Numbers Chapter 7

1And it was that on the day that Moses finished erecting the Mishkan, he anointed it, sanctified it, and all its vessels, and the altar and all its vessels, and he anointed them and sanctified them.   אוַיְהִ֡י בְּיוֹם֩ כַּלּ֨וֹת משֶׁ֜ה לְהָקִ֣ים אֶת־הַמִּשְׁכָּ֗ן וַיִּמְשַׁ֨ח אֹת֜וֹ וַיְקַדֵּ֤שׁ אֹתוֹ֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָ֔יו וְאֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֖חַ וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָ֑יו וַיִּמְשָׁחֵ֖ם וַיְקַדֵּ֥שׁ אֹתָֽם:
And it was that on the day that Moses finished: Heb. כַּלּוֹת. On the day the Mishkan was erected, the Israelites were like a bride (כַּלָּה) entering the nuptial canopy.-[Tanchuma Naso 20, 26, Pesikta Rabbathi 5:5, Pesikta d’Rav Kahana p. 6a, and other sources] [According to Tanchuma, the derash is based on the spelling כַּלֹּת, which differs from the spelling in all extant sifrei Torah. Some believe that the derash is based on the vowelization כַּלּוֹת, instead of כְּלוֹת, which would clearly mean “finishing.” Heidenheim believes that the choice of the word כַּלּוֹת, the root of which is ambiguous, indicates the intention of the Torah to include both meanings: finishing and nuptials. See fn. 104 to Pesikta d’Rav Kahana.]   ויהי ביום כלות משה: כלת כתיב, יום הקמת המשכן היו ישראל ככלה הנכנסת לחופה:
Moses finished: Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the wise-hearted [men] assembled the Mishkan, yet Scripture credits Moses with it, because he utterly devoted himself to it, overseeing that the design of each article conformed with what he was shown on the mount [Sinai], to instruct the craftsmen, and he did not err in any design. Similarly, we find with David, that since he devoted himself to the building of the Temple, as it says, “O Lord, remember for David all his affliction, that he swore to the Lord…” (Ps. 132:1-2), therefore, it [the Temple] was called by his name, as it says, “See your House, David” (I Kings 12:16). - [See Midrash Tanchuma Naso 21]   כלות משה: בצלאל ואהליאב וכל חכם לב עשו את המשכן, ותלאו הכתוב במשה, לפי שמסר נפשו עליו לראות תבנית כל דבר ודבר כמו שהראהו בהר להורות לעושי המלאכה, ולא טעה בתבנית אחת וכן מצינו בדוד לפי שמסר נפשו על בנין בית המקדש, שנאמר זכור ה' לדוד את כל ענותו אשר נשבע לה' וגו' (תהלים קלב, א - ב), לפיכך נקרא על שמו, שנאמר ראה ביתך דוד (מלכים א' יב, טז):
[On the day] that Moses finished erecting: It does not say: “On the day he erected.” This teaches us that throughout the seven days of investitures, Moses erected it and dismantled it, but on that day he erected it but did not dismantle it. Therefore, it says, “Moses finished erecting”-that day marked the end of his erecting [the Mishkan]. It was the New Moon of Nissan. On the second [day], the red cow was burned; on the third [day], they sprinkled the first sprinkling (See below ch. 19); and on the seventh [day], they [the Levites] were shaved (see below 5:7). - [Sifrei 1:145]   ביום כלות משה להקים: ולא נאמר ביום הקים מלמד שכל שבעת ימי המלואים היה משה מעמידו ומפרקו ובאותו היום העמידו ולא פרקו, לכך נאמר ביום כלות משה להקים, אותו היום כלו הקמותיו וראש חדש ניסן היה, בשני נשרפה הפרה, בשלישי הזו הזיה ראשונה, ובשביעי גלחו:
2The chieftains of Israel, the heads of their fathers' houses, presented [their offerings]. They were the leaders of the tribes. They were the ones who were present during the counting,   בוַיַּקְרִ֨יבוּ֙ נְשִׂיאֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רָאשֵׁ֖י בֵּ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֑ם הֵ֚ם נְשִׂיאֵ֣י הַמַּטֹּ֔ת הֵ֥ם הָעֹֽמְדִ֖ים עַל־הַפְּקֻדִֽים:
They were the leaders of the tribes: They were the officers [appointed] over them in Egypt, and they were beaten on account of them, as it says,“The officers of the children of Israel were beaten” (Exod. 5:14). [Rashi interprets הַמַּטֹּת as“the sticks.” Hence, נְשִׂיאֵי הַמַּטֹּת means “the chieftains who were beaten with sticks.”] - [Sifrei 1:145]   הם נשיאי המטת: שהיו שוטרים עליהם במצרים והיו מוכים עליהם, שנאמר (שמות ה, יד) ויכו שוטרי בני ישראל וגו':
who were present during the counting: They stood with Moses and Aaron when they counted the Israelites, as it says,“With you [Moses and Aaron] there shall be [a man from each tribe]” (Num. 1:4).   הם העומדים על הפקודים: שעמדו עם משה ואהרן כשמנו את ישראל, שנאמר (במדבר א, ד) ואתכם יהיו וגו':
3They brought their offering before the Lord: six covered wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for each two chieftains, and an ox for each one; they presented them in front of the Mishkan.   גוַיָּבִ֨יאוּ אֶת־קָרְבָּנָ֜ם לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָֹ֗ה שֵֽׁשׁ־עֶגְלֹ֥ת צָב֙ וּשְׁנֵ֣י עָשָׂ֣ר בָּקָ֔ר עֲגָלָ֛ה עַל־שְׁנֵ֥י הַנְּשִׂאִ֖ים וְשׁ֣וֹר לְאֶחָ֑ד וַיַּקְרִ֥יבוּ אוֹתָ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י הַמִּשְׁכָּֽן:
six covered wagons: The word צָב can denote only “covered.” Similarly,“In covered wagons (בַּצַּבִּים) and on mules” (Isa. 66:20). Covered wagons are called צַבִּים. [Some expound the word צָב in the sense of הַצְבִי יִשְׂרָאֵל, “O beauty of Israel” (II Sam. 1:19), (meaning) that they were elegant.] - [Sifrei Naso 1:148, Num. Rabbah 12: 17. See Maharzav.]   שש עגלת צב: אין צב אלא מחופים וכן (ישעיה סו, כ) בצבים ובפרדים, עגלות מכוסות קרויות צבים:
they presented them in front of the Mishkan: for Moses did not accept them from their hands until he was instructed to do so by the Omnipresent. Rabbi Nathan says: Why did the chieftains see fit to be the first to contribute here, whereas concerning the work of the Mishkan , they were not the first to contribute [but the last]? However, the chieftains said as follows, “Let the people contribute what they can, and then we will complement whatever is missing.” When they saw that the people had supplied everything-as it says, “And the work was sufficient for them” (Exod. 36:7)-they said, “What is left for us to do now?” So they brought the shoham stones and the filling [stones] for the ephod and the choshen . Therefore, [in order to make amends,] here they were first to contribute. — [Sifrei Naso 1:150]   ויקריבו אותם לפני המשכן: שלא קבל משה מידם עד שנאמר לו מפי המקום. אמר רבי נתן מה ראו הנשיאים להתנדב כאן בתחלה, ובמלאכת המשכן לא התנדבו תחלה, אלא כך אמרו הנשיאים יתנדבו צבור מה שיתנדבו, ומה שמחסרין אנו משלימין, כיון שראו שהשלימו צבור את הכל, שנאמר (שמות לו, ז) והמלאכה היתה דים, אמרו מעתה מה לנו לעשות, הביאו את אבני השוהם והמלואים לאפוד ולחשן, לכך התנדבו כאן תחלה:
4The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:   דוַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָֹ֖ה אֶל־משֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר:
5Take [it] from them, and let them be used in the service of the Tent of Meeting. You shall give them to the Levites, in accordance with each man's work.   הקַ֚ח מֵֽאִתָּ֔ם וְהָי֕וּ לַֽעֲבֹ֕ד אֶת־עֲבֹדַ֖ת אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וְנָֽתַתָּ֤ה אוֹתָם֙ אֶל־הַֽלְוִיִּ֔ם אִ֖ישׁ כְּפִ֥י עֲבֹֽדָתֽוֹ:
