1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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Numbers 1:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses *in the desert of Sinai in the tabernacle of the covenant, the first day of the second month, the second year of their going out of Egypt, saying:

Year of the World 2514, Year before Christ 1490. First day of the second month, called after the captivity, Jiar, which partly corresponds with our April. These injunctions were given from the tabernacle, (Calmet) in the desert, the 12th station, (Haydock) at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Numbers 1:2 *Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, and houses, and the names of every one, as many as are of the male sex,

Exodus 30:12.
Houses. The families consisted of the immediate descendants of the 12 patriarchs; the houses were the subdivisions of these. The same plan of numbering the people was adopted on other occasions, Josue 8:16., and 1 Kings 10:20. --- Sex, between 20 and 60 years of age. All the subjects of the Eastern kings may be called upon, if they be able to bear arms; and hence we find such immense armies in the Scripture, and in profane history. Moses numbered the people once before, (Exodus 30:2,) and found exactly the same number of warriors, the dead being replaced by others, during the space of seven months. Perhaps the odd numbers might not be specified, as all the totals consist of so many exact hundreds, except that of the tribe of Gad, ver. 25. On the former occasion, the people were not perhaps ranged according to their tribes, which was now deemed necessary, as the army was going to begin its march under its respective leaders. (Calmet)
Numbers 1:3 From twenty years old and upwards, of all the men of Israel fit for war, and you shall number them by their troops, thou and Aaron.

Arms, (fortium). "Strong or brave." The psalmist (civ. 37,) says, there was not one feeble. (Menochius) --- Troops. Hebrew, "army." Septuagint, "force." Their officers shall be at their head, and shall assist you in the work. Some might command 1000, others 100, and some only 50. See Exodus 13:18 and 18:21. --- [Ver. 4.] Princes; the first-born, or most ancient, (Lyranus,) the lineal descendants of the patriarchs; (Jansen) or, in fine, such as were chosen for their merit, as all were equally noble; and hence Nahasson, prince of Juda, is mentioned, though he was not a descendant of the eldest son of Juda, but of Phares; and those who were at the head of those who were numbered a little before the death of Moses, were not the descendants of these, (Numbers 26:64.) In effect, we find that Moses chose for his council, able men out of all Israel, Exodus 18:25. (Bonfrere) (Calmet)
Numbers 1:4 And there shall be with you the princes of the tribes, and of the houses in their kindreds,

Numbers 1:5 Whose names are these: Of Ruben, Elisur the son of Sedeur.

Numbers 1:6 Of Simeon, Salamiel the son of Surisaddai.

Numbers 1:7 Of Juda, Nahasson the son of Aminadab.

Numbers 1:8 Of Issachar, Nathanael the son of Suar.

Numbers 1:9 Of Zabulon, Eliab the son of Helon.

Numbers 1:10 And of the sons of Joseph: of Ephraim, Elisama the son of Ammiud: of Manasses, Gamaliel the son of Phadassur.

Numbers 1:11 Of Benjamin, Abidan the son of Gedeon.

Numbers 1:12 Of Dan, Ahiezer the son of Ammisaddai.

Numbers 1:13 Of Aser, Phegiel the son of Ochran.

Numbers 1:14 Of Gad, Eliasaph the son of Duel.

Duel. Hebrew Dehuel. But (Numbers 2:14.) we find the word begins R, as the Septuagint have read, Ragouel. (Haydock)
Numbers 1:15 Of Nephthali, Ahira the son of Enan.

Numbers 1:16 These are the most noble princes of the multitude, by their tribes and kindreds, and the chiefs of the army of Israel:

Army. Hebrew, "of a thousand." The Vulgate commonly styles them tribunes. They were "people of name in the assembly," as the Hebrew indicates. (Calmet)
Numbers 1:17 Whom Moses and Aaron took with all the multitude of the common people:

Numbers 1:18 And assembled them on the first day of the second month, reckoning them up by the kindreds, and houses, and families, and heads, and names of every one from twenty years old and upward,

Numbers 1:19 As the Lord had commanded Moses. And they were numbered in the desert of Sinai.

Numbers 1:20 Of Ruben the eldest son of Israel, by the generations and families, and houses, and names of every head, all that were of the male sex, from twenty years old and upward, that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:21 Were forty-six thousand five hundred.

Numbers 1:22 Of the sons of Simeon by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names and heads of every one, all that were of the male sex, from twenty years old and upward, that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:23 Fifty-nine thousand three hundred.

Numbers 1:24 Of the sons of Gad, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:25 Forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty.

Numbers 1:26 Of the sons of Juda, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Juda. This tribe was the most numerous. But it is not here placed first, because the order of birth in Lia's children is observed. Then come those of Rachel; and last of all, the children of the two handmaids, Bala and Zelpha. (Haydock)
Numbers 1:27 Were reckoned up seventy-four thousand six hundred.

Numbers 1:28 Of the sons of Issachar, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that could go forth to war,

Numbers 1:29 Were reckoned up fifty-four thousand four hundred.

Numbers 1:30 Of the sons of Zabulon, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:31 Fifty-seven thousand four hundred.

Numbers 1:32 Of the sons of Joseph, namely of the sons of Ephraim, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:33 Forty thousand five hundred.

Numbers 1:34 Moreover of the sons of Manasses, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that could go forth to war,

Numbers 1:35 Thirty-two thousand two hundred.

Numbers 1:36 Of the sons of Benjamin, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:37 Thirty-five thousand four hundred.

Numbers 1:38 Of the sons of Dan, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:39 Sixty-two thousand seven hundred.

Numbers 1:40 Of the sons of Aser, by the generations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:41 Forty-one thousand and five hundred.

Numbers 1:42 Of the sons of Nephthali, by theigenerations and families, and houses of their kindreds, were reckoned up by the names of every one from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war,

Numbers 1:43 Fifty-three thousand four hundred.

Numbers 1:44 These are they who were numbered by Moses and Aaron, and the twelve princes of Israel, every one by the houses of their kindreds.

Numbers 1:45 And the whole number of the children of Israel, by their houses and families, from twenty years old and upward, that were able to go to war,

Numbers 1:46 Were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men.

Numbers 1:47 But the Levites in the tribes of their families were not numbered with them.

Levites. As they attended the tabernacle, like God's peculiar servants, and were not obliged to go forth to battle, it was not necessary to number them with the rest. (Calmet) --- They might, however, fight if they thought proper, as the Machabees did. See Josephus, Antiquities 3:11 and 4:4. (Tirinus)
Numbers 1:48 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 1:49 Number not the tribe of Levi, neither shalt thou put down the sum of them with the children of Israel:

Numbers 1:50 But appoint them over the tabernacle of the testimony, and all the vessels thereof, and whatsoever pertaineth to the ceremonies. They shall carry the tabernacle and all the furniture thereof: and they shall minister, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.

Numbers 1:51 When you are to go forward, the Levites shall take down the tabernacle: when you are to camp, they shall set it up. What stranger soever cometh to it shall be slain.

Stranger, even of any other tribe. (St. Augustine, q. 3.) (Worthington)
Numbers 1:52 And the children of Israel shall camp every man by his troops, and bands, and army.

Army. Hebrew, "they shall have their respective camp, and follow their own standard, with their army." They were drawn up in four large bodies, Numbers 2:2, etc. (Calmet) --- The first contained 151,450, the second 186,400, the third 108,100, and the fourth 157,600, under Reuben, Juda, Ephraim, and Dan.
Numbers 1:53 But the Levites shall pitch their tents round about the tabernacle, lest there come indignation upon the multitude of the children of Israel, and they shall keep watch, and guard the tabernacle of the testimony.

Watch. Lest any thing should offer any indecency to the tabernacle, and thus provoke God's indignation. (Haydock)
Numbers 1:54 And the children of Israel did according to all things which the Lord had commanded Moses.

Numbers 2:0 The order of the tribes in their camp.

Numbers 2:1 And the Lord spoke *to Moses and Aaron, saying:

Year of the World 2514, Year before Christ 1490.
Numbers 2:2 All the children of Israel shall camp by their troops, ensigns, and standards, and the houses of their kindreds, round about the tabernacle of the covenant.

By, etc. Hebrew, "by his own standard, in the ensigns of their father's house, far off, about," etc. Perhaps a general standard, belonging to the chief tribe, was set up for each of the four great bodies; while the two inferior tribes had their peculiar ensign, as well as the different companies. It is supposed, that these standards were distinguished either by their colour, or by the representation of some animals. Jonathan says, each of the great standards, made of silk, were of three colours, similar to those precious stones, on which the names of the patriarchs were engraven on the rational; and also exhibited the figure or emblem of the principal tribe, with some text of Scripture, and the names of the three tribes. Thus the tribe of Juda, with those of Issachar and Zabulon, occupying the space of 4000 paces, had a lion's whelp on their standard, with this inscription, Let God arise, and his enemies be put to fight; Juda, Issachar, Zabulon. The tribes of Ruben, Simeon, and Gad, bore the figure of a stag, Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God. The standard of Ephraim, Manasses, and Benjamin, had a child embroidered, The cloud also of the Lord was over them by day, when they marched. Some give to the tribes of Dan, Aser, and Nephtali, the figure of a basilisk; others that of an eagle; with these words, Return, O Lord, and dwell with thy glory in the midst of the host of Israel. See (Numbers 10:34-36.; Deuteronomy 6:4.) Some imagine that the standard of Juda was green, with a lion's whelp embroidered upon it; Ruben's red, with the head of a man. That of Ephraim, yellowish, the colour of the Chrysolite, and represented an ox, or a calf's head. The standard of Dan had a mixture of white and red, like the jasper, with an eagle grasping a serpent in its talons; all in allusion to various passages of Scripture, and to the cherubim of Ezechiel. We cannot, however, vouch for the accuracy of these Rabinnical accounts. The custom of bearing the figures of animals on armour and standards, is very ancient. Anubis and Macedo had a dog and a wolf engraven on their arms, when they accompanied their father Osiris. (Diodorus 2:2. The heroes at Troy had similar emblems on their bucklers. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 35:3.) Others adorned their helmets with them. Hence some derive the custom of armour-bearing. --- Covenant, at the distance of 2000 cubits, as at the passage of the Jordan, (Josue 3:4.) The tabernacle in the middle formed the camp of the Lord, the Levites were round it; the third camp was for the army, (Calmet) occupying a large square. The nearest soldiers were a mile distant from the centre.
Numbers 2:3 On the east Juda shall pitch his tents by the bands of his army: and the prince of his sons shall be Nahasson, the son of Aminadab.

Numbers 2:4 And the whole sum of the fighting men of his stock, were seventy-four thousand six hundred.

Numbers 2:5 Next unto him, they of the tribe of Issachar encamped, whose prince was Nathanael, the son of Suar.

Numbers 2:6 And the whole number of his fighting men were fifty-four thousand four hundred.

Numbers 2:7 In the tribe of Zabulon, the prince was Eliab, the son of Helon.

Numbers 2:8 And all the army of fighting men of his stock, were fifty-seven thousand four hundred.

Numbers 2:9 All that were numbered in the camp of Juda, were a hundred and eighty-six thousand four hundred: and they, by their troops shall march first.

First. The gate of the tabernacle looked towards the east. (Haydock) --- Juda marched therefore in the first ranks. Then followed Ruben, the Levites, with the camp of the Lord. (Calmet) --- (Yet see Numbers 10:17.; Haydock) --- Afterwards came Ephraim; and last of all, Gad, ver. 16, 17, 24, 31. But in the camp, Juda, Issachar and Zabulon, Moses and Aaron, dwelt on the eastern side of the tabernacle; Ruben, Simeon and Gad, with the Caathites, on the south; Ephraim, Manasses and Benjamin, with the sons of Gerson, to the west; and Dan, Aser and Nephtali, with the Merarites, on the north. (Calmet)
Numbers 2:10 In the camp of the sons of Ruben, on the south side, the prince shall be Elisur, the son of Sedeur:

Numbers 2:11 And the whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were forty-six thousand five hundred.

Numbers 2:12 Beside him camped they of the tribe of Simeon: whose prince was Salamiel, the son of Surisaddai.

Numbers 2:13 And the whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were fifty-nine thousand three hundred.

Numbers 2:14 In the tribe of Gad, the prince was Eliasaph, the son of Duel.

Numbers 2:15 And the whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty.

Numbers 2:16 All that were reckoned up in the camp of Ruben, were a hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred and fifty, by their troops: they shall march in the second place.

Numbers 2:17 And the tabernacle of the testimony shall be carried by the officers of the Levites and their troops. As it shall be set up, so shall it be taken down. Every one shall march according to their places, and ranks.

And. Hebrew, "when the tabernacle of the assembly, shall depart, the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp, they shall depart in the same order as they encamp, each in his rank, with his ensigns." The Levites shall always be in the middle. (Calmet) --- So the Romans made their camps, of a square form, and placed the sacred things in the centre. (Grotius) --- Down. The same officers who took it down, shall set it up again. (Menochius)
Numbers 2:18 On the west side shall be the camp of the sons of Ephraim, whose prince was Elisama, the son of Ammiud.

Numbers 2:19 The whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were forty thousand five hundred.

Numbers 2:20 And with them the tribe of the sons of Manasses, whose prince was Gamaliel, the son of Phadassur.

Numbers 2:21 And the whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were thirty-two thousand two hundred.

Numbers 2:22 In the tribe of the sons of Benjamin, the prince was Abidan, the son of Gedeon.

Numbers 2:23 And the whole army of his fighting men, that were reckoned up, were thirty-five thousand four hundred.

Five, is omitted in the Samaritan copy.
Numbers 2:24 All that were numbered in the camp of Ephraim, were a hundred and eight thousand one hundred, by their troops: they shall march in the third place.

Eight. Onkelos has 180,000 (Calmet) --- But both these are incorrect, (Numbers 1:37.;Numbers 1:52.) (Haydock)\
Numbers 2:25 On the north side camped the sons of Dan: whose prince was Ahiezar, the son of Ammisaddai.

Numbers 2:26 The whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were sixty-two thousand seven hundred.

Numbers 2:27 Beside him they of the tribe of Aser pitched their tents: whose prince was Phegiel, the son of Ochran.

Numbers 2:28 The whole army of his fighting men, that were numbered, were forty-one thousand five hundred.

Numbers 2:29 Of the tribe of the sons of Nephthali, the prince was Ahira, the son of Enan.

Numbers 2:30 The whole army of his fighting men were fifty-three thousand four hundred.

Numbers 2:31 All that were numbered in the camp of Dan, were a hundred and fifty-seven thousand six hundred: and they shall march last.

Numbers 2:32 This is the number of the children of Israel, of their army divided according to the houses of their kindreds and their troops, six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.

Numbers 2:33 And the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel: for so the Lord had commanded Moses.

Numbers 2:34 And the children of Israel did according to all things that the Lord had commanded. They camped by their troops, and marched by the families and houses of their fathers.

Numbers 3:0 The Levites are numbered, and their offices distinguished. They are taken in the place of the first-born of the children of Israel.

Numbers 3:1 These are the generations of Aaron and Moses, in the day that the Lord spoke to Moses in Mount Sinai.

Generations; descendants of Aaron, whose names are specified; and of Moses, whose children are left unnoticed among the rest of the Levites, ver. 27. This enhances the merit of the Jewish legislator[Moses], and shews his modesty and disinterestedness. (Haydock)
Numbers 3:2 *And these the names of the sons of Aaron: his first-born Nadab, then Abiu, and Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Exodus 6:23.
Numbers 3:3 These the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests that were anointed, and whose hands were filled and consecrated, to do the functions of priesthood.

Numbers 3:4 *Now Nadab and Abiu died without children, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the desert of Sinai: and Eleazar and Ithamar performed the priestly office, in the presence of Aaron, their father.

Leviticus 10:1-2.; 1 Paralipomenon 24:2.
Presence; or as it is expressed, (1 Paralipomenon 24:9,) under the hand of Aaron, by his direction, and in quality of his assistant, (Calmet) while he lived, Eleazar succeeded him in the high priesthood; (Josue 24:33,) and his children possessed that dignity, till the posterity of Ithamar came in under Heli, (Numbers 25:13.) (Haydock)
Numbers 3:5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 3:6 Bring the tribe of Levi, and make them stand in the sight of Aaron the priest, to minister to him, and let them watch,

To him, and to the other priests, who had to perform the higher offices. The Levites did not approach near the altar, except when they had to carry it and the tabernacle. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:7 And observe whatsoever appertaineth to the service of the multitude, before the tabernacle of the testimony,

And. Hebrew, "They shall watch over him, and over all the congregation," to assist the priests in their sacred office, and to take care that the people behave respectfully. (Haydock) --- All were bound to prevent any sacrilegious abuse. (Menochius)
Numbers 3:8 And let them keep the vessels of the tabernacle, serving in the ministry thereof.

Numbers 3:9 And thou shalt give the Levites for a gift,

Numbers 3:10 To Aaron and to his sons, to whom they are delivered by the children of Israel. But thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons over the service of priesthood. The stranger that approacheth to minister, shall be put to death.

To whom. Samaritan and Septuagint, "to me." They must serve God in the persons of his priests. They are called a gift, people bestowed, as the Nothnim, to serve in the meanest functions; and hence the Nathineans take their name. The Gabaonites were employed by Josue in this quality, Josue 9:23. --- Over. Hebrew, "they shall retain," etc. They shall permit no stranger to interfere. Cuneus (Rep. 2:11,) observes, that if a Levite undertook to do the office allotted to another, he was to be slain, after sentence had been passed by the judge. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying :

Numbers 3:12 I have taken the Levites from the children of Israel, for every first-born that openeth the womb among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine.

Mine. God claimed the first-born, on account of having spared them, Exodus 12:23. He requires that all the males shall be redeemed, except those of the tribe of Levi, whom he claims as his peculiar portion, as the price of the redemption of those who were living in Egypt, when the destroying angel passed by. This honour was wholly gratuitous, though the Levites deserved to obtain a confirmation of it by their zeal, Exodus 32:29 and Deuteronomy 33:9. God seems to have revealed to Moses the destination of Aaron's family, long before they were appointed to exercise the functions of the priesthood, Exodus 19:22, 24, and 24:1. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:13 *For every first-born is mine: since I struck the first-born in the land of Egypt: I have sanctified to myself whatsoever is first-born in Israel, both of man and beast, they are mine: I am the Lord.

Exodus. 13:2.; Numbers 8:16.
Numbers 3:14 And the Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, saying:

Numbers 3:15 Number the sons of Levi by the houses of their fathers and their families, every male from one month and upward.

Month; at which time the first-born were to be redeemed, chap 18:16. (Menochius) --- If only those of 20 years of age had been counted, they could not have amounted to nearly an equal number with the first-born of all the other tribes. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:16 Moses numbered them as the Lord had commanded.

Numbers 3:17 *And there were found sons of Levi, by their names, Gerson and Caath, and Merari.

Exodus 6:16.
Names. These had been long ago dead. (Menochius)
Numbers 3:18 The sons of Gerson: Lebni and Semei.

Numbers 3:19 The sons of Caath: Amram and Jesaar, Hebron and Oziel:

Numbers 3:20 The sons of Merari: Moholi and Musi.

Numbers 3:21 Of Gerson were two families, the Lebnites, and the Semeites:

Numbers 3:22 Of which were numbered, people of the male sex from one month and upward, seven thousand five hundred.

Five hundred, expressed by the letter c, has, according to Kennicott, been put for 200, which the Hebrews denote by a similar letter, r. See 2 Kings 23:8 and 1 Paralipomenon 11:11, for other mistakes. (Haydock)
Numbers 3:23 These shall pitch behind the tabernacle on the west,

Numbers 3:24 Under their prince Eliasaph, the son of Lael.

Numbers 3:25 And their charge shall be in the tabernacle of the covenant:

Numbers 3:26 The tabernacle itself and the cover thereof, the hanging that is drawn before the doors of the tabernacle of the covenant, and the curtains of the court: the hanging also that is hanged in the entry of the court of the tabernacle, and whatsoever belongeth to the rite of the altar, the cords of the tabernacle, and all the furniture thereof.

Thereof. The Gersonites had the care of the veils round the court, and of the cords and gates. The priests guarded the tabernacle, ver. 32. The sons of Caath carried the altars, (ver. 31,) and the Merarites took care of the cords, which were attached to the pillars of the court, ver. 37. Hebrew may be translated "(among the vessels of) the tabernacle, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the sanctuary, (or tabernacle of the congregation) and the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is beside the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords belonging to the service of the tabernacle." (Calmet) --- Whatsoever, in the Vulgate, must only be referred to the curtains.
Numbers 3:27 Of the kindred of Caath, come the families of the Amramites and Jesaarites, and Hebronites and Ozielites. These are the families of the Caathites, reckoned up by their names:

Numbers 3:28 All of the male sex from one month and upward, eight thousand six hundred: they shall have the guard of the sanctuary,

Sanctuary, with respect to the things mentioned, ver. 31. (Menochius) --- The Samaritan copy observes, that they also carried the brazen laver, as we find they did, (Numbers 4:14.) All these things were folded up in the violet curtains of the sanctuary, while the ark was covered with the veil which hung before it, (Numbers 4:5.) Some pretend that the number here specified ought to be 830, to obviate a difficulty [in] ver. 39. But this amendment has no solid foundation. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:29 And shall camp on the south side.

Numbers 3:30 And their prince shall be Elisaphan, the son of Oziel:

Numbers 3:31 And they shall keep the ark, and the table and the candlestick, the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary, wherewith they minister, and the veil, and all the furniture of this kind.

Numbers 3:32 And the prince of the princes of the Levites, Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, shall be over them that watch for the guard of the sanctuary.

Eleazar had authority over the Levites, as his father had over the priests also. Thus we find princes of the priests, different from the sovereign pontiff. (Matthew 2:4.; Matthew 16:21.; Luke 3:2.) Eleazar had also a particular charge of the Caathites, ( Numbers 4:16,) and was to take care that they handled the sacred vessels with due respect. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:33 And of Merari are the families of the Moholites, and Musites, reckoned up by their names :

Numbers 3:34 All of the male kind from one month and upward, six thousand two hundred.

Numbers 3:35 Their prince Suriel, the son of Abihaiel: they shall camp on the north side.

Numbers 3:36 Under their custody shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars, and the pillars and their sockets, and all things that pertain to this kind of service:

Numbers 3:37 And the pillars of the court round about with their sockets, and the pins with their cords.

Numbers 3:38 Before the tabernacle of the covenant, that is to say, on the east side, shall Moses and Aaron camp, with their sons, having the custody of the sanctuary, in the midst of the children of Israel. What stranger soever cometh unto it, shall be put to death.

Sons, the children of Aaron. Those of Moses were among the Levites, 1 Paralipomenon 23:13. They did not remain with their father. --- In the, etc. Hebrew, "to guard the," etc., in order to supply for the rest of the Israelites, ver. 9. (St. Augustine, q. 4.)
Numbers 3:39 All the Levites that Moses and Aaron numbered *according to the precept of the Lord, by their families, of the male kind, from one month and upward, were twenty-two thousand.

Year of the World 2514, Year before Christ 1490. And Aaron; a word omitted in the Samaritan and Syriac, and in the oldest Hebrew manuscript, and marked in the printed copies as dubious. (Kennicott) --- Thousand. If we collect the different sums, we shall find other 300; so that the Levites would be 27 more than the first-born of the other tribes, though Moses says (ver. 43-46) that they were fewer by 273. Some say that the 28th verse has been corrupted, (Calmet) or the 22nd, where we read 500 instead of 200. (Haydock) --- Others observe, that in the 22,000, the first-born of the Levites and the priests of Aaron's family are not included, and these might amount to 300 men. (Lyranus) --- But Bonfrere rightly observes that this number is too small, as only one is allowed for 74 people. He thinks that the first-born, who were heads of families, are omitted, and those also who were born before the angel destroyed the Egyptians. On this supposition, however, 22,000 will appear too great a number to be produced by the Levites in the space of a year, when some were too young, and others too old, to have children, and others had children already before that event. We may, therefore, either admit the solution of Lyranus, or confess that some fault has crept into the number, though this must be very difficult, since Moses argues in the sequel on the supposition of its certainty. (Calmet) --- St. Jerome hence infers, that these numbers are full of mystery; Origen (hom. 4,) says, that the exact number, 22,000, may signify the perfection which God requires from those whom he takes into his service, as there are just 22 Hebrew letters, and 22 patriarchs, from Adam to Jacob, the father of the Israelites. (Worthington) --- The 22,000 might be accepted by God, instead of so many Israelites; and the 300 other Levites might be due to him on their own account, being the first-born since the Hebrews left Egypt. (Tirinus) (Du Hamel)
Numbers 3:40 And the Lord said to Moses: Number the first-born of the male sex of the children of Israel, from one month and upward, and thou shalt take the sum of them.

Numbers 3:41 And thou shalt take the Levites to me for all the first-born of the children of Israel, I am the Lord: and their cattle for all the first-born of the cattle of the children of Israel:

Cattle. These were kept by the Levites, and were not intended for sacrifice. (Menochius)
Numbers 3:42 Moses reckoned up, as the Lord had commanded, the first-born of the children of Israel:

Numbers 3:43 And the males by their names, from one month and upward, were twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.

Numbers 3:44 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 3:45 Take the Levites for the first-born of the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites for their cattle, and the Levites shall be mine. I am the Lord.

Numbers 3:46 But for the price of the two hundred and seventy-three, of the first-born of the children of Israel, that exceed the number of the Levites,

Levites, omitting the 300, as [in] ver. 39. For each of these 273, five sicles were to be paid, the price of the redemption of a child who had been vowed, Leviticus 27:6. The money was to be paid either by those who were counted last, or by a tax laid upon all the people, or it was determined by lot who should pay it. The Scripture is silent on this head. (Calmet)
Numbers 3:47 Thou shalt take five sicles for every head, according to the weight of the sanctuary. *A sicle hath twenty obols.

Exodus 30:13.; Leviticus 27:25.; Numbers 18:16.; Ezechiel 45:12.
Numbers 3:48 And thou shalt give the money to Aaron and his sons, the price of them that are above.

Numbers 3:49 Moses therefore took the money of them that were above, and whom they had redeemed from the Levites,

Numbers 3:50 For the first-born of the children of Israel, one thousand three hundred and sixty-five sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary,

Numbers 3:51 And gave it to Aaron and his sons, according to the word that the Lord had commanded him.

Numbers 4:0 The age and time of the Levites' service: their offices and burdens.

Numbers 4:1 And the Lord spoke *to Moses and Aaron, saying:

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Numbers 4:2 Take the sum of the sons of Caath from the midst of the Levites, by their houses and families,

Numbers 4:3 From thirty years old and upward, to fifty years old, of all that go in to stand and to minister in the tabernacle of the covenant.

Thirty. Moses speaks of those who had to carry the sacred vessels. Those of 25 years old might perform some offices; (Numbers 8:24.) and even at 20, they began to serve the tabernacle, in the reign of David, (1 Paralipomenon 23:24,) the fatigue being then diminished, and the splendour of religion increasing. The Septuagint read 25 instead of 30, in this and all other places, and some think that the Hebrew should be so too. The time for the admission of priests to their more august functions is not specified, but was determined by themselves to be at least 20 years of age. (Outram, Sacrif. 1:7.) --- To stand. This was the ordinary posture of the priests in the temple. The king alone was allowed to sit. (Maimonides) --- Hebrew, "all that enter into the host, or army, to do the work in the tabernacle of the assembly," shall be of a competent age and strength. (Haydock)
Numbers 4:4 This is the service of the sons of Caath:

Numbers 4:5 When the camp is to set forward, Aaron and his sons shall go into the tabernacle of the covenant, and the holy of holies, and shall take down the veil that hangeth before the door, and shall wrap up the ark of the testimony in it,

Sons. Necessity excused them on this occasion. Out of respect for the ark, the Levites were not allowed to behold or touch it uncovered. (Calmet) --- That hangeth before the door. Hebrew, "the covering veil, and shall," etc. (Haydock)
Numbers 4:6 And shall cover it again with a cover of violet skins, and shall spread over it a cloth all of violet, and shall put in the bars.

Put in the bars. Hebrew, "place the bars," upon the shoulders of the Levites; for they were never taken out of the sides of the ark, Exodus 25:15. Other bars, like hand-barrows, were used to carry the ark and the other different vessels, after they were folded up. Two Levites bore them on their shoulders. (Calmet) --- Perhaps the bars of the ark, after it was enveloped with the three curtains, might project, so that the bearers might take hold of them. (Menochius)
Numbers 4:7 They shall wrap up also the table of proposition in a cloth of violet, and shall put with it the censers and little mortars, the cups and bowls to pour out the libations: the loaves shall be always on it:

Loaves. Some imagine this precept was not observed in the desert, as the people fed on manna. But might not they procure some flour of the neighbouring nations? and do not the princes offer flour, See (Numbers 7.; Deuteronomy 12:7.) (Calmet)
Numbers 4:8 And they shall spread over it a cloth of scarlet, which again they shall cover with a covering of violet skins, and shall put in the bars.

Numbers 4:9 They shall take also a cloth of violet, wherewith they shall cover the candlestick with the lamps and tongs thereof, and the snuffers, and all the oil vessels, which are necessary for the dressing of the lamps :

Numbers 4:10 And over all they shall put a cover of violet skins, and put in the bars.

The bars, which were not attached to it, (Exodus 25:37.) Hebrew and Septuagint, "They shall place it upon the bars." Mot, signifies a stick, upon which two people may carry burdens, (Numbers 13:24.) It might be put through the foldings, ver. 12.
Numbers 4:11 And they shall wrap up the golden altar also in a cloth of violet, and shall spread over it a cover of violet skins, and put in the bars.

Numbers 4:12 All the vessels wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, they shall wrap up in a cloth of violet, and shall spread over it a cover of violet skins, and put in the bars.

Numbers 4:13 They shall cleanse the altar also from the ashes, and shall wrap it up in a purple cloth,

Ashes, which might be upon the grate of the altar, where the sacred fire had been burning. This shews that the precept was already observed. The Septuagint do not mention the ashes. But some copies, with Origen, (hom. iv.) and the Samaritan Pentateuch, insert some words at the end of ver. 14, which Grotius believes have been omitted by the Massorets, in the present Hebrew Bibles. "They shall take a purple veil, and fold up the laver and its foot, and put them in a covering of violet skins, and place them upon the bars." (Calmet) --- The children of Caath were the most honoured among the Levites, as Moses and Aaron sprung from the same family, Eleazar, the future pontiff, presided over them in a particular manner, while his younger brother Ithamar, directed the rest. (Haydock)
Numbers 4:14 And shall put it with all the vessels that they use in the ministry thereof, that is to say, fire-pans, flesh-hooks and forks, pot-hooks and shovels. They shall cover all the vessels of the altar together with a covering of violet skins, and shall put in the bars.

Numbers 4:15 And when Aaron and his sons have wrapped up the sanctuary and the vessels thereof at the removing of the camp, then shall the *sons of Caath enter in to carry the things wrapped up: and they shall not touch the vessels of the sanctuary, lest they die. These are the burdens of the sons of Caath: in the tabernacle of the covenant.

1 Paralipomenon 15:15.
Vessels of, etc. Some say, not even their coverings. God threatens to punish all idle curiosity or negligence, particularly with respect to the ark, which the Caathites had to carry, till the priests became sufficiently numerous to perform that office, as they generally did, Deuteronomy 31:9. (Calmet)
Numbers 4:16 And over them shall be Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to whose charge pertaineth the oil to dress the lamps, and the sweet incense, and the sacrifice, that is always offered, and the oil of unction, and whatsoever pertaineth to the service of the tabernacle, and of all the vessels that are in the sanctuary.

Over them. The sons of Caath, to whose care the more sacred things were entrusted; or Hebrew, "over the oil," etc. --- Sacrifice of flour, wine, etc. These always accompanied the morning and evening holocaust. It hence appears that this law was already in force, and probably all such precepts were observed as were not incompatible with the wandering state of the Hebrews. (Calmet)
Numbers 4:17 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

Numbers 4:18 Destroy not the people of Caath from the midst of the Levites:

Numbers 4:19 But do this to them, that they may live, and not die, by touching the holies of holies. Aaron and his sons shall go in, and they shall appoint every man his work, and shall divide the burdens that every man is to carry.

Numbers 4:20 Let not others, by any curiosity, see the things that are in the sanctuary before they be wrapped up, otherwise they shall die.

Curiosity. Septuagint, "suddenly." Let them not rush in before all the vessels be properly covered. The priests folded them up with all haste, that they might see them as little as possible themselves. (Calmet)
Numbers 4:21 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 4:22 Take the sum of the sons of Gerson also, by their houses, and families, and kindreds,

Numbers 4:23 From thirty years old and upward, unto fifty years old. Number them all that go in and minister in the tabernacle of the covenant.

Thirty. Septuagint, "25," as ver. 3. (Calmet) --- They began to be taught how to act, at 25; but did not officiate till 30. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 4:24 This is the office of the family of the Gersonites :

Numbers 4:25 To carry the curtains of the tabernacle, and the roof of the covenant, the other covering, and the violet covering over all, and the hanging that hangeth in the entry of the tabernacle of the covenant,

Numbers 4:26 The curtains of the court, and the veil in the entry that is before the tabernacle. All things that pertain to the altar, the cords, and the vessels of the ministry,

All things. Hebrew, "veils round the altar" of holocausts in the court. (Calmet)
Numbers 4:27 The sons of Gerson shall carry, by the commandment of Aaron and his sons: and each man shall know to what burden he must be assigned.

Assigned. Hebrew, "you shall count over to them what they have to carry." Septuagint, "you shall call (the Levites) by name, and all that shall be intrusted to them," ver. 32. (Calmet) --- From the different offices of the priests and Levites in the old law, Innocent III takes occasion to shew the distinction of the orders in the Christian Church. (De S. Altar. 2. ad 7.)
Numbers 4:28 This is the service of the family of the Gersonites, in the tabernacle of the covenant, and they shall be under the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest.

Numbers 4:29 Thou shalt reckon up the sons of Merari also, by the families and houses of their fathers,

Numbers 4:30 From thirty years old and upward, unto fifty years old, all that go in to the office of their ministry, and to the service of the covenant of the testimony.

Numbers 4:31 These are their burdens: They shall carry the boards of the tabernacle and the bars thereof, the pillars and their sockets,

Numbers 4:32 The pillars also of the court round about, with their sockets and pins and cords. They shall receive by account all the vessels and furniture, and so shall carry them.

Numbers 4:33 This is the office of the family of the Merarites, and their ministry in the tabernacle of the covenant: and they shall be under the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest.

Numbers 4:34 So Moses and Aaron and the princes of the synagogue, reckoned up the sons of Caath, by their kindreds and the houses of their fathers,

Numbers 4:35 From thirty years old and upward, unto fifty years old, all that go in to the ministry of the tabernacle of the covenant:

Numbers 4:36 And they were found two thousand seven hundred and fifty.

Numbers 4:37 This is the number of the people of Caath, that go in to the tabernacle of the covenant: these did Moses and Aaron number according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

Numbers 4:38 The sons of Gerson also were numbered by the kindreds and houses of their fathers,

Numbers 4:39 From thirty years old and upward, unto fifty years old, all that go in to minister in the tabernacle of the covenant:

Numbers 4:40 And they were found two thousand six hundred and thirty.

Numbers 4:41 This is the people of the Gersonites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the Lord.

Numbers 4:42 The sons of Merari also were numbered by the kindreds and houses of their fathers,

Numbers 4:43 From thirty years old and upward, unto fifty years old, all that go in to fulfil the rites of the tabernacle of the covenant:

Numbers 4:44 And they were found three thousand two hundred.

Numbers 4:45 This is the number of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron reckoned up, according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

Numbers 4:46 All that were reckoned up of the Levites, and whom Moses and Aaron and the princes of Israel took by name, by the kindreds and houses of their fathers,

Numbers 4:47 From thirty years old and upward, unto fifty years old, that go in to the ministry of the tabernacle, and to carry the burdens,

Numbers 4:48 Were in all eight thousand five hundred and eighty.

Numbers 4:49 Moses reckoned them up according to the word of the Lord, every one according to their office and burdens, as the Lord had commanded him.

Numbers 5:0 The unclean are removed out of the camp: confession of sins, and satisfaction: first-fruits and oblations belong to the priests: trial of jealousy.

Numbers 5:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:

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Numbers 5:2 Command the children of Israel, that they cast out of the camp every leper, and whosoever hath an issue of seed, or is defiled by the dead:

Camp; in the midst of which God had fixed his tabernacle. See Leviticus 16:16. Some pretend that these unclean persons were only excluded from the camp of the Lord, and from that of the Levites, which occupied 2000 cubits round the tabernacle. But God will not permit any of the camp to be defiled by such people. They were to absent themselves for seven days, and then wash themselves, etc., (Numbers 19:11.) If lepers be excluded from the camp, how much more do heretics deserve to be cast out of the Church! (Theodoret, q. 8.) (Worthington)
Numbers 5:3 Whether it be man or woman, cast ye them out of the camp, lest they defile it when I shall dwell with you.

It. Hebrew, "their camps, in the midst of which I dwell." (Calmet)
Numbers 5:4 And the children of Israel did so, and they cast them forth without the camp, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.

Numbers 5:5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 5:6 Say to the children of Israel: When a man or woman shall have committed any of all the sins that men are wont to commit, and by negligence shall have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and offended,

To commit, against one another, ver. 7. (St. Augustine, q. 9.) When the thing is secret, so that the judges cannot take cognizance of it, the offender must nevertheless abide by the decision of the priest. Moses condemns him who had stolen an ox to restore it with another, or even to give five oxen, if he have not the one stolen in his possession, Exodus 22:1, 4. (Haydock) --- Here to reward the sincerity of the man, who confesses his private fault, he only requires the thing itself to be restored, with a fifth part besides. (Calmet) --- Negligence, not with contempt; (Menochius) though he knows that he is transgressing the divine and natural law. (Tirinus)
Numbers 5:7 They shall confess their sin, and restore the principal itself, and the fifth part over and above, to him against whom they have sinned.

Shall confess. This confession and satisfaction, ordained in the old law, was a figure of the sacrament of penance. (Challoner) --- A special confession of their sin, with satisfaction, and a sacrifice, are required. So Christ orders us to lay open our consciences to his priests, John. xx., etc. (Worthington)
Numbers 5:8 But if there be no one to receive it, they shall give it to the Lord, and it shall be the priest's, besides the ram that is offered for expiation, to be an atoning sacrifice.

But if. Moses does not mention this case, Leviticus 6:2, 5. Here he determines that the heirs, if known, must be entitled to the restitution. A Hebrew could not die without an heir; but a proselyte might, and then restitution was to be made to God. The Rabbins say, that when the person injured was already dead, the offender took 10 persons with him to the grave of the deceased, and said, "I have sinned against the Lord and against N.; I have injured him thus." After which he gave what was due to his heirs; or, if none could be found, to the house of judgment or the judges, who might restore it, if any claimant appeared afterwards.
Numbers 5:9 All the first-fruits also, which the children of Israel offer, belong to the priest:

First-fruits; (teruma,) a term which comprises also voluntary oblations of all sorts, and the parts of the victims which belong to the priests; unless the person offering expressed a different intention. (Calmet)
Numbers 5:10 And whatsoever is offered into the sanctuary by every one, and is delivered into the hands of the priest, it shall be his.

Numbers 5:11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 5:12 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: The man whose wife shall have gone astray, and contemning her husband,

Numbers 5:13 Shall have slept with another man, and her husband cannot discover it, but the adultery is secret, and cannot be proved by witnesses, because she was not found in the adultery:

Numbers 5:14 If the spirit of jealousy stir up the husband against his wife, who either is defiled, or is charged with false suspicion,

The spirit of jealousy, etc. This ordinance was designed to clear the innocent, and to prevent jealous husbands from doing mischief to their wives: as likewise to give all a horror of adultery, by punishing it in so remarkable a manner. (Challoner) --- The spirit of jealousy, of fear, etc., denotes those passions of the soul. This very remarkable law of Moses suited the genius of his people, (Calmet) and tended greatly to restrain the infidelity of the married couple, and the fury of suspicious husbands. (Theodoret, q. 10.) God was pleased, by a continual miracle, to manifest the truth, on this occasion, provided the husband were not also guilty: for, in that case, the Rabbins assert, the waters had no effect. They relate many particularities, which seem contrary to Philo and Josephus, who inform us that the trial was still made in their time, though the former writers pretend that it was disused, on account of the many adulteries which were committed, in the age preceding the destruction of the temple by Titus. They say that the person who had committed the crime with the woman, died at the same time that the bitter waters put an end to her existence. When the suspected person was brought before the Sanhedrim, they tried, by all means, to extort a confession from her. But if she persisted in maintaining her innocence, they made her stand in black, before the eastern gate of the court, denouncing to her what she had to expect. If she answered Amen, the priest wrote the imprecations (ver. 19-22,) on vellum, with ink, which had no mixture of vitriol in it; and taking water from the laver, and dust from the court, with something bitter, like wormwood, effaced the writing in a new earthen vessel; while another priest tore her garments as far as the breast, and tied them up with an Egyptian cord, to remind her of the miracles wrought by God. If she confessed the crime before the writing was effaced, she was to be repudiated, without any dowry; or, if she kept company with a suspected person, contrary to her husband's admonition, after she had come off victorious from drinking the bitter waters, she was subjected to the same punishment, and could not demand to be admitted any more to make the miraculous experiment. See Selden, Uxor. 3:13.
Numbers 5:15 He shall bring her to the priest, and shall offer an oblation for her, the tenth part of a measure of barley meal: he shall not pour oil thereon, nor put frankincense upon it: because it is a sacrifice of jealousy, and an oblation searching out adultery.

Measure, (sati). Hebrew and Septuagint, "epha," of which the measure was only one-third. (Calmet) --- Oil, etc. These were rejected in sacrifices for sin, Leviticus 5:11. Jealous husbands have no sentiments of commiseration, or of sweetness; (Haydock) nor can any experience the emotions of joy, while they are in such a situation. (Tirinus)
Numbers 5:16 The priest therefore shall offer it, and set it before the Lord.

Numbers 5:17 And he shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and he shall cast a little earth of the pavement of the tabernacle into it.

\f + \fr 5:17---18\ft Holy water, destined for sacred uses, which is called most bitter, ver. 18, (Menochius) and cursed, (ver. 22,) on account of the imprecations used to detect the guilty. (Worthington) --- Earth, to shew the woman, that if she had been unfaithful, she deserved to be trodden upon as dung, Ecclesiasticus 9:10. --- Head, that she may remember all is naked before the Lord. (Menochius) --- Hebrew may signify, "he shall cut the hair of her head," (see Leviticus 10:6.; Calmet) or take off her veil. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 3:10.) (Haydock) --- Remembrance, by which God was requested to manifest the truth, either by punishing or by rewarding the woman, ver. 15, 28. (Menochius) --- Bitter, either on account of the wormwood, or because of their effects on the guilty. (Calmet)
Numbers 5:18 And when the woman shall stand before the Lord, he shall uncover her head, and shall put on her hands the sacrifice of remembrance, and the oblation of jealousy: and he himself shall hold the most bitter waters, whereon he hath heaped curses with execration.

Numbers 5:19 And he shall adjure her, and shall say: If another man hath not slept with thee, and if thou be not defiled by forsaking thy husband's bed, these most bitter waters, on which I have heaped curses, shall not hurt thee.

Adjure. The woman was put to her oath. (Josephus) (Haydock)
Numbers 5:20 But if thou hast gone aside from thy husband, and art defiled, and hast lain with another man:

Numbers 5:21 These curses shall light upon thee: The Lord make thee a curse, and an example for all among his people: may he make thy thigh to rot, and may thy belly swell and burst asunder.

Curse. Hebrew, "an object of execration, and an oath," etc., so that people can wish no greater misfortune to befall any one, than what thou shalt endure. (Haydock)
Numbers 5:22 Let the cursed waters enter into thy belly, and may thy womb swell and thy thigh rot. And the woman shall answer: Amen, amen.

Amen. Our Saviour often uses this form, to confirm what he says, verily, truly. The woman gives her assent to what had been proposed, "so be it." (Calmet)
Numbers 5:23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall wash them out with the most bitter waters, upon which he hath heaped the curses,

Book. Hebrew sepher, may also denote a board covered with wax, which was used as one of the most ancient modes of writing. (Calmet) --- Josephus says, the priest wrote the name of God on parchment, and washed it out in the bitter waters.
Numbers 5:24 And he shall give them her to drink. And when she hath drunk them up,

Up. Hebrew, "and the water, which causeth the malediction, shall enter into her, bitter." According to Josephus, the jealous husband threw first a handful of the gomer of barley flour, upon the altar, and gave the rest to the priest; and after the other ceremonies were finished, the woman drunk the water, and either had a son within ten months, or died with the marks of infamy. (B. [Antiquities?] 3:11. Edit. Bern.) Some Rabbins say she became livid and rotten, though she might linger on part of the year. (Sotae iii.) But if she proved innocent, she acquired fresh beauty and health, and was delivered with ease of a son. (Maimonides) (Haydock)
Numbers 5:25 The priest shall take from her hand the sacrifice of jealousy, and shall elevate it before the Lord, and shall put it upon the altar: yet so as first,

Numbers 5:26 To take a handful of the sacrifice of that which is offered, and burn it upon the altar: and so give the most bitter waters to the woman to drink.

Numbers 5:27 And when she hath drunk them, if she be defiled, and having despised her husband be guilty of adultery, the malediction shall go through her, and her belly swelling, her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse, and an example to all the people.

Through her. Hebrew, "into her," exerting all their efficacy.
Numbers 5:28 But if she be not defiled, she shall not be hurt, and shall bear children.

Children, that her husband may love her the more, and she may receive some compensation, for the stain thrown upon her character. (Menochius) --- We do not read in Scripture that any was ever subjected to this trial. The method of giving a bill of divorce was more easy. (Calmet)
Numbers 5:29 This is the law of jealousy. If a woman hath gone aside from her husband, and be defiled,

Numbers 5:30 And the husband, stirred up by the spirit of jealousy, bring her before the Lord, and the priest do to her according to all the things that are here written:

Numbers 5:31 The husband shall be blameless, and she shall bear her iniquity.

Blameless. To act in conformity with God's injunctions could not be reprehensible. But it would have been certainly criminal to tempt God in this manner, in order to discover a secret offence, if he had not authorized it expressly. If the husband wished to avoid the displeasure of God, he was bound to banish from his heart all malice, rash judgments, etc. The permission here granted, was owing to the hardness of heart of this stiff-necked people, as well as the laws regarding divorces and retaliation. Women, being of a more fickle and suspicious temper, are not indulged with the privilege of divorcing their husbands, or of making them drink the waters of jealousy. But if a man were taken in the act of adultery, he was put to death, Leviticus 20:10. The crime is equal in both parties. "The husband, says Lactantius, (de V. Cultu. xxiii.) ought, by the regularity of his conduct, to shew his wife what she owes him. For it is very unjust to exact from another, what you do not practise yourself. This injustice is the cause of the disorders, into which married women sometimes fall. They are vexed at being obliged to continue faithful to those, who will not be so to them." The Romans would not allow wives to bring an action against their husbands. "You would kill, with impunity, your wife taken in adultery, without any trial, said Cato, and she would not dare to touch you with her finger, if you fell into the same crime." (Gell. 10:23.) The authority which was given to husbands over their wives, was deemed a sufficient restraint; and men being obliged to be often from home, and in company, would have been exposed to continual alarms, from the suspicious temper of their wives, if they had been subjected to the like trials. (Calmet) --- In latter ages, however, the Jewish ladies began to assume the right of divorcing their husbands, in imitation of Salome, sister of Herod the great, and of Herodias, his grand-daughter, Matthew 14:3. (Josephus, Antiquities 15:11 and 18:7.) Grotius supposes that the Samaritan woman had divorced her five husbands, John 4:18. But this being contrary to the law, her first marriage alone subsisted. (Haydock) --- Her iniquity, in giving her husband any grounds of suspicion. The Rabbins observe, that he was bound first to admonish her, before witnesses, not to keep company with people of bad character; and if he could bring witnesses that she had been found afterwards with them for ever so short a time, he might have the remedy of the law. The pagans maintained, that several of their fountains and rivers had the power of disclosing and punishing perjury. Polemon mentions a fountain of this nature in Sicily; and Solinus (Numbers 11.) says, that one in Sardinia caused the perjured to go blind. The waters of the Styx were greatly feared on this account. (Hesiod, Theog. 783.) Tatitus (VII. 20,) mentions some other fountains, which had the same effects as the bitter waters. (Calmet) --- The various ordeal trials which were formerly in use, were probably established in imitation of this law of Moses; but not having the same authority or sanction, they were in danger of being looked upon as superstitious. (Haydock)
Numbers 6:0 The law of the Nazarites: the form of blessing the people.

Numbers 6:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:

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Numbers 6:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When a man, or woman, shall make a vow to be sanctified, and will consecrate themselves to the Lord:

Sanctified, and separated from the common sort of people, and obliged to observe abstinence like the Nazarites, as the Hebrew intimates in one word, nazir. All this was done to acquire greater sanctity and perfection. Septuagint, "whoever has made a great vow to be very pure to the Lord," and intends thus to signalize his zeal for God's glory. The original term, means also to distinguish oneself by a wonderful thing. There were Nazarites for life, like Samson and St. John the Baptist; and others for a limited time, like St. Paul. Their abstinence from wine, etc., lasted generally for a month, and was to be performed at Jerusalem. Those of the female sex could not bind themselves by vow till they were ten years and a day old, nor boys before they were full 13. (Calmet) --- The custom of cutting the hair, in honour of some god, was very common among the pagans; and St. Cyril (de ador. 16,) seems to think that the Hebrews had seen it practised in Egypt, and that Moses judged it expedient to let them do so for the sake of the true God, in order to divert their minds from giving way to superstition. (Calmet) --- The Hebrews made vows to abstain from wine for 30 days, and then to offer sacrifices, and to cut their hair, when they were attacked by any dangerous illness. (Josephus, Jewish Wars 2:15.) St. Paul perhaps made a vow of this nature, in the perils of the sea, Acts 18:11. (Spencer, Rit. 3:6.) Juvenal alludes to this custom, when he observes, that sailors with their heads shaved, delight in safety to recount the dangers to which they have been exposed: Gaudent ubi vertice raso, Garrula securi narrare pericula Nautae. (Sat. ii.)
Numbers 6:3 They shall abstain from wine, and from every thing that may make a man drunk. They shall not drink vinegar of wine, or of any other drink, nor any thing that is pressed out of the grape: nor shall they eat grapes either fresh or dried.

Drunk. Hebrew shecar, may signify old or palm wine, Leviticus 10:9. --- Drink. Hebrew, "of shecar," which was a clear wine, with perhaps a mixture of sugar. --- Vinegar was a common beverage among the ancients. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 14:16; Ruth 2:14.) The soldiers gave our Saviour some of theirs to drink. The Turks, who are not allowed to drink wine of the grape, make use of various other sorts of made wine. --- Grape, or the liquor procured from grapes, with a mixture of water, after they have served already to make wine. This liquor is called secondary wine by the Greeks, (Menochius) being designed for labourers in winter. (Varro 54, and Colum. 12:40.) Grapes of every description are forbidden to the Nazarites, as they either tend to inebriate, or at least are too luxurious. (Haydock) --- God deigns to give those a rule, who voluntarily consecrate themselves to his service. "What do the Nazarites designate, but the life of those who abstain, and are continent?" (St. Gregory, Mor. 32:23.) (Worthington)
Numbers 6:4 All the days that they are consecrated to the Lord by vow: they shall eat nothing that cometh of the vineyard, from the raisin even to the kernel.

Kernel, or stone. Neither the inside nor the outside must be eaten.
Numbers 6:5 All the time of his separation,* no razor shall pass over his head until the day be fulfilled of his consecration to the Lord. He shall be holy, and shall let the hair of his head grow.

Judges 13:5.
Grow. At the commencement, and at the end of the Nazariteship, the hair was cut; though perhaps a sort of crown was left at the top of the head, as the 7th verse may be rendered, "the crown of his God," etc. (Calmet) --- The Nazarite is under the same regulations as the high priest, with respect to any corpse, ver. 6. (Maimonides; More, p. 3.; Leviticus 21:11.) Both were consecrated to God in the most perfect manner. (Menochius) --- When the hair of Samson was cut off, he immediately lost his supernatural strength, (Judges 16.)
Numbers 6:6 All the time of his consecration he shall not go in to any dead,

Dead. To teach us that those who are consecrated to God, ought to abstain from the works of death. (Haydock)
Numbers 6:7 Neither shall he make himself unclean, even for his father, or for his mother, or for his brother, or for his sister, when they die, because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

Numbers 6:8 All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the Lord.

Numbers 6:9 But if any man die suddenly before him, the head of his consecration shall be defiled: and he shall shave it forthwith on the same day of his purification, and again the seventh day.

Day. That none might escape; (Theodoret, q. 11,) though the Hebrew may imply that the hair was only shaved on the ninth day, when he was to be purified, (Numbers 19:12.) Then the Nazarite had to begin again, as if he had done nothing, (Calmet) if his vow were only for a time. Those who had taken a vow for life never shaved.
Numbers 6:10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest in the entry of the covenant of the testimony,

Numbers 6:11 And the priest shall offer one for sin, and the other for a holocaust, and shall pray for him, for that he hath sinned by the dead: and he shall sanctify his head that day :

Sinned. Contracting a legal uncleanness. --- That day, and commence his vow. (Menochius)
Numbers 6:12 And shall consecrate to the Lord the days of his separation, offering a lamb of one year for sin: yet so that the former days be made void, because his sanctification was profaned.

Numbers 6:13 This is the law of consecration. When the days which he had determined by vow shall be expired, he shall bring him to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant,

He. The priest.
Numbers 6:14 And shall offer his oblation to the Lord: one he-lamb of a year old, without blemish, for a holocaust, and one ewe-lamb of a year old, without blemish, for a sin-offering, and one ram, without blemish, for a victim of peace-offering,

Numbers 6:15 A basket also of unleavened bread, tempered with oil, and wafers without leaven anointed with oil, and the libations of each:

Numbers 6:16 And the priest shall present them before the Lord, and shall offer both the sin-offering and the holocaust.

Numbers 6:17 But the ram he shall immolate for a sacrifice of peace-offering to the Lord, offering at the same time the basket of unleavened bread, and the libations that are due by custom.

Numbers 6:18 *Then shall the hair of the consecration of the Nazarite, be shaved off before the door of the tabernacle of the covenant: and he shall take his hair, and lay it upon the fire, which is under the sacrifice of the peace-offerings.

Acts 21:24.
Fire, on the altar, where the ram has been sacrificed. (Abulensis.) Lyranus thinks it was burnt on the fire, with which the meat was boiled. (Menochius) (Chaldean) (Tirinus) --- The Septuagint, Philo, etc., understand it in the former sense; and Theodoret says the consecrated hair was placed upon the victim on the fire. (Calmet)
Numbers 6:19 And shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and he shall deliver them into the hands of the Nazarite, after his head is shaven.

Numbers 6:20 And receiving them again from him, he shall elevate them in the sight of the Lord: and they being sanctified shall belong to the priest, as the breast, which was commanded to be separated, and the shoulder. After this the Nazarite may drink wine.

Priest, contrary to what was required in other sacrifices. (Jospehus, [Antiquities?] 4:4. Both the priest and the Nazarite waved the sacrifice towards the four quarters of the world.
Numbers 6:21 This is the law of the Nazarite, when he hath vowed his oblation to the Lord in the time of his consecration, besides those things which his hands shall find, according to that which he had vowed in his mind, so shall he do for the fulfilling of his sanctification.

Mind. If he have vowed any thing more, he must perform it. (Haydock)
Numbers 6:22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 6:23 Say to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the children of Israel, and you shall say to them:

Sons. The three forms of benediction for the high priests, have all the same meaning, and they might choose which they pleased. Grotius observes, that they pronounced them aloud standing, with their hands lifted up. The books of Moses are the ritual of the priests.
Numbers 6:24 *The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.

Ecclesiasticus 36:19.
Numbers 6:25 The Lord shew his face to thee, and have mercy on thee.

Shew. Hebrew, "make his face shine," joyful and serene, (Calmet) like a light to direct thy steps, (Psalm 66:2.)
Numbers 6:26 The Lord turn his countenance to thee, and give thee peace.

Turn. With loving mercy, may he comfort and protect thee. (Menochius)
Numbers 6:27 And they shall invoke my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

Invoke. Hebrew, "they shall name my name (Yehovah, in pronouncing blessings) upon the sons of Israel," which I will ratify. (Haydock) --- "They shall place the blessing of my name," etc., Chaldean. They shall praise my name. (Calmet) --- God authorizes us to use a determinate form of blessing, and grants the effect, when his minister pronounces it, (Worthington) if no obstacle be put by the party. (Haydock)
Numbers 7:0 The offerings of the princes at the dedication of the tabernacle: God speaketh to Moses from the propitiatory.

Numbers 7:1 And it came to pass in the day* that Moses had finished the tabernacle, and set it up, and had anointed and sanctified it with all its vessels, the altar likewise and all the vessels thereof,

Exodus 40:16.
The day. The second of the second month, the year after the Hebrews left Egypt. We might read this chapter immediately after the 10th of Leviticus.
Numbers 7:2 The princes of Israel and the heads of the families, in every tribe, who were the rulers of them who had been numbered, offered*

Year of the World 2514.
Numbers 7:3 Their gifts before the Lord, six waggons covered, and twelve oxen. Two princes offered one waggon, and each one an ox, and they offered them before the tabernacle.

Covered. Destined to carry some parts of the tabernacle. (Calmet) --- The Septuagint use a term which, according to Hesychius, denotes the chariots in which people of quality travelled, Lampenes. (Menochius)
Numbers 7:4 And the Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 7:5 Receive them from them to serve in the ministry of the tabernacle, and thou shalt deliver them to the Levites according to the order of their ministry.

Numbers 7:6 Moses therefore receiving the waggons and the oxen, delivered them to the Levites.

Numbers 7:7 Two waggons and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gerson, according to their necessity.

Numbers 7:8 The other four waggons, and eight oxen, he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their offices and service, under the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron, the priest.

Four. The sons of Merari were not very numerous, (Numbers 4:44.) and they had the heaviest parts of the tabernacle to carry. The metal alone would weigh 274,875 Roman pounds, of 12 ounces each; not to mention the pillars, etc. If 100 waggons carried each 3000 pounds, and every man 50, they would not carry one half; so that the people must have furnished them with many more waggons besides these four of the princes. (Jansenius) (Calmet) --- Abulensis thinks the Merarites carried all that was not laid on the four waggons. (Menochius)
Numbers 7:9 But to the sons of Caath he gave no waggons or oxen: because they serve in the sanctuary, and carry their burdens upon their own shoulders.

Numbers 7:10 And the princes offered for the dedication of the altar, on the day when it was anointed, their oblation before the altar.

That day. About that time; the ceremony lasted at least 12 days, ver. 84. (Tirinus)
Numbers 7:11 And the Lord said to Moses: Let each of the princes, one day after another, offer their gifts for the dedication of the altar.

Altar of holocausts, the dedication of which continued seven days, Exodus 29:36. (Menochius)
Numbers 7:12 The first day Nahasson, the son of Aminadab, of the tribe of Juda, offered his offering:

Numbers 7:13 And his offering was a silver dish, weighing one hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Dish, (acetabulum.) Hebrew kaharath. See Exodus 25:29. This present of the prince of Juda weighed five Roman pounds. It was of silver, and consequently could not be used in the sanctuary, but in the court, (Calmet) at the altar of holocausts. (Tirinus)
Numbers 7:14 A little mortar, of ten sicles of gold, full of incense:

Mortar. Hebrew caph, which the Vulgate commonly renders phiala, "a cup," (Menochius) may signify a spoon for incense, as it generally accompanies the censer, 3 Kings 7:20. It means literally "the palm of the hand." The high priest took his hands full of incense on the day of expiation, Leviticus 16:12. But on other occasions, a spoon was probably used to throw incense on the altar, or on the coals which were burning in the censers. (Calmet)
Numbers 7:15 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:16 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:17 And for the sacrifice of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Nahasson, the son of Aminadab.

Numbers 7:18 The second day Nathanael, the son of Suar, prince of the tribe of Issachar, made his offering:

Numbers 7:19 A silver dish, weighing one hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:20 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:21 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:22 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:23 And for the sacrifice of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Nathanael, the son of Suar.

Buck-goats, (hircos). The same as the he-goats given by Nahasson. The presents of all the 12 princes are equal; and Moses mentions them in detail with equal honour. They give them according to the order in which they encamped. Juda, with his two tribes, first; then Ruben, etc.
Numbers 7:24 The third day the prince of the sons of Zabulon, Eliab, the son of Helon,

Numbers 7:25 Offered a silver dish, weighing one hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, by the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:26 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:27 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:28 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:29 And for the sacrifice of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This is the oblation of Eliab, the son of Helon.

Numbers 7:30 The fourth day the prince of the sons of Ruben, Elisur, the son of Sedeur,

Numbers 7:31 Offered a silver dish, weighing one hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:32 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:33 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:34 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:35 And for victims of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Elisur, the son of Sedeur.

Numbers 7:36 The fifth day the prince of the sons of Simeon, Salamiel, the son of Surisaddai,

Numbers 7:37 Offered a silver dish, weighing one hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, after the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:38 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:39 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:40 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:41 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Salamiel, the son of Surisaddai.

Numbers 7:42 The sixth day the prince of the sons of Gad, Eliasaph, the son of Duel,

Numbers 7:43 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, by the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:44 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:45 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:46 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:47 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Eliasaph, the son of Duel.

Numbers 7:48 The seventh day the prince of the sons of Ephraim, Elisama, the son Ammiud,

Numbers 7:49 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:50 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense :

Numbers 7:51 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:52 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:53 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Elisama, the son of Ammiud.

Numbers 7:54 The eighth day the prince of the sons of Manasses, Gamaliel, the son of Phadassur,

Numbers 7:55 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:56 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:57 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:58 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:59 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Gamaliel, the son of Phadassur.

Numbers 7:60 The ninth day the prince of the sons of Benjamin, Abidan, the son of Gedeon,

Numbers 7:61 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, by the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:62 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:63 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:64 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:65 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Abidan, the son of Gedeon.

Numbers 7:66 The tenth day the prince of the sons of Dan, Ahiezer, the son of Ammisaddai,

Numbers 7:67 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:68 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense :

Numbers 7:69 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:70 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:71 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Ahiezer, the son of Ammisaddai.

Numbers 7:72 The eleventh day the prince of the sons of Aser, Phegiel, the son of Ochran,

Numbers 7:73 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:74 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:75 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:76 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:77 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Phegiel, the son of Ochran.

Numbers 7:78 The twelfth day the prince of the sons of Nephtali[Nephthali?], Ahira, the son of Enan,

Numbers 7:79 Offered a silver dish, weighing a hundred and thirty sicles, a silver bowl of seventy sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary, both full of flour tempered with oil, for a sacrifice:

Numbers 7:80 A little mortar of gold, weighing ten sicles, full of incense:

Numbers 7:81 An ox of the herd, and a ram, and a lamb of a year old for a holocaust:

Numbers 7:82 And a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 7:83 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five buck-goats, five lambs of a year old. This was the offering of Ahira, the son of Enan.

Numbers 7:84 These were the offerings made by the princes of Israel, in the dedication of the altar, in the day wherein it was consecrated. Twelve dishes of silver: twelve silver bowls: twelve little mortars of gold:

Numbers 7:85 Each dish weighing a hundred and thirty sicles of silver, and each bowl seventy sicles: that is, putting all the vessels of silver together, two thousand four hundred sicles, by the weight of the sanctuary.

Numbers 7:86 Twelve little mortars of gold, full of incense, weighing ten sicles a piece, by the weight of the sanctuary: that is, in all, a hundred and twenty sicles of gold.

Numbers 7:87 Twelve oxen out of the herd for a holocaust, twelve rams, twelve lambs of a year old, and their libations: twelve buck-goats for sin.

Numbers 7:88 And for sacrifices of peace-offerings, oxen twenty-four, rams sixty, buck-goats sixty, lambs of a year old sixty. These things were offered in the dedication of the altar, when it was anointed.

Numbers 7:89 And when Moses entered into the tabernacle of the covenant, to consult the oracle, he heard the voice of one speaking to him from the propitiatory, that was over the ark between the two cherubims, and from this place he spoke to him.

Oracle of God, whose majesty appeared, in the form of a bright cloud, upon the propitiatory, or mercy-seat. (Haydock) --- Moses is allowed to enter in quality of God's messenger, to announce his will to the people; or perhaps he heard the mandates of God, standing without the veil. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 8:0 The seven lamps are placed on the golden candlestick, to shine towards the loaves of proposition: the ordination of the Levites: and at what age they shall serve in the tabernacle.

Numbers 8:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:

Year of the World 2514, Year before Christ 1490.
Numbers 8:2 Speak to Aaron, and thou shalt say to him: When thou shalt place the seven lamps, let the candlestick be set up on the south side. Give orders, therefore, that the lamps look over-against the north, towards the table of the loaves of proposition, over-against that part shall they give light, towards which the candlestick looketh.

Looketh. This candlestick stood on the south side, with one branch extending towards the altar of incense, on the east; and the other to the west, so as to give light to the loaves of proposition, on the north, Exodus 25:31. (Calmet) --- It was intended to illumine the holy of holies, where a sort of feast was prepared for God, and where no windows were found. (Menochius) --- Hebrew simply, "When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against," upon, or near to "the candlestick." (Haydock) --- The lamps might be separated from the branches and stem of the candlestick. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 8:3 And Aaron did so, and he put the lamps upon the candlestick, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Numbers 8:4 Now this was the work of the candlestick, it was of beaten gold, both the shaft in the middle, and all that came out of both sides of the branches: according to the pattern which the Lord had shewn to Moses, so he made the candlestick.

Numbers 8:5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 8:6 Take the Levites out of the midst of the children of Israel, and thou shalt purify them,

Numbers 8:7 According to this rite: Let them be sprinkled with the water of purification, and let them shave all the hairs of their flesh. And when they shall have washed their garments, and are cleansed,

Let them be sprinkled with the water of purification. This was the holy water, mixed with the ashes of the red cow, (Numbers xix.) appointed for purifying all that were unclean. It was a figure of the blood of Christ, applied to our souls by his holy sacraments. (Challoner) --- Purification, (lustrationis) or "expiation." The water, mixed with ashes, was taken and sprinkled round about the houses, and upon those persons who wished either to be cleansed from some defilement, or to advance in virtue and purity. We use salt instead of ashes. Theocritus (Idyl. 24:100,) puts these words in the mouth of Tiresias, "then mixt with salt, according to the law, with a green branch sprinkle the honoured and pure water, and sacrifice to the supreme Jupiter a hog, if you wish to gain the victory over your adversaries." --- Flesh, to remind them that they must cut off all superfluous thoughts, the roots of which they will however never be able to destroy entirely, as St. Gregory (Mor. 5:3,) says, "The flesh always produces superfluities, which the spirit must always cut away with the sword of solicitude." See Leviticus 14:8., and 21:5, 10. (Haydock) --- The priests serving in the temple were obliged to cut their hair every month; and the Levites probably observed the same regulation, to acknowledge, that they who approach to God, must be pure and detached from earthly cares, (Calmet) and particularly from the works of sin; to remind them of which, they were to be sprinkled with water, their garments washed, and they were to offer two oxen by the hands of Aaron, and to be lifted up or offered to God, to serve in his court. (Tirinus)
Numbers 8:8 They shall take an ox of the herd, and for the offering thereof, fine flour tempered with oil: and thou shalt take another ox of the herd for a sin-offering:

Numbers 8:9 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the covenant, calling together all the multitude of the children of Israel:

Numbers 8:10 And when the Levites are before the Lord, the children of Israel shall put their hands upon them:

Upon them. Some of the princes performed this ceremony, to testify that they gave up the Levites to serve God, (ver. 15,) and would not be answerable, if they were guilty of any irreverence or neglect. (Calmet) --- They offered them as a sort of sacrifice for the people, (Menochius) and gave their approbation to them, setting them at liberty, ver. 14., and 20. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 8:11 And Aaron shall offer the Levites, as a gift in the sight of the Lord, from the children of Israel, that they may serve in his ministry.

A gift. Hebrew, "he shall heave them as a heave-offering before the Lord." Some assert, that Aaron lifted each of them towards the four quarters of the world; (ver. 21,) or he made them go up towards the altar, and on each side. This ceremony was performed whenever a Levite was taken into the ministry, 2 Paralipomenon 29:34.
Numbers 8:12 The Levites also shall put their hands upon the heads of the oxen, of which thou shalt sacrifice one for sin, and the other for a holocaust of the Lord, to pray for them.

Thou, Moses, though the Hebrew here seems to refer it to Aaron, "he shall." But the Septuagint and Arabic agree with the Vulgate, and the context shews that Moses is the person (Calmet) who had chiefly to officiate. Aaron also performed his part, ver. 11. (Haydock)
Numbers 8:13 And thou shalt set the Levites in the sight of Aaron and of his sons, and shalt consecrate them, being offered to the Lord,

Numbers 8:14 And shalt separate them from the midst of the children of Israel, to be mine.

Mine. Free from the burdens of the state, and employed in singing and keeping the doors of the sanctuary. (Menochius)
Numbers 8:15 And afterwards they shall enter into the tabernacle of the covenant, to serve me. And thus shalt thou purify and consecrate them for an oblation of the Lord: for as a gift they were given me by the children of Israel.

Into, or "towards, about;" for the priests alone could enter in. Hebrew, "the Levites shall go in (or be admitted) to do the service of the tabernacle," and to remove it, etc., ver. 19. (Haydock)
Numbers 8:16 *I have taken them instead of the first-born that open every womb in Israel:

Exodus 13:2.; Numbers 3:13.; Luke 2:23.
Numbers 8:17 For all the first-born of the children of Israel, both of men and of beasts, are mine. From the day that I slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, have I sanctified them to myself:

Numbers 8:18 And I have taken the Levites for all the first-born of the children of Israel:

Numbers 8:19 And have delivered them for a gift to Aaron and his sons out of the midst of the people, to serve me for Israel in the tabernacle of the covenant, and to pray for them, lest there should be a plague among the people, if they should presume to approach unto my sanctuary.

Numbers 8:20 And Moses and Aaron, and all the multitude of the children of Israel, did with the Levites all that the Lord had commanded Moses:

Numbers 8:21 And they were purified, and washed their garments. And Aaron lifted them up in the sight of the Lord, and prayed for them,

Lifted. Hebrew tenupha, Exodus 29:24. Perhaps only a few were received at once. (Menochius) --- Prayed. Hebrew means also "to expiate, or redeem," as ver. 19.
Numbers 8:22 That being purified, they might go into the tabernacle of the covenant, to do their services before Aaron and his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses touching the Levites, so was it done.

Numbers 8:23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 8:24 This is the law of the Levites: From twenty-five years old and upwards, they shall go in to minister in the tabernacle of the covenant.

Numbers 8:25 And when they shall have accomplished the fiftieth year of their age, they shall cease to serve:

Serve, in any laborious functions, as the original imports.
Numbers 8:26 And they shall be the ministers of their brethren in the tabernacle of the covenant, to keep the things that are committed to their care, but not to do the works. Thus shalt thou order the Levites touching their charge.

Ministers. Hebrew, "to watch over," (Calmet) direct, and "train up their brethren," Samaritan. (Grotius)
Numbers 9:0 The precept of the pasch is renewed: the unclean, and travellers, are to observe it the second month: the camp is guided by the pillar of the cloud.

Numbers 9:1 The Lord spoke to Moses* in the desert of Sinai, the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first month, saying:

Year of the World 2514, Year before Christ 1490. The Lord. The 15 first verses might be placed at the head of this book. God gave orders to celebrate the first passover in the desert, about the 14th of the first month, in the second year of liberty, soon after the consecration of the tabernacle. (Calmet) --- This is the only passover which the Jews are recorded to have celebrated during the 40 years' sojournment; as they were not allowed to celebrate it, without having circumcised all the males of their family, (Exodus 12:43,) which they could not do in the wilderness (His cuni, etc.) being uncertain how soon they would have to remove by the direction of God. (Haydock) --- First month. Hence, Moses does not always observe the order of time, as he spoke (Numbers 1.) of what happened in the second month. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 9:2 *Let the children of Israel make the Phase in its due time,

Exodus 12:3.
Make the Phase. That is, keep the paschal solemnity, and eat the paschal lamb.
Numbers 9:3 The fourteenth day of this month in the evening, according to all the ceremonies and justifications thereof.

In the. Hebrew, "between the two evenings," Exodus 12:6. Septuagint, "towards the evening, in its season, according to its law, and determination," sugkrisin, (ver. 14,) suntaxin, "arrangement;" in both places we have justifications. (Haydock) --- God's law is so called, because nothing can be done right without it. (Menochius) --- The merit of human actions depends on their conformity with the will of God; (Du Hamel) and when he gives directions, we must comply exactly. (Haydock)
Numbers 9:4 And Moses commanded the children of Israel that they should make the Phase.

Numbers 9:5 And they made it in its proper time: the fourteenth day of the month at evening, in Mount Sinai. The children of Israel did according to all things that the Lord had commanded Moses.

In Mount. Hebrew, "desert (or mountainous country) of Sinai," Exodus 14:3. (Calmet)
Numbers 9:6 But behold some who were unclean by occasion of the soul of a man, who could not make the Phase on that day, coming to Moses and Aaron,

Some. Hebrew, "and there was men," a solecism, rejected by the Samaritan and Arabic copies. (Houbigant) --- Man. That is, by having touched, or come near, a dead body, out of which the soul was departed. (Challoner) --- Such were forbidden to offer any sacrifice, Leviticus 22:4. Yet they could not refrain from burying the dead. (Philo, de vita Mos. 3.) As, therefore, the action was far from being criminal, and they had partaken of the paschal lamb without restriction in Egypt, and heard that God required all to offer this sacrifice, under pain of excision, (ver. 13,) they reasonably wished to know how they were to act, particularly as the 14th of Nisan alone was appointed for this sacrifice, and they could not be purified in less than seven days. If the law, by which they were excluded from the camp, (Numbers 5:2.) were already published, they consulted Moses by some friend. The Rabbins suppose, that those who buried Nadab and Abiu, are meant. (Calmet) --- The common people did not properly offer a sacrifice, though they might kill the victim. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 9:7 Said to them: We are unclean by occasion of the soul of a man. Why are we kept back, that we may not offer in its season the offering to the Lord among the children of Israel?

Numbers 9:8 And Moses answered them: Stay, that I may consult the Lord what he will ordain concerning you.

Numbers 9:9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 9:10 Say to the children of Israel: The man that shall be unclean by occasion of one that is dead, or shall be in a journey afar off in your nation, let him make the Phase to the Lord,

Unclean, in what manner soever. (Philo) --- Nation; or at a great distance, whether in the country or out of it. The Rabbins say 15 miles, or leagues, (Calmet) which make 45 miles. (Haydock) --- Septuagint, all such were bound to observe the passover in the second month, as the whole people did under Ezechias; (2 Paralipomenon xxx.) though the Rabbins falsely pretend, that when the greater part of the people were under this predicament, the law did not oblige, and they might eat the paschal lamb in the month of Nisan. Women were not bound to make the second Phase, Exodus 12:19. (Calmet) --- This festival was never transferred beyond the second month. (Menochius)
Numbers 9:11 In the second month, in the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, they shall eat it with unleavened bread and wild lettuce:

Numbers 9:12 They shall not leave any thing thereof until morning, *nor break a bone thereof, they shall observe all the ceremonies of the Phase.

Exodus 12:46.; John 19:36.
Numbers 9:13 But if any man is clean, and was not on a journey, and did not make the Phase, that soul shall be cut off from among his people, because he offered not sacrifice to the Lord in due season: he shall bear his sin.

Numbers 9:14 The sojourner also, and the stranger, if they be among you, shall make the Phase to the Lord, according to the ceremonies and justifications thereof. The same ordinance shall be with you, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.

Stranger. Both the Jews who lived at a distance from the promised land, and those of other nations who had embraced their religion, were obliged to observe this law; while the uncircumcised were absolutely excluded. (Calmet)
Numbers 9:15 *Now on the day that the tabernacle was reared up, a cloud covered it. But from the evening there was over the tabernacle, as it were, the appearance of fire, until the morning.

Exodus 40:16.; Numbers 7:1.
A cloud, and fire, alternately covered the tabernacle of the covenant, which was 30 cubits long and 15 broad. The pagans, perhaps, hence took occasion to accuse the Jews of adoring the clouds. Nil praeter nubis et coeli Numen adorant. (Juvenal, Sat. xiv.) (Calmet)
Numbers 9:16 So it was always: by day the cloud covered it, and by night as it were the appearance of fire.

By day. These words are omitted in the Hebrew; but the context shews that they must necessarily be supplied; as they are in the Septuagint. The same cloud assumed different appearances. (Calmet)
Numbers 9:17 And when the cloud that covered the tabernacle was taken up, then the children of Israel marched forward: and in the place where the cloud stood still, there they camped.

Numbers 9:18 At the commandment of the Lord they marched, and at his commandment they pitched the tabernacle. *All the days that the cloud abode over the tabernacle, they remained in the same place:

1 Corinthians 10:1.
Numbers 9:19 And if it was so that it continued over it a long time, the children of Israel kept the watches of the Lord, and marched not,

Numbers 9:20 For as many days soever as the cloud staid over the tabernacle. At the commandment of the Lord they pitched their tents, and at his commandment they took them down.

For, etc. Hebrew, "and so it was when the cloud was days of number upon the tabernacle; by the mouth of the Lord they staid in their tents," etc. Days of number, yamim mispar, most probably means a few days; (see Deuteronomy 4:27,) though Louis de Dieu would translate "a full year;" as yamim, according to him, signifies, ver. 22. It is understood, however, by others, to denote a week, a month, a year, or an indeterminate number of days, Genesis 24:55.
Numbers 9:21 If the cloud tarried from evening until morning, and immediately at break of day left the tabernacle, they marched forward: and if it departed, after a day and a night, they took down their tents.

Numbers 9:22 But if it remained over the tabernacle for two days, or a month, or a longer time, the children of Israel remained in the same place, and marched not: but immediately as soon as it departed, they removed the camp.

Numbers 9:23 By the word of the Lord they pitched their tents, and by his word they marched: and kept the watches of the Lord, according to his commandment by the hand of Moses.

Watches, like sentinels, observing the signal of the cloud; and regulating the time and course of their marches by its direction. (Haydock)
Numbers 10:0 The silver trumpets and their use. They march from Sinai.

Numbers 10:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:

Year of the World 2514.
Numbers 10:2 Make thee two trumpets of beaten silver, wherewith thou mayst call together the multitude, when the camp is to be removed.

Two trumpets. These were probably deemed sufficient at first, though in the days of Josue there were seven, (Calmet) and in those of Solomon 20,000. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 8:2.) (Tirinus) --- They were used for all public assemblies. Josephus (III. 11,) says, one was sounded to call the princes together, and the other to collect the people, which is not quite conformable to the Scripture. (Calmet)
Numbers 10:3 And when thou shalt sound the trumpets, all the multitude shall gather unto thee, to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant.

Numbers 10:4 If thou sound but once, the princes and the heads of the multitude of Israel shall come to thee.

Once. Hebrew, "with one trumpet." If both sounded together uniformly, the people assembled, ver. 7.
Numbers 10:5 But if the sound of the trumpets be longer, and with interruptions, they that are on the east side, shall first go forward.

Longer, and with interruptions. Hebrew teruha, "a signal," an alarm. Septuagint, "a loud cry of victory." Chaldean, "the taratantara," as Montanus translates, in allusion to the sound of the Hebrew word, (Calmet) or of the trumpets. When they were sounded with a variety of notes, or at different intervals, all knew that the camp was to break up, even though they had not been attentive to the motions of the cloud. Then Juda led the van, (Numbers 2:9.; Numbers 2:50) (Haydock)
Numbers 10:6 And at the second sounding and like noise of the trumpet, they who lie on the south side shall take up their tents. And after this manner shall the rest do, when the trumpets shall sound for a march.

And, etc. Hebrew, "they shall blow an alarm for their marches." This must be referred to the camps on the west, which proceeded forward at the third sounding, as those on the north did at the fourth, according to the Septuagint. (Haydock)
Numbers 10:7 But when the people is to be gathered together, the sound of the trumpets shall be plain, and they shall not make a broken sound.

Sound. High mysteries must be reserved for the more learned. (Theodoret, q. 15.) (Worthington)
Numbers 10:8 And the sons of Aaron the priests shall sound the trumpets: and this shall be an ordinance for ever in your generations.

Priests. God's officers and heralds. Curtius (3) observes, that among the Persians at day-break, the signal was given from the king's tent by sound of trumpet.
Numbers 10:9 If you go forth to war out of your land, against the enemies that fight against you, you shall sound aloud with the trumpets, and there shall be a remembrance of you before the Lord your God, that you may be delivered out of the hands of your enemies.

Your God, who will reward your obedience with victory.
Numbers 10:10 If at any time you shall have a banquet, and on your festival days, and on the first days of your months, you shall sound the trumpets over the holocausts, and the sacrifices of peace-offerings, that they may be to you for a remembrance of your God. I am the Lord your God.

And on. This serves to explain what kind of banquet is meant. On the festivals of religion, peace-offerings were made, of which those who were pure, might partake. (Haydock) --- On solemn and extraordinary occasions, holocausts were also presented to God by the whole nation; and the trumpets announced those public rejoicings, 2 Paralipomenon 5:12., and 29:26. (Calmet) --- Months. The day when the moon first appeared, was a festival day among the Jews, (Menochius) or the first day of the month, while they observed the solar year.
Numbers 10:11 The second year, in the second month, the twentieth day of the month, the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle of the covenant.

The second. The Samaritan copy here places what we read, Deuteronomy 1:7, 8; and it is certain that those words were addressed to Moses on this occasion, though it be not so certain, that they were written by him in this place. (Calmet) --- Of the month Jiar. The Hebrews had continued near Sinai a year and 20 days. Thence they went to the desert of Pharan, encamping first at the sepulchres of concupiscence, and at Haseroth, which were probably in that desert. Moses only specifies those encampments, where something memorable took place. He mentions none between Asiongaber and Cades, though the length of the journey required many, Numbers 11:34., and 13:1. (Calmet) --- Perhaps he only reckons those among the stations where the people continued a considerable time.
Numbers 10:12 And the children of Israel marched by their troops from the desert of Sinai, and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Pharan.

Numbers 10:13 And the first went forward according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

Numbers 10:14 *The sons of Juda by their troops: whose prince was Nahasson, the son of Aminadab.

Numbers 1:7.
Numbers 10:15 In the tribe of the sons of Issachar, the prince was Nathanael, the son of Suar.

Numbers 10:16 In the tribe of Zabulon, the prince was Eliab, the son of Helon.

Numbers 10:17 And the tabernacle was taken down, and the sons of Gerson and Merari set forward, bearing it.

It. Hence it would appear, that part of the Levites followed Juda's division, which was preceded by the priests bearing the ark, (ver. 33,) while the Caathites bore the sacred vessels after Ruben, (ver. 21,) and were followed by Ephraim and Gad. But Calmet observes, that the Levites, and the whole camp of the Lord, came in the middle of the four great divisions, immediately after Ruben, (Numbers 2:9, 17.) Salien thinks, that the ark and cloud led the way, and returned to the middle at the end of the journey, ver. 36. (Haydock) (Tirinus)
Numbers 10:18 And the sons of Ruben also marched, by their troops and ranks, whose prince was Helisur, the son of Sedeur.

Numbers 10:19 And in the tribe of Simeon, the prince was Salamiel, the son of Surisaddai.

Numbers 10:20 And in the tribe of Gad, the prince was Eliasaph, the son of Duel.

Numbers 10:21 Then the Caathites also marched, carrying the sanctuary. So long was the tabernacle carried, till they came to the place of setting it up.

Sanctuary, or holy vessels. They never set them down, till they arrived at the place where the tabernacle was to be fixed. Hebrew may be, "the sons of Caath set forward, bearing the vessels of the sanctuary, (Calmet) and they (the other Levites, ver. 17,) set up the boards and curtains of the tabernacle till they arrived;" that so both the vessels and the ark might be placed in proper order. If the ark had to return into the middle of the camp from leading the way, as Salien insinuates; while it passed between the ranks of Juda, the Levites would have time to arrange every thing. (Haydock)
Numbers 10:22 The sons of Ephraim also moved their camp by their troops, in whose army the prince was Elisama, the son of Ammiud.

Numbers 10:23 And in the tribe of the sons of Manasses, the prince was Gamaliel, the son of Phadassur.

Numbers 10:24 And in the tribe of Benjamin, the prince was Abidan, the son of Gedeon.

Numbers 10:25 The last of all the camp marched the sons of Dan, by their troops, in whose army the prince was Ahiezer, the son of Ammisaddai.

Numbers 10:26 And in the tribe of the sons of Aser, the prince was Phegiel, the son of Ochran,

Numbers 10:27 And in the tribe of the sons of Nephthali, the prince was Ahira, the son of Enan.

Numbers 10:28 This was the order of the camps, and marches of the children of Israel, by their troops, when they set forward.

Numbers 10:29 And Moses said to Hobab, the son of Raguel the Madianite, his kinsman: We are going towards the place which the Lord will give us: come with us, that we may do thee good: for the Lord hath promised good things to Israel.

Hobab; probably the brother of Sephora, and son of Raguel or Jethro, who had departed, leaving this son for a guide to Moses. Though God directed the marches of the Hebrews, he would not have them to neglect human means. --- Kinsman. The Hebrew clothen, and Greek gambros, are not more determinate, as they signify either father, son, or brother-in-law (see Exodus 2:18.) (Calmet); or in general a relation. (St. Jerome) (Du Hamel)
Numbers 10:30 But he answered him: I will not go with thee, but I will return to my *country, wherein I was born.

Exodus 18:27.
Numbers 10:31 And he said: Do not leave us: for thou knowest in what places we should encamp in the wilderness, and thou shalt be our guide.

Guide, being well acquainted with the country, and consequently able to point out the best places for pasturage and for water, and to inform us what sort of people we are near. Hebrew, "thou shalt serve us for eyes." Septuagint, "as a senator." The Persians had officers who had the title of eyes and ears of the king. (Brisson 1.) Some suppose that Moses stood in no need of Hobab, having lived himself in that country 40 years, with Jethro; and that he only wished to keep his kinsman with him, that he might observe the true religion. He supposed at that time that they would presently obtain possession of Chanaan. But the sins of the people caused almost all to perish in the desert. Hobab probably accepted of the proposal, as we find the Cineans, descendants of Jethro, holding a portion of the land, Judges 1:16. (Calmet) His posterity, the Rechabites, were noted for more than usual piety; and were the same with the Essenes, according to Serarius, and the first authors of a monastic life, Jeremias xxxv. (Tirinus)
Numbers 10:32 And if thou comest with us, we will give thee what is the best of the riches, which the Lord shall deliver to us.

Numbers 10:33 So they marched from the mount of the Lord three days' journey, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them, for three days, providing a place for the camp.

Journey. During this time, we know not where they encamped. The first place that is specified is Tabera, or "the burning," (Numbers 11:3.) (Calmet) which St. Jerome believes is the same place, which was also called the sepulchres of concupiscence, (ver. 34,) the 13th station, (Haydock) which is described above as the desert of Pharan. (Menochius) --- Before them. See ver. 17. (Haydock) --- The Rabbins assert that there were two arks; one containing the writings of Moses going before, with the lawgiver, at the head of the army; and the other, carried by the Levites, in the centre. (Drusius) --- Calmet would rather translate "went in their presence;" that is, in the midst. The kings of Persia always marched in the centre, for greater safety, and that they might communicate their orders with more expedition, as well as to keep all in order, and observe what was doing. (Xenophon.; Cyrop. 4:and VIII.; Arian 2:and iii.) (Calmet) --- But the ark of God would probably go before the people, with the cloud, which hung over it.
Numbers 10:34 The cloud also of the Lord was over them by day when they marched.

Numbers 10:35 And when the ark was lifted up, Moses said: *Arise, O Lord, and let thy enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee, flee from before thy face.

Psalm 67:2
Numbers 10:36 And when it was set down, he said: Return, O Lord, to the multitude of the host of Israel.

Host. Septuagint, "Bring, or turn back, (Haydock) O Lord, the thousands, the myriads in Israel." Some give the same sense to the Hebrew. (Calmet) --- Prayers are composed, not only for the obtaining of good in general, but also for particular purposes. (Worthington)
Numbers 11:0 The people murmur, and are punished with fire. God appointeth seventy ancients for assistants to Moses. They prophesy. The people have their fill of flesh, but forthwith many die of the plague.

Numbers 11:1 In the mean time* there arose a **murmuring of the people against the Lord, as it were repining at their fatigue. And when the Lord heard it he was angry. ***And the fire of the Lord being kindled against them, devoured them that were at the uttermost part of the camp.

Numbers 33:16.; Psalm 77:19.; 1 Corinthians 10:10.; Psalm 77:21.
Year of the World 2514. Fatigue. Hebrew simply, "and the people were like those who complain of evil, or who seek pretexts, inwardly, in the ears of the Lord." St. Jerome explains this evil to mean the fatigue of the journey, which lasted for three days together. (Calmet) --- Hence, some who were ready to lay hold of every pretext, took occasion to murmur, and to contrast their present wearisome life with the false pleasures of Egypt. The people of that country were now desirous of returning, and prevailed upon many of the Hebrews to join with them, ver. 4. (Haydock) --- They were chiefly those who were farthest from the ark, the dregs of the people; though some pretend that the uttermost part means the principal men of the camp. See Genesis 48:2. "The fire devoured one part of the camp," Septuagint.
Numbers 11:2 And when the people cried to Moses, Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire was swallowed up.

Up, as rain is by the earth, Amos 9:5.
Numbers 11:3 And he called the name of that place, The burning: for that the fire of the Lord had been kindled against them.

The burning. Hebrew tabherah. (Challoner) --- Calmet uses no reason for confounding this station with that mentioned [in] ver. 34.
Numbers 11:4 For a mixt multitude of people, that came up with them, burned with desire, sitting and weeping, the children of Israel also being joined with them, and said: *Who shall give us flesh to eat?

1 Corinthians 10:3.
For, seems, however, to connect the burning of some with the destruction of many more, who had eaten the quails, as if both judgments took place at the same encampment. Septuagint render the Hebrew, "and a mixt rabble among them, desired greatly; and sitting, cried, as well as the Israelites, and said," etc. (Haydock) --- A mixt multitude. These were people that came with them out of Egypt, who were not of the race of Israel: who, by their murmuring, drew also the children of Israel to murmur: this should teach us the danger of associating ourselves with the children of Egypt; that is, with the lovers and admirers of this wicked world. (Challoner) --- This verse may relate a different history from the preceding ones, as the punishment was of another kind. (Du Hamel) --- The murmurers were burnt to death. (Haydock)
Numbers 11:5 We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free-cost: the cucumbers come into our mind, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.

Fish. The Nile abounds in fish, which they might catch freely. The fish of the lake Moeris, brought a considerable revenue to the king of Egypt. (Herodotus, 2:149.) The Hebrews had dwelt also near the Mediterranean Sea. Fish was formerly in greater esteem than it is at present. The priests of Egypt abstained from it, (Herodotus, 2:37,) and the people from such as had scales, and from eels, because they believed they were sacred. (Herodotus, 2:72). Porphyrius and Ovid even maintain that they refrained from all fish, as well as the Syrians. But they had not probably carried their superstition so far, in the days of Moses. --- Garlic. These things are much more delicious and wholesome in hot countries. The Greeks fed much on cucumbers and garlic. (Aristophanes) --- The Turks still delight in them, eating the former raw with sour milk, (which would be very dangerous in our climate), and onions, which are as good as our pears. (Spon. Bellon. 3:18, etc.) The wounded Machaon feasts upon onions, etc. (Homer, Iliad ix.) The Egyptians afterwards scrupled to eat leeks and onions. (Calmet) --- Porrum et cepe nefas violare....O sanctas gentes! quibus haec nascuntur in hortis---Numina. (Juvenal, Sat. xv.) But in the earlier ages Moses represents them as accustomed to such food. (Haydock)
Numbers 11:6 Our soul is dry, our eyes behold nothing else but manna.

Dry, like people quite worn out for want of food. (Psalm101:5, 12; Lamentations 4:8.) --- Nothing. An exaggeration. We are disgusted with this light food. (Calmet) --- They wished not only for the taste, but also for the colour, of other meats. (Menochius) --- How often do we imitate their folly, when we are disgusted with the bread of life! (Haydock)
Numbers 11:7 *Now the manna was like coriander-seed, of the colour of bdellium.

Exodus 16:14.; Psalm 77:24.; Wisdom 16:20.; John 6:31.
Bdellium. Bdellium, according to Pliny, ([Natural History?] lib. XXI. chp. 9,) was of the colour of a man's nail, white and bright; (Challoner) or like wax, ([Natural History?] lib. 12:9,) between white and yellow. It might resemble a tarnished pearl or ivory in colour, and coriander-seed in shape.
Numbers 11:8 And the people went about, and gathering it, ground it in a mill, or beat it in a mortar, and boiled it in a pot, and made cakes thereof, of the taste of bread tempered with oil.

Oil; or, when unprepared, like flour and honey, Exodus 16:31. (Calmet)
Numbers 11:9 And when the dew fell in the night upon the camp, the manna also fell with it.

Numbers 11:10 Now Moses heard the people weeping by their families, every one at the door of his tent. And the wrath of the Lord was exceedingly enkindled: to Moses also the thing seemed insupportable.

By. Hebrew, "for." Jonathan and others endeavour to excuse their ancestors, by saying that they wept because they were forbidden to marry their near relations. --- His tent. Some explain the Hebrew of the tent of Moses. But the Israelites more probably staid at home.
Numbers 11:11 And he said to the Lord: Why hast thou afflicted thy servant? wherefore do I not find favour before thee? and why hast thou laid the weight of all this people upon me?

Numbers 11:12 Have I conceived all this multitude, or begotten them, that thou shouldst say to me: Carry them in thy bosom, as the nurse is wont to carry the little infant, and bear them into the land, for which thou hast sworn to their fathers?

Nurse. We often read of men nursing and watching over others. (4 Kings 10:5; Esther 2:11.) Thus kings shall nurse the Church, Isaias 49:23. (Calmet) --- All who have authority should treat their subjects with love. (Menochius)
Numbers 11:13 Whence should I have flesh to give to so great a multitude? they weep against me, saying: Give us flesh that we may eat.

Numbers 11:14 I am not able alone to bear all this people, because it is too heavy for me.

For me. Had he not the judges, whom Jethro advised him to appoint? But all matters of consequence were still brought to Moses. He was made answerable for all things.
Numbers 11:15 But if it seem unto thee otherwise, I beseech thee to kill me, and let me find grace in thy eyes, that I be not afflicted with so great evils.

Evils. Hebrew, "my misfortune." The Rabbins say their, or thy, was formerly written, but corrected by the scribes. (Calmet) --- Moses fears the anger of God falling upon the people. (Haydock) --- It is very wonderful that the Hebrew text here retains the feminine pronoun att, instead of atta; thy, thee; as if Moses were addressing himself to some woman; and this absurd peculiarity is more absurdly accounted for, by saying that Moses was "so exasperated during this his address to the divine Being, as to be incapable of pronouncing both syllables!" The same mistake occurs [in] 1 Kings 24:19. (Kennicott, 1:412.) God does not reprehend Moses as guilty of any disrespect or pusillanimity. (Haydock) --- The holy man prays with due submission to the will of the most High. (Worthington)
Numbers 11:16 And the Lord said to Moses: Gather unto me seventy men of the ancients of Israel, whom thou knowest to be ancients and masters of the people: and thou shalt bring them to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, and shalt make them stand there with thee,

Seventy men. This was the first institution of the council or senate, called the Sanhedrim, consisting of seventy, or seventy-two senators or counselors. (Challoner) --- Calmet calls this in question. (Dissert. on the Police, etc.) Moses chose these senators from among the officers, whom he had before set over the people, (Exodus xviii.) or from those who had superintended their affairs in Egypt, according to the Rabbins, (Exodus 3:14,) who say that the traditions explaining the law were entrusted to them. (Jarchi, etc.) --- Ancients; a title of authority in the East. See Genesis 50:7. It was not so necessary that they should be far advanced in year, as that they should be men of prudence and of consummate virtue. These qualifications received a great increase, when they were filled with the spirit of God. (Calmet) --- They were thus authorized to decide controversies peremptorily, and to consult God, like Moses, being endued also with a prophetic spirit. (Menochius)
Numbers 11:17 That I may come down and speak with thee: and I will take of thy spirit, and will give to them, that they may bear with thee the burden of the people, and thou mayst not be burthened alone.

Thy spirit. St. Augustine (q. 18,) reads "of the spirit which is on thee;" (Septuagint) referring it to the indivisible spirit of God, so that these ancients received what was sufficient for them, while Moses suffered no diminution. Thus one lamp communicates light to another, without being impaired. (Origen, hom. vi.) Theodoret (q. 18,) also adds, that a person confers baptism on thousands, and yet loses no part of the grace himself. Selden (Syn. 2:4,) shews that the Jews explain this spirit of a certain emanation of divine light, or inspiration, which causes the prophets to speak. They have not in general, a distinct belief of the blessed Trinity. "I will make an increase of the spirit, which is upon thee, and will place it upon them." (Chaldean; ver. 25.)
Numbers 11:18 And thou shalt say to the people: Be ye sanctified: to-morrow you shall eat flesh: for I have heard you say; who will give us flesh to eat? it was well with us in Egypt. That the Lord may give you flesh, and you may eat:

Sanctified. Prepare yourselves to receive flesh. The word is often used in this sense, Jeremias 6:4, etc. (Onkelos) --- Cease to murmur, and bewail your sin. (Calmet)
Numbers 11:19 Not for one day, nor two, nor five, nor ten, no nor for twenty.

Numbers 11:20 But even for a month of days, till it come out at your nostrils, and become loathsome to you, because you have cast off the Lord, who is in the midst of you, and have wept before him, saying: Why came we out of Egypt?

Of days complete. So two years of days, means two full years. (1 Machabees 1:30.) --- Loathsome to you. "Indigestible," Symmachus. "Bilious," Septuagint. "Till it become loathsome to you, and a source of scandal, (Chaldean) or of dispersion, as some translate the Hebrew.
Numbers 11:21 And Moses said: There are six hundred thousand footmen of this people, and sayest thou: I will give them flesh to eat a whole month?

People, able to bear arms. (Haydock) --- In all there were above two millions. (Calmet)
Numbers 11:22 *Shall then a multitude of sheep and oxen be killed, that it may suffice for their food? or shall the fishes of the sea be gathered together to fill them?

John 6:10.
Fishes. Moses does not distinguish them from flesh, no more than St. Paul does, 1 Corinthians 15:39. Fish was not formerly allowed on fasting days. (Calmet)
Numbers 11:23 And the Lord answered him: *Is the hand of the Lord unable? Thou shalt presently see whether my word shall come to pass or no.

Isaias 59:1.
Unable: Hebrew, "shortened." Septuagint, "insufficient." Moses had expressed his astonishment, not his doubts; though the words might convey the latter idea to us more than his behaviour in (Numbers 20:10.) But God sees the heart. --- To pass. Hebrew may be also, "hath called thee;" (Calmet) Septuagint, "shall come upon thee," and execute the thing, as soon as thou shalt promise it. (Haydock)
Numbers 11:24 Moses therefore came, and told the people the words of the Lord, and assembled seventy men of the ancients of Israel, and made them to stand about the tabernacle.

Numbers 11:25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, taking away of the spirit that was in Moses, and giving to the seventy men. And when the spirit had rested on them, they prophesied, nor did they cease afterwards.

Afterwards. Some give a contrary meaning to the Hebrew, with the Septuagint, Syriac, etc.: "They prophesied, (on that occasion) but they did not continue" to do so; except when they were favoured with the influence of the spirit. When it was requisite, they were enabled to declare God's will and his praise to the people. (Calmet) --- Saul is said to have prophesied when he praised God, 1 Kings 10:5, 10. (Menochius)
Numbers 11:26 Now there remained in the camp two of the men, of whom one was called Eldad, and the other Medad, upon whom the spirit rested; for they also had been enrolled, but were not gone forth to the tabernacle.

Forth, being lawfully hindered, (Calmet) or out of humility. (St. Jerome, ep. 127.)
Numbers 11:27 And when they prophesied in the camp, there ran a young man, and told Moses, saying: Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp.

Man. The Rabbins say, without proof, that he was Gersom, the son of Moses, and that the two prophets were half-brothers of the lawgiver, and foretold his death and the persecutions of Gog, etc. (Calmet) --- Hermas (11. 2.) refers to some of their predictions: "The Lord is nigh to those who are converts." See Psalm 33:19. (Haydock) --- But they prophesied probably, by announcing only as men inspired, the praises of God and sentiments of piety, without diving into futurity. (Calmet) --- Theodoret (q. 21,) thinks they were not of the 70 judges, but equal in dignity to them. (Cotelier.)
Numbers 11:28 Forthwith Josue the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, and chosen out of many, said: My lord Moses, forbid them.

Chosen among the seventy, and designed, from his youth, to be the general, and successor of Moses; the Hebrew may be understood in all these senses. See Exodus 17:10. (Calmet) --- Josue was afraid lest they had assumed this air of authority in opposition to Moses. St. John addressed our Saviour, under the same impressions of zeal, Luke 9:49.
Numbers 11:29 But he said: Why hast thou emulation for me? O that all the people might prophesy, and that the Lord would give them his spirit?

Numbers 11:30 And Moses returned, with the ancients of Israel, into the camp.

Camp of the people, from the tabernacle, which was in the midst of it. (Haydock)
Numbers 11:31 *And a wind going out from the Lord, taking quails up beyond the sea brought them, and cast them into the camp for the space of one day's journey, on every side of the camp round about, and they flew in the air two cubits high above the ground.

Psalm 77:26-27.
Sea; the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The wind blew from the south-west to the west with respect to Moses, or from the south with respect to Jerusalem, Psalm 77:26. Many quails are found about Rinocorura, and some have imagined that these had continued during winter at the bottom of the waters, as they say swallows do. (Bochart, 1:15.) God had sent the Hebrews a similar provision, for one day, about the same season of the year, Exodus 16:13. --- Flew. The Hebrew says simply, "as it were two cubits upon the earth;" whether they were heaped one upon another to that height, or, as it is more probable, (Calmet) they flew only so much above the ground, and might easily be killed. (Haydock) --- The Septuagint call them ortygometra, the leader, or the largest sort of quails. Suppose twenty of these filled a bushel, or the thirtieth part of a corus, each person would have at least 6,000 quails; and if there were three million people, they must have had 18,000 million such birds. (Menochius) --- Philo takes notice, that the Jews were very fond of this food; and Aristotle (Anim., 8:12,) says, their flesh is as good as that of woodcocks. (Tirinus)
Numbers 11:32 The people therefore rising up all that day, and night, and the next day, gathered together of quails, he that did least, ten cores: and they dried them round about the camp.

Cores. Hebrew, "Chomarim," each of contained 100 gomers. One gomer was the daily allowance of manna for each person, and of course there must have been sufficient quails for one hundred days. But Moses tells us that each one collected at least ten times that quantity, or as much has he could eat for 1,000 days. Bochart therefore supposes, that only each family, of ten people, gathered so much: or the Hebrew should be rendered heaps, as the core, or chomer, is not a proper measure for birds, but for corn and liquors. The Septuagint, Syriac, etc., have "heaps." We need not have recourse to a new creation of these birds, as their numbers are very surprising. (Pliny, [Natural History?] 10:23.) In Italy above 100,000 have been caught in one day, within the space of 5,000 paces. (Blond.) The Psalmist compares the numbers brought on this occasion, to the dust, or to the sand of the sea-shore, Psalm 77:27. --- Dried them in the sun, having first salted them, as the Egyptians did. (Calmet) (Athenaeus.) --- Many quails are found in Egypt, and around the Arabian Gulf. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] iii.) (Du Hamel)
Numbers 11:33 *As yet the flesh was between their teeth, neither had that kind of meat failed: when behold, the wrath of the Lord being provoked against the people, struck them with an exceeding great plague.

Psalm 77:30.
Plague of fire, ver. 3, Psalm 77:21. (Cornelius a Lapide) --- Failed, after the month was expired. (Menochius) --- They had been accustomed to live upon manna, which was a light food, during the space of a year; and now eating greedily of this flesh, their stomachs were overcharged, and they died of an indigestion. (Calmet) --- The Rabbins say, God punished their gluttony by death, and obliged the rest of the Hebrews to abstain from all flesh, except from that of the peace-offerings, till they entered the promised land. (Selden, Syn. 2, 4.)
Numbers 11:34 And that place was called The graves of lust: for there they buried the people that had lusted. And departing from the graves of lust, they came unto Haseroth, and abode there.

The graves of lust; or the sepulchres of concupiscence: so called from their irregular desire of flesh. In Hebrew Kibroth Hattaavah. (Challoner) --- Hence St. Augustine observes that, "it is not a matter of so much moment to be heard by God. For some he hears in his wrath, granting their requests, while he refuses to comply with some petitions of his friends." (Du Hamel)
Numbers 12:0 Mary and Aaron murmur against Moses, whom God praiseth above other prophets. Mary being struck with leprosy, Aaron confesseth his fault. Moses prayeth for her, and after seven days' separation from the camp, she is restored.

Numbers 12:1 And Mary and Aaron spoke against Moses, *because of his wife the Ethiopian,

Year of the World 2514. Ethiopian. Sephora, the wife of Moses, was of Madian, which bordered upon the land of Chus, or Ethiopia; and therefore she is called an Ethiopian: where note, that the Ethiopia here spoken of, is not that of Africa but that of Arabia, (Challoner) on the east side of the Red Sea, Exodus 2:15. Jealousy instigated Aaron and his sister on this occasion. (Calmet) --- Perhaps Sephora had claimed some pre-eminence on account of her husband's glory, in being a mediator between God and his people, and therefore they pretend to the same honour, ver. 2. (Haydock) --- The Hebrew insinuates, that they laid hold on the pretext of Moses having married, or received again, a woman of a different nation contrary to the law which he had promulgated, "for it adds, he had married or retaken an Ethiopian woman." Others believe that he had put her away, and that Aaron and Mary stood up in her defence. "Mary and Aaron murmured against Moses, on account of the wife whom he had taken, who was a perfect beauty, because he had separated himself from his beautiful wife." (Onkelos) --- Some are of opinion, that this woman was Tarbis, the daughter of the king of Ethiopia, whom Moses espoused after he had terminated the wars between him and the Egyptians, before he retired to Madian. But this account of Josephus, (Antiquities 2:5,) and the explication of Onkelos, and of the Rabbins, seem to be destitute of any solid foundation. (Calmet)
Numbers 12:2 And they said: Hath the Lord spoken by Moses only? hath he not also spoken to us in like manner? And when the Lord heard this,

Numbers 12:3 (For Moses was a man exceeding meek above all men that dwelt upon earth)

Exceeding meek. Moses being the meekest of men, would not contend for himself; therefore God inspired him to write here in his own defence: and the Holy Spirit, whose dictate he wrote, obliged him to declare the truth, though it was so much to his own praise. (Challoner) --- So he mentions his defects without reserve. (Calmet) --- There are occasions when a person may be not only authorized, but in a manner forced to declare what may be to his own praise. Moses was in such a situation. The peace of the whole nation was in danger, when false insinuations were thrown out against the lawgiver and king, by his own nearest relations, and by them who were next in authority to himself. Aaron, the high priest, countenanced at least the remarks of his sister, who seems to have been the most to blame, as she alone is punished with the leprosy. (Haydock) --- Some have suspected, that this verse has been inserted by a later inspired writer. (Conrnelius a Lapide) --- But whether it was or not, there is no reason to infer with Thomas Paine, that Moses was either "a vain and arrogant coxcomb, and unworthy of credit, or that the books (attributed to him) are without authority." For if he did not write this verse, it does not follow that he wrote none of the Pentateuch; and if he did write it, he was justified by the predicament in which he stood, to do so. Paine scruples not to write of himself: "the man does not exist, that can say....I have in any case returned evil for evil:" and is not this praising himself as a very meek man, when at the same time he is writing to cause all the mischief he can both in church and state, and thus during the heat of revolutionary madness, to involve thousands in ruin? (Watson) (Haydock)
Numbers 12:4 Immediately he spoke to him, and to Aaron and Mary: Come out you three only to the tabernacle of the covenant. And when they were come out,

Numbers 12:5 The Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the entry of the tabernacle, calling to Aaron and Mary. And when they were come,

Come to the door of the tabernacle, where Moses also was standing.
Numbers 12:6 He said to them: Hear my words: If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream.

Vision. Other prophets were inspired in a more mysterious manner: Moses, though he saw not the majesty of God in any corporeal figure, was instructed by him in the most secret things with the utmost perspicuity, (Calmet) as if a man were explaining his sentiments to his most intimate friend, Exodus 33:19. (Haydock)
Numbers 12:7 But it is not so with my servant Moses, *who is most faithful in all my house:

Hebrews 3:2.
Faithful: Hebrew Neeman, steward or master of the palace. Such was Samuel, 1 Kings 3:20; David, (Calmet) 1 Kings 22:14; Naaman, the general of Syria, 2 Kings v.; and Bacchides, 1 Machabees vii. (Haydock) --- Ambassadors had this title, (Proverbs 13:17,) and fidelity often denotes an office, 1 Paralipomenon 9:22. Job 12:20, speaks of the Namonim. (Calmet) --- But none among the Israelites was more justly entitled to this honour than Moses. He announced the word of God without any mixture of falsehood, and did not arrogate to himself more than his due, as Aaron seems to have done, ver. 2. (Haydock)
Numbers 12:8 *For I speak to him mouth to mouth: and plainly, and not by riddles and figures, doth he see the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak ill of my servant Moses?

Exodus 33:11.
Numbers 12:9 And being angry with them, he went away:

Numbers 12:10 The cloud also that was over the tabernacle departed: *and behold Mary appeared white as snow with a leprosy. And when Aaron had looked on her, and saw her all covered with leprosy,

Deuteronomy 24:9.
Departed from the door to its former place, (Calmet) as if in abhorrence of Mary's leprosy, (Hiscuni) and still more of the sin, which had brought upon her that punishment. (Calmet) --- Perhaps the cloud was raised higher in the air than usual, but did not proceed forward; (Menochius) otherwise the Israelites would have decamped. They remained at Haseroth till Mary was returned into the camp, ver. 15. (Haydock) --- Leprosy, of an incurable kind, like that of Gieze, 4 Kings 5:27. It covers the whole skin with a white scurf, Leviticus 13:10. Aaron is spared, either because he had sided with his sister only out of complaisance, without any formal malice against his brother; or because God, in consideration for his priestly character, would not render him contemptible in the eyes of all people, intending to punish him in a more secret manner: for we are not always to judge of the grievousness of a fault, by its present punishment. Perhaps Aaron obtained pardon by his speedy repentance, ver. 11. (Calmet)
Numbers 12:11 He said to Moses: I beseech thee, my lord, lay not upon us this sin, which we have foolishly committed:

Numbers 12:12 Let her not be as one dead, and as an abortive that is cast forth from the mother's womb. Lo, now one half of her flesh is consumed with the leprosy.

Dead; consumed by leprosy, or incapable of performing the duties of life. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "an abortive, whose flesh is half consumed before he comes forth from his mother's womb." Septuagint, "he eateth half her flesh." "Permit not her to be separated from us, I beseech you, for she is our sister: pray, I beg, that her flesh may be healed," Chaldean.
Numbers 12:13 And Moses cried to the Lord, saying: O God, I beseech thee heal her.

Numbers 12:14 And the Lord answered him: If her father had spitten upon her face, ought she not to have been ashamed for seven days at least? Let her be separated seven days without the camp, and afterwards she shall be called again.

Answered him. The force of this reply must be very obvious. If a father had been so irritated by his daughter, as to shew his indignation in the strongest manner, (see Job 30:10.; Mark 14:65,) she would surely keep out of sight for a time: and can she complain, if I, who have been more injured in the person of my minister, exclude her from society seven days, after having covered her with the leprosy as with spittle. (Calmet) --- The excommunication, in the Christian Church, bears some resemblance with this exclusion. Mary did not undergo all the legal purifications, (Leviticus xxxiv.) as the miraculous cure dispensed her from them. (Menochius) --- Origen (hom. 6:7,) and other Fathers, explain the mystery of this historical event. Moses, taking to wife the Ethiopian, represents Christ calling the Gentiles, which excites the murmurs of the synagogue. Mary shews the deformity of the latter religion at the present day, without head or sacrifice. The encomiums bestowed upon the Jewish legislator, belong in a still stricter sense to Jesus Christ, the mildest of men, fully acquainted with all the secrets of God, and the most faithful in all his house. (St. Jerome, ep. ad Fab. mansion xiv.)
Numbers 12:15 Mary, therefore, was put out of the camp seven days: and the people moved not from that place, until Mary was called again.

Numbers 13:0 The twelve spies are sent to view the land: The relation they make of it.

Numbers 13:1 And the people marched from Haseroth, *and pitched their tents in the desert of Pharan.

Year of the World 2514. Pharan, at Rethma, chap. 33:48.; though Barradius confounds that station with that at Cades-barne. The Samaritan copy inserts here a long passage, taken probably from Deuteronomy 1:20, 21, and 22, which shews that the Hebrews first proposed the sending spies, out of timidity; which God severely punished in the sequel, though in his anger he here consents to their proposal, which seemed to originate in motives of prudence, ver. 3.
Numbers 13:2 And there the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 13:3 Send men to view the land of Chanaan: which I will give to the children of Israel, one of every tribe, of the rulers.

Rulers of a hundred men, according to Hiscuni, inferior to those mentioned, (Numbers 10:14.) (Calmet)
Numbers 13:4 Moses did what the Lord had commanded, sending from the desert of Pharan, principal men, whose names are these:

Numbers 13:5 Of the tribe of Ruben, Sammua, the son of Zechur.

Numbers 13:6 Of the tribe of Simeon, Saphat, the son of Huri.

Huri: Septuagint, "Souri." None of the tribe of Levi, the third son of Jacob, are sent; but two represent the different branches of the tribe of Joseph, ver. 9, 12. The tribe of Ephraim comes out of its natural order, and has been overlooked by Calmet. (Haydock)
Numbers 13:7 Of the tribe of Juda, Caleb, the son of Jephone.

Numbers 13:8 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal, the son of Joseph.

Numbers 13:9 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Osee, the son of Nun.

Numbers 13:10 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Phalti, the son of Raphu.

Numbers 13:11 Of the tribe of Zabulon, Geddiel, the son of Sodi.

Numbers 13:12 Of the tribe of Joseph, of the sceptre of Manasses, Gaddi, the son of Susi.

Sceptre. Hebrew matte, means also "a tribe."
Numbers 13:13 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel, the son of Gemalli.

Numbers 13:14 Of the tribe of Aser, Sthur, the son of Michael.

Numbers 13:15 Of the tribe of Nephthali, Nahabi, the son of Vapsi.

Numbers 13:16 Of the tribe of Gad, Guel, the son of Machi.

Numbers 13:17 These are the names of the men, whom Moses sent to view the land: and he called Osee, the son of Nun, Josue.*

Acts 7:45.; Hebrews 4:8.
Josue. His former name Osee, or Hoseah, means "one saved, or salvation;" but the addition of the i, taken from the name of the Lord, intimates, "he shall save, or the Saviour of God." Some think that Moses had given him this name after the defeat of the Amalecites; but the Book of Exodus, where the name is found, might have been written after he received this commission. (Calmet) --- The Septuagint have, "Ause, the son of Nave, Jesus," as he was a striking figure of our blessed Saviour, and their names are written with the same letters, Yehoshuah. This Moses foresaw, and also that he whould be the happy instrument, in the hand of God, of saving the Israelites, by introducing them to the land of promise, and establishing them in peace therein. (Menochius) --- The changing of his name imported likewise, that he should be the chief leader. (Theodoret, q. 25.) (Worthington)
Numbers 13:18 And Moses sent them to view the land of Chanaan, and said to them: Go you up by the south side. And when you shall come to the mountains,

South side, which is to the north of where you now dwell. Moses enters into several details for the satisfaction of the people, though they had probably a general idea of the country and of its fruitfulness already, having lived not far off. They might not know, however, but that some part of the inhabitants might dwell in tents, instead of towns, as many of the Arabians did.
Numbers 13:19 View the land, of what sort it is: and the people that are the inhabitants thereof, whether they be strong or weak: few in number or many:

Numbers 13:20 The land itself, whether it be good or bad: what manner of cities, walled or without walls:

Numbers 13:21 The ground, fat or barren, woody or without trees. Be of good courage, and bring us of the fruits of the land. Now it was the time when the first ripe grapes are fit to be eaten.

First ripe (praecoquae:) Hebrew literally, "the first-born." Septuagint, "the days of spring, forerunners of the grape." In Madeira, grapes ripen in March. Some suppose the messengers departed in June, others in July. In Palestine, they have fresh grapes from the end of June till Martinmas [memorial day of St. Martin of Tours, November 11?], and three vintages, in August, and in each of the two following months.
Numbers 13:22 And when they were gone up, they viewed the land from the desert of Sin, unto Rohob as you enter into Emath.

Sin. The desert of Pharan was contiguous to that of Sin. They departed from Cades-barne, and went along the Jordan to Rohob, at the foot of Mount Libanus, and on the road to Emath; then they returned by the confines of the Sidonians and Philistines, through Hebron, to the camp at Cades.
Numbers 13:23 And they went up at the south side, and came to Hebron, where were *Achiman and Sisai, and Tholmai, the sons of Enac. For Hebron was built seven years before Tanis the city of Egypt.

Josue 15:14.
And came. The printed Hebrew has, "and he came:" but the Samaritan and all the versions, as well as some manuscripts, properly retain the plural, which the Massorets allow is right. (Kennicott, Diss. 1.) --- Enac, the founder of Hebron, and father of the giants of Chanaan, Josue 15:13. The Greek word anax, "king," was perhaps derived from him, as also the famous Inachides, who settled in Greece, after they were driven out by Josue. (Grotius) --- Tanis, where the tyrants of the Hebrews resided; a city, which the Egyptians represented as the most ancient in the world. Moses represses their vain boasting, by informing them that Hebron was of greater antiquity. It was afterwards assigned to the priests, and for a city of refuge, in the tribe of Juda, Josue 20:7.
Numbers 13:24 *And going forward as far as the torrent of the cluster of grapes, they cut off a branch with its cluster of grapes, which two men carried upon a lever. They took also of the pomegranates and of the figs of that place:

Deuteronomy 1:24.
Torrent. Septuagint, "vale." --- Its. Hebrew, "one cluster." --- Two men, Josue and Caleb; (St. Maximus) though the Rabbins say they carried nothing. --- Lever, or staff, suspending it thus, in order that it might not be crushed. In that valley, Doubdan (I. 21,) was assured by the religious, that clusters, weighing twelve pounds, might still be found. Pliny (Natural History? 14:1,) says, there are some in Africa, larger than a male infant. Strabo (xi.) describes some in Carmania, two cubits high. Forster saw a religious man at Nuremberg, who had lived eight years in Palestine, and assured him that two men could hardly carry a bunch of grapes, such as grew in the vale of Hebron: (Calmet) but this may seem to be an hyperbole. (Haydock) --- Lucas (T. 1:p. 310,) assures us, that he had seen a bunch at Damascus, weighing above forty pounds. The Fathers here contemplate Jesus Christ, suspended between the two testaments, the synagogue and the Church: the juice, or blood of the grape, (Genesis 49:2., and Deuteronomy 32:14,) denotes his passion. (St. Jerome, ep. ad Fab.; St. Bernard in Cant. ser. xliv.) (Calmet)
Numbers 13:25 Which was called Nehelescol, that is to say, the torrent of the cluster of grapes, because from thence the children of Israel had carried a cluster of grapes.

Numbers 13:26 And they that went to spy out the land returned after forty days, having gone round all the country,

Numbers 13:27 And came to Moses and Aaron, and to all the assembly of the children of Israel, to the desert of Pharan, which is in Cades. And speaking to them and to all the multitude, they shewed them the fruits of the land:

Cades. The desert of Pharan, or of Cades, is the same. (Haydock) --- The town is sometimes called Cades-barne, or Recem, (Chaldean) which is Petra, the capital of the stony Arabia, and lies rather nearer to the Dead Sea than to the Mediterranean. It was on the high road from the Red Sea to Hebron. In one part of the desert of Cades, the people murmured for want of water, (Numbers 20:1.) But there was plenty near the city. Moses continued here a long time after the return of the spies, Deuteronomy 1:19, 46. (Calmet)
Numbers 13:28 And they related and said: We came into the land to which thou sentest us, which in very deed floweth with milk and honey, as may be known by these fruits:

Numbers 13:29 But it hath very strong inhabitants, and the cities are great and walled. We saw there the race of Enac.

Numbers 13:30 Amalec dwelleth in the south; the Hethite, and the Jebusite, and the Amorrhite in the mountains: but the Chanaanite abideth by the sea and near the streams of the Jordan.

South. They had already routed the Amalecites; but the spies insidiously recall to their remembrance, that they would be again in arms to obstruct their passage. --- Hethites, dwelt nearest the Philistines, in the country which fell to the shares of Simeon and of Dan. The Jebusites occupied Jerusalem; and the Amorrhites, the most powerful of all those nations, held possession of most of the territory which was allotted to Juda. Nearer the Dead Sea, on the same mountains, dwelt the Cinezeans and the Cineans. Bonfrere places the Chanaanites on the banks of the Jordan, from the lake of Sodom as far as the sea of Tiberias. But they dwelt also near the Mediterranean; and the Phoenicians maintained themselves at Tyre and Sidon, against the most powerful kings of the Jews, and extended their commerce over the old world, to many parts of which they sent out colonies. (Calmet)
Numbers 13:31 In the mean time Caleb, to still the murmuring of the people that rose against Moses, said: Let us go up and possess the land, for we shall be able to conquer it.

Caleb, to whom Josue alone joined himself, to bear witness of the truth against the other ten; whom the people were, however, more inclined to believe, (Numbers 14:6.; Ecclesiasticus 46:9.) paying more attention to numbers than to authority, when it suited their humour. (Haydock)
Numbers 13:32 But the others, that had been with him, said: No, we are not able to go up to this people, because they are stronger than we.

Numbers 13:33 And they spoke ill of the land, which they had viewed, before the children of Israel, saying: The land, which we have viewed, devoureth its inhabitants: the people, that we beheld, are of a tall stature.

Spoke ill, etc. These men, who, by their misrepresentations of the land of promise, discouraged the Israelites from attempting the conquest of it, were a figure of worldlings, who, by decrying or misrepresenting true devotion, discourage Christians from seeking in earnest and acquiring so great a good, and thereby securing to themselves a happy eternity. (Challoner) --- Devoureth, by being exposed to continual wars from the Arabs, Idumeans, and from its own inhabitants, the monsters of the race of Enac. With this God had threatened the Hebrews, if they proved rebellious, Leviticus 26:38. See Ezechiel 36:13. (Calmet)
Numbers 13:34 There we saw certain monsters of the sons of Enac, of the giant-kind: in comparison of whom, we seemed like locusts.

Monsters. Hebrew, "giants." --- Locusts, or grasshoppers. So much inferior in size were we to them. Hebrew insinuates that the spies entertained these sentiments when they beheld the giants, and the latter seemed to look down upon them with contempt; "and so we were in their sight." These wicked men scrupled not to exaggerate in order to fill the people with dismay. (Haydock) --- Their suggestions tended to make them distrust the goodness or the power of God; and therefore he would not suffer them to enjoy the sweets of the land, (Numbers 14:23, 29.) (Worthington) See Deuteronomy 1:28., and Isaias 40:21.
Numbers 14:0 The people murmur. God threateneth to destroy them. He is appeased by Moses, yet so as to exclude the murmurers from entering the promised land. The authors of the sedition are struck dead. The rest going to fight against the will of God are beaten.

Numbers 14:1 Therefore the whole multitude crying, wept that night,

Numbers 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying:

Numbers 14:3 Would God that we had died in Egypt: and would God we may die in this vast wilderness, and that the Lord may not bring us into this land, lest we fall by the sword, and our wives and children be led away captives. Is it not better to return into Egypt?

We may. The Latin manuscripts and Bibles before Sixtus V read, "in Egypt, and not in this," etc. But the present translation agrees with the Hebrew, Septuagint, and Chaldean. (Calmet) --- They obtained what they said they wished for, ver. 28; chap. 14:29; 26:64. (Worthington) --- And that. Hebrew, etc., "and wherefore hath God brought us into this land, that we may fall," etc. In a rage they attribute a malicious design to God. (Calmet) --- Better. And who would have given them food in the wilderness? (Menochius)
Numbers 14:4 And they said one to another: Let us appoint us a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

Captain, instead of Moses, whom they could not bring over to their criminal design, no more than Aaron, Josue, Caleb, etc. (Haydock) --- Some imagine the rebels wanted to choose themselves a king, (Calmet) or even another god. (Drusius) --- Every community acknowledges the necessity of having one at the head. (Worthington)
Numbers 14:5 And when Moses and Aaron heard this, they fell down flat upon the ground before the multitude of the children of Israel.

Israel; begging that God would not destroy them, as he had done their brethren, (Numbers 11.) (Menochius)
Numbers 14:6 *But Josue the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephone, who themselves also had viewed the land, rent their garments,

Ecclesiasticus 46:9.; 1 Machabees 2:55-56.
Garments, in testimony of their disapprobation and zeal; to make these insolent people reflect upon the evils into which they are throwing themselves. (Calmet)
Numbers 14:7 And said to all the multitude of the children of Israel: The land, which we have gone round, is very good:

Numbers 14:8 If the Lord be favourable, he will bring us into it, and give us a land flowing with milk and honey.

Numbers 14:9 Be not rebellious against the Lord: and fear ye not the people of this land, for we are able to eat them up as bread. All aid is gone from them: the Lord is with us, fear ye not.

To eat, or consume them, as easily as we devour a piece of bread. The expression is proverbial, Psalm 13:4. --- All aid. Hebrew, "their shadow," which is taken in the same sense. Septuagint, "their time or opportunity is gone." The Rabbins refer this to holy Job, who, they say, died at this time. (Cornelius a Lapide) --- He dwelt near the Jordan. (Pineda in Job.) (Numbers 1:1.; Numbers 1:27.)
Numbers 14:10 And when all the multitude cried out, and would have stoned them, the glory of the Lord appeared over the tabernacle of the covenant to all the children of Israel.

Cried out, etc. Hebrew, "said stone them."
Numbers 14:11 And the Lord said to Moses: How long will this people detract me? how long will they not believe me for all the signs that I have wrought before them?

Detract. Hebrew, "despise, irritate, or blaspheme." God is incapable of anger, says Origen; he only foretells what will come to pass.
Numbers 14:12 I will strike them therefore with pestilence, and will consume them: but thee I will make a ruler over a great nation, and a mightier than this is.

Numbers 14:13 And Moses said to the Lord: That the Egyptians, from the midst of whom thou hast brought forth this people,

That the. The sentence is left imperfect, to signify the agitation and distress with which Moses was oppressed, as if he had said, Thou wilt thus afford a pretext, that the Egyptians and Chanaanites may say to one another, that thou couldst not perform what thou hadst promised; and therefore, that in vexation thou hadst destroyed thy people. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "Then the Egyptians shall hear it....and will tell it to the inhabitants of this land....because the Lord could not," etc., ver. 16. (Calmet) --- Thus they will blaspheme thy holy name. (Menochius)
Numbers 14:14 And the inhabitants of this land, (who have heard that thou, O Lord, art among this people, and art seen face to face, *and thy cloud protecteth them, and thou goest before them in a pillar of a cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night,)

Exodus 13:21.
Numbers 14:15 May hear that thou hast killed so great a multitude, as it were one man, and may say:

One man. All at once, (Calmet) entirely, without sparing so much as one. (Vatable)
Numbers 14:16 He could not bring the people into the land for which he had sworn, *therefore did he kill them in the wilderness.

Exodus 32:28.
Sworn. God swore to give this land to the Hebrews, but not to this particular generation. His oath would be equally fulfilled by raising posterity to Moses, ver. 13. But, at his entreaty, he spared the descendants of this people, and gave the land to their children under Josue. (Haydock)
Numbers 14:17 Let then the strength of the Lord be magnified, as thou hast sworn, saying:

Lord, in overcoming all difficulties, raised either by the enemy, or by thy rebellious people.
Numbers 14:18 *The Lord is patient and full of mercy **taking away iniquity and wickedness, and leaving no man clear, *who visitest the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Psalm 102:8.; Exodus 34:7.; Exodus 20:5.
Mercy. Septuagint, "merciful and true," as Exodus 34:6, 7. On that occasion, it is not written that God swore. (Haydock) --- But equal credit is to be given to his word, as to an oath. (Menochius) --- Clear, or, as St. Jerome expresses it in Exodus, and no man of himself is innocent before thee. (Calmet) --- By these titles God will be addressed; and therefore Moses mentions them all, though some of them might seem to obstruct his petition of pardon. (Menochius) --- He knew that none of God's perfections were contrary to one another, or to his nature of consummate goodness; and he sued for the pardon of his people, with all due submission to the dictates of his justice. (Haydock)
Numbers 14:19 Forgive, I beseech thee, the sins of this people, according to the greatness of thy mercy, as thou hast been merciful to them from their going out of Egypt unto this place.

Numbers 14:20 And the Lord said: I have forgiven according to thy word,

Forgiven the sins to those who repent; but the punishment due to them must be undergone, though not so soon as I had threatened, ver. 12, 19. How happy is that nation, which has one like Moses to intercede for them! (Haydock)
Numbers 14:21 As I live: and the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Lord. I will surely punish the guilty; and all the earth shall know that their own crimes, and not my imbecility, prevented their taking possession of Chanaan. My glory shall shine both in my long-suffering, and in the effects of my justice. Let me pass for a dead god, like the idols, if I do not perform what I say.
Numbers 14:22 But yet all the men that have seen my majesty, and the signs that I have done in Egypt, and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now ten times, and have not obeyed my voice,

The men, above 20 years of age, ver. 29. --- Majesty, manifested by the signs, etc. (Haydock) --- Ten times; very often. It is not necessary to specify the number of the rebellions, as some have done, placing the first on the other side of the Red Sea, (Exodus 14:11,) and the tenth here. The expression is often used to express a great but indefinite number. (Ecclesiastes 7:20.) (Calmet)
Numbers 14:23 *Shall not see the land for which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any one of them that hath detracted me behold it.

Deuteronomy 1:35.
It. None of those who murmured ever entered the land of promise. Origen (hom. 27,) believes that the Levites behaved with fidelity, and were not comprised in the punishment. In effect, Eleazar certainly entered Chanaan, Josue 14:1. Salmon also, who espoused Rahab, had seen the wonders of God, but had not joined with the rest; so that, when it is said (ver. 2,) that all murmured, we must explain it by St. Jerome's rule, of the greatest part; as, no doubt, many would abhor the conduct of the seditious. (Calmet) --- Omnia non ad totum referenda esse sed ad partem maximam. (St. Jerome, ep. 146. ad Dam.)
Numbers 14:24 *My servant Caleb, who being full of another spirit hath followed me, I will bring into this land, which he hath gone round: and his seed shall possess it.

Josue 14:6.
Spirit. The spirit of obedience and of courage. (Menochius) --- Followed me, as a guide, and hath fulfilled all my desires. (Vatable) --- This he was enabled to do by God's free grace. But his co-operation merited a reward. See St. Augustine, de Grat. et. Lib. vi.) (Worthington)
Numbers 14:25 For the Amalecite and the Chanaanite dwell in the valleys. To-morrow remove the camp, and return into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.

For. Hebrew, "Now," etc. The enemy is ready to attack you in the defiles, and I will not expose you at present to their fury, as you shall not enter the land for many years. Wherefore to-morrow, etc. (Haydock) --- It seems they complied reluctantly, for they probably encamped in that neighbourhood about a year. (Calmet)
Numbers 14:26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

Numbers 14:27 How long doth this wicked multitude murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel.

Numbers 14:28 Say therefore to them: As I live, saith the Lord: According as you have spoken in my hearing, so will I do to you.

Numbers 14:29 *In the wilderness shall your carcasses lie. All you that were numbered from twenty years old and upward, and have murmured against me,

Psalm 105:26.
Numbers 14:30 *Shall not enter into the land, over which I lifted up my hand to make you dwell therein, except Caleb the son of Jephone, and Josue the son of Nun.

Deuteronomy 1:35.
Hand, the posture of one taking an oath, Genesis 15:18.
Numbers 14:31 But your children, of whom you said, that they should be a prey to the enemies, will I bring in: that they may see the land which you have despised.

Numbers 14:32 Your carcasses shall lie in the wilderness.

Numbers 14:33 Your children shall wander in the desert forty years, and shall bear your fornication, until the carcasses of their fathers be consumed in the desert,

Years. Within five days from the departure out of Egypt, (Menochius) and above 38 from this time. Hebrew, "they shall be shepherds," without any fixed dwelling, like the shepherds of that country. --- Consumed. They had complained that Chanaan consumed or devoured its inhabitants. (Calmet) --- Their children underwent a temporal, but salutary, punishment for their sin. (St. Augustine, ep. 75.) (Worthington)
Numbers 14:34 According to the number of the forty days, wherein you viewed the land: *a year shall be counted for a day. **And forty years you shall receive your iniquities, and shall know my revenge:

Ezechiel 4:6.; Psalm 94:10.
Revenge. Hebrew, "my breach of promise, or if my threats be vain," etc. Septuagint, "you shall know the fury of my anger." (Calmet) --- I will convince you by the severity with which I shall execute this sentence, that you had no reason to distrust my former promises. St. Jerome (in Ezec. xx.) entertains hopes of the eternal salvation of many of these Hebrews, who had time to do penance for their sins.
Numbers 14:35 For as I have spoken, so will I do to all this wicked multitude, that hath risen up together against me: in this wilderness shall it faint away and die.

Numbers 14:36 *Therefore all the men, whom Moses had sent to view the land, and who at their return had made the whole multitude to murmur against him, speaking ill of the land that it was naught,

Judith 8:24.; 1 Corinthians 10:10.; Hebrews 3:17.; Jude 1:5.
Numbers 14:37 Died and were struck in the sight of the Lord.

Lord, by pestilence, (ver. 12; Philo,) or by the exterminating angel, 1 Corinthians 10:10. They were burnt to death before the tabernacle, or at least died suddenly. (Jansenius) The Jews have appointed a fast on the 7th of the 6th month, to bewail this event, ver. 39. (Calmet)
Numbers 14:38 But Josue the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephone lived, of all them that had gone to view the land.

Numbers 14:39 And Moses spoke all these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned exceedingly.

Numbers 14:40 And behold, rising up very early in the morning, they went up to the top of the mountain, and said: We are ready to go up to the place, of which the Lord hath spoken: for we have sinned.

Numbers 14:41 And Moses said to them: Why transgress you the word of the Lord, which shall not succeed prosperously with you?

Which conduct shall not, etc. They had been ordered to return: now they will advance, and, though admonished that the Lord will not assist them, they depend upon their own efforts, being ever full of themselves, and distrustful of God, the two sources of all spiritual misfortunes. (Haydock)
Numbers 14:42 *Go not up, for the Lord is not with you: lest you fall before your enemies.

Deuteronomy 1:42.
Numbers 14:43 The Amalecite and the Chanaanite are before you, and by their sword you shall fall, because you would not consent to the Lord, neither will the Lord be with you.

Numbers 14:44 But they being blinded went up to the top of the mountain. But the ark of the testament of the Lord, and Moses, departed not from the camp.

Blinded, with presumption, as the Hebrew yahpilu, insinuates. "Their heart was puffed up with pride, and they ascended," Deuteronomy 1:43. (Calmet) --- The enemy was ready to receive them, and easily routed this rabble, abandoned by God, and by Moses, Aaron and his sons, Josue, and other men of virtue and sense. They who before lay lurking in the valleys, (ver. 25,) assume fresh courage, when they become the executioners of God's vengeance, and come pouring down from their mountains, with irresistible fury; nor do they stop till they had made a dreadful carnage of the Hebrews. The same place was again deluged with blood, (Numbers 21:3.) and was called Horma, or "the Curse." The Samaritan and Septuagint add, and they returned into the camp. Thus, by their own woeful experience, they began to feel that God would keep his word in punishing the common people, as well as the leaders, ver. 37. (Haydock)
Numbers 14:45 And the Amalecite came down, and the Chanaanite, that dwelt in the mountain: and smiting and slaying them, pursued them as far as Horma.

Numbers 15:0 Certain laws concerning sacrifices. Sabbath-breaking is punished with death. The law of fringes on their garments.

Numbers 15:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 15:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When you shall be come into the land of your habitation, which I will give you,

Speak. This law was probably given towards the end of the 40 years, ver. 23.
Numbers 15:3 And shall make an offering to the Lord for a holocaust, or a victim, paying your vows, or voluntarily offering gifts, or in your solemnities burning a sweet savour unto the Lord, of oxen or of sheep:

Victim "of peace," as some Latin copies read, including all the different sorts, ver. 28. (Calmet)
Numbers 15:4 Whosoever immolateth the victim, shall offer a sacrifice of fine flour, the tenth part of an ephi, tempered with the fourth part of a hin of oil:

Ephi. Hebrew, "a tenth of flour," or one gomer. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 15:5 And he shall give the same measure of wine to pour out in libations for the holocaust, or for the victim. For every lamb,

Numbers 15:6 And for every ram there shall be a sacrifice of flour of two tenths, which shall be tempered with the third part of a hin of oil:

Numbers 15:7 And he shall offer the third part of the same measure of wine for the libation, for a sweet savour to the Lord.

Numbers 15:8 But when thou offerest a holocaust or sacrifice of oxen, to fulfil thy vow or for victims of peace-offerings,

Numbers 15:9 Thou shalt give for every ox three tenths of flour tempered with half a hin of oil,

Numbers 15:10 And wine for libations of the same measure, for an offering of most sweet savour to the Lord.

Numbers 15:11 Thus shalt thou do,

\f + \fr 15:11---15\ft Thus, etc. --- Land. In this last verse, the Samaritan copy observes a more correct manner of punctuation than the Hebrew which is commonly rendered "O congregation." (Houbigant) --- The author of the Vulgate has preserved the sense, but not all the words of the original. The strangers here spoken of are the proselytes of justice, who kept all the law. Those of the gate, who lived in the land, uncircumcised, could only present holocausts, without libations, Leviticus 22:25. (Calmet) --- "The many sacrifices (of the old law) prefigured this one sacrifice" of the new. (St. Augustine, City of God 10:20.) Christ, represented by the oil, offers himself the victim, under the forms of bread and wine. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 15:12 For every ox, and ram, and lamb, and kid,

Numbers 15:13 Both they that are born in the land, and the strangers,

Numbers 15:14 Shall offer sacrifices after the same rite.

Numbers 15:15 There shall be all one law and judgment, both for you, and for them who are strangers in the land.

Numbers 15:16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 15:17 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them:

Numbers 15:18 When you are come into the land, which I will give you,

Numbers 15:19 And shall eat of the bread of that country, you shall separate first-fruits to the Lord,

Numbers 15:20 Of the things you eat. As you separate first-fruits of your barn-floors:

Eat. Hebrew and Septuagint, "of your dough." They elevated a part towards heaven, and gave it to the priest or Levite, who lived nearest them; and, in case none could be found, as at the present day, they were to burn it in honour of God. Tradition determines the quantity to be between a 40th and a 60th part. (St. Jerome in Ezec. xlv.) This they do every time they bake, according to Philo, and Leo of Modena, (2. 9,) though the law be not clear, and some might think it sufficient to give a part, the first time they baked with new flour.
Numbers 15:21 So also shall you give first-fruits of your dough to the Lord.

Numbers 15:22 And if through ignorance you omit any of these things, which the Lord hath spoken to Moses,

Ignorance. Other victims are prescribed; (Leviticus 4:13,) so that the ignorance here mentioned must be of a different nature. The former was perhaps a sin of commission, and this a sin of omission; such as if the whole people should neglect to eat the paschal lamb. The Rabbins think that the law alludes here to idolatry, committed for want of knowledge. But that is next to impossible in a whole nation. Outram believes, that the Book of Leviticus speaks of those who transgress the negative precepts, without abandoning the true religion; but the present law alludes to those who forget the laws of their fathers, and embrace a false worship. Thus Ezechias offered the victims here prescribed, though more in number, to expiate the idolatry of the people under Achaz, 1 Paralipomenon 29:21. See also 1 Esdras 8:35. Some think Moses has supplied in this place what was left deficient before. But it is more probable, that he supposes here only some of the tribes have sinned ignorantly, while in Leviticus he speaks of the whole nation. (Calmet) --- No one sins for the sake of the offence, but for some advantage which we falsely persuade ourselves we shall derive from doing so. (St. Augustine, q. 24.)
Numbers 15:23 And by him hath commanded you, from the day that he began to command and thence forward,

Numbers 15:24 And the multitude have forgotten to do it: they shall offer a calf out of the herd, a holocaust for a most sweet savour to the Lord, and the sacrifice and libations thereof, as the ceremonies require, and a buck-goat for sin:

Numbers 15:25 And the priest shall pray for all the multitude of the children of Israel: and it shall be forgiven them, because they sinned ignorantly; offering, notwithstanding, a burnt-offering to the Lord, for themselves and for their sin and their ignorance:

And for. Hebrew, "and their sin (offering) in the presence of the Lord, for their ignorance." (Calmet)
Numbers 15:26 And it shall be forgiven all the people of the children of Israel, and the strangers that sojourn among them: because it is the fault of all the people through ignorance.

Numbers 15:27 But if one soul shall sin ignorantly, he shall offer a she-goat of a year old for his sin:

Numbers 15:28 And the priest shall pray for him, because he sinned ignorantly before the Lord: and he shall obtain his pardon, and it shall be forgiven him.

Numbers 15:29 The same law shall be for all that sin by ignorance, whether they be natives or strangers.

Numbers 15:30 But the soul that committeth any thing through pride, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, (because he hath been rebellious against the Lord) shall be cut off from among his people:

Pride. Hebrew and Septuagint, "with hand, or with head (Chaldean) uplifted," without shame or control. The Rabbins say, he must deny that God is the author of the law, and sin deliberately, after being admonished, etc., before he will incur this penalty. But why all these restrictions? --- Rebellious. Hebrew, "he hath blasphemed, or irritated the Lord." Such crimes imply a contempt of the law. --- Cut off by God, if the judges neglect to do it. The Hebrews maintain, that each individual has a right to kill such scandalous offenders, as Phinees did Zambri, (Numbers 25:7.; 1 Machabees 2:23.) It is not clear whether all strangers, living in the country, were subjected to this law. (Selden, Jur. 2:11.) Though such crimes were not pardoned by the law, true repentance will free us from them. (St. Augustine, q. 25.) (Worthington)
Numbers 15:31 For he hath contemned the word the Lord, and made void his precept: therefore shall he be destroyed, and shall bear his iniquity.

Numbers 15:32 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, and had found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day,

Wilderness of Pharan, if this crime were committed soon after the murmuring of the people, or in some other part of the desert. This example tends to show the severity and extent of the former precept. The law had condemned the breaker of the sabbath to be put to death. But Moses consulted the Lord, to know in what manner; or perhaps there were some circumstances attending the offender, which extenuated or enhanced his crime. Some of the Rabbins have unjustly aspersed the character of Salphaad, as if he were the person, because it is said that he died in the desert in his own sin, (Numbers 27:3.) (Calmet) --- Those who transgress with full knowledge, deserve to be severely chastised; (Luke 12:47,) and this is the more necessary, when the law has been lately promulgated, to restrain the insolent. (Haydock) --- God generally makes an example of those who first transgress his laws, as he did of our first parents, of Cain, the Sodomites, the worshippers of the golden calf, etc. He punished thus the sacrilege of Nadab, the disobedience of Saul, the lie of Ananias and Saphira. (Cajetan) (Du Hamel)
Numbers 15:33 That they brought him to Moses and Aaron, and the whole multitude.

Numbers 15:34 And they put him into prison, not knowing what they should do with him.

Numbers 15:35 And the Lord said to Moses: Let that man die, let all the multitude stone him without the camp.

Numbers 15:36 And when they had brought him out, they stoned him, and he died as the Lord had commanded.

Numbers 15:37 The Lord also said to Moses:

Numbers 15:38 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt tell them *to make to themselves fringes in the corners of their garments, putting in them ribands of blue:

Deuteronomy 22:12.; Matthew 23:5.
Fringes. The Pharisees enlarged these fringes through hypocrisy, (Matthew 23:5,) to appear more zealous than other men for the law of God. (Challoner) --- Our Saviour conformed to this law, Luke 8:44. Moses shews that these fringes were to be made for the cloak, which was square, and not for the tunic, Deuteronomy 22:12. The colour, in St. Justin Martyr's time, was purple. (Dialogue with Trypho) It seems that the Phoenicians were accustomed to wear such fringes. Sidoniam picto chlamidem circumdata limbo. (Virgil, Aeneid iv.) (Calmet) --- God ordained that his people should be thus distinguished from other nations. (Tirinus)
Numbers 15:39 That when they shall see them, they may remember all the commandments of the Lord, and not follow their own thoughts and eyes going astray after divers things,

Astray, (fornicantes). The eyes being left without restraint, easily fix upon dangerous objects, which captivate the heart, and lead to idolatry and the contempt of God's law. (Calmet) --- We are also admonished to meditate on the law, and not follow our own thoughts or interpretations, so as to render it of no effect, in the regulation of our morals. (Haydock)
Numbers 15:40 But rather being mindful of the precepts of the Lord, may do them, and be holy to their God.

Numbers 15:41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that I might be your God.

Numbers 16:0 The schism of Core and his adherents: their punishment.

Numbers 16:1 And behold Core, the son of Isaar, the son of Caath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiron, the sons of Eliab, and Hon, the son of Pheleth, of the children of Ruben,

Isaar was brother of Amram; and, consequently, his son was the cousin of Moses. --- Core engaged the rest in his revolt. Hebrew, "took or replied," interrupting Moses at the very time when he was speaking, in the name of God, and requiring that he should shew, by what right he arrogated to himself alone that authority. "Core separated himself," Chaldean. "He retired," Syriac. "Core spoke....and Dathan....and they rose up," Septuagint. The Caathites encamped near the tribe of Ruben; and hence Core had an opportunity to engage some of them in his revolt, by insinuating that Moses occupied the post in the state which ought to belong to them, as Ruben was the first-born; while Aaron had obtained the high priesthood, and the rest of the Levites, though of equal nobility, were to be treated as his servants. It is not known when this revolt happened. Some place it at the camp of Sinai; others at that of Jetebata, Deuteronomy 10:8.
Numbers 16:2 Rose up against Moses, and with them two hundred and fifty others of the children of Israel, leading men of the synagogue, and who in the time of assembly were called by name.

Rose up. The crime of these men, which was punished in so remarkable a manner, was that of schism, and of rebellion against the authority established by God in the Church; and their pretending to the priesthood without being lawfully called and sent: the same is the case of all modern sectaries. (Challoner) --- Let them dread a similar punishment; not only the authors of such wicked pretensions, but those also who consent to them, Romans 1:32. For we find that Core and all his adherents were buried in hell; (ver. 33,) and those likewise who complained that their punishment was too severe, fell victims to the raging fire, ver. 49. With what earnestness ought we not, therefore, to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints! (Jude 3.) For if those be so severely punished who rise up in opposition to lawful superiors, either in church or state, what swift destruction do they not bring upon their own heads who deny God, who bought them, and make him a liar, by calling in question his most sacred truths? (2 Peter 2:1.) (Haydock) --- Core and his companions impugned not the law directly, but resisted Moses and Aaron. (St. Ignatius of Antioch, ep. ad Magnes.) They believed in the same God; yet, because they took upon themselves to sacrifice, they were forthwith punished by God, and their unlawful sacrifices could do them no service. (St. Cyprian, ep. 1:6.) Thus we are warned to keep in the true Church, and to obey those who are set over us; and never, for any temporal consideration whatever, to encourage, by our presence, the sermons or meetings of heretics, or of schismatics, lest we perish with them, ver. 26. (Worthington) --- Assembly. Hebrew, "famous in the assembly, men of name," and distinction, senators. It seems Hom left the rest of the conspirators, as he is mentioned no more. The princes of Ruben were desirous of obtaining the temporal power only. But the Levites aspired at that sacred pre-eminence, which had been given by God to Aaron and his sons. (Calmet)
Numbers 16:3 *And when they had stood up against Moses and Aaron, they said: Let it be enough for you, that all the multitude consisteth of holy ones, and the Lord is among them: why lift you up yourselves above the people of the Lord?

Ecclesiasticus 45:22.; 1 Corinthians 10:10.; Jude 1:12.
Let it be enough. Hebrew rab, "too much you take upon you;" or "suffice it for you," Septuagint. --- Holy ones, as deserving of the priesthood as yourselves, ver. 10. Why then would you treat them as your inferiors? We will throw off the yoke, and assert our just rights. (Calmet) --- On the same plea, Luther (de abrog. Missa,) rejects all ecclesiastical hierarchy, and will have no distinct priesthood, because all Christians are called priests, (Apocalypse 1.) and a holy priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5. (Worthington) --- But they do not take notice that the apostle immediately explains himself, by saying, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, and to declare the virtues of Christ; in which sense, they are also styled a kingly priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9. (Haydock)
Numbers 16:4 When Moses heard this, he fell flat on his face:

Numbers 16:5 And speaking to Core, and all the multitude, he said: In the morning the Lord will make known who belong to him, and the holy he will join to himself: and whom he shall choose, they shall approach to him.

The holy ones, whom he has chosen for the high priesthood. The psalmist, speaking of this sedition, says, they provoked....Aaron, the holy one of the Lord, Psalm 105:16. (Calmet) See 1 Timothy 2:19. --- Only those who are chosen by God, can lawfully perform this sacred office, as the Almighty declares by a miracle. (Haydock)
Numbers 16:6 Do this therefore: Take every man of you your censers, thou Core, and all thy company,

Censers. It was not lawful for the Levites to offer incense: but they had prepared for themselves the ensigns of the priestly power, and Moses permits them to try their success. (Haydock) --- They might have brought the censers, or broad plates, bowls, or vials, (Apocalypse 5:8,) out of Egypt, where every family offers incense to their domestic gods and sacred animals. In Sicily and Greece they were also very common, as well as at Babylon; where married people always purified themselves with the smoke of incense. (Herodotus, 1:197.)
Numbers 16:7 And putting fire in them to-morrow, put incense upon it before the Lord: and whomsoever he shall choose, the same shall be holy: you take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.

Lord, in his sanctuary, where the priests alone offered incense twice a day upon the altar. (Calmet) --- Too much. Moses retorts upon them their own words, ver. 3.
Numbers 16:8 And he said again to Core: Hear, ye sons of Levi:

Numbers 16:9 Is it a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from all the people, and joined you to himself, that you should serve him in the service of the tabernacle, and should stand before the congregation of the people, and should minister to him?

To him: Hebrew and Septuagint, "to them," or instead of the people. God had chosen them for that post of honour, to the exclusion of all the rest, so that they ought, the least of all, to have complained. But it often happens, that those who are the most exalted, take occasion to esteem themselves deserving of still higher honours; and thus, like Lucifer, fall into the bottomless pit! (Haydock) --- Core was perhaps the more irritated, because he was not at the head of the Caathites, though a descendant of the second son of Caath, while Elisaphan, sprung from a fourth son, was preferred to him, (Numbers 3.) (Tirinus)
Numbers 16:10 Did he therefore make thee, and all thy brethren, the sons of Levi, to approach unto him, that you should challenge to yourselves the priesthood also,

Numbers 16:11 And that all thy company should stand against the Lord? for what is Aaron that you murmur against him?

Him. The injury is offered to God, who made choice of Aaron freely.
Numbers 16:12 Then Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiron the sons of Eliab. But they answered: We will not come.

Numbers 16:13 Is it a small matter to thee, that thou hast brought us out of a land that flowed with milk and honey, to kill us in the desert, except thou rule also like a lord over us?

Numbers 16:14 Thou hast brought us indeed into a land, that floweth with rivers of milk and honey, and hast given us possessions of fields and vineyards; wilt thou also pull out our eyes? We will not come.

Eyes. These princes of Ruben were not desirous of the priesthood, as Core was; they repined, that Moses had got possession of the sovereign authority, and therefore they endeavour to represent him as an imposter, who had promised great things, but in reality had deprived the people of all the happiness which they formerly enjoyed in Egypt, and was now disposed to exercise his tyranny upon their very persons. (Haydock) --- "Do you wish that we should not see through your impostures?" Hebrew, "wilt thou put out the eyes of these men," who have informed us what sort of a country Chanaan is? Septuagint, "thou hast blinded these men," who are so stupid as to obey thee. (Calmet) --- Chaldean, "though thou pull out our eyes, we will not come."
Numbers 16:15 Moses therefore being very angry, said to the Lord: Respect not their sacrifices: thou knowest that I have not taken of them so much as a young ass at any time, nor have injured any of them.

Very angry. This anger was a zeal against sin; and an indignation at the affront offered to God; like that which the same holy prophet conceived upon the sight of the golden calf, Exodus 32:19. (Challoner) --- Respect not. Hebrew, "thou wilt not have regard for their sacrifices," as long as they continue in these sentiments of pride and of rebellion. (Haydock) --- Thou knowest. Hebrew, "I have not," etc. --- Ass. This expression is proverbial, 1 Kings 12:3. The Samaritan and Septuagint read, chamod, "any thing desirable," instead of chamor, "an ass." (Calmet)
Numbers 16:16 And he said to Core: Do thou and thy congregation stand apart before the Lord to-morrow, and Aaron apart.

Numbers 16:17 Take every one of you censers, and put incense upon them, offering to the Lord two hundred and fifty censers: let Aaron also hold his censer.

Numbers 16:18 When they had done this, Moses and Aaron standing,

Numbers 16:19 And had drawn up all the multitude against them to the door of the tabernacle, the glory of the Lord appeared to them all.

Numbers 16:20 And the Lord speaking to Moses and Aaron, said:

Numbers 16:21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may presently destroy them.

Numbers 16:22 They fell flat on their face, and said: O most mighty, the God of the spirits of all flesh, for one man's sin, shall thy wrath rage against all?

God, who givest life to all, and searchest the inmost recesses of the heart. (Menochius)
Numbers 16:23 And the Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 16:24 Command the whole people to separate themselves from the tents of Core and Dathan and Abiron.

Numbers 16:25 And Moses arose, and went to Dathan and Abiron: and the ancients of Israel following him,

Numbers 16:26 He said to the multitude: Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be involved in their sins.

Depart. If we give any encouragement to schismatics, or go to their meetings, we must expect to be involved in their sins. (St. Cyprian, de Lapsis 5.) (Worthington)
Numbers 16:27 And when they were departed from their tents round about, Dathan and Abiron coming out, stood in the entry of their pavilions, with their wives and children, and all the people.

People, (frequentia). The Septuagint generally translate tappam by aposkene, "family and effects," of every denomination. (Calmet) --- Here was a full assembly waiting for the event, between fear and hope. As these rebels would not come, when Moses sent for them, he condescended to go to them, and denounced the impending ruin, ver. 14, 25. He commits his whole cause to God, and is willing to be rejected as a vile impostor, if God do not shew, by a miraculous and exemplary punishment of his opponents, that what he had hitherto done, as the head of the people, and particularly in the consecration of Aaron, was by his direction. (Haydock) --- He had before proved his mission by miracles, Exodus 4:(Worthington)
Numbers 16:28 And Moses said: By this you shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all things that you see, and that I have not forged them of my own head:

Numbers 16:29 If these men die the common death of men, and if they be visited with a plague, wherewith others also are wont to be visited, the Lord did not send me:

Numbers 16:30 But if the Lord do a new thing, and the earth opening her mouth swallow them down, and all things that belong to them, and they go down alive into hell, you shall know that they have blasphemed the Lord.

Hell. See Psalm 54:16., and Proverbs 1:12. "They were consigned to the tomb before they were dead," (St. Optatus, B. I.,) while their impenitent souls were buried in hell. The souls of their infant children, which had no share in the rebellion, might be exempted from the latter part of their punishment. (Calmet) --- If some have the rashness to blame the severity of this judgment of God, let them shew the disparity between it and the various other accidents occasioned by earthquakes, etc., which involve millions of such "smiling infants" in destruction; or, if they do not infer from these misfortunes, that the laws of nature are unjust; neither ought they to conclude that the religion, delivered by God to Moses, was an imposture, or that the Jewish legislator was cruel. He continued a silent spectator of this transaction, which he was informed by the Spirit would surely take place, and could not be averted by his intercession, which had before rescued the less guilty multitude, ver. 22. (Haydock) --- "They descend into hell alive; that is, feeling their own perdition, who, imitating Core,....separate from the Church, and presently fall into heresy." (St. Augustine, ep. 93.)
Numbers 16:31 *And immediately as he had made an end of speaking, the earth broke asunder under their feet:

Deuteronomy 11:6.; Psalm 105:17-18.
Numbers 16:32 And opening her mouth, devoured them with their tents, and all their substance.

Tents. Hebrew adds, "all those who belonged to (or sided with) Core, and all their riches." Moses informs us, (Numbers 26:10,) how some of Core's children were miraculously preserved. Their descendants were appointed by David to sing and to guard the doors of the temple, 1 Paralipomenon 9:19. (Calmet) --- Samuel was of the same family, 1 Paralipomenon 6:33. (Tirinus)
Numbers 16:33 And they went down alive into hell, the ground closing upon them, and they perished from among the people.

Hell. Hebrew adds, "they, and whatsoever belonged to them, descended into hell, or the pit." Sale. --- The souls of the impenitent into the former, the bodies of the cattle, etc., into the bowels of the earth. (Haydock)
Numbers 16:34 But all Israel, that was standing round about, fled at the cry of them that were perishing: saying: Lest perhaps the earth swallow us up also.

Numbers 16:35 And a fire coming out from the Lord, destroyed the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense.

Incense. Core had left them, and was busy in stirring up the people to rebellion, when a fire proceeding from the cloud, or from the altar, or perhaps a thunderbolt, (Calmet) came to arraign them before God's tribunal, there to meet their chief, and to hear the eternal sentence of separation from all good, which was instantly pronounced upon all who died impenitent. (Haydock) --- Perhaps Core might have been offering incense with his 250 men, when the fire seized him, ver. 40. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 16:36 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 16:37 Command Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, to take up the censers that lie in the burning, and to scatter the fire on one side and the other: because they are sanctified

Numbers 16:38 In the deaths of the sinners: and let him beat them into plates, and fasten them to the altar, because incense hath been offered in them to the Lord, and they are sanctified, that the children of Israel may see them for a sign and a memorial.

Sinners. These censers were sanctified or set apart for God's altar: 1. By the intention of those who used them, though contrary to his will; 2. by the exemplary vengeance which he exercised upon the rash pretenders to the priesthood; 3. by being a monument of their folly, and therefore placed, by God's order, upon the altar, to deter all others from imitating their conduct. Eleazar was commanded to take them up, and scatter the strange fire; that Aaron might not be defiled with touching the carcasses or ashes of the deceased, nor seem to exult in their death. (Calmet) --- God was thus also pleased to manifest, that the children of Aaron, and not of the other Levites, should succeed him. (St. Augustine, q. 30.) (Worthington)
Numbers 16:39 Then Eleazar the priest took the brazen censers, wherein they had offered, whom the burning fire had devoured, and beat them into plates, fastening them to the altar:

Altar of holocausts, which was already covered with plates of brass. (Calmet)
Numbers 16:40 That the children of Israel might have for the time to come wherewith they should be admonished, that no stranger, or any one that is not of seed of Aaron, should come near to offer incense to the Lord, lest he should suffer as Core suffered, and all his congregation, according as the Lord spoke to Moses.

Stranger, though he be even of royal dignity. Thus Osias was afflicted with a perpetual leprosy, which rendered him incapable of exercising even the office of king, because he had attempted to offer incense, 2 Kings 15:5., and 2 Paralipomenon 26:17. (Haydock)
Numbers 16:41 The following day all the multitude of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying: You have killed the people of the Lord.

Numbers 16:42 And when there arose a sedition, and the tumult increased,

Numbers 16:43 Moses and Aaron fled to the tabernacle of the covenant. And when they were gone into it, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared.

Numbers 16:44 And the Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 16:45 Get you out from the midst of this multitude, this moment will I destroy them. And as they were lying on the ground,

Get ye out. Moses and Aaron complied with the spirit, though not with the letter of this injunction. They lay prostrate on their faces, with all humility and earnestness, begging that the Lord would preserve them, and at the same time take pity on the frailty of the multitude, who had been deluded, and had, in words at least, approved the conduct of the rebels. (Haydock) --- God encourages them inwardly to persevere in prayer, in the same manner as when he said to Moses, (Exodus 32:10,) Let me alone, that my wrath may be enkindled, etc.
Numbers 16:46 Moses said to Aaron: Take the censer, and putting fire in it from the altar, put incense upon it, and go quickly to the people to pray for them: for already wrath is gone out from the Lord, and the plague rageth.

Take. Moses was inspired by God, on this extraordinary occasion, to pass over the common rules, which forbade the high priest to offer incense any where but in the tabernacle, and never to appear among the dead. (Calmet)
Numbers 16:47 When Aaron had done this, and had run to the midst of the multitude, which the burning fire was now destroying, he offered the incense:

Numbers 16:48 And standing between the dead and the living, he prayed for the people, and the plague ceased.

Numbers 16:49 And the number of them that were slain, was fourteen thousand and seven hundred men, besides them that had perished in the sedition of Core.

Core. We cannot reckon less than 15,000, who perished in consequence of their adherence to this innovator. Behold the first-fruits of ambition and of rebellion. (Haydock)
Numbers 16:50 And Aaron returned to Moses to the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, after the destruction was over.

Numbers 17:0 The priesthood is confirmed to Aaron by the miracle of the blooming of his rod, which is kept for a monument in the tabernacle.

Numbers 17:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 17:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod by their kindreds, of all the princes of the tribes, twelve rods, and write the name of every man upon his rod.

Speak. The cause of the different families of the Levites now being fully decided, that none of the other tribes might pretend to the honour of the priesthood, God orders Moses to propose another miracle to them, of a less terrible nature than the preceding one. --- Man, or prince of the tribe. (Haydock) --- The name of Aaron was written upon his staff, which was taken from an almond tree; those of the princes of the other tribes appeared upon their respective rods, and represented their different families, ver. 3. (Calmet)
Numbers 17:3 And the name of Aaron shall be for the tribe of Levi, and one rod shall contain all their families:

Numbers 17:4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the covenant before the testimony, where I will speak to thee.

Numbers 17:5 Whomsoever of these I shall choose, his rod shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, wherewith they murmur against you.

They murmur. Hence it seems this miracle was not unnecessary, as the people were still inclined to murmur at the pre-eminence given to Aaron. (Haydock)
Numbers 17:6 And Moses spoke to the children of Israel: and all the princes gave him rods one for every tribe: and there were twelve rods besides the rod of Aaron.

Besides, etc. Hebrew and the other versions, "the rod of Aaron was in the midst of their rods." Whence some infer, that there were only 12 rods. But Origen, (hom. 9,) and most others, allow 13, as the tribe of Joseph was divided into those of Ephraim and Manasses; (Calmet) each of whom had a proper representative or prince. See (Numbers 2:18-20.; Numbers 10:22; Numbers 13:9-12.) The tribe of Levi is generally placed by itself. If there were only 12 rods, whether would the name of Elisama, or that of Gamaliel, designate the tribe of Joseph? Who was properly the prince of that udivided tribe? (Haydock)
Numbers 17:7 And when Moses had laid them up before the Lord in the tabernacle of the testimony:

Numbers 17:8 He returned on the following day, and found that the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi, was budded: and that the buds swelling, it had bloomed blossoms, which spreading the leaves, were formed into almonds.

The rod of Aaron for the house of Levi, was budded, etc. This rod of Aaron, which thus miraculously brought forth fruit, was a figure of the blessed Virgin conceiving and bringing forth her Son, without any prejudice to her virginity. (Challoner) --- Almonds. Buds, blossoms, leaves, and fruit just formed, (Isaias 18:5.) appeared upon the rod, which before was dry. Tostat believes, that it continued in the same state during the whole time that it was preserved in the ark. "The grace of the priesthood never fades." (St. Ambrose, ep. 63, or 58.) The almond tree is the first which blossoms, and therefore it is styled a watching rod, (Jeremias 1:11.) The Fathers observe in this of Aaron, a figure of Christ's passion and glorious resurrection; and Origen (hom. 9,) remarks, that from his cross proceed the sweet odours of virtue, and the fruits of converted nations. (Calmet) --- For Christ made peace through the blood of his cross, (Colossians 1:20.) The blessed Virgin, whom the blooming rod also represents, might as easily become a mother without losing her virginal integrity, as this dry rod might produce fruit, without receiving any moisture from the earth. (St. Augustine; St. Gregory of Nyssa; St. Bernard; etc.) (Worthington)
Numbers 17:9 Moses therefore brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the children of Israel: and they saw, and every one received their rods.

Numbers 17:10 And the Lord said to Moses: Carry back the rod of Aaron into the tabernacle of the testimony, *that it may be kept there for a token of the rebellious children of Israel, and that their complaints may cease from me, lest they die.

Hebrews 9:4.
Testimony. St. Paul (Hebrews 9:4.) says it was in the ark. See (Deuteronomy 31:26.) (Calmet) --- It was not the rod with which so many miracles had been wrought. (Tirinus)
Numbers 17:11 And Moses did as the Lord had commanded.

Numbers 17:12 And the children of Israel said to Moses: Behold we are consumed, we all perish.

All perish. Many had been already destroyed. Those who remained, and were conscious of their seditious practices, feared a similar treatment. (Haydock)
Numbers 17:13 Whosoever approacheth to the tabernacle of the Lord, he dieth. Are we all to a man to be utterly destroyed?

Destroyed. They betray the sentiments of their hearts; though some believe that they were now entering into themselves, and desirous to know what they must do to escape the fate of their brethren. God gives them an answer in the following chapter, teaching them that they must refrain from approaching to the tabernacle, unless they be authorized; and provide such things as are requisite for the maintenance of those, whom he has chosen for his ministers. (Calmet) --- Afterwards, he passes over the transactions of about 35 years, in profound silence, that the memory of those who had so often murmured, might perish. (Salien, A.C. 1505. [1505 B.C.])
Numbers 18:0 The charge of the priests, and of the Levites, and their portion.

Numbers 18:1 And the Lord said to Aaron: Thou, and thy sons, and thy father's house with thee, shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the sins of your priesthood.

Priesthood. If you transgress, or if you neglect to instruct and watch over those who are employed about the sanctuary, you shall be responsible for it. (Calmet) --- You must resist those strangers who would intrude themselves into the office, which I have confirmed to you by miracles. (Menochius)
Numbers 18:2 And take with thee thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, and the sceptre of thy father, and let them be ready at hand, and minister to thee: but thou and thy sons shall minister in the tabernacle of the testimony.

Sceptre. Hebrew shebet, denotes also "tribe, family," etc. The princes of families probably bore a sceptre, as we find all magistrates did in the days of Homer. (Iliad I.; Virgil, Aeneid XII.) (Calmet) --- All the other children of Aaron's father, were to be in the order of the Levites, among whom even Moses left his own family, though he was himself an extraordinary priest. (Haydock)
Numbers 18:3 And the Levites shall watch to do thy commands, and about all the works of the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary nor the altar, lest both they die, and you also perish with them.

Numbers 18:4 But let them be with thee, and watch in the charge of the tabernacle, and in all the ceremonies thereof. A stranger shall not join himself with you.

Stranger; even born of a woman of the tribe of Levi. (Maimonides)
Numbers 18:5 Watch ye in the charge of the sanctuary, and in the ministry of the altar: lest indignation rise upon the children of Israel.

Numbers 18:6 I have given you your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel, and have delivered them for a gift to the Lord, to serve in the ministries of the tabernacle.

Numbers 18:7 But thou and thy sons look ye to the priesthood: and all things that pertain to the service of the altar, and that are within the veil, shall be executed by the priests. If any stranger shall approach, he shall be slain.

Priests. Hebrew, "you shall serve in the ministry of priests which I have given you." The office was not due to them on account of any superior merit. (Haydock)
Numbers 18:8 And the Lord said to Aaron: Behold I have given thee the charge of my first-fruits. All things that are sanctified by the children of Israel, I have delivered to thee, and to thy sons for the priestly office, by everlasting ordinances.

Charge, as stewards or dispensers (Calmet) of what is offered to me; part of which I abandon to your use, as long as your republic shall subsist. (Menochius) --- First-fruits, or "heave-offerings," which comprised also the victims, first-born, etc., over which the high priest had a general inspection. --- Office. Hebrew, "unction." Septuagint, "as a reward," or salary for your labour, in performing the duty of priest. (Calmet)
Numbers 18:9 These therefore shalt thou take of the things that are sanctified, and are offered to the Lord. Every offering, and sacrifice, and whatsoever is rendered to me for sin and for trespass, and becometh holy of holies, shall be for thee, and thy sons.

And are. Hebrew, "This shall be thine, of the most holy things, from the fire." Some parts of the victims for sin and of the libations, were to be consumed, while the rest was given to the priests. These libations were not properly styled holy of holies, (which were to be eaten only in the holy place, by those who were in actual service) no more than the peace-offerings were, of which even women might partake, ver. 11, 12., and Leviticus 10:14.
Numbers 18:10 Thou shalt eat it in the sanctuary: the males only shall eat thereof, because it is a consecrated thing.

Numbers 18:11 But the first-fruits, which the children of Israel shall vow and offer, I have given to thee, and to thy sons, and to thy daughters, by a perpetual law. He that is clean in thy house, shall eat them.

House, perpetually. Hired servants were not admitted to eat of them, Leviticus 22:10. (Calmet)
Numbers 18:12 All the best of the oil, and of the wine, and of the corn, whatsoever first-fruits they offer to the Lord, I have given them to thee.

The best, (medullam.) Literally, "the marrow." (Haydock) --- The fattest and most delicious. (Menochius)
Numbers 18:13 All the first-ripe of the fruits, that the ground bringeth forth, and which are brought to the Lord, shall be for thy use: he that is clean in thy house, shall eat them.

First-ripe, (initia.) "The beginnings" (Haydock) of the fruit of trees, in the fourth year, Leviticus 19:24. It may also comprise all the fruits of the earth. (Calmet) --- First-fruits must be distinguished from tithes, which were only the tenth part. The former were offered immediately to the Lord, but the latter to the priests, etc., for their support. Besides the first-fruits of ears of corn at the Passover, and of bread at Pentecost, and at every weekly baking, first-fruits were to be given in the 7th month of the harvest and of the vintage, according to each person's generosity, provided he gave between the 40th and the 60th part of his revenue; and these last are commonly the first-fruits meant in Scripture. --- Lord, in sacrifice. If they were given to the priest, the unclean might partake of them. (Menochius)
Numbers 18:14 Every thing that the children of Israel shall give by vow, shall be thine.

Numbers 18:15 Whatsoever is first-born of all flesh, which they offer to the Lord, whether it be of men, or of beasts, shall belong to thee: only for the first-born of man thou shalt take a price, and every beast that is unclean, thou shalt cause to be redeemed;

Beast. The Rabbins restrain this to the ass alone, which they pretend was deemed the only unclean animal by the Israelites, in Egypt, when this law was established; and Moses indeed specifies it alone, Exodus 13:13. (Abenezra) --- But we cannot doubt but that camels, and all other unclean animals, were to be included, if the Hebrews kept them; (Calmet) and those which were rendered impure by some defect, were also to be redeemed. (Menochius)
Numbers 18:16 And the redemption of it shall be after one month, for five sicles of silver, by the weight of the sanctuary. *A sicle hath twenty obols.

Exodus 30:13.; Leviticus 27:25.; Numbers 3:47.; Ezechiel 45:12.
Of it; the first-born of man. The child might be redeemed sooner, and sometimes they waited till after the purification of the mother, or 40 days, as our blessed Lady did, Luke 2:22. (Calmet) --- Five sicles of silver, or about 11s. 6d. English, were then to be paid, unless poverty obliged them to give only two turtles or pigeons. (Haydock) --- Beasts might be redeemed after they were eight days old, Exodus 13:12. Leo of Modena, (p. 1. C. 9,) informs us, that when a child is to be redeemed, at present, the father sends for a descendant of Aaron, who, after enquiring of the mother, if she have had no child before; and of the father, if he wish to redeem the infant, says aloud, "This child, being the first-born, belongs to me; as it is said, (Numbers 18:16,) Thou shalt redeem the child of a month old for five sicles. But I take this (about two crowns of gold) instead." (Calmet) --- But how can these priests prove their genealogy, since the distinction of the tribes has been so long lost? --- Of silver. Hebrew, "according to thy estimation, for the money of five sicles, by the sicle of the sanctuary, which hath 20 geras." (Haydock)
Numbers 18:17 But the firstling of a cow, and of a sheep, and of a goat, thou shalt not cause to be redeemed, because they are sanctified to the Lord. Their blood only thou shalt pour upon the altar, and their fat thou shalt burn for a most sweet odour to the Lord.

Numbers 18:18 But the flesh shall fall to thy use, as the consecrated breast, and the right shoulder, shall be thine.

Thine. So that thy wife and children, if clean, may eat the flesh. (Calmet)
Numbers 18:19 All the first-fruits of the sanctuary, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to thee, and to thy sons and daughters, by a perpetual ordinance. It is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord, to thee and to thy sons.

A covenant of salt. It is a proverbial expression, signifying a covenant not to be altered or corrupted; as salt is used to keep things from corruption; a covenant perpetual, like that by which it was appointed that salt should be used in every sacrifice, Leviticus 2:3. (Challoner) --- Thus God gave the kingdom to David for ever, by a covenant of salt, 2 Paralipomenon 13:5. Salt is an emblem of eternity. Oleaster believes, that salt was used in the ratification of all solemn covenants, to denote their stability. (Calmet)
Numbers 18:20 And the Lord said to Aaron: You shall possess nothing in their land, neither shall you have a portion among them: I am thy portion and inheritance in the midst of the children of Israel.

Nothing. No portion of land, like the other tribes; but only some towns and suburbs, allotted to thy children in the midst of the Israelites. They might purchase land as well as others, and might obtain a property by the vows of their brethren, Leviticus 27:14. Jeremias (xxxii. 7,) and St. Barnabas had land, Acts 4:37. God had provided for his ministers abundantly, without exposing them to much trouble. The Levites enjoyed the tithes of all the produce of the country, besides the first-fruits of corn, dough, etc., and some parts of each beast that was killed in the town, Deuteronomy 18:3. The priests, who were still fewer in number, enjoyed the 100th part of the revenue of all Israel, receiving tithes from the Levites, and innumerable accidental offerings of wine, etc., which made Philo say (de praem. Sacerd.) that "the law of Moses gave the priests all the splendour of kings." They might, therefore, be zealous to preserve religion for their own temporal advantages. --- I am, etc. God promises to reward those who serve him with fidelity, Deuteronomy 18:1., and Josue 13:14. The priests of the new law ought more particularly to serve him with disinterestedness, for his own sake. (Calmet) --- Of this they are reminded, when they take the first step towards holy orders. The bishop cuts off some of their hair in the form of a cross, while they recite, The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup; it is Thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me, Psalm 15:5. (Pontif. Rom.) (Haydock) --- "Some possess riches, while they serve Christ, who appeared in the garb of poverty." (St. Jerome, ad Nepot.)
Numbers 18:21 And I have given to the sons of Levi all the tithes of Israel for a possession, for the ministry wherewith they serve me in the tabernacle of the covenant:

Numbers 18:22 That the children of Israel may not approach any more to the tabernacle, nor commit deadly sin,

Deadly sin. That is, sin which will bring death after it. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "lest they bear sin unto death," and fall like their brethren, (Numbers 17:13.) (Haydock)
Numbers 18:23 But only the sons of Levi may serve me in the tabernacle, and bear the sins of the people. It shall be an everlasting ordinance in your generations. *They shall not possess any other thing,

Deuteronomy 18:1.
People; or the Hebrew may be also, "they shall bear their own iniquity." If they prove negligent in performing their duty, they shall be punished; and if they do not restrain the people from approaching the tabernacle, they shall be answerable for their offence, and both shall incur death. (Calmet) --- They shall, however, save their own souls, if they have not been deficient in instructing the people, and in doing their utmost to prevent any profanation. (Haydock)
Numbers 18:24 But be content with the oblation of tithes, which I have separated for their uses and necessities.

Numbers 18:25 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 18:26 Command the Levites, and declare unto them: When you shall receive of the children of Israel the tithes, which I have given you, offer the first-fruits of them to the Lord, that is to say, the tenth part of the tenth:

Numbers 18:27 That it may be reckoned to you as an oblation of first-fruits, as well of the barn-floors as of the wine-presses:

As an. Thus you will perform your duty, as well as if you gave corn and wine of your own growth. (Menochius) --- Presses. Hebrew yakeb, means also the tub where wine was kept. Jonathan translates, "as the ripe (old) wine of the tub of your wine-press;" insinuating that the wine must be fit for use. (ver. 29, 30.) (Calmet)
Numbers 18:28 And of all the things of which you receive tithes, offer the first-fruits to the Lord, and give them to Aaron the priest.

Numbers 18:29 All the things that you shall offer of the tithes, and shall separate for the gifts of the Lord, shall be the best and choicest things.

Numbers 18:30 And thou shalt say to them: If you offer all the goodly and the better things of the tithes, it shall be reckoned to you as if you had given the first-fruits of the barn-floor and the wine-press:

Numbers 18:31 And you shall eat them in all your places, both you and your families: because it is your reward for the ministry, wherewith you serve in the tabernacle of the testimony.

Numbers 18:32 And you shall not sin in this point, by reserving the choicest and fat things to yourselves, lest you profane the oblations of the children of Israel, and die.

By, etc. Hebrew, "when you have made a heave-offering of the best of it; nor shall you profane the holy things of," etc. (Haydock) --- This they would do, if they gave the worst only to the priests. (Du Hamel) --- There were only three at this time; yet they received the 100th part of the produce of so many thousands. Well therefore might God say, I will fill the souls of the priests with fatness: and my people shall be filled with good things, Jeremias 31:14. (Tirinus)
Numbers 19:0 The law of the sacrifice of the red cow, and the water of expiation.

Numbers 19:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

Numbers 19:2 This is the observance of the victim, which the Lord hath ordained. Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee a red cow of full age, in which there is no blemish, and which hath not carried the yoke:

Observance. Hebrew, "ceremony." Septuagint, "distinction, (diastole, St. Augustine, q. 33,) or ordinance." (Calmet) --- Victim. Hebrew, "the ordinance of the law." (Du Hamel) --- A red cow, etc. This red cow, offered in sacrifice for sin, and consumed with fire without the camp, with the ashes of which, mingled with water, the unclean were to be expiated and purified; was a figure of the passion of Christ, by whose precious blood, applied to our souls in the holy sacraments, we are cleansed from our sins. (Challoner) --- Age, three years old. Some translate, "entirely red." They suppose, that these regulations are in opposition to the customs of the Egyptians, who never sacrificed the cow, esteeming it sacred to Isis, or to the moon. Spencer (Rit. 2:15) adds, that the red colour was formerly in the highest estimation; and this victim represented the death of Christ, who expiated our defilements. The Egyptians immolated bulls of a red colour, in hatred of Typhon, and to appease that dangerous god, whom they depicted perfectly red. Plut.[Plutarch?] (Isis) observes, that they hate all animals of that colour; and the Copths precipitate a red ass down a precipice. The ancient kings of Egypt sacrificed red men on the tomb of Osiris or Dyphon; (Diod. Bib. 1,) and Manetho assures us, that they scattered their ashes in the wind. If this custom prevailed in the days of Moses, we need not wonder that he teaches the Hebrews to have so little dread of Typhon, as even to chose a red cow in preference, to purify themselves. --- Yoke. Such victims were generally chosen by the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, as more delicate and respectful. Intacta totidem cervice juvencus. (Georg. IV.; Bochart, anim. 2. 33.) St. Jerome (ep. 27,) says, that a red cow was sacrificed every year, as in reality one would be requisite for all the people, though the Rabbins pretend that only seven, or ten at most, were treated in this manner, from Moses till the destruction of the temple by Titus. (Drusius)
Numbers 19:3 And you shall deliver her to Eleazar the priest, *who shall bring her forth without the camp, and shall immolate her in the sight of all:

Hebrews 13:11.
Of all. Hebrew, "before his face." Septuagint, "they shall bring her out, slay and burn her before him," which must be referred to some other priests, who accompanied Eleazar on this occasion, ver. 8. (Calmet) --- Aaron did not perform this office, as the sacrifice was not solemn, but sorrowful, and designed for purification. (Menochius) --- The Rabbins say, however, that the high priest performed this ceremony ever after; and, since the building of the temple, they did it upon Mount Olivet. This is also remarked by St. Jerome, ep. 27. It was thus a more lively figure of Jesus Christ sweating blood on that same ground; as the smoke might represent his ascension, Acts 1:10., and Luke 22:44. (Calmet) --- He died out of Jerusalem, in full age, (ver. 2,) or 33 years old, being wounded in every part for our transgressions, (ver. 5,) setting us an example how to suffer, (ver. 6,) and by his blood communicating virtue to the sacraments, ver. 5. His body, derived from Adam, (or red earth, ver. 2,) was buried in a most clean place, (ver. 9,) and those who crucified him became more unclean; (ver. 8,) while even those who were employed in burying him, (ver. 9,) required to be cleansed by the grace of his passion, which must be communicated to them by baptism, in the name of the blessed Trinity, without which they cannot partake of any of the sacraments, (Numbers 12.) The old law could bring nothing to perfection. Those who lived under that dispensation, were forced to wait till the evening, (ver. 7,) when in the last ages the new law commenced, that by faith in Christ, they might obtain the remission of their sins. Thus we perceive the meaning of many things which to the Jews were veiled in shadows, Hebrews 10. (St. Augustine, q. 33.; Theodoret, q. 36.) (Worthington) --- The Fathers observe also, that the infirmity of our Saviour's flesh, and his liberty in giving and resuming his life, (John 10:18,) were denoted by the cow, which had never been yoked. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:4 And dipping his finger in her blood, shall sprinkle it over-against the door of the tabernacle seven times,

And. Hebrew, "And Eleazar, the priest, shall take part of her blood with his finger." He looked from the pile of wood, where he was standing, towards the west, and sprinkled the blood, and wiping his fingers upon the skin of the cow, waiting till the fire was kindled, before he opened her belly; he then threw into the fire the cedar-wood, etc. (Drusius) --- Others believe that this last ceremony was performed by some one else, (ver. 7,) as it is not clear that Eleazar became unclean. His being substituted instead of Aaron, might shew that Christ would institute a new priesthood.
Numbers 19:5 And shall burn her in the sight of all, delivering up to the fire her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, and her dung.

Numbers 19:6 The priest shall also take cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet twice dyed, and cast it into the flame, with which the cow is consumed.

Dyed, with which the cedar and hyssop were tied together, as being deemed most proper instruments of purifications, Leviticus 14:4, 49. St. Paul informs us, (Hebrews 9:19,) that Moses thus sprinkled the people and the book: and branches of this description were probably used when the people took this holy water, ver. 18. The ashes intimate, that those who have sinned, may be purified by the sacrament of penance, ver. 9. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:7 And then, after washing his garments and body, he shall enter into the camp, and shall be unclean until the evening.

Numbers 19:8 He also that hath burned her shall wash his garments and his body, and shall be unclean until the evening.

Numbers 19:9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the cow, and shall pour them forth without the camp in a most clean place, that they may be reserved for the multitude of the children of Israel, and for a water of aspersion, because the cow was burnt for sin.

Numbers 19:10 And when he that carried the ashes of the cow, hath washed his garments, he shall be unclean until the evening. The children of Israel, and the strangers that dwell among them, shall observe this for a holy thing, by a perpetual ordinance.

Strangers. Even those who had not embraced the Jewish religion. (Grotius) --- Thus, the baptism of Christ brings salvation both to the Jews and to the Gentiles. (St. Augustine)
Numbers 19:11 He that toucheth the corpse of a man, and is therefore unclean seven days,

Numbers 19:12 Shall be sprinkled with this water on the third day, and on the seventh, and so shall be cleansed. If he were not sprinkled on the third day, he cannot be cleansed on the seventh.

Seventh. If he neglect to be sprinkled on the third day, his purification will be protracted till the 10th. As this was the only means of removing the legal uncleanness contracted by touching a dead body, some of the ashes must have been reserved in various parts of the country, after the Israelites were dispersed. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:13 Every one that toucheth the corpse of a man, and is not sprinkled with this mixture, shall profane the tabernacle of the Lord, and shall perish out of Israel: because he was not sprinkled with the water of expiation, he shall be unclean, and his uncleanness shall remain upon him.

Upon him, unless he be excused by ignorance, (Leviticus 5:3, 6,) he shall be slain.
Numbers 19:14 This is the law of a man that dieth in a tent: All that go into his tent, and all the vessels that are there, shall be unclean seven days.

Days. Almost all nations seem to have considered themselves defiled by the presence of a corpse. Virgin (Aeneid, 6:149,) writes, Praeterea jacet exanimum tibi corpus amici---Heu nescis! totamque incestat funere classem.
Numbers 19:15 The vessel that hath no cover nor binding over it, shall be unclean.

Cover. Samaritan, "neither chains nor bands." Formerly boxes were tied down. (Homer, Odyssey viii.) If the covering of any hollow vessel was off, when a corpse was present, it became unclean. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:16 If any man in the field, touch the corpse of a man that was slain, or that died of himself, or his bone, or his grave, he shall be unclean seven days.

Grave. The Hebrews buried it at a distance from towns, and set up some mark to apprise all people, that they might not be defiled for seven days. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:17 And they shall take of the ashes of the burning and of the sin-offering, and shall pour living waters upon them into a vessel.

Burning of the red cow, which was also a sin-offering, ver. 9. (Haydock) --- Upon the ashes they poured some running or spring water. The pagans generally preferred the water of the sea; or if they could not procure any, they mixed salt with common water. Ovid (Fast iv,) mentions a lustration made with the ashes of a calf, mixed with horse blood; and another, which was used in honour of Pales, the goddess of harvests, by the oldest virgin present, who sprinkled the ashes of calves, populos purget ut ille cinis. Athenaeus (IX. 18,) observes that a stick taken from the fire of the altar, was extinguished in water for the purification of the unclean; and the ancient Romans, who had been at a funeral, sprinkled themselves with water, and jumped over fire for the same purpose; as the Greeks were accustomed to place a vessel full of water, at the doors where a corpse was lying, that all might purify themselves when they came out. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:18 And a man that is clean shall dip hyssop in them, and shall sprinkle therewith all the tent, and all the furniture, and the men that are defiled with touching any such thing.

Numbers 19:19 And in this manner he that is clean shall purify the unclean on the third and on the seventh day. And being expiated the seventh day, he shall wash both himself and his garments, and be unclean until the evening.

Numbers 19:20 If any man be not expiated after this rite, his soul shall perish out of the midst of the church: because he hath profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, and was not sprinkled with the water of purification.

Church, or assembly of the people. (Haydock) --- He shall be put to death by the judges, or by God. (Menochius)
Numbers 19:21 This precept shall be an ordinance for ever. He also that sprinkled the water, shall wash his garments. Every one that shall touch the waters of expiation, shall be unclean until the evening.

Evening. The victims which were appointed for the expiation of sin, communicated a legal uncleanness to those who were employed about them. They were looked upon as so holy, that the most pure were guilty of a sort of irreverence by touching them. (Calmet)
Numbers 19:22 Whatsoever a person toucheth who is unclean, he shall make it unclean: and the person that toucheth any of these things, shall be unclean until the evening.

Is unclean, by touching the dead, must remain defiled seven days. But those whom he touches, as well as all who may have communication with them in infinitum, may be purified in the evening. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:0 The death of Mary, the sister of Moses. The people murmur for want of water: God giveth it them from the rock. The death of Aaron.

Numbers 20:1 And the children of Israel, and all the multitude came *into the desert of Sin, in the first month: and the people abode in Cades. And Mary died there, and was buried in the same place.

Year of the World 2552, Year before Christ 1452. Sin, Zin, or Tsin, nearer to Judea than the desert, where the Hebrews encamped before, Exodus 16:1. (Haydock) --- Moses informs us of very little from the time when the people murmured at Cades-barne, in the second year, till the beginning of the 40th year of their sojournment. --- In Cades. The Rabbins assert, they remained there the first time twenty-nine years, (chap. 14:45,) and the second, ten. (Genebrard, in the year of the world 2670.) But we do not believe they continued there above a year the first time. --- Mary. St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Ambrose, suppose she was always a virgin, in which respect she was a figure of our blessed Lady, as well as in her name. She was probably 130 years old, as she was very discreet at the time of the birth of Moses, and employed by Providence in preserving his life, as the blessed Virgin screened our Saviour from the fury of Herod. She had the superintendence over the Hebrew women; (Exodus 15:20.; Theodoret, in Mic. 6:4) and hence many apply to her and her brothers those words of Zacharias 11:8, I cut off three shepherds in one month. Mary died without being permitted to enter the promised land, on account of her murmuring, chap. 12. Thus the synagogue, though proud of her prerogatives, cannot enter the land of rest. (Calmet) --- There. Some place this Cades not far from the Red Sea, (ver. 20,) south of Idumea, while the other was to the north, and nearer Chanaan, being generally called Cades-barne. (Bonfrere and Cornelius a Lapide) (Chap. 20:16.) --- In this place Mary died, four months before Aaron. (Menochius)
Numbers 20:2 And the people wanting water, came together against Moses and Aaron:

Numbers 20:3 And making a sedition, they said: Would God we had perished among our brethren before the Lord.

Brethren, Core, etc., (chap. 16:32,) or with them who died (chap. 11.) at the graves of lust. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:4 *Why have you brought out the church of the Lord into the wilderness, that both we and our cattle should die?

Exodus 17:3.
Numbers 20:5 Why have you made us come up out of Egypt, and have brought us into this wretched place, which cannot be sowed, nor bringeth forth figs, nor vines, nor pomegranates, neither is there any water to drink?

Numbers 20:6 And Moses and Aaron, leaving the multitude, went into the tabernacle of the covenant, and fell flat upon the ground, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord God, hear the cry of this people, and open to them thy treasure a fountain of living water, that being satisfied, they may cease to murmur. And the glory of the Lord appeared over them.

And cried....to murmur. These words are not found in the Hebrew, Septuagint, etc., nor in the new edition of St. Jerome, though they occur in most of the Latin manuscripts. (Calmet) --- If it be an addition, it must be very ancient. (Mariana)
Numbers 20:7 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and assemble the people together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak to the rock before them, and it shall yield waters. And when thou hast brought forth water out of the rock, all the multitude and their cattle shall drink.

The rod, with which Moses had wrought so many miracles, and which was placed in the tabernacle, ver. 9. It is called his rod, in the Hebrews 5:11. We do not find that the rod of Aaron, which budded, was used to work miracles. --- Thou. Septuagint, "you." Both Moses and Aaron concurred in the action, (ver. 12,) but Moses was the chief agent. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:9 *Moses therefore took the rod, which was before the Lord, as he had commanded him,

Exodus 17:5-6.; Wisdom 11:4.
Numbers 20:10 And having gathered together the multitude before the rock, he said to them: Hear, ye rebellious and incredulous: *Can we bring you forth water out of this rock?

Psalm 77:15.; Psalm 77:20.; 1 Corinthians 10:4.
Rock. Your frequent murmurs will stop the course of God's bounty. If God had not condemned the conduct of his ministers on this occasion, we could hardly find any reason to blame them. But the Fathers observe, that they betrayed a want of resolution, and intended to throw the blame upon the incredulity of the people, in case they failed of success. Because they exasperated his spirit, and he distinguished with his lips, Psalm 105:33. See St. Chrysostom and St. Augustine on this psalm. They were not commanded to strike the rock at all; and when the water did not come at first, they struck again, (Calmet) being afraid lest they should now be taken for impostors. (Haydock) --- They speak as if the work was their own. --- Can we, etc. They exasperate the people, instead of promoting their conversion. In a word, they did not glorify God, (Calmet) by representing him as the sovereign holiness and mercy; and the God of unbounded power. (Haydock)
Numbers 20:11 And when Moses had lifted up his hand, and struck the rock twice with the rod, there came forth water in great abundance, so that the people and their cattle drank.

The rock. This rock was a figure of Christ, and the water that issued out from the rock, of his precious blood, the source of all our good; (Challoner) while the striking twice with the rod, denoted the cross, composed of two pieces of wood. (St. Augustine, q. 35.) (Worthington)
Numbers 20:12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: *Because you have not believed me, to sanctify me before the children of Israel, you shall not bring these people into the land, which I will give them.

Deuteronomy 1:37.
You have not believed, etc. The fault of Moses and Aaron, on this occasion, was a certain diffidence and weakness of faith: not doubting of God's power or veracity; but apprehending the unworthiness of that rebellious and incredulous people, and therefore speaking with some ambiguity. (Challoner) --- St. Augustine (contra Faust. 16:16,) does not think them guilty of any grievous crime. (Menochius) --- But this must be left undetermined. (Calmet) --- Land, beyond the Jordan, which is described (Numbers 34:2.) as the land of promise, though the east side of the Jordan was so too. (Haydock)
Numbers 20:13 This is the water of contradiction, where the children of Israel strove with words against the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

The water of contradiction or strife. Hebrew Meribah. (Challoner) --- Sanctified: he shewed the effects of his power and clemency towards the people, and he treated his ministers with a just severity. The Samaritan copy here inserts what we read in Deuteronomy, only it places the speech of Moses in an historical form. "The Moses said, Lord, etc. (Deuteronomy 3:24-28.) Moreover, the Lord said to Moses, you shall pass by," etc. (Deuteronomy 2:4-6.)
Numbers 20:14 In the mean time Moses sent messengers from Cades to the king of Edom, to say: Thus sayeth thy brother Israel: Thou knowest all the labour that hath come upon us:

Cades, not far from Mount Hor, on the confines of Idumea, ver. 22, and Judges 11:16. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:15 In what manner our fathers went down into Egypt, and there we dwelt a long time, and the Egyptians afflicted us, and our fathers:

Numbers 20:16 And how we cried to the Lord, and he heard us, and sent an angel, who hath brought us out of Egypt. Lo we are now in the city of Cades, which is in the uttermost of thy borders,

Angel, who had performed so many wonders in favour of the Hebrews. He is generally supposed to have been St. Michael in the cloud.
Numbers 20:17 And we beseech thee, that we may have leave to pass through thy country. We will not go through the fields, nor through the vineyards, we will not drink the waters of thy wells, but we will go by the common highway, neither turning aside to the right hand nor to the left, till we are past thy borders.

Numbers 20:18 And Edom answered them: Thou shalt not pass by me, if thou dost, I will come out armed against thee.

Edom, the people who dwelt near Mount Hor. Those of Seir, lying more to the west, (Du Hamel) granted them leave to pass, and to buy food, Deuteronomy 2:28, 29. Grotius maintains, that the Hebrews might justly have forced a passage upon this refusal; as St. Augustine (q. 44,) says, that they might lawfully have waged war upon the Amorrhites, on the like occasion; and the holy wars have been defended on the same plea, because the Saracens would not suffer the Christians to go in pilgrimage to the holy land. See Mare, lib. 1:1. But Selden (Mare, claus. 20,) asserts, that princes have a right to hinder others from passing through their territories; and St. Augustine only excepts one case, when they are sure the strangers can or will do no harm. But how can they obtain this assurance? Calmet answers, the long continuance of the Hebrews near the confines of Seir, without offering any molestation, and their being conducted by so holy a general, might give the people of Hor sufficient security. But at any rate the Israelites could not wage war upon them for refusing a passage, since they were expressly forbidden by God: Stir not against them, (Deuteronomy 2:5,) the people of Seir, nor against any of the Idumeans, the children of Esau, who had taken possession of the country of the Horrhites, Genesis 14:6. The Hebrews seem to have been convinced of this, otherwise they would not have feared their multitudes, nor taken such a circuitous road. The angel in the cloud directed them to proceed, without molesting their territory. They went, therefore, towards the south, round the land of the Idumeans, who dwelt near the Dead Sea. (Haydock)
Numbers 20:19 And the children of Israel said: We will go by the beaten way: and if we and our cattle drink of thy waters, we will give thee what is just: there shall be no difficulty in the price, only let us pass speedily.

Price. Hebrew, "I will only do one thing, walk through." Septuagint, "the matter is of no consequence, we go by the mountain." Louis de Dieu translates, "It is not indeed a word, (or idle pretence) I will pass through on foot."
Numbers 20:20 But he answered: Thou shalt not pass. And immediately he came forth to meet them, with an infinite multitude, and a strong hand:

Numbers 20:21 Neither would he condescend to their desire, to grant them passage through his borders. Wherefore Israel turned another way from him.

Numbers 20:22 And when they had removed the camp from Cades, they came to mount Hor, which is in the borders of the land of Edom:

Hor, in the territory of Cades, or Rekem, which is the same town as Petra. (Onkelos; Josephus, Antiquities 4:4.) Hor was part of a range of mountains, like Libanus. The Hebrews encamped at a place called Mosera, Deuteronomy 10:6. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:23 Where the Lord spoke to Moses:

Numbers 20:24 Let Aaron, saith he, go to his people: for he shall not go into the land, which I have given the children of Israel, because he was incredulous to my words, at the waters of contradiction.

People, in the bosom of Abraham, while his body is consigned to the grave. --- Incredulous. Hebrew, "you rebelled against," etc., the words were addressed to both. Septuagint, "you irritated me." (Haydock)
Numbers 20:25 *Take Aaron and his son with him, and bring them up into Mount Hor:

Numbers 33:38.; Deuteronomy 32:50.
Numbers 20:26 And when thou hast stripped the father of his vesture, thou shalt vest therewith Eleazar, his son: Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and die there.

Vesture, or pontifical attire. Eleazar had been anointed already, so that perhaps he stood in need of no other ceremony to be acknowledged high priest. He was dispensed with on this occasion to attend his dying father. The spirit of God gives great encomiums to Aaron, Malachias 2:4-7., and Ecclesiasticus 45:7, 27. He, at the same time, prefigured Christ, the gospel, and the old law. He spoke plainly, and was allowed to enter the holy of holies; while Moses was excluded, spoke with difficulty, and had a veil on his face. See St. Jerome, ep. ad Fab. man. 33. But on the other hand, he represented the law with all its defects. He falls into several great faults, and dies despoiled of his glorious vestments, to shew the abrogation of his priesthood. The pagans have, perhaps, introduced some parts of his history into that of Mercury, the god of thieves and of travellers, the messenger of the other gods, whom they adorn with a wand, etc., in imitation of the rod of Aaron, who was the interpreter of Moses, and the head of that people, which wandered for 40 years, after plundering Egypt. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:27 Moses did as the Lord had commanded: and they went up into Mount Hor before all the multitude.

Numbers 20:28 And when he had stripped Aaron of his vestments, he vested Eleazar, his son, with them.

Numbers 20:29 And Aaron being dead in the top of the mountain, he came down with Eleazar.

Dead, in the 123d year of his age. (Menochius) --- Neither Moses, Aaron, nor Mary, representing the Law, the priests, and the prophets of the Old Testament, could introduce the people into the promised land. This honour was reserved for Josue, the illustrious figure of Jesus Christ, and of his Church. (Calmet)
Numbers 20:30 And all the multitude seeing that Aaron was dead, mourned for him thirty days throughout all their families.

Numbers 21:0 King Arad is overcome. The people murmur, and are punished with fiery serpents: they are healed by the brazen serpent. They conquer the kings of Sehon and Og.

Numbers 21:1 And *when king Arad, the Chanaanite, who dwelt toward the south, had heard this, to wit, that Israel was come by the way of the spies, he fought against them, and overcoming them, carried off their spoils.

Year of the World 2552. Arad. This was either the name of the king, or of his city, which was situated in the southern parts of Chanaan, and which fell to the share of Hobab, in the tribe of Juda. (Haydock) --- When this king heard, by means of his spies, or was informed that Israel intended to make an irruption into his country like spies, without declaring war, or by the way which their spies had marked out either just before, or in the second year after their exit; or in fine, by the road, which the Septuagint leave untranslated, Athrim, and which means "of the spies," he resolved to be beforehand with them; and, coming suddenly upon them, took some spoils, or, according to the Hebrew, Septuagint, etc., "captives." These, by the ancient laws of war, he might either sell or put to death. Vendere cum possis captivum, ocidere noli. (Horace) (Grotius, Jur. 3:7.) The Rabbins pretend that this king took fresh courage on account of the death of Aaron, and the consequent disappearance of the cloud, and that he drove the Israelites seven encampments back, as far as Mosera, which they confound with Haseroth.
Numbers 21:2 But Israel binding himself by vow to the Lord, *said: If thou wilt deliver this people into my hand, I will utterly destroy their cities.

Numbers 33:40.
Cities. Hebrew, "I will subject their cities to anathema, or utter destruction." This vow they probably made at the place called Horma, or "Anathema," which was anciently called Saphaad, Judges 1:17. They fully executed their threat under Josue, who defeated the king of Hered, (Josue 12:14,) though they destroyed, at present, whatever they could. Arad was afterwards rebuilt by Hobab.
Numbers 21:3 And the Lord heard the prayers of Israel, and delivered up the Chanaanite; and they cut them off, and destroyed their cities: and they called the name of that place Horma, that is to say, Anathema.

Anathema. That is, a thing devoted to utter destruction. (Challoner) --- The explanation of Horma is inserted by St. Jerome. (Haydock)
Numbers 21:4 And they marched from Mount Hor, by the way that leadeth to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom. And the people began to be weary of their journey and labour:

Edom, one of the princes, had refused them a passage; upon which they went by Salmona to Phunon, (chap. 33:37, 42,) where they probably murmured, (chap. 5.,) and were bitten by the serpents, as we read in this chapter. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:5 And speaking against God and Moses, they said: Why didst thou bring us out of Egypt, to die in the wilderness? There is no bread, nor have we any waters: our soul now loatheth this very light food.

God. They had before often directed their complaints against the two brothers. Now, Aaron being no more, they attack God himself, who had always resented the injury done to his ministers. --- Food. So they call the heavenly manna: thus worldlings loathe the things of heaven, for which they have no relish. (Challoner) --- Septuagint, "our soul is indignant at this most empty bread," which has no solidity in it, nor support. Many translate the Hebrew, "most vile bread." Thus, in the blessed eucharist, the substance of bread is removed, and the accidents only appear; so that to the worldly receiver, it seems very empty and light, though in reality it be supersubstantial; containing Christ himself, who fills the worthy communicant with grace and comfort, and enables him to go forward, on the road to heaven, without fainting. (Haydock)
Numbers 21:6 *Wherefore the Lord sent among the people fiery serpents, which bit them, and killed many of them.

Judith 8:25.; Wisdom 16:5.; 1 Corinthians 10:9.
Fiery serpents. They are so called, because they that were bitten by them were burnt with a violent heat. (Challoner) --- Hence they are called seraphim, by which name an order of angels is known. The Egyptians adored a serpent which they called serapis, at Rome; and they represented their god serapis, with a serpent entwining a monstrous figure, composed of a lion, a dog, and a wolf. (Macrob. Saturn 1:20.) The seraph was a winged serpent, Isaias 14:29. 30:6. Such often infested Egypt, in spring, coming from Arabia, unless they were intercepted by the ibis. Their wings resembled those of bats. (Herodotus, 2:76.; Mela, etc.) God probably sent some of this description into the camp of the Israelites. (Calmet) --- Some call them proester, (Pliny, [Natural History?] 24:13,) from their burning; others the hydra, or, when out of water, the chershydra, the venom of which is most dangerous. The Septuagint style them simply, "the destroying, or deadly serpents." See Bochart, T. 2:B. 3:13.; Deuteronomy 8:15.; Wisdom 16:5, 10.) (Haydock)
Numbers 21:7 Upon which they came to Moses, and said: We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and thee: pray that he may take away these serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people:

Numbers 21:8 And the Lord said to him: Make a brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: whosoever being struck shall look on it, shall live.

Brazen. Hebrew, "fiery." But in the following verse, it is said to have been "of brass." We might translate, "make a seraph, and fix it upon a standard," (Calmet) in which form it would resemble one suspended on a cross. It was placed at the entrance of the tabernacle. (St. Justin Martyr, First Apology) Ezechias afterwards destroyed it, because it was treated with superstitious honours, 4 Kings 18:4. Thus the best things are often abused. (Haydock) --- God commands this image to be erected, while he forbids all images of idols. (Worthington) --- By comparing the different passages of Scripture, we may discern the true import of them. Pictures may often prove very useful and instructive. They serve the ignorant instead of books. But then the ignorant must be carefully instructed not to treat them with improper respect, as St. Gregory admonishes. And is not the same caution requisite for those who read even the word of God, lest they wrest it to their own destruction, as both the unlearned and the unstable frequently do, 2 Peter 3:16. If every thing must be rejected which is liable to abuse, what part of the creation will be spared? The Bible, the sacraments, all creatures must be laid aside. For we read, (Romans 8:20, 22,) the creature was made subject to vanity --- every creature groaneth. (Haydock) --- It is probable that Moses represented on the standard, such a serpent, as had been the instrument of death. This was not intended for a charm or talisman, as Marsham would impiously pretend. (Chron. 10. p. 148.) Such inventions proceed from the devil; and the Marsi were famous for curing the bites of serpents, by giving certain plates of brass. (Arnob. ii.) See Psalm 58:5. But this image was set up by God's express command; and the Book of Wisdom (xvi. 5, 7) assures us, that the effect was entirely to be attributed to him, the figure of a brazen serpent being rather calculated to increase than to remove the danger. (Kimchi; Muis) Hence Jonathan well observes, that only those were healed who raised their hearts to God. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:9 *Moses therefore made a brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: which when they that were bitten looked upon, they were healed.

John 3:14.
A brazen serpent. This was a figure of Christ crucified, and of the efficacy of a lively faith in him, against the bites of the hellish serpent, John 3:14. (Challoner) (St. Ambrose; Apol. 1:3.) As the old serpent infected the whole human race, Jesus Christ gives life to those that look at him with entire confidence. (Theodoret, q. 38.) The brazen serpent was destitute of poison, though it resembled a most noxious animal; so Jesus Christ assumed our nature, yet without sin. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:10 And the children of Israel setting forwards camped in Oboth.

Oboth, where Obodas, an ancient king of the Nabatheans, was adored. Hither they came from Phunon, celebrated for its copper-mines, where Bochart believes the Hebrews were bitten by the serpents, though others say that judgment was inflicted upon them at Salmona; which may be derived from tselem enu, "our image."
Numbers 21:11 And departing thence, they pitched their tents in Jeabarim, in the wilderness, that faceth Moab toward the east.

Jeabarim, means "the ford, (of Zared, ver. 12,) or the straits of passages, passengers, or Hebrews; or the hills Abarim," which extended over the eastern parts of Moab. It was the 38th station, (Calmet) at the southern extremity of Mount Abarim. (Haydock) --- After which Moses specifies those of Zared, (ver 12,) Mathana, Nahaliel, Bamoth, Arnon, (ver. 19,) Dibon-gad, and Helmon-dablataim, (Calmet) all on the sides of that mountain, before they came to the summit, which was also called Phasga and Nabo, chap. 33:45, etc. But Pococke reckons only the two last among the stations, and makes those of Abarim and Shittim the 41st and 42d. The Septuagint read, "they encamped in Achelgai, on the other side, in the desert." (Haydock) --- Eusebius and St. Jerome call this station of Jee, Gai or Hai, which they place near Petra, Jeremias 49:4. --- East. The Samaritan here inserts, (Deuteronomy 2:9,) "And the Lord said to Moses, Fight not," etc.
Numbers 21:12 And removing from thence, they came to the torrent Zared:

Zared. The Israelites passed over this torrent, 38 years after the murmur at Cades-barne, (Deuteronomy 2:14,) when God ordered Moses not to attack the Moabites.
Numbers 21:13 *Which they left, and encamped over-against Arnon,** which is in the desert, and standeth out on the borders of the Amorrhite. ***For Arnon is the border of Moab, dividing the Moabites and the Amorrhites.

Judges 11:18.; Deuteronomy 2:24.
Year of the World 2553. Against. Hebrew, "on the other, or on this side of (the river, ver. 14) Arnon," which runs from the east, almost in the same direction as the torrent of Zared, but empties itself into the Dead Sea higher up, near the mouth of the Jordan. (Calmet) --- It divides the Moabites from their brethren, the children of Ammon, who lay to the north-east. The Hebrews encamped on the south side of this river, in the desert of Cademoth, (Deuteronomy 2:26,) whence they sent to ask leave of Sehon to pass through his dominions; but, on his refusal, God ordered them to cross the Arnon by force. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord: As he did in the Red Sea, so will he do in the streams of Arnon.

The book of the wars, etc. An ancient book, which, like several others quoted in Scripture, has been lost. (Challoner) --- St. Augustine (q. 42) thinks this book was written by one of that country. Others believe that Moses wrote a more detailed account of the wars which he had to wage with the Amalecites, (Exodus 17:14,) and these other nations, out of which he has only inserted some of the heads in the Pentateuch. But whether these two verses were taken from another work of Moses, or from the history of some other person, they are now of divine authority. Saul says to David, (1 Kings 18:17,) fight the battles of the Lord,....and the children of God and of Ruben pass all armed for war before the Lord, (chap 32:29.; Calmet) whence it appears, that the wars of the Hebrews were attributed to God. Tostat is of opinion, that the Book of the Just, is the same with that to which Moses here refers. See Josue 10:13., and 2 Kings 1:18. But Theodoret thinks rather, that the former was a more extensive account of the transactions of Josue, out of which the book which bears his name was compiled. Such records certainly existed, to which the sacred historians frequently refer: and it is very probable, that a work of this nature was compiled in the days of Moses, or perhaps before his time. (St. Augustine, City of God xviii.) As it contained a prediction, respecting the future wars, in which the Hebrews were about to engage, it could not but make a suitable impression upon them. It might already be in every one's mouth, and the Hebrew may insinuate, that it would be handed down to the latest posterity: "Wherefore in the history, or account of the wars of the Lord, this also shall be mentioned," jamor, dicetur. According to this interpretation, it would not be necessary to suppose, that Moses refers to any more ancient book, as sepher means also, "a narration" by word of mouth; and Rabbi Menachem believes, that God had revealed this event to Moses, encouraging him with the assurance, that he would give him the victory over the nations bordering upon the Arnon, as he had done over the Egyptians and Amalecites at the Red Sea. See Sixt. Senens. (Haydock) --- Of Arnon, the waters of which are supposed to have given the Hebrews a passage, as the Chaldean asserts on the authority of Psalm 73:15. Habacuc 3:13 also mentions that several rivers were dried up by God. The Hebrew text is almost unintelligible, "From, or against, Vaheb to Supha." As there is no verb, some translate, "he (Sehon) fought against Vaheb (Grotius reads Moab) at Supha, or he came to Veb." Some render this word, he made, "a whirlpool in the torrents of Arnon." But Calmet would substitute Zared instead of Vaheb: "The encamped at the torrent of Zared, and came to Supha, (Deuteronomy 1:1, where we read the Red Sea) to the torrent of Arnon." Protestants translate, "What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, (16) and at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab." (Haydock)
Numbers 21:15 The rocks of the torrents were bowed down, that they might rest in Ar, and lie down in the borders of the Moabites.

The rocks. Some assert, that the rocks fell upon the enemy: others, that they gave way and opened a passage for the Hebrews, while the rivers were also dried up. Hebrew, "They encamped on the stream of the torrents, which bends towards the dwelling (or city) of Ar, and rests upon the frontiers of Moab." Thus the book to which Moses alludes, confirms his account of these different encampments. (Calmet) --- The Septuagint give rather a different turn of these two verses: "Hence it is said in a book, The war of the Lord has burnt Zoob and the torrents of Arnon---and has sent the torrents to inhabit Er: and it lies upon the borders of Moab." The river, it seems, had been removed out of its bead by a subterraneous fire or earthquake, and deluged the city of Ar, belonging to Moab. The mighty hand of God terrified those nations, while all nature fought against the wicked and the unwise, Wisdom 5:21. (Haydock) --- Rocks were hurled upon the heads of the Amorrhites, and the waters conveyed their dead bodies into the vale of Moab. (Worthington)
Numbers 21:16 When they went from that place, the well appeared, whereof the Lord said to Moses: Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

Well. Hebrew Beer. (Haydock) --- This station is not mentioned under the same name at least, chap. 33. Probably the inhabitants had covered up this well with sand, and God having discovered it to Moses, he informed the princes, who pushed their staves down. Upon which the waters appearing, the people sung a hymn of thanksgiving and joy. Water is very scarce, and, of course, of course, of great value in those deserts, where, even still, the Arabs conceal their wells, and often fight to hinder passengers from taking any of the water. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:17 Then Israel sung this song: Let the well spring up. They sung thereto:

They sung. Hebrew, "sing ye unto it," in chorus, men and women. Septuagint, "commence a canticle unto it. This well the princes dug, the kings of nations hewed in the rock, in their kingdom, while they held dominion."
Numbers 21:18 The well, which the princes dug, and the chiefs of the people prepared by the direction of the lawgiver, and with their staves. And they marched from the wilderness to Mathana.

Mathana. Perhaps they did not stop here, though all the encampments are not specified, chap. 33. Nahaliel, "God my torrent," and Bamoth, "the heights," are also situated upon the Arnon.
Numbers 21:19 From Mathana unto Nahaliel: from Nahaliel unto Bamoth.

Numbers 21:20 From Bamoth, is a valley in the country of Moab, to the top of Phasga, which looked towards the desert.

Desert. Hebrew and Chaldean, "Yeshimon," (Josue 13:28; Ezechiel 25:9,) a city of the Moabites.
Numbers 21:21 *And Israel sent messengers to Sehon, king of the Amorrhites, saying:

Deuteronomy 2:26.; Judges 11:19.
Messengers, not from the city of Cademoth, which was in the midst of Phasga, but from a desert of the same name, situated out of the dominions of Sehon, Deuteronomy 2:24. (Eusebius) --- God had already promised this country to Abraham, and though Moses did not intend to attack the king at present, being eager to fall upon the Chanaanites on the other side of the Jordan, God punishes the refusal of Sehon, to let his people pass, by a swifter destruction. (Calmet) --- The measure of his crimes was full, though the mere denial of a passage to such a vast multitude might even by justified by sound policy. (Haydock)
Numbers 21:22 I beseech thee that I may have leave to pass through thy land: we will not go aside into the fields or the vineyards, we will not drink water of the wells, we will go the king's highway, till we be past thy borders.

Wells. We shall content ourselves with the torrents. They had only to travel about thirty miles. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:23 And he would not grant that Israel should pass by his borders: but rather gathering an army, went forth to meet them in the desert, and came to Jasa, and fought against them.

Jasa was not far from the Arnon, between Medaba and Dibon, Isaias 15:4. (Eusebius)
Numbers 21:24 *And he was slain by them with the edge of the sword, and they possessed his land from the Arnon unto the Jeboc, and to the confines of the children of Ammon: for the borders of the Ammonites were kept with a strong garrison.

Psalm 134:11.; Amos 2:9.
Garrison, either against Sehon, or against the Hebrews, whom God did not, as yet, authorize to attack the Ammonites, (Calmet) though the latter knew it not. (Haydock)
Numbers 21:25 So Israel took all his cities, and dwelt in the cities of the Amorrhite, to wit, in Hesebon, and in the villages thereof.

Numbers 21:26 Hesebon was the city of Sehon, the king of the Amorrhites, who fought against the king of Moab: and took all the land, that had been of his dominions, as far as the Arnon.

Arnon. Hence this territory, which formerly belonged to Moab, being taken in a just war, the Moabites could not lawfully retain it, as they attempted to do under Jephte, Judges 11:13. (Grotius, Jur. 3:6.) --- Hesebon, or Esbus, was the capital, and lay over-against Jericho, twenty miles from the Jordan.
Numbers 21:27 Therefore it is said in the proverb: Come into Hesebon, let the city of Sehon be built, and set up:

Proverb. Hebrew Moshelim: "Those who speak proverbs, or enigmas, say." Those were the ancient poets of the Amorrhites, who composed this canticle on the victory of Sehon. (Calmet) --- Moses inserts it in his work, as an additional proof, that the country was entirely lost to Moab, and as a denunciation of the evils which still hung over the head of that people, and would be inflicted upon them by David, etc., (2 Kings 10:1.; 4 Kings 3:16.; Amos 1:13.) (Haydock)
Numbers 21:28 A fire is gone out of Hesebon, a flame from the city of Sehon, and hath consumed Ar, of the Moabites, and the inhabitants of the high places of the Arnon.

A fire and flame, denote the horrors of war, (Judges 9:20.) --- Ar. Samaritan and Septuagint read ad, "hath consumed even the country of the Moabites and the lords (or pillars, Septuagint) of Bamoth, (the heights mentioned in ver. 18, 19,) on the Arnon." These lords may be the principal men, priests, or gods of the city. Jeremias 48:45 reads this passage in a different manner, "it (the flame) shall devour part of Moab, and the crown of the head of the children of tumult." The city of Ar (which some confound with Aroer) always continued in the hands of the Moabites, so that the efforts of Sehon against it, seem to have proved abortive, Deuteronomy 2:9, 18, 29. (Bonfrere) See (Numbers 24:17.)
Numbers 21:29 *Woe to thee, Moab: thou art undone, O people of Chamos. He hath given his sons to flight, and his daughters into captivity to Sehon, the king of the Amorrhites.

Judges 11:24.; 3 Kings 11:7.
He. Chamos, the idol of Moab, is upbraided as too weak to defend his people. The pagans generally formed their judgments of the power of their gods, by the event; and, if that proved unfortunate, they were ever ready to consign the idols to the flames. Chamos was probably the sun. (Calmet) --- Some say he was Bacchus, whom the Greeks call Komas. (Menochius)
Numbers 21:30 Their yoke is perished from Hesebon unto Dibon, they came weary to Nophe, and unto Medaba.

Hesebon in the north, to Dibon in the southern extremity of the conquered country, near the Arnon, where Moses places the station of Dibon-gad. The yoke, or dominion of the Moabites, was ruined in all those parts. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "We have shot at them; or their lamp, (children or power,) from Hesebon as far as Dibon is extinguished; and their wives (or we have destroyed them) even unto Nophe and Medaba." Septuagint, "Their women have still kindled a fire against Moab." Nophe is probably the Nabo of Isaias, (xv. 2,) in the environs of Medaba, where the fainting Moabites had time to breathe. The fire, which the Septuagint say the women enkindled against Moab, might seem to indicate that the war was commenced on their account, like that which brought on the destruction of Troy. They entailed a still heavier destruction upon their country, when, by alluring the Hebrews to sin, they enkindled God's indignation, chap. 25. With this verse the quotation, from the Amorrhite proverbial writers, concludes, ver. 27. (Haydock)
Numbers 21:31 So Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorrhite.

Numbers 21:32 And Moses sent some to take a view of Jazer: and they took the villages of it, and conquered the inhabitants.

Jazer, a famous city, 15 miles from Hesebon, given afterwards to the Levites. Moses "took the Amorrhites who were there" prisoners, according to the Hebrew; or, "drove them away," (Septuagint) putting to death those who continued to make resistance. (Calmet)
Numbers 21:33 *And they turned themselves, and went up by the way of Basan; and **Og, the king of Basan, came against them with all his people, to fight in Edrai.

Deuteronomy 3:3.; Deuteronomy 29:7.
Year of the World 2553. Og, the king of the most fertile country of Basan, was of gigantic stature, Deuteronomy 3:11. The Rabbins relate many fables concerning him. --- Edrai was 15 miles to the north of the torrent Jeboc, (Calmet) which was the southern extremity of this territory. (Haydock)
Numbers 21:34 And the Lord said to Moses: Fear him not, for I have delivered him, and all his people, and his country into thy hand: and thou shalt do to him as thou didst to Sehon, the king of the Amorrhites, the inhabitant of Hesebon.

Numbers 21:35 So they slew him also with his sons, and all his people, not letting any one escape, and they possessed his land.

Numbers 22:0 Balac, king of Moab, sendeth twice for Balaam to curse Israel. In his way Balaam is rebuked by an angel.

Numbers 22:1 And they went forward *and encamped in the plains of Moab, over-against where Jericho is situate beyond the Jordan.

Year of the World 2553, Year before Christ 1451. Plains. Septuagint, "to the west of Moab." These plains had formerly belonged to that people, but the Hebrews had lately taken them from Sehon, and intended now to pass over the Jordan. The Moabites, however, being jealous of their growing power, called in the aid of the Madianites, and of the magician Balaam, and, by their wanton provocation, brought destruction upon themselves. We know not exactly the extent of the dominions of the Moabites. They seemed to have lost the greatest part of the country north of the Arnon. Their last town and capital was Ar, chap. 21:13. Yet they still kept possession of Mount Phasga. (Calmet)
Numbers 22:2 And Balac, the son of Sephor, seeing all that Israel had done to the Amorrhite,

Numbers 22:3 And that the Moabites were in great fear of him, and were not able to sustain his assault,

Numbers 22:4 He said to the elders of Madian: So will this people destroy all that dwell in our borders, as the ox is wont to eat the grass to the very roots. Now he was at that time king in Moab.

Elders of Madian, who dwelt also upon the Arnon, towards the lake of Sodom. These Madianites were a different people from those who inhabited the country to the east of the Red Sea. (St. Jerome) --- They were not governed by kings, but by an aristocracy, or senate of princes. (Haydock)
Numbers 22:5 *He sent therefore messengers to Balaam, the son of Beor, a soothsayer, who dwelt by the river of the land of the children of Ammon, to call him, and to say: Behold a people is come out of Egypt, that hath covered the face of the earth, sitting over-against me.

Josue 24:9.
Beor. St. Peter 2:11-15 reads Bosor. --- A soothsayer, or magician, (ariolum) as this word always indicates, Josue 13:22. The Hebrews believe he was once a true prophet, a descendant of Buz, the son of Melcha, and the same as Eliu, the friend of Job. (St. Jerome, q. 3. Hebrew in Genesis) He certainly foretold the Messias, or star of Jacob, by divine inspiration, chap. 24:17. (Haydock) --- He consults and acknowledges the true God, ver. 8, 18, 20. Origen (hom. 13,) believes that he left a book of his prophecies, which was known to the wise men, and discovered to them the birth of the Messias; and some Rabbins think that Moses has here inserted from that work what relates to Balaam. St. Augustine (q. 48,) shews that he was a wicked man, of whom nevertheless God made use to convey important instructions; and that he is one of those reprobates who will say, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? He is placed with Cain and Core, St. Jude 11. St. Ambrose (ep. 50,) observes, that he might prophesy, like Caiphas, without knowing what he said, and that the gift of prophecy on this occasion, was no proof of his virtue. Many of the Fathers look upon him as a mere magician, who could utter no blessing, but only curses, by the rules of his infernal art. He did not design to consult God, but the Lord puts answers into his mouth. (Theodoret, q. 39, 42.) The method of consultation seemed to border on superstition. He wished to make God change his resolutions, as if he were an idol, and attempted to evade the impressions of his spirit. (Calmet) --- The river, Euphrates, which waters the country of the Ammonites. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "to Pethora, which is by the land of the children of his people." St. Jerome has translated Pethora "soothsayer," and has left Ammon undeclined. (Haydock) --- The Chaldean informs us, that he was a resident at Petor, a city of Syria, on the Euphrates. It is probably the same town with the Pacora of Ptolemy, near Thapsacus. Balaam is styled an Aramean; (chap. 23:17,) and we know that he came from Mesopotamia. Hebrew Aram Naharaim, (Deuteronomy 23:4.; Calmet) or "Syria, between the two rivers," the Euphrates and Tigris. (Salien) --- Me, ready to fall upon my dominions. It appears hence, that Balaam was in high estimation, since a distant king depends more upon his power, than upon the efforts of all his own armies, and those of his auxiliaries, and is willing to pay him for cursing his enemies at so dear a rate. Perhaps he thought that they employed magical arts to conquer their enemies, by prayer. See Exodus 17:11.; Origen, hom. 13. (Haydock)
Numbers 22:6 Come therefore, and curse this people, because it is mightier than I: if by any means I may beat them and drive them out of my land: for I know that he whom thou shalt bless is blessed, and he whom thou shalt curse is cursed.

Curse. The ancients placed great confidence in those whom they believed to be under the guidance of a superior spirit, whether good or bad. They thought their blessing or cursing would surely have its effect. By means of charms, they also strove to evoke or draw off the tutelary god of a place, before they could expect to take possession of it. Hence, as it was requisite to mention the true name of the place, fictitious names were given to most cities of importance, while the real appellation was kept a profound secret; and Valerius Soranus was severely punished for discovering the name of Rome, Valentia. See Pliny, [Natural History?] 3:5.; Solin. ii.; Plut.[Plutarch?] prob. vi. (Calmet) --- Rome, in Greek, has the same import as Valentia in Latin, and signifies strength. (Haydock) --- Macrobius has preserved the form of a solemn curse, pronounced by the Roman general against the Carthaginians, Saturn 3:9.: "Dis Pater, or Jupiter, or if you prefer any other title, I beg that you will send fright and terror, and put this city of Carthage, and this army which I intend to specify, to flight, etc. If you will perform these things, according to my intention, I promise to offer in sacrifice to you, O earth, mother of all things, and to you, great god Jupiter, three black sheep." Thus, probably, Balac wished the Hebrews to be devoted or cursed. (Calmet)
Numbers 22:7 And the ancients of Moab, and the elders of Madian, went with the price of divination in their hands. And when they were come to Balaam, and had told him all the words of Balac,

The price. Hebrew literally, "the enchantments." But they took money, to engage the soothsayer to comply more readily with their iniquitous request, 2 Peter 2:15. (Septuagint, etc.) It was customary to offer presents to the prophets, 1 Kings 9:7.
Numbers 22:8 He answered: Tarry here this night, and I will answer whatsoever the Lord shall say to me. And while they stayed with Balaam, God came and said to him:

Night. He was accustomed to exercising his art by night; loving darkness, for his works were evil, John 3:19. (Haydock)
Numbers 22:9 What mean these men that are with thee?

Numbers 22:10 He answered: Balac, the son of Sephor, king of the Moabites, hath sent to me,

Numbers 22:11 Saying: Behold a people that is come out of Egypt, hath covered the face of the land: come and curse them, if by any means I may fight with them and drive them away.

Numbers 22:12 And God said to Balaam : Thou shalt not go with them, nor shalt thou curse the people: because it is blessed.

Numbers 22:13 And he rose in the morning and said to the princes: Go into your country, because the Lord hath forbid me to come with you.

Numbers 22:14 The princes returning, said to Balac: Balaam would not come with us.

Numbers 22:15 Then he sent many more, and more noble, than he had sent before:

Numbers 22:16 Who, when they were come to Balaam, said: Thus saith Balac, the son of Sephor: Delay not to come to me:

Numbers 22:17 For I am ready to honour thee, and will give thee whatsoever thou wilt: come and curse this people.

Numbers 22:18 Balaam answered: *If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot alter the word of the Lord my God, to speak either more or less.

Numbers 24:13.
Less. Not that he was resolved to comply with God's will, but because he found an insuperable impediment to oppose it at present. (Calmet)
Numbers 22:19 I pray you to stay here this night also, that I may know what the Lord will answer me once more.

To stay. His desiring them to stay, after he had been fully informed already that it was not God's will he should go, came from the inclination he had to gratify Balac for the sake of worldly gain. And this perverse disposition God punished by permitting him to go, (though not to curse the people, as he would willingly have done) and suffering him to fall still deeper and deeper into sin, till he came at last to give that abominable counsel against the people of God, which ended in his own destruction. So sad a thing it is to indulge a passion for money. (Challoner) (St. Augustine, q. 48.) --- Philo (de vita, Mos. I.) thinks that Balaam feigned this leave of God, ver. 22. (Calmet)
Numbers 22:20 God therefore came to Balaam in the night, and said to him: If these men be come to call thee, arise and go with them: yet so that thou do what I shall command thee.

Numbers 22:21 Balaam arose in the morning, and saddling his ass went with them.

Numbers 22:22 *And God was angry. And an angel of the Lord stood in the way against Balaam, who sat on the ass, and had two servants with him.

2 Peter 2:15.
Angry. Either because he had not granted him permission to go, or he saw that Balaam was disposed to curse the Israelites, ver. 32. Septuagint, "the angel (Michael) rose up on the road to oppose him, " diaballein. Literally, "to calumniate, accuse, resist, or to be a satan." Hence diabolus means an accuser, opponent, calumniator, etc. (St. Augustine) (Haydock)
Numbers 22:23 The ass seeing the angel standing in the way, with a drawn sword, turned herself out of the way, and went into the field. And when Balaam beat her, and had a mind to bring her again to the way,

Ass. The angel appeared thrice to the ass, before he was perceived by Balaam, chap. 29:3, 4. The second time, St. Augustine (q. 50,) thinks he was standing in the vineyard. (Calmet)
Numbers 22:24 The angel stood in a narrow place between two walls, wherewith the vineyards were inclosed.

Numbers 22:25 And the ass seeing him, thrust herself close to the wall, and bruised the foot of the rider. But he beat her again:

Numbers 22:26 And nevertheless the angel going on to a narrow place, where there was no way to turn aside, either to the right hand or to the left, stood to meet him.

Numbers 22:27 And when the ass saw the angel standing, she fell under the feet of the rider: who, being angry, beat her sides more vehemently with a staff.

Numbers 22:28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said: What have I done to thee? why strikest thou me, lo, now this third time?

Opened the mouth, etc. The angel moved the tongue of the ass, to utter these speeches, to rebuke, by the mouth of a brute beast, the brutal fury and folly of Balaam. (Challoner) --- St. Thomas Aquinas (II. 2. q. 105) says, an angel spoke by the mouth of the ass, in like manner as the devil did by that of the serpent, Genesis 3:Infidels deride this miracle, and some have thought that it was only in the imagination of Balaam, that this dialogue was formed. (Maimonides) --- St. Gregory of Nyssa, seems to think that the ass only brayed as usual, and that the soothsayer, being accustomed to augur from the voice of animals, understood its meaning. But St. Peter says, the dumb beast....speaking with man's voice, forbade the folly of the prophet, 2 Peter 2:16. God did not endue it with understanding on this occasion, but only formed, by its mouth, such sounds as might serve to repress the cruel folly of Balaam. But he was more stupid than the ass. "Being accustomed, it seems, to such prodigies," (monstris) and intent upon lucre, he paid no farther regard to such a wonderful transaction, but held conversation with his ass, without any emotion. (St. Augustine, q. 48, 50.) (Calmet) --- The pagan historians relate many instances of beasts and trees speaking; (Grotius) so that they object to this history, and to that of the serpent, with a very bad grace, as St. Cyril remarks, in his third book against Julian. (Haydock) --- They relate that the ass of Bacchus spoke to him, and the horse and elephant of Achilles and Porus addressed their respective masters, while the oaks of Dodona were famous for their oracles. (Calmet) --- The river Causus said, "Hail, Pythagoras." (Porphyrius, cited by St. Cyril, etc.) (Haydock)
Numbers 22:29 Balaam answered: Because thou hast deserved it, and hast served me ill: I would I had a sword that I might kill thee.

Numbers 22:30 The ass said: Am not I thy beast, on which thou hast been always accustomed to ride until this present day? tell me if I ever did the like thing to thee. But he said: Never.

Numbers 22:31 Forthwith the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel standing in the way, with a drawn sword, and he worshipped him, falling flat on the ground.

Ground, with religious worship; not as God, but as an angel. See Exodus xx. (Worthington)
Numbers 22:32 And the angel said to him: Why beatest thou thy ass these three times? I am come to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse, and contrary to me:

Numbers 22:33 And unless the ass had turned out of the way, giving place to me who stood against thee, I had slain thee, and she should have lived.

Numbers 22:34 Balaam said: I have sinned, not knowing that thou didst stand against me: and now if it displease thee that I go, I will return.

Numbers 22:35 The angel said: Go with these men, and see thou speak no other thing than what I shall command thee. He went therefore with the princes.

Numbers 22:36 And when Balac heard it, he came forth to meet him in a town of the Moabites, that is situate in the uttermost borders of Arnon.

A town. Eusebius thinks it was Ar, the capital.
Numbers 22:37 And he said to Balaam: I sent messengers to call thee, why didst thou not come immediately to me? was it because I am not able to reward thy coming?

Numbers 22:38 He answered him: Lo, here I am: shall I have power to speak any other thing but that which God shall put in my mouth?

Numbers 22:39 So they went on together, and came into a city, that was in the uttermost borders of his kingdom.

City, etc. Hebrew, "Kiryath, chutsoth." Calmet would read Hares, a city mentioned, Isaias 16:7, 11, and styled the walls of brick, (4 Kings 3:25,) being the same with Ar. But then the former town must be situated somewhere upon the frontiers of Moab, as they came from it to the capital. (Haydock)
Numbers 22:40 And when Balac had killed oxen and sheep, he sent presents to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.

With him. Only two servants were mentioned, (ver. 22,) and the princes sent by Balac, ver. 15. Perhaps others from Mesopotamia might attend Balaam. (Haydock) --- The king sent parts of the victims to all. (Chaldean)
Numbers 22:41 And when morning was come, he brought him to the high places of Baal, and he beheld the uttermost part of the people.

People. From the heights or temple of Baal, or the god of Chamos, where a statue or pillar (Septuagint) was erected in his honour, (Calmet) on Mount Arabim, (Menochius) the soothsayer was enabled to take a distinct view of all the camp of Israel, ( Numbers 23:13,) and not of a part only, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions would insinuate. It was deemed necessary to have those present upon whom people intended to vent their imprecations. (Calmet)
Numbers 23:0 Balaam, instead of cursing Israel, is obliged to bless them, and prophesy good things of them.

Numbers 23:1 And Balaam said to Balac: Build me here seven altars, and prepare as many calves, and the same number of rams.

Numbers 23:2 And when he had done according to the word of Balaam, they laid together a calf and a ram upon every altar.

Altar. They both join in sacrificing to Chamos or the devil, whom Balaam styles his lord, Yehovah: but the true God was pleased to hinder the idol from interfering at present, and answered Balaam, in order that he might see the folly of his conduct, and repent; and that others, who are more willing to listen to him, than to the servants of God, might be instructed by his declaration. (Haydock) --- "God's voice is heard sounding from a profane mouth." (St. Jerome, de 42. mans.) (Worthington)
Numbers 23:3 And Balaam said to Balac: Stand a while by thy burnt-offering, until I go to see if perhaps the Lord will meet me, and whatsoever he shall command, I will speak to thee.

Numbers 23:4 And when he was gone with speed, God met him. And Balaam speaking to him, said: I have erected seven altars, and have laid on everyone a calf and a ram.

Speed. Hebrew shephi, may signify also "on the straight road," (Septuagint) "into the plain," (Louis de Dieu) "all alone," (Onkelos) or most probably "upon an eminence." (Kimchi) (Calmet) --- God, in the visible form of an angel. (Menochius) --- To him. Balaam might suppose that he was addressing his idol. But Moses informs us, that the true God or his angel was present, and forced Balaam to deliver an unwelcome message to the king. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:5 And the Lord put the word in his mouth, and said: Return to Balac, and thus shalt thou speak.

Numbers 23:6 Returning he found Balac standing by his burnt-offering, with all the princes of the Moabites:

Numbers 23:7 And taking up his parable, he said: Balac, king of the Moabites, hath brought me from Aram, from the mountains of the east: Come, said he, and curse Jacob: make haste and detest Israel.

Parable. Beginning to speak in a beautiful and poetic style, like a man inspired. (Calmet) --- Mashal, denotes a striking and elegant prophecy. (Menochius) --- Aram, when placed alone, properly means Syria; but when Padan or Naharaim are added, Mesopotamia is meant, whence Balaam came, Deuteronomy 22:5. --- East of Moab, though lying to the north, or higher part of Mesopotamia. (Calmet)
Numbers 23:8 How shall I curse him whom God hath not cursed? By what means should I detest him, whom the Lord detesteth not?

Numbers 23:9 I shall see him from the tops of the rocks, and shall consider him from the hills. This people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Hills. But all in vain. (Calmet) --- I am prevented from cursing him; and if I should do it, my imprecations would be turned into blessings by a superior Being. (Haydock) --- Alone, without standing in need of any auxiliaries, and devoid of fear, Deuteronomy 13:28., and Jeremias 49:31. The Jews had but few connections with foreign nations, keeping at a distance from them, as being of a different religion. (Calmet) --- Indeed, when they applied for aid to the Egyptians, etc., it generally turned out to their detriment, that they might learn to trust in God alone, who would effectually protect them, if they observed his law, as he had repeatedly promised. (Haydock) --- Nations. Israel shall not be like other people. He is under the peculiar care of God, covered with glory, full of confidence, and inspired with the love of independence; so that he will have nothing to do with the rest of the world. (Calmet)
Numbers 23:10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, and know the number of the stock of Israel? Let my soul die the death of the just, and my last end be like to them.

Dust. God had promised to multiply the seed of Abraham as the dust of the earth, Genesis 13:16. Balaam had just beheld several thousands of them, and in rapture, exclaims, according to the Hebrew, "Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel?" Their camp was divided into four great battalions, surrounding the ark and the Levites. Who can tell the number of one of these divisions, much less of all the multitudes there assembled, and what millions may, in a short time, proceed from them? You have reason, therefore, O Balac, to tremble, if they continue faithful to their God. But strive to make friends with them. --- Let, etc. Hebrew may also admit of the version of the Septuagint, "May my soul die among the souls of the just, and may my offspring be like this." We behold in this sentence, the sentiments of all worldly and interested people, who wish to obtain a reward without submitting to the necessary labour. Impotent desires! selfish views! (Haydock) --- "All," says St. Bernard, (in Cant. serm. 21,) "wish to enjoy the felicity which Jesus Christ has promised. But how few are willing to imitate Him who invites us to do it." (Calmet) --- Thus, infidels desire sometimes to die like Catholics, though they will not live in that religion. (Worthington) --- Even those who are in the Church, frequently give in to this delusion, making fine prayers, and, in the time of temptation, forgetting all their sighs and tears, to whom God will say, as St. Gregory justly observes on those words of Job, 41:3, I will not spare him nor his mighty words, and framed to make supplication. For, like Balaam, when the fit of devotion is over, such people are ready to give the most pernicious advice against the lives of those, whom they pretend they would be desirous to resemble in death. "That prayer is vain, which is not followed by continual perseverance in charity." (St. Gregory, Mor. 33:27.) The false prophet says not a word about living like the just; he only wishes, that after his soul has enjoyed all the pleasures of this world, it may depart to joys eternal, while his posterity is left behind in the midst of temporal prosperity. --- Soul die, or be separated from its body. Even Balaam establishes the immortality of the soul. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:11 And Balac said to Balaam: What is this that thou dost? I sent for thee to curse my enemies: and thou, contrariwise, blessest them.

Numbers 23:12 He answered him: Can I speak any thing else but what the Lord commandeth?

Numbers 23:13 Balac therefore said: Come with me to another place, from whence thou mayst see part of Israel, and canst not see them all: curse them from thence.

Thence. He has a mind to try a new experiment. We have observed, that the object of malediction was to be in view, chap. 22:41. But Balac, supposing perhaps that the multitude made too deep an impression upon the soothsayer, judged it expedient to place him in another situation, where he might see only a part of Israel. Some, however, imagine that he had only seen a fourth part, or the uttermost part of the people, who lay nearest to him before; (ver. 10, and chap. 22:41) and hence, would have him to take now a distinct view of the whole; and, in this sense, the Samaritan and Glassius translate from whence, etc., thus, "for thou hast seen only part of Israel, and couldst not see them all." (Calmet) --- By a similar superstition, the Syrians imagined that the God of Israel was a God of the hills, and that they could more easily conquer his people on the plain country, 3 Kings 20:23. (Menochius)
Numbers 23:14 And when he had brought him to a high place, upon the top of Mount Phasga, Balaam built seven altars, and laying on every one a calf and a ram,

Place. Hebrew sede tsohpim, or "the field of the sentinels." (Chaldean) Such were commonly stationed on the top of high hills, to give notice, by kindling a fire, etc., of the approach of an enemy, Isaias 21:11., and Jeremias 6:1. (Calmet)
Numbers 23:15 He said to Balac: Stand here by thy burnt-offering while I go to meet him.

Numbers 23:16 And when the Lord had met him, and had put the word in his mouth, he said: Return to Balac, and thus shalt thou say to him.

Numbers 23:17 Returning he found him standing by his burnt-sacrifice, and the princes of the Moabites with him. And Balac said to him: What hath the Lord spoken?

Numbers 23:18 But he taking up his parable, said: Stand, O Balac, and give ear: hear, thou son of Sephor:

Hear. Hebrew, "to me." Septuagint read had, instead of hadai, and translate, "Give ear, thou witness, (martus) son," etc. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:19 God is not as a man, that he should lie, nor as the son of man, that he should be changed. Hath he said then, and will he not do? hath he spoken, and will he not fulfil?

Changed. Hebrew, "repent." Septuagint, "to be overawed by threats." Origen, "to be terrified." In the book of Judith 8:15, it is said, For God will not threaten like man, nor be inflamed to anger, like the son of man. (Calmet) --- Do. Will he suffer me to curse Israel, after he has once given me a decided prohibition? (Menochius)
Numbers 23:20 I was brought to bless, the blessing I am not able to hinder.

To bless, not by my own intention, or by that of Balac, but by God, who hath only suffered me to proceed on my journey, on condition that I would declare his will, chap. 22:35. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "Behold, I have received an order to bless;" or, with the Septuagint, "I have been chosen to pronounce a blessing; I will bless, and will not revoke it, or leave off." (Calmet)
Numbers 23:21 There is no idol in Jacob, neither is there an image-god to be seen in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, and the sound of the victory of the king in him.

Image-god, (simulachrum) "a statue." Chaldean, "falsehood." Hebrew may also signify "perversity, or punishment." As long as Israel refrains from idol-worship, and from other transgressions, as they do at present, God will be so far from punishing them, that he will fight their battles, as their king; (Haydock) and at the sound of the silver trumpets, will grant them victory, (Numbers 10:9.) (Menochius) --- The sound. Hebrew, "the shout of a king among them," encouraging his people by his presence and by his words. (Haydock) --- "I behold those who do not serve idols in the house of Jacob....the word of the Lord their God is helping them, and the majesty of their king is among them," Chaldean. (Menochius)
Numbers 23:22 *God hath brought him out of Egypt, whose strength is like to the rhinoceros.

Numbers 24:8.
Rhinoceros. Hebrew ream, which is sometimes rendered unicorn. Bochart thinks it means the oryx, or the strong Arabian goat. The animal, of which the Scripture so often speaks, was remarkable for its strength, (Calmet) and could not easily be tamed, Job 39:9. (Haydock) --- The Septuagint generally translate monoceros, which is a fish, with a horn proceeding from its upper jaw. This is often shewn in cabinets for the horn of the unicorn. There are various animals which have only one horn. Pliny and Aristotle instance the oryx, etc. Various authors of credit specify likewise the rhinoceros, which has "a horn upon its nose," and is found in Ethiopia. The emperor of that country sent one to the court of Persia, which Chardin saw and describes. It is as large as an elephant, and the people have learnt the method of taming both these huge beasts. (Calmet) --- It seems the art was unknown in the days of Job, if this be the animal of which he speaks. (Haydock) --- Moses (Deuteronomy 33:17,) seems to attribute two horns to the ream; and Pausanius allows a greater and a less one to the rhinoceros; the latter is very strong and erect. It is of a brownish colour. (Calmet) --- Whatever may be the precise meaning of ream, it certainly denotes an animal of superior strength, and very formidable. Balaam represents God, or the people of Israel, in this light. God had given repeated instances of his dominion over all nature, in delivering the Hebrews out of Egypt. They were also capable of striking the Moabites with terror, on account of their known prowess, and surprising numbers, ver. 24. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:23 There is no soothsaying in Jacob, nor divination in Israel. In their times it shall be told to Jacob and to Israel, what God hath wrought.

Soothsaying. This may be joined to what goes before, as an explanation why Israel is so much to be feared; because the people have no dealings with the devil, in which case neither he nor all his agents can hurt them, since God is their protector, and will direct them when and how to act. --- Hath wrought. Septuagint, "will bring to perfection." (Origen, contra Cels.) The Hebrew may also signify, "undoubtedly there is no charm powerful enough against....Israel," or "Jacob has no regard for the vain art of divination. Israel does not apply to augury. This very time will be memorable among their posterity for the wonders which God has wrought." Indeed, never was there a greater display of the divine power in favour of the Hebrews, than in this 40th year after their exit from Egypt; and in the following, which was noted for the victories and miracles of Josue. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:24 Behold the people shall rise up as a lioness, and shall lift itself up as a lion: it shall not lie down till it devour the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.

Lioness. Septuagint, "lion's whelp." Some explain the Hebrew, "a lion" of full growth and strength. But the antithesis of the Vulgate is more natural and beautiful. (Calmet) --- The lioness, being solicitous for its young ones, becomes more furious. --- A lion, ready to fall upon its prey. So Israel will not lay down the sword, till he has conquered the nations of Chanaan, (Menochius) and those who dare to molest him. The allusion to the prediction of Jacob in favour of Juda seems very plain, Genesis 49:9. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:25 And Balac said to Balaam: Neither curse, nor bless him.

Neither, etc. When infidels cannot prevail upon people to side with them entirely, in their false worship, they endeavour to induce them at least not to bless, nor follow up the true religion. (Worthington)
Numbers 23:26 And he said: Did I not tell thee, that whatsoever God should command me, that I would do?

Numbers 23:27 And Balac said to him: Come, and I will bring thee to another place, if, peradventure, it please God that thou mayst curse them from thence.

Numbers 23:28 And when he had brought him upon the top of Mount Phogor, which looketh towards the wilderness,

Phogor. Hebrew, "Pehor, which looketh towards Jeshimon, or the desert." This was a part of the same chain of the mountains Abarim, with Phasga, ver. 14. Balac foolishly supposed that in a different aspect, he might still obtain what he wanted; and the soothsayer was no less infatuated in following him. But he soon felt an internal monitor, who informed him, that he need not put himself to no farther trouble, in retiring alone, to prepare himself for the operation of the spirit. More glorious predictions in favour of Israel, presented themselves so forcibly, that he could hardly refrain, and durst no longer forbear proclaiming them aloud, chap 24:1. (Haydock)
Numbers 23:29 Balaam said to him: Build me here seven altars, and prepare as many calves, and the same number of rams.

Numbers 23:30 Balac did as Balaam had said: and he laid on every altar, a calf and a ram.

Numbers 24:0 Balaam still continues to prophesy good things in favour of Israel.

Numbers 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord that he should bless Israel, he went not as he had gone before, to seek divination: but setting his face towards the desert,

Divination. Septuagint, "to meet the birds." The augurs judged of future events by the flying, eating, and other appearances of birds. Hebrew, "enchantments." (Menochius) --- Desert. The plains of Moab, where the Israelites were encamped. He found himself, as it were, involuntarily transported by the spirit of God, ver. 2. (Calmet) --- Yet, for all that, he did not become more holy. Some work miracles, and are damned, Matthew 7:22. (Worthington)
Numbers 24:2 And lifting up his eyes, he saw Israel abiding in their tents by their tribes: and the spirit of God rushing upon him,

Numbers 24:3 He took up his parable, and said: Balaam, the son of Beor, hath said: The man hath said, whose eye is stopped up:

Up. The same term only occurs again, (Lamentations 3:8,) where it may have the same sense, though the Septuagint etc., give it here a quite opposite meaning, "the man whose eyes are open," the prophet. But Balaam alludes to his not being able to see the angel as soon as his ass, as he does, ver. 4., and chap. 22:31. (Calmet)
Numbers 24:4 The hearer of the words of God hath said, he that hath beheld the vision of the Almighty, he that falleth, and so his eyes are opened:

Falleth. Out of respect to God, or in a trance. Septuagint, "in sleep, his eyes are uncovered." He was accustomed to commune with the spirits in the night, chap. 22:8. (Haydock) --- He who is clear-sighted enough in teaching others, neglecteth his own salvation; or, being naturally incapable of diving into futurity, he derives this power solely from the operation of the spirit. (Menochius)
Numbers 24:5 How beautiful are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel!

Numbers 24:6 As woody valleys, as watered gardens near the rivers, as tabernacles which the Lord hath pitched, as cedars by the water side.

Woody. Hebrew also "extensive torrents." --- Tabernacles. Hebrew ahalim, which some render lign-aloes, or stacte, as St. Jerome does, Psalm 44:9.; Proverbs 7:17.; Canticle of Canticles 4:14. The aloe-tree, however, was brought from India, and was not common in Arabia. The Syrian aloe was only a shrub; and this tree, of which Balaam speaks, must have been tall and beautiful. --- Pitched. Hebrew, "planted." (Calmet) --- The Septuagint agree however with the Vulgate. (Haydock) --- Side. Cedars grow very large on the top of Libanus, and are always green; the fruit resembles the pine-apple; the wood is incorruptible. (Sionita 6.) By humility we must rise to the summit of perfection. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 24:7 Water shall flow out of his bucket, and his seed shall be into many waters. For Agag shall his king be removed, and his kingdom shall be taken away.

Waters. Septuagint, Chaldean, and Syriac, "From his seed a man shall spring, who shall have dominion over many nations." This must be understood of the Messias; or, his posterity shall be very numerous; (see Proverbs 5:15, 16) or his country shall be well watered, and his crops luxuriant. --- Agag. Saul lost his crown for sparing the king of the Amalecites, who always took this title, 1 Kings 15:9. Hebrew may be translated, "Above Agag shall his (Israel's) king be exalted, yet," etc., or "and his kingdom shall increase." Philo and St. Ambrose read, "his kingdom shall be raised on high." The Samaritan and some copies of the Septuagint have, "Over Gog;" while others have Og, (Calmet) which may be referred to the king of Basan, who, though lately overthrown, had been possessed of great power and wealth. Israel was not satisfied with the extent of his dominions. (Haydock) --- Those who read Gog, suppose that the victories of Christ over Antichrist are foretold. (Origen, hom. 17.; St. Cyprian, Test. 1:10.) (Calmet)
Numbers 24:8 God hath brought him out of Egypt, *whose strength is like to the rhinoceros. They shall devour the nations that are his enemies, and break their bones, and pierce them with arrows.

Numbers 23:22.
\f + \fr 24:8-9\ft Lioness. See ver. 22, 24, of the preceeding chapter. (Haydock) --- This prediction was accomplished under the reigns of David and of Solomon. (Menochius)
Numbers 24:9 Lying down he hath slept as a lion, and as a lioness, whom none shall dare to rouse. He that blesseth thee, shall also himself be blessed: he that curseth thee shall be reckoned accursed.

Numbers 24:10 And Balac being angry against Balaam, clapped his hands together and said: I called thee to curse my enemies, and thou, on the contrary, hast blessed them three times.

Together, to hinder him from being heard, and through indignation, Job 37:23.
Numbers 24:11 Return to thy place. I had determined indeed greatly to honour thee, but the Lord hath deprived thee of the honour designed for thee.

Honour, or reward.
Numbers 24:12 Balaam made answer to Balac: Did I not say to thy messengers, whom thou sentest to me:

Numbers 24:13 *If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord, my God, to utter any thing of my own head, either good, or evil: but whatsoever the Lord shall say, that I will speak:

Numbers 22:18.
Numbers 24:14 But yet going to my people, I will give thee counsel, what thy people shall do to this people in the latter days.

Counsel, out of my own head. This he was going to do, (Calmet) that he might not lose his reward, when again he found himself impelled by the Lord to speak what was contrary to his temporal interest. After complying reluctantly, God ceased to strive, as it were, with his rebellious will any longer, and left him to follow the bent of his corrupt heart. Upon which he proceeded to give that infernal counsel which involved many of the Israelites and himself in utter destruction. (Haydock) (Chap. 31:16., and Apocalypse 2:4.) --- Days. Hebrew, "Come, I will admonish thee what this people shall do to thy people," etc. Onkelos and Origen, (hom. 18. and 20.) give both senses. (Calmet) --- Indeed, the transactions of both people were so blended, when they were fighting together, that to give the history of one, would be explaining the fortune of the other. (Haydock)
Numbers 24:15 Therefore taking up his parable, again he said: Balaam, the son of Beor, hath said: The man whose eye is stopped up, hath said:

Numbers 24:16 The hearer of the words of God hath said, who knoweth the doctrine of the Highest, and seeth the visions of the Almighty, who falling hath his eyes opened:

Who knoweth. This is a new title which he had not before assumed, ver. 4.
Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near. *A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth.

Matthew 2:2.
Him. The great personage whom I have in view, whose coming is deferred yet for many ages. (Haydock) --- The whole prediction refers to the Messias, whom Balaam beheld by the eyes of his posterity, the wise men, (Calmet) or in the prophetic vision. (Menochius) --- Some modern Rabbins pretend that he speaks of David, who was indeed a figure of Christ, (Calmet) and defeated the Moabites, 2 Kings 5:8. But the prophecy was perfectly fulfilled only in our Saviour's person, who is called the bright and morning star, (Apocalypse 22:16,) to whom all nations were given for an inheritance, Psalm ii., and Acts 1:8. (Worthington) --- Hebrew also, "I see this thy ruin, but," etc. Septuagint, "I will shew to him, yet not now; I will make him happy, (Calmet); but (makarizo, I bless) it, or he does not approach." God executed what he ever promised in favour of all Israel, when he sent them his beloved Son. --- A Star. Christ, the light of the world, the splendour of his Father's glory, whose birth was made known in the East, by a star, or meteor of unusual brightness. (Haydock) --- This material star is not the primary object of the prediction, since it did not rise out of Jacob, but it pointed out the orient from on high, and then disappeared. The ancient Jews understood this passage of the Messias. (Onkelos, etc.) Hence the impostor, Ben. Cusiba, took advantage of this general opinion, to draw the people after him, as the person designated; when he assumed the title of Bar-chocheba, "the son of the star," in the second age [century] of the church. --- Of Seth. Though David, as the figure of the Messias, conquered the Moabites, he cannot be said to have subdued all nations, the descendants of Seth, by Noe, nor all the just of whom Seth was the father, in opposition to the children of Cain. But Christ will subject all the just to his empire, and will judge all mankind. Some, nevertheless, take the children of Seth to be the Moabites, who had been already mentioned; and Junius translates the Hebrew with allusion to the shameful origin of that people. The Samaritan may also signify, if we substitute d for r in korkor, as Jeremias also reads (chap. 48:45,) kodkod. "He shall penetrate the ends of Moab, and shall overturn the walls of the children of elevation, or of pride." There were many hills in the country of the Moabites, and the people were noted for haughtiness, Jeremias 48:28, 29, 45. (Calmet) --- Some also assert, that Seth was the name of a king, (Grotius) and of a town of Moab. (Rabbi Nathan) --- But of this there is no proof. (Haydock)
Numbers 24:18 And he shall possess Idumea: the inheritance of Seir shall come to their enemies; but Israel shall do manfully.

Idumea and Seir. The children of Esau shall acknowledge the dominion of Israel, from David to Josaphat, and again under Hircan, 3 Kings 11:15., and 4 Kings 3:20. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 13:17.) (Calmet) --- Not only the faithful Israelites, but also the profane and headstrong sons of Esau, shall bend the knee before Christ, who will subdue them by the power of his grace, and by the preaching of his disciples. (Haydock)
Numbers 24:19 Out of Jacob shall he come that shall rule, and shall destroy the remains of the city.

City of this world. Jesus will destroy their evil habits, (Origen, hom. 18,) and will select some whose lives had been hitherto scandalous, to be his intimate friends. (Haydock) --- He will save those who abandoned paganism, which had fixed its seat at the great city of Rome, (Calmet) and he will raise up Constantine (Menochius; Tirinus) to rule over Jacob, his people. At his second coming, he will exterminate all who shall have refused to acknowledge his sovereignty, and who have remained out of the city of his Church. (Haydock) --- Those who have fled out of the cities for safety, shall be sought out by David, and destroyed. He slew all the male children of Edom, 3 Kings 15:15. (Calmet) --- In this prophecy, some particulars relate to him, as that he shall subject Moab and Idumea by the valour of his troops, while other things can belong only to Christ, the star, who shall destroy the remains of the city. (Menochius) --- By changing one letter, Calmet would translate, "Princes shall spring from Jacob: but Seir shall perish from his cities." A long train of princes in Jacob prefigured the Messias, while the Idumeans have been unknown for many ages. (Calmet)
Numbers 24:20 And when he saw Amalec, he took up his parable, and said: Amalec the beginning of nations, whose latter ends shall be destroyed.

Nations, which rose up to attack the Hebrews. (Onkelos) --- Saul will punish them, 1 Kings xv. The Amalecites were a very ancient people, known in the days of Abraham, Genesis 14:7. But now they are no more. (Haydock)
Numbers 24:21 He saw also the Cinite: and took up his parable, and said: Thy habitation indeed is strong: but though thou build thy nest in a rock,

Cinite. From the top of the hill, he cast his eyes across the Dead Sea, and beholding the strong holds of the Cinite, whose country had been promised to the Hebrews, he is inspired to foretel what would happen to this people. He alludes to their name, which signifies a nest; (Calmet) and to the manner in which those nations of Arabia lived, in caverns cut out of a rock. (Bellon, 2:61.)
Numbers 24:22 And thou be chosen of the stock of Cin, how long shalt thou be able to continue? For Assur shall take thee captive.

Captive. The Samaritan insinuates that they should return, 1 Paralipomenon 2:55. "Though thy nest should be entirely consumed, thy inhabitants shall return out of Assyria." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "If to Beor (the capital) there should be nests of iniquity, the Assyrians will reduce thee to captivity." Hebrew, "Yet the Cinite shall be wasted, till," etc. (Haydock) --- The family of Jethro was now among the Hebrews, and their posterity were suffered to dwell with the tribe of Juda. Abor afterwards removed into the tribe of Nephthali, and was led away by Salmanasar, 4 Kings xvii. (Menochius) --- Some of the Cinites were mixed with the Amalecites, 1 Kings 15:6. The Assyrians infested the neighbouring nations, as well as the Hebrews, under Sennacherib and Nabuchodonosor, as the prophets inform us. (Calmet)
Numbers 24:23 And taking up his parable, again he said: Alas, who shall live when God shall do these things?

Things, of which he is about to speak. The time is remote, but very dreadful, when the Assyrians shall be chastised, in their turn, as well as the Greeks and Romans, who shall have destroyed Assur, and even the most favourite nation of God. Balaam began by announcing the prosperity of the Hebrews, but he at last gives some comfort to Balac, by letting him know that they shall also be laid waste, as well as his kingdom, and the powerful nations around him. This is the condition of all human things! (Haydock)
Numbers 24:24 *They shall come in galleys from Italy, they shall overcome the Assyrians, and shall waste the Hebrews, and at the last they themselves also shall perish.

Daniel 11:30.
Italy. Hebrew, "Cittim," which Bochart endeavours to prove with great erudition to mean Italy; while Grotius contends it means Macedon, and Calmet doubts not but this is the import of the present text. The Macedonians, under Alexander and his successors, conquered the countries of Assyria, Palestine, etc. Antiochus Epiphanes raised a cruel persecution against the Jews. But many suppose that the Hebrews here mentioned, are the nations beyond the Euphrates. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "ships....shall afflict Heber, and he also shall perish for ever," which seems to refer to Heber alone, and not to those who shall oppress them, as the Vulgate, Septuagint, etc., express it. (Haydock) --- Indeed, we do not find that the Scripture mentions the end of the Roman empire, of which many explain this passage. (Calmet) --- Grotius (Jur. 2:9) maintained that it still subsisted in the German empire. Others think it will be destroyed only in the days of Antichrist. (Tirinus) (Daniel 2:40.) --- But many have asserted that it was overturned by the Goths, and that the Romans are the people who would reduce the Hebrews to the greatest misery, under Titus. (Menochius) --- The kings of Macedon are, however, styled kings of Cethim, (1 Machabees 1:1., 8:5) and they were the immediate subverters of the Persian empire, as theirs fell a prey to the Romans. (Theodoret, q. 44.) (Calmet)
Numbers 24:25 And Balaam rose, and returned to his place: Balac also returned the way that he came.

Place, in Aram. He returned soon after to the country of the Madianites, and was deservedly involved in their ruin. (Haydock) (Numbers 31:8.) --- Perhaps he only began his journey homeward, and stopped on the road. (Calmet) --- As for Balac, he fought against Israel, (Josue 24:9,) at least by endeavouring to get them cursed. Severus says, "he was overcome." But we know not the particulars of the battle. (Haydock)
Numbers 25:0 The people fall into fornication and idolatry; for which twenty-four thousand are slain. The zeal of Phinees.

Numbers 25:1 And *Israel at that time **abode in Settim, and the people committed fornication with the daughters of Moab,

Josue 3:1.
Year of the World 2553, Year before Christ 1451. Settim, which had Abel, "mourning," prefixed to it, (chap. 33:49,) on account of the slaughter of 24,000 of the Israelites, ver. 6, 9. It was situated in the plains of Moab, near the Jordan, and was the last station of the Hebrews. (Calmet) --- In this neighbourhood all the following transactions occurred, which are recorded, till the end of the Pentateuch. (Menochius) --- Balaam, being convinced that the Hebrews would be invincible, as long as they continued faithful to God, advised the nations, who had sent to consult him, to let their daughters converse freely with the Israelites, but not to yield to their impure desires, unless they consented to offer sacrifice to their idols. (Calmet) --- Thus they first captivated their hearts, and then subverted their understanding: For some rejecting a good conscience, have made shipwreck concerning the faith, 1 Timothy 1:19. (Haydock) --- By the same method many have been drawn into heresy. (Worthington) --- The counsels of an able but wicked man, are often followed by the most dreadful effects. That these women were sent by the Moabites, and also by the Madianites, (ver. 6, 17,) instigated by the perverse counsels of Balaam, (Calmet) appears not only from the event being recorded in this place, but also by the express declaration of Moses, chap. 31:7, 8, and of the Apocalypse, chap. 2:14. (Salien, Mic. 6:5.) (Haydock)
Numbers 25:2 Who called them to their sacrifices. And they ate of them, and adored their gods.

Numbers 25:3 *And Israel was initiated to Beelphegor: upon which the Lord being angry,

Josue 22:17.
Initiated to Beelphegor. That is, they took to the worship of Beelphegor, an obscene idol of the Moabites, and were consecrated as it were to him. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "Israel was attached, or married to Beelphegor," the sun, Adonis or Osiris, whom the psalmist (cv. 28,) styles, the dead, because the people were accustomed to bewail the death of Adonis every year, with great solemnity. (Calmet) --- St. Jerome supposes this god "of opening, or nakedness," Beelphegor, to be the obscene Priapus. (Menochius) --- The people fell by degrees into the depth of abomination. They first defiled their bodies with women, then their souls were contaminated by the sacrifices of their idols, till they began really to adore them, and even to consecrate themselves to their service, meaning to ratify their base apostacy from the true God. (Haydock) --- Yet it is probable all those who were cut off by pestilence, were not thus initiated: but only those who were the princes or ringleaders, and who are sentenced to be gibbeted. (Salien) --- The mother of Asa, king of Juda, was not ashamed to preside over the mysteries of this obscene idol, (3 Kings 15:13,) which people worshipped by prostitution. (Villalpand) (St. Jerome in Osee 4:9.) (Tirinus)
Numbers 25:4 Said to Moses: *Take all the princes of the people, and hang them up on gibbets against the sun: that my fury may be turned away from Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:3.
People. Assemble the judges, and by their sentence, hang them who have been most guilty. (Onkelos) --- If any of the judges, or princes themselves, have gone astray, let them not be spared. (Haydock) --- The Jews assert, that the malefactor was always killed before his body was hung on a gibbet; and that crucifixion was not known among them. But the contrary is asserted by many. It is not clear whether these criminals were hung by the neck, or crucified, after they had been first stoned, as guilty of idolatry, or whether they were fastened to the gibbet alive, for greater torment and disgrace. (Calmet) --- Sun; publicly. See 2 Kings 12:11. (Menochius)
Numbers 25:5 And Moses said to the judges of Israel: *Let every man kill his neighbours, that have been initiated to Beelphegor.

Exodus 32:27.
Judges, who had not been guilty. Septuagint, "to the tribes." The judges, and even private individuals, were thus authorized to exterminate the guilty, as the Levites had been before, Exodus 32:27. While punishment was inflicted but slowly, and some perhaps of the more noble were spared, so that Zambri, even became more insolent. God began to supply the defect of his ministers, by sending the plague among the people, as Onkelos insinuates. (Haydock)
Numbers 25:6 And behold one of the children of Israel went in, before his brethren, to a harlot of Madian, in the sight of Moses, and of all the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle.

One, Zambri, ver. 14. (Menochius) --- Went in. Hebrew, "brought unto his brethren, or came....with a woman of Madian." Septuagint, "introduced one of his brethren to a Madianite woman." But the Samaritan copy agrees with the Vulgate; and the ancient edition of the Septuagint must have done so too, since the Fathers explain it in the same sense. (Philo, de vita Mos.; Origen; etc.) Josephus ([Antiquities?] 4:6,) pretends, that Zambri had married the most noble Cozbi, and that Moses finding fault with such infractions of his laws, this prince of the house of Simeon, arraigned him publicly of cruel tyranny and imposture in thus imposing his own laws upon a free people, and that for his part, he would retain his wife and ingratiate himself with many gods, that he might discover the truth. Phinees heard this with just indignation, and following him to his tent, transfixed him with Cozbi, his wife, while those young men who were desirous of imitating his zeal, treated similar offenders in like manner. "God destroyed the rest by the plague, so that not less than 14,000 perished," as Epiphanius translates, omitting dis, or ten thousand, though many copies have only 23,000, which agrees with the number specified by St. Paul, if indeed he allude to this transaction, 1 Corinthians 10:7. Philo observes, that Phinees slew the Israelite who had sacrificed to the idols, and was in the company of the harlot; and , "that 24,000 perished in one day." (Haydock) --- Perhaps 1000 of the heads might be gibbeted, and 23,000 of the common people slain. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 25:7 *And when Phinees, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the multitude, and taking a dagger,

Psalm 105:30.; 1 Machabees 2:26.; 1 Corinthians 10:3.
Dagger. Josephus translates romach, by romphaia, "a sword." Septuagint by seiromasten, a long and sharp iron rod, like a spit, such as people use to try if any smuggled goods be concealed. (Haydock) --- It denotes any sort of offensive weapon. (Calmet) --- The Vulgate sometimes translates, a lance or spear. (Menochius)
Numbers 25:8 Went in after the Israelite, into the brothel-house, and thrust both of them through together, to wit, the man and the woman in the genital parts. And the scourge ceased from the children of Israel:

Parts. Ovid says, Lethifer ille locus, "That place where wounds so often deadly prove." Hebrew kubbak, means a brothel-house just before, a bed, vault, cistern, belly, etc. Septuagint translate, "through her womb." The plague, inflicted by God, instantly ceased, to shew the divine approbation of this exemplary punishment, and all were so much filled with terror and repentance, that it was no longer necessary for the judges to sentence any more to death. An effectual stop was also put to the spreading disorder of both carnal and spiritual fornication. (Haydock)
Numbers 25:9 And there were slain four and twenty thousand men.

Slain. Hebrew adds, "in the plague," or pestilence sent by God, (Psalm 105:29,) and in the punishments inflicted by the judges, "twenty and four thousand." (Haydock) --- The tribe of Simeon, lying to the south, had given way to greater disorders with the Madianites; (Calmet) so that they were found to have 37,100 fewer than when they were numbered before, chap. 2:13. See chap. 26:14. (Haydock)
Numbers 25:10 And the Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 25:11 Phinees, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned away my wrath from the children of Israel: because he was moved with my zeal against them, that I myself might not destroy the children of Israel in my zeal.

Numbers 25:12 Therefore say to him: *Behold I give him the peace of my covenant,

Ecclesiasticus 45:30.; 1 Machabees 2:54.
Peace. He has the honour of restoring the people to peace and to my favour, so that my covenant shall still subsist with them. He shall surely be his father's successor in the high priesthood, and shall not be prevented by death.
Numbers 25:13 And the covenant of the priesthood for ever shall be both to him and his seed, because he hath been zealous for his God, and hath made atonement for the wickedness of the children of Israel.

Seed. A short interruption of 150 years (from Heli to Abiathar, of the race of Ithamar) may be accounted trifling in a duration of so many ages, during which the posterity of Phinees enjoyed this dignity. Phinees succeeded Eleazar, and had for his successors, Abiezer, Bocci, and Elsi. (Calmet) --- Some add Zararias, Meraioth, and Amarias, upon whose death, 1157 years before Christ, Heli got possession, by some means, and was followed by Achitob, Achielech, and Abiathar, of the same family, till David joined Sadoc with the latter, and he was acknowledged sole pontiff on the rebellion of Abiathar, B.C. 1014. See Lenglet's tables. (Haydock) --- We have no proof that the succeeding high priests were of a different family, (Calmet) till our Saviour's time, who re-united in his person the right both to the priesthood and to the kingdom of Israel for ever. See St. Augustine, City of God 17:6. (Haydock) --- God did not promise that no interruption should take place. He only granted a perpetual right to the family of Phinees, (Cajetan) which they might forfeit by their misconduct. (Tirinus) --- He was certainly always disposed to comply with his promise, and really granted the effects of it to the posterity of Phinees, at least for almost 1000 years, even if we grant that the Machabees were not his lineal descendants, of which there is no positive proof either way. Thus, for ever, often denotes a long duration. Though Phinees was entitled already to the high priesthood, in quality of the eldest son of Eleazar, he had before no assurance of surviving him, nor of having a succession of children who might be capable of the high office, and free from every blemish; (Calmet) so that the promise made to him, was not only a ratification of his title, but a new and real benefit. (Haydock) --- Zealous. The Jews allow any person to kill one who publicly, or in the presence of ten people, commits idolatry, sacrilege, fornication with a strange woman, and also a priest who, being unclean, approaches to the altar. This they call the judgment of zeal. (Selden, Jur. 4:4.; Grotius, 2:20.) This practice they authorize by the example of Phinees, Mathathias, etc. (1 Machabees 2:24.) Such liberty was carried to a great excess by the Zealots, in the last siege of Jerusalem; and it would be very criminal, where such a law is not in force. (Calmet) --- Phinees was, however, either one of the judges, and thus gave an example of just severity to his fellow magistrates, or he was inspired by God to resent the public injury done to his name. It is never lawful to kill by private authority. (Roman Catechism p. 3., chap. 6:5.; St. Thomas Aquinas, 2:2. q. 60. 6.) (Worthington) --- Those who act under the influence of inspiration, must be very careful not to give in to any delusion; and the examples of holy persons who are mentioned, with applause, in Scripture, for having been the instruments of God's vengeance, will not authorize us to do the like, unless we can produce the like testimony. (Haydock) --- Atonement, by averting the scourge of God, (ver. 8, 11,) and by putting a stop to the corruption of the people, which might otherwise have greatly increased, if Zambri had escaped with impunity. (Calmet)
Numbers 25:14 And the name of the Israelite, that was slain with the woman of Madian, was Zambri, the son of Salu, a prince of the kindred and tribe of Simeon.

Kindred. Hebrew, "of a chief house among the Simeonites," as Sur was of equal nobility, "head over a people, and of a chief house in Madian," ver. 15. (Haydock) --- He is styled king, and one of the five princes of the nation, chap. 31:8.
Numbers 25:15 And the Madianite woman, that was slain with him, was called Cozbi, the daughter of Sur, a most noble prince among the Madianites.

Numbers 25:16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 25:17 *Let the Madianites find you their enemies, and slay you them:

Numbers 31:2.
Madianites. God spared the Moabites for the sake of Lot (Deuteronomy 2:19,) and of Ruth, of whom David and Christ should be born. They were perhaps less guilty, but they did not escape due chastisement under David, 2 Kings 8:2. (Menochius) --- The war against Madian was the last which the Hebrews waged in the lifetime of Moses, (Numbers 31.) (Haydock)
Numbers 25:18 Because they also have acted like enemies against you, and have guilefully deceived you by the idol Phogor, and Cozbi, their sister, a daughter of a prince of Madian, who was slain in the day the plague, for the sacrilege of Phogor.

Numbers 26:0 The people are again numbered by their tribes and families.

Numbers 26:1 After *the blood of the guilty was shed, the Lord said to Moses, and to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest:

Year of the World 2553. Shed. Hebrew and Septuagint, "after the plague," which destroyed so many. (Chaldean) After all who had murmured were cut off, the new progeny is numbered. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)
Numbers 26:2 *Number the whole sum of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their houses and kindreds, all that are able to go forth to war.

Numbers 1:2-3.
Number. This was done, that the general might know what forces he could muster to attack the nations of Chanaan on the west side of the Jordan, and also in order that the lands might be properly distributed. The war lasted seven years, and the distribution of lands was not completed till some time afterwards. It is not clear that those who were not enrolled at this time, as being 20 years of age, would have any portion, except that of their fathers, allotted to them; but it seems however rational, that those who were arrived at that age when the distribution was made, would have their share like the rest. There were 1820 people fewer than in the register which was taken before, (chap. 1.,) thirteen months after the departure from Egypt. The Levites seem not to have been numbered with the utmost exactitude, as only five families are mentioned, (ver. 58, Jansenius,) though there were many more, 1 Paralipomenon 23:6, etc. Their numbers amount to only 23,000. (Calmet) --- They had rather increased in the desert during 38 years; (see chap. 3:39,) as had also the tribes of Juda, Issachar, and Zabulon, which lay to the east; of Manasses, (who perhaps on that account precedes Ephraim) and Benjamin, to the west; Dan and Aser to the north. Nephtali proved deficient; so did likewise the tribes of Ruben, Simeon, and Gad, who were stationed to the south of the tabernacle. When they were numbered the first and the second time (Exodus 38:25, and Numbers 1:46,) they amounted to 603,550, exclusively of the Levites. Now they could only count 601,730 men fit for war. Considering their frequent disasters, it is even a matter of surprise that their ranks were not thinned still more, particularly as we are assured that all who had been numbered before, except Josue and Caleb, the Levites, and such as had kept themselves free from murmuring, had perished, ver. 64. (Haydock) --- In the particular accounts of the tribes, and in the names of persons, the Septuagint frequently differ from the Hebrew. But the total amount agrees.
Numbers 26:3 Moses therefore and Eleazar the priest, being in the plains of Moab, upon the Jordan, over-against Jericho, spoke to them that were

Numbers 26:4 From twenty years old and upward, as the Lord had commanded: and this is the number of them:

Them. Hebrew, "commanded Moses and the children of Israel, who came forth out of the land of Egypt." The same plan was now to be pursued as formerly.
Numbers 26:5 Ruben the first-born of Israel. *His sons were Henoch, of whom is the family of the Henochites: and Phallu, of whom is the family of the Phalluites:

Genesis 46:9.; Exodus 6:14.; 1 Paralipomenon 5:3.
Numbers 26:6 And Hesron, of whom is the family of the Hesronites: and Charmi, of whom is the family of the Charmites.

Numbers 26:7 These are the families of the stock of Ruben: whose number was found to be forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty.

Thirty. They had lost therefore 2870 men, chap. 1:21.
Numbers 26:8 The son of Phallu was Eliab.

Numbers 26:9 His sons were Namuel, and Dathan, and Abiron. These are Dathan and Abiron the princes of the people, *that rose against Moses and Aaron in the sedition of Core, when they rebelled against the Lord:

Numbers 16:1-2.
Princes. Hebrew, "men of name in the congregation," senators. (Vatable) (Chap. 16:2.)
Numbers 26:10 And the earth opening her mouth swallowed up Core, many others dying, when the fire burned two hundred and fifty men. And there was a great miracle wrought,

Miracle. Hebrew, "they became a sign," of reproach, and a memorial of God's just judgments, who caused the earth to swallow up Core and his companions alive, by a most disgraceful kind of death, to which the faithless vestal virgins were condemned at Rome, being buried alive; while those who had offered incense were consumed by fire. Many of the ancients assert that Core was also burnt, meaning perhaps by the fire of hell; to which he descended. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] 4:3.) --- Others have thought that the children of Core were swallowed up with their father. But this is not true, with respect to some of them at least, (Haydock) who by a miracle of the divine grace and goodness, were preserved from joining in his sedition; (Calmet) while Core, his wife and servants, all concurred to shew them such a pernicious example. (Haydock) --- Lyranus and the Rabbins tell us, that the children stopped to intreat their father to repent; and while the earth opened under them, God supported them in the air, and gave them the spirit of prophecy; so that they sung, (Psalm xlv.) God is our refuge, etc., or, according to others, the Psalm xli. which has their name in the title. But these accounts are to be received with caution. The Samaritan text, fuerunt in fugam, (Calmet) may be translated, "out of this world they fled away, (11) and the sons of Core did not perish."
Numbers 26:11 That when Core perished, his sons did not perish.

Numbers 26:12 The sons of Simeon by their kindreds: Namuel, of him is the family of the Namuelites: Jamin, of him is the family of the Jaminites: Jachin, of him is the family of the Jachinites:

Namuel. N has been substituted for i, in the name of Iamuel, as it is read elsewhere, and in the Syriac, both here and 1 Paralipomenon 4:24, where Ahod is by mistake written with r, instead of d. See also the Arabic. (Kennicott) (Haydock)
Numbers 26:13 Zare, of him is the family of the Zareites: Saul, of him is the family of the Saulites.

Numbers 26:14 These are the families of the stock of Simeon, of which the whole number was twenty-two thousand two hundred.

Families. Ahod is not mentioned, as he, probably, died without children. See Genesis 46:10. (Menochius) --- Hundred. Their numbers were the most reduced. See chap. 25:9. (Haydock)
Numbers 26:15 The sons of Gad by their kindreds: Sephon, of him is the family of the Sephonites: Aggi, of him is the family of the Aggites: Suni, of him is the family of the Sunites:

Numbers 26:16 Ozni, of him is the family of the Oznites: Her, of him is the family of the Herites :

Numbers 26:17 Arod, of him is the family of the Arodites: Ariel, of him is the family of the Arielites.

Numbers 26:18 These are the families of Gad, of which the whole number was forty thousand five hundred.

Hundred. Septuagint add, "4000." This tribe had formerly 45,650. It had lost 5100.
Numbers 26:19 *The sons of Juda, Her and Onan, who both died in the land of Chanaan.

Genesis 38:3-4.
Numbers 26:20 And the sons of Juda, by their kindreds, were: Sela, of whom is the family of the Selaites: Phares, of whom is the family of the Pharesites: Zare, of whom is the family of the Zareites.

Numbers 26:21 Moreover the sons of Phares, were: Hesron, of whom is the family of the Hesronites: and Hamul, of whom is the family of the Hamulites.

Numbers 26:22 These are the families of Juda, of which the whole number was seventy-six thousand five hundred.

Hundred. Juda had increased 1900.
Numbers 26:23 The sons of Issachar, by their kindreds: Thola, of whom is the family of the Tholaites: Phua, of whom is the family of the Phuaites:

Numbers 26:24 Jasub, of whom is the family of the Jasubites: Semran, of whom is the family of the Semranites.

Numbers 26:25 These are the kindreds of Issachar, whose number was sixty-four thousand three hundred.

Issachar had also 9900 more.
Numbers 26:26 The sons of Zabulon, by their kindreds: Sared, of whom is the family of the Saredites: Elon, of whom is the family of the Elonites: Jalel, of whom is the family of the Jalelites.

Numbers 26:27 These are the kindreds of Zabulon, whose number was sixty thousand five hundred.

Zabulon was more numerous by 3100; so that this division had an additional strength of 13,100, while the former was diminished by 45,070 men. (Haydock)
Numbers 26:28 The sons of Joseph, by their kindreds, Manasses and Ephraim.

Numbers 26:29 Of Manasses was born Machir, of whom is the family of the Machirites. *Machir beget Galaad, of whom is the family of the Galaadites.

Josue 17:1.
Machir: 1 Paralipomenon 7:20, we find Ezriel also mentioned. See chap. 31:39.
Numbers 26:30 Galaad had sons: Jezer, of whom is the family of the Jezerites: and Helec, of whom is the family of the Helecites:

Jezer, who is called Abihezer, Josue 17:2, and Paralipomenon.
Numbers 26:31 And Asriel, of whom is the family of the Asrielites: and Sechem, of whom is the family of the Sechemites:

Numbers 26:32 And Semida, of whom is the family of the Semidaites: *and Hepher, of whom is the family of the Hepherites.

Numbers 27:1.
Numbers 26:33 And Hepher was the father of Salphaad, who had no sons, but only daughters, whose names are these: *Maala, and Noa, and Hegla, and Melcha, and Thersa.

Numbers 27:1.
Numbers 26:34 These are the families of Manasses, and the number of them fifty-two thousand seven hundred.

Hundred. Manasses had increased his numbers by 20,500, while
Numbers 26:35 And the sons of Ephraim, by their kindreds, were these: Suthala, of whom is the family of the Suthalaites: Becher, of whom is the family of the Becherites: Thehen, of whom is the family of the Thehenites.

Numbers 26:36 Now the son of Suthala was Heran, of whom is the family of the Heranites.

Numbers 26:37 These are the kindreds of the sons of Ephraim: whose number was thirty-two thousand five hundred.

