Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 20

14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: "So says your brother, Israel, 'You know of all the hardship that has befallen us.   ידוַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח משֶׁ֧ה מַלְאָכִ֛ים מִקָּדֵ֖שׁ אֶל־מֶ֣לֶךְ אֱד֑וֹם כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ אָחִ֣יךָ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אַתָּ֣ה יָדַ֔עְתָּ אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַתְּלָאָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר מְצָאָֽתְנוּ:
your brother Israel: Why did he see fit to mention brotherhood here? However, he said to him, “We are brothers, sons of Abraham, to whom it was said, 'your descendants will be strangers [in a land which is not theirs’]” (Gen. 15:13). And both of us are responsible for fulfilling that obligation. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 12, Num. Rabbah 19:15]   אָחִיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל: מָה רָאָה לְהַזְכִּיר כָּאן אַחֲוָה? אֶלָּא אָמַר לוֹ אַחִים אֲנַחְנוּ, בְּנֵי אַבְרָהָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לוֹ "כִּי גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ" (בראשית ט"ו), וְעַל שְׁנֵינוּ הָיָה אוֹתוֹ הַחוֹב לְפָרְעוֹ (תנחומא):
You know of all the hardship: Therefore, your father parted from our father, as it says, “He went to a land because of Jacob his brother” (Gen. 36:6), [that is] because of the debt that was imposed upon them, and he [Esau] cast it onto Jacob. — [Gen. Rabbah 82:13]   אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת כָּל־הַתְּלָאָה: לְפִיכָךְ פֵּרֵשׁ אֲבִיכֶם מֵעַל אָבִינוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל אֶרֶץ מִפְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב אָחִיו" (בראשית ל״ו:ו׳) — מִפְּנֵי הַשְּׁטָר חוֹב הַמֻּטָּל עֲלֵיהֶם, וְהִטִּילוֹ עַל יַעֲקֹב:
15Our fathers went down to Egypt, and we sojourned in Egypt for a long time. And the Egyptians mistreated us and our forefathers.   טווַיֵּֽרְד֤וּ אֲבֹתֵ֨ינוּ֙ מִצְרַ֔יְמָה וַנֵּ֥שֶׁב בְּמִצְרַ֖יִם יָמִ֣ים רַבִּ֑ים וַיָּרֵ֥עוּ לָ֛נוּ מִצְרַ֖יִם וְלַֽאֲבֹתֵֽינוּ:
mistreated us: We endured many hardships.   וַיָּרֵעוּ לָנוּ: סָבַלְנוּ צָרוֹת רַבּוֹת:
and our forefathers: From here [we learn] that when Israel is afflicted with punishment, the Patriarchs grieve in the grave. - [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 12, Num. Rabbah 19:15]   וְלַֽאֲבֹתֵֽינוּ: מִכָּאן שֶׁהָאָבוֹת מִצְטַעֲרִים בַּקֶּבֶר כְּשֶׁפֻּרְעָנוּת בָּאָה עַל יִשְֹרָאֵל (עי' תנחומא):
16We cried out to the Lord and He heard our voice. He sent an angel, and he took us out of Egypt, and now we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your border.   טזוַנִּצְעַ֤ק אֶל־יְהֹוָה֙ וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע קֹלֵ֔נוּ וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח מַלְאָ֔ךְ וַיֹּֽצִאֵ֖נוּ מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וְהִנֵּה֙ אֲנַ֣חְנוּ בְקָדֵ֔שׁ עִ֖יר קְצֵ֥ה גְבוּלֶֽךָ:
and He heard our voice: through the blessing that our father [Isaac] gave: “The voice is the voice of Jacob” (Gen. 27:22). When we cry out we are answered. — [Midrash Aggadah . See also Midrash Tanchuma Beshallach 9]   וַיִּשְׁמַע קֹלֵנוּ: בַּבְּרָכָה שֶׁבֵּרְכָנוּ אָבִינוּ "הַקֹּל קוֹל יַעֲקֹב", שֶׁאָנוּ צוֹעֲקִים וְנַעֲנִים (תנחומא בשלח):
an angel: This refers to Moses. From here [we derive] that the prophets are called “angels,” and it says, “They mocked the angels of God” (II Chron. 36:16). - [Midrash Tanchuma Vayikra 1, Lev. Rabbah 1:1]   מַלְאָךְ: זֶה מֹשֶׁה, מִכָּאן שֶׁהַנְּבִיאִים קְרוּאִים מַלְאָכִים, וְאוֹמֵר "וַיִּהְיוּ מַלְעִבִים בְּמַלְאֲכֵי הָאֱלֹהִים" (דברי הימים ב' ל"ו):