6So Moses took the wagons and the cattle and gave them to the Levites.   ווַיִּקַּ֣ח משֶׁ֔ה אֶת־הָֽעֲגָלֹ֖ת וְאֶת־הַבָּקָ֑ר וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אוֹתָ֖ם אֶל־הַֽלְוִיִּֽם:
7He gave two wagons and four oxen to the sons of Gershon, according to their work.   זאֵ֣ת | שְׁתֵּ֣י הָֽעֲגָל֗וֹת וְאֵת֙ אַרְבַּ֣עַת הַבָּקָ֔ר נָתַ֖ן לִבְנֵ֣י גֵֽרְשׁ֑וֹן כְּפִ֖י עֲבֹֽדָתָֽם:
according to their work: Because the burden of the sons of Gershon was lighter than that of [the sons of] Merari, who carried the planks, the pillars, and the sockets.   כפי עבודתם: שהיה משא בני גרשון קל משל מררי, שהיו נושאים הקרשים והעמודים והאדנים:
8And he gave four wagons and eight oxen to the sons of Merari, according to their work under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.   חוְאֵ֣ת | אַרְבַּ֣ע הָֽעֲגָלֹ֗ת וְאֵת֙ שְׁמֹנַ֣ת הַבָּקָ֔ר נָתַ֖ן לִבְנֵ֣י מְרָרִ֑י כְּפִי֙ עֲבֹ֣דָתָ֔ם בְּיַד֙ אִֽיתָמָ֔ר בֶּן־אַֽהֲרֹ֖ן הַכֹּהֵֽן:
9But to the sons of Kohath he did not give, for incumbent upon them was the work involving the holy [objects], which they were to carry on their shoulders.   טוְלִבְנֵ֥י קְהָ֖ת לֹ֣א נָתָ֑ן כִּֽי־עֲבֹדַ֤ת הַקֹּ֨דֶשׁ֙ עֲלֵהֶ֔ם בַּכָּתֵ֖ף יִשָּֽׂאוּ:
for incumbent upon them was the work involving the holy [objects]: [I.e.,] the burden of the holy objects [such as] the ark and the table, etc. [was incumbent upon them]. Therefore “they were to carry on their shoulders” [and not in wagons].   כי עבדת הקדש עליהם: משא דבר הקדושה הארון והשלחן וגו', לפיכך בכתף ישאו:
10The chieftains brought [offerings for] the dedication of the altar on the day it was anointed; the chieftains presented their offerings in front of the altar.   יוַיַּקְרִ֣יבוּ הַנְּשִׂאִ֗ים אֵ֚ת חֲנֻכַּ֣ת הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ בְּי֖וֹם הִמָּשַׁ֣ח אֹת֑וֹ וַיַּקְרִ֧יבוּ הַנְּשִׂיאִ֛ם אֶת־קָרְבָּנָ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ:
The chieftains brought [offerings for] the dedication of the altar: After they had contributed the wagons and the oxen for carrying the Mishkan , they were inspired to contribute offerings for the altar to dedicate it.   ויקריבו הנשאים את חנכת המזבח: לאחר שהתנדבו העגלות והבקר לשאת המשכן, נשאם לבם להתנדב קרבנות המזבח לחנכו:
the chieftains presented their offerings in front of the altar: For Moses did not accept it from their hands until instructed to do so by the Almighty. — [Sifrei Naso 1:152]   ויקריבו הנשיאים את קרבנם לפני המזבח: כי לא קבל משה מידם עד שנאמר לו מפי הגבורה:
11The Lord said to Moses: One chieftain each day, one chieftain each day, shall present his offering for the dedication of the altar.   יאוַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָֹ֖ה אֶל־משֶׁ֑ה נָשִׂ֨יא אֶחָ֜ד לַיּ֗וֹם נָשִׂ֤יא אֶחָד֙ לַיּ֔וֹם יַקְרִ֨יבוּ֙ אֶת־קָרְבָּנָ֔ם לַֽחֲנֻכַּ֖ת הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ:
shall present his offering for the dedication of the altar: But Moses still did not know how they should bring [the offerings], whether in the order of their births [namely, the order in which Jacob’s sons were born] or according to the order in which they traveled-until he was instructed by the Holy One, blessed is He, that they should bring the offerings according to the order in which they traveled, each one in his day. — [Sifrei Naso 1:152]   יקריבו את קרבנם לחנכת המזבח: ועדיין לא היה יודע משה האיך יקריבו, אם כסדר תולדותם, אם כסדר המסעות, עד שנאמר לו מפי הקב"ה יקריבו למסעות, איש יומו: