Complete Jewish Bible
Parashah 44: D’varim (Words) 1:1–3:22
1 These are the words Moshe spoke to all Isra’el on the far side of the Yarden River, in the desert, in the ‘Aravah, across from Suf, between Pa’ran and Tofel, Lavan, Hatzerot and Di-Zahav. 2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horev to Kadesh-Barnea by way of Mount Se‘ir.
3 On the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, Moshe spoke to the people of Isra’el, reviewing everything Adonai had ordered him to tell them. 4 This was after he had defeated Sichon, king of the Emori, who lived in Heshbon, and ‘Og, king of Bashan, who lived in ‘Ashtarot, at Edre‘i. 5 There, beyond the Yarden, in the land of Mo’av, Moshe took it upon himself to expound this Torah and said:
6 “Adonai spoke to us in Horev. He said, ‘You have lived long enough by this mountain. 7 Turn, get moving and go to the hill-country of the Emori and all the places near there in the ‘Aravah, the hill-country, the Sh’felah, the Negev and by the seashore — the land of the Kena‘ani, and the L’vanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates River. 8 I have set the land before you! Go in, and take possession of the land Adonai swore to give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, and their descendants after them.’
9 “At that time I told you, ‘You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 Adonai your God has multiplied your numbers, so that there are as many of you today as there are stars in the sky. 11 May Adonai, the God of your ancestors, increase you yet a thousandfold and bless you, as he has promised you! (ii) 12 But you are burdensome, bothersome and quarrelsome! How can I bear it by myself alone? 13 Pick for yourselves from each of your tribes men who are wise, understanding and knowledgeable; and I will make them heads over you.’
14 “You answered me, ‘What you have said would be a good thing for us to do.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, men wise and knowledgable, and made them heads over you — leaders in charge of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers, tribe by tribe. 16 At that time I commissioned your judges, ‘Hear the cases that arise between your brothers; and judge fairly between a man and his brother, and the foreigner who is with him. 17 You are not to show favoritism when judging, but give equal attention to the small and to the great. No matter how a person presents himself, don’t be afraid of him; because the decision is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me and I will hear it.’ 18 I also gave you orders at that time concerning all the things you were to do.
19 “So we left Horev and went through all that vast and fearsome desert which you saw on the way to the hill-country of the Emori, as Adonai our God ordered us; and we arrived at Kadesh-Barnea. 20 There I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill-country of the Emori, which Adonai our God is giving to us. 21 Look! Adonai your God has placed the land before you. Go up, take possession, as Adonai, the God of your ancestors, has told you. Don’t be afraid, don’t be dismayed.’
(iii) 22 “You approached me, every one of you, and said, ‘Let’s send men ahead of us to explore the country for us and bring back word concerning what route we should use in going up and what the cities we will encounter are like.’ 23 The idea seemed good to me, so I took twelve of your men, one from each tribe; 24 and they set out, went up into the hills, came to the Eshkol Valley and reconnoitered it. 25 They took some of the produce of the land and brought it down to us; they also brought back word to us — ‘The land Adonai our God is giving to us is good.’
26 “But you would not go up. Instead you rebelled against the order of Adonai your God; 27 and in your tents you complained, ‘It’s because Adonai hated us that he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, only to hand us over to the Emori to destroy us. 28 What sort of place is it that we’re heading for? Our brothers made our courage fail when they said, “The people are bigger and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified up to the sky; and finally, we have seen ‘Anakim there.”’
29 “I answered you, ‘Don’t be fearful, don’t be afraid of them. 30 Adonai your God, who is going ahead of you, will fight on your behalf, just as he accomplished all those things for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and likewise in the desert, where you saw how Adonai your God carried you, like a man carries his child, along the entire way you traveled until you arrived at this place. 32 Yet in this matter you don’t trust Adonai your God, 33 even though he went ahead of you, seeking out places for you to pitch your tents and showing you which way to go, by fire at night and by a cloud during the day.’
34 “Adonai heard what you were saying, became angry and swore, 35 ‘Not a single one of these people, this whole evil generation, will see the good land I swore to give to your ancestors, 36 except Kalev the son of Y’funeh — he will see it; I will give him and his descendants the land he walked on, because he has fully followed Adonai.’
37 “Also, because of you Adonai was angry with me and said, ‘You too will not go in there. 38 Y’hoshua the son of Nun, your assistant — he will go in there. So encourage him, because he will enable Isra’el to take possession of it. (iv) 39 Moreover, your little ones, who you said would be taken as booty, and your children who don’t yet know good from bad — they will go in there; I will give it to them, and they will have possession of it. 40 But as for yourselves, turn around and head into the desert by the road to the Sea of Suf.’
41 “Then you answered me, ‘We have sinned against Adonai. Now we will go up and fight, in accordance with everything Adonai our God ordered us.’ And every man among you put on his arms, considering it an easy matter to go up into the hill-country. 42 But Adonai said to me, ‘Tell them, “Don’t go up, and don’t fight, because I am not there with you; if you do, your enemies will defeat you.”’ 43 So I told you, but you wouldn’t listen. Instead, you rebelled against Adonai’s order, took matters into your own hands and went up into the hill-country; 44 where the Emori living in that hill-country came out against you like bees, defeated you in Se‘ir and chased you back all the way to Hormah. 45 You returned and cried before Adonai, but Adonai neither listened to what you said nor paid you any attention. 46 This is why you had to stay in Kadesh as long as you did.