Ephraim had lost 8000. (Haydock)
Numbers 26:38 These are the sons of Joseph, by their families. The sons of Benjamin in their kindreds: Bela, of whom is the family of the Belaites: Asbel, of whom is the family of the Asbelites: Ahiram, of whom is the family of the Ahiramites:

Bela was the father of two families, ver. 40. The other five children of Benjamin probably left no issue, Genesis 46:21. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 26:39 Supham, of whom is the family of the Suphamites: Hupham, of whom is the family of the Huphamites.

Numbers 26:40 The sons of Bela: Hered, and Noeman. Of Hered, is the family of the Heredites: of Noeman, the family of the Noemanites.

Numbers 26:41 These are the sons of Benjamin, by their kindreds, whose number was forty-five thousand six hundred.

Benjamin had 10,200 added to his former number. Hence this division of the army, though hurt by Ephraim, (ver. 37,) had an increase of 22,700.
Numbers 26:42 The sons of Dan, by their kindreds: Suham, of whom is the family of the Suhamites: these are the kindreds of Dan, by their families.

Numbers 26:43 All were Suhamites, whose number was sixty-four thousand four hundred.

Suhamites. Their father is called Huthim in Genesis, and also by the Septuagint. This branch of Dan was more numerous than formerly by 1700 soldiers.
Numbers 26:44 The sons of Aser, by their kindreds: Jemna, of whom is the family of the Jemnaites: Jessui, of whom is the family of the Jessuites: Brie, of whom is the family of the Brieites.

Numbers 26:45 The sons of Brie: Heber, of whom is the family of the Heberites: and Melchiel, of whom is the family of the Melchielites.

Numbers 26:46 And the name of the daughter of Aser, was Sara.

Numbers 26:47 These are the kindreds of the sons of Aser, and their number fifty-three thousand four hundred.

Aser had an addition of 11,900; and, both together, 13,600. But they were let down by
Numbers 26:48 The sons of Nephthali, by their kindreds: Jesiel, of whom is the family of the Jesielites: Guni, of whom is the family of the Gunites:

Numbers 26:49 Jeser, of whom is the family of the Jeserites: Sellem, of whom is the family of the Sellemites.

Numbers 26:50 These are the kindreds of the sons of Nephthali, by their families: whose number was forty-five thousand four hundred.

Nephtali, who had lost 8000; so that this division had only 5600 more. (Haydock)
Numbers 26:51 This is the sum of the children of Israel, that were reckoned up, six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty.

Numbers 26:52 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 26:53 To these shall the land be divided for their possessions according to the number of names.

Numbers 26:54 To the greater number thou shalt give a greater portion, and to the fewer a less: to every one, as they have now been reckoned up, shall a possession be delivered :

A less. God introduced among his people that equality, which was so much desired by Lycurgus, Solon, etc. The fertility of the land assigned to Benjamin, compensated for the smallness of its quantity.
Numbers 26:55 Yet so that by lot the land be divided to the tribes and families.

Lot. Josue appointed commissioners, who measured the land, and divided it according to its fertility; and the portions assigned to each of the tribes by lot, corresponded with the predications of Jacob and of Moses; God so regulating the lots by his allwise Providence, in order that the people might be more convinced of the truth of the prophecies, and that no undue favour was shewn to any one by Josue, Eleazar, or by the other men in authority. He took the whole upon himself, that none might complain of their rulers. (Calmet) --- Masius supposes that the different divisions of the land were written down, and placed in an urn, and that the heads of the tribes drew according to their birth, (Josue 15:1.) --- The heads of families, such as Henoch, etc., (ver. 5.) probably also drew lots, to know what part of territory allotted to the tribe, should fall to their share; (Haydock) and they parcelled out their land among their children. (Menochius)
Numbers 26:56 Whatsoever shall fall by lot, that shall be taken by the more, or the fewer.

Numbers 26:57 *This also is the number of the sons of Levi, by their families: Gerson, of whom is the family of the Gersonites: Caath, of whom is the family of the Caathites: Merari, of whom is the family of the Merarites.

Exodus 6:16.
Numbers 26:58 These are the families of Levi: The family of Lobni, the family of Hebroni, the family of Moholi, the family of Musi, the family of Core. Now Caath beget Amram,

Core. Three other families are mentioned, Exodus 6:17, etc. They were not going out to war. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 26:59 Who had to wife Jochabed the daughter of Levi, who was born to him in Egypt. She bore to her husband Amram, sons, Aaron and Moses, and Mary their sister.

Levi. Septuagint, "who bore these (Lobni, etc.) to Levi, in Egypt; and she bore to Amram, Aaron," etc., as if Jochabed had been wife both of Levi and of Amram, which is very improbable. It is more likely that the wives of these two bore the same name. The Hebrew may agree very well with the Vulgate. See Exodus 2:1. (Calmet) --- It was afterwards forbidden for a person to marry his aunt, (Leviticus 18.) (Worthington)
Numbers 26:60 Of Aaron were born Nadab and Abiu, and Eleazar, and Ithamar:

Numbers 26:61 *Of whom Nadab and Abiu died, when they had offered the strange fire before the Lord.

Leviticus 10:1.; Numbers 3:4.; 1 Paralipomenon 24:2.
Numbers 26:62 And all that were numbered, were twenty-three thousand males, from one month old and upward: for they were not reckoned up among the children of Israel, neither was a possession given to them with the rest.

Numbers 26:63 This is the number of the children of Israel, that were enrolled by Moses and Eleazar the priest, in the plains of Moab, upon the Jordan over-against Jericho.

Numbers 26:64 *Among whom there was not one of them that were numbered before by Moses and Aaron in the desert of Sinai.

1 Corinthians 10:5.
Sinai, if we except the Levites. (Menochius) See (Numbers 14:23.) --- Origen (hom. 21.) makes a very good remark on this subject. This circumcised, but rebellious people, conducted by Moses into the desert, clearly points out the Hebrews, who come to the frontiers of the promised land, but are not suffered to cross the Jordan. The uncircumcised are introduced into the land flowing with milk and honey, not by Moses, but by Josue, the figure of our Saviour, who opens heaven to true believers. "The first people is rejected, which had received circumcision, and the second is introduced, which is gathered from the Gentiles; and it is this people which obtains its father's inheritance....If Moses give any inheritance, it is not within the Jordan....it is a land fit for cattle....he does not distribute it by lot....nor can he know the merits of each. This is done by Jesus only, to whom his Father has given all judgment." (Haydock)
Numbers 26:65 *For the Lord had foretold, that they should all die in the wilderness. And none remained of them, but Caleb the son of Jephone, and Josue the son of Nun.

Numbers 14:23-24.
Numbers 27:0 The law of inheritance. Josue is appointed to succeed Moses.

Numbers 27:1 Then *came the daughters of Salphaad, the son of Hepher,** the son of Galaad, the son of Machir, the son of Manasses, who was the son of Joseph: and their names are Maala, and Noa, and Hegla, and Melcha, and Thersa.

Numbers 26:32-33. and 36:1.; Josue 17:1.
Year of the World 2553. Salphaad, a descendant of Joseph, had departed this life in the desert, being one of those who sinned, by murmuring, at Cades-barne. See chap. 14., and 15:32. (Calmet) --- He only left these five daughters behind him; and, as many others might be under the same predicament, their case deserved the attention of the legislator, who referred it to God. (Haydock)
Numbers 27:2 And they stood before Moses and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the people, at the door of the tabernacle of the covenant, and said:

Numbers 27:3 Our father died in the desert, and was not in the sedition *that was raised against the Lord, under Core, but he died in his own sin: and he had no male children. Why is his name taken away out of his family, because he had no son? Give us a possession among the kinsmen of our father.

Numbers 16:1.
Father, the portion which would have been assigned him; that so those whom we may marry, may take the inheritance, under the name of Salphaad, which some of the children may also bear. (Menochius)
Numbers 27:4 And Moses referred their cause to the judgment of the Lord.

\f + \fr 27:4-6\ft Their. The first of these pronouns is written larger than usual, the second is improperly masculine in Hebrew; both, it is pretended, to honour the young women. (Kennicott)
Numbers 27:5 And the Lord said to him:

Numbers 27:6 The daughters of Salphaad demand a just thing: give them a possession among their father's kindred, and let them succeed him in his inheritance.

Numbers 27:7 And to the children of Israel thou shalt speak these things:

Numbers 27:8 When a man dieth without a son, his inheritance shall pass to his daughter.

Numbers 27:9 If he have no daughter, his brethren shall succeed him.

Him. The Jews observe, that if the father of the deceased were still alive, he would take the inheritance. (Selden, Success. xii. and xiii.) But if his wife were inclined to marry again, she might insist on his next relation taking her, before she could be required to give up his goods, Deuteronomy 25:5. Hence the Gemarra of Babylon says, "If we are the daughters of Salphaad, let them give us his estate; but if we are not his daughters, let them make the brother of Salphaad marry our mother."
Numbers 27:10 And if he have no brethren, you shall give the inheritance to his father's brethren.

Numbers 27:11 But if he have no uncles by the father, the inheritance shall be given to them that are the next a-kin. And this shall be to the children of Israel sacred by a perpetual law, as the Lord hath commanded Moses.

Uncles. His nephews are at a greater distance from the original stock. The Phoenicians carried the same regulations into Africa. (Grotius, Jur. 2:7.) The relations by the mother's side, could claim no part. The husband was heir to all his wife's goods, except her dowry, which went to her children. People born of a slave, or of a harlot or strange woman, were not lawful heirs. "These regulations have been adopted by all civilized nations." (Origen, hom. 22.) (Calmet)
Numbers 27:12 *The Lord also said to Moses: **Go up into this mountain, Abarim, and view from thence the land, which I will give to the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 32:49.
Year of the World 2553.
Numbers 27:13 And when thou shalt have seen it, thou also shalt go to thy people, as thy brother Aaron is gone:

People, in limbo. (Menochius) --- He was not buried in the grave of his ancestors, but on some part of Mount Abarim, called Nebo, Deuteronomy 34:1, 6. (Haydock) --- Moses, hoping that his sentence of exclusion from the promised land might be only a threat, had earnestly besought God to let him enter. But being forbidden to speak of the matter any more, he understood that it was as irrevocable as an oath, Deuteronomy 3:26., and 4:21. He turned, therefore, his whole solicitude to obtain of God some one, who might enjoy the honour and happiness of conducting the people, and putting them in possession of God's promises. He regards not flesh and blood on this occasion, (Philo, de caritate.; Salien,) but sets a noble pattern for all ecclesiastical superiors to imitate. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 27:14 *Because you offended me in the desert of Sin in the contradiction of the multitude, neither would you sanctify me before them at the waters. These are the waters of contradiction, in Cades, of the desert of Sin.

Numbers 20:12.; Deuteronomy 32:51.
Numbers 27:15 And Moses answered him:

Numbers 27:16 May the Lord the God of the spirits of all flesh provide a man that may be over this multitude:

Flesh, who gives life, and penetrates the secrets of hearts, chap. 16:22.
Numbers 27:17 And may go out and in before them, and may lead them out, or bring them in: lest the people of the Lord be as sheep without a shepherd.

Shepherd. Christ makes use of the same comparison, John 10:1. Kings are often styled shepherds in Homer. Moses begs that his successor may be enabled to conduct the multitude in both peace and war. --- To go in and out, means to govern, (3 Kings 3:7,) and includes all the occurrences of life, Acts 1:21., and Psalm 120:8. (Calmet) --- Thus, temporal princes are the shepherds of the people. But they are not, on that account, supreme in spiritual causes. For here Josue only receives part of the glory of Moses, while Eleazar is appointed to consult the Lord for him, and to direct him in all matters of importance, ver. 20, 21. (Worthington)
Numbers 27:18 And the Lord said to him: *Take Josue, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and put thy hand upon him.

Deuteronomy 3:21.
Spirit of God, which was given to him, when he was appointed a judge; ( Numbers 11:17.) the spirit of prophesy, (Onkelos,) and of wisdom, (Deuteronomy 34:9.) of which he received a fresh increase, by the imposition of the hands of Moses. By the like ceremony people are confirmed, and ministers of religion are still ordained, Acts 6:6., and 1 Timothy 4:14. (Calmet) --- God endues Josue with all the necessary qualifications for his high office. He makes choice of him, and not of any of the relations of Moses, that the people might not be offended at the supreme power being in a manner engrossed by one family; and he appoints one 93 year old, that the success of war might not be attributed to Josue, though he had been long at the head of the armies, and a man of the greatest authority, even the vice-gerent of Moses. He declares his election before all the multitude, with the high priest at their head, that there might be no dispute about the matter; and, on this account, he requires various external ceremonies to be observed. (Salien)
Numbers 27:19 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, and all the multitude.

Numbers 27:20 And thou shalt give him precepts in the sight of all, and part of thy glory, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may hear him.

Precepts, to accept of this office, (Calmet) and to discharge it with integrity. (Haydock) --- Glory, not that which shone on the face of Moses, as Onkelos would have it, but all the marks of distinction due to a chief magistrate, (Calmet) the insignia of his office. See Exodus 18:21. (Salien) --- Treat him with respect, as your successor. (Menochius) --- Let him henceforward commence to exercise his authority before you, that all the people may hear and obey him. (Sararius) (Tirinus)
Numbers 27:21 If any thing be to be done, Eleazar the priest shall consult the Lord for him. He, and all the children of Israel with him, and the rest of the multitude, shall go out and go in at his word.

For him. Hebrew adds, "according to the judgment of Urim." See Exodus 28:30. Nothing better shews the theocracy of the Hebrews, as Josephus styles it, (contra Apion, 2,) than this order for the chief magistrate in civil affairs, to consult and be guided by God's minister, and by the sentence which he should pronounce in his name. Till the reign of David, at least, we find few wars undertaken, without consulting God: (Calmet) and the Rabbins assert, that the kings could not declare any war of their own accord, without the consent of the high priest and Sanhedrim. (Selden, Syned. 3:12.) Saul lost his crown and life for not complying with the injunctions of God, which were communicated to him by the prophet Samuel. (Haydock)
Numbers 27:22 Moses did as the Lord had commanded. And when he had taken Josue, he set him before Eleazar the priest, and all the assembly of the people,

Numbers 27:23 And laying his hands on his head, he repeated all things that the Lord had commanded.

Commanded. This Moses executed on his birth-day, when he was 120 years old, (Deuteronomy 31:2, 7,) having frequently before given proper instructions to Josue, Deuteronomy 1:38., and 32:44. (Haydock)
Numbers 28:0 Sacrifices are appointed as well for every day as for sabbaths, and other festivals.

Numbers 28:1 The Lord also said to Moses:

Numbers 28:2 Command the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: Offer ye my oblation and my bread, and burnt-sacrifice of most sweet odour, in their due seasons.

Seasons. These precepts had often been repeated already: but perhaps they had not been exactly observed in the desert, so that Moses inculcates them once more, as if to remind the people that they will now have no excuse, if they neglect these sacrifices in the promised land. (Calmet) --- These frequent repetitions may also remind us, with what attention we ought to worship God. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 28:3 These are the sacrifices which you shall offer: *Two lambs of a year old, without blemish, every day for the perpetual holocaust:

Exodus 29:38.
Lambs. Kids would not suffice. See Exodus 29:38. The lambs must not be above a year old. But it is not clear whether they could be offered eight days after their birth, as on other occasions, Exodus 23:19. (Calmet)
Numbers 28:4 One you shall offer in the morning, and the other in the evening:

Numbers 28:5 And the tenth part of an epha of flour, which shall be tempered with the purest oil, of the measure of the fourth part of a hin.

Numbers 28:6 It is the continual holocaust which you offered in Mount Sinai for a most sweet odour of a sacrifice by fire to the Lord.

Sinai. Hence it seems to have been discontinued for 38 years. (Calmet) (Leviticus 9:17.) (Menochius)
Numbers 28:7 And for a libation you shall offer of wine the fourth part of a hin for every lamb in the sanctuary of the Lord,

In the. Hebrew, "in the holy thou shalt cause the shecar to be poured out unto the Lord, a drink-offering." See chap. 6:3, on the meaning of shecar. (Haydock) --- Some believe, that artificial wine of palm-trees, etc., might serve for libations. In this sacrifice, the priests furnished the liquor; so that all was to be poured out on the altar of holocausts, which stood in the court. (Calmet)
Numbers 28:8 And you shall offer the other lamb in like manner in the evening, according to all the rites of the morning sacrifice, and of the libations thereof, an oblation of most sweet odour to the Lord.

Numbers 28:9 *And on the sabbath day, you shall offer two lambs of a year old, without blemish, and two tenths of flour tempered with oil in sacrifice, and the libations,

Matthew 12:5.
Numbers 28:10 Which regularly are poured out every sabbath for the perpetual holocaust.

Which, etc. Hebrew, "the burnt-offering of every sabbath, besides the perpetual holocaust and its libations," which were due for every day. (Haydock) --- On the sabbath, two more were to be offered of the same age. Jansenius observes, that three of these belonged to the morning service, and one to that of the evening. (Menochius) (Calmet)
Numbers 28:11 And on the first day of the month you shall offer a holocaust to the Lord, two calves of the herd, one ram, and seven lambs, of a year old, without blemish,

Month. This is not reckoned among the festivals, Leviticus xxiii. The Rabbins look upon it as a day of devotion, particularly for women. (Buxtorf. Syn. xvii.) Spencer (Rit. 3:1,) maintains, that the Hebrews began their month when the moon first appeared, and that they imitated the pagans in keeping that day holy. But his proofs on both heads are very unsatisfactory. The Hebrews followed the solar year for many ages after Moses, though they might have adopted the lunar towards the close of the republic; and the pagans themselves ridiculed those as vile imitators of the Jews, who kept the new moons as a festival. (Hor.[Horace,?] Sat. 1:9.) Sabbata Vin tu Curtis Judaeis oppedere. --- The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Arabs, and Turks, have given in to various superstitious practices in honour of the moon. See Macrob. Sat. 1:15, etc. (Calmet) --- The devil is commonly the ape of God, and teaches his votaries to adopt the ceremonies of the true religion, either to elude them more easily, or to bring those practices into discredit. Thus Middleton has endeavoured to shew the conformity of Pagan and Papal Rome, as if the ceremonies of the Catholic religion were to be rejected, because some of them have been in use among the heathens. By the same argument, he may ridicule the revelation of God himself, on this subject, and represent vestments, holy water, etc., as superstitious. He may pull down altars, condemn all forms of prayer, abolish all worship, both of soul and body. For such things have all been prostituted to idols! But those who are not totally infatuated by prejudice, will deplore the abuse of these things, and will not refrain from adoring the true God according to his will, with all the faculties both of their soul and body, on account of the devil and his false prophets having extorted similar acts of worship from their followers. It is no wonder that Protestants should ridicule our holy ceremonies, since they scruple not to assign so base an origin to those which God expressly prescribed. (Haydock) --- The sacrifices which were ordered to be offered up on the first day of the month, were probably designed to renew the memory of the world's creation, or rather of the divine Providence, which regulates the seasons. Nothing was sold on this day, Amos 8:5. But people went to hear the prophets, (4 Kings 4:23,) and feasted among themselves, 1 Kings 20:18. It is thought that many rested also from servile work, though this is no where commanded. (Calmet) --- Tirinus agrees with Tostat and Sanctius, in supposing that servile work was prohibited, for which he refers to 1 Kings 20:19. He also asserts, that the Jews observed the lunar system, and that their months consisted of 29 and 30 days alternately, as 29 days and a half elapse from one moon to another. The sound of trumpets probably announced this solemnity, chap. 10:10., and Leviticus xxiii. (Haydock)
Numbers 28:12 And three tenths of flour tempered with oil in sacrifice for every calf: and two tenths of flour tempered with oil for every ram:

Numbers 28:13 And the tenth of a tenth of flour tempered with oil in sacrifice for every lamb. It is a holocaust of most sweet odour and an offering by fire to the Lord.

Tenth. An assaron, gomer, or chomer, which is the tenth part of an epha, as that is the tenth of a core or chomer, which is the largest Hebrew dry measure, containing 32 pecks and one pint English; so that the gomer would be equivalent to five pints. (Haydock) --- This quantity of flour accompanied each holocaust at the beginning of every month. (Calmet)
Numbers 28:14 And these shall be the libations of wine, that are to be poured out for every victim: Half a hin for every calf, a third for a ram, and a fourth for a lamb. This shall be the holocaust for every month, as they succeed one another in the course of the year.

Numbers 28:15 A buck-goat also shall be offered to the Lord for a sin-offering over and above the perpetual holocaust with its libations.

Above. This is the import of the Hebrew, etc.: for no libations accompanied the sin-offerings, nor incense. See (Numbers 15:3.; Leviticus 5:12.) (Menochius)
Numbers 28:16 *And in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, shall be the Phase of the Lord,

Exodus 12:18.; Leviticus 23:5.
Phase, or Passover, the most solemn of all the festivals, when the lamb was to be eaten on the 15th of Nisan, and during the eight days no leavened bread was allowed. The Jews searched all the corners of their houses, lest some might be concealed by mice, and they would not so much as name it. St. Paul exhorts us to do the like, in a spiritual sense, by purifying ourselves from every defilement of sin when we receive the blessed sacrament, and by not even mentioning sins of impurity, (1 Corinthians 5:7.; Ephesians 5:3.) (Haydock)
Numbers 28:17 And on the fifteenth day the solemn feast: seven days shall they eat unleavened bread.

Numbers 28:18 And the first day of them shall be venerable and holy: you shall not do any servile work therein.

Numbers 28:19 And you shall offer a burnt-sacrifice a holocaust to the Lord, two calves of the herd, one ram, seven lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 28:20 And for the sacrifices of every one three tenths of flour which shall be tempered with oil, to every calf, and two tenths to every ram,

Numbers 28:21 And the tenth of a tenth, to every lamb, that is to say, to all the seven lambs:

Numbers 28:22 And one buck-goat for sin, to make atonement for you,

Numbers 28:23 Besides the morning holocaust which you shall always offer.

Offer, as well as that in the evening, which was in less danger of being forgotten.
Numbers 28:24 So shall you do every day of the seven days for the food of the fire, and for a most sweet odour to the Lord, which shall rise from the holocaust, and from the libations of each.

Fire. Hebrew, "food of the sacrifice made by fire." --- Rise. Hebrew, "it shall be offered besides the perpetual holocaust, and its libations," morning and evening. All the aforesaid sacrifices and libations were to be repeated on each of the seven days, ver. 19, 22.
Numbers 28:25 The seventh day also shall be most solemn and holy unto you: you shall do no servile work therein.

Numbers 28:26 The day also of first-fruits, when after the weeks are accomplished, you shall offer new fruits to the Lord, shall be venerable and holy: you shall do no servile work therein.

The day of Pentecost, seven weeks after the Passover, was the next in solemnity, to thank God for the wheat harvest, of which the first-fruits were now presented. (Haydock) --- Two loaves, made with leaven, were given to the priests. (Lamy.) See Leviticus 23:17.
Numbers 28:27 And you shall offer a holocaust for a most sweet odour to the Lord, two calves of the herd, one ram, and seven lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Two calves. Only one is specified in Leviticus, being that designed for the morning; another was immolated at night. (Calmet) --- The same victims are prescribed as [in] ver. 19. (Menochius)
Numbers 28:28 And in the sacrifices of them, three tenths of flour tempered with oil to every calf, two to every ram,

Numbers 28:29 The tenth of a tenth to every lamb, which in all are seven lambs: a goat also,

Numbers 28:30 Which is slain for expiation: beside the perpetual holocaust and the libations thereof.

Numbers 28:31 You shall offer them all without blemish with their libations.

Numbers 29:0 Sacrifices for the festivals of the seventh month.

Numbers 29:1 The first day also of the seventh month shall be venerable and holy unto you: you shall do no servile work therein, because it is the day of the sounding and of trumpets.

The first. This day was doubly solemn, as being the first day of the month, consequently entitled to all the sacrifices enjoined for it; and also a holiday, for which other victims are requisite, besides the perpetual holocausts, (Numbers 29:2-6.; Numbers 28:11.) (Haydock)
Numbers 29:2 And you shall offer a holocaust for a most sweet odour to the Lord, one calf of the herd, one ram, and seven lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:3 And for their sacrifices, three tenths of flour tempered with oil to every calf, two tenths to a ram,

Numbers 29:4 One tenth to a lamb, which in all are seven lambs:

Numbers 29:5 And a buck-goat for sin, which is offered for the expiation of the people,

Numbers 29:6 Besides the holocaust of the first day of the month, with the sacrifices thereof, and the perpetual holocaust with the accustomed libations. With the same ceremonies you shall offer a burnt-sacrifice for a most sweet odour to the Lord.

Numbers 29:7 *The tenth day also of this seventh month shall be holy and venerable unto you, and you shall afflict your souls: you shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 16:29.; Leviticus 23:27.
Tenth. The feast of expiation, on which see (Leviticus 16:29.; and 23:24.) where we have also explained what relates to the feast of tabernacles, ver. 34.
Numbers 29:8 And you shall offer a holocaust to the Lord for a most sweet odour, one calf of the herd, one ram, and seven lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:9 And for their sacrifices, three tenths of flour tempered with oil to every calf, two tenths to a ram,

Numbers 29:10 The tenth of a tenth to every lamb, which are in all seven lambs:

Numbers 29:11 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the things that are wont to be offered for sin, for expiation, and for the perpetual holocaust, with their sacrifice and libations.

Numbers 29:12 And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, which shall be unto you holy and venerable, you shall do no servile work, but shall celebrate a solemnity to the Lord seven days.

Seven days, not refraining indeed all that time from servile work, but remaining under tents, and daily performing what is required, ver. 13., etc.
Numbers 29:13 And you shall offer a holocaust for a most sweet odour to the Lord, thirteen calves of the herd, two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:14 And for their libations, three tenths of flour tempered with oil to every calf, being in all thirteen calves: and two tenths to each ram, being two rams,

Numbers 29:15 And the tenth of a tenth to every lamb, being in all fourteen lambs:

Numbers 29:16 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice, and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:17 On the second day you shall offer twelve calves of the herd, two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:18 And the sacrifices and the libations for every one, for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs you shall duly celebrate:

Numbers 29:19 And a buck-goat for a sin-offering, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:20 The third day you shall offer eleven calves, two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:21 And the sacrifices and the libations of every one for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs you shall offer according to the rite:

Numbers 29:22 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice, and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:23 The fourth day you shall offer ten calves, two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:24 And the sacrifices and the libations of every one for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs you shall celebrate in right manner:

Numbers 29:25 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:26 The fifth day you shall offer nine calves, two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:27 And the sacrifices and the libations of every one for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs, you shall celebrate according to the rite:

Numbers 29:28 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:29 The sixth day you shall offer eight calves, two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:30 And the sacrifices and the libations of every one for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs, you shall celebrate according to the rite:

Numbers 29:31 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice thereof and the libation.

Numbers 29:32 The seventh day you shall offer seven calves, and two rams, and fourteen lambs of a year old, without blemish.

Numbers 29:33 And the sacrifices and the libations of every one for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs, you shall celebrate according to the rite:

Numbers 29:34 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:35 On the eighth day, which is most solemn, you shall do no servile work:

Eighth day, which was more solemn than the preceding ones, but less so than the first. The victims are every day diminished. (Calmet) --- This day, in the Hebrew calendar, is called the feast of retention, (atsroth) as they staid near the tabernacle. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 29:36 But you shall offer a holocaust for a most sweet odour to the Lord, one calf, one ram, and seven lambs of a year old, without blemish:

Numbers 29:37 And the sacrifices and the libations of every one for the calves and for the rams, and for the lambs, you shall celebrate according to the rite:

Numbers 29:38 And a buck-goat for sin, besides the perpetual holocaust, and the sacrifice and the libation thereof.

Numbers 29:39 These things shall you offer to the Lord in your solemnities: besides your vows and voluntary oblations for holocaust, for sacrifice, for libation, and for victims of peace-offerings.

Vows. The general regulations did not hinder any private ones from being fulfilled. (Calmet) --- Sacrifice. Mincha, or offering of flour, etc. (Haydock)
Numbers 30:0 Of vows and oaths: and their obligation.

Numbers 30:1 And Moses told the children of Israel all that the Lord had commanded him:

Numbers 30:2 And he said to the princes of the tribes of the children of Israel: This is the word that the Lord hath commanded:

Numbers 30:3 If any man make a vow to the Lord, or bind himself by an oath: he shall not make his word void, but shall fulfil all that he promised.

Oath, to do something commendable, shall observe his promise, whether any body has heard him or not. The Rabbins pretend, that if the vow be not expressed in words, it is not obligatory. But this is only true before men, who cannot subject their fellow creatures to punishment for internal faults. (Haydock) --- The obligation of a vow or oath is founded upon common honesty, which requires that we should comply with our lawful promises; and, though all properly belong to God, yet, as he does not strictly require us to do every good work, which may be in our power, we may, by vow, testify our desire to please and honour him the more. Some of the Rabbins have very loose sentiments with respect to vows, which they look upon as no better than building an altar, or immolating a victim upon the high places. It is sufficient, they say, to observe the law, apud Fagium. (Calmet) --- Luther was desirous of introducing the same loose morality among Christians. But we need not ask, what the Rabbins said, or Luther, etc. But what does God and his Church assert? The Scripture repeatedly commends prudent vows; and those who can persuade themselves, that they can infringe such solemn promises without offence, will be little solicitous about keeping their word to a fellow creature, unless when interest, or fear of shame, force them to do it. (Haydock) --- He who makes a vow to abstain from any thing lawful, would be guilty of sin if he should observe it afterwards. (St. Augustine, q. 56.) (Worthington)
Numbers 30:4 If a woman vow any thing, and bind herself with an oath, being in her father's house, and but yet a girl in age: if her father knew the vow that she hath promised, and the oath wherewith she hath bound her soul, and held his peace, she shall be bound by the vow:

Girl in age, not 12; or, if more, at least not married, nor out of her father's house, ver. 17. For either of these conditions rendered a girl incapable of binding herself irrevocably. The father, or all who had the care of her, might rescind her vow, provided they did it as soon as it came to their knowledge, or on the same day, ver. 15. Boys under 13, were under similar restrictions. (Grotius) --- Wives, and, in general, all who are under subjection, could not dispose of themselves without the consent of their superiors, as their want of prudence, etc., might have otherwise injured what belonged, in some measure, to another. (Haydock) --- The law, therefore, submits their case to the decision of their immediate judges. (Calmet) --- But if the thing, which a person vowed, was already of strict obligation, as to fast on the day of expiation, (Leviticus 23:29,) no one could presume to hinder his wife from complying with this double duty. (Worthington)
Numbers 30:5 Whatsoever she promised, and swore, she shall fulfil in deed.

Numbers 30:6 But if her father, immediately as soon as he heard it, gain-said it, both her vows and her oaths shall be void, neither shall she be bound to what she promised, because her father hath gain-said it.

Numbers 30:7 If she have a husband, and shall vow any thing, and the word once going out of her mouth, shall bind her soul by an oath:

Husband, whether she live with him, or with her father; whether she be only espoused, or the marriage be consummated. Women often staid for some time at their father's house after they were married; and, in this case, some people say that either her father or her husband might disannul her vow. But others allow this right only to her husband. (Bonfrere) See ver. 11. (Calmet)
Numbers 30:8 The day that her husband shall hear it, and not gain-say it, she shall be bound to the vow, and shall give whatsoever she promised.

Numbers 30:9 But if as soon as he heareth, he gain-say it, and make her promises, and the words wherewith she had bound her soul of no effect; the Lord will forgive her.

Numbers 30:10 The widow, and she that is divorced, shall fulfil whatsoever they vow.

Numbers 30:11 If the wife, in the house of her husband, hath bound herself by vow and by oath:

Numbers 30:12 If her husband hear, and hold his peace, and doth not disallow the promise, she shall accomplish whatsoever she had promised.

Numbers 30:13 But if forthwith he gain-say it, she shall not be bound by the promise: because her husband gain-said it, and the Lord will be merciful to her.

Numbers 30:14 If she vow, and bind herself by oath, to afflict her soul by fasting, or abstinence, from other things, it shall depend on the will of her husband, whether she shall do it, or not do it.

It. The Rabbins restrain this law to fasting and abstinence. But the Hebrew seems more general, (ver. 13,) "every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may ratify or annul." The vows of abstinence are most common, and generally more disagreeable to husbands. (Calmet) --- St. Augustine (q. 59,) thinks it unreasonable that the husband should have a control over the vows of continency in his wife, any more than she could have over him, in this particular, as their rights are equal: he seems inclined to allow him to annul the vows of abstinence only. Indeed this seems to be the meaning of afflicting the soul, which is done by submitting to various restraints, required on days of fasting. See Leviticus 23:27. (Haydock) --- In things which could nowise hurt the parent or husband, many believe, that the person who had made a vow, was bound to perform it secretly, even though the superior had declared his dissent. But with respect to fasting, pilgrimages, etc., which could not be performed, without his knowledge, it does not seem that they were under any farther obligation, even though the superior should retract what he had connived at for a whole day. In doubtful cases, inferiors must not refuse to obey. The sin lies at the door of him who exercises his authority in an improper manner. (Lyranus) (Tirinus) (ver. 16.)
Numbers 30:15 But if the husband hearing it, hold his peace, and defer the declaring his mind till another day: whatsoever she had vowed and promised, she shall fulfil: because immediately as he heard it, he held his peace.

Day. Hebrew, "from day to day." If he has not given his decision on the first day when the vow came to his knowledge, unless he asked for a delay, as some allow, the person was bound to perform what she had promised. (Calmet) --- Immediately. Hebrew, "in the day," which seems to restrict the power of annulling the vow to a single day, ver. 4. It would be unreasonable for the person to be kept long in suspense; and the law of God requires that we should not defer to perform our vows, Ecclesiastes 5:3, 4. (Haydock)
Numbers 30:16 But if he gain-say it after that he knew it, he shall bear her iniquity.

That. Septuagint, "the day." If he retract his consent, he shall incur all the guilt. (St. Augustine, q. 59.) The woman need not be under any disquietude, as the fault is not in her. (Calmet) --- If a person had made a rash vow, he might obtain a dispensation from the tribunal of three judges, or from a doctor of the law, who would enjoin him to offer the sacrifice for ignorance, to punish his levity. See Selden, Jur. 7:2. Those who break their vow are to be scourged among the Jews, which shews that they do not, in general, approve the sentiments of those Rabbins whom Fagius, a Protestant, alleges, ver. 3. They make a distinction between vows and promises confirmed by an oath, ver. 11. The former change the nature of a thing, according to them; so that, if a person should vow not to wear the phylacteries ordained by Moses, he must comply, though not if he had only promised on oath to refrain. But this distinction is absurd. No vow or oath can bind any person to transgress the law of God. (Haydock)
Numbers 30:17 These are the laws which the Lord appointed to Moses, between the husband and the wife, between the father and the daughter, that is as yet but a girl in age, or that abideth in her father's house.

Numbers 31:0 The Madianites are slain, for having drawn the people of Israel into sin. The dividing of the booty.

Numbers 31:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses,* saying:

Year of the World 2553, Year before Christ 1451.
Numbers 31:2 Revenge first the children of Israel on the Madianites, and so thou shalt be gathered to thy people.

Madianites. The five princes, (ver. 8,) had joined Sehon, in his attack upon the Hebrews, Josue 13:21. They had united with the Moabites against them, and had been most active in perverting the people of God. They had even the wicked Balaam still among them, who was bent upon destruction; so that God saw the measure of their crimes was full, their provocations unsufferable, and he was pleased to let Moses be witness of their just punishment. This he would effect with a very small force, ver. 5. (Haydock) --- This war of religion was terminated about a month before the death of Moses.
Numbers 31:3 And Moses forthwith said: *Arm of you men to fight, who may take the revenge of the Lord on the Madianites.

Numbers 25:17.
Numbers 31:4 Let a thousand men be chosen out of every tribe of Israel, to be sent to the war.

Numbers 31:5 And they gave a thousand of every tribe, that is to say, twelve thousand men, well appointed for battle:

Numbers 31:6 And Moses sent them with Phinees, the son of Eleazar the priest, and he delivered to him the holy vessels, and the trumpets to sound.

Trumpets. These are the holy vessels just specified, though some believe that he carried the ark, which was done in some wars, Josue 6:1., and 1 Kings 4:5. Priests always sounded the trumpet, Deuteronomy 20:2. Phinees was appointed general of this expedition to reward him for his zeal against the fornicators. (Calmet) --- Or Josue headed the army, as he did on other occasions, though his name be not here specified. The tribe of Levi was not obliged to go to battle, and therefore only twelve tribes send each 1000. Josue had been elected general by God, so that it was not necessary to mention his name. (Salien)
Numbers 31:7 And when they had fought against the Madianites and had overcome them, they slew all the men,

Numbers 31:8 *And their kings Evi, and Recem, and Sur, and Hur, and Rebe, five princes of the nation: Balaam also, the son of Beor, they killed with the sword.

Josue 13:21.
Recem; by which name Petra, the capital of Arabia Petrea, is known. This petty king probably took his title from this city, over which he presided. (Calmet) --- All the five had been, perhaps, tributary to Sehon, Josue 13:21. (Haydock) --- Sur, the wretched parent of Cozbi, chap. 25:15. (Calmet) --- Balaam. Some think he was a native of Madian, though he had resided in Mesopotamia. He had either stopped in this country, or hearing of the calamities of the Hebrews, had returned to receive the reward of his pernicious counsel. Thus he was overtaken by God's just judgment, and he fell into the pit which his avarice had dug for him, chap. 24:25. (Haydock) --- Probably he was busy with his incantations; for this sort of men is generally cowardly. He had no sword, (Numbers 22:29.) (Salien)
Numbers 31:9 And they took their women, and their children captives, and all their cattle, and all their goods: and all their possessions they plundered:

Possessions. Literally, "all that they could, they plundered." It seems they did not advance very far into the country; or many saved themselves by flight; for we find the Madianites soon powerful enough to enslave the Hebrews, Judges 6:1.
Numbers 31:10 And all their cities, and their villages, and their castles, they burned.

Castles. Hebrew tiroth, means also, "palaces, or shepherds' huts." (Calmet)
Numbers 31:11 And they carried away the booty, and all that they had taken, both of men and of beasts:

Numbers 31:12 And they brought them to Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and to all the multitude of the children of Israel. But the rest of the things for use they carried to the camp, on the plains of Moab, beside the Jordan, over-against Jericho.

Numbers 31:13 And Moses and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the synagogue, went forth to meet them without the camp.

Camp. They had sent news of their victory, and of the plunder which they were bringing to the camp, (Haydock) to be divided equally among their fellow soldiers, when they were met by Moses, etc., who came to congratulate with them, and to examine how they executed their commission, as well as to admonish them to be purified before they entered the camp, ver. 19. (Calmet)
Numbers 31:14 And Moses being angry with the chief officers of the army, the tribunes, and the centurions, that were come from the battle,

Numbers 31:15 Said: Why have you saved the women?

Women. They had received no positive orders respecting them, and it was customary to spare their lives. But these dissolute women had rendered themselves unworthy of such indulgence, (Calmet) and the sight of them raised the just indignation of Moses, who was afraid lest their manners should corrupt the victors. (Haydock)
Numbers 31:16 *Are not these they that deceived the children of Israel by the counsel of Balaam, and made you transgress against the Lord by the sin of Phogor, for which also the people was punished?

Numbers 25:18.
The sin of Phogor. The sin committed in the worship of Beelphegor. (Challoner) --- Many of the prostitutes had returned home, being terrified at the slaughter of their queen, Cozbi. (Haydock)
Numbers 31:17 *Therefore kill all that are of the male sex, even of the children: and put to death the women that have carnally known men.

Judges 21:12.
Of children. Women and children, ordinarily speaking, were not to be killed in war, Deuteronomy 20:14. But the great lord of life and death was pleased to order it otherwise in the present case, in detestation of the wickedness of this people, who by the counsel of Balaam, had sent their women amongst the Israelites on purpose to draw them from God. (Challoner) --- Only those who were under twelve would be thus reserved; and as their tender minds might yet receive the impressions of virtue, by a proper education, they might, one day, be married by some of the Hebrews. The boys were all slain, either because they might be inclined to resent the injury done to their relations, or because they were all consecrated to Beelphegor; the first-born to be his priests, the rest to be victims, if necessary, to avert any evil. For "the heathens in cold blood," says Paine, "offered their children in sacrifice to Baalpeor." It was on this account, that the killing of all the first-born in Egypt, was felt so terribly, as the people could not lawfully approach their gods. (Forbes) --- Moses did not reserve the girls for the purpose of debauchery, as Paine ignorantly pretends; for that was contrary to his own laws, nor did he wantonly kill the innocent, which he also strictly forbade, and which he would have been still more afraid to do, if he had been an impostor. But he preserved the lives of those girls who might be presumed innocent, and who might live to do good, while he took the revenge of the Lord (ver. 3,) upon the rest. (Haydock)
Numbers 31:18 But the girls, and all the women that are virgins, save for yourselves:

Numbers 31:19 And stay without the camp seven days. He that hath killed a man, or touched one that is killed, shall be purified the third day and the seventh day.

Shall be. Hebrew, "purify yourselves and your captives on the," etc. The girls, and all the booty, might probably be rendered unclean by the presence of a corpse, etc., chap 19:14.
Numbers 31:20 And of all the spoil, every garment, or vessel, or any thing made for use, of the skins, or hair of goats, or of wood, shall be purified.

Numbers 31:21 Eleazar also, the priest, spoke to the men of the army that had fought, in this manner: This is the ordinance of the law,* which the Lord hath commanded Moses:

Leviticus 6:28.; Leviticus 11:33.; Leviticus 15:11.
Numbers 31:22 Gold, and silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin,

Numbers 31:23 And all that may pass through the fire, shall be purified by fire; but whatsoever cannot abide the fire, shall be sanctified with the water of expiation:

Expiation, with which even the vessels which had been through the fire, were to be purified, or washed, as the Hebrew, Septuagint, etc., observe. (Calmet) --- Moses perhaps gave this ordinance by word of mouth, on this occasion, (Menochius) though something similar be prescribed before, Leviticus 6:28., 11:33, and 15:12.
Numbers 31:24 And you shall wash your garments the seventh day, and being purified, you shall afterwards enter into the camp.

Numbers 31:25 And the Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 31:26 Take the sum of the things that were taken, both of man and beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the princes of the multitude:

Numbers 31:27 And thou shalt divide the spoil equally, between them that fought and went out to the war, and between the rest of the multitude.

Equally. Those who had been in battle, had about a 50th part more than the rest. They gave the first-fruits to the priests, while those in the camp presented theirs to the Levites. Other rules were afterwards observed. See 1 Kings 30:24., and 2 Machabees 8:28. The Rabbins assign the greatest share to the king, (Selden, Jur. 6:16,) and Homer gives the largest portion to the general; after which the rest was equally divided, and even the absent partook. The gods were not forgotten. So also among the Hebrews, Syrians, etc., the general make an equal division. David assigns a part of the booty for sacred uses, 1 Paralipomenon 26:26. See Exodus 15:9. (Calmet)
Numbers 31:28 And thou shalt separate a portion to the Lord from them that fought and were in the battle, one soul of five hundred, as well of persons as of oxen and asses and sheep,

Numbers 31:29 And thou shalt give it to Eleazar the priest, because they are the first-fruits of the Lord.

Numbers 31:30 Out of the moiety also of the children of Israel, thou shalt take the fiftieth head of persons, and of oxen, and asses, and sheep, and of all beasts, and thou shalt give them to the Levites, that watch in the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.

Numbers 31:31 And Moses and Eleazar did as the Lord had commanded.

Numbers 31:32 And the spoil which the army had taken, was six hundred seventy-five thousand sheep,

Spoil. Hebrew, "the remains of the spoil," which had not been consumed by the 12,000. (Calmet)
Numbers 31:33 Seventy-two thousand oxen,

Numbers 31:34 Sixty-one thousand asses:

Numbers 31:35 And thirty-two thousand persons of the female sex, that had not known men.

Numbers 31:36 And one half was given to them that had been in the battle, to wit, three hundred thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep:

Numbers 31:37 Out of which, for the portion of the Lord, were reckoned six hundred seventy-five sheep.

Numbers 31:38 And out of the thirty-six thousand oxen, seventy-two oxen:

Numbers 31:39 Out of the thirty thousand asses, sixty-one asses:

Numbers 31:40 Out of the sixteen thousand persons, there fell to the portion of the Lord, thirty-two souls.

Numbers 31:41 And Moses delivered the number of the first-fruits of the Lord to Eleazar the priest, as had been commanded him,

Fruits. Hebrew, "a heave-offering to," etc., ver. 29.
Numbers 31:42 Out of the half of the children of Israel, which he had separated for them that had been in the battle.

Numbers 31:43 But out of the half that fell to the rest of the multitude, that is to say, out of the three hundred thirty-seven thousand five hundred sheep,

Numbers 31:44 And out of the thirty-six thousand oxen,

Numbers 31:45 And out of the thirty thousand five hundred asses,

Numbers 31:46 And out of the sixteen thousand persons,

Numbers 31:47 Moses took the fiftieth head, and gave it to the Levites that watched in the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord had commanded.

Numbers 31:48 And when the commanders of the army, and the tribunes, and centurions were come to Moses, they said:

Numbers 31:49 We, thy servants, have reckoned up the number of the fighting men, whom we had under our hand, and not so much as one was wanting.

Wanting. Septuagint, "all were unanimous," (Origen,) and "all answered to their names." Thus God was pleased to shew, that his Providence had directed the battle. (Haydock)
Numbers 31:50 Therefore we offer as gifts to the Lord, what gold every one of us could find in the booty, in garters and tablets, rings and bracelets, and chains, that thou mayst pray to the Lord for us.

Garters. Septuagint, "bracelets," put on the arm, 2 Kings 1:10. Sometimes the Eastern nations wore large precious rings on their legs. --- Tablets. Hebrew tsamid, an ornament of the hand, Genesis 24:22. The armillae, or viriliae, were worn by men near the shoulder. --- Bracelets, (dextralia) for the right hand, Ecclesiasticus 21:14. Hebrew hagil, means an ear-ring, Ezechiel 16:12. --- Chains of gold and silver interlaced, worn round the neck. (St. Jerome, ep. ad Marcel.) The Madianites went to battle in their richest attire, (Judges 6:21,) as did also the Persians; (Bellon. 2,) and the Turks do so still, (Calmet) being descended from Ismael, the half brother of Madian, who both settled in Arabia. (Haydock) His own. Gold, and such ornaments as might easily be concealed by the soldiers, where not required to be brought to the common stock to be equally divided. (Calmet) --- There were 840,000 head of living creatures, including the 32,000 virgins, which were distributed. The gold, which was voluntarily presented to the Lord, amounted to above five talents. (Salien, B.C. 1470.) --- The princes made a voluntary offering of their gold, but the common soldiers retained what each man had gotten. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 31:51 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, received all the gold in divers kinds,

Numbers 31:52 In weight sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty sicles, from the tribunes and from the centurions.

Numbers 31:53 For that which every one had taken in the booty was his own.

Numbers 31:54 And that which was received, they brought into the tabernacle of the testimony, for a memorial of the children of Israel before the Lord.

Numbers 32:0 The tribes of Ruben and Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasses, receive their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan, upon conditions approved of by Moses.

Numbers 32:1 And the sons of Ruben and Gad *had many flocks of cattle, and their substance in beasts was infinite. And when they saw the lands of Jazer and Galaad fit for feeding cattle,

Deuteronomy 3:12.
Numbers 32:2 *They came to Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and the princes of the multitude, and said:

Year of the World 2553.
Numbers 32:3 Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nemra, Hesebon, and Eleale, and Saban, and Nebo, and Beon,

Saban, and Nebo. These towns were afterwards retaken by the Moabites, Isaias 15:2, 8. --- Beon. Perhaps the same with Mehon, or Beth Baal Mehon, Josue 13:17. (Calmet)
Numbers 32:4 The land which the Lord hath conquered in the sight of the children of Israel, is a very fertile soil for the feeding of beasts: and we, thy servants, have very much cattle:

Numbers 32:5 And we pray thee, if we have found favour in thy sight, that thou give it to us, thy servants, in possession, and make us not pass over the Jordan.

Jordan. They are a figure of those who would possess heaven without labour. But none is crowned, except he strive lawfully, 2 Timothy 2:5. (Worthington)
Numbers 32:6 And Moses answered them: What, shall your brethren go to fight, and will you sit here?

Numbers 32:7 Why do ye overturn the minds of the children of Israel, that they may not dare to pass into the place which the Lord hath given them?

Overturn. Hebrew nua, "to discourage," (Haydock) break, dissolve, etc., ver. 9. (Menochius) --- The same history is mentioned, (Deuteronomy 3:12, 18,) but without these reproaches. (Calmet)
Numbers 32:8 Was it not thus your fathers did, when I sent from Cades-barne to view the land?

Numbers 32:9 *And when they were come as far as the valley of the cluster, having viewed all the country, they overturned the hearts of the children of Israel, that they should not enter into the coasts, which the Lord gave them.

Numbers 13:24.
Numbers 32:10 *And he swore in his anger, saying:.

Numbers 14:29.
Numbers 32:11 If these men, that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I promised with an oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: because they would not follow me,

If, etc. They shall not see Chanaan. (Menochius) --- In Scripture, odious things are not fully expressed, particularly in oaths, Psalm 88:36., and 131:2. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "surely none....shall see....because they have not perfectly followed me." (Grotius) (Haydock)
Numbers 32:12 Except Caleb, the son of Jephone, the Cenezite, and Josue, the son of Nun: these have fulfilled my will.

Cenezite. His father was either called Cenez, or a part of the country of the Cenezites, being promised to Caleb at Cades-barne, he assumed his title, Josue 14:6.
Numbers 32:13 And the Lord being angry against Israel, led them about through the desert forty years, until the whole generation, that had done evil in his sight, was consumed.

Led, etc. Septuagint, "he rolled them over," to denote their afflictions. (Haydock)
Numbers 32:14 And behold, said he, you are risen up instead of your fathers, the increase and offspring of sinful men, to augment the fury of the Lord against Israel.

Numbers 32:15 For if you will not follow him, he will leave the people in the wilderness, and you shall be the cause of the destruction of all.

Of all. Hebrew, "if, or because you will not follow after him. He will stop them in the desert, and you will destroy all the people." Septuagint, "because you will turn away from him, to abandon him again in the desert, and you will sin against all this congregation." God had decreed that all should go together to the conquest of the promised land; so that, if these children of Ruben and of Gad should refuse to comply, Moses was afraid that all might be ruined. Perceiving that his discourse turned on this subject, they approached with greater confidence, and shewed their readiness to fight for their brethren. Upon which Moses was satisfied. (Haydock)
Numbers 32:16 But they coming near, said: We will make sheepfolds, and stalls for our cattle, and strong cities for our children:

Numbers 32:17 And we ourselves will go armed and ready for battle before the children of Israel, until we bring them in unto their places. Our little ones, and all we have, shall be in walled cities, for fear of the ambushes of the inhabitants.

Cities, which in the space of two months they would repair sufficiently, so that their children might be protected against the Amorrhites, etc. They left strong garrisons very prudently, to keep possession of the conquered country: 70,580 remained in the cities; while 40,000 went before their brethren. See chap. 26:7, 18., and Josue 4:13.
Numbers 32:18 We will not return into our houses, until the children of Israel possess their inheritance:

Numbers 32:19 Neither will we seek any thing beyond the Jordan, because we have already our possession on the east side thereof.

Jordan. Hebrew adds, "or forward," any where, in case fresh conquests be made. (Calmet)
Numbers 32:20 And Moses said to them: *If you do what you promise, go on well appointed for war before the Lord:

Josue 1:14.
Lord, or the ark, under the guidance and protection of God.
Numbers 32:21 And let every fighting man pass over the Jordan, until the Lord overthrow his enemies,

Man, that may be required: Josue only took 40,000 for the vanguard. (Haydock)
Numbers 32:22 And all the land be brought under him: then shall you be blameless before the Lord and before Israel, and you shall obtain the countries that you desire, before the Lord.

Numbers 32:23 But if you do not what you say, no man can doubt but you sin against God: and know ye that your sin shall overtake you.

Numbers 32:24 Build therefore cities for your children, and folds and stalls for your sheep and beasts: and accomplish what you have promised.

Numbers 32:25 *And the children of Gad and Ruben said to Moses: We are thy servants, we will do what my lord commandeth.

Josue 4:12.
Ruben. No mention is made of those of the half tribe of Manasses. Perhaps they only joined the rest afterwards, chap. 5:33. They occupied the northern parts. (Haydock) --- The Hebrew has here a solecism, "the sons of Gad he said;" to avoid which, Onkelos adds, the tribe, etc. (Houbigant)
Numbers 32:26 We will leave our children, and our wives, and sheep, and cattle, in the cities of Galaad:

Galaad. Only a small part of the territory properly went by that name, ver. 39. (Calmet)
Numbers 32:27 And we, thy servants, all well appointed, will march on to the war, as thou my lord speakest.

Numbers 32:28 Moses therefore commanded Eleazar the priest, and Josue, the son of Nun, and the princes of the families of all the tribes of Israel, and said to them:

Numbers 32:29 *If the children of Gad, and the children of Ruben, pass with you over the Jordan, all armed for war before the Lord, and the land be made subject to you: give them Galaad in possession.

Deuteronomy 3:12.; Josue 13:8.; Josue 22:4.
Numbers 32:30 But if they will not pass armed with you into the land of Chanaan, let them receive places to dwell in among you.

With you. Septuagint, "armed for war before the Lord; take by force their baggage, wives and cattle, before you, into Chanaan, and let them have shares with you in Chanaan." (Haydock)
Numbers 32:31 And the children of Gad, and the children of Ruben, answered: As the Lord hath spoken to his servants, so will we do:

Numbers 32:32 We will go armed before the Lord into the land of Chanaan, and we confess that we have already received our possession beyond the Jordan.

Numbers 32:33 Moses therefore gave to the children of Gad and of Ruben, and to the half tribe of Manasses, the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sehon, king of the Amorrhites, and the kingdom of Og, king of Basan, and their land and the cities thereof round about.

Numbers 32:34 And the sons of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer,

Built, or repaired; for they had been cities of the Amorrhites before. --- Aroer was occupied by the Moabites after the Israelites were led into captivity, Jeremias 48:1, 19.
Numbers 32:35 And Etroth, and Sophan, and Jazer, and Jegbaa,

Sophan. Some believe that this is the same city with Etroth, and that it took its name from Saphon, the son of Gad, chap. 26:15. --- Jegbaa, perhaps the Beon, ver. 3. See Judges 8:11.
Numbers 32:36 And Bethnemra, and Betharan, fenced cities, and folds for their cattle.

Betharan, which Herod enlarged, and called Livias, south of Hesebon. (Calmet)
Numbers 32:37 But the children of Ruben built Hesebon, and Eleale, and Cariathaim,

Numbers 32:38 And Nabo, and Baalmeon, (their names being changed) and Sabama: giving names to the cities which they had built.

Nabo. Probably the same as Nebo and Nobe. --- Baalmeon. This city had a variety of names, ver. 3, 35. Those who rebuilt these cities gave them their own names, ver. 42. (Hebrew Targum of Jerus.) Yet they were often known by their former appellations. (Calmet) --- The rebuilders chiefly objected to the names of idols, Baal, etc., which were joined with these cities. (Menochius)
Numbers 32:39 *Moreover the children of Machir, the son of Manasses, went into Galaad, and wasted it, cutting off the Amorrhites, the inhabitants thereof.

Genesis 50:22.
Numbers 32:40 And Moses gave the land of Galaad to Machir, the son of Manasses, and he dwelt in it.

In it, by means of his descendants. For Machir must have been above 250 years old, if he were still alive. Many children are attributed to Machir and his father, Manasses, who were not their immediate offspring. The latter had only Machir, who survived him; Ezriel was probably a grandson of Machir, as he is styled the son of Galaad, (Numbers 26:31.; Josue 17:2.) See (1 Paralipomenon 7.) Adoptive and legal children, are often confounded with those who are really born of a person, as also those places which are inhabited by his posterity. (Calmet)
Numbers 32:41 And Jair, the son of Manasses, went and took the villages thereof, and he called them Havoth Jair, that is to say, the villages of Jair.

Jair was born of Segub, the son of Esron, by a daughter of Machir, 1 Paralipomenon 1:21. He did not remain in the tribe of Juda, but dwelt in that of his mother, (Calmet) or perhaps he married a descendant of Machir, and obtained these villages. (Selden, Suc. c. xviii.) --- Havoth, means "a circle of cabins or shepherds' huts," in Arabic. (Bochart)
Numbers 32:42 Nobe also went, and took Canath, with the villages thereof: and he called it by his own name, Nobe.

Canath. This town is reckoned among those of Jair, (1 Paralipomenon 2:23,) either because Nobe conquered it under his banners, or because it fell to the share of Jair, after the death of Nobe. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:0 The mansions or journeys of the children of Israel towards the land of promise.

Numbers 33:1 These are the mansions of the children of Israel, who went out of Egypt by their troops, under the conduct of Moses and Aaron,

The mansions. These mansions, or journeys of the children of Israel from Egypt to the land of promise, were figures, according to the Fathers, of the steps and degrees by which Christians, leaving sin, are to advance from virtue to virtue, till they come to the heavenly mansions, after this life, to see and enjoy God. (Challoner) --- Conduct. Literally, "hand." Aaron died before they came to the last of these 42 stations, or encampments. (Haydock) --- The observance of the law, and the true worship of God, can alone insure us eternal happiness, and enable us to sing Holy, etc. (St. Jerome, ep. ad Fab.) (Worthington)
Numbers 33:2 Which Moses wrote down according to the places of their encamping, which they changed by the commandment of the Lord.

Which. Hebrew, "and Moses wrote down their departure and their marches, by the commandment of the Lord; and these are their journeys, according to their going out." These are the places of any note in that wide and dreary desert, near which the Israelites passed. All the encampments are not intended to be specified. The people marched on slowly, and sought for pasturage, with all diligence. The names of these more remarkable places, have been so differently pronounced, that many of them have been greatly confounded; (Calmet) and interpreters vary so much in their situation, that nothing can be decided with certainty. (Haydock)
Numbers 33:3 Now the children of Israel departed from Ramesses the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Phase, with a mighty hand, in the sight of all the Egyptians,

Ramesses, a city of great note, about 60 miles from the Red Sea, Exodus 1:11. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:4 Who were burying their first-born, whom the Lord had slain *(for even upon their gods also he had executed vengeance),

Exodus 12:12.
Gods. Their idols were thrown down. (St. Jerome, ep. 127.) See Exodus 12:12. (Menochius)
Numbers 33:5 And they camped in Soccoth.

Numbers 33:6 And from Soccoth they came into Etham, which is in the uttermost borders of the wilderness.

Soccoth, the second station. (Haydock) --- Etham. Septuagint, "Butham," the Butum of Herodotus, (II. 75,) situated in a plain.
Numbers 33:7 *Departing from thence, they came over-against Phihahiroth, which looketh towards Beelsephon, and they camped before Magdalum.

Exodus 14:2.
Beelsephon; perhaps the city of Clysma, or Colzan, where the Hebrews crossed the sea.
Numbers 33:8 And departing from Phihahiroth, they passed through the midst of the sea, into the wilderness: *and having marched three days through the desert of Etham, they camped in Mara.

Exodus 15:22.
Etham, or Sur. Exodus 15:22. --- Mara, 60 miles to the south of the Red Sea. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:9 *And departing from Mara, they came into Elim, where there were twelve fountains of waters, and seventy palm trees: and there they camped.

Exodus 15:27.
Elim. "The wood of palm-trees, five days' journey from Jericho." (Strabo) See Exodus xv.
Numbers 33:10 But departing from thence also, they pitched their tents by the Red Sea. And departing from the Red Sea,

Red Sea. This encampment is not specified before. (Calmet) --- It was the seventh in order. (Haydock)
Numbers 33:11 They camped in the desert of Sin.

Sin. Farther from the promised land than that of Tsin, (chap. 20:1,) or Cades-barne.
Numbers 33:12 And they removed from thence, and came to Daphca.

Daphca. Septuagint and Eusebius read, Raphca; (Calmet) D and R, in Hebrew, are easily confounded. (Haydock) --- This encampment is passed over in Exodus, as well as the following at Alus.
Numbers 33:13 And departing from Daphca, they camped in Alus.

Numbers 33:14 And departing from Alus, they pitched their tents in Raphidim, *where the people wanted water to drink.

Exodus 17:1.
Raphidim and Sinai. See Exodus xvii., and 19:1.
Numbers 33:15 And departing from Raphidim, they camped in the desert of Sinai.

Numbers 33:16 But departing also from the desert *of Sinai, they came to the graves of lust.

Exodus 19:2.; Numbers 11:34.
Lust. After three days' journey, passing by the station of burning, chap. 10:33., and 11:3.
Numbers 33:17 And departing from the graves of lust, they camped in Haseroth.

Haseroth, near Cades-barne, the same as Aserim, ("the unwalled towns" of the Heveans, extending as far as Gaza) or Asor, called afterwards Esron, on the south of Chanaan, Josue 11:10. Moses does not specify here the memorable encampment at Cades-barne, where the Israelites arrived, after 11 days' march from Horeb, Deuteronomy 1:2, 19. It was not far from Asor, on the frontiers of Idumea, (Calmet) in the desert of Pharan, chap. 13:1.
Numbers 33:18 *And from Haseroth they came to Rethma,

Numbers 13:1.
Numbers 33:19 And departing from Rethma, they camped in Remmonphares.

Rethma. The situation of this and the following station, cannot be fixed.
Numbers 33:20 And they departed from thence, and came to Lebna.

Numbers 33:21 Removing from Lebna, they camped in Ressa.

Lebna. A strong place besieged by Sennacherib, (4 Kings 19:8.) between Cades and Gaza, Josue 10:29. The Hebrews encamped a long while about Mount Seir, Deuteronomy 2:1.
Numbers 33:22 And departing from Ressa, they came to Ceelatha.

Ressa was in the same neighbourhood. St. Hirarion converted its inhabitants.
Numbers 33:23 And they removed from thence, and camped in the mountain Sepher.

Numbers 33:24 Departing from the mountain Sepher, they came to Arada.

Arada. Herad, Adar, or Barad, are probably the same place, on the southern limits of Chanaan, four miles from Maceloth, the Malatis of Eusebius.
Numbers 33:25 From thence they went and camped in Maceloth.

Numbers 33:26 And departing from Maceloth, they came to Thahath.

Numbers 33:27 Removing from Thahath, they camped in Thare.

Numbers 33:28 And they departed from thence, and pitched their tents in Methca.

Numbers 33:29 And removing from Methca, they camped in Hesmona.

Numbers 33:30 And departing from Hesmona, they came to Moseroth.

Hesmona, or Asemona, a city of the tribe of Juda, towards Egypt, chap. 34:4.
Numbers 33:31 And removing from Moseroth, they camped in Benejaacan.

Numbers 33:32 *And departing from Benejaacan, they came to Mount Gadgad.

Deuteronomy 10:7.
Gadgad. These three stations are placed in a different order, Deuteronomy 10:6. But some word has been transposed, as Aaron died on Mount Hor, when the Hebrews encamped at Mosera, or Moseroth, a second time. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:33 From thence they went and camped in Jetebatha.

Numbers 33:34 And from Jetebatha, they came to Hebrona.

Jetebatha. It may be rendered also "Hills of concupiscence," famous for torrents of water, Deuteronomy 10:7.
Numbers 33:35 And departing from Hebrona, they camped in Asiongaber.

Asiongaber. Some place this station on the Mediterranean, where Strabo fixes the city of Gassion Gaber, the Beto Gabria of Ptolemy. But the Scripture informs us it lay on the Red Sea, 3 Kings 9:16. Cellarius thinks most probably upon the Elanitic gulph, to the east of that of Suez, or Heroopolis, where Josephus maintains Asiongaber or Bernice stood. The Hebrews came to this station from that of Elat, Deuteronomy 2:8. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:36 *They removed from thence, and came into the desert of Sin, which is Cades.

Numbers 20:1.
Sin, or Tsin. Cades is another name of the same desert. Near the city of Cades-barne, the Hebrews encamped a long while, and had plenty of water; but here they murmured for want of it, and Mary departed this life, chap. 20. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:37 And departing from Cades, they camped in Mount Hor, in the uttermost borders of the land of Edom.

Hor, at a place called Mosera, Deuteronomy 10:6. This was the road from Arabia to Chanaan, and the Hebrews attempted to enter by it, but were repulsed by the king of Arad, though they afterwards defeated him at Horma, chap. 21:3.
Numbers 33:38 *And Aaron, the priest, went up into Mount Hor, at the commandment of the Lord: and there he died, in the fortieth year of the coming forth of the children of Israel out of Egypt, **the fifth month, the first day of the month,

Numbers 20:25.; Deuteronomy 32:50. --- **
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Numbers 33:39 When he was a hundred and twenty-three years old.

Numbers 33:40 And king Arad, the Chanaanite, who dwelt towards the south, heard that the children of Israel were come to the land of Chanaan.

Numbers 33:41 And they departed from Mount Her, and camped in Salmona.

Salmona, where it is thought by some that God sent the fiery serpents, chap. 21:6. The Israelites being refused a passage by the Idumeans and Moabites, God orders them to measure back their steps towards Asiongaber, and to go round their territories. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:42 From whence they removed and came to Phunon.

Numbers 33:43 And departing from Phunon, they camped in Oboth.

Numbers 33:44 And from Oboth they came to Ijeabarim, which is in the borders of the Moabites.

Numbers 33:45 And departing from Ijeabarim, they pitched their tents in Dibongab.

Dibongad, is often called Dibon. Moses observes, (chap. 21.) that the Hebrews passed by or encamped at various places, before they came to this town. It is sometimes attributed to Ruben, and at other times to Gad, being on the confines of both tribes. (Calmet)
Numbers 33:46 From thence they went and camped in Helmondeblathaim.

Numbers 33:47 And departing from Helmondeblathaim, they came to the mountains of Abarim, over-against Nabo.

Numbers 33:48 And departing from the mountains of Abarim, they passed to the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, over-against Jericho.

Numbers 33:49 And there they camped from Bethsimoth, even to Abelsatim in the plains of the Moabites,

Moabites. Here they were deluded by wicked women, (Numbers 25.) (Haydock) --- From these 42 stations, the Fathers take occasion to shew, how we must advance in a spiritual life. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 33:50 Where the Lord said to Moses:*

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Numbers 33:51 Command the children of Israel, and say to them: When you shall have passed over the Jordan, entering into the land of Chanaan,

Numbers 33:52 Destroy all the inhabitants of that land: *beat down their pillars, and break in pieces their statues, and waste all their high places,

Deuteronomy 7:5.; Judges 2:2.
Pillars. Hebrew, stones placed on high "to be seen." Septuagint, "towers of the sentinels." Chaldean, "where they adore their idols."
Numbers 33:53 Cleansing the land, and dwelling in it. For I have given it you for a possession.

Land of its old inhabitants, and of the places dedicated to superstitious purposes. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "occupy the land." Septuagint, "drive out the inhabitants, and dwell there."
Numbers 33:54 And you shall divide it among you by lot. To the more you shall give a larger part, and to the fewer a lesser. To every one as the lot shall fall, so shall the inheritance be given. The possession shall be divided by the tribes and the families:

Numbers 33:55 But if you will not kill the inhabitants of the land: they that remain, shall be unto you as nails in your eyes, and spears in your sides, and they shall be your adversaries in the land of your habitation.

Nails. Septuagint, "goads," etc., by which they will force you in a manner to gratify your curiosity, by an imitation of their idol worship; and thus will prove to you more dangerous, than if you had nails piercing your eyes. See Josue 23:13., and Ezechiel 28:24. These abandoned nations must not be spared through a false pity, Deuteronomy 20:16. (Calmet) --- The Israelites, however, proved negligent, and God made use of the remains of these nations to scourge his people, and to train them for war. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 33:56 And whatsoever I had thought to do to them, I will do to you.

Numbers 34:0 The limits of Chanaan: with the names of the men that shall make the division of it.

Numbers 34:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:

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Numbers 34:2 Command the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When you are entered into the land of Chanaan, and it shall be fallen unto your possession by lot, it shall be bounded by these limits:

Numbers 34:3 *The south side shall begin from the wilderness of Sin, which is by Edom: and shall have the most salt sea for its furthest limits eastward:

Josue 15:1.
The most salt sea. The lake of Sodom, otherwise called the Dead Sea. (Challoner) --- Limits. These are very properly defined in this place, that the Hebrews may know what nations they ought to destroy. (Menochius) --- A line may be drawn from the southern point of the Dead Sea, through Adar, as far as the Nile and the Mediterranean Sea, comprising a part of the desert of Sin, or Zin.
Numbers 34:4 Which limits shall go round on the south side by the ascent of the Scorpion, and so into Senna, and reach toward the south as far as Cades-barne, from whence the frontiers shall go out to the town called Adar, and shall reach as far as Asemona.

The Scorpion. A mountain so called, from having a great number of scorpions. (Challoner) --- Hebrew Hakrabbim. There was a city of the same name, the capital of Acrabathene, (1 Machabees 3:3.) not far from Petra. --- Senna, a town of the desert of Zin, (Calmet) or a mountain specified. (Judges 1:36.) (St. Jerome) --- Adar. Hebrew, "Hasor Adar." But they seem to be two distinct towns, Josue 15:3. --- Asemona. See (Numbers 33:30.)
Numbers 34:5 And the limits shall fetch a compass from Asemona to the torrent of Egypt, and shall end in the shore of the great sea.

Egypt. Many suppose the rivulet of Rinocorura is meant. (Menochius) --- But it seems more probable that the Nile, the only river of Egypt, or the eastern branch of it, where Pelusium stands, is designated. There is no proof that the former rivulet belonged to Egypt; and though some assert that the Hebrews never dwelt to the west of it, the territory was so barren, that nothing may be said respecting that affair. We find, however, that under Solomon they inhabited as far as the river of Egypt; (1 Paralipomenon 13:5., and 3 Kings 8:65,) and if they had not, God's promise entitled them to that part of the country; as well as to that which extends to the great river Euphrates, though they perhaps never took possession of it. See Genesis 15:18., and Josue 13:3. Pelusium is commonly reckoned the frontier town of Egypt, Ezechiel 30:15. (Stabo xvi.) In another place, the promised land extends from Emath to the torrent of Egypt, (1 Kings 8:55,) or of the desert, Amos 6:15. (Calmet)
Numbers 34:6 And the west side shall begin from the great sea, and the same shall be the end thereof.

Great sea, compared with those of Palestine, which were only like pools or lakes. The Hebrews call every great collection of water, a sea. The Mediterranean bounded the promised land entirely, on the west.
Numbers 34:7 But toward the north side, the borders shall begin from the great sea, reaching to the most high mountain,

The most high mountain. Libanus. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "the mountain of the mountain, or of Hor." Some understand Mount Casius, Hermon, Taurus, or Amanus; which last lies on the confines of Cilicia, and hence the Rabbins draw a line by the straits of Gibraltar to Pelusium, so as to comprise all the islands and the waters of the Mediterranean. (Selden, Marc. Claus. 1:6.) But Grotius denies that the sea can be claimed by any one, nor was it, even for fishing, says he, before the days of Justinian. (Jur. 2:2, 3.) (Calmet) --- At any rate, Moses here seems to mean the northern limits from the point of the Mediterranean, where Libanus is situated, across the country eastward to Emath, and as far as the village of Enan, ver. 9. (Haydock)
Numbers 34:8 From which they shall come to Emath, as far as the borders of Sedada:

Emath. It is of great importance to fix the situation of this city. Some take it to be Antioch, the capital of Syria, on the Orontes. But that was a modern city, founded by Nicanor, and called after his father, Antiochus, and embellished by Callinicus and Epiphanes. (Strabo xvi.) --- Others believe it is Epiphania, at the foot of Libanus, on the same river, and a distinct city from Emath Rabba, or "the great," of Amos 6:2. Josephus [Antiquities?] 1:7, (Calmet) and St. Jerome (in Isaias x.) seem to be of this opinion. (Menochius) --- But the city in question was most probably Emesa, of which Amos speaks above. It was also upon the river Orontes, at a small distance to the east of Libanus, on the road to Damascus. This road was the northern boundary. Emesa was perhaps formerly the capital of the country of Soba, (2 Paralipomenon 8:3,) and was taken by Solomon. Reblatha, or Rebla, (ver. 11,) was a part of its territory. (Theodoret in Jer. 39:5.) (Calmet)
Numbers 34:9 And the limits shall go as far as Zephrona, and the village of Enan. These shall be the borders on the north side.

Enan. Hebrew, "Hazer Henan." In Ezechiel, (xlvii. 17,) it is called the court of Enon. It may be Gaana, north of Damascus, or rather Inna, placed to the south of that city by Ptolemy.
Numbers 34:10 From thence they shall mark out the bounds towards the east side, from the village of Enan unto Sephama,

Numbers 34:11 And from Sephama the bounds shall go down to Rebla, over-against the fountain of Daphnis: from thence they shall come eastward to the sea of Cenereth,

Sephama, or Apamea. (Targum) --- Rebla. Septuagint, "Bela, or Asbela." (Haydock) --- St. Jerome understands Antioch, near which was the fountain of Daphnis, or Daphne, a word which is inserted in the Targum, though it be not found in Hebrew. But Antioch did not lie on the eastern borders, and this fountain may be the same place as Enan, ver. 9. --- Against. Hebrew, "on the east side of Ain, or the fountain." (Calmet) --- Cenereth. This is the sea of Galilee, illustrated by the miracles of our Lord. (Challoner) --- The line was not drawn to this lake of Genesareth, or of Tiberias, as it was likewise called, but comprised a large territory lying to the east of it, (Calmet) and given to the tribes of Manasses, Gad, and Ruben, which inhabited the country east of the Jordan and of the Salt Sea. (Haydock) --- Eastward: the Septuagint insinuate, "to the south, leaving the sea of Cenereth on the east." --- The fountain of Daphnis may probably be that near the Semechonite lake, through which the Jordan runs. (Josephus, Jewish Wars 4:1.) It may have received the title of Daphnis, from the laurels with which it is adorned, like the suburbs of Antioch. (Bonfrere) (Menochius) --- It appears that Moses has only in view, the nine tribes for which a provision was not yet made; and their eastern limits extended from Emath, down the Jordan to the Dead Sea, so as to comprise no part to the east of that river, which was already given to their brethren; (see ver. 13, 15, 29;) and thus the observation of Calmet, respecting the countries east of Cenereth, will be rather inaccurate, as the line must run through that sea, following the course of the Jordan. These were properly the eastern limits of Chanaan, which country comprised all between Egypt and Idumea, as far as Sidon and Mount Libanus, being bounded by the Jordan on the east. The other three tribes were hemmed in on the north and east by the mountains of Hermon, Basan, Galaad, and Arnon; beyond which, the nations about Damascus, and the descendants of Ammon, Ismael, and Moab dwelt, in Syria and the desert of Arabia, so that the latter country was the eastern boundary of the promised land, taken in its utmost extent. (Haydock) --- The respective limits must naturally vary, when we speak of the whole or a part only. (Du Hamel) (Tirinus)
Numbers 34:12 And shall reach as far as the Jordan, and at the last shall be closed in by the most salt sea. This shall be your land with its borders round about.

Numbers 34:13 And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying: This shall be the land which you shall possess by lot, and which the Lord hath commanded to be given to the nine tribes, and to the half tribe.

Numbers 34:14 For the tribe of the children of Ruben by their families, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the number of their kindreds, and half of the tribe of Manasses,

Numbers 34:15 That is, two tribes and a half, have received their portion beyond the Jordan, over-against Jericho, at the east side.

Numbers 34:16 And the Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 34:17 *These are the names of the men, that shall divide the land unto you: Eleazar the priest, and Josue, the son of Nun,

Josue 14:1-2.
Numbers 34:18 And one prince of every tribe,

Numbers 34:19 Whose names are these: Of the tribe of Juda, Caleb, the son of Jephone.

Numbers 34:20 Of the tribe of Simeon, Samuel, the son of Ammiud.

Numbers 34:21 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad, the son of Chaselon.

Numbers 34:22 Of the tribe of the children of Dan, Bocci, the son of Jogli.

Numbers 34:23 Of the children of Joseph of the tribe of Manasses, Hanniel, the son of Ephod.

Numbers 34:24 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Camuel, the son of Sephthan.

Numbers 34:25 Of the tribe of Zabulon, Elisaphan, the son of Phamach.

Numbers 34:26 Of the tribe of Issachar, Phaltiel, the prince, the son of Ozan.

Numbers 34:27 Of the tribe of Aser, Ahiud, the son of Salomi.

Numbers 34:28 Of the tribe of Nephtali[Nephthali?]: Phedael, the son of Ammiud.

Numbers 34:29 These are they whom the Lord hath commanded to divide the land of Chanaan to the children of Israel.

Numbers 35:0 Cities are appointed for the Levites. Of which six are to be the cities of refuge.

Numbers 35:1 And the Lord spoke *these things also to Moses, in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, over-against Jericho:

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Numbers 35:2 *Command the children of Israel, that they give to the Levites out of their possessions,

Josue 21:2.
Numbers 35:3 Cities to dwell in, and their suburbs round about: that they may abide in the towns, and the suburbs may be for their cattle and beasts:

Cities, in all forty-eight, with a thousand paces round them. This land belonged to the community: but some built upon it, Josue 21:18., and 1 Paralipomenon 6:60. The burial place for the Levites lay behind it. (Drusius) --- In these cities alone, the Levites had houses and gardens of their own; others might live with them, and indeed the cities acknowledged other lords, as Hebron belonged to Caleb, Josue 14:14. The Levites were dispersed throughout the land, that they might instruct the people both by word and by example, Deuteronomy 33:10. They had a clear revenue without labour of husbandry, equivalent to any two of the other tribes. (Abulensis.) --- Six of their cities were assigned for places of refuge, as they were the proper judges of the cases, in which murder may be excused, and to remind them that they ought to be very merciful. Hence arose the privileges, granted to some churches, of protecting those who fled to them for an asylum. That none might be hindered from enjoying this benefit, three of these cities were situated on each side of the Jordan, and at equal distances. (Salien)
Numbers 35:4 Which suburbs shall reach from the walls of the cities outward, a thousand paces on every side:

Paces. This is equivalent to 2000 cubits, (ver. 5,) or a sabbath day's journey. (Selden, Jur. 3:9.; St. Jerome, q. 9. ad algas.) Hebrew retains the same word, amma, "cubit," in both verses: but some copies of the Septuagint, Philo, and Josephus, have "2000 cubits," (Calmet) which Dr. Wall and Kennicott deem to be the original reading. (Haydock) --- Bonfrere would also correct the Hebrew by the Vulgate, as a pace among the Greeks consisted of three feet, and a cubit of half that quantity. The geometric pace of the Romans contained five feet, and the sacred cubit of Villalpand, half as much; so that 2000 sacred cubits make 1000 geometric paces. Thus the Vulgate is perfectly consistent with itself. (Menochius) --- Some imagine that Moses speaks of the common cubit here and of the sacred one, which was doubly as large, ver. 5. But this is not probable; and the distinction of cubits, (Calmet) at least in his days, (Haydock) is very uncertain. Perhaps Moses may first specify the depth of this space of ground from the wall, and afterwards its length, which would be doubly greater. (Calmet) See Servius on Jos. xxi. q. 8, etc. --- The semidiameter was probably 1000 cubits. (Du Hamel)
Numbers 35:5 Toward the east shall be two thousand cubits: and toward the south in like manner shall be two thousand cubits: toward the sea also, which looketh to the west, shall be the same extent: and the north side shall be bounded with the like limits. And the cities shall be in the midst, and the suburbs without.

Sea. Hebrew simply, "on the west side 2000 cubits, and on the north side 2000 cubits, and the city in the midst. This shall be to them the suburbs of the city."
Numbers 35:6 *And among the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, six shall be separated for refuge to fugitives, that he who hath shed blood may flee to them: and besides these there shall be other forty-two cities,

Deuteronomy 19:2.; Josue 20:2.
Cities. Maimonides pretends, that all the forty-eight cities of the Levites were asylums; though only six were bound to receive the fugitive gratis. Moses had promised a place of refuge, which he now grants, Exodus 21:13. The altar and temple enjoyed the like privilege: the latter even till its destruction. (Philo) --- Josephus mentions only six cities of refuge. Those who could not be supposed to have killed a person designedly, were not obliged to flee to them; as, on the other hand, the murderer was not permitted to enter, if his malice were notorious, or his negligence extreme. (Rabbins ep. Selden, Jur. 4:2.) To be secured at the altar of holocausts, it was necessary to touch the grate. If the judges declared that the person's case was such as the law admitted, he was conducted away, under a strong guard, to one of the cities; or, if he were deemed unworthy, he was put to death, out of the holy place. The altar was commonly the refuge only of priests. Those who were not of Hebrew extraction, could not claim the rights of an asylum, according to the Rabbins. But the contrary seems to be asserted, ver. 15. The roads to the cities of refuge were to be kept in good repair, and in case more than six should be found necessary, three others might be appointed, Deuteronomy 19:3, 8. This privilege is founded on the law of nature, which decrees that the life of the innocent man, who has had the misfortune to kill another, should not be taken away. Other nations extended this right to almost every crime, that the weak might have an opportunity of defending themselves. The sons of Hercules erected for this purpose the altar of mercy, at Athens. Some of the pagan temples could protect even the greatest criminals, as well as the innocent, who might fear oppression. Those of Apollo, at Delphos, of Bacchus, at Ephesus, etc., were very famous. See Marsham, Chron. saec. 13. Tiberius found it necessary to recall these privileges among the Greeks, as they were greatly abused. (Tacitus, An. 3:6.) But his decree was not much regarded. The Romans had their asylums also, at Naples, etc., where those who had been condemned to die, might be secure. Rome itself was an asylum for all strangers, as St. Augustine remarks, City of God 1:The Christian emperors afforded the like privileges to our churches. But some who were guilty of the crimes of adultery, murder, heresy, etc., were deprived of the benefit. (Calmet) --- Those who fled to the altar among the Jews were first to be purified; (Philo) and if they had committed murder publicly, like Joab, they were dragged away, 3 Kings 2:(Tirinus)
Numbers 35:7 That is, in all forty-eight, with their suburbs.

Numbers 35:8 And of these cities which shall be given out of the possessions of the children of Israel, from them that have more, more shall be taken: and from them that have less, fewer. Each shall give towns to the Levites according to the extent of their inheritance.

Numbers 35:9 The Lord said to Moses:

Numbers 35:10 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: When you shall have passed over the Jordan into the land of Chanaan,

Numbers 35:11 Determine what cities shall be for the refuge of fugitives, who have shed blood against their will.

Numbers 35:12 And when the fugitive shall be in them, the kinsman of him that is slain may not have power to kill him, until he stand before the multitude, and his cause be judged.

Kinsman, the nearest relation, who was called the revenger of blood, (ver. 25, 27.; Haydock) or the redeemer, because it was his duty to see that justice was done to the deceased. When the person, who had involuntarily committed murder, arrived at the city, he was to make his appearance before the judges of it, and, if they thought his account satisfactory, they admitted him, but upon condition that he should take his trial before the judges and the people of that country, where the murder had taken place, (ver. 25., and Josue 20:4, 9.; Tirinus) though some think that the judges of the city of refuge, passed sentence. (Masius; etc.) --- If it proved favourable, he was bound to remain in the city, till the death of the high priest, otherwise the relations might kill him as an outlaw; as they might also if he was declared guilty. In case the murder were voluntary, the judges of the place where it was committed set to demand the criminal, Deuteronomy 19:11.
Numbers 35:13 *And of those cities, that are separated for the refuge of fugitives,

Deuteronomy 4:41.; Josue 20:7-8.
Numbers 35:14 Three shall be beyond the Jordan, and three in the land of Chanaan,

Numbers 35:15 As well for the children of Israel as for strangers and sojourners, that he may flee to them, who hath shed blood against his will.

Numbers 35:16 If any man strike with iron, and he die that was struck: he shall be guilty of murder, and he himself shall die.

Numbers 35:17 If he throw a stone, and he that is struck die: he shall be punished in the same manner.

Numbers 35:18 If he that is struck with wood, die: he shall be revenged by the blood of him that struck him.

If, etc. Hebrew, "or he smite him with a wooden weapon, (wherewith he may die,) and he die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death." The two former verses are expressed in the same awful manner, intimating that the weapon must be of such a nature that it might easily give a mortal wound, and also that the effect really followed. In these cases, if the person could not clear himself, no refuge or reprieve was allowed. (Haydock) --- But the deceased must have been killed upon the spot, otherwise the person who struck him could only be required to pay a fine, Exodus 21:19. (Menochius)
Numbers 35:19 The kinsman of him that was slain, shall kill the murderer: as soon as he apprehendeth him, he shall kill him.

Him, with impunity. If the judges have passed sentence, he shall be obliged to put it in execution, ver. 21, 31. (St. Augustine, q. 65.) (Estius) --- The laws of Athens required also that a relation should put the murderer to death, though the deceased were even of servile condition. (Demost.) --- Those of Rome condemned the involuntary manslayer to retire for a year, and afterwards to appease some one of the relations, and to offer the sacrifices, and submit to the usual purifications. Even at the present day, the Persians and Arabs deliver the murderer to be slain by the kinsmen of the deceased, after sentence has been passed by the judges.
Numbers 35:20 *If through hatred any one push a man, or fling any thing at him with ill design:

Deuteronomy 19:11.
Numbers 35:21 Or being his enemy, strike him with his hand, and he die: the striker shall be guilty of murder: the kinsman of him that was slain, as soon as he findeth him, shall kill him.

Kill him. It seems when the case was evident, he was not only permitted, but commanded to punish the criminal. (Bonfrere) (Deuteronomy 19:12.) (Menochius)
Numbers 35:22 But if by chance-medley, and without hatred,

Numbers 35:23 And enmity, he do any of these things,

Numbers 35:24 And this be proved in the hearing of the people, and the cause be debated between him that struck, and the next of kin:

Numbers 35:25 The innocent shall be delivered from the hand of the revenger, and shall be brought back by sentence into the city, to which he had fled, and he shall abide there until the death of the high priest, that is anointed with the holy oil.

Delivered. Hebrew, "the multitude shall deliver the slayer." It seems the judges pronounced sentence, according to the votes of the people assembled; (Calmet) or the plurality of voices among the 21 judges decided the matter. (Grotius) (Haydock) --- High priest. This mystically signified that our deliverance was to be effected by the death of Christ, the high priest and the anointed of God. (Challoner) --- He rescued us from the hand of the revenger, the devil. (Theodoret, q. 50, 51.) --- Before his death, the way to our true country was not open, nor secure. (St. Gregory, hom 6. in Ezec.) (Worthington) --- By this law, Moses shewed a horror for murder, and the respect due to the person of the high priest, during whose life even the involuntary murderer was obliged to keep himself retired in a city of refuge. (Masius) --- At the death of the pontiff, all Israel put on mourning, so that private injuries were to be forgotten, when the public had such cause for sorrow; and in the mean time the vengeance of kinsmen would relent. (Maimonides; More. 3:40.) --- Murder was punished by the Greeks, in the days of Homer, with banishment, though sometimes this was remitted by the relations, for a sum of money. (Iliad ix.) (Calmet)
Numbers 35:26 If the murderer be found without the limits of the cities that are appointed for the banished,

Numbers 35:27 And be struck by him that is the avenger of blood: he shall not be guilty that killed him.

Him. Custom explained this law, as giving leave to any person to inflict the punishment upon the wandering murderer, though the relation seem only to be specified. (Grotius) --- Some think, that to kill such a person was still criminal in the sight of God. But others believe that, as he had forfeited the privilege of an asylum, by absenting himself from it, (Calmet) the law subjected him to the same rigour, with which he might have been treated before he came thither; (ver. 19.; Haydock) and provided proper moderation were observed, and malicious revenge avoided, no guilt would attach to him, who executed the implied sentence of death. The Jews observe, that God allows us to revenge another sooner than ourselves, as there is less danger of excess or of delusion. (Calmet)
Numbers 35:28 For the fugitive ought to have stayed in the city until the death of the high priest: and after he is dead, then shall the manslayer return to his own country.

Numbers 35:29 These things shall be perpetual, and for an ordinance in all your dwellings.

Numbers 35:30 The murderer shall be punished by witnesses: none shall be condemned upon the evidence of one man.

Man. A person might be tried on such evidence, Deuteronomy 19:15.
Numbers 35:31 You shall not take money of him that is guilty of blood, but he shall die forthwith.

Numbers 35:32 The banished and fugitives before the death of the high priest may by no means return into their own cities.

Cities. Hebrew, "you shall take no money to retire to a city of refuge, to return into his own country, till the death of the priest." The Septuagint supply, "you shall take no redemption money, to permit (a voluntary murderer) to flee into a city of refuge, (nor of an involuntary one,) to return," etc. (Grotius) --- The banished, may refer to people of the former description, who had gone away to screen themselves from persecution. But they could never be allowed to inhabit the country any more. Their presence would seem to defile it. (Haydock) --- "You shall not take money of him who has fled to a city of refuge, to suffer him to return home." (Chaldean)
Numbers 35:33 Defile not the land of your habitation, which is stained with the blood of the innocent: neither can it otherwise be expiated, but by his blood that hath shed the blood of another.

Defile not. To inspire a greater horror for murder, the earth was represented as defiled by blood, and only to be purified by the death of the criminal. Without shedding of blood, there is no remission, Hebrews 9:22. (Haydock) --- On the same principle, our churches, etc., are deemed profane, when murder, or some great indecencies, have been committed in them, so that they require a fresh consecration. (Calmet)
Numbers 35:34 And thus shall your possession be cleansed, myself abiding with you. For I am the Lord that dwell among the children of Israel.

Numbers 36:0 That the inheritances may not be alienated from one tribe to another, all are to marry within their own tribes.

Numbers 36:1 And the princes of the families of Galaad,* the son of Machir, the son of Manasses, of the stock of the children of Joseph, came: and spoke to Moses before the princes of Israel, and said:

Numbers 27:1.
Galaad. The descendants of Machir, who were settled in Galaad, were particularly interested, in knowing how their female relations of the house of Salphaad, were to dispose of their fortunes, which God had allowed them. They knew that, by the law, their husbands would obtain possession; and if those husbands should be of another tribe, part of the land allotted to Manasses might be lost. See (Numbers 27.; Josue 17:1-3.)
Numbers 36:2 The Lord hath commanded thee, my lord, that thou shouldst divide the land by lot to the children of Israel, and that thou shouldst give to the daughters of Salphaad, our brother, the possession due to their father:

Numbers 36:3 Now if men of another tribe take them to wives, their possession will follow them, and being transferred to another tribe, will be a diminishing of our inheritance.

Numbers 36:4 And so it shall come to pass, that when the jubilee, that is the fiftieth year of remission is come, the distribution made by the lots shall be confounded, and the possession of the one shall pass to the others.

That is, an explanation of the jubilee, added by St. Jerome, who gives the sense of the Hebrew, though not the very words. --- Lots. Hebrew, "when the jubilee of the children of Israel is come, then shall their inheritance be added to that of the tribe in which they are received; so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers." (Haydock)
Numbers 36:5 Moses answered the children of Israel, and said by the command of the Lord: The tribe of the children of Joseph hath spoken rightly.

Numbers 36:6 And this is the law, promulgated by the Lord, touching the daughters of Salphaad: *Let them marry to whom they will, only so that it be to men of their own tribe:

Tobias 7:14.
Tribe. Hebrew adds family also: for heiresses were obliged to marry in their own family, to prevent the confusion of the inheritances. If they had a mind to renounce their right, they were at liberty to marry where they pleased. (Calmet) --- The nearest relations, who chose to receive their land, were under an obligation of marrying them, (Ruth 4:6.) (Haydock) --- A similar law prevailed at Athens.
Numbers 36:7 Lest the possession of the children of Israel be mingled from tribe to tribe. For all men shall marry wives of their own tribe and kindred:

Wives. Hebrew, "shall keep to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers." Those who marry heiresses must be of the same family: but others may take wives from any of the tribes of Israel, as the most holy did without scruple. St. Jerome in (Jeremias 32.) (Tirinus) (Estius) --- The Rabbins extend this law to all, with the Vulgate: but only during the time that the land of Chanaan remained undivided. (Selden, Succ. chp. XVIII.)
Numbers 36:8 And all women shall take husbands of the same tribe: that the inheritance may remain in the families,

Women. Hebrew, "every daughter that possesseth an inheritance....shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father." Commonly the females were debarred from inheriting land, when they had any brothers. The Levites were not concerned in these regulations, as they had no inheritance; and hence, we need not be surprised to find that St. Elizabeth, of the daughters of Aaron, (Luke 1:36,) was related to the blessed Virgin, who was of the family of David. The mother of St. Elizabeth might be of the tribe of Juda; or a maternal ancestor of the blessed Virgin might spring from the tribe of Levi. (Calmet) --- Tradition determined the lawfulness of such marriages, and in this case, St. Augustine (Consens. Ev. 2:2,) admires the providence of God, in causing his beloved Son, the great anointed, to be born both of the regal and priestly tribes, in which an unction was required, before the priests and kings were put in possession of their respective offices. Thus Christ was both priest and king, and such were anointed in the law of Moses. (Worthington)
Numbers 36:9 And that the tribes be not mingled one with another, but remain so

Numbers 36:10 As they were separated by the Lord. And the daughters of Salphaad did as was commanded:

Numbers 36:11 And Maala, and Thersa, and Hegla, and Melcha, and Noa, were married to the sons of their uncle, by their father

Father. They married their cousin-germans. The original is rather undecisive, as Dod may signify, "an uncle, great uncle, or cousin;" and a son, in Scripture, is often put for any descendant. The marriages of cousins were not expressly forbidden by the law, and if they had, they might have been dispensed with on this occasion, as well as when a brother died without issue. (Calmet) --- Claudius was the first of the Romans who obtained leave of the senate to marry his brother's daughter. (Suetonius) (Du Hamel)
Numbers 36:12 Of the family of Manasses, who was the son of Joseph: and the possession that had been allotted to them, remained in the tribe and family of their father.

Numbers 36:13 These are the commandments and judgments, which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses to the children of Israel, in the plains of Moab, upon the Jordan, over-against Jericho.