Shemot (Exodus) Chapter 30

11The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:   יאוַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־משֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר:
12"When you take the sum of the children of Israel according to their numbers, let each one give to the Lord an atonement for his soul when they are counted; then there will be no plague among them when they are counted.   יבכִּ֣י תִשָּׂ֞א אֶת־רֹ֥אשׁ בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֘ לִפְקֻֽדֵיהֶם֒ וְנָ֨תְנ֜וּ אִ֣ישׁ כֹּ֧פֶר נַפְשׁ֛וֹ לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה בִּפְקֹ֣ד אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־יִֽהְיֶ֥ה בָהֶ֛ם נֶ֖גֶף בִּפְקֹ֥ד אֹתָֽם:
When you take: Heb. כִּי תִשָׂא. [This is] an expression of taking, as the Targum [Onkelos] renders. [I.e.,] when you wish to take the sum [total] of their numbers to know how many they are, do not count them by the head, but each one shall give a half-shekel, and you shall count the shekels. [Thereby] you will know their number.   כִּי תִשָּׂא: לְשׁוֹן קַבָּלָה, כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ; כְּשֶׁתַּחְפֹּץ לְקַבֵּל סְכוּם מִנְיָנָם לָדַעַת כַּמָּה הֵם, אַל תִּמְנֵם לַגֻּלְגֹּלֶת, אֶלָּא יִתְּנוּ כָּל אֶחָד מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל וְתִמְנֶה אֶת הַשְּׁקָלִים וְתֵדַע מִנְיָנָם:
then there will be no plague among them: for the evil eye has power over numbered things, and pestilence comes upon them, as we find in David’s time (II Sam. 24).   וְלֹא־יִֽהְיֶה בָהֶם נֶגֶף: שֶׁהַמִּנְיָן שׁוֹלֵט בּוֹ עַיִן הָרָע, וְהַדֶּבֶר בָּא עֲלֵיהֶם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁמָּצִינוּ בִימֵי דָּוִד (שמואל ב כ"ד):
13This they shall give, everyone who goes through the counting: half a shekel according to the holy shekel. Twenty gerahs equal one shekel; half of [such] a shekel shall be an offering to the Lord.   יגזֶ֣ה | יִתְּנ֗וּ כָּל־הָֽעֹבֵר֙ עַל־הַפְּקֻדִ֔ים מַֽחֲצִ֥ית הַשֶּׁ֖קֶל בְּשֶׁ֣קֶל הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ עֶשְׂרִ֤ים גֵּרָה֙ הַשֶּׁ֔קֶל מַֽחֲצִ֣ית הַשֶּׁ֔קֶל תְּרוּמָ֖ה לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
This they shall give: He [God] showed him [Moses] a sort of coin of fire weighing half a shekel, and He said to him, “Like this one they shall give.” -[from Tanchuma 9; Tanchuma Buber, Naso p. 35; Pesikta d’Rav Kahana 19a; Midrash Psalms 91:1; Yerushalmi, Shekalim 1:4]   זֶה יִתְּנוּ: הֶרְאָה לוֹ כְּמִין מַטְבֵּעַ שֶׁל אֵשׁ וּמִשְׁקָלָהּ מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ כָּזֶה יִתְּנוּ (תלמוד ירושלמי שק' א'):
who goes through the counting: Heb. הָעֹבֵר עַל-הַפְקֻדִים. It is customary for those who count to pass the ones who have been counted one following another, and so [too the word יַעִבֹר in] “each one that passes under the rod” (Lev. 27:32), and so [the word תַּעִבֹרְנָה in] “flocks will again pass under the hands of one who counts them” (Jer. 33:13).   הָֽעֹבֵר עַל־הַפְּקֻדִים: דֶּרֶךְ הַמּוֹנִין מַעֲבִירִין אֶת הַנִּמְנִין זֶה אַחַר זֶה, וְכֵן כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹר תַּחַת הַשָּׁבֶט (ויקרא כ"ז), וְכֵן תַּעֲבֹרְנָה הַצֹּאן עַל יְדֵי מוֹנֶה (ירמיהו ל"ג):
half a shekel according to the holy shekel: By the weight of the shekel that I fixed for you [against which] to weigh the holy shekels, such as the shekels mentioned in the section dealing with personal evaluations (Lev. 27:1-8) and [in the section concerning] inherited fields (Lev. 27:16-21).   מַֽחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ: בְּמִשְׁקַל הַשֶּׁקֶל שֶׁקָּצַבְתִּי לְךָ לִשְׁקֹל בּוֹ שִׁקְלֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, כְּגוֹן שְׁקָלִים הָאֲמוּרִין בְּפָרָשַׁת עֲרָכִין וּשְׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּה:
Twenty gerahs equal one shekel: Now He explains to you how much it is.   עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה הַשֶּׁקֶל: עַכְשָׁו פֵּרֵשׁ לְךָ כַּמָּה הוּא:
gerahs: Heb. גֵרָה, a word meaning a ma’ah [a small coin]. Likewise, “will come to prostrate himself before him for a silver piece (אִגוֹרַתכֶּסֶף) and a morsel of bread” (I Sam. 2:36).   גֵּרָה: לְשׁוֹן מָעָה; וְכֵן בִּשְׁמְוּאֵל (א' ב'), יָבוֹא לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת לוֹ לַאֲגוֹרַת כֶּסֶף וְכִכַּר לָחֶם:
Twenty gerahs equal one shekel: for a whole shekel equals four zuzim, and the zuz was originally five ma’oth, but they came and added a sixth to it and raised it to six ma’oth of silver, and half of this shekel [of] which I have spoken to you [here in this verse], they shall give as an offering to the Lord.   עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה הַשֶּׁקֶל: שֶׁהַשֶּׁקֶל הַשָּׁלֵם אַרְבָּעָה זוּזִים, וְהַזּוּז מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ חָמֵשׁ מָעוֹת, אֶלָּא בָאוּ וְהוֹסִיפוּ עָלָיו שְׁתוּת וְהֶעֱלוּהוּ לְשֵׁשׁ מָעָה כֶסֶף, וּמַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל הַזֶּה שֶׁאָמַרְתִּי לְךָ יִתְּנוּ תְּרוּמָה לַה' (בכורות ה'):
14Everyone who goes through the counting, from the age of twenty and upward, shall give an offering to the Lord.   ידכֹּ֗ל הָֽעֹבֵר֙ עַל־הַפְּקֻדִ֔ים מִבֶּ֛ן עֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וָמָ֑עְלָה יִתֵּ֖ן תְּרוּמַ֥ת יְהֹוָֽה:
from the age of twenty and upward: [The Torah] teaches you here that no one under twenty years old goes out [to serve] in the army or is counted among men.   מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמָעְלָה: לִמֶּדְךָ כָּאן שֶׁאֵין פָּחוּת מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים יוֹצֵא לַצָּבָא וְנִמְנֶה בִּכְלַל אֲנָשִׁים:
15The rich shall give no more, and the poor shall give no less than half a shekel, with which to give the offering to the Lord, to atone for your souls.   טוהֶֽעָשִׁ֣יר לֹֽא־יַרְבֶּ֗ה וְהַדַּל֙ לֹ֣א יַמְעִ֔יט מִמַּֽחֲצִ֖ית הַשָּׁ֑קֶל לָתֵת֙ אֶת־תְּרוּמַ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה לְכַפֵּ֖ר עַל־נַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶֽם:
to atone for your souls: That they should not be struck by a plague because of the counting. Another explanation: [This was written] because [God] hinted to them [the Israelites] here [about] three offerings, because “an offering to the Lord” is written here three times. The first [represents] the offering [of silver] for the sockets [of the Mishkan], for he [Moses] counted them when they commenced with the donations for the Mishkan. Everyone gave a half-shekel, amounting to one hundred talents, as it is said: “And the silver of the community census was one hundred talents” (Exod. 38:25). The sockets were made from this, as it is said: “One hundred talents of the silver was [used to cast the sockets of the Mishkan and the sockets of the dividing curtain]” (Exod. 38:27). The second [offering mentioned here] was also [collected] through counting, for he [Moses] counted them after the Mishkan was erected. This is the counting mentioned in the beginning of the Book of Numbers: “on the first of the second month in the second year” (Num. 1:1). [For this offering] everyone gave a half-shekel, [the total of] which was [earmarked] for the purchase of communal sacrifices for every year. The rich and poor were equal in them [i.e., they gave equally in these two offerings]. Concerning that [second] offering, it is said: “to atone for your souls,” because the sacrifices are brought for the purpose of atonement. The third one [offering] is the offering for the Mishkan, as it is said: “Whoever set aside an offering of silver or copper” (Exod. 35:24). In this [offering] not everyone gave the same amount, but each one [gave] according to what his heart inspired him to give. -[from Shekalim 2b]   לְכַפֵּר עַל־נַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶֽם: שֶׁלֹא תִנָּגְפוּ עַל יְדֵי מִנְיָן; דָּבָר אַחֵר לְכַפֵּר עַל נַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם, לְפִי שֶׁרָמַז לָהֶם כָּאן ג' תְּרוּמוֹת – שֶׁנִּכְתַּב כָּאן תְּרוּמַת ה' שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים, אַחַת תְּרוּמַת אֲדָנִים שֶׁמְּנָאָן כְּשֶׁהִתְחִילוּ בְנִדְבַת הַמִּשְׁכָּן, שֶׁנָּתְנוּ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל, וְעָלָה לִמְאַת הַכִּכָּר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְכֶסֶף פְּקוּדֵי הָעֵדָה מְאַת כִּכָּר (שמות ל"ח), וּמֵהֶם נַעֲשׂוּ הָאֲדָנִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיְהִי מְאַת כִּכַּר הַכֶּסֶף וְגוֹ' (שם); וְהַשֵּׁנִית אַף הִיא עַל יְדֵי מִנְיָן, שֶׁמְּנָאָן מִשֶּׁהוּקַם הַמִּשְׁכָּן, הוּא הַמִּנְיָן הָאָמוּר בִּתְחִלַּת חֻמַּשׁ הַפְּקוּדִים בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית (במדבר א'), וְנָתְנוּ כָּל אֶחָד מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל, וְהֵן לִקְנוֹת מֵהֶן קָרְבְּנוֹת צִבּוּר שֶׁל כָּל שָׁנָה וְשָׁנָה, וְהֻשְׁווּ בָהֶם עֲנִיִּים וַעֲשִׁירִים, וְעַל אוֹתָהּ תְּרוּמָה נֶאֱמַר לְכַפֵּר עַל נַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם, שֶׁהַקָּרְבָּנוֹת לְכַפָּרָה הֵם בָּאִים; וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁית הִיא תְרוּמַת הַמִּשְׁכָּן כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כָּל מֵרִים תְּרוּמַת כֶּסֶף וּנְחֹשֶׁת (שמות ל"ה), וְלֹא הָיְתָה יַד כֻּלָּם שָׁוָה בָהּ אֶלָּא אִישׁ מַה שֶּׁנְּדָבוֹ לִבּוֹ:
16You shall take the silver of the atonements from the children of Israel and use it for the work of the Tent of Meeting; it shall be a remembrance for the children of Israel before the Lord, to atone for your souls."   טזוְלָֽקַחְתָּ֞ אֶת־כֶּ֣סֶף הַכִּפֻּרִ֗ים מֵאֵת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְנָֽתַתָּ֣ אֹת֔וֹ עַל־עֲבֹדַ֖ת אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וְהָיָה֩ לִבְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל לְזִכָּרוֹן֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה לְכַפֵּ֖ר עַל־נַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶֽם:
and use it for the work of the Tent of Meeting: [From this] you learn that they were commanded to count them at the beginning of the donation for the Mishkan after the incident of the calf. [They were commanded then] because a plague had befallen them, as it is said: “And the Lord plagued the people” (Exod. 32:35). This can be compared to a flock of sheep, treasured by its owner, which was stricken with pestilence. When it [the pestilence] was over, he [the owner] said to the shepherd, “Please count my sheep to know how many are left,” in order to make it known that he treasured it [the flock] (Tanchuma, Ki Thissa 9). It is, however, impossible to say that this counting [mentioned here] was the [same] one mentioned in the Book of Numbers, for in that one [counting] it says: “on the first of the second month” (Num. 1:1), and the Mishkan was erected on the first [day] of the first month, as it is said: On the day of the first month, on the first of the month, you shall erect, etc. (Exod. 40:2). The sockets were made from shekels realized from that counting, as it is said: “One hundred talents of the silver were used to cast, etc.” (Exod. 38:27). Thus you learn that they [the countings] were two-one at the beginning of their donation [to the Mishkan] after Yom Kippur in the first year [after the Exodus], and one in the second year in Iyar after the Mishkan had been erected. Now if you ask, how is it possible that in both of these countings the Israelites equaled six hundred three thousand, five hundred fifty? In the case of the silver of the community census, it says this number, and also in the Book of Numbers it says the same: “And all the counted ones were six hundred three thousand, five hundred fifty” (Num. 1:46). Were they [the countings] not in two [separate] years? It is impossible that in the first census there were none who were nineteen years old and consequently not counted, and by the second counting became twenty years old [and were counted]. The answer to this matter is that in the context of the ages of people, they were counted in the same year, but in the context of the Exodus they [the two dates] were two [separate] years, since [to figure the time] from the Exodus, we count from [the month of] Nissan, as we learned in [tractate] Rosh Hashanah (2b). In this context, the Mishkan was built in the first year [after the Exodus] and erected in the second year, for the new year started on the first of Nissan. People’s ages, however, are counted according to the number of years of the world, beginning with [the month of] Tishri. Thus, the two countings were [taken] in the same year. The first counting was in Tishri after Yom Kippur, when the Omnipresent was placated toward Israel to forgive them, and they were commanded concerning [building] the Mishkan. The second one [counting] was on the first of Iyar. -[from Num. Rabbah 1:10]   וְנָֽתַתָּ אֹתוֹ עַל־עֲבֹדַת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד: לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁנִּצְטַוּוּ לִמְנוֹתָם בִּתְחִלַּת נִדְבַת הַמִּשְׁכָּן, אַחַר מַעֲשֵׂה הָעֵגֶל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּכְנַס בָּהֶם מַגֵּפָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיִּגֹּף ה' אֶת הָעָם; מָשָׁל לְצֹאן הַחֲבִיבָה עַל בְּעָלֶיהָ שֶׁנָּפַל בָּהּ דֶּבֶר וּמִשֶּׁפָּסַק אָמַר לוֹ לָרוֹעֶה בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִמְּךָ מְנֵה אֶת צֹאנִי וְדַע כַּמָּה נוֹתְרוּ בָהֶם, לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁהִיא חֲבִיבָה עָלָיו; וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹמַר שֶׁהַמִּנְיָן הַזֶּה הוּא הָאָמוּר בְּחֻמַּשׁ הַפְּקוּדִים, שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בּוֹ בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי וְהַמִּשְׁכָּן הוּקַם בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּיוֹם הַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ תָּקִים וְגוֹ' (שמות מ'), וּמֵהַמִּנְיָן הַזֶּה נַעֲשׂוּ הָאֲדָנִים – מִשְּׁקָלִים שֶׁלּוֹ – שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיְהִי מְאַת כִּכַּר הַכֶּסֶף לָצֶקֶת וְגוֹ' (שם ל"ח), הָא לָמַדְתָּ שְׁתַּיִם הָיוּ, אֶחָד בִּתְחִלַּת נִדְבָתָן אַחַר יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בְּשָׁנָה רִאשׁוֹנָה, וְאַחַת בְּשָׁנָה שְׁנִיָּה בְּאִיָּר מִשֶּׁהוּקַם הַמִּשְׁכָּן. וְאִם תֹּאמַר וְכִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁבִּשְׁנֵיהֶם הָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל שָׁוִים – ו' מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וְג' אֲלָפִים וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים – שֶׁהֲרֵי בְכֶסֶף פְּקוּדֵי הָעֵדָה נֶאֱמַר כֵּן, וּבְחֻמַּשׁ הַפְּקוּדִים אַף בּוֹ נֶאֱמַר כֵּן וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל הַפְּקוּדִים שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים (במדבר א'), וַהֲלֹא בִשְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים הָיוּ, וְאִי אֶפְשַָׁר שֶׁלֹא הָיוּ בִשְׁעַת מִנְיָן הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּנֵי י"ט שָׁנָה שֶׁלֹּא נִמְנוּ וּבַשְּׁנִיָּה נַעֲשׂוּ בְּנֵי כ'! תְּשׁוּבָה לַדָּבָר: אֵצֶל שְׁנוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים בְּשָׁנָה אַחַת נִמְנוּ, אֲבָל לְמִנְיַן יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם הָיוּ שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים, לְפִי שֶׁלִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם מוֹנִין מִנִּיסָן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁשָּׁנִינוּ בְמַסֶּ' רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה (דף ב'), וְנִבְנָה הַמִּשְׁכָּן בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה וְהוּקַם בַּשְּׁנִיָּה, שֶׁנִּתְחַדְּשָׁה שָׁנָה בְּאֶחָד בְּנִיסָן, אֲבָל שְׁנוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים מְנוּיִין לְמִנְיַן שְׁנוֹת עוֹלָם, הַמַּתְחִילִין מִתִּשְׁרֵי, נִמְצְאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמִּנְיָנִים בְּשָׁנָה אַחַת – הַמִּנְיָן הָרִאשׁוֹן הָיָה בְּתִשְׁרֵי לְאַחַר יוֹם הַכִּיפּוּרִים שֶׁנִּתְרַצָּה הַמָּקוֹם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִסְלֹחַ לָהֶם וְנִצְטַוּוּ עַל הַמִּשְׁכָּן, וְהַשֵּׁנִי בְּאֶחָד בְּאִיָּר:
for the work of the Tent of Meeting: These are the sockets made from it [i.e., from the silver of the atonements].   עַל־עֲבֹדַת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד: הֵן הָאֲדָנִים שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ בוֹ: