Parshas Masei

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Chapter 33

Parshas Masei

Rishon

1. These are the journeys of the children of Israel who went out from the land of Egypt according to their legions through the hand of Moshe and Aharon.

2. Moshe wrote the origins of their journeys by Hashem’s word,[1] and these are their journeys by their origins:

3. They traveled from Ramses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month, from the day after the Passover (offering) the children of Israel went out with an uncovered head[2] in the eyes of all the Egyptians.

4. The Egyptians were burying those among them whom Hashem had killed,[3] every first-born, and Hashem executed judgment on their “errors.”[4]

5. The children of Israel traveled from Ramses and they camped in Succos.

6. They traveled from Succos and they camped in Eisam, which is on the side[5] of the wilderness.

7. They traveled from Eisam and turned towards Pum Chirasa,[6] which faces B’eil Tz’fon.[7] They camped before Migdol.

8. They traveled from Pum Chirasa[8] and passed within the sea towards the wilderness. They went a three-day journey in the Eisam wilderness and they camped in Marah.

9. They traveled from Marah and came to Eilim, and in Eilim there were 12 springs of water and 70 palm trees. They camped there.

10. They traveled from Eilim and camped by the Sea of Reeds.

Sheini

11. They traveled from the Sea of Reeds and camped in the Sin wilderness.

12. They traveled from the Sin wilderness and they camped in Dafkah.

13. They traveled from Dafkah and they camped in Alush.

14. They traveled from Alush and they camped in Refidim, and there was no water there for the people to drink.

15. They traveled from Refidim and camped in the Sinai wilderness.

16. They traveled from the Sinai wilderness and they camped in Kivrei Dim’shaalei.[9]

17. They traveled from Kivrei Dim’shaalei and they camped in Chatzeiros.

18. They traveled from Chatzeiros and they camped in Rismah.

19. They traveled from Rismah and they camped in Rimon-Paretz.

20. They traveled from Rimon-Paretz and they camped in Livnah.

21. They traveled from Livnah and they camped in Risah.

22. They traveled from Risah and they camped in K’heilasa.

23. They traveled from K’heilasa and they camped at Mount Shafer.

24. They traveled from Mount Shafer and they camped in Charada.

25. They traveled from Charada and they camped in Makheilos.

26. They traveled from Makheilos and they camped in Tachas.

27. They traveled from Tachas and they camped in Tarach.

28. They traveled from Tarach and they camped in Miskah.

29. They traveled from Miskah and they camped in Chashmona.

30. They traveled from Chashmona and they camped in Moseiros.

31. They traveled from Moseiros and they camped in B’nei Yaakan.

32 They traveled from B’nei Yaakan and they camped in Chor HaGidgad.

33. They traveled from Chor HaGidgad and they camped in Yotbasa.

34. They traveled from Yotbasa and they camped in Avronah.

35. They traveled from Avronah and they camped in Etzyon Gaver.

36, They traveled from Etzyon Gaver and they camped in the wilderness of Tzin, which is Rekam.[10]

37. They traveled from Rekam and they camped at Mount Hor, on the end[11] of the land of Edom.

38. Aharon the priest ascended Mount Hor by Hashem’s mouth; he died there, in the fortieth year of the children of Israel’s departure from the land of Egypt, in the fifth month on the first (day) of the month.

39. Aharon was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.

40. The Canaanite, king of Arad, who dwelt in the south, in the land of Canaan, heard when the children of Israel came.

41. They traveled from Mount Hor and they camped in Tzalmona.

42. They traveled from Tzalmona and they camped in Punon.

43. They traveled from Punon and they camped in Ovos.

44. They traveled from Ovos and they camped in the Avarei pass,[12] on the border of Moav.

45. They traveled from the pass and they camped in Divon Gad.

46. They traveled from Divon Gad and they camped in Almon Divlasaima.

47. They traveled from Almon Divlasaima and camped in the hills of Avarim that are before N’vo.

48. They traveled from the hills of Avarim and camped in the plains of Moav, at the Jordan of Jericho.

49. They encamped by the Jordan from Beis Y’shimos[13] until the plain of Shittin,[14] in the plains of Moav.

Shlishi (Chamishi)

50. Hashem spoke with Moshe in the plains of Moav, at the Jordan of Jericho, saying:

51. Speak with the children of Israel and say to them: When you cross the Jordan to the land of Canaan,

52. you shall drive out all the residents of the land from before you; you shall destroy all their places of worship, and all their graven images you shall destroy, and all their high places[15] you shall demolish.

53. You shall drive out the residents of the land and you shall settle in it because I have given the land to you to inherit it.

54. You shall bestow[16] the land by lot according to your families; for the many you shall increase their inheritance and for the few you shall reduce their inheritance. Where the lot falls for him, it shall be his; by the tribes of your fathers you shall bestow.

55. And if you don’t drive out the residents of the land from before you, it will be that those who remain from them will be battalions taking arms against you and camps surrounding you;[17] they will trouble you on the land in which you settle.

56. It will be that as I planned to do to them, I will do to you.

Chapter 34

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

2. Command the children of Israel and say to them: When you come in to the land of Canaan, this is the land that will be divided for you in inheritance, the land of Canaan according to its borders.

3. The southern corner will be to you from the Tzin wilderness on the borders of Edom. The southern border will be to you from the ends of the Dead Sea to the east.

4. The border will turn for you from the south to the height of Akrabim and pass towards Tzin; its ends will be from the south to Rekam Geia.[18] It shall extend to Chatzar Adar and pass towards Atzmon.

5. The border will turn from Atzmon towards the stream of Egypt, and its ends will be to the sea.[19]

6. The western border will be for you the Great Sea;[20] this, its border, will be to you (the) western border.

7. And this will be your northern border: from the Great Sea, direct yourselves towards Mount Hor,

8. from Mount Hor direct to come to Chamas; the ends of the border will be towards Tz’dad.

9. The border will then extend towards Zifron, and its ends to Chatzar Einan; this will be to you the northern border.

10. Direct yourselves towards the eastern border, from Chatzar Einan to Sh’fam.

11. The border shall go down from Sh’fam towards Rivlah, on the east of Ayin. The border shall go down and strike the eastern shoulder of the Gineasar Sea.[21]

12. The border shall go down along the Jordan, and its ends will be the Salt Sea;[22] this will be for you the land by its borders all around.

13. Moshe commanded the children of Israel, saying: This is the land that you will inherit it by lot, that Hashem commanded to give to the nine tribes and the half tribe,

14. because the tribe of the Reubenite children received[23] according to its fathers’ house(s), and the tribe of the Gadite children according to its fathers’ house(s), and half the tribe of Menashe received their inheritance.

15. The two tribes and the half tribe received their inheritance on the other side of the Jordan of Jericho, to the East.[24]

Revii (Shishi)

16. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

17. These are the names of the men who shall bestow the land for you: Elazar the priest and Yehoshua son of Nun.

18. And you shall take one leader[25][26] from (each) tribe to bestow the land.

19. And these are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Kaleiv son of Yefuneh;

20. and from the tribe of the children of Shimon, Shmuel son of Amihud;

21. from the tribe of Binyamin, Elidad son of Kislon;

22. and from the tribe of the children of Dan, (the) leader, Buki son of Yogli;

23. from the sons of Yoseif, from the tribe of the children of Menashe, (the) leader, Chaniel son of Efod;

24. and from the tribe of the children of Efraim, (the) leader, K’muel son of Shiftan;

25. and from the tribe of the children of Zevulun, (the) leader, Elitzafan son of Parnach;

26. and from the tribe of the children of Yisachar, (the) leader, Paltieil son of Azan;

27. and from the tribe of the children of Asher, (the) leader, Achihud son of Shlomi

28. and from the tribe of the children of Naftali, (the) leader, P’daheil son of Amihud

29. It was these whom Hashem commanded to inherit (for) the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.

Chapter 35

Chamishi

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe in the plains of Moav on the Jordan of Jericho, saying:

2. Command the children of Israel and they shall give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession – cities (in which) to dwell and open area for the cities all around them you shall give to the Levites.

3. The cities will be theirs to dwell (in), and their open area will be for their cattle, and for their wealth and for all their animals.

4. The open areas of the cities that you will give to the Levites (shall extend) from the city wall and out, 1,000 cubits all around.

5. You shall measure from outside the city on the eastern side, 2,000 cubits; and the southern side, 2,000 cubits; and the western side, 2,000 cubits; and the northern side, 2,000 cubits, and the city in the center. This will be the cities’ open areas.

6. And (among) the cities that you shall give to the Levites (shall be) the six cities of safety[27] that you shall give, to which a manslaughterer[28] can flee. In addition to them, you shall give 42 cities.[29]

7. All the cities that you shall give to the Levites: 48 cities – them and their open areas.

8. And the cities that you shall give from the possession of the children of Israel, from the many you shall increase and from the few you shall reduce. Each[30] according to its inheritance that it will inherit shall give from its cities to the Levites.

Shishi (Shevii)

9. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

10. Speak with the children of Israel and say to them: When you cross the Jordan to the land of Canaan,

11. you shall prepare for yourselves cities – they shall be cities of safety to you, and a manslaughterer who has killed a soul unintentionally shall flee there.

12. The cities shall be to you as a safety from the blood avenger, and the manslaughterer won’t die until he stands before the congregation for judgment.

13. The city that you shall give – they shall be six cities of safety to you.

14. You shall give three cities on the other side of the Jordan, and three cities you shall give in the land of Canaan – they shall be cities of safety.

15. These six cities shall be as safety for the children of Israel, for the convert and for the resident who is among them, to flee there anyone who has killed[31] a soul unintentionally.

16. And if he strikes him with an iron implement and kills him,[32] (then) he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely die.

17. If he struck him with a stone that can be taken in the hand[33] that is sufficient for one to die from it, and kills him, (then) he is a murderer;[34] the murderer shall surely be killed.[35]

18. Or if he struck him with a wooden utensil that can be taken in the hand that is sufficient for one to die from it, and kills him, (then) he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely die.

19. The blood avenger is the one who shall put the murderer to death; when he is found guilty to him in judgment, he shall put him to death.

20. And if he pushed him in hate or threw something at him deliberately and kills him,

21. or if he struck him with his hand in animosity and kills him, the one who struck shall surely die; he is a murderer. The blood avenger shall put the murderer to death when he is found guilty to him in judgment.

22 But if he suddenly, without animosity, pushed him or threw any utensil at him without ambushing him,

23. or with any stone that is sufficient for one to die from it, without seeing (him), and he dropped (it) on him and kills him, and he didn’t hate him[36] and didn’t seek his harm,

24. the congregation shall judge between the one who struck and the blood avenger on these laws.

25. The congregation shall save the manslaughterer from the hand of the blood avenger, and the congregation shall return him to his city of safety to which he fled. He shall dwell in it until the High Priest dies – the one who was elevated with the holy oil.

26. And if the killer goes outside the border of his city of safety to which he has fled,

27. and the blood avenger finds him outside the border of his city of safety, and the blood avenger kills the manslaughterer, there is no blood[37] for him.

28. Because he must dwell in his city of i.e., guilt until the High Priest dies, and after the High Priest dies, the manslaughterer may return to (the) land of his possession.

29. This shall be to you as a statute of judgment for your generations in all your settlements.

30. Anyone who kills[38] a soul, according to (the testimony of) witnesses shall the murderer be killed; one witness shall not testify against a soul to be killed.[39]

31. You may not accept money[40] for the person (who is) a murderer who is guilty[41] to die, because he shall be executed.

32. And you may not accept money to flee to his city of safety, (or) to return (a manslaughterer) to live in his land until the death of the (High) priest.

33. You shall not make guilty[42] the land in which you are, because the blood, it makes the land guilty, and the land will have no atonement for the innocent blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.

34. You shall not contaminate the land upon which you dwell, in which My presence rests, because I am Hashem, Whose presence rests among the children of Israel.

Chapter 36

Shevii

1. The heads of the fathers of the family of the children of Gilad son of Machir son of Menashe, of the families of the sons of Yoseif, came near and they spoke before Moshe and before the leaders, heads of the fathers of the children of Israel.

2. They said, “Hashem commanded my master to give the land in inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my master was commanded by Hashem’s word to give the inheritance of our brother Tz’lofchad to his daughters.

3. (If) they will be wives to one of the sons of the tribes of the children of Israel, their inheritance will be reduced from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they will be (wives), and from the lot of out inheritance it will be reduced.

4. And if it will be the jubilee of the children of Israel, their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they will be (wives), and their inheritance will be reduced from the inheritance of our fathers’ tribe.”

5. Moshe commanded the children of Israel by Hashem’s mouth, saying: “The tribe of the sons of Yoseif has spoken well.[43]

6. This is the thing that Hashem has commanded regarding[44] the daughters of Tz’lofchad, saying: Let them be wives to whoever is appropriate[45] in their eyes, only they shall be wives to the family of their father’s tribe.

7. You shall not pass an inheritance of the children of Israel from tribe to tribe, because[46] a man in the inheritance of his fathers’ tribe shall the children of Israel adhere.

8. And every daughter who inherits an inheritance among the tribes of the children of Israel shall be a wife to one from the family of her father’s tribe, in order that (each) man of the children of Israel shall inherit the inheritance of his fathers.

9. You shall not pass an inheritance from a tribe to another tribe, because (each) man to his inheritance shall the tribes of the children of Israel adhere.”

10. As Hashem had commanded Moshe, so the daughters of Tz’lofchad did;

11. Machla, Sirtza, Chagla, Milka and Noa, Tz’lofchad’s daughters, became wives to the sons of their father’s brothers.[47]

12. From the families of the sons of Menashe son of Yoseif they became wives, and their inheritance was on the tribe of their father’s family.

13. These are the commandments and the laws that Hashem commanded through the hand of Moshe to the children of Israel in the plains of Moav, on the Jordan of Jericho.

[1] Chumash: “mouth.”

[2] Rather than “a high hand.”

[3] Rather than “struck.”

[4] A euphemism for idols.

[5] Rather than “edge.”

[6] Chumash: “Pi HaChiros.”

[7] Chumash: “Baal Tz’fon.”

[8] Chumash: “from before HaChiros.”

[9] Chumash: “Kivros HaTaavah.”

[10] Chumash: “Kadeish.”

[11] Rather than “edge.”

[12] Chumash: “the Avarim pass.”

[13] Chumash: “Beis HaY’shimos.”

[14] Chumash: “HaShittim.”

[15] “Bamos,” a type of altar.

[16] Maybe; see Rashi on Lev. 25:46.

[17] As opposed to “spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides.”

[18] Chumash: “Kadeish Barneia.”

[19] In Hebrew, “yamah” can mean both “to the West” and “to the sea.” Onkelos’ Aramaic “yama” clearly refers to the sea, and “maaravah” to the West.

[20] i.e., the Mediterranean.

[21] Chumash: “Kinneret,” i.e., the Sea of Galilee.

[22] i.e., the Dead Sea.

[23] Rather than “took.”

[24] The Chumash and Onkelos each use two words for East. The Hebrew might best be translated “to the East, towards the sunrise,” and the Aramaic, “frontward, towards the East.

[25] Hebrew: “nasi,” commonly translated “prince.”

[26] Literally, “one leader, one leader.”

[27] As opposed to “refuge.”

[28] The Hebrew rotzeiach and the Aramaic katola are each used for both the intentional and unintentional killers. We have translated them as “manslaughterer” and “murderer” to more clearly differentiate the cases despite the Chumash and Targum each using one word for both.

[29] Chumash: “city.”

[30] Literally, “a man.”

[31] Rather than “struck.”

[32] As opposed to “and he dies.”

[33] As opposed to “a hand stone.”

[34] See note 28.

[35] Rather than “shall surely die.”

[36] Rather than, “he wasn’t an enemy to him.”

[37] i.e., guilt.

[38] Rather than “strikes.”

[39] Rather than “to die.”

[40] As opposed to “take an atonement.”

[41] Chumash: “evil.”

[42] Chumash: “corrupt.”

[43] Rather than “justly.”

[44] Literally, “to.”

[45] Rather than “the (one who is) good.”

[46] Chumash: “rather.”

[47] Rather than “uncles.”

© Copyright 2022 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz