Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 21

21Israel sent messengers to Sihon the king of the Amorites, saying:   כאוַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מַלְאָכִ֔ים אֶל־סִיחֹ֥ן מֶֽלֶךְ־הָֽאֱמֹרִ֖י לֵאמֹֽר:
Israel sent messengers: Elsewhere, the sending [of messengers] is ascribed to Moses, as it says, “So I sent messengers from the desert of Kedemoth” (Deut. 2:26). Similarly, “Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom…” (above. 20: 14), but concerning Jephthah it says, “Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom…” (Jud. 11:17). These verses supplement each other; one holds back [information by not informing us who authorized the sending of the messengers] and the other reveals [that Moses sent them]. Moses is Israel, and Israel is Moses, to teach you that the leader of the generation is equal to the entire generation, because the leader is everything. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 23, Num. Rabbah 19:28]   וַיִּשְׁלַח יִשְׂרָאֵל מַלְאָכִים: וּבְמָקוֹם אַחֵר תּוֹלֶה הַשְּׁלִיחוּת בְּמֹשֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וָאֶשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים מִמִּדְבַּר קְדֵמוֹת" (דברים ב'), וְכֵן "וַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה מַלְאָכִים מִקָּדֵשׁ אֶל מֶלֶךְ אֱדוֹם" (במדבר כ'), וּבְיִפְתָּח הוּא אוֹמֵר (שופטים י"א) "וַיִּשְׁלַח יִשְׂרָאֵל מַלְאָכִים אֶל מֶלֶךְ אֱדוֹם" וְגוֹ', הַכְּתוּבִים הַלָּלוּ צְרִיכִין זֶה לָזֶה, זֶה נוֹעֵל וְזֶה פוֹתֵחַ, שֶׁמֹּשֶׁה הוּא יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם מֹשֶׁה, לוֹמַר לְךָ שֶׁנְּשִׂיא הַדּוֹר הוּא כְּכָל הַדּוֹר, כִּי הַנָּשִׂיא הוּא הַכֹּל (תנחומא):
22"Let me pass through your land. We will not turn into fields or vineyards, nor drink well water. We shall walk along the king's road, until we have passed through your territory."   כבאֶעְבְּרָ֣ה בְאַרְצֶ֗ךָ לֹ֤א נִטֶּה֙ בְּשָׂדֶ֣ה וּבְכֶ֔רֶם לֹ֥א נִשְׁתֶּ֖ה מֵ֣י בְאֵ֑ר בְּדֶ֤רֶךְ הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ֙ נֵלֵ֔ךְ עַ֥ד אֲשֶׁר־נַֽעֲבֹ֖ר גְּבֻלֶֽךָ:
Let me pass through your land: Even though they were not commanded to offer them peace, they nevertheless sought peace from them. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 22, Num. Rabbah 19:27]   אֶעְבְּרָה בְאַרְצֶךָ: אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִצְטַוּוּ לִפְתֹּחַ לָהֶם בְּשָׁלוֹם בִּקְּשׁוּ מֵהֶם שָׁלוֹם (שם):
23But Sihon did not permit Israel to pass through his territory, and Sihon gathered all his people and went out to the desert toward Israel. He arrived at Jahaz and fought against Israel.   כגוְלֹֽא־נָתַ֨ן סִיחֹ֥ן אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֘ עֲבֹ֣ר בִּגְבֻלוֹ֒ וַיֶּֽאֱסֹ֨ף סִיחֹ֜ן אֶת־כָּל־עַמּ֗וֹ וַיֵּצֵ֞א לִקְרַ֤את יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ הַמִּדְבָּ֔רָה וַיָּבֹ֖א יָ֑הְצָה וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
