|וַיִּמְעֲל֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל מַ֖עַל בַּחֵ֑רֶם |
וַיִּקַּ֡ח עָכָ֣ן בֶּן־כַּרְמִי֩ בֶן־זַבְדִּ֨י בֶן־זֶ֜רַח לְמַטֵּ֤ה יְהוּדָה֙ מִן־הַחֵ֔רֶם וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֥ף יְהוָ֖ה בִּבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|1||And the children of Israel trespassed a trespass in the ban, |
and Akan child of Carmi child of Zavdi child of Zerach of the branch of Judah took from the ban, and the anger of Yahweh burned among the children of Israel.
|וַיִּשְׁלַח֩ יְהוֹשֻׁ֨עַ אֲנָשִׁ֜ים מִֽירִיח֗וֹ הָעַ֞י אֲשֶׁ֨ר עִם־בֵּ֥ית אָ֙וֶן֙ מִקֶּ֣דֶם לְבֵֽית־אֵ֔ל וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר עֲל֖וּ וְרַגְּל֣וּ אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ |
וַֽיַּעֲלוּ֙ הָאֲנָשִׁ֔ים וַֽיְרַגְּל֖וּ אֶת־הָעָֽי
|2||And Joshua sent men from Jericho to the Shambles, that is beside Bethaven from the east of Bethel, and he said to them, saying, Go up and survey the land. |
And the men went up and they surveyed the Shambles.
|וַיָּשֻׁ֣בוּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵלָיו֮ אַל־יַ֣עַל כָּל־הָעָם֒ כְּאַלְפַּ֣יִם אִ֗ישׁ א֚וֹ כִּשְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת אֲלָפִ֣ים אִ֔ישׁ יַעֲל֖וּ וְיַכּ֣וּ אֶת־הָעָ֑י |
אַל־תְּיַגַּע־שָׁ֙מָּה֙ אֶת־כָּל־הָעָ֔ם כִּ֥י מְעַ֖ט הֵֽמָּה
|3||And they returned to Joshua and they said to him, Let not all the people go up. Let about two thousand men or three thousand men go up and strike the Shambles. |
Do not labour there with all the people, because they are few.
|וַיַּעֲל֤וּ מִן־הָעָם֙ שָׁ֔מָּה כִּשְׁלֹ֥שֶׁת אֲלָפִ֖ים אִ֑ישׁ |
וַיָּנֻ֕סוּ לִפְנֵ֖י אַנְשֵׁ֥י הָעָֽי
|4||So they went up there from the people about three thousand men, |
and they withdrew before the soldiers of the Shambles.
|וַיַּכּ֨וּ מֵהֶ֜ם אַנְשֵׁ֣י הָעַ֗י כִּשְׁלֹשִׁ֤ים וְשִׁשָּׁה֙ אִ֔ישׁ וַֽיִּרְדְּפ֞וּם לִפְנֵ֤י הַשַּׁ֙עַר֙ עַד־הַשְּׁבָרִ֔ים וַיַּכּ֖וּם בַּמּוֹרָ֑ד |
וַיִּמַּ֥ס לְבַב־הָעָ֖ם וַיְהִ֥י לְמָֽיִם
|5||And the soldiers of the Shambles struck them, about thirty six men, and pursued them before the gate to the Shattering, and they struck them as they went down. |
And the heart of the people melted and it became as water.
|וַיִּקְרַ֨ע יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ שִׂמְלֹתָ֗יו וַיִּפֹּל֩ עַל־פָּנָ֨יו אַ֜רְצָה לִפְנֵ֨י אֲר֤וֹן יְהוָה֙ עַד־הָעֶ֔רֶב ה֖וּא וְזִקְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
וַיַּעֲל֥וּ עָפָ֖ר עַל־רֹאשָֽׁם
|6||And Joshua ripped his habit, and he fell onto his face earthward before the ark of Yahweh till evening, he and the elders of Israel, |
and brought up dust on their heads.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֲהָ֣הּ ׀ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֗ה לָ֠מָה הֵעֲבַ֨רְתָּ הַעֲבִ֜יר אֶת־הָעָ֤ם הַזֶּה֙ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן לָתֵ֥ת אֹתָ֛נוּ בְּיַ֥ד הָאֱמֹרִ֖י לְהַאֲבִידֵ֑נוּ |
וְלוּ֙ הוֹאַ֣לְנוּ וַנֵּ֔שֶׁב בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּֽן
|7||And Joshua said, Aye yai yai, my Lord Yahweh, why have you had this people cross over the Jordan to give us into the hand of the Amorites to have us perish? |
And should we not have attempted and have settled across the Jordan?
|בִּ֖י אֲדֹנָ֑י |
מָ֣ה אֹמַ֔ר אַ֠חֲרֵי אֲשֶׁ֨ר הָפַ֧ךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל עֹ֖רֶף לִפְנֵ֥י אֹיְבָֽיו
|8||g||O my Lord, |
What will I say after Israel turned tail before its enemies.
