פָּרָשַׁת שְׁלַח | Parashat Shlaḥ (Numbers 13:1-15:41), color-coded according to its narrative layers

According to the poetry of the Midrash Tanḥuma, Bereshit 1:1, the words of the Torah were inscribed “black fire on white fire.” For many years, I’ve wanted to look deeply into the black fire and visualize the full spectrum of the Torah’s sources, hidden within the black fire but revealed through a critical analysis of its layers of redaction. Below, I’ve set the text of the first Torah portion in the annual Torah reading cycle, using color-coding to distinguish the stratigraphic layers forming the composition of the Masoretic text according to the Supplementary Hypothesis presented by Tsemaḥ Yoreh in his Kernel to Canon series of books (2013-2017) and his website, the Sources of Biblical Narrative. As Dr. Yoreh explains,

The Supplementary Hypothesis asserts that the Pentateuch was composed by several different writers. This reflects an overwhelming academic consensus on Biblical authorship, even among scholars who do not subscribe to the Supplementary Hypothesis in particular.[….] According to the Supplementary Hypothesis, Biblical narrative is layered. No editor took a blowtorch to the parts of the Bible he disagreed with and destroyed them; if he had, we would not find these repetitions and contradictions. Instead, Biblical narrative began with a coherent, foundational bedrock, which over time accreted more and more storylines. Unlike geological processes, though, this process of addition was deliberate. What happened if one author disagreed with his predecessor’s storyline or worldview? He did not simply take an axe to the narrative; instead, he attempted to bury his predecessor’s point of view by repeating his own over and over again, thus skewing our understanding of the story in new ways. Every generation of readers sees the world differently, and thus every generation of writers seeks to adapt their predecessors’ cultural heritage to their own situation. We are not meant simply to dismiss earlier stories; rather, the intention of later writers is to transform our understanding of those stories via their additions.

Legend

⬛ The kernel of biblical text upon which all other narratives were laid is thought to have been composed in the mid- to late eighth century BCE toward the end of the heyday of the northern Kingdom of Ephraim (one of the two kingdoms that occupied Biblical Israel). This layer, commonly referred to as ‘E’, is indicated with INDIGO text. The first parashah containing text of this layer was parashat Vayera in Sefer Bereshit.

⬛ The next oldest layer is thought to have been composed in the late 8th or early 7th century BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah. This layer, commonly known as ‘J’, is indicated with a BLUE text.

⬛ This strata, thought to have been composed during the exilic to early post-exilic period (571–486 BCE) is, as Dr. Yoreh explains, “responsible for supplementing the ‘J’ narrative with dates, names, and numbers, thus ‘ordering’ and authenticating ‘J’s account.” This layer, commonly referred to as ‘P’ (for ‘Priestly’) appears here in GREEN text.

⬛ The next strata popularized Kohanite law for the remnant of Judah after the Temple was destroyed, and functioned as an intermediary between Kohanite lists and laws and the surrounding narrative. This layer, which Dr. Yoreh calls ‘H’ (for the ‘Holiness Code’) appears here in LIME-GREEN text.

⬛ The most recent layer of text, is a post-exilic (pre-3rd century BCE) text that Dr. Yoreh refers to as the “Bridger” which supplements earlier strata with genealogies and popular myths, providing narrative bridges between distant story cycles. This ‘B’ layer is presented here in FUCHSIA.

The kernel of biblical text ‘E’ and the ‘B’ layer are absent from this parashah.

Parashat Shlaḥ (Numbers 13:1-15:41) in the annual Torah reading cycle is the fourth parashah in Sefer Bamidbar. It is preceded by parashat b’Ha’alotekha (Numbers 8:1-12:16). Parashat Qoraḥ (Numbers 16:1-18:32) follows it.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

יג א וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ ב שְׁלַח־לְךָ֣ אֲנָשִׁ֗ים וְיָתֻ֙רוּ֙ אֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִ֥י נֹתֵ֖ן לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אִ֣ישׁ אֶחָד֩ אִ֨ישׁ אֶחָ֜ד לְמַטֵּ֤ה אֲבֹתָיו֙ תִּשְׁלָ֔חוּ כֹּ֖ל נָשִׂ֥יא בָהֶֽם׃ ג וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח אֹתָ֥ם מֹשֶׁ֛ה מִמִּדְבַּ֥ר פָּארָ֖ן עַל־פִּ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה כֻּלָּ֣ם אֲנָשִׁ֔ים רָאשֵׁ֥י בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל הֵֽמָּה׃ ד וְאֵ֖לֶּה שְׁמוֹתָ֑ם
13 1 YHVH spoke to Mosheh, saying: 2 “Send for yourself men, that they may scout out the land of Kna’an that I am giving to the Children of Yisra’el. One man, one man per tribe of their fathers, you are to send, each-one a leader among them.”[1]A typically formulated Priestly command, note the P terms, מטה (tribe), and נשיא (leader). 3 So Mosheh sent[2]According to J, Moses sent the spies to Canaan on his own initiative, whereas the less volitionally inclined (human volition that is) P source, adds a divine command. them from the Wilderness of Paran, by order of YHVH, all of them men(-of-standing)[3]See comments i and ii. Their point of departure is Paraan according to P, where the Israelites had just arrived from Hazeroth (Numbers 12:16). — heads of the Children of Yisra’el[4]Note the different term J uses for leaders, rather than נשיא (leader), he uses ראשי בני ישראל (leading men from among the Israelites). were they. 4 And these (were) their names:

לְמַטֵּ֣ה רְאוּבֵ֔ן שַׁמּ֖וּעַ בֶּן־זַכּֽוּר׃ ה לְמַטֵּ֣ה שִׁמְע֔וֹן שָׁפָ֖ט בֶּן־חוֹרִֽי׃ ו לְמַטֵּ֣ה יְהוּדָ֔ה כָּלֵ֖ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּֽה׃ ז לְמַטֵּ֣ה יִשָּׂשכָ֔ר יִגְאָ֖ל בֶּן־יוֹסֵֽף׃ ח לְמַטֵּ֥ה אֶפְרָ֖יִם הוֹשֵׁ֥עַ בִּן־נֽוּן׃ ט לְמַטֵּ֣ה בִנְיָמִ֔ן פַּלְטִ֖י בֶּן־רָפֽוּא׃ י לְמַטֵּ֣ה זְבוּלֻ֔ן גַּדִּיאֵ֖ל בֶּן־סוֹדִֽי׃ יא לְמַטֵּ֥ה יוֹסֵ֖ף לְמַטֵּ֣ה מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה גַּדִּ֖י בֶּן־סוּסִֽי׃ יב לְמַטֵּ֣ה דָ֔ן עַמִּיאֵ֖ל בֶּן־גְּמַלִּֽי׃ יג לְמַטֵּ֣ה אָשֵׁ֔ר סְת֖וּר בֶּן־מִיכָאֵֽל׃ יד לְמַטֵּ֣ה נַפְתָּלִ֔י נַחְבִּ֖י בֶּן־וׇפְסִֽי׃ טו לְמַטֵּ֣ה גָ֔ד גְּאוּאֵ֖ל בֶּן־מָכִֽי׃ טז אֵ֚לֶּה שְׁמ֣וֹת הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח מֹשֶׁ֖ה לָת֣וּר אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיִּקְרָ֥א מֹשֶׁ֛ה לְהוֹשֵׁ֥עַ בִּן־נ֖וּן יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ׃
for the tribe of Re’uven: Shammu’a son of Zakkur; 5 for the tribe of Shim’on: Shafat son of Ḥori; 6 for the tribe of Yehudah: Kalev son of Yefunneh; 7 for the tribe of Yissakhar: Yig’al son of Yosef; 8 for the tribe of Efrayim: Hoshe’a son of Nun; 9 for the tribe of Binyamin: Palti son of Rafu; 10 for the tribe of Zevulun: Gaddiel son of Sodi; 11 for the tribe of Yosef, for the tribe of Menasheh: Gaddi son of Susi; 12 for the tribe of Dan: Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13 for the tribe of Asher: Setur son of Mikhael; 14 for the tribe of Naftali: Naḥbi son of Vofsi; 15 for the tribe of Gad: Ge’uel son of Makhi. 16 These the names of the men whom Mosheh sent to scout out the land — now Mosheh called Hoshe’a son of Nun: Yehoshua.

יז וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח אֹתָם֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה לָת֖וּר אֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם עֲל֥וּ זֶה֙ בַּנֶּ֔גֶב וַעֲלִיתֶ֖ם אֶת־הָהָֽר׃ יח וּרְאִיתֶ֥ם אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ מַה־הִ֑וא וְאֶת־הָעָם֙ הַיֹּשֵׁ֣ב עָלֶ֔יהָ הֶחָזָ֥ק הוּא֙ הֲרָפֶ֔ה הַמְעַ֥ט ה֖וּא אִם־רָֽב׃ יט וּמָ֣ה הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־הוּא֙ יֹשֵׁ֣ב בָּ֔הּ הֲטוֹבָ֥ה הִ֖וא אִם־רָעָ֑ה וּמָ֣ה הֶֽעָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר־הוּא֙ יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בָּהֵ֔נָּה הַבְּמַֽחֲנִ֖ים אִ֥ם בְּמִבְצָרִֽים׃ כ וּמָ֣ה הָ֠אָ֠רֶץ הַשְּׁמֵנָ֨ה הִ֜וא אִם־רָזָ֗ה הֲיֵֽשׁ־בָּ֥הּ עֵץ֙ אִם־אַ֔יִן וְהִ֨תְחַזַּקְתֶּ֔ם וּלְקַחְתֶּ֖ם מִפְּרִ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ וְהַ֨יָּמִ֔ים יְמֵ֖י בִּכּוּרֵ֥י עֲנָבִֽים׃
17 Now when Mosheh sent them[5]This typically Priestly name-list, differs from its counterpart in Numbers 1:5-15, perhaps this source posits that we are dealing with younger subordinates. Note the resumptive repetition in vs. 17, following the insertion of the P list of names. Thus once again: “Moses sent them…” to scout out the land of Kna’an, he said to them: Go up this (way) through the Negev/Parched-land, and (then) you are to go up into the hill-country. 18 And see the land — what it is (like), and the population that is settled in it: are they strong or weak, are they few or many; 19 and what the land is (like), where they are settled: is it good or ill; and what the towns are (like), where they are settled therein: are (they) encampments or fortified-places; 20 and what the land is (like): is it fat or lean, are there in it trees, or not? Now exert yourselves, and take (some) of the fruit of the land — now these days (are) the days of the first ripe-grapes.[6]Typically military objectives preceding conquest. Note that the two regions being described here are in Judah – the Negeb, and the mountains (if we are dealing with geographically contiguous areas), the areas which would most concern a Judean author such as J.

שני כא וַֽיַּעֲל֖וּ וַיָּתֻ֣רוּ אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ מִמִּדְבַּר־צִ֥ן עַד־רְחֹ֖ב לְבֹ֥א חֲמָֽת׃ כב וַיַּעֲל֣וּ בַנֶּ֘גֶב֮ וַיָּבֹ֣א עַד־חֶבְרוֹן֒ וְשָׁ֤ם אֲחִימַן֙ שֵׁשַׁ֣י וְתַלְמַ֔י יְלִידֵ֖י הָעֲנָ֑ק וְחֶבְר֗וֹן שֶׁ֤בַע שָׁנִים֙ נִבְנְתָ֔ה לִפְנֵ֖י צֹ֥עַן מִצְרָֽיִם׃ כג וַיָּבֹ֜אוּ עַד־נַ֣חַל אֶשְׁכֹּ֗ל וַיִּכְרְת֨וּ מִשָּׁ֤ם זְמוֹרָה֙ וְאֶשְׁכּ֤וֹל עֲנָבִים֙ אֶחָ֔ד וַיִּשָּׂאֻ֥הוּ בַמּ֖וֹט בִּשְׁנָ֑יִם וּמִן־הָרִמֹּנִ֖ים וּמִן־הַתְּאֵנִֽים׃ כד לַמָּק֣וֹם הַה֔וּא קָרָ֖א נַ֣חַל אֶשְׁכּ֑וֹל עַ֚ל אֹד֣וֹת הָֽאֶשְׁכּ֔וֹל אֲשֶׁר־כָּרְת֥וּ מִשָּׁ֖ם בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
21 So they went up and scouted out the land, from the Wilderness of Tsyn as far as Reḥov, coming toward Ḥamat.[7]P adds that they spied out the entire land “From the wilderness of Tsyn to Reḥov, near Lebo-ḥamath”, the southern and northern extremes of Canaan according to P in Numbers 34:3, 8. 22 They went up through the Negev and came as far as Ḥevron: there are Aḥiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of the Anaqi. Now Ḥevron had been built seven years before Tso’an of Mitsrayim. 23 They came to the Wadi of Eshkol/Clusters and cut down from there a branch[8]J now mentions specific places within Judah, such as Hebron and Wadi Eshkol. and one cluster of grapes[9]An allusion to the fruit of the land, the Israelites show Moses and Aaron according to P’s vs. 26. — they had-to-carry it on a bar (held) by two — and some pomegranates and some figs. 24 That place they called the Wadi of Clusters, on account of the cluster that the Children of Yisra’el had cut down there.

כה וַיָּשֻׁ֖בוּ מִתּ֣וּר הָאָ֑רֶץ מִקֵּ֖ץ אַרְבָּעִ֥ים יֽוֹם׃ כו וַיֵּלְכ֡וּ וַיָּבֹ֩אוּ֩ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֨ה וְאֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֜ן וְאֶל־כׇּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶל־מִדְבַּ֥ר פָּארָ֖ן קָדֵ֑שָׁה וַיָּשִׁ֨יבוּ אֹתָ֤ם דָּבָר֙ וְאֶת־כׇּל־הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה וַיַּרְא֖וּם אֶת־פְּרִ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ׃ כז וַיְסַפְּרוּ־לוֹ֙ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ בָּ֕אנוּ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר שְׁלַחְתָּ֑נוּ וְ֠גַ֠ם זָבַ֨ת חָלָ֥ב וּדְבַ֛שׁ הִ֖וא וְזֶה־פִּרְיָֽהּ׃ כח אֶ֚פֶס כִּֽי־עַ֣ז הָעָ֔ם הַיֹּשֵׁ֖ב בָּאָ֑רֶץ וְהֶֽעָרִ֗ים בְּצֻר֤וֹת גְּדֹלֹת֙ מְאֹ֔ד וְגַם־יְלִדֵ֥י הָֽעֲנָ֖ק רָאִ֥ינוּ שָֽׁם׃ כט עֲמָלֵ֥ק יוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּאֶ֣רֶץ הַנֶּ֑גֶב וְ֠הַֽחִתִּ֠י וְהַיְבוּסִ֤י וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בָּהָ֔ר וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ יוֹשֵׁ֣ב עַל־הַיָּ֔ם וְעַ֖ל יַ֥ד הַיַּרְדֵּֽן׃
25 Now they returned from scouting out the land at the end of forty days. 26 They went and came before Mosheh, before Aharon, and before the entire community of the Children of Yisra’el in the Wilderness of Paran, at Qadesh; they returned word to them and to the entire community, and let them see the fruit of the land.[10]Note the insertion of Aaron as a leadership figure, which is common to P (other vocabulary markers include the term עדה – congregation, as well as מדבר פארן , the previous station according to Numbers 12:15 [P]). 27 Now they recounted to him, they said: “We came to the land that you sent us to, and yes, it is flowing with milk and honey, and this is its fruit — 28 except that fierce are the people that are settled in the land, the cities are fortified, exceedingly large, and also the descendants of Anaq did we see there! 29 Amaleq is settled in the Negev land, and the Ḥitti and the Yevusi and the Emori are settled in the hill-country, the Kna’ani is settled by the Sea, and hard by the Yarden!”

ל וַיַּ֧הַס כָּלֵ֛ב אֶת־הָעָ֖ם אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֗אמֶר עָלֹ֤ה נַעֲלֶה֙ וְיָרַ֣שְׁנוּ אֹתָ֔הּ כִּֽי־יָכ֥וֹל נוּכַ֖ל לָֽהּ׃ לא וְהָ֨אֲנָשִׁ֜ים אֲשֶׁר־עָל֤וּ עִמּוֹ֙ אָֽמְר֔וּ לֹ֥א נוּכַ֖ל לַעֲל֣וֹת אֶל־הָעָ֑ם כִּֽי־חָזָ֥ק ה֖וּא מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ לב וַיֹּצִ֜יאוּ דִּבַּ֤ת הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תָּר֣וּ אֹתָ֔הּ אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר הָאָ֡רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֩ עָבַ֨רְנוּ בָ֜הּ לָת֣וּר אֹתָ֗הּ אֶ֣רֶץ אֹכֶ֤לֶת יוֹשְׁבֶ֙יהָ֙ הִ֔וא וְכׇל־הָעָ֛ם אֲשֶׁר־רָאִ֥ינוּ בְתוֹכָ֖הּ אַנְשֵׁ֥י מִדּֽוֹת׃ לג וְשָׁ֣ם רָאִ֗ינוּ אֶת־הַנְּפִילִ֛ים בְּנֵ֥י עֲנָ֖ק מִן־הַנְּפִלִ֑ים וַנְּהִ֤י בְעֵינֵ֙ינוּ֙ כַּֽחֲגָבִ֔ים וְכֵ֥ן הָיִ֖ינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶֽם׃
30 Now Kalev hushed the people before Mosheh and said: “Let us go up, yes, up, and possess it, for we can prevail, yes, prevail against it!” 31 But the men who went up with him said: “We are not able to go up against the population, for it is stronger than we!”[11]According to J, the spies simply reported honestly, the dire conclusion that the mission is impossible and they must return to Egypt is reached by the nation as a whole (14:3-4), and thus they are punished as a whole in 14:21-25, except for Caleb (and Joshua) who begged them not to rebel against the Lord (14:6-9). According to P the report was maliciously skewed (vss. 32-33), and thus they are selected for special punishment in 14:35-36 [P]. 32 So they gave-out a (false) report of the land that they had scouted out to the Children of Yisra’el, saying: “The land that we crossed through to scout it out: it is a land that devours its inhabitants; all the people that we saw in its midst are men of (great) stature, 33 (for) there we saw the giants — the Children of Anaq (come) from the giants — we were in our (own) eyes like grasshoppers, and thus were we in their eyes!”[12]See above comment.

יד א וַתִּשָּׂא֙ כׇּל־הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה וַֽיִּתְּנ֖וּ אֶת־קוֹלָ֑ם וַיִּבְכּ֥וּ הָעָ֖ם בַּלַּ֥יְלָה הַהֽוּא׃ ב וַיִּלֹּ֙נוּ֙ עַל־מֹשֶׁ֣ה וְעַֽל־אַהֲרֹ֔ן כֹּ֖ל בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַֽיֹּאמְר֨וּ אֲלֵהֶ֜ם כׇּל־הָעֵדָ֗ה לוּ־מַ֙תְנוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם א֛וֹ בַּמִּדְבָּ֥ר הַזֶּ֖ה לוּ־מָֽתְנוּ׃ ג וְלָמָ֣ה יְ֠הֹ֠וָה מֵבִ֨יא אֹתָ֜נוּ אֶל־הָאָ֤רֶץ הַזֹּאת֙ לִנְפֹּ֣ל בַּחֶ֔רֶב נָשֵׁ֥ינוּ וְטַפֵּ֖נוּ יִהְי֣וּ לָבַ֑ז הֲל֧וֹא ט֦וֹב לָ֖נוּ שׁ֥וּב מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃ ד וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֑יו נִתְּנָ֥ה רֹ֖אשׁ וְנָשׁ֥וּבָה מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃
14 1 The entire community lifted up and let out their voice,[13]Note the doubling in the first two verses of this chapter, first the congregation (typical P nomenclature) cries, then the people cry; first the people complain, then the whole congregation complains. The doubling is indicative of J interlaced with P additions. The reason for the addition is P’s desire to emphasize that “all the congregation” rather than just “the people” were guilty of non-belief, and thus the sweeping punishment (the death of an entire generation) is entirely justified. and the people wept on that night. 2 And they grumbled against Mosheh and against Aharon, all[14]Considering P’s repeated emphasis on the entire congregation being culpable (vss. 1, 2, 5, 10), it is likely that the word “all” was added by P at this juncture as well.” the Children of Yisra’el and they said to them, the entire community: “Would that we had died in the land of Mitsrayim, or in this wilderness, would that we had died! 3 Now why is YHVH bringing us to this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little-ones will become plunder! Would it not be better for us to return to Mitsrayim?” 4 So they said, each-man to his brother: “Let us head back and return to Mitsrayim!”[15]The desire to return to Egypt is a recurring motif in J, and compare Exodus 14:11-12 (J), and Numbers 16:13-14.

ה וַיִּפֹּ֥ל מֹשֶׁ֛ה וְאַהֲרֹ֖ן עַל־פְּנֵיהֶ֑ם לִפְנֵ֕י כׇּל־קְהַ֥ל עֲדַ֖ת בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ ו וִיהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן וְכָלֵב֙ בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֔ה מִן־הַתָּרִ֖ים אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ קָרְע֖וּ בִּגְדֵיהֶֽם׃ ז וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ אֶל־כׇּל־עֲדַ֥ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר עָבַ֤רְנוּ בָהּ֙ לָת֣וּר אֹתָ֔הּ טוֹבָ֥ה הָאָ֖רֶץ מְאֹ֥ד מְאֹֽד׃ שלישי ח אִם־חָפֵ֥ץ בָּ֙נוּ֙ יְהֹוָ֔ה וְהֵבִ֤יא אֹתָ֙נוּ֙ אֶל־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את וּנְתָנָ֖הּ לָ֑נוּ אֶ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־הִ֛וא זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ׃ ט אַ֣ךְ בַּיהֹוָה֮ אַל־תִּמְרֹ֒דוּ֒ וְאַתֶּ֗ם אַל־תִּֽירְאוּ֙ אֶת־עַ֣ם הָאָ֔רֶץ כִּ֥י לַחְמֵ֖נוּ הֵ֑ם סָ֣ר צִלָּ֧ם מֵעֲלֵיהֶ֛ם וַֽיהֹוָ֥ה אִתָּ֖נוּ אַל־תִּירָאֻֽם׃ י וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ כׇּל־הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה לִרְגּ֥וֹם אֹתָ֖ם בָּאֲבָנִ֑ים
5 Mosheh and Aharon flung themselves on their faces before the entire assembled community of the Children of Yisra’el. 6 Now Yehoshua son of Nun and Kalev son of Yefunneh, (alone) from among those who scouted out the land, ripped their garments; 7 they said to the entire community of the Children of Yisra’el, saying: “The land that we crossed through, to scout it out — good is that land, exceedingly, exceedingly! 8 If YHVH is pleased with us, he will bring us to this land and give it to us, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 9 But: against YHVH, do not rebel, and you — do not be afraid of the people of the land, for food-for-us are they! Their protector has turned away from them, and YHVH is with us — do not be afraid of them!” 10 But the entire community of Yisra’el thought to pelt them with stones.

וּכְב֣וֹד יְהֹוָ֗ה נִרְאָה֙ בְּאֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד אֶֽל־כׇּל־בְּנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ יא וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה עַד־אָ֥נָה יְנַאֲצֻ֖נִי הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה וְעַד־אָ֙נָה֙ לֹא־יַאֲמִ֣ינוּ בִ֔י בְּכֹל֙ הָֽאֹת֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי בְּקִרְבּֽוֹ׃ יב אַכֶּ֥נּוּ בַדֶּ֖בֶר וְאוֹרִשֶׁ֑נּוּ וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂה֙ אֹֽתְךָ֔ לְגוֹי־גָּד֥וֹל וְעָצ֖וּם מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ יג וַיֹּ֥אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֖ה אֶל־יְהֹוָ֑ה וְשָׁמְע֣וּ מִצְרַ֔יִם כִּֽי־הֶעֱלִ֧יתָ בְכֹחֲךָ֛ אֶת־הָעָ֥ם הַזֶּ֖ה מִקִּרְבּֽוֹ׃ יד וְאָמְר֗וּ אֶל־יוֹשֵׁב֮ הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּאת֒ שָֽׁמְעוּ֙ כִּֽי־אַתָּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֔ה בְּקֶ֖רֶב הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה אֲשֶׁר־עַ֨יִן בְּעַ֜יִן נִרְאָ֣ה ׀ אַתָּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֗ה וַעֲנָֽנְךָ֙ עֹמֵ֣ד עֲלֵהֶ֔ם וּבְעַמֻּ֣ד עָנָ֗ן אַתָּ֨ה הֹלֵ֤ךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם֙ יוֹמָ֔ם וּבְעַמּ֥וּד אֵ֖שׁ לָֽיְלָה׃ טו וְהֵמַתָּ֛ה אֶת־הָעָ֥ם הַזֶּ֖ה כְּאִ֣ישׁ אֶחָ֑ד וְאָֽמְרוּ֙ הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־שָׁמְע֥וּ אֶֽת־שִׁמְעֲךָ֖ לֵאמֹֽר׃ טז מִבִּלְתִּ֞י יְכֹ֣לֶת יְהֹוָ֗ה לְהָבִיא֙ אֶת־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣ע לָהֶ֑ם וַיִּשְׁחָטֵ֖ם בַּמִּדְבָּֽר׃ יז וְעַתָּ֕ה יִגְדַּל־נָ֖א כֹּ֣חַ אֲדֹנָ֑י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתָּ לֵאמֹֽר׃ יח יְהֹוָ֗ה אֶ֤רֶךְ אַפַּ֙יִם֙ וְרַב־חֶ֔סֶד נֹשֵׂ֥א עָוֺ֖ן וָפָ֑שַׁע וְנַקֵּה֙ לֹ֣א יְנַקֶּ֔ה פֹּקֵ֞ד עֲוֺ֤ן אָבוֹת֙ עַל־בָּנִ֔ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֖ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִֽים׃ יט סְלַֽח־נָ֗א לַעֲוֺ֛ן הָעָ֥ם הַזֶּ֖ה כְּגֹ֣דֶל חַסְדֶּ֑ךָ וְכַאֲשֶׁ֤ר נָשָׂ֙אתָה֙ לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה מִמִּצְרַ֖יִם וְעַד־הֵֽנָּה׃
Now the Kavod/(Resplendent Spirit) of YHVH was seen at the Ohel Mo’ed by all the Children of Yisra’el,[16]According to J, only Caleb addresses the nation in 13:30, and is thus saved. P adds Joshua as the second dissenting voice in theses verses, since he will be the future Israelite leader and was included by P in the list of the spies. Note also the consistency with which Aaron is added to the account, as in vs. 1 both Aaron and Moses fall on their faces. The divine reaction to the rebellion – the Lord’s glory appearing above the tent and pronouncing judgment – appears in other P texts such as Exodus 16:10, and Numbers 16:19. 11 and YHVH said to Mosheh: “How long will this people scorn me? How long will they not trust in me, despite all the signs that I have done among them? 12 Let me strike it down with pestilence and dispossess it, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier (in number) than it!” 13 But Mosheh said to YHVH: “When they hear (about it), the Mitsrim, that you brought up this people with your power from its midst, 14 they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you are YHVH in the midst of this people, that eye to eye you were seen, O YHVH, your cloud standing over them, in a column of cloud going before them by day, and in a column of fire by night — 15 should you put this people to death as one man, then will say the nations that have heard of your fame, saying: 16 ‘(It was) from want of YHVH’s ability to bring this people into the land about which he swore to them, and so he slew them in the wilderness!’ 17 So now, pray let the power of my Lord (to forbear) be great, as you have spoken, saying: 18 ‘YHVH, long-suffering and of much loyalty, bearing iniquity and transgression, yet clearing, not clearing (the guilty), calling-to-account the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and to the fourth (generation)’ — 19 pray grant-pardon for the iniquity of this people, as your loyalty is great, just as you have been bearing (iniquity) for this people from Mitsrayim until now!”

כ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֔ה סָלַ֖חְתִּי כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ׃ כא וְאוּלָ֖ם חַי־אָ֑נִי וְיִמָּלֵ֥א כְבוֹד־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶת־כׇּל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ כב כִּ֣י כׇל־הָאֲנָשִׁ֗ים הָרֹאִ֤ים אֶת־כְּבֹדִי֙ וְאֶת־אֹ֣תֹתַ֔י אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֥יתִי בְמִצְרַ֖יִם וּבַמִּדְבָּ֑ר וַיְנַסּ֣וּ אֹתִ֗י זֶ֚ה עֶ֣שֶׂר פְּעָמִ֔ים וְלֹ֥א שָׁמְע֖וּ בְּקוֹלִֽי׃ כג אִם־יִרְאוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖עְתִּי לַאֲבֹתָ֑ם וְכׇל־מְנַאֲצַ֖י לֹ֥א יִרְאֽוּהָ׃ כד וְעַבְדִּ֣י כָלֵ֗ב עֵ֣קֶב הָֽיְתָ֞ה ר֤וּחַ אַחֶ֙רֶת֙ עִמּ֔וֹ וַיְמַלֵּ֖א אַחֲרָ֑י וַהֲבִֽיאֹתִ֗יו אֶל־הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣א שָׁ֔מָּה וְזַרְע֖וֹ יוֹרִשֶֽׁנָּה׃ כה וְהָעֲמָֽלֵקִ֥י וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בָּעֵ֑מֶק מָחָ֗ר פְּנ֨וּ וּסְע֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר דֶּ֥רֶךְ יַם־סֽוּף׃
20 YHVH said: “I grant-pardon, according to your words; 21 however, as I live, and as the Kavod of YHVH fills all the earth: 22 indeed, all the men who have seen my Kavod and my signs that I did in Mitsrayim and in the wilderness, and have tested me these ten times, by not hearkening to my voice: 23 if they should see the land about which I swore to their fathers . . . ! All that have scorned me will not see it! 24 But as for my servant, Kalev, because there was another spirit in him, and he followed-me-fully, so I will bring him into the land that he is about to enter, and his seed will possess it. 25 Now the Amaleqi and the Kna’ani are settled in the Lowlands; on the morrow, face about and march into the wilderness, by the Reed Sea Road.”[17]In J, the Lord pronounces judgment immediately after the complaint at the beginning of the chapter, whereas P adds that Caleb and Joshua attempted to sway the nation unsuccessfully so as to emphasize their guilt. This dialogue between Moses and the Lord follows the same pattern as Exodus 32:7-14, where the Lord threatens to annihilate the nation, and Moses convinces him to punish them in a lesser way. Note also that this passage highlights J’s concern for the Lord’s prestige, a leit motif throughout this source (and compare Exodus 9:30).

רביעי כו וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה וְאֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֖ן לֵאמֹֽר׃ כז עַד־מָתַ֗י לָעֵדָ֤ה הָֽרָעָה֙ הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֛ר הֵ֥מָּה מַלִּינִ֖ים עָלָ֑י אֶת־תְּלֻנּ֞וֹת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֵ֧מָּה מַלִּינִ֛ים עָלַ֖י שָׁמָֽעְתִּי׃ כח אֱמֹ֣ר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם חַי־אָ֙נִי֙ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֔ה אִם־לֹ֕א כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּרְתֶּ֖ם בְּאׇזְנָ֑י כֵּ֖ן אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֥ה לָכֶֽם׃ כט בַּמִּדְבָּ֣ר הַ֠זֶּ֠ה יִפְּל֨וּ פִגְרֵיכֶ֜ם וְכׇל־פְּקֻדֵיכֶם֙ לְכׇל־מִסְפַּרְכֶ֔ם מִבֶּ֛ן עֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וָמָ֑עְלָה אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֲלִֽינֹתֶ֖ם עָלָֽי׃ ל אִם־אַתֶּם֙ תָּבֹ֣אוּ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֤ר נָשָׂ֙אתִי֙ אֶת־יָדִ֔י לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן אֶתְכֶ֖ם בָּ֑הּ כִּ֚י אִם־כָּלֵ֣ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֔ה וִיהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ בִּן־נֽוּן׃ לא וְטַ֨פְּכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲמַרְתֶּ֖ם לָבַ֣ז יִהְיֶ֑ה וְהֵבֵיאתִ֣י אֹתָ֔ם וְיָֽדְעוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר מְאַסְתֶּ֖ם בָּֽהּ׃ לב וּפִגְרֵיכֶ֖ם אַתֶּ֑ם יִפְּל֖וּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃ לג וּ֠בְנֵיכֶ֠ם יִהְי֨וּ רֹעִ֤ים בַּמִּדְבָּר֙ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה וְנָשְׂא֖וּ אֶת־זְנוּתֵיכֶ֑ם עַד־תֹּ֥ם פִּגְרֵיכֶ֖ם בַּמִּדְבָּֽר׃ לד בְּמִסְפַּ֨ר הַיָּמִ֜ים אֲשֶׁר־תַּרְתֶּ֣ם אֶת־הָאָ֘רֶץ֮ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים יוֹם֒ י֣וֹם לַשָּׁנָ֞ה י֣וֹם לַשָּׁנָ֗ה תִּשְׂאוּ֙ אֶת־עֲוֺנֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם אַרְבָּעִ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וִֽידַעְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־תְּנוּאָתִֽי׃ לה אֲנִ֣י יְהֹוָה֮ דִּבַּ֒רְתִּי֒ אִם־לֹ֣א ׀ זֹ֣את אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֗ה לְכׇל־הָעֵדָ֤ה הָֽרָעָה֙ הַזֹּ֔את הַנּוֹעָדִ֖ים עָלָ֑י בַּמִּדְבָּ֥ר הַזֶּ֛ה יִתַּ֖מּוּ וְשָׁ֥ם יָמֻֽתוּ׃
26 Now YHVH spoke to Mosheh and Aharon, saying: 27 “Till when for this evil community, that they stir-up-grumbling against me? The grumblings of the Children of Yisra’el that they grumble against me, I have heard! 28 Say to them: ‘As I live — the utterance of YHVH — if not as you have spoken in my ears, thus I do to you . . . ! 29 In this wilderness shall your corpses fall, all those-of-you-counted (for battle), including all your number, from the age of twenty and upward, (you) that have grumbled against me! 30 If (any of) you should enter the land over which I lifted my hand (in an oath) to have you dwell in it, except for Kalev son of Yefunneh and Yehoshua son of Nun . . . ! 31 Your little-ones, whom you said would become plunder — I will let them enter, they shall come to know the land that you have spurned. 32 But your corpses, yours, shall fall in this wilderness, 33 and your children shall graze in the wilderness for forty years; thus shall they bear your whoring, until your corpses come-to-an-end in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of days that you scouted out the land, forty days, (for each) day a year, (for each) day a year, you are to bear your iniquities, forty years, thus you will come to know my hostility! 35 I am YHVH, I have spoken: If I do not do this to this whole evil community that has come-together against me . . . ! In this wilderness they will come-to-an-end, there they will die.”

לו וְהָ֣אֲנָשִׁ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח מֹשֶׁ֖ה לָת֣וּר אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיָּשֻׁ֗בוּ [וילונו] וַיַּלִּ֤ינוּ עָלָיו֙ אֶת־כׇּל־הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה לְהוֹצִ֥יא דִבָּ֖ה עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ לז וַיָּמֻ֙תוּ֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים מוֹצִאֵ֥י דִבַּת־הָאָ֖רֶץ רָעָ֑ה בַּמַּגֵּפָ֖ה לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָה׃ לח וִיהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן וְכָלֵ֖ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֑ה חָיוּ֙ מִן־הָאֲנָשִׁ֣ים הָהֵ֔ם הַהֹֽלְכִ֖ים לָת֥וּר אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
36 So the men whom Mosheh had sent to scout out the land returned and caused the entire community to grumble against him by bringing a (false) report about the land; 37 the men died, those bringing a report of the land, an ill one, in a plague, before the presence of YHVH. 38 But Yehoshua son of Nun and Kalev son of Yefunneh remained-alive from those men that had gone to scout out the land.[18]P adds his customary details to the unspecific punishment promised in J. The length of the desert sojourn will be 40 years (a year for every day spent spying) and the people who will die are all males above 20. Note that Joshua is once again added as one of the two survivors and see comment vii. In J, the spies are no more or less culpable than the rest of the nation and thus are not specially condemned. In P, however, the spies maliciously skewed their report, and thus die before any of the rest of the nation.

לט וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֶֽל־כׇּל־בְּנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּֽתְאַבְּל֥וּ הָעָ֖ם מְאֹֽד׃ מ וַיַּשְׁכִּ֣מוּ בַבֹּ֔קֶר וַיַּֽעֲל֥וּ אֶל־רֹאשׁ־הָהָ֖ר לֵאמֹ֑ר הִנֶּ֗נּוּ וְעָלִ֛ינוּ אֶל־הַמָּק֛וֹם אֲשֶׁר־אָמַ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה כִּ֥י חָטָֽאנוּ׃ מא וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֔ה לָ֥מָּה זֶּ֛ה אַתֶּ֥ם עֹבְרִ֖ים אֶת־פִּ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְהִ֖וא לֹ֥א תִצְלָֽח׃ מב אַֽל־תַּעֲל֔וּ כִּ֛י אֵ֥ין יְהֹוָ֖ה בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם וְלֹא֙ תִּנָּ֣גְפ֔וּ לִפְנֵ֖י אֹיְבֵיכֶֽם׃ מג כִּי֩ הָעֲמָלֵקִ֨י וְהַכְּנַעֲנִ֥י שָׁם֙ לִפְנֵיכֶ֔ם וּנְפַלְתֶּ֖ם בֶּחָ֑רֶב כִּֽי־עַל־כֵּ֤ן שַׁבְתֶּם֙ מֵאַחֲרֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה עִמָּכֶֽם׃ מד וַיַּעְפִּ֕לוּ לַעֲל֖וֹת אֶל־רֹ֣אשׁ הָהָ֑ר וַאֲר֤וֹן בְּרִית־יְהֹוָה֙ וּמֹשֶׁ֔ה לֹא־מָ֖שׁוּ מִקֶּ֥רֶב הַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה׃ מה וַיֵּ֤רֶד הָעֲמָלֵקִי֙ וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י הַיֹּשֵׁ֖ב בָּהָ֣ר הַה֑וּא וַיַּכּ֥וּם וַֽיַּכְּת֖וּם עַד־הַֽחׇרְמָֽה׃
39 Now when Mosheh spoke all these words to the Children of Yisra’el, the people mourned, exceedingly. 40 They started-early in the morning and went up to the top of the hill-country, saying: “Here we are, let us go up to (attack) the place that YHVH promised, for we have sinned!” 41 But Mosheh said: “Why now do you cross the order of YHVH? It will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, for YHVH is not in your midst — that you not be smitten by your foes! 43 For the Amaleqi and the Kna’ani are there to face you, you will fall by the sword, for since you have turned from (following) after YHVH, YHVH will not be-there with you!” 44 But they went up recklessly to the top of the hill-country,[19]The nation’s reaction is an echo of the people’s response to the Lord’s promise not to lead them personally into the land, following the sin of the Golden Calf. They rebel in shame – in Exodus 33:4 they remove their jewelry as a sign of mourning, and here they attempt to conquer the land even though Moses warns them that the Lord is not with them. The result in both cases is disaster – in Exodus 33 God becomes angry once more, and here they are simply decimated. while the Arōn of the Covenant of YHVH and Mosheh did not move from amid the camp.[20]The ark never appears in J texts (it first appears in P’s Exodus 25:10ff.), but was seen by later sources as conducive to victory in war, and see Numbers 10:35-36. 45 And the Amaleqi and the Kna’ani who were settled in that hill-country came down, they struck them and crushed them, near Ḥormah.

טו א וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ ב דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֣י תָבֹ֗אוּ אֶל־אֶ֙רֶץ֙ מוֹשְׁבֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֖י נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶֽם׃ ג וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֨ם אִשֶּׁ֤ה לַֽיהֹוָה֙ עֹלָ֣ה אוֹ־זֶ֔בַח לְפַלֵּא־נֶ֙דֶר֙ א֣וֹ בִנְדָבָ֔ה א֖וֹ בְּמֹעֲדֵיכֶ֑ם לַעֲשׂ֞וֹת רֵ֤יחַ נִיחֹ֙חַ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה מִן־הַבָּקָ֖ר א֥וֹ מִן־הַצֹּֽאן׃ ד וְהִקְרִ֛יב הַמַּקְרִ֥יב קׇרְבָּנ֖וֹ לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה מִנְחָה֙ סֹ֣לֶת עִשָּׂר֔וֹן בָּל֕וּל בִּרְבִעִ֥ית הַהִ֖ין שָֽׁמֶן׃ ה וְיַ֤יִן לַנֶּ֙סֶךְ֙ רְבִיעִ֣ית הַהִ֔ין תַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה עַל־הָעֹלָ֖ה א֣וֹ לַזָּ֑בַח לַכֶּ֖בֶשׂ הָאֶחָֽד׃ ו א֤וֹ לָאַ֙יִל֙ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה מִנְחָ֔ה סֹ֖לֶת שְׁנֵ֣י עֶשְׂרֹנִ֑ים בְּלוּלָ֥ה בַשֶּׁ֖מֶן שְׁלִשִׁ֥ית הַהִֽין׃ ז וְיַ֥יִן לַנֶּ֖סֶךְ שְׁלִשִׁ֣ית הַהִ֑ין תַּקְרִ֥יב רֵֽיחַ־נִיחֹ֖חַ לַיהֹוָֽה׃ חמישי ח וְכִֽי־תַעֲשֶׂ֥ה בֶן־בָּקָ֖ר עֹלָ֣ה אוֹ־זָ֑בַח לְפַלֵּא־נֶ֥דֶר אֽוֹ־שְׁלָמִ֖ים לַֽיהֹוָֽה׃ ט וְהִקְרִ֤יב עַל־בֶּן־הַבָּקָר֙ מִנְחָ֔ה סֹ֖לֶת שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה עֶשְׂרֹנִ֑ים בָּל֥וּל בַּשֶּׁ֖מֶן חֲצִ֥י הַהִֽין׃ י וְיַ֛יִן תַּקְרִ֥יב לַנֶּ֖סֶךְ חֲצִ֣י הַהִ֑ין אִשֵּׁ֥ה רֵֽיחַ־נִיחֹ֖חַ לַיהֹוָֽה׃ יא כָּ֣כָה יֵעָשֶׂ֗ה לַשּׁוֹר֙ הָֽאֶחָ֔ד א֖וֹ לָאַ֣יִל הָאֶחָ֑ד אֽוֹ־לַשֶּׂ֥ה בַכְּבָשִׂ֖ים א֥וֹ בָעִזִּֽים׃ יב כַּמִּסְפָּ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּעֲשׂ֑וּ כָּ֛כָה תַּעֲשׂ֥וּ לָאֶחָ֖ד כְּמִסְפָּרָֽם׃ יג כׇּל־הָאֶזְרָ֥ח יַעֲשֶׂה־כָּ֖כָה אֶת־אֵ֑לֶּה לְהַקְרִ֛יב אִשֵּׁ֥ה רֵֽיחַ־נִיחֹ֖חַ לַֽיהֹוָֽה׃ יד וְכִֽי־יָגוּר֩ אִתְּכֶ֨ם גֵּ֜ר א֤וֹ אֲשֶׁר־בְּתֽוֹכְכֶם֙ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם וְעָשָׂ֛ה אִשֵּׁ֥ה רֵֽיחַ־נִיחֹ֖חַ לַיהֹוָ֑ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּעֲשׂ֖וּ כֵּ֥ן יַעֲשֶֽׂה׃ טו הַקָּהָ֕ל חֻקָּ֥ה אַחַ֛ת לָכֶ֖ם וְלַגֵּ֣ר הַגָּ֑ר חֻקַּ֤ת עוֹלָם֙ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם כָּכֶ֛ם כַּגֵּ֥ר יִהְיֶ֖ה לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה׃ טז תּוֹרָ֥ה אַחַ֛ת וּמִשְׁפָּ֥ט אֶחָ֖ד יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֑ם וְלַגֵּ֖ר הַגָּ֥ר אִתְּכֶֽם׃
15 1 YHVH spoke to Mosheh, saying: 2 “Speak to the Children of Yisra’el and say to them: ‘When you enter the land of your settlements that I am giving you, 3 and sacrifice a fire-offering to YHVH: an offering-up or a slaughter-offering, to make a vow-offering, or in free-will, or at your appointed-times, to sacrifice a soothing savor for YHVH, from the herd or from the flock, 4 the one bringing-near his near-offering is to bring-near to YHVH as grain-gift: flour, a tenth-measure, mixed with a fourth of a hin of oil, 5 and wine for a poured-offering: a fourth of a hin; you are to sacrifice it with the offering-up or the slaughter-offering, for (each) one sheep, 6 or for the ram, you are to make as a grain-gift: flour, two tenth-measures, mixed with oil, a third of a hin, 7 and wine for a poured-offering, a third of a hin; you are to bring-near a soothing savor for YHVH. 8 And when you sacrifice the young of the herd as an offering-up or as a slaughter-offering, to make a vow-offering or a shalom-offering to YHVH: 9 it is to be brought-near with the young of the herd as a grain-gift: flour, three tenth-measures, mixed with oil, half a hin, 10 and wine you are to bring-near as a poured-offering, half a hin, a fire-offering of soothing savor for YHVH. 11 Thus is to be sacrificed with (each) one ox or with (each) one ram or with (any) lamb among the sheep or among the goats, 12 according to the number that you sacrifice; thus are you to sacrifice for (each) one, according to their number. 13 Every native is to sacrifice these thus, to bring-near a fire-offering of soothing savor for YHVH. 14 Now when there sojourns with you a sojourner, or (one) that has been in your midst, throughout your generations, and he sacrifices a fire-offering of soothing savor for YHVH; as you sacrifice (it), thus is he to sacrifice (it). 15 Assembly! One law for you and for the sojourner that takes-up-sojourn, a law for the ages, throughout your generations: as (it is for) you, so will it be (for) the sojourner before the presence of YHVH. 16 One instruction, one regulation shall there be for you and for the sojourner that takes-up-sojourn with you!'”

ששי יז וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ יח דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם בְּבֹֽאֲכֶם֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֛י מֵבִ֥יא אֶתְכֶ֖ם שָֽׁמָּה׃ יט וְהָיָ֕ה בַּאֲכׇלְכֶ֖ם מִלֶּ֣חֶם הָאָ֑רֶץ תָּרִ֥ימוּ תְרוּמָ֖ה לַיהֹוָֽה׃ כ רֵאשִׁית֙ עֲרִסֹ֣תֵכֶ֔ם חַלָּ֖ה תָּרִ֣ימוּ תְרוּמָ֑ה כִּתְרוּמַ֣ת גֹּ֔רֶן כֵּ֖ן תָּרִ֥ימוּ אֹתָֽהּ׃ כא מֵרֵאשִׁית֙ עֲרִסֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם תִּתְּנ֥וּ לַיהֹוָ֖ה תְּרוּמָ֑ה לְדֹרֹ֖תֵיכֶֽם׃
17 YHVH spoke to Mosheh, saying: 18 “Speak to the Children of Yisra’el and say to them: ‘When you enter the land that I am bringing you to, 19 it shall be that when you eat of the bread of the land, you are to set-aside a contribution to YHVH: 20 premier-product of your kneading-troughs, round-loaves you are to set-aside as a contribution; like the contribution of the threshing-floor, so you are to set-it-aside. 21 From the premier-product of your kneading-troughs you are to give to YHVH a contribution, throughout your generations.'”

כב וְכִ֣י תִשְׁגּ֔וּ וְלֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֔וּ אֵ֥ת כׇּל־הַמִּצְוֺ֖ת הָאֵ֑לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶֽׁה׃ כג אֵת֩ כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֧ה יְהֹוָ֛ה אֲלֵיכֶ֖ם בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁ֑ה מִן־הַיּ֞וֹם אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֧ה יְהֹוָ֛ה וָהָ֖לְאָה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶֽם׃ כד וְהָיָ֗ה אִ֣ם מֵעֵינֵ֣י הָעֵדָה֮ נֶעֶשְׂתָ֣ה לִשְׁגָגָה֒ וְעָשׂ֣וּ כׇל־הָעֵדָ֡ה פַּ֣ר בֶּן־בָּקָר֩ אֶחָ֨ד לְעֹלָ֜ה לְרֵ֤יחַ נִיחֹ֙חַ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה וּמִנְחָת֥וֹ וְנִסְכּ֖וֹ כַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט וּשְׂעִיר־עִזִּ֥ים אֶחָ֖ד לְחַטָּֽת׃ כה וְכִפֶּ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן עַֽל־כׇּל־עֲדַ֛ת בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וְנִסְלַ֣ח לָהֶ֑ם כִּֽי־שְׁגָגָ֣ה הִ֔וא וְהֵם֩ הֵבִ֨יאוּ אֶת־קׇרְבָּנָ֜ם אִשֶּׁ֣ה לַֽיהֹוָ֗ה וְחַטָּאתָ֛ם לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה עַל־שִׁגְגָתָֽם׃ כו וְנִסְלַ֗ח לְכׇל־עֲדַת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְלַגֵּ֖ר הַגָּ֣ר בְּתוֹכָ֑ם כִּ֥י לְכׇל־הָעָ֖ם בִּשְׁגָגָֽה׃
22 “Now if you should err, not doing any of these commandments about which YHVH spoke to Mosheh, 23 anything that YHVH has commanded you, through the hand of Mosheh, from the day that YHVH commanded and forward, throughout your generations, 24 it shall be: if (away) from the eyes of the community it was done, by error, the entire community is to sacrifice one bull, a young of the herd, as an offering-up, as a soothing savor for YHVH; with its grain-gift and its poured-offering, according to regulation, and one hairy goat, as a ḥattat-offering. 25 The priest is to effect-atonement for the entire community of the Children of Yisra’el, that there may be granting-of-pardon for them, for it was an error, but they have brought their near-offering, a fire-offering of soothing savor for YHVH, and their ḥattat-offering before the presence of YHVH, on account of their error. 26 So there shall be granting-of-pardon for the entire community of the Children of Yisra’el, and for the sojourner that sojourns in their midst, for (it was done) by the entire people in error.”

שביעי כז וְאִם־נֶ֥פֶשׁ אַחַ֖ת תֶּחֱטָ֣א בִשְׁגָגָ֑ה וְהִקְרִ֛יבָה עֵ֥ז בַּת־שְׁנָתָ֖הּ לְחַטָּֽאת׃ כח וְכִפֶּ֣ר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן עַל־הַנֶּ֧פֶשׁ הַשֹּׁגֶ֛גֶת בְּחֶטְאָ֥ה בִשְׁגָגָ֖ה לִפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה לְכַפֵּ֥ר עָלָ֖יו וְנִסְלַ֥ח לֽוֹ׃ כט הָֽאֶזְרָח֙ בִּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְלַגֵּ֖ר הַגָּ֣ר בְּתוֹכָ֑ם תּוֹרָ֤ה אַחַת֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם לָעֹשֶׂ֖ה בִּשְׁגָגָֽה׃ ל וְהַנֶּ֜פֶשׁ אֲשֶֽׁר־תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה ׀ בְּיָ֣ד רָמָ֗ה מִן־הָֽאֶזְרָח֙ וּמִן־הַגֵּ֔ר אֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה ה֣וּא מְגַדֵּ֑ף וְנִכְרְתָ֛ה הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא מִקֶּ֥רֶב עַמָּֽהּ׃ לא כִּ֤י דְבַר־יְהֹוָה֙ בָּזָ֔ה וְאֶת־מִצְוָת֖וֹ הֵפַ֑ר הִכָּרֵ֧ת ׀ תִּכָּרֵ֛ת הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא עֲוֺנָ֥ה בָֽהּ׃
27 “Now if one person sins, in error, he is to bring-near a she-goat, in its (first) year, as a ḥattat-offering. 28 The priest is to effect-atonement for the person that errs, in sinning, in erring, before the presence of YHVH, to effect-atonement for him, that he may be granted-pardon. 29 The native among the Children of Yisra’el, and for the sojourner that sojourns in your midst: one instruction shall there be for you, for him that does (anything) in error. 30 But the person that does (anything) with a high hand among the native-born or among the sojourners, it is YHVH that he blasphemes; cut off shall that person be from among his kinspeople, 31 for the word of YHVH he has despised, and his commandment he has violated; cut off, cut off shall that person be — his iniquity is on him!”

לב וַיִּהְי֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר וַֽיִּמְצְא֗וּ אִ֛ישׁ מְקֹשֵׁ֥שׁ עֵצִ֖ים בְּי֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּֽת׃ לג וַיַּקְרִ֣יבוּ אֹת֔וֹ הַמֹּצְאִ֥ים אֹת֖וֹ מְקֹשֵׁ֣שׁ עֵצִ֑ים אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֙ וְאֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֔ן וְאֶ֖ל כׇּל־הָעֵדָֽה׃ לד וַיַּנִּ֥יחוּ אֹת֖וֹ בַּמִּשְׁמָ֑ר כִּ֚י לֹ֣א פֹרַ֔שׁ מַה־יֵּעָשֶׂ֖ה לֽוֹ׃
32 Now when the Children of Yisra’el were in the wilderness, they found a man picking wood on the Shabbat day. 33 They brought him near, those who found him picking wood, to Mosheh and to Aharon, and to the entire community; 34 they put him under guard, for it had not been clarified what should be done to him.

לה וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה מ֥וֹת יוּמַ֖ת הָאִ֑ישׁ רָג֨וֹם אֹת֤וֹ בָֽאֲבָנִים֙ כׇּל־הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה מִח֖וּץ לַֽמַּחֲנֶֽה׃ לו וַיֹּצִ֨יאוּ אֹת֜וֹ כׇּל־הָעֵדָ֗ה אֶל־מִחוּץ֙ לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וַיִּרְגְּמ֥וּ אֹת֛וֹ בָּאֲבָנִ֖ים וַיָּמֹ֑ת כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶֽׁה׃
35 YHVH said to Mosheh: “The man is to be put-to-death, yes, death, pelt him with stones, the entire community, outside the camp!” 36 So they brought him, the entire community, outside the camp; they pelted him with stones, so that he died, as YHVH had commanded Mosheh.

מפטיר לז וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ לח דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם וְעָשׂ֨וּ לָהֶ֥ם צִיצִ֛ת עַל־כַּנְפֵ֥י בִגְדֵיהֶ֖ם לְדֹרֹתָ֑ם וְנָ֥תְנ֛וּ עַל־צִיצִ֥ת הַכָּנָ֖ף פְּתִ֥יל תְּכֵֽלֶת׃ לט וְהָיָ֣ה לָכֶם֮ לְצִיצִת֒ וּרְאִיתֶ֣ם אֹת֗וֹ וּזְכַרְתֶּם֙ אֶת־כׇּל־מִצְוֺ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹֽא־תָת֜וּרוּ אַחֲרֵ֤י לְבַבְכֶם֙ וְאַחֲרֵ֣י עֵֽינֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּ֥ם זֹנִ֖ים אַחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃ מ לְמַ֣עַן תִּזְכְּר֔וּ וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֶת־כׇּל־מִצְוֺתָ֑י וִהְיִיתֶ֥ם קְדֹשִׁ֖ים לֵאלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם׃ מא אֲנִ֞י יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹצֵ֤אתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לִהְי֥וֹת לָכֶ֖ם לֵאלֹהִ֑ים אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃
37 YHVH said to Mosheh, saying: 38 “Speak to the Children of Yisra’el and say to them that they are to make themselves tassels on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and are to put on the corner tassel a thread of blue-violet. 39 It shall be for you a tassel, that you may look at it and keep-in-mind all the commandments of YHVH and observe them, that you not go scouting-around after your heart, after your eyes which you go whoring after; 40 in order that you may keep-in-mind and observe all my commandments, and (so) be holy to your elo’ah! 41 I am YHVH your elo’ah, who took you out of the land of Mitsrayim, to be to you for Elohim; I am YHVH your elo’ah!

The Masoretic text presented here is from Rabbi Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish’s Miqra al pi ha-Mesorah. For the translation in English, I have adapted the translation of Everett Fox in the Schocken Bible (1997), mostly to re-Hebraize divine names, place names, and personal names. I made a subtle change in Numbers 14:2 which more clearly follows the outline of the stratigraphic layers of text. Aside from these, I have made minor punctuation changes.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. A typically formulated Priestly command, note the P terms, מטה (tribe), and נשיא (leader).
  2. According to J, Moses sent the spies to Canaan on his own initiative, whereas the less volitionally inclined (human volition that is) P source, adds a divine command.
  3. See comments i and ii. Their point of departure is Paraan according to P, where the Israelites had just arrived from Hazeroth (Numbers 12:16).
  4. Note the different term J uses for leaders, rather than נשיא (leader), he uses ראשי בני ישראל (leading men from among the Israelites).
  5. This typically Priestly name-list, differs from its counterpart in Numbers 1:5-15, perhaps this source posits that we are dealing with younger subordinates. Note the resumptive repetition in vs. 17, following the insertion of the P list of names. Thus once again: “Moses sent them…”
  6. Typically military objectives preceding conquest. Note that the two regions being described here are in Judah – the Negeb, and the mountains (if we are dealing with geographically contiguous areas), the areas which would most concern a Judean author such as J.
  7. P adds that they spied out the entire land “From the wilderness of Tsyn to Reḥov, near Lebo-ḥamath”, the southern and northern extremes of Canaan according to P in Numbers 34:3, 8.
  8. J now mentions specific places within Judah, such as Hebron and Wadi Eshkol.
  9. An allusion to the fruit of the land, the Israelites show Moses and Aaron according to P’s vs. 26.
  10. Note the insertion of Aaron as a leadership figure, which is common to P (other vocabulary markers include the term עדה – congregation, as well as מדבר פארן , the previous station according to Numbers 12:15 [P]).
  11. According to J, the spies simply reported honestly, the dire conclusion that the mission is impossible and they must return to Egypt is reached by the nation as a whole (14:3-4), and thus they are punished as a whole in 14:21-25, except for Caleb (and Joshua) who begged them not to rebel against the Lord (14:6-9). According to P the report was maliciously skewed (vss. 32-33), and thus they are selected for special punishment in 14:35-36 [P].
  12. See above comment.
  13. Note the doubling in the first two verses of this chapter, first the congregation (typical P nomenclature) cries, then the people cry; first the people complain, then the whole congregation complains. The doubling is indicative of J interlaced with P additions. The reason for the addition is P’s desire to emphasize that “all the congregation” rather than just “the people” were guilty of non-belief, and thus the sweeping punishment (the death of an entire generation) is entirely justified.
  14. Considering P’s repeated emphasis on the entire congregation being culpable (vss. 1, 2, 5, 10), it is likely that the word “all” was added by P at this juncture as well.”
  15. The desire to return to Egypt is a recurring motif in J, and compare Exodus 14:11-12 (J), and Numbers 16:13-14.
  16. According to J, only Caleb addresses the nation in 13:30, and is thus saved. P adds Joshua as the second dissenting voice in theses verses, since he will be the future Israelite leader and was included by P in the list of the spies. Note also the consistency with which Aaron is added to the account, as in vs. 1 both Aaron and Moses fall on their faces. The divine reaction to the rebellion – the Lord’s glory appearing above the tent and pronouncing judgment – appears in other P texts such as Exodus 16:10, and Numbers 16:19.
  17. In J, the Lord pronounces judgment immediately after the complaint at the beginning of the chapter, whereas P adds that Caleb and Joshua attempted to sway the nation unsuccessfully so as to emphasize their guilt. This dialogue between Moses and the Lord follows the same pattern as Exodus 32:7-14, where the Lord threatens to annihilate the nation, and Moses convinces him to punish them in a lesser way. Note also that this passage highlights J’s concern for the Lord’s prestige, a leit motif throughout this source (and compare Exodus 9:30).
  18. P adds his customary details to the unspecific punishment promised in J. The length of the desert sojourn will be 40 years (a year for every day spent spying) and the people who will die are all males above 20. Note that Joshua is once again added as one of the two survivors and see comment vii. In J, the spies are no more or less culpable than the rest of the nation and thus are not specially condemned. In P, however, the spies maliciously skewed their report, and thus die before any of the rest of the nation.
  19. The nation’s reaction is an echo of the people’s response to the Lord’s promise not to lead them personally into the land, following the sin of the Golden Calf. They rebel in shame – in Exodus 33:4 they remove their jewelry as a sign of mourning, and here they attempt to conquer the land even though Moses warns them that the Lord is not with them. The result in both cases is disaster – in Exodus 33 God becomes angry once more, and here they are simply decimated.
  20. The ark never appears in J texts (it first appears in P’s Exodus 25:10ff.), but was seen by later sources as conducive to victory in war, and see Numbers 10:35-36.

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