But Sihon did not permit: Since all the Canaanite kings paid him tribute for protecting them against marauding armies, when Israel said to him, “Let me pass through your land,” he said to them, “My very presence is only to protect them from you, so how can you suggest such a thing?” - [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 23, Num. Rabbah 19:29]   וְלֹֽא־נָתַן סִיחֹן וגו': לְפִי שֶׁכָּל מַלְכֵי כְנַעַן הָיוּ מַעֲלִין לוֹ מַס, שֶׁהָיָה שׁוֹמְרָם שֶׁלֹּא יַעַבְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶם גְּיָסוֹת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאָמְרוּ לוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶעְבְּרָה בְאַרְצֶךָ, אָ"לָ, כָּל עַצְמִי אֵינִי יוֹשֵׁב כָּאן אֶלָּא לְשָׁמְרָם מִפְּנֵיכֶם, וְאַתֶּם אוֹמְרִים כָּךְ (תנחומא):
went out… toward Israel: Had Heshbon been full of gnats, no creature could have conquered it, and had Sihon been [living in] a weak village, no man could have conquered it. How much more so [was it invincible] since he [Sihon] was in Heshbon. The Holy One, blessed is He, said, “Why should I trouble My children to besiege every city?” He gave all the warriors the idea to leave the cities, and they all gathered in one place, where they were slain. From there Israel proceeded to the cities, where there met with no opposition, since only women and children were [left] there. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 23, Num. Rabbah 19:29]   וַיֵּצֵא לִקְרַאת יִשְׂרָאֵל: אִלּוּ הָיְתָה חֶשְׁבּוֹן מְלֵאָה יַתּוּשִׁין אֵין כָּל בְּרִיָּה יְכוֹלָה לְכָבְשָׁהּ, וְאִם הָיָה סִיחוֹן בִּכְפָר חַלָּשׁ אֵין כָּל אָדָם יָכוֹל לְכָבְשׁוֹ, וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁהָיָה בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן; אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מָה אֲנִי מַטְרִיחַ עַל בָּנַי כָּל זֹאת לָצוּר עַל כָּל עִיר וָעִיר? נָתַן בְּלֵב כָּל אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה לָצֵאת מִן הָעֲיָרוֹת, וְנִתְקַבְּצוּ כֻלָּם לְמָקוֹם אֶחָד וְשָׁם נָפְלוּ, וּמִשָּׁם הָלְכוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל הֶעָרִים וְאֵין עוֹמֵד לְנֶגְדָּם, כִּי אֵין שָׁם אֶלָּא נָשִׁים וָטָף (שם):
24Israel smote him with the sword, and took possession of his land from Arnon to Jabbok, as far as the children of Ammon, for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.   כדוַיַּכֵּ֥הוּ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְפִי־חָ֑רֶב וַיִּירַ֨שׁ אֶת־אַרְצ֜וֹ מֵֽאַרְנֹ֗ן עַד־יַבֹּק֙ עַד־בְּנֵ֣י עַמּ֔וֹן כִּ֣י עַ֔ז גְּב֖וּל בְּנֵ֥י עַמּֽוֹן:
for…strong: What was its strength? The warning of the Holy One, blessed is He, Who said to them [Israel], “neither distress them [Ammon]” (Deut. 2:19). - [Mid. Aggadah]   כִּי עַז: וּמַהוּ חָזְקוֹ? הַתְרָאָתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁאָמַר לָהֶם אַל תְּצֻרֵם וְגוֹ' (דברים ב'):
25Israel took all these cities, and the Israelites dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon and all its villages.   כהוַיִּקַּח֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֥ת כָּל־הֶֽעָרִ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַיֵּ֤שֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּכָל־עָרֵ֣י הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י בְּחֶשְׁבּ֖וֹן וּבְכָל־בְּנֹתֶֽיהָ:
its villages: Heb. בְּנֹתֶיהָ, lit. her daughters, the villages near it.   בְּנֹתֶֽיהָ: כְּפָרִים הַסְּמוּכִים לָהּ:
