Moshe teaches the rules and restrictions
governing oaths and vows, especially the role of a husband or father in
either upholding or annulling a vow. Bnai Yisrael
wage war against Midian. They kill the five Midianite
Kings, all the males and Bilaam.
Moshe is upset that women were taken captive, because they were
catalysts for the immoral behavior of the Jewish People. He
rebukes the officers. The spoils of war are counted and
apportioned. The commanding officers report to Moshe that there
was not one casualty among Bnai Yisrael. They bring
an offering which is taken by Moshe and Elazar
and placed in the Ohel Mo'ed (Tent of Meeting).
The Tribes of Gad and Reuven, who own
large quantities of livestock, petition Moshe to allow
them to remain east of the Jordan and not enter the Land of
Israel. They explain that the land east of the Jordan is quite
suitable grazing land for their livestock. Moshe's
initial response is that this request will discourage the rest of Bnai
Yisrael, and that it is akin to the sin of the spies. They
assure Moshe that they will first help conquer Israel, and
only then will they go back to their homes on the eastern side of the
Jordan River. Moshe grants their request on
condition that they uphold their part of the deal.
The Torah names all 42 encampments of Bnai
Yisrael on their 40-year journey from the Exodus until the
crossing of the Jordan river into Eretz Yisrael.
G-d commands Bnai Yisrael to drive out
the Canaanites from Eretz Yisrael
and to demolish every vestige of their idolatry. Bnai
Yisrael are warned that if they fail to rid the land completely
of the Canaanites, those who remain will be "pins in
their eyes and thorns in their sides."
The boundaries of the Land of Israel are defined, and the tribes are
commanded to set aside 48 cities for the Levi'im, who do
not receive a regular portion in the division of the Land. Cities
of refuge are to be established: someone who murders unintentionally may
The daughters of Tzlofchad marry members of their tribe so
that their inheritance will stay in their own tribe.
Thus ends the Book of Bamidbar "Numbers", the
fourth of the Books of The Torah.