and,) behold, he came and arrayed battle against Israel, and captured some of them with a great captivity.

And Israel vowed a vow before Yahuah and said, If Thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, I will destroy their cities.

And Yahuah heard Israel’s prayer, and delivered up the Kenaanites, and he destroyed them and their cities. And he called the name of the place Hormah.

And they journeyed from Mount Umanom, by the way of the Sea of Suph, that they might compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people was wearied in the way.

And the people thought (wickedly) in their heart, and talked against the Word of Yahuah, and contended with Mosheh, saying: Why didst thou bring us up from Mizraim to die in the wilderness; for there is neither bread nor water, and our soul is weary of manna, this light food?

And the bath-kol fell from the high heaven, and thus spake: Come, all men, and see all the benefits which I have done to the people whom I brought up free out of Mizraim. I made manna come down for them from heaven, yet now turn they and murmur against Me. Yet, behold, the serpent, whom, in the days of the beginning of the world, I doomed to have dust for his food, hath not murmured against me: but My people are murmuring about their food. Now shall the serpents who have not complained of their food come and bite the people who complain. Therefore did the Word of Yahuah send the basilisk serpents, and they bit the people, and a great multitude of the people of Israel died.

And the people came to Mosheh, and said: We have sinned, in thinking and speaking against the glory of Yahuah’s Shekinah, and in contending with thee. Pray before Yahuah to remove the plague of serpents from us. And Mosheh prayed for the people.

And Yahuah said to Mosheh, Make thee a serpent of brass, and set it upon a place aloft; and it shall be that when a serpent hath bitten any one, if he behold it, then shall he live, if his heart be directed to the Name of the Word of Yahuah.

And Mosheh made a serpent of brass, and set it upon a place aloft; and it was, when a serpent had bitten a man, and the serpent of brass was gazed at, and his heart was intent upon the Name of the Word of Yahuah, he lived.

And the children of Israel journeyed from thence, and pitched in Oboth;

and they journeyed from Oboth, and encamped in the plain of Megistha, in a desert place which looketh toward Moab from the rising of the sun.

Thence they journeyed and encamped in a valley abounding in reeds, osiers, and mandrakes.

And they journeyed from thence, and encamped beyond the Arnon, in a passage of the desert that stretcheth from the coast of the Amoraah; for Arnon is the border of Moab, situate between Moab and the Amoraah; and therein dwelt a priesthood of the worshippers of idols.

Therefore it is said in the book of the Law, where are recorded the wars of Yahuah: Eth and Heb, who had been smitten with the blast of the leprosy, and had been banished beyond the confine of the camp, made known. to Israel that Edom and Moab were concealed among the mountains in ambush, to destroy the people of the house of Israel. But Yahuah of the world made a sign to the mountains, which pressed one to another so that they died: and their blood flowed through a valley on the brink of the Arnon (or, a valley adjoining Arnon).

And the effusion of the streams of their blood flowed to the habitations of Lechaiath, which were, however, delivered from this destruction, because they had not been in their counsels; and, behold, it was unto the confine of Moab.

And from thence was given to them (the Israelites) the living well, the well concerning which Yahuah said to Mosheh, Assemble the people and give them water.

Then, behold, Israel sang the thanksgiving of this song, at the time that the well which had been hidden was restored to them through the merit of Miriam: Spring up, O well, spring up, O well ! sang they to it, and it sprang up:

the well which the fathers of the world, Abraham Izhak, and Jakob digged: the princes who were of old digged it, the chiefs of the people: Mosheh and Aharon, the scribes of Israel, found it with their rods; and from the desert it was given to them for a gift.

And from thence it was given to them in Mattana; turning, it went up with them to the high mountains, and from the high mountains it went down with them to the hills surrounding all the camp of Israel, and giving them drink, every one at the door of his tent.

And from the high mountains it descended with them to the lower hills, but was hidden from them on the borders of Moab, at the summit of the hill looking toward Bethjeshimon, because there they neglected the words of the Law.

Then sent Israel messengers to Sihon, king of the Amorites, saying:

I would pass through thy country. We will not carry off the betrothed, nor seduce virgins, nor have to do with the wives of men; by the highway of the King who is in the heavens we will go, until we have passed through thy border.

But Sihon would not permit Israel to pass through his limit, but constrained all his people, and came out to Jahaz, and made war against Israel.

And Israel smote him with the anathema of Yahuah, that he would destroy (him) with the edge of the sword; and he took possession of his country, from Arnon unto the Jabbok, unto the border of the children of Ammon; because Rabbath, which is the limit of the children of Ammon, was strong; and so far was their boundary.

And Israel took all those cities, and dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all her villages.

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites; for he had beforetime made war with the King of Moab, and had taken all his country from his hand unto the Arnon.

Therefore, say the young men, (or the chosen ones,) using proverbs: The righteous who rule their passions say, Come let us reckon (Heshbon) the strength of a good work by the recompense, and the recompense of an evil work by the strength for whoso is watchful and diligent in the law is builded up and perfected;

for mighty words like fire go forth from the lips of the righteous, the masters of such thought, (calculation, heshbona,) and powerful merit like flames from those who are read and devoted in the law: their fire devoureth the foe and the adversary, who are reckoned before them as the worshippers of the idol altars in the valley of Arnona.

Woe to you, ye haters of the just! ye have perished, ye people of Kemosh, haters of the words of the law, in whom there is no righteousness, unless he waste you to bring you captive unto the place where they teach. the law, and their sons and daughters be removed by captivity of the sword to be near them who consult in its counsels the instructors and those anointed with the law.

The wicked have said, In all this there is nothing lofty to the sight; but your numbers shall perish until the falsehood of your souls be ended, and Yahuah of the world destroy them till their lives have expired, and they have come to nothing, as the cities of the Amorites have perished, and the palaces of their princes from the great gate of the house of the kingdom to the street of the smiths which is nigh to Medeba.

And Israel, after they had destroyed Sihon, dwelt in the land of the Amorites.

And Mosheh sent Kaleb and Phineas to examine Makbar, and they subdued the villages, and destroyed the Amorites who were there.

Then they turned, and went up by the way of Mathnan; and Og, the king of Mathnan, came out to meet us, he and all his people, to give battle at Edrei.

And it was, when Mosheh saw Og, he trembled before him, stricken with fear: but he (soon) answered and said, This is Og the Wicked, who taunted Abraham our father and Sarah, saying: You are like trees planted by the water channels, but bring forth no fruit: therefore hath the Holy One, blessed be He, spared him to live through generations, that he might see the great multitude of their children, and be delivered into our hands. Then spake Yahuah unto Mosheh: Fear him not, for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people and country; and thou shalt do to him as thou hast done to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon.

Now it was, after Og the Wicked had seen the camp of Israel spreading over six miles he said with himself, I will make war against this people, that they may not do to me as they have done to Sihon: so went he and tare up a mountain six miles in size, and brought it upon his head to hurl it upon them. But the Word of Yahuah forthwith prepared a reptile which ate into the mountain and perforated it, and his head was swallowed up within it; and he sought to withdraw it, but could not, because his back teeth and his front ones were drawn hither and thither. And Mosheh went and took an axe of ten cubits, and sprang ten cubits, and struck him on the ankle of his foot, and he fell, and died beyond the camp of Israel. Thus it is written. And they smote him and his sons and daughters, and all his people, till none of them remained to escape; and they took possession of his land.


Chapter 22


And the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in the plains of Moab, near the passage of the Jordan (toward) Jericho.