Numbers 9

Numbers 9


The LordI spokeII to MosesIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
II “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
III “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.

in the wildernessIV of Sinai,V in the firstVI monthVII

Notes on verse 1b

IV “wilderness” = midbar. Related to “spoke” in v1. From dabar (see note II above). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.
V “Sinai” = Sinay. Probably from the same as Sin (Sin, a city meaning “clay” or “bush); {perhaps from asam (to gather, store) OR from seneh (thorn bush) OR related to Aramaic siyn (a god called Sin) OR perhaps Hebrew siyn (related to mud or clay)}. This is Sinai – a place whose name may mean “bush of the Lord” or “muddy.” See
VI “first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
VII “month” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.

of the secondVIII yearIX after they had come outX of the landXI of Egypt,XII saying, 

Notes on verse 1c

VIII “second” = sheni. From shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is double, again, another, second.
IX “year” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
X “come out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
XI “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

“Let the IsraelitesXIII keepXIV the PassoverXV at its appointed time.XVI 

Notes on verse 2

XIII “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
XIV “keep” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XV “Passover” = pesach. From pasach (to stop, pass over, skip over, to spare). This is Passover – used for the feast, the lamb of sacrifice, the day, and the festival itself. It means exemption.
XVI “appointed time” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.

On the fourteenthXVII dayXVIII of this month, atXIX twilight,XX you shall keep it at its appointed time;

Notes on verse 3a

XVII “fourteenth” = arba + asar. Arba is from raba (to make square or be four-sided). This is four. Asar is from the same as eser (ten). It is -ten, -teen, or -tenth.
XVIII “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XIX “at” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
XX “twilight” = ereb. This is evening or dusk.

according to allXXI its statutesXXII and all its regulationsXXIII you shall keep it.” 

Notes on verse 3b

XXI “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XXII “statutes” = chuqqah. From choq (statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance; something that is prescribed or something that is owed); from chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is something prescribed such as a statue, custom, or ordinance.
XXIII “regulations” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.

So Moses toldXXIV the Israelites that they should keep the Passover. They kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai. JustXXV as the Lord had commandedXXVI Moses, soXXVII the Israelites did.XXVIII 

Notes on verses 4-5

XXIV “told” = dabar. Same as “spoke” in v1. See note II above.
XXV “just” = kol. Same as “all” in v3. See note XXI above.
XXVI “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
XXVII “so” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XXVIII “did” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.

Now there wereXXIX certain peopleXXX who were uncleanXXXI through touching a corpse,XXXII

Notes on verse 6a

XXIX “were” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
XXX “people” = enosh. From anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is human, humankind, another. It is mortal.
XXXI “unclean” = tame. From tame (to defile, be unclean, pollute in a ritual or ethical sense). This is unclean, ill, or ritually impure.
XXXII “corpse” = nephesh + adam. Nephesh is related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires. Adam is perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.

so that they couldXXXIII not keep the Passover on that day. They cameXXXIV beforeXXXV Moses and AaronXXXVI on that day 

Notes on verse 6b

XXXIII “could” = yakol. This is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
XXXIV “came” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
XXXV “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XXXVI “Aaron” = Aharon. Derivation uncertain. May mean “bearer of martyrs” OR be related to Ancient Egyptian ꜥḥꜣ rw (warrior lion) OR elevated, exalted, high mountain. This is Aaron. See

andXXXVII said to him, “Although we are unclean through touching a corpse, why must we be keptXXXVIII fromXXXIX presentingXL the Lord’s offeringXLI at its appointed time amongXLII the Israelites?” 

Notes on verse 7

XXXVII {untranslated} = ish. Related to “people” in v6. Perhaps from enosh (see note XXX above). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XXXVIII “kept” = gara. This is to remove, restrain, cut off, take away, shave, limit.
XXXIX “from” = bilti. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles.
XL “presenting” = qarab. Same as “came” in v6. See note XXXIV above.
XLI “offering” = qorban. Related to “came” in v6. From qarab (see note XXXIV above). This is an oblation or offering, which is to say, a sacrifice.
XLII “among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.

Moses said to them, “Wait,XLIII so that I may hearXLIV what the Lord will command concerning you.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the Israelites, saying: AnyoneXLV of you or your descendantsXLVI who is unclean through touching a corpse

Notes on verses 8-10a

XLIII “wait” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
XLIV “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
XLV “anyone” = ish + ish. Same as {untranslated} in v7. See note XXXVII above.
XLVI “descendants” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.

or is awayXLVII on a journeyXLVIII shall still keepXLIX the Passover to the Lord. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day, at twilight, they shall keepL it; they shall eatLI it

Notes on verses 10b-11a

XLVII “away” = rachoq. From rachaq (to widen, become distant, cast, or remove in a literal or figurative sense). This is distant or far, whether of space or of time.
XLVIII “journey” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
XLIX “keep” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.
L “keep” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.
LI “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.

with unleavened breadLII and bitter herbs.LIII 12 They shall leaveLIV none of it until morningLV

Notes on verses 11b-12a

LII “unleavened bread” = matstsah. From matsats (to drain out). This is unleavened bread – bread that is sweet rather than becoming sour with the flavor of yeast. Can also be used to refer to the festival of Passover, the staple food of which is commonly transliterate matzoh from this word.
LIII “bitter herbs” = maror. 3x in OT. From marar (to be bitter, enraged, weep, grieve; properly, to trickle; to become bitter in a literal or figurative sense); from marar (to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled); from mar (bitterness literal or figurative). This is bitterness or a bitter thing. It is where Mara (Naomi’s new name) and Miriam and Mary come from.
LIV “leave” = shaar. Properly, this is swelling up i.e. being left over, a remnant, remaining, being redundant.
LV “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.

nor breakLVI a boneLVII of it; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keepLVIII it. 13 But anyone who is cleanLIX and is not on a journey and yet refrainsLX

Notes on verses 12b-13a

LVI “break” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.
LVII “bone” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
LVIII “keep” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.
LIX “clean” = tahor. From taher (bright, which implies being pure or clean; to purge, cleanse, or purify; clean in a ritual sense or a moral one (i.e. moral or holy)). This is clean or pure in a literal, ritual, or ethical sense.
LX “refrains” = chadal. This is properly to be flabby – it implies, to stop, fall, end, rest, leave alone, forsake, or desist. Figuratively this can be lacking or idle.

from keepingLXI the Passover shall be cut offLXII, LXIII from the peopleLXIV for not presenting the Lord’s offering at its appointed time;

Notes on verse 13b

LXI “keeping” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.
LXII “cut off” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
LXIII {untranslated} = nephesh. Same as “corpse” in v6. See note XXXII above.
LXIV “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.

such a oneLXV shall bear the consequencesLXVI for the sin.LXVII 14 Any alienLXVIII residingLXIX among you

Notes on verses 13c-14a

LXV “one” = ish. Same as {untranslated} in v7. See note XXXVII above.
LXVI “bear the consequences” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
LXVII “sin” = chet. From chata (to miss, sin, bear blame, to forfeit, lack). This is sin, fault, or punishment of sin.
LXVIII “alien” = ger. Related to “residing” in v14. From gur (see note LXIX below). This is sojourner, guest, stranger, foreigner.
LXIX “residing” = gur. Properly, this is the act of turning off the road for any reason. So, it means sojourning, becoming a guest. It can mean being fearful since one is outside of home territory. It can also mean dwelling, living, or inhabiting if one has turned off the root to encamp for a longer duration. This word is where the Hebrew “ger” comes from, which is the word translated “stranger” or “resident alien.”

who wishes to keepLXX the Passover to the Lord shall do so according to the statute of the Passover and according to its regulation;LXXI you shall haveLXXII oneLXXIII statuteLXXIV for both the resident alienLXXV and the nativeLXXVI of the land.”

Notes on verse 14b

LXX “keep” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.
LXXI {untranslated} = ken. Same as “so” in v5. See note XXVII above.
LXXII “have” = asah. Same as “keep” in v2. See note XIV above.
LXXIII “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
LXXIV {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “were” in v6. See note XXIX above.
LXXV “resident alien” = ger. Same as “alien” in v14. See note LXVIII above.
LXXVI “native” = ezrach. 17x in OT. From zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can also describe symptoms of leprosy). This is native or native-born. It can also refer to spontaneous growth, a bay tree.

15 On the day the tabernacleLXXVII was set up,LXXVIII the cloudLXXIX coveredLXXX the tabernacle,

Notes on verse 15a

LXXVII “tabernacle” = mishkan. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.
LXXVIII “set up” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
LXXIX “cloud” = anan. May be from anan (cover, cloud over; figuratively, acting in a secret way, practicing magic or soothsaying). This is a cloud as something that covers the sky.
LXXX “covered” = kasah. This is to cover, conceal, overwhelm. It is to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret.

the tentLXXXI of the covenant,LXXXII and from eveningLXXXIII until morning it was over the tabernacle, having the appearanceLXXXIV of fire.LXXXV 

Notes on verse 15b

LXXXI “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
LXXXII “covenant” = edut. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony, ordinance, decree, warning, or witness.
LXXXIII “evening” = ereb. Same as “twilight” in v3. See note XX above.
LXXXIV “appearance” = mareh. From raah (to see, show, stare, think, view; to see in a literal or figurative sense). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees.
LXXXV “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.

16 It was alwaysLXXXVI so: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night.LXXXVII 17 WheneverLXXXVIII the cloud liftedLXXXIX from over the tent, thenXC, XCI

Notes on verses 16-17a

LXXXVI “always” = tamid. May come from a word that means to stretch. This word means an indefinite period of time. So, it could be regular or daily. It could also be constantly, continually, always, or perpetually.
LXXXVII “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
LXXXVIII “whenever” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
LXXXIX “lifted” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
XC “then” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
XCI {untranslated} = ken. Same as “so” in v5. See note XXVII above.

the Israelites would set out,XCII and in the placeXCIII where the cloud settledXCIV down, there the Israelites would camp.XCV 

Notes on verse 17b

XCII “set out” = nasa. This is properly pulling up as when one pulls up tent pegs or stakes. This would imply striking tents in order to start a journey. So this could be bring, pullout, set out, journey, or cause to go away.
XCIII “place” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
XCIV “settled” = shakan. Related to “tabernacle” in v15. See note LXXVII above.
XCV “camp” = chanah. This is decline, bending down, or living in tents. It can be camping to create a home or camping as a part of battle.

18 At the commandXCVI of the Lord the Israelites would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp. As long asXCVII the cloud restedXCVIII over the tabernacle, they would remain in camp.XCIX 

Notes on verse 18

XCVI “command” = peh. Same as “whenever” in v17. See note LXXXVIII above.
XCVII “as long as” = kol + yom” = Literally, “all of the days.” Kol is the same as “all” in v3. See note XXI above. Yom is the same as “day” in v3. See note XVIII above.
XCVIII “rested” = shakan. Same as “settled” in v17. See note XCIV above.
XCIX “remain in camp” = chanah. Same as “camp” in v17. See note XCV above.

19 Even when the cloud continuedC over the tabernacle manyCI days, the Israelites would keepCII the chargeCIII of the Lord and would not set out. 

Notes on verse 19

C “continued” = arak. This is to continue, lengthen prolong, delay, or endure. It is being long or causing something to be long in a literal or figurative sense.
CI “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
CII “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
CIII “charge” = mishmeret. Related to “keep” in v19. From mishmar (jail, guard, watch, guard post); from shamar (see note CII above). This is a guard or watch or guard post. It is used figuratively for obligation, duty, or observance, including religious observance.

20 CIVSometimes the cloud would remainCV a fewCVI days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they would remain in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they would set out. 

Notes on verse 20

CIV {untranslated} = yesh. This is being, existence, or substance.
CV “remain” = hayah. Same as “were” in v6. See note XXIX above.
CVI “few” = mispar. From the same as sepher (writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register); from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This is a number, whether definite or symbolic – could be innumerable, few, abundance. It can also be a tally or account – or a narration.

21 CVIISometimes the cloud would remainCVIII from evening until morning, and when the cloud lifted in the morning, they would set out, or if it continued for a dayCIX and a night, when the cloud lifted they would set out. 22 Whether it was two days or a month or a longer timeCX that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out, but when it lifted they would set out. 23 At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They keptCXI the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord byCXII Moses.

Notes on verses 21-23

CVII {untranslated} = yesh. Same as {untranslated} in v20. See note CIV above.
CVIII “remain” = hayah. Same as “were” in v6. See note XXIX above.
CIX “for a day” = yomam. Related to “day” in v3. From yom (see note XVIII above). Root may mean to be hot. So, this is day as the hours that are hot. This can be daytime in a literal or figurative sense.
CX “longer time” = yom. Literally, “days.” Same as “day” in v3. See note XVIII above.
CXI “kept” = shamar. Same as “keep” in v19. See note CII above.
CXII {untranslated} = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

Image credit: “Pesach (Passover) Haggadah. “Hatzvi” publishing, Tel Aviv, 1953. Photo by lawexler.

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