Weekly Portion: BaMidbar, Numbers 30:2-36:13 (5 July, 2013, Tammuz 27, 5773)
Vows; Rights of the father over his daughter, of the husband over his wife; War against Midian and division of the spoils; Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh take their inheritance east of the Jordan on condition that they help their brother Tribes complete the conquest; Commandment to expel the Canaanites also should be applied to the Palestinian Arabs in our time; The Jews are the Apple of the Eye of God Almighty; Borders of the Promised Land; Princes of the Tribes; Levitical cities; cities of refuge; accidental homicide requires some preventive punishment; the daughters of Zelophehad from Gilead in the Tribe of Manasseh marry their cousins.
Duration: 26.43 minutes
Entering the Land, Commandment to Conquer, Tribal Apportionment
Numbers 30:2 to 36:13
The portion this week is called Matot-Masai. It is a combination of two smaller portions, Matot (Numbers 29:2-32:42) and Masai (Numbers 33:1-36:13). These portions on occasion are read on separate Shabatot. This portion concludes the Book of Numbers. Next Week we begin Deuteronomy.
Numbers 30:1-16 speaks of Vows, Nedarim, in Hebrew. A person in principle should maintain what he says he will do especially if he takes a special vow to that effect.
A girl (12-12 and a half yrs. old - officially called a NAARAH, who vows can have her vows nullified by her father but only on the day he hears of them.
After this chronological-biological stage the girl becomes an adult woman and her father cannot annul her vows. Before this stage she is considered still a child and her vows are not binding on her.
A husband can also annul the vows of his wife. A husband has a similar status regarding his wife as her father had over her when she was an adolescent, i.e. a certain degree of authority but not an arbitrary one. If he (like her father) did not annul her vows on the day he heard of them then the vows remained and the girl would be obligated to keep it or to get it ceremonially annulled, as could be done but it was not easy.
If after hearing the vows of his wife the husband did not not annul them then his wife had to keep her vow. If however after that, the husband changed his mind and said his wife should not keep the vow then the wife had to obey her husband. Nevertheless the husband would then be considered guilty and have to bring a sacrifice to atone for his guilt. He would then bear the responsibility and not his wife.
In these laws and their implications a whole detailed learning may be obtained concerning the proper relationship that should exist between husband and wife.
Moses was commanded [Numbers 31:2] to AVENGE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL OF THE MIDIANITES: AFTERWARD SHALT THOU BE GATHERED UNTO THY PEOPLE.
[Numbers 31:3] AND MOSES SPAKE UNTO THE PEOPLE, SAYING, ARM SOME OF YOURSELVES UNTO THE WAR, AND LET THEM GO AGAINST THE MIDIANITES, AND AVENGE THE LORD OF MIDIAN.
The Chatam Sofer (1762 - 1839) notes that when G-d commands the battle against Midianites (Numbers 31:2), HE calls it NIKMAT BNEI YISRAEL, a revenge for the Children of Israel. When Moshe calls the people to battle, he says AVENGE THE LORD OF MIDIAN. The Israelites represent the Presence of God Almighty in this world. Whoever harms them offends God Himself.
This also applies to the Jews of Judah.
Whoever hurts the Jews hurts God.
14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me, Proclaim, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts:
I am zealous for Jerusalem
And for Zion with great zeal.
15 I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
For I was a little angry,
And they helped, but with evil intent.
8 For thus says the LORD of hosts: He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
This means that anybody who persecutes the Jews is considered by God as if they attempted to harm the very eye of God Himself!
[Numbers 31:4] OF EVERY TRIBE A THOUSAND, THROUGHOUT ALL THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL, SHALL YE SEND TO THE WAR.
Each Tribe had to contribute a 1000 warriors to fight against Midian.
[Numbers 31:5] SO THERE WERE DELIVERED OUT OF THE THOUSANDS OF ISRAEL, A THOUSAND OF EVERY TRIBE, TWELVE THOUSAND ARMED FOR WAR.
[Numbers 31:6] AND MOSES SENT THEM TO THE WAR, A THOUSAND OF EVERY TRIBE, THEM AND PHINEHAS THE SON OF ELEAZAR THE PRIEST, TO THE WAR, WITH THE HOLY INSTRUMENTS, AND THE TRUMPETS TO BLOW IN HIS HAND.
[Numbers 31:7] AND THEY WARRED AGAINST THE MIDIANITES, AS THE LORD COMMANDED MOSES; AND THEY SLEW ALL THE MALES.
[Numbers 31:8] AND THEY SLEW THE KINGS OF MIDIAN, BESIDE THE REST OF THEM THAT WERE SLAIN; NAMELY, EVI, AND REKEM, AND ZUR, AND HUR, AND REBA, FIVE KINGS OF MIDIAN: BALAAM ALSO THE SON OF BEOR THEY SLEW WITH THE SWORD.
They killed Balaam who had given them the evil advice to prostitute their daughters and cause the Israelites to fornicate and commit idolatry. The Sages said that whenever the Israelites went and worshipped idols it was because they were seeking an excuse to engage in illicit sex.
5 So there were recruited from the divisions of Israel one thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 6 Then Moses sent them to the war, one thousand from each tribe; he sent them to the war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy articles and the signal trumpets in his hand. 7 And they warred against the Midianites, just as the LORD commanded Moses, and they killed all the males. 8 They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword.
9 And the children of Israel took the women of Midian captive, with their little ones, and took as spoil all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their goods. 10 They also burned with fire all the cities where they dwelt, and all their forts. 11 And they took all the spoil and all the booty, of man and beast.
Numbers 31:14-18 tells how Moses was angry with the Israelites for not killing the womenfolk. He commanded them to kill all the males and all the women who was not a virgin.
After that they were to stay for seven days outside the camp and purify themselves and al the utensils they had taken.
The booty from the war was to be divided into two: Half for the men who went out to war and half for the rest of the congregation. From the half of the men who went out to war one portion out of 500 (i.e. 0.20%) was to be given unto Elazar (who was the High Priest) who would use them for the Tabernacle Service and for the service of his fellow priests (the Cohens).
From the half of the rest of congregation one portion out of fifty (i.e. 2%) was to be given to the Levites.
At this stage the Levites were much more numerous than the Cohens (Priests) who comprised only a small portion of them therefore they received a much larger percentage (2% versus 0.25%) since they had to spread it further.
After this the warriors voluntarily donated the golden objects they had taken as booty to the Tabernacle Service.
The Tribes of Reuven and Gad had many flocks of sheep. They saw that the lands of Yaezeir and Gilead that had been conquered from the Amorites east of the Jordan were particularly suited for raising livestock. They came before Moshe, Elazar, and the leaders of the People and requested permission to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River.
Moses was angry saying that the request of the two tribes would discourage the People of Israel from wanting to proceed into the Land, repeating the experience of the "spies" of almost 40 years earlier.
The Tribes of Reuben and Gad replied that they would be prepared to settle their animals and families where they were (on the east side of the Jordan) while they accompanied their brethren to conquer the Lands west of the Jordan.
Indications from the Book of Joshua are that in effect a large number of picked warriors from the Tribes of Reuben and Gad joined the Israelites conquering the rest of Canaan while another part stayed on the east side. They may have taken turns with each other.
Moses distributed the Lands east of the Jordan to the children of Gad, to the children of Reuben, and to half the Tribe of Manasseh:
33 So Moses gave to the children of Gad, to the children of Reuben, and to half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land with its cities within the borders, the cities of the surrounding country. 34 And the children of Gad built Dibon and Ataroth and Aroer, 35 Atroth and Shophan and Jazer and Jogbehah, 36 Beth Nimrah and Beth Haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 And the children of Reuben built Heshbon and Elealeh and Kirjathaim, 38 Nebo and Baal Meon (their names being changed) and Shibmah; and they gave other names to the cities which they built.
Numbers 32:39-42 speaks of Jair (Yair) and Nobah (Novach) who took specific areas east of the Jordan.
39 And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he dwelt in it. 41 Also Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its small towns, and called them Havoth Jair. 42 Then Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and he called it Nobah, after his own name.
Opinions exist that Yair and Nobah were in effect Israelites from earlier generations who had attempted to settle in the Holy land whilst the Hebrews were still in Egypt. Their efforts had not resulted in permanent results at the time but Moses gave them permanency by granting the areas in question to their descendants.
For an article discussing the taking by Machir of the Gilead area east of the Jordan and the role of Yair in this see:
THE EXPANSION OF ISRAEL
Numbers 33:1-49 The List of places that the Israelites passed through in their journeyings since leaving Egypt is given.
The Israelites were commanded to drive out all the inhabitants of the Land and to destroy all vestiges of paganism.
If the Israelites should not do this then the end result would be that they themselves would loose possession of the Land.
50 Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying, 51 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; 53 you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess. 54 And you shall divide the land by lot as an inheritance among your families; to the larger you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give a smaller inheritance; there everyone's inheritance shall be whatever falls to him by lot. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers. 55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. 56 Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.
The Israelites were commanded to expel ALL of the non-Israelite inhabitants from the Land of Canaan. This is a commandment. It is still in effect today.
The Arabs NEED to be transferred to some other place. They should not be allowed to dwell in the Land of Israel.
