Parashah 42 – Mattot

Parashah 42: Mattot (Tribes)

Numbers 30:2 –32:42

[In regular years read with Parashah 43, in leap years read separately]

Then Moshe spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Isra’el. He said, “Here is what Yehovah has ordered: when a man makes a vow to Yehovah or formally obligates himself by swearing an oath, he is not to break his word but is to do everything he said he would do.

“When a woman makes a vow to Yehovah, formally obligating herself, while she is a minor living in her father’s house; then, if her father has heard what she vowed or obligated herself to do and holds his peace, then all her vows remain binding — every obligation she has bound herself to will stand. But if on the day her father hears it, he expresses his disapproval, then none of her vows or obligations she has bound herself to will stand; and Yehovah will forgive her, because her father expressed his disapproval.

“If, having made vows or rashly committed herself to an obligation, she gets married; and her husband hears but holds his peace with her on the day he learns of it, then her vows and obligations she has bound herself to will stand. But if her husband expresses his disapproval on the day he hears it, he will void the vow which is on her and the obligation to which she has bound herself; and Yehovah will forgive her.

10 “The vow of a widow, however, or of a divorcee, including everything to which she has obligated herself, will stand against her.

11 “If a woman vowed in her husband’s house or obligated herself with an oath; 12 and her husband heard it but held his peace with her and did not express disapproval, then all her vows and obligations will stand. 13 But if her husband makes them null and void on the day he hears them, then whatever she said, vows or binding obligation, will not stand; her husband has voided them; and Yehovah will forgive her. 14 Her husband may let every vow and every binding obligation stand, or he may void it. 15 But if her husband entirely holds his peace with her day after day, then he confirms all her vows and obligations; he must let them stand, because he held his peace with her on the day he heard them. 16 If he makes them null and void after he has heard them, then he will bear the consequent guilt.”

17 These are the laws which Yehovah ordered Moshe between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter, if she is a minor living in her father’s house.

31 (LY: ii) Yehovah said to Moshe, “On behalf of the people of Isra’el, take vengeance on the Midyanim. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”

Moshe said to the people, “Equip men from among yourselves for war. They are to go and fight Midyan, in order to carry out Yehovah’s vengeance on Midyan. You are to send to the war a thousand men from every one of Isra’el’s tribes.” So out of the thousands of people in Isra’el, a thousand armed men from each tribe, 12,000 altogether, were mustered for war. Moshe sent them, a thousand from each tribe, to the war; he sent them and Pinchas the son of El‘azar the cohen to the war, with the holy utensils and the trumpets for sounding the alarm in his care.

They fought against Midyan, as Yehovah had ordered Moshe, and killed every male. They killed the kings of Midyan along with the others who were slain — Evi, Rekem, Tzur, Hur and Reva, the five kings of Midyan. They also killed Bil‘am the son of B‘or with the sword. The people of Isra’el took captive the women of Midyan and their little ones, and they took as booty all their cattle, flocks and other goods. 10 They set fire to all their cities in the areas where they lived and all their camps. 11 They took all the booty, all the people and animals they had captured, 12 and brought the captives, booty and spoil to Moshe, El‘azar the cohen and the community of Isra’el in the camp on the plains of Mo’av by the Yarden across from Yericho.

(RY: ii, LY: iii) 13 Moshe, El‘azar the cohen and all the community leaders went to meet them outside the camp. 14 But Moshe was angry with the army officers, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds coming in from the battlefield. 15 Moshe asked them, “You let the women live? 16 Why, these are the ones who — because of Bil‘am’s advice — caused the people of Isra’el to rebel, breaking faith with Yehovah in the P‘or incident, so that the plague broke out among Yehovah’s community! 17 Now kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has ever slept with a man. 18 But the young girls who have never slept with a man, keep alive for yourselves. 19 Pitch your tents outside the camp for seven days. Whoever has killed a person or touched the corpse of someone slain, purify yourselves on the third and seventh days, you and your captives. 20 Also purify every garment, whether of skin or goat’s hair, and everything made of wood.”

21 El‘azar the cohen said to the soldiers who had gone to the front, “This is the regulation from the Torah which Yehovah has ordered Moshe. 22 Even though gold, silver, brass, iron, tin and lead 23 can all withstand fire, so that you are indeed to purify everything made of these materials by having them pass through fire; nevertheless they must also be purified with the water for purification. Everything that can’t withstand fire you are to have go through the water. 24 On the seventh day you are to wash your clothes, and you will be clean; after that you may enter the camp.”

(LY: iv) 25 Yehovah said to Moshe, 26 “Take all the booty, both people and animals, you, El‘azar the cohen and the leaders of clans in the community; 27 and divide the booty into two parts: half for the experienced soldiers who went out to battle, and half for the rest of the community. 28 From the portion of the soldiers who went out to battle, levy a tax for Yehovah consisting of one-five-hundredth of the persons, cattle, donkeys and sheep; 29 take it from their half and give it to El‘azar the cohen as a portion set apart for Yehovah. 30 From the half that goes to the people of Isra’el, you are to take one-fiftieth of the persons, and of the cattle, donkeys and sheep, that is, of all the livestock; and give them to the L’vi’im taking care of the tabernacle of Yehovah.” 31 Moshe and El‘azar the cohen did as Yehovah had ordered Moshe.

32 The booty, over and above the portion which the soldiers took, came to 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys, 35 and 32,000 persons in all, consisting of the women who had never slept with a man.

36 The half which was the portion of the soldiers who went out to fight, numbered 337,500 sheep, 37 of which Yehovah’s tribute was 675; 38 36,000 cattle, of which Yehovah’s tribute was seventy-two; 39 30,500 donkeys, of which Yehovah’s tribute was sixty-one; 40 and 16,000 persons, of whom Yehovah’s tribute was thirty-two persons. 41 Moshe gave the tribute set apart for Yehovah to El‘azar the cohen, as Yehovah had ordered Moshe.

(LY: v) 42 From the half that went to people of Isra’el, which Moshe separated from that of the men who had gone to fight — 43 now the community’s half consisted of 337,500 sheep, 44 36,000 cattle, 45 30,500 donkeys 46 and 16,000 persons — 47 from the people of Isra’el’s half, Moshe took one-fiftieth of the persons and animals and gave them to the L’vi’im taking care of the tabernacle of Yehovah, as Yehovah had ordered Moshe.

48 The officers in charge of the thousands who fought, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, approached Moshe 49 and said to him, “Your servants have counted all the soldiers under our command, and not one of us is missing. 50 We have brought an offering for Yehovah, what every man has obtained in the way of gold jewelry — armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and belts — to make atonement for ourselves before Yehovah.”

51 Moshe and El‘azar the cohen accepted their gold, all the jewelry. 52 All the gold in this gift which the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds set apart for Yehovah weighed 420 pounds. 53 For the soldiers had taken booty, every man for himself. 54 Moshe and El‘azar the cohen took the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and brought it into the tent of meeting as a reminder for the people of Isra’el before Yehovah.

32 (RY: iii; LY: vi) The descendants of Re’uven and the descendants of Gad had vast quantities of livestock. When they saw that the land of Ya‘zer and the land of Gil‘ad were good for livestock, the descendants of Gad and of Re’uven came and spoke to Moshe, El‘azar the cohen and the community leaders. They said, “‘Atarot, Divon, Ya‘zer, Nimrah, Heshbon, El‘aleh, S’vam, N’vo and Be‘on, the country that Yehovah conquered before the community of Isra’el, is livestock country; and your servants have livestock. If you regard us favorably,” they went on, “let this land be given to your servants as their possession; and don’t have us cross the Yarden.”

Moshe answered the descendants of Gad and of Re’uven: “Are your brothers to go to war while you stay here? Besides, why are you trying to discourage the people of Isra’el from crossing into the land Yehovah gave them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-Barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the Eshkol Valley and saw the land, they disheartened the people of Isra’el, so that they wouldn’t enter the land Yehovah had given them. 10 Yehovah’s anger blazed up on that day; and he swore, 11 ‘None of the people aged twenty or more who came out of Egypt will see the land I swore to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov; because they haven’t followed me unreservedly — 12 except Kalev the son of Y’funeh the K’nizi and Y’hoshua the son of Nun, because they have followed Yehovah unreservedly.’ 13 Thus Yehovah’s anger blazed against Isra’el, so that he made them wander here and there in the desert forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of Yehovah had died out. 14 Now you, another brood of sinners, have arisen in your fathers’ place to increase still more the fierce anger of Yehovah toward Isra’el! 15 For if you turn away from him, he will leave them in the desert again, and thus you will cause the destruction of all these people!”

16 But they came up to him and said, “Here we will build enclosures for our livestock and cities for our little ones, 17 but we ourselves will be armed and ready for action to march at the head of the people of Isra’el, until we have brought them to their place. Our little ones will stay in the fortified cities here because of the people now living in the land. 18 However, we will not return to our own homes until every man in Isra’el has taken possession of his land for inheritance. 19 We will not have an inheritance with them on the other side of the Yarden, westward; because our inheritance has fallen to us on this side of the Yarden, eastward.”

(RY: iv, LY: vii) 20 Moshe said to them, “If you will do this — if you will arm yourselves to go before Yehovah to the war, 21 and if every one of your soldiers will cross the Yarden before Yehovah, until he has driven out his enemies ahead of him, 22 and if the land has been conquered before Yehovah, and only after that do you return — then you will be clear before Yehovah and before Isra’el, and this land here will be yours to possess before Yehovah. 23 But if you will not do this, then you have sinned against Yehovah, and you must understand that your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your little ones and enclosures for your sheep; then do what you said you would do.”

25 The descendants of Gad and the descendants of Re’uven said to Moshe, “Your servants will do as my lord orders. 26 Our little ones, wives, flocks and all our livestock will be there in the cities of Gil‘ad; 27 but your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, before Yehovah to do battle, as my lord says.”

28 So Moshe gave orders concerning them to El‘azar the cohen, Y’hoshua the son of Nun and the clan leaders of the tribes of the people of Isra’el. 29 Moshe said to them, “If the descendants of Gad and of Re’uven cross over the Yarden with you, every man armed for battle, before Yehovah; and if the land is conquered before you, then you are to give them the land of Gil‘ad as theirs to possess. 30 But if they do not cross with you armed, they are to possess land along with you in Kena‘an.”

31 The descendants of Gad and of Re’uven answered, “We will do as Yehovah has said to your servants. 32 We will cross over into the land of Kena‘an armed before Yehovah, and the land we will possess for inheritance will be on this side of the Yarden.”

33 So Moshe gave the descendants of Gad and of Re’uven, and also to the half-tribe of M’nasheh the son of Yosef, the kingdom of Sichon king of the Emori and the kingdom of ‘Og king of Bashan — the country and its cities within its borders, along with their surrounding towns.

34 The descendants of Gad built Divon, ‘Atarot, ‘Aro‘er, 35 ‘Atrot-Shofan, Ya‘zer, Yogbehah, 36 Beit-Nimrah and Beit-Haran — fortified cities; and also enclosures for sheep.

37 The descendants of Re’uven built Heshbon, El‘aleh, Kiryatayim, 38 N’vo, Ba‘al-M‘on (these names have been changed) and Sivmah; they renamed the cities they built.

(LY: Maftir) 39 The descendants of Machir the son of M’nasheh went to Gil‘ad and conquered it, dispossessing the Emori who were there. 40 Moshe gave Gil‘ad to Machir the son of M’nasheh, and he lived in it. 41 Ya’ir the son of M’nasheh went and captured its villages and called them Havot-Ya’ir [villages of Ya’ir]. 42 Novach went and captured K’nat with its villages and named it Novach after himself.

Jeremiah 1:1 – 2:3

1 These are the words of Yirmeyahu the son of Hilkiyahu, one of the cohanim living in ‘Anatot, in the territory of Binyamin. The word of Yehovah came to him during the days of Yoshiyahu the son of Amon, king of Y’hudah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It also came during the days of Y’hoyakim the son of Yoshiyahu, king of Y’hudah, continuing until the eleventh year of Tzidkiyahu the son of Yoshiyahu, king of Y’hudah, right up until the time Yerushalayim was carried away captive, in the fifth month.

Here is the word of Yehovah that came to me:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you;
before you were born, I separated you for myself.
I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

I said, “Oh, Adonai Yehovah, I don’t even know how to speak! I’m just a child!” But Yehovah said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m just a child.’

“For you will go to whomever I send you,
and you will speak whatever I order you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you, says Yehovah,
to rescue you.”

Then Yehovah put out his hand and touched my mouth, and Yehovah said to me,

“There! I have put my words in your mouth.
10 Today I have placed you over nations and kingdoms
to uproot and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant.”

11 The word of Yehovah came to me, asking, “Yirmeyahu, what do you see?” I answered, “I see a branch from an almond tree. 12 Then Yehovah said to me, “You have seen well, because I am watching to fulfill my word.”

13 A second time the word of Yehovah came to me, asking, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a caldron tilted away from the north, over a fire fanned by the wind.” 14 Then Yehovah said to me, “From the north calamity will boil over onto everyone living in the land, 15 because I will summon all the families in the kingdoms of the north,” says Yehovah,

“and they will come and sit, each one, on his throne
at the entrance to the gates of Yerushalayim,
opposite its walls, all the way around,
and opposite all the cities of Y’hudah.
16 I will pronounce my judgments against them
for all their wickedness in abandoning me,
offering incense to other gods
and worshipping what their own hands made.

17 “But you, dress for action; stand up and tell them
everything I order you to say.
When you confront them, don’t break down;
or I will break you down in front of them!
18 For today, you see, I have made you into
a fortified city, a pillar of iron,
a wall of bronze against the whole land —
against the kings of Y’hudah, against its princes,
against its cohanim and the people of the land.
19 They will fight against you,
but they will not overcome you,
for I am with you,” says Yehovah,
“to rescue you.”

2 The word of Yehovah came to me: “Go and shout in the ears of Yerushalayim that this is what Yehovah says:

‘I remember your devotion when you were young;
how, as a bride, you loved me;
how you followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown.

“‘Isra’el is set aside for Yehovah,
the firstfruits of his harvest;
all who devour him will incur guilt;
evil will befall them,” says Yehovah.

Matthew 5:33-37

33 “Again, you have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not break your oath,’ and ‘Keep your vows to Yehovah.’ 34 But I tell you not to swear in vain at all — not ‘by heaven,’ because it is God’s throne; 35 not ‘by the earth,’ because it is his footstool; and not ‘by Yerushalayim,’ because it is the city of the Great King. 36 And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t make a single hair white or black. 37 Just let your ‘Yes’ be a simple ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ a simple ‘No’; anything more than this has its origin in evil.

Philemon

Grace and shalom to you from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers, Philemon, for I am hearing about your love and commitment to the Lord Yeshua and to all God’s people. I pray that the fellowship based on your commitment will produce full understanding of every good thing that is ours in union with the Messiah. For your love has given me much joy and encouragement. Brother, you have refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

Therefore, I would not hesitate, in union with the Messiah, to direct you to do the thing you ought to do. But since I Sha’ul, am the kind of person I am, an old man and now for the Messiah Yeshua’s sake a prisoner besides, I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. 10 My request to you concerns my son, of whom I became the father while here in prison, Onesimus. 11 His name means “useful,” and although he was once useless to you, he has now become most useful — not only to you but also to me; 12 so that in returning him to you I am sending a part of my very heart. 13 I would dearly have loved to keep him with me, in order for him to serve me in your place while I am in prison because of the Good News. 14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do for me may be voluntary and not forced.

15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a brief period was so that you could have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, as a dear brother. And that he is, especially to me. But how much dearer he must be to you, both humanly and in union with the Lord!

17 So if you are in fellowship with me, receive him as you would me. 18 And if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.

19 I, Sha’ul, write with my own hand. I will repay it.

(I won’t mention, of course, that you owe me your very life.) 20 Yes, brother, please do me this favor in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Messiah.

21 Trusting that you will respond positively, I write knowing that you will indeed do more than I am asking.

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