The sixth section of the Book of Numbers opens with the law (or “rule,” chukat, in Hebrew) governing the process of purification from the state of ritual defilement that a person contracts through contact with a human corpse. After this, the Torah’s narrative advances to the final years of the Jewish people’s wanderings in the desert until they arrived at the threshold of the Land of Israel.

The seventh section of the Book of Numbers describes the plot of Balak, king of Moab and his hired sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people in order to prevent them from attacking Moab. G‑d frustrates their plan and forces Balaam to bless the Jewish people instead.