|וְיִשְׁמְע֣וּ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֗י וְכֹל֙ יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָ֔רֶץ וְנָסַ֣בּוּ עָלֵ֔ינוּ וְהִכְרִ֥יתוּ אֶת־שְׁמֵ֖נוּ מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ |
וּמַֽה־תַּעֲשֵׂ֖ה לְשִׁמְךָ֥ הַגָּדֽוֹל
|9||And the Canaanite will hear and all the inhabitants of the land, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the land, |
and what will you do for your great name?
|וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ קֻ֣ם לָ֑ךְ |
לָ֣מָּה זֶּ֔ה אַתָּ֖ה נֹפֵ֥ל עַל־פָּנֶֽיךָ
|10||And Yahweh said to Joshua, Arise for yourself. |
Why is it you are falling on your face?
|חָטָא֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְגַם֙ עָבְר֣וּ אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אוֹתָ֑ם |
וְגַ֤ם לָֽקְחוּ֙ מִן־הַחֵ֔רֶם וְגַ֤ם גָּֽנְבוּ֙ וְגַ֣ם כִּֽחֲשׁ֔וּ וְגַ֖ם שָׂ֥מוּ בִכְלֵיהֶֽם
|11||Israel has sinned, and moreover they have crossed over my covenant that I commanded them, |
and moreover they took from the ban, and moreover they have stolen, and moreover they have dissimulated, and moreover they have put it in their inner pouches.
|וְלֹ֨א יֻכְל֜וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לָקוּם֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אֹיְבֵיהֶ֔ם עֹ֗רֶף יִפְנוּ֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אֹֽיְבֵיהֶ֔ם כִּ֥י הָי֖וּ לְחֵ֑רֶם |
לֹ֤א אוֹסִיף֙ לִֽהְי֣וֹת עִמָּכֶ֔ם אִם־לֹ֥א תַשְׁמִ֛ידוּ הַחֵ֖רֶם מִֽקִּרְבְּכֶֽם
|12||So the children of Israel were not able to arise before their enemies. They faced nape backwards, in the face of their enemies, because they were of the ban. |
I will not again be with you if you do not exterminate the ban from within you.
|קֻ֚ם קַדֵּ֣שׁ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ הִתְקַדְּשׁ֣וּ לְמָחָ֑ר |
כִּ֣י כֹה֩ אָמַ֨ר יְהוָ֜ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל חֵ֤רֶם בְּקִרְבְּךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֣א תוּכַ֗ל לָקוּם֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אֹיְבֶ֔יךָ עַד־הֲסִירְכֶ֥ם הַחֵ֖רֶם מִֽקִּרְבְּכֶֽם
|13||C||Arise. Sanctify the people. And you say, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow. |
For thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, A ban is among you. Israel will not be able to arise in the face of your enemies, until you put aside the ban from within you.
|וְנִקְרַבְתֶּ֥ם בַּבֹּ֖קֶר לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶ֑ם |
וְהָיָ֡ה הַשֵּׁבֶט֩ אֲשֶׁר־יִלְכְּדֶ֨נּוּ יְהוָ֜ה יִקְרַ֣ב לַמִּשְׁפָּח֗וֹת וְהַמִּשְׁפָּחָ֞ה אֲשֶֽׁר־יִלְכְּדֶ֤נָּה יְהוָה֙ תִּקְרַ֣ב לַבָּתִּ֔ים וְהַבַּ֙יִת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִלְכְּדֶ֣נּוּ יְהוָ֔ה יִקְרַ֖ב לַגְּבָרִֽים
|14||So you will approach in the morning by your sceptres. |
And it will happen that the sceptre that Yahweh conquers will approach by family, and the family that Yahweh conquers will approach by house, and the house that Yahweh conquers will approach by man of valour.
|וְהָיָה֙ הַנִּלְכָּ֣ד בַּחֵ֔רֶם יִשָּׂרֵ֣ף בָּאֵ֔שׁ אֹת֖וֹ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֑וֹ |
כִּ֤י עָבַר֙ אֶת־בְּרִ֣ית יְהוָ֔ה וְכִֽי־עָשָׂ֥ה נְבָלָ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|15||And it will happen that he that is conquered with the ban will be incinerated in the fire, he and all that he has, |
because he has crossed over the covenant of Yahweh, and because he has done senselessness in Israel.
|וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֤ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ בַּבֹּ֔קֶר וַיַּקְרֵ֥ב אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לִשְׁבָטָ֑יו |
וַיִּלָּכֵ֖ד שֵׁ֥בֶט יְהוּדָֽה
|16||And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and he had Israel approach by its sceptres, |
and he conquered the sceptre of Judah.
|וַיַּקְרֵב֙ אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֣חַת יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיִּלְכֹּ֕ד אֵ֖ת מִשְׁפַּ֣חַת הַזַּרְחִ֑י |
וַיַּקְרֵ֞ב אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֤חַת הַזַּרְחִי֙ לַגְּבָרִ֔ים וַיִּלָּכֵ֖ד זַבְדִּֽי
|17||And he had the families of Judah approach and he conquered the family of the Zerachites, |
and he had the family of the Zerachites approach by man of valour, and he conquered Zavdi.
|וַיַּקְרֵ֥ב אֶת־בֵּית֖וֹ לַגְּבָרִ֑ים |
וַיִּלָּכֵ֗ד עָכָ֞ן