26For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and he had fought against the first king of Moab, taking all his land from his possession, as far as Arnon.   כוכִּ֣י חֶשְׁבּ֔וֹן עִ֗יר סִיחֹ֛ן מֶ֥לֶךְ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֖י הִ֑וא וְה֣וּא נִלְחַ֗ם בְּמֶ֤לֶךְ מוֹאָב֙ הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן וַיִּקַּ֧ח אֶת־כָּל־אַרְצ֛וֹ מִיָּד֖וֹ עַד־אַרְנֹֽן:
and he had fought: Why was it necessary to write this? For it says, “Do not distress the Moabites” (Deut. 2:9), and Heshbon belonged to Moab, Scripture writes that Sihon had taken it from them, and through him it was made permissible for Israel. — [Chul. 60b]   וְהוּא נִלְחַם: לָמָּה הֻצְרַךְ לִכָּתֵב? לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם) "אַל תָּצַר אֶת מוֹאָב", וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן מִשֶּׁל מוֹאָב הָיְתָה, כָּתַב לָנוּ שֶׁסִּיחוֹן לְקָחָהּ מֵהֶם וְעַל יָדוֹ טָהֲרָה לְיִשְֹרָאֵל (חולין ס'; גיטין ל"ח):
from his possession: Heb. מִיָּדוֹ, lit. from his hand, [meaning] from his possession. — [B.M. 56b]   מִיָּדוֹ: מֵרְשׁוּתוֹ (בבא מציעא נ"ו):
27Concerning this, those who speak in parables say, "Come to Heshbon, may it be built and established as the city of Sihon.   כזעַל־כֵּ֛ן יֹֽאמְר֥וּ הַמּֽשְׁלִ֖ים בֹּ֣אוּ חֶשְׁבּ֑וֹן תִּבָּנֶ֥ה וְתִכּוֹנֵ֖ן עִ֥יר סִיחֽוֹן:
Concerning this: Concerning that war, which Sihon waged against Moab.   עַל־כֵּן: עַל אוֹתָהּ מִלְחָמָה שֶׁנִּלְחַם סִיחוֹן בְּמוֹאָב:
those who speak in parables say: [This refers to] Balaam, about whom it says, “He took up his parable” (23:7).   יֹֽאמְרוּ הַמּֽשְׁלִים: בִּלְעָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ "וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ" (במדבר כ"ג):
those who tell parables: Balaam and [his father] Beor. They said…. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 24, Num. Rabbah 19:30]   הַמּֽשְׁלִים: בִּלְעָם וּבְעוֹר, וְהֵם אָמְרוּ:
Come to Heshbon: because Sihon could not conquer it. So he went and hired Balaam to curse it. This is what Balak [meant when he] said to him, “For I know that whoever you bless is blessed” (22:6). - [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 24, Balak 4, Num. Rabbah 19:30, 20:7, Mid. Aggadah]   בֹּאוּ חֶשְׁבּוֹן: שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה סִיחוֹן יָכוֹל לְכָבְשָׁהּ וְהָלַךְ וְשָׂכַר אֶת בִּלְעָם לְקַלְּלוֹ (תנחומא); וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ בָּלָק "כִּי יָדַעְתִּי אֵת אֲשֶׁר תְּבָרֵךְ מְבֹרָךְ" וְגוֹ' (במדבר כ"ב):
built and established: Heshbon under the name of Sihon, to be his city.   תִּבָּנֶה וְתִכּוֹנֵן: חֶשְׁבּוֹן בְּשֵׁם סִיחוֹן לִהְיוֹת עִירוֹ:
28For fire went forth from Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it consumed Ar of Moab, the masters of the high places of Arnon.   כחכִּי־אֵשׁ֙ יָֽצְאָ֣ה מֵֽחֶשְׁבּ֔וֹן לֶֽהָבָ֖ה מִקִּרְיַ֣ת סִיחֹ֑ן אָֽכְלָה֙ עָ֣ר מוֹאָ֔ב בַּֽעֲלֵ֖י בָּמ֥וֹת אַרְנֹֽן:
For a fire went forth from Heshbon: After Sihon had conquered it.   כִּי־אֵשׁ יָֽצְאָה מֵֽחֶשְׁבּוֹן: מִשֶּׁכְּבָשָׁהּ סִיחוֹן:
it consumed Ar of Moab: The name of that country was called Ar in Hebrew, and Lechayath in Aramaic. — [Onkelos]   אָֽכְלָה עָר מוֹאָב: שֵׁם אוֹתָהּ הַמְּדִינָה קָרוּי עָר בְּלָשׁוֹן עִבְרִי וּלְחָיַת בְּלָשׁוֹן אֲרַמִּי:
Ar of Moab: Heb. עָר מוֹאָב, Ar, which belonged to Moab. — [Onkelos]   עָר מוֹאָב: עָר שֶׁל מוֹאָב:
29Woe is to you, Moab; you are lost, people of Chemosh. His sons he has given over as refugees and his daughters into captivity, to Sihon, king of the Amorites.   כטאֽוֹי־לְךָ֣ מוֹאָ֔ב אָבַ֖דְתָּ עַם־כְּמ֑וֹשׁ נָתַ֨ן בָּנָ֤יו פְּלֵיטִם֙ וּבְנֹתָ֣יו בַּשְּׁבִ֔ית לְמֶ֥לֶךְ אֱמֹרִ֖י סִיחֽוֹן:
Woe is to you, Moab: [Meaning] that they cursed Moab that it be delivered into his hand. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 24, Num. Rabbah 19:30]   אֽוֹי־לְךָ מוֹאָב: שֶׁקִּלְּלוּ אֶת מוֹאָב שֶׁיִּמָּסְרוּ בְיָדוֹ (תנחומא):
Chemosh: The name of Moab’s god. — [I Kings 11:7]   כְּמוֹשׁ: שֵׁם אֱלֹהֵי מוֹאָב:
He has given over: The one who has given over his sons, that is, [not his own sons but] the sons of Moab.   נָתַן: הַנּוֹתֵן אֶת בָּנָיו שֶׁל מוֹאָב:
refugees: who flee and escape the sword, and his daughters into captivity, etc.   פְּלֵיטִם: — נָסִים וּפְלֵטִים מֵחֶרֶב וְאֶת בְּנוֹתָיו בַּשְּׁבִית וְגוֹ':
30Their kingdom is destroyed from Heshbon; it has been removed from Dibon; we laid them waste as far as Nophah which is near Medeba."   לוַנִּירָ֛ם אָבַ֥ד חֶשְׁבּ֖וֹן עַד־דִּיבֹ֑ן וַנַּשִּׁ֣ים עַד־נֹ֔פַח אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַד־מֵֽידְבָֽא:
Their kingdom: Heb. וַנִּירָם, their kingdom.   וַנִּירָם אָבַד: מַלְכוּת שֶׁלָּהֶם:
is destroyed from Heshbon, it has been removed from Dibon: The kingdom and dominion that Moab had over Heshbon terminated from there. Similarly, עַד דִּיבֹן -the Targum of סַר ‘removed’ is עַד, that is to say, the kingdom was removed from Dibon. [The word] נִיר is a term denoting kingship and dominion [resulting from] the rule of man, as in “so that there be dominion for David My servant” (I Kings 11:36). - [Onkelos]   אָבַד חֶשְׁבּוֹן עַד־דִּיבֹן: — מַלְכוּת וְעֹל שֶׁהָיָה לְמוֹאָב בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן אָבַד מִשָּׁם, וְכֵן עַד דִּיבֹן; תַּרְגּוּם שֶׁל סָר "עַד", כְּלוֹמַר סָר נִיר מִדִּיבֹן; נִיר לְשׁוֹן מַלְכוּת וְעֹל מֶמְשֶׁלֶת אִישׁ, כְּמוֹ "לְמַעַן הֱיוֹת נִיר לְדָוִד עַבְדִּי" (מ"א י"א):
we laid them waste: Heb. וַנַּשִּׁים. The [letter] Heb. שׁ is punctuated with a dagesh [thus indicating a missing “mem,”], denoting ‘waste’ Heb. (שְׁמָמָה). Thus say those who tell parables: וַנַּשִּׁים אוֹתָם עַד נֹפַח, “we laid them waste as far as Nophah.”   וַנַּשִּׁים: שִׁי"ן דְּגוּשָׁה, לְשׁוֹן שְׁמָמָה, כָּךְ יֹאמְרוּ הַמֹּשְׁלִים, "וַנַּשִּׁים אוֹתָם עַד נֹפַח" — הֲשִׁמּוֹנוּם עַד נֹפַח:
31Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.   לאוַיֵּ֨שֶׁב֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּאֶ֖רֶץ הָֽאֱמֹרִֽי:
32Moses sent [men] to spy out Jaazer and they captured its villages, driving out the Amorites who lived there.   לבוַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח משֶׁה֙ לְרַגֵּ֣ל אֶת־יַעְזֵ֔ר וַיִּלְכְּד֖וּ בְּנֹתֶ֑יהָ וַיּ֖וֹרֶשׁ (כתיב ויירש) אֶת־הָֽאֱמֹרִ֥י אֲשֶׁר־שָֽׁם:
Moses sent [men] to spy out Jaazer: The spies captured it. They said, We shall not do like the first group. We have [such] confidence in the power of Moses’ prayer that we are able to do battle. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 24, Num. Rabbah 19:31]   וַיִּשְׁלַח משֶׁה לְרַגֵּל אֶת־יַעְזֵר: הַמְרַגְּלִים לְכָדוּהָ, אָמְרוּ לֹא נַעֲשֶׂה כָּרִאשׁוֹנִים, בְּטוּחִים אָנוּ בְּכֹחַ תְּפִלָּתוֹ שֶׁל מֹשֶׁה לְהִלָּחֵם (תנחומא):
33Then they turned and headed north toward the Bashan. Og, the king of Bashan, came out toward them with all his people, to wage war at Edrei.   לגוַיִּפְנוּ֙ וַיַּֽעֲל֔וּ דֶּ֖רֶךְ הַבָּשָׁ֑ן וַיֵּצֵ֣א עוֹג֩ מֶֽלֶךְ־הַבָּשָׁ֨ן לִקְרָאתָ֜ם ה֧וּא וְכָל־עַמּ֛וֹ לַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה אֶדְרֶֽעִי:
34The Lord said to Moses, "Do not fear him, for I have delivered him, his people, and his land into your hand. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites who dwells in Heshbon.   לדוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֤ה אֶל־משֶׁה֙ אַל־תִּירָ֣א אֹת֔וֹ כִּ֣י בְיָֽדְךָ֞ נָתַ֧תִּי אֹת֛וֹ וְאֶת־כָּל־עַמּ֖וֹ וְאֶת־אַרְצ֑וֹ וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ לּ֔וֹ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשִׂ֗יתָ לְסִיחֹן֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר יוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּחֶשְׁבּֽוֹן:
Do not fear him: Moses was afraid to fight [against him] lest the merit of Abraham advocate for him, as it says, “The refugee came” (Gen. 14:13) -this was Og who had escaped from the Rephaim, who were smitten by Chedorlaomer and his allies at Ashteroth Karnaim, as it says, “only Og, the king of Bashan, was left of the remnant of the Rephaim” (Deut. 3:11). - [Midrash Tanchuma Chukkath 24, Num. Rabbah 19:32]   אֶל־תִּירָא אֹתוֹ: שֶׁהָיָה מֹשֶׁה יָרֵא לְהִלָּחֵם, שֶׁמָּא תַּעֲמֹד לוֹ זְכוּתוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וַיָּבֹא הַפָּלִיט" (בראשית י"ד) — הוּא עוֹג שֶׁפָּלַט מִן הָרְפָאִים שֶׁהִכּוּ כְּדָרְלָעֹמֶר וַחֲבֵרָיו בְּעַשְׁתְּרוֹת קַרְנַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ג') "רַק עוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן נִשְׁאַר מִיֶּתֶר הָרְפָאִים" (נדה ס"א):
35They smote him, his sons and all his people, until there was no survivor, and they took possession of his land.   להוַיַּכּ֨וּ אֹת֤וֹ וְאֶת־בָּנָיו֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־עַמּ֔וֹ עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִ֑יד וַיִּֽירְשׁ֖וּ אֶת־אַרְצֽוֹ:
They smote him: Moses slew him, as it says in [Tractate] Berachoth, in [the chapter beginning] Haroeh (54b): He uprooted a mountain of three parasangs [intending to throw it at the Israelites and crush them]….   וַיַּכּוּ אֹתוֹ: מֹשֶׁה הֲרָגוֹ, כִּדְאִיתָא בִבְרָכוֹת בְּהָרוֹאֶה (ברכות דף נ"ד), עֲקַר טוּרָא בַּר תְּלָתָא פַרְסֵי וְכוּ':

Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 22

1The children of Israel journeyed and encamped in the plains of Moab, across the Jordan from Jericho.   אוַיִּסְע֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיַּֽחֲנוּ֙ בְּעַרְב֣וֹת מוֹאָ֔ב מֵעֵ֖בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵחֽוֹ: