« EdellinenJatka »
and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan."1
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said: "Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." But the men that went up with him said: "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we." And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying: "The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof;2 and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them: "Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children
1 The spies passed through the whole length of Canaan, which is about 180 miles from south to north, and about 40 miles in its average breadth between the Mediterranean and the river Jordan. Physically this country may be viewed as made up of three distinct strips, running north and south: (1) the fertile seacoast plain; (2) the "hill country," a backbone of limestone mountains, rising from foot-hills on the side of the plain, but on the east dropping abruptly to (3) the valley of the Jordan, beyond which rise the highlands of Moab and Gilead. Politically, the condition of Canaan in the 14th century B. C.—that is, not long before the conquest - has now been made known by the famous Amarna letters, a collection of clay tablets, written in cuneiform script, discovered in 1887 in a royal record-chamber at Tel el-Amarna in Egypt. These tablets contain correspondence addressed by the kings of Babylonia and other states of western Asia, and especially by vassal-kings and Egyptian officials in Palestine to the court of Amenhotep III and IV, who reigned about B. C. 1411-1358. Centuries before this time Canaan had been subject to Babylonia, and the letters show that Babylonian was still the language of diplomacy throughout the region. But at this time Canaan was at least nominally subject to Egypt. It was peopled chiefly by Semites, descendants of early invaders from the desert such as the Hebrews themselves were. The Canaanites were divided by the broken hilly country into numerous little city kingdoms, often at war with one another, and, at the time of the letters, only slackly held in vassalage by Egypt. They had a well-developed civilization. Their artisans were proficient in metal working and weaving, and a busy traffic passed between town and town. A fact of special interest revealed by the letters is that the country was already harassed with invasion by a Beduin people called Khabiri.
2 eateth up the inhabitants. That is, by their continual warfare.
should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" And they said one to another: "Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt."
Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying: "The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.”
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you; your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, surely ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
"And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my alienation. Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea."
And the men which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, even those men that
did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.
And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying: Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised: for we have sinned." And Moses said: "Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you."
But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.
Revolt of Dathan and Abiram (Num. xvi. 1, 2, 12-15, 25-34). Then Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab the son of Pallu, son of Reuben, took men: and they rose up before Moses.
And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; which said: "We will not come up: is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but thou must needs make thyself also a prince over us? Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up."
And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the Lord: "Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them."
And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spake unto the congregation, saying: "Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be con1 put out the eyes. That is, "throw dust in the eyes."
sumed in all their sins." And Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said: "Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then shall ye understand that these men have provoked the Lord."
And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses. They, and all that appertained to them, went down. alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them.
And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them for they said, "Lest the earth swallow us up also."
Korah Punished for Claiming Priestly Rights (Num. xvi. 1-7, 19-24, 27, 35). Now Korah, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly-famous in the congregation, men of renown gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them: "Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?"
And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: and he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying: "Even to-morrow the Lord will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; and put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord to-morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy."
So Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the congregation. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: "Separate yourselves
1 quick. Alive.
from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment."
And they fell upon their faces, and said: "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?" And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: "Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle." So they gat them up from the tabernacle, on every side. And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.1
The Plague and the Budding of Aaron's Rod (Num. xvi. 41-xvii. 11). But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying: "Ye have killed the people of the Lord."
1 The story of Korah's punishment for asserting the claim that all Israel should share the privileges of Levi, is in the received text expanded so as to further represent Korah as a Levite claiming that all the Levites should share in the priesthood of the house of Aaron. For the sake of clearness, the passages that show this further view of the story are here given separately:
And Moses said unto Korah: "Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi : seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee and seek ye the priesthood also? For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the Lord and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?"
And Moses said unto Korah: "Be thou and all thy company before the Lord, thou, and they, and Aaron, to-morrow and take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the Lord every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer." And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
[The fire from the Lord then destroys Korah and his company.]
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: "Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed. The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar for they offered them before the Lord, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel."
And Eleazar the priest took the brazen censers, wherewith they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar: to be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the Lord; that he be not as Korah, and as his company: as the Lord said to him by the hand of Moses.