Table of Contents
The Fourth Book of Mosesalso called Numbers
(from middle English, French from the Latin)
The 18th Chapter
And the Lord said unto Aaron: You and your sons and your fathers house with you, shall bear the fault of that which is done amiss in the holy place. And you and your sons with you, shall bear the fault of that which is done amiss in your priesthood. And your brethren also the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father take with you, and let them be joined unto you and minister unto you. And you and your sons with you shall minister before the tabernacle of witness. And let them wait upon you and upon all the tabernacle: only let them not come near the holy vessels and the altar, that both they and you also die not. And let them be by you and wait on the tabernacle of witness, and on all the service of the tabernacle, and let no stranger come near unto you.
Wait therefore upon the holy place and upon the altar, that there fall no more wrath upon the children of Israel: behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among children of Israel, to be yours, as gifts given unto the Lord to do the service of the tabernacle of witness. And see that both you and your sons with you take heed unto your priests office, in all things that pertain unto the altar and within the veil. And see that you serve, for I have given your priests office unto you for a gift to do service: and the stranger that comes nigh, shall die.
And the Lord spoke unto Aaron: behold, I have given you the keeping of mine heave offerings in all the hallowed things of the children of Israel. And unto you I have given them unto anointing and to your sons: to be a duty for ever. This shall be your of most holy sacrifices: All their gifts, throughout all their meatofferings, sinofferings and trespassofferings which they bring unto me. They shall be most holy unto you and unto your sons. And you shall eat it in the most holy place: all that are males shall eat of it, for it shall be holy unto you.
And this shall be thine: the heaveoffering of their gifts, throughout all the waveofferings of the children of Israel, for I have given them unto you and your sons, and your daughters with you, to be a duty for ever: and all that are clean in your house, shall eat of it, all the fat of the oil, of the wine and of the corn: their first fruits which they give unto the Lord that have I given unto you. The first fruits of all that is in their lands which they bring unto the Lord, shall be thine: and all that are clean in your house, shall eat of it.
All dedicate things in Israel, shall be yours. All that breaks the matrice of all flesh that men bring unto the Lord, both of man and beast, shall be yours. Neverthelater the first born of man shall be redeemed, and the first born of unclean beasts shall be redeemed. And their redemptions shall be at a month old, valued at five sickles of silver, of the holy sickle. A sickle makes twenty Geras. But the first born of oxen, sheep and goats shall not be redeemed. For they are holy, and you shall sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shall burn their fat to be a sacrifice of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
And the flesh of them shall be yours, as the wavebreast and all the right shoulder is yours. All the holy heave offerings which the children of Israel heave unto the Lord, I give you and your sons and your daughters with you to be a duty for ever. And it shall be a salted covenant for ever, before the Lord: unto you and to your seed with you.
And the Lord spoke unto Aaron: you shall have none inheritance in their land, nor part among them. For I am your part and your inheritance among the children of Israel. And behold I have given the children of Levi, the tenth in Israel to inherit, for the service which they serve in the tabernacle of witness, that the children of Israel from this time come not near the tabernacle of witness, and bear sin and die. And the Levites shall do the service in the tabernacle of witness and bear their sin, and it shall be a law for ever unto your children after you: But among the children of Israel they shall inherit none inheritance. For the tithes of the children of Israel which they heave unto the Lord, I have given the Levites to inherit. Wherefore I have said unto them: Among the children of Israel you shall inherit none inheritance.
And the Lord spoke unto Moses saying: speak unto the Levites and say unto them: when you take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you of them to your inheritance, you shall take an heaveoffering of that same for the Lord: even the tenth of that tithe. And it shall be reckoned unto you for your heaveoffering, even as though you gave corn out of the barn or a full offering from the wine press.
And of this manner you shall heave an heaveoffering unto the Lord, of all your tithes which you receive of the children of Israel, and you shall give there of the Lords heave offering unto Aaron the priest. Of all your gifts, you shall take out the Lords heaveoffering: even the fat of all their hallowed things.
And you shall say unto them: when you have taken away the fat of it from it, it shall be counted unto the Levites, as the increase of corn and wine. And you shall eat it in all places both you and your households, for it is your rewards for your service in the tabernacle of witness. And you shall bear no sin by the reason of it, when you have taken from it the fat of it: neither shall you unhallow the hallowed things of the children of Israel, and so shall you not die.
The 19th Chapter
And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron saying: this is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commands saying: speak unto the children of Israel and let them take you a red cow without spot wherein is no blemish, and which never bare yoke upon her. And you shall give her unto Eleazer the priest, and he shall bring her without the host and cause her to be slain before him.
And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood upon his finger, and sprinkle it straight toward the tabernacle of witness seven times. And he shall cause the cow to be burnt in his sight: both skin, flesh and blood, with the dung also. And let the priest take Cedar wood, and Hyssop and purple cloth, and cast it upon the cow as she burns. And let the priest wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water, and then come into the host, and the priest shall be unclean unto the evening.
And he that burns her, shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his flesh also in water, and be unclean until evening. And one that is clean, shall go and take up the ashes of the cow, and put them without the host in a clean place, where they shall be kept to make sprinkling water for the multitude of the children of Israel: for it is a sinoffering. And let him that gathers the ashes of the cow, wash his clothes, and remain unclean until evening. And this shall be unto the children of Israel and unto the stranger that dwells among them, a manner for ever.
He that touches any dead person, shall be unclean seven days. And he shall purify himself with the ashes the third day and then he shall be clean the seventh day. And if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day, he shall not be clean. Whosoever touches any person that dies and sprinkles not himself, defiles the dwelling of the Lord: and therefore that soul shall be rooted out of Israel, because he has not sprinkled the sprinkling water upon him, he shall be unclean, and his uncleanness shall remain upon him.
This is the law of the man that dies in a tent: all that come into the tent and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. And all the vessels that be open which have no lid nor covering upon them, are unclean. And whosoever touches one that is slain with a sword in the fields, or a dead person, or a bone of a dead man, or a grave: shall be unclean seven days.
And they shall take for an unclean person, of the burnt ashes of the sinoffering, and put running water thereto into a vessel. And a clean person shall take Hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent and upon all the vessels and on the souls that were there, and upon him that touched a bone or a slain person or a dead body or a grave. And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean the third day and the seventh day. And the seventh day he shall purify himself and wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at evening.
If any be unclean and sprinkle not himself, the same soul shall be destroyed from among the congregation: for he has defiled the holy place of the Lord. And he that sprinkles the sprinkling water, shall wash his clothes.
And he that touches the sprinkling water, shall be unclean until even. And whatsoever the unclean person touches, shall be unclean. And the soul that touched it, shall be unclean until the evening.
The 20th Chapter
And the whole multitude of the children of Israel, came into the desert of Sin in the first month, and the people dwelt at Cades. And there died Miriam, and was buried there. Moreover there was no water for the multitude, wherefore they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people *chode with Moses and spoke saying: would God that we had perished when our brethren perished before the Lord. Why have you brought the congregation of the Lord unto this wilderness, that both we and our cattle should die here? Wherefore brought you us out of Egypt, to bring us into this ungracious place, which is no place of seed nor of figs nor vines nor of pomegranates, neither is there any water to drink! *chode: strive and contend
And Moses and Aaron went from the congregation unto the door of the tabernacle of witness, and fell upon their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. And the Lord spoke unto Moses saying: take the staff, and gather you and your brother Aaron the congregation together, and say unto the rock before their eyes, that he give forth his water. And you shall bring them water out of the rock and shall give the company drink, and their beasts also.
And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them: hear you rebellious, must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand with his staff and smote the rock two times, and the water came out abundantly, and the multitude drank and their beasts also.
And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron: Because you believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
This is the water of strife, because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified upon them.
And Moses sent messengers from Cades unto the king of Edom. Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the travail that has happened us, how our fathers went down into Egypt, and how we have dwelt in Egypt a long time, and how the Egyptians vexed both us and our fathers. Then we cried unto the Lord and he heard our voices, and sent an angel and has fetched us out of Egypt. And behold, we are in Cades, a city hard by the borders of your country: let us go a good fellowship through your country: we will not go through the fields nor through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the fountains: but we will go by the highway and neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left, until we be past your country. And Edom answered him: See you come not by me, least I come out against you with the sword. And the children of Israel said unto him: we will go by the beaten way: and if either we or our cattle drink of your water, we will pay for it, we will do no more but pass through by foot only. And he said: you shall not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people and with a mighty power. And thus Edom denied to give Israel passage through his country. And Israel turned away from him.
And the children of Israel removed from Cades and went unto mount Hor with all the congregation. And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, hard upon the coasts of the land of Edom saying: let Aaron be put unto his people, for he shall not come into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel: because you disobeyed my mouth at the water of strife. Take Aaron and Eleazer his son, and bring them up into mount Hor, and strip Aaron out of his vestments and put them upon Eleazer his son, and let Aaron be put unto his people and die there.
And Moses did as the Lord commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the multitude. And Moses took off Aarons clothes and put them upon Eleazer his son, and Aaron died there in the top of the mount. And Moses and Eleazer came down out of the mount. And all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.
The 21st Chapter
And when king Arad the Cananite which dwelt in the south parts, heard tell that Israel came by the way that the spies had found out: he came and fought with Israel and took some of them prisoners. Then Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord and said: If you will give this people into our hands, we will destroy their cities. And the Lord heard the voice of Israel, and delivered them the Cananites. And they destroyed both them and their cities, and called the place Horma.
Then they departed from mount Hor toward the red sea: to compass the land of Edom. And the souls of the people fainted by the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses: wherefore have you brought us out of Egypt, for to die in the wilderness, for here is neither bread nor water, and our souls loaths this light bread.
Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, which stung them: so that much people died in Israel. And the people came to Moses and said: we have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you: make intercession to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses made intercession for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses: make you a serpent and hang it up for a sign, and let as many as are bitten look upon it and they shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass and set it up for a sign. And when the serpents had bitten any man, he went and beheld the serpent of brass and recovered.
And the children of Israel removed and pitched in Oboth. And they departed from Oboth and lay at Egebarim in the wilderness which is before Moab on the east side. And they removed from that place, and pitched upon the river of Zarad. And they departed from that place and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which river is in the wilderness, and comes out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. Wherefore it is spoken in the book of the war of the Lord: go with a violence, both on the river of Arnon and on the rivers head, which shoots down to dwell at Ar, and leans upon the coasts of Moab.
And from that place they came to Bear, ox which is the well whereof the Lord spoke unto Moses: gather the people together, that I may give them water. Then Israel sang this song: Arise up well, sing thereto: The well which the rulers digged and the captains of the people with the help of the lawgiver and with their staves.
And from this wilderness they went to Matana, and from Matana to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab in the top of Phasgah which bows toward Jesimon. And Israel sent messengers unto Sehon, king of the Amorites, saying: let us go through your land: We will not turn into your fields nor into your vineyards, neither drink of the water of the wells: but we will go along by the common way, until we be past your country. And Sehon would give Israel no license to pass through his country, but gathered all his people together and went out against Israel into the wilderness. And he came to Jaheza and fought with Israel.
And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword and conquered his land, from Arnon unto Jabock: even unto the children of Ammon. For the borders of the children of Ammon, are strong. And Israel took all these cities and dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites: in Hesbon and in all the towns that long thereto. For Hesbon was the city of Sehon the king of the Amorites which Sehon had fought before with the king of the Moabites, and had taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon. Wherefore it is a proverb: go to Hesbon and let the city of Sehon be built and made ready for there is a fire gone out of Hesbon and a flame from the city of Sehon and has consumed Ar of the Moabites and the men of the hills of Arnon. Woe be to you Moab: O people of Chamos you are undone. His sons are put to flight and his daughters brought captive unto Sehon king of the Amorites. Their light is out from Hesbon unto Dibon and we made a wilderness even unto Nopha which reaches unto Mediba. And thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. And Moses sent to search out Jaezer, and they took the towns belonging thereto and conquered the Amorites that were there.
And then they turned and went up toward Bason. And Og the king of Bason came out against them, both he and all his people, to war at Edrei. And the Lord said unto Moses: fear him not, for I have delivered him into your hands with all his people and his land. And you shall do with him as you did with Sehon the king of the Amorites which dwelt at Hesbon. And they smote him and his sons and all his people, until there was nothing left him. And they conquered his land, and the children of Israel removed and pitched in the fields of Moab, on the other side of Jordan, by Jericho.
The 22nd Chapter
And Balac the son of Ziphor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and the Moabites were sore afraid of the people, because they were many, and abhorred the children of Israel: And Moab said unto the elders of Madian, now shall this company licked up all that are round about us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field. And Balac the son of Ziphor was king of the Moabites at that time.
And he sent messengers unto Balam the son of Beor, the interpreter which dwelt upon the river of the land of the children of his folk, to call him saying: behold, there is a people come out of Egypt which covers the face of the earth and lie even hard by me. Come now a fellowship and curse me this people. For they are too mighty for me, so peradventure I might be able to smite them and to drive them out of the land. For I know that whom you bless shall be blessed, and whom you curse shall be cursed.
And the elders of Moab went with the elders of Madian, and the reward of the soothsaying in their hands. And they came unto Balam and told him the words of Balac. And he said unto them: tarry here all night and I will bring you word, even as the Lord shall say unto me. And the lords of Moab abode with Balam.
And God came unto Balam and said: what men are these which are with you? And Balam said unto God: Balac the son of Ziphor king of Moab has sent unto me saying: behold, there is a people come out of Egypt and covers the face of the earth: come now therefore and curse me them, that so peradventure I may be able to overcome them in battle, and to drive them out. And God said unto Balam: you shall not go with them, neither curse the people, for they are blessed.
And Balam rose up in the morning and said unto the lords of Balac: get you unto your land, for the Lord will not suffer (allow) me to go with you. And the lords of Moab rose up and went unto Balac and said, Balam would not come with us. And Balac sent again a greater company of lords and more honorable than they. And they came to Balam and told him: Thus says Balac the son of Ziphorh: Oh, let nothing let you to come unto me, for I will greatly promote you unto great honor, and will do whatsoever you say unto me, come therefore I pray you, curse me this people.
And Balam answered and said unto the servants of Balac: If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can go no further than the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Nevertheless tarry you here all night: that I may know, what the Lord will say unto me once more. And God came to Balam by night and said unto him: If the men come to fetch you, rise up and go with them: but what I say unto you, that only you shall do.
And Balam rose up early and saddled his ass and went with the lords of Moab. But God was angry because he went. And the angel of the Lord stood in the way against him. And he rid upon his ass and two servants with him. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord stand in the way and his sword drawn in his hand, she turned aside out of the way and went out into the field. And Balam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
And the angel of the Lord went and stood in a path between the vineyards, where was a wall on the one side and another on the other. When the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she wrenched unto the wall and thrust Balams foot unto the wall, and he smote her again. And the angel of the Lord went further and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn, either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balam: and Balam was wrath and smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balam: what have I done unto you, that you smite me thus three times? And Balam said unto the Ass: because you have mocked me? I would that I had a sword in mine hand, that I might now kill you. And the ass said unto Balam: am not I your Ass which you have ridden upon since you was born unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto you? And he said, no.
And the Lord opened the eyes of Balam that he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand. And he bowed himself and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the Lord said unto him: Wherefore smite you your ass this three times? behold, I came out to resist you, for the way is contrary unto me, and the ass saw me and avoided me three times: or else (had she not turned from me) I had surely slain you and saved her alive. And Balam said unto the angel of the Lord: I have sinned: for I knew not that you stood in the way against me. Now therefore if it displease your eyes, I will turn again. And the angel said unto Balam, go with the men: but in any wise, what I say unto you, that say. And Balam went with the lords of Balac.
And when Balac heard that Balam was come he went out against him unto a city of Moab that stood in the border of Arnon, which was the utmost part of his country. And Balac said unto Balam: did I not send for you, to call you? wherefore came you not unto me? think you that I am not able to promote you unto honor? And Balam said unto Balac: Lo I am come unto you. But I can say nothing at all save what God puts in my mouth that must I speak. And Balam went with Balac, and they came unto the large city. And Balac offered oxen and sheep and sent for Balam and for the lords that were with him.
The 23rd Chapter
And on the morning Balac took Balam and brought him up into the high place of Baal, and from that place he saw unto the utmost part of the people. And Balam said unto Balac: build me here seven altars and provide here seven bullock and seven rams. And Balac did as Balam said. And Balac and Balam offered on every altar an bullock and a ram. And Balam said unto Balac: stand by the sacrifice, while I go to know whether the Lord will come and meet me, and whatsoever he shows me, I will tell you, and he went forthwith. And God came unto Balam, and Balam said unto him: I have prepared seven altars, and have offered upon every altar, an bullock and a ram. And the Lord put a saying in Balams mouth and said: go again to Balac and say on this wise. And he went again unto him and lo, he stood by his sacrifice, both he and all the lords of Moab. And he began his parable and said: Balac the king of Moab has fetched me from Mesopotamia out of the mountains of the east saying: come and curse me Jacob, come and defy me Israel. How shall I curse whom God curses not and how shall I defy whom the Lord defys not? from the top of the rocks I see him and from the hills I behold him: Lo, the people, shall dwell by himself and shall not be reckoned among other nations. Who can tell the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth part of Israel. I pray God that my soul, may die the death of the righteous, and that my last end may be like his. And Balac said unto Balam, what have you done unto me? I fetched you to curse mine enemies: and behold, you bless them. And he answered and said: must I not keep that and speak it, which the Lord has put in my mouth? And Balac said unto him: Come I pray you with me unto another place, from where you shall see them, and shall see but the utmost part of them and shall not see them all and curse me them there. And he brought him into a plain field where men might see far, even to the top of Phasgah, and built seven altars and offered an bullock and a ram on every altar. And he said unto Balac: stand here by your sacrifice while I go yonder. And the Lord met Balam and put words in his mouth and said: go again unto Balac and thus say. And when he came to him: behold, he stood by his sacrifice and the lords of Moab with him. And Balac said unto him: what says the Lord?
And he took up his parable and said: rise up Balac and hear, and hearken unto me you son of Ziphor. The Lord is not a man, that he can lie, neither the son of a man that he can repent: should he say and not do, or should he speak and not make it good? behold, I have begun to bless and have blessed, and cannot go back therefrom. He beheld no wickedness in Jacob nor saw Idolatry in Israel: The Lord his God is with him, and the triumph of a king among them. God that brought them out of Egypt, is as the strength of an unicorn unto them, for there is no sorcerer, in Jacob, nor soothsayer in Israel. When the time comes, it will be said of Jacob and of Israel, what God has wrought. Behold, the people shall rise up as a lioness and heave up himself as a lion, and shall not lie down again, until he have eaten of the prey and drunk of the blood of them that are slain.
And Balac said unto Balam: neither curse them nor bless them. And Balam answered and said unto Balac: told not I you saying, all that the Lord bids me, that I must do? And Balac said unto Balam: come I pray you, I will bring you yet unto another place: so peradventure it shall please God, that you may curse them there. And Balac brought Balam unto the top of Peor, that bows toward the wilderness. And Balam said unto Balac: make me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams. And Balac did as Balam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
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