17Please let us pass through your land; we will not pass through fields or vineyards, nor will we drink well water. We will walk along the king's road, and we will turn neither to the right nor to the left until we have passed through your territory.'"   יזנַעְבְּרָה־נָּ֣א בְאַרְצֶ֗ךָ לֹ֤א נַֽעֲבֹר֙ בְּשָׂדֶ֣ה וּבְכֶ֔רֶם וְלֹ֥א נִשְׁתֶּ֖ה מֵ֣י בְאֵ֑ר דֶּ֧רֶךְ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ נֵלֵ֗ךְ לֹ֤א נִטֶּה֙ יָמִ֣ין וּשְׂמֹ֔אול עַ֥ד אֲשֶׁר־נַֽעֲבֹ֖ר גְּבֻלֶֽךָ:
Please let us pass through your land: You have no right to contest the inheritance of the Land of Israel, since you did not pay the debt. Help us a little, and let us pass through your land. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 12, Num. Rabbah 19:15]   נַעְבְּרָה־נָּא בְאַרְצֶךָ: אֵין לְךָ לְעוֹרֵר עַל הַיְרֻשָּׁה שֶׁל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁלֹּא פָרַעְתָּ הַחוֹב, עֲשֵׂה לָנוּ עֵזֶר מְעַט לַעֲבֹר דֶּרֶךְ אַרְצְךָ:
nor will we drink well water: He should have said, “water from cisterns.” However, Moses said, “Though we have manna to eat and a well from which to drink, we will not drink from it, but we will buy food and drink from you, for your benefit.” From here [we learn] that even if a guest has his own provisions, he should buy from the shopkeeper [or householder] to benefit his host. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 12, Num. Rabbah 19:15]   וְלֹא נִשְׁתֶּה מֵי בְאֵר: מֵי בוֹרוֹת הָיָה צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר, אֶלָּא כָּךְ אָמַר מֹשֶׁה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדֵנוּ מָן לֶאֱכֹל וּבְאֵר לִשְׁתּוֹת, לֹא נִשְׁתֶּה מִמֶּנּוּ, אֶלָּא נִקְנֶה מִכֶּם אֹכֶל וּמַיִם לַהֲנָאַתְכֶם, מִכָּאן לְאַכְסְנַאי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדוֹ לֶאֱכֹל יִקְנֶה מִן הַחֶנְוָנִי, כְּדֵי לְהַנּוֹת אֶת אֻשְׁפִּיזוֹ (תנחומא):
We will walk along the king’s road: We will muzzle our animals so they should not turn to either side to eat. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 12, Num. Rabbah 19:15]   דֶּרֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ נֵלֵךְ וגו': אָנוּ חוֹסְמִים אֶת בְּהֶמְתֵּנוּ וְלֹא יִטּוּ לְכָאן וּלְכָאן לֶאֱכֹל (שם):
18Edom replied to him, "You shall not pass through me, lest I go out towards you with the sword!"   יחוַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ אֱד֔וֹם לֹ֥א תַֽעֲבֹ֖ר בִּ֑י פֶּן־בַּחֶ֖רֶב אֵצֵ֥א לִקְרָאתֶֽךָ:
lest I go out towards you with the sword: You pride yourselves with the ‘voice’ your father bequeathed you, and declare, “We cried out to the Lord, and He heard our voice” (verse 16). But we will go out against you with what my father bequeathed me: “You shall live by the sword” (Gen. 27:40) - [Midrash Tanchuma Beshallach 9]   פֶּן־בַּחֶרֶב אֵצֵא לִקְרָאתֶֽךָ: אַתֶּם מִתְגָּאִים בְּקוֹל שֶׁהוֹרִישְׁכֶם אֲבִיכֶם וְאוֹמְרִים "וַנִּצְעַק אֶל ה' וַיִּשְׁמַע קֹלֵנוּ", וַאֲנִי אֵצֵא עֲלֵיכֶם בְּמַה שֶּׁהוֹרִישֵׁנִי אָבִי "וְעַל חַרְבְּךָ תִחְיֶה" (בראשית כ"ז):
19The children of Israel said to him, "We will keep to the highway, and if we drink your water, either I or my cattle, we will pay its price. It is really nothing; I will pass through on foot."   יטוַיֹּֽאמְר֨וּ אֵלָ֥יו בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֘ בַּֽמְסִלָּ֣ה נַֽעֲלֶה֒ וְאִם־מֵימֶ֤יךָ נִשְׁתֶּה֙ אֲנִ֣י וּמִקְנַ֔י וְנָֽתַתִּ֖י מִכְרָ֑ם רַ֥ק אֵין־דָּבָ֖ר בְּרַגְלַ֥י אֶֽעֱבֹֽרָה:
It is really nothing: There is nothing to harm you.   רַק אֵין־דָּבָר: אֵין שׁוּם דָּבָר מַזִּיקְךָ:
20But he said, "You shall not pass through!" and Edom came out toward them with a vast force and with a strong hand.   כוַיֹּ֖אמֶר לֹ֣א תַֽעֲבֹ֑ר וַיֵּצֵ֤א אֱדוֹם֙ לִקְרָאת֔וֹ בְּעַ֥ם כָּבֵ֖ד וּבְיָ֥ד חֲזָקָֽה:
and with a strong hand: With our grandfather’s promise: “the hands are the hands of Esau” (Gen. 27:22). - [Midrash Aggadah]   וּבְיָד חֲזָקָֽה: בְּהַבְטָחַת זְקֵנֵנוּ "וְהַיָּדַיִם יְדֵי עֵשָׂו" (שם):
21Edom refused to allow Israel to cross through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.   כאוַיְמָאֵ֣ן | אֱד֗וֹם נְתֹן֙ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עֲבֹ֖ר בִּגְבֻל֑וֹ וַיֵּ֥ט יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵֽעָלָֽיו: