Book 4: Numbers


Chapter 22

Verse 2: And Balak the son of Tzipor saw all that Yisroel had done to the Emorite.

Verse 3: And Moav became terrified of the people [of Israel] because of their great numbers, and so, Moav detested the Bnei Yisroel.

Verse 4: Moav said to the elders of Midian, "Now this assembly will lick up everything around us, just as the ox laps up the herbs of the field." Balak the son of Tzipor was King of Moav at that time.

Verse 5: He sent emissaries to Bil'am the son of Beor, to Pesor--- which is by the river, the land of his people--- to call him, saying: "Behold, a nation came out of Egypt, behold they have covered the face of the earth, and is located across from me.

Verse 6: And now, please come and curse this nation for me, for it is too mighty for me, perhaps it will enable us to strike at him, and banish them from the land; for I know, that whomever you bless is blessed, and whomever you curse is cursed."

Verse 7: And the elders of Moav and Midian went with magic charms in their hands; they came to Bil'am and conveyed Balak's message to him.

Verse 8: He replied to them: "Spend this night here and then I will give you an answer according to what Ad-noy tells me," and the dignitaries of Moav remained with Bil'am.

Verse 9: G-d appeared to Bil'am and said, "Who are these men with you"?

Verse 10: Bil'am replied to G-d: "Balak son of Tzipor, King of Moav, has sent them to me [saying]:

Verse 11: 'Behold, the people that came out of Egypt has covered the face of the earth; come now, and curse him for me so that I will be able to wage war against him, and banish him'."

Verse 12: G-d said to Bil'am: "Do not go with them! You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."

Verse 13: Bil'am arose in the morning and said to Balak's dignitaries: "Go back to your land, for Ad-noy refuses to allow me to go with you."

Verse 14: Moav's dignitaries got up, and came to Balak and said: "Bil'am refuses to go with us."

Verse 15: Balak persisted and sent dignitaries in greater number and of higher rank than these.

Verse 16: They came to Bil'am and said to him: "The following is a message from Balak the son Tzipor: 'Please do not refuse to come to me.

Verse 17: For I will honor you greatly and whatever you tell me, I will do, if you would just please come and curse this people for me.'  "

Verse 18: Bil'am answered and said to Balak's servants: "Even if Balak would give me silver and gold enough to fill his house, I cannot transgress the word of Ad-noy my G-d, by doing anything small or great.

Verse 19: Now, you also, please remain here overnight, and I will get to know what more will Ad-noy tell me."

Verse 20: G-d appeared to Bil'am that night and said to him: "If the men have come to call you, arise and go with them; however, whatever I will say to you, you will do."

Sh'lishi (Third Aliyah)

Verse 21: Bil'am arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the Moavite dignitaries.

Verse 22: G-d showed anger because he went, and an angel of Ad-noy placed himself in the way to thwart him, as he was riding on his donkey accompanied by his two attendants.

Verse 23: The donkey saw the angel of Ad-noy standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand; the donkey turned aside from the way and went into the field; Bil'am struck the donkey to get it back on the way.

Verse 24: But the angel of Ad-noy stood in a narrow path of the vineyards with a barrier at either side.

Verse 25: When the donkey saw the angel of Ad-noy, she was pressed against the wall and pressed Bil'am's foot against the wall; and he struck her even more.

Verse 26: Ad-noy's angel passed further ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no room to turn [either] to the right or to the left.

Verse 27: When the donkey saw the angel of Ad-noy, it crouched beneath Bil'am; Bil'am became angry and beat the donkey with the stick.

Verse 28: Ad-noy opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Bil'am: "What have I done to you, that you have hit me these three times"?

Verse 29: Bil'am said to the donkey: "Because you have ridiculed me; would that I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you now."

Verse 30: The donkey replied to Bil'am: "Am I not the very same donkey that you have been riding on all your life until this very day? Was it ever my habit to do this to you"? And he said: "No."

Verse 31: Ad-noy then enabled Bil'am to see, and he observed the angel of Ad-noy standing in the way with his sword drawn in his hand. He bowed his head and prostrated himself on his face.

Verse 32: The angel of Ad-noy said to him: "Why did you hit your donkey these three times? Behold, I came out to obstruct you, because your way is contrary to me.

Verse 33: And when the donkey saw me, it turned aside these three times; had she not turned aside before me as [she did] now I would surely have killed you and she, I would let live."

Verse 34: Bil'am said to the angel of Ad-noy: "I have sinned because I did not know that you were standing in the way before me; now therefore, if it is wicked in your eyes, I shall return."

Verse 35: The angel of Ad-noy said to Bil'am: "Go with the men, but only the word that I will speak to you shall you speak." Bil'am then continued to go with Balak's dignitaries.

Verse 36: When Balak heard that Bil'am was coming, he went out to meet him, to the city of Moav, which is on the boundary of Arnon--- at the very edge of the boundary.

Verse 37: Balak said to Bil'am: "Did I not send so many [dignitaries] to invite you? Why did you not come to me? Am I really incapable of honoring you"?

Verse 38: Bil'am replied to Balak: "Now that I have come to you, have I any power to say anything? Only the word that Ad-noy puts in my mouth will I speak."

Verse 39: Bil'am went with Balak and they came to Kiryas Chutzos.

Verse 40: Balak slaughtered cattle and sheep and he sent some to Bil'am and to the dignitaries that were with him.

Verse 41: In the morning, Balak took Bil'am and he led him up to Bamos Ba'al; from there he saw part of the people.

Chapter 23

Verse 1: Bil'am said to Balak: "Build seven altars for me here, and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams."

Verse 2: Balak did as Bil'am requested. Balak and Bil'am then sacrificed as burnt-offerings an ox and a ram on each altar.

Verse 3: Bil'am said to Balak: "Stand beside your burnt-offering and I will go away. Perhaps, Ad-noy will appear to me, and whatever He will show me I will tell you." And he went away alone.

Verse 4: G-d chanced to appear to Bil'am, and he said to Him: "I have set up the seven altars and I offered [as burnt-offerings] an ox and a ram on the altar."

Verse 5: Ad-noy put a message in Bil'am's mouth and He said: "Return to Balak and tell him as follows."

Verse 6: When he returned, Balak was still standing next to his burnt-offering together with all the dignitaries of Moav.

Verse 7: Bil'am set forth his parable, and said: "From Aram has Balak, King of Moav, brought me, out of the mountains of the east [saying]: 'Come, curse Yaakov for me; go, invoke wrath against Yisroel.

Verse 8: How can I curse, when G-d has not cursed? What Divine wrath can I evoke if Ad-noy has not been angry?

Verse 9: For I view it, from the mountain peaks, I gaze upon it from the hills; behold! A people which shall dwell alone and will not be reckoned among the nations.

Verse 10: Who can count the dust of Yaakov or count the seed of Yisroel? May my soul die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his."

Verse 11: Balak said to Bil'am: "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies but you have in fact blessed them!"

Verse 12: Bil'am replied and said: "Only what Ad-noy tells me must I be careful to say."

Chamishi (Fifth Aliyah)

Verse 13: Balak then said to him, "Come with me to another place from where you will see them. But you will see only a part of them, without seeing them all, and curse them for me from there."

Verse 14: He took him [Bil'am] to the field of Tzofim, to the peak of the mountain; he built seven altars and sacrificed as a burnt-offering a bull and a ram on each altar.

Verse 15: He then said to Balak: "Stand here next to your burnt-offering, and I will be called here by chance."

Verse 16: Ad-noy chanced to appear to Bil'am and placed the word in his mouth; He said: "Return to Balak and say as follows."

Verse 17: When he returned, he (Balak) was still standing next to his burnt-offering accompanied by the Moavite dignitaries; Balak asked: "What did Ad-noy say"?

Verse 18: Bil'am set forth his parable, and said: "Arise, Balak, and hear, listen closely to me, son of Tzipor.

Verse 19: G-d is not like man that He should act falsely, nor is He mortal that He should change His mind. Would He say and not do it? Or speak and not fulfill it?

Verse 20: Behold, I was commanded to bless, and [when] He has blessed, I cannot reverse it.

Verse 21: One does not see evildoers in Yaakov; and He has seen no transgression in Yisroel; Ad-noy, his G-d, is with him, and he has the King's friendship.

Verse 22: G-d Who has brought them out of Egypt, has shown His great strength to them.

Verse 23: For, there is no sorcery in Yaakov, nor occult powers against Yisroel; in due time it will be said to Yaakov and Yisroel, 'What has G-d done'?

Verse 24: Behold, a people that rises like a young lion, and lifts itself up like a lion; he does not lie down until it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its kill."

Verse 25: Balak said to Bil'am: "Also do not curse them, also do not bless them."

Verse 26: Bil'am answered Balak and said: "Did I not tell you that all that Ad-noy tells me will I do."

Verse 27: Balak then said to Bil'am: "Come, I will take you somewhere else, perhaps G-d will consider it proper and you will curse them for me, from there."

Verse 28: Balak took Bil'am to the peak of Pe'or which overlooks the Yeshimon.

Verse 29: Bil'am said to Balak: "Build seven altars for me here and prepare for me seven bulls and seven rams."

Verse 30: Balak did as Bil'am said, and he sacrificed as a burnt-offering a bull and a ram on each altar.

Chapter 24

Verse 1: When Bil'am saw that it was favorable to Ad-noy to bless Yisroel, he did not approach, as at each time, towards sorcery; but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Verse 2: Bil'am raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped according to its tribes, and the spirit of G-d rested upon him.

Verse 3: He set forth his parable, and said: "This is the declaration of Bil'am, the son of Be'or; this is the declaration of the man of the open-socketted eye.

Verse 4: This is the declaration of one who hears G-d's utterance, who sees the vision of the Almighty; fallen, with opened eyes.

Verse 5: How goodly are your tents, Yaakov, your dwelling places, Yisroel.

Verse 6: They stretch forth like streams, like gardens by the river, like the aloe trees that Ad-noy has planted; like cedar trees by the water.

Verse 7: Water flows out from his buckets, and his seed will have an abundant flow; his king will be greater than Agag and his monarchy shall be uplifted.

Verse 8: G-d Who has brought him out of Egypt, has shown His great strength to him; He will consume His enemy nations, crushing their bones and dip His arrows [in their blood].

Verse 9: He crouches and lies like a lion, and, being a lion, who would dare rouse him? those who bless you are blessed, and those who curse you are cursed."

Verse 10: Balak became enraged at Bil'am and clapped his hands together; Balak then said to Bil'am: "I called you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times.

Verse 11: Now, hurry back home! I said I would exceedingly honor you, but Ad-noy has held you back from honor."

Verse 12: Bil'am said to Balak: "Even to your emissaries whom you sent to me I said:

Verse 13: 'Even if Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot transgress the word of Ad-noy to do good or evil on my own;' only what Ad-noy declares will I speak.

Shevi'i (Seventh Aliyah)

Verse 14: And now that I am returning to my people, come, I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the end of days."

Verse 15: He set forth his parable, and said: "This is the declaration of Bil'am the son of Beor, the declaration of the man. of the open-sockered eye.

Verse 16: This is the declaration of one who hears G-d's utterances and knows the thoughts of the Most Exalted; who sees the vision of the Almighty; fallen, with opened eyes.

Verse 17: I see it but not now, I perceive it but not in the near future; a star has gone forth from Yaakov, and a staff has arisen from Yisroel, which will smash the corners of Moav, and impale all of the sons of Sheis.

Verse 18: Edom will be possession and Seir shall become the possession of his enemies; but Yisroel will triumph.

Verse 19: A ruler shall come from Yaakov, who will annihilate the survivors of the city."

Verse 20: When Bil'am saw Amalek, he declared his parable, and said: "Amalek was the first among nations, and his end will be total destruction."

Verse 21: [When] he saw the Keinite, he set forth his parable, and said: "How powerful is your dwelling place, and set in a cliff your nest.

Verse 22: For, if Kayin is to be uprooted, until where will Ashur take you captive"?

Verse 23: He set forth his parable, and said: "Alas! Who can survive from G-d's devastation?

Verse 24: Warships will come from Kittim and destroy Ashur, and cause suffering to those on the other side, but they, too, shall be lost for eternity."

Verse 25: Bil'am arose, went, and returned home; and Balak too, went on his way.

Chapter 25

Verse 1: Yisroel settled in Shittim and the people [of Yisroel] began acting promiscuously with the daughters of Moav.

Verse 2: They [girls of Moav] invited the people [of Yisroel] to their idolatrous sacrifices; and the people ate and prostrated themselves before their gods.

Verse 3: Yisroel became united with Ba'al Pe'or; and the rage of Ad-noy flared against Yisroel.

Verse 4: Ad-noy said to Moshe: "Take all the leaders of the people and hang them before Ad-noy, facing the sun; thereby removing the rage of Ad-noy against Yisroel."

Verse 5: Moshe said to the judges of Yisroel: "Each of you must execute his men who were united with Ba'al Pe'or."

Verse 6: And behold, a man came from among Bnei Yisroel, and brought the Midianite woman to his brethren, before the eyes of Moshe and before the eyes of the entire congregation of Yisroel, who were weeping at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.


Verse 7: When he saw this--- Pinchas the son of Elazar [and grand]son of Aharon the Kohein--- he rose up from the midst of the community and took a spear in his hand.

Verse 8: He followed the Israelite man into the inner chamber of the tent and pierced both of them through--- the Israelite man and the woman through her belly--- and the plague stopped from [afflicting] the Bnei Yisroel.

Verse 9: Those that died in the plague, [numbered] 24,000.

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