See our articles:
Transfer of Arabs. Options for Survival. A Solution to the War In Gaza
If we do not expel ALL of the non-Israelites they will expel us. This is in danger of happening in our time. The Arabs are demanding that we let all the Palestinian refugees and their millions of offspring return to the Land and overwhelm the Jews with their numbers. They are gaining more and more international support. Now all the world is against the Jews. The US Administration under non-Israelite management (Obamination) has been doing what it can (under threat of aid-withdrawal, sanctions, and barely concealed hostility) to prevent the Jews from adding any building whatsoever in the areas of Samaria and Judah and that will not be the end of their demands.
Either we get rid of the Arabs when we can or they (God forbid) will do the same to us.
This is what the Bible itself says!
I SHALL DO UNTO YOU, AS I THOUGHT TO DO UNTO THEM!
They Must Go!
Numbers 34:1-15 gives the borders of the Promised Land east of the Jordan and mentioned that the area to the east HAD ALREADY BEEN ALLOCATED to Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
These borders are open to interpretation. Most (but not all) explanations say that here it does not include all the regions east of the Jordan or further to the north that were in the original promises but only part of them. The explanation lies in relative degrees of sanctity. It is generally agreed that even though the Promised Land stretches from the Nile to the Euphrates some parts are more important than others as regards initial settlement. These regions we refer to as primary areas. The primary borders (possibly referred to here) are the primary ones, the ones that need to be conquered and settled first of all. After that, the other areas can be taken and settled but to a degree their sanctity is dependent on a contiguity with Israelite settlement in the Primary Regions (Malbim).
Historically our impression (based on the Books of Joshua, Judges, and Chronicles) is that all of the Land according to the Promise from the Nile to the Euphrates was conquered and parts of it were settled. The settlement areas were however not continguent. They did not form a continuous stretch of Hebraic inhabitation with each other. They had large numbers of Canaanites remaining in them and separating the different portions from each other. This caused many problems and tragedies to the Israelite Nation.
In the future the reverse process will take place.
Judah will return and begin to resettle the Land of Israel especially on the coastal areas.
THE JEWS ARE JUDAH
by Steven Collins and Yair Davidiy
Four First Points of Stephen Collins:
(1. Jewish State of "Israel" in "Palestine"
(2. Judah in Jerusalem
(3. "Judah", The "Old-New" State, and Militarily Prowess
(4. Agricultural prosperity.
Judah will also spread out over parts of the rest of the Land of Israel and in a sense be preparing the infrastructure for the other Tribes (Hosea 6:11)..
Some of the other Tribes headed by Ephraim will at some stage establish settlement in parts of Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria (Zechariah 10;10 Micah 7:14). Later (in coordination with Judah) they will also settle in Samaria (Jeremiah 31:6). Eventually all of the Land from the Nile to the Euphrates will once again be given to the Children of Israel and divided amongst the Different Tribes. Each Tribe will receive its own separate portion (Ezekiel ch.48).
The Return of Ephraim: The US and UK in Iraq
The Princes of the Tribes of Israel are listed:
16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 These are the names of the men who shall divide the land among you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 And you shall take one leader of every tribe to divide the land for the inheritance. 19 These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; 20 from the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud; 21 from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon; 22 a leader from the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of Jogli; 23 from the sons of Joseph: a leader from the tribe of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod, 24 and a leader from the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan; 25 a leader from the tribe of the children of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach; 26 a leader from the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son of Azzan; 27 a leader from the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi; 28 and a leader from the tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.
29 These are the ones the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance among the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.
Numbers 35:1- 8 speaks of the Levites receiving cities of their own scattered throghout the territories of the other Tribes.
The Levites were to be given 48 cities scattered throughout the Land of Israel. Six of these cities were to serve as Cities of Refuge in cases on of accidental murder. The other 42 cities could also serve as places of refuge but only in emergency situations and only temporarily until the case was resolved.
Numbers 35:9- speaks of the Cities of Refuge to which someone who had committed unintentional manslaughter would flee.
You may ask why if they did not intend to kill should they be forced to flee.
Experience shows that when unintentional offences are punished then less are committed. This is human nature.
Wilful murderers were to be put away:
33 So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. 34 Therefore do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.
The chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph approached Moses concerning the daughters of Zelophahad. They were afraid that if the girls should marry outside their Tribe then the Tribal lands they had inherited would pass out of the Tribal possession. Moses declared that they should marry within their tribe. The girls, Machla, Tirza, Chogla, Milka, and Noa complied and hitched up with their cousins.
10 Just as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad; 11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to the sons of their father's brothers. 12 They were married into the families of the children of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father's family.
13 These are the commandments and the judgments which the LORD commanded the children of Israel by the hand of Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho.
Haftara - - Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4
Some end with 4:1-2##
Both Israel (the Ten Tribes) and Judah sinned and were exiled from their Land. God wants them to repent so that HE may show them how to return to the Land.