Parshas Eikev

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

Parshas Eikev

Rishon

12. And it will be, in exchange for you accepting these laws, and observe them and perform them, Hashem your God will guard for you the covenant and the kindness that He swore to your fathers.

13. He will love you, and bless you and multiply you. He will bless the fetus[1] of your womb and the fruit of your land – your grain, and your wine and your oil – the herds of your cattle and the flocks of your sheep,[2] on the land that He swore to your fathers to give to you.

14. You will be (the most) blessed from all the peoples; there will not be among you an infertile man or an infertile woman, or among your animals.

15. Hashem will remove from you all illnesses, and all the evil diseases[3] of Egypt that you knew He will not place on you; He will give them on all your enemies.

16. You will eradicate[4] all the peoples that Hashem your God gives to you; your eye shall not pity them. And do not serve their errors[5] because they will be a snare to you.

17. If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are more numerous than us – how can we drive them out?’

18. Do not fear from them. Surely remember what Hashem your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,

19. the great miracles[6] that your eyes saw, and the signs and the wonders, and the strong hand, and the upraised arm with which Hashem your God took you out. So will Hashem your God do to all the peoples before whom you fear.

20. Hashem Your God will also cause the hornet(s) to attack them until those who remain and those who hide perish from before you.

21. Do not dread from before them because Hashem your God, His presence is in your midst, a great and awesome God.

22. Hashem Your God will drive these nations from before you a little at a time;[7] you will not be able to put eradicate them quickly, lest the animals of the forest[8] increase against you.

23. Hashem Your God will give them before you, confuse them (with) great confusion until they are destroyed.

24. He will give their kings into your hand and you will eradicate their name from under the heavens; no man will stand before you until you will destroy them.

25. The images[9] of their errors you shall burn in fire; do not covet (the) silver and (the) gold that is on them and take it for yourself lest you be ensnared in it, because it is distancing[10] to Hashem your God.

26. And do not bring that which distances (Hashem) in to your house or you will become banned like it; you must surely detest it and distance it, because it is banned.

Chapter 8

1. All the commandment that I command you today you shall observe to perform in order that you will live and increase, and come and inherit the land that Hashem swore to your fathers.

2. Remember all the way that Hashem your God led you these 40 years in the wilderness, in order to afflict you, to test you to know what is in your heart – if you would observe His commandments or not.

3. He afflicted you and made you hunger, and He fed you manna that you didn’t know and your fathers didn’t know, in order to make known to you that a man is not sustained on bread alone, but a man shall live on all that comes forth (from) the word from before Hashem.

4. Your clothes did not wear out from you,[11] and your shoes didn’t erode these 40 years.

5. You shall know with your heart that as a man instructs[12] his son, (so) Hashem your God instructs you.

6. You shall observe the commandments of Hashem your God, to walk in ways that are correct before Him and to revere Him.

7. Because Hashem your God is bringing you to a good land, a land drawing streams of water, (with) wells of fountains and depths coming on valleys and on mountains;

8. a land of wheat and barley, and vines and figs, and pomegranates, a land whose olives make oil, and it makes honey;

9. a land in which you will eat bread without shortage – you will not lack anything in it – a land whose stones are iron, and from whose mountains you will mine copper.

10. You shall eat, and be satisfied, and bless Hashem your God on the good land that He has given you.

Sheini

11. Guard yourself lest you forget the reverence for Hashem your God in order that (you) not observe His commandments, His laws and His statutes, which I command you today.

12. Lest you eat and be satisfied, and build pleasing houses and dwell (in them),

13. and your herds and flocks will increase, and silver and gold will increase to you, and everything you have will increase,

14. and your heart grow haughty[13] and you forget the reverence for Hashem your God, Who took you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery,[14]

15. Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, a place (of) snakes, fiery serpents and scorpions, and a place of thirst[15] that lacks water, Who brought forth water for you from the strong rock;[16]

16. the One Who fed you manna in the wilderness, which your fathers didn’t know, in order to afflict you and in order to test you to benefit you in your end,

17. and you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand got these possessions[17] for me.’

18. Remember Hashem your God, because He is the One Who gives you the insight to acquire possessions,[18] in order to uphold His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as this very day.

19. It will be, if you forget the reverence for Hashem your God and walk after the errors of the nations, and serve them and bow down to them, I witness against you today that you will surely perish

20. like the nations that Hashem will cause to perish before you, so shall you perish in exchange for you not accepting the word of Hashem your God.

Chapter 9

1. Listen, Israel: you cross the Jordan today, to come to inherit nations greater and more numerous than you – great and fortified cities towards the heavens[19]

2. a great and strong[20] people – the children of the mighty[21] – of whom you know and of whom you have heard, ‘Who can stand before the children of the mighty?’

3. Know today that Hashem your God, He crosses[22] before you – His word is a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will break[23] them before you; you will inherit them and eradicate them quickly, as Hashem spoke to you.

Shlishi

4. Don’t say in your heart, when Hashem your God has broken them from before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness Hashem has brought us to inherit this land’ and because of these nations’ sins[24] Hashem drives them out from before you.

5. It is not in your righteousness and in the rectitude of your heart (that) you come to inherit their land; rather, in these nations’ sins Hashem your God drives them out from before you, and in order to uphold the thing (or, the word) that Hashem swore to your fathers – to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov.

6. Know that it is not in your righteousness (that) Hashem your God gives you this good land to inherit, because you are a stiff-necked people.

7. Remember, do not forget, that you angered before Hashem your God in the wilderness, from the day that you went out from the land of Egypt until you came to this place you were recalcitrant[25] with Hashem.

8. At Choreiv you angered before Hashem, and there was (enough) anger with you before Hashem to destroy you.

9. When I ascended the mountain to take the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that Hashem decreed with you, I remained on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights; I didn’t eat eating bread and I didn’t drink water.

10. Hashem gave me the two stone tablets of written with the finger of Hashem,[26] and on them according to all the words that Hashem had spoken with you on the mountain from among the fire on the day of the assembly.

11. It happened at the end of 40 day(s) and 40 night(s) (that) Hashem gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant.

12. Hashem said to me, ‘Arise, quickly descend from here,[27] because your people whom you brought out from Egypt have been corrupted. They have quickly turned from the path that I commanded them; they have made themselves a graven image.’

13. Hashem said to me, saying, “This people is revealed before Me and behold, is a stiff-necked people.

14. Desist your pleading from before Me and I will destroy them. I will erase their name from beneath the heavens and I will make you into a nation mightier and more numerous than they.”

15. I turned and I descended from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire, and the two tablets of the covenant (were) on my two hands.

16. I saw and behold, you had sinned before Hashem your God: you had made yourselves a graven calf! You had quickly turned from the path that Hashem had commanded you.

17. I grasped the two tablets and threw them from upon my two hands; I broke them before your eyes.

18. I prostrated[28] before Hashem like the first (time), 40 day(s) and 40 night(s). I didn’t eat bread and I didn’t drink water because of all your sin that you sinned, to perform the evil before Hashem, to anger before Him.

19. Because I was afraid before the wrath and the fury with which Hashem was angry with you to destroy you, and Hashem accepted my prayer also at that time.

20. And there was much anger before Hashem against Aharon – (enough) to destroy him. I also prayed for Aharon[29] at that time.

21. And your sin that you made – the calf – I took (it) and I burned it in fire. I ground it well with a grater[30] until it was fine like dust. I threw its dust into the stream that descends from the mountain.

22. And in Burning, and in Test, and in Graves of Those Who Requested[31] you were provocateurs of Hashem.

23. And when Hashem sent you from Rekem Geia,[32] saying, ‘Ascend and inherit the land that I gave you,’ you refused against the decree of Hashem your God’s word, and you didn’t have faith in Him and you didn’t accept His word.

24. You have been recalcitrant before Hashem from the day that I knew you.

25. I prostrated before Hashem for the 40 days and the 40 nights that I prostrated because Hashem said to destroy you,

26. I prayed before Hashem and I said, ‘Hashem God,[33] do not destroy Your people and Your inheritance, whom You redeemed in Your strength, whom You took out from Egypt with a strong hand.

27. Remember Your servants Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov; do not turn towards the stubbornness of this people, and to their sins and to their mistakes,[34]

28. lest the residents of the land from which You took us out will say, ‘Because there wasn’t ability before Hashem to bring them to the land that He spoke to them, and because He hates them, He brought them out to kill them in the wilderness,’

29. and they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out with Your great might and Your upraised arm.’

Chapter 10

Revii

1. At that time, Hashem said to me, ‘Carve for yourself two tablets of stone like the first; ascend before Me on the mountain, and make for yourself an ark of wood.

2. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall place them in the ark.”

3. I made an ark of acacia wood and I carved two tablets of stone like the first. I ascended the mountain and the two tablets (were) in my hand.

4. He wrote on the tablets like the first text – the ten statements[35] that Hashem spoke with you on the mountain from among the fire on the day of the assembly – and Hashem gave them to me.

5. I turned and I descended from the mountain, and I placed the tablets in the ark that I had made. They are there, as Hashem commanded me.

6. And the children of Israel traveled from B’eiros B’nei Yaakan[36] to Moseira. Aharon died there and was buried there; his son Elazar ministered in his place.[37]

7. From there they traveled to Gudgod, and from Gudgod to Yotvas, a land drawing streams of water.

8. At that time Hashem separated the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of Hashem’s Covenant, to stand before Hashem, to minister to Him and to bless in His name, until this very day.

9. Therefore, Levi had no portion and inheritance with his brethren; the gifts that Hashem gave him, they are his inheritance, as Hashem your God spoke to him.

10. I was standing on the mountain like the first days: 40 days and 40 nights. Hashem accepted my prayer also on this occasion; Hashem would not destroy you.

11. Hashem said to me, “Arise, go to travel before the people. They will come and they will inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

Chamishi

12. And now, Israel, what does Hashem your God ask from you? Only to revere before Hashem your God, to walk in all ways that are correct before Him, and to love Him, and to serve before Hashem your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

13. to observe Hashem’s commandments and His statutes, that I command you today that it will be good for you.

14. Behold, to Hashem your God are the heavens, and the heavens of heavens, the earth and all that is in it.

15. Only Hashem desired your fathers to love them, and He favored their descendants[38] after them – you – from all the peoples, as this very day.

16. Remove the folly of your heart,[39] do not stiffen your neck further,

17. because Hashem your God, He is the God of judges and the Master of kings[40] – the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, Who doesn’t have favoritism before Him and also not to receive bribery,

18. performing the judgment of the orphan and the widow, and loving the stranger to give him food[41] and clothing.

19. You shall love the convert, because you were travelers in the land of Egypt.

20. You shall revere Hashem your God; before Him you shall serve and to reverence for Him you shall draw near, and in His name you shall swear.

21. He is your praise and He is your God, who performed for you these great and mighty (deeds) that your eyes saw.

22. With 70 souls your fathers descended to Egypt, and now Hashem your God has made you like the stars of heaven for abundance.

Chapter 11

1. You shall love Hashem your God and you shall keep the charge of His word, and His statutes, and His laws and His commandments all the days.

2. Know today that it wasn’t your children, who didn’t know and who didn’t see the instruction[42] of Hashem your God – His greatness, His strong hand and His upraised arm,

3. and the signs and the deeds that He performed among Egypt to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to his entire land;

4. and what He did to the soldiers of the Egyptians, to their horses and to their chariots, that He caused the waters of the Sea of Reeds to overflow on their faces in their pursuit after you, and Hashem destroyed them until this very day,

5. and what He did for you in the wilderness until you came to this place,

6. and what He did to Dasan and to Aviram, sons of Eliav son of Reuven, that the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them, and the members of their households, and their tents and all the property that was with them,[43] from the midst of all Israel,

7. because it was your eyes that saw all the great deeds of Hashem that He performed.

8. You shall observe all the commandment that I command you today, in order that you be strong, and come and inherit the land to which you cross to inherit,

9. and in order that you lengthen days on the land that Hashem swore to your fathers to give to them and to their seed, a land that generates milk and honey.

Shishi

10. Because the land to which you come to inherit is not like the land of Egypt out from which you have come, that you sowed your seed and watered (it) through your feet,[44] like a vegetable garden,

11. and the land into which you cross to inherit is a land of mountains and valleys, and drinks water from the rains of heaven.

12. It is a land that Hashem your God seeks; the eyes of Hashem your God are always on it from the beginning of the year and until the end of the year.

13. It shall be, if you faithfully accept My commandments that I command you today, to love Hashem your God and to serve before Him with all your heart and with all your soul,

14. I will give rain of your land in its (proper) time – the early rain and the late rain. You shall gather your grain, and your wine and your oil.

15. I will give grass in your field for your cattle, and you will eat and you will be satisfied.

16. Guard yourselves lest your hearts go astray[45] and you turn and you serve the errors of the nations and bow to them.

17. Hashem’s anger will intensify against you; He will shut the heavens and there will not be rain. The land will not give its produce, and you will quickly perish from upon the good land that Hashem gives to you.

18. You shall place these, My words, on your heart and on your soul; tie them as a sign on your hand and they shall be for tefillin[46] between your eyes.

19. Teach them to your children, to speak in them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the way, and when you lie down and when you get up,

20. and write them on mezuzahs and attach them to the doorposts of your house and on your gates,[47]

21. in order that your days and the days of your children will increase on the land that Hashem swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens on the earth.

Shevii

22. Because if you surely observe all this commandment that I command you to perform, to love Hashem your God, to walk in all ways that are correct before Him and to draw near to reverence for Him,

23. Hashem will drive out all these nations from before you; you will drive out nations greater and more numerous than you.

24. Every place that the sole of your foot treads will be yours; your border will be from the wilderness and the Lebanon, from the river – the Euphrates River – and until the western sea.[48]

25. No man will stand before you; Hashem your God will put dread of you and fear of you on the face of all the land in which you tread, as He spoke to you.

[1] Rather than the metaphorical “fruit.”

[2] As opposed to “the offspring of your cattle and the choicest of your sheep.”

[3] Onkelos pluralizes these words.

[4] Rather than “consume.”

[5] A euphemism for idols.

[6] As opposed to “trials.”

[7] Literally, “a little, a little.”

[8] Rather than “field.”

[9] Rather than “graven images.”

[10] Rather than “an abomination.”

[11] Chumash: “from upon you.”

[12] Rather than “chastises.”

[13] Literally “high.”

[14] Rather than “slaves.”

[15] Rather than “an arid land.”

[16] Chumash: “the flint rock.”

[17] Rather than “made this wealth.”

[18] Chumash: “the power to make wealth.”

[19] As opposed to “in the heavens.”

[20] Rather than “tall.”

[21] Chumash: “the children of Anak.”

[22] Onkelos removes the prefix hei (meaning “the”), which renders the Hebrew “He is the One Who crosses.”

[23] Rather than “conquer.”

[24] Rather than “evil.”

[25] Rather than “rebellious.”

[26] Rather than “God.”

[27] Chumash: “from this.”

[28] Rather than “fell.”

[29] The Hebrew is more along the lines of “for Aharon’s sake.”

[30] Rather than “I dismantled it and ground (it) well.”

[31] Onkelos translates the meaning of the place names Taveira, Masah and Kivros HaTaavah.

[32] i.e., Kadeish Barneia.

[33] The Chumash text says “My Master Hashem,” but it is read “Adonai Elohim,” i.e., “Hashem God.”

[34] Rather than “its evil and its sin” (the word chatah referring to an unintentional sin).

[35] See note on chapter 4 verse 13.

[36] “The wells of the sons of Yaakan.”

[37] Literally, “under him.”

[38] Rather than “chose their seed.”

[39] Rather than “Circumcise the foreskin of your heart.”

[40] As opposed to “the God of gods and the Master of masters.”

[41] Rather than “bread.”

[42] Rather than “reproof.”

[43] Chumash: “at their feet.”

[44] i.e., manually.

[45] Rather than “be deceived.”

[46] Hebrew: totafos. See note on chapter 6 verse 8.

[47] See note on chapter 6 verse 9.

[48] i.e., the Mediterranean. The Hebrew “yam ha’acharon” doesn’t mean “the final sea,” it means “the sea behind you,” i.e., to the west. 

© Copyright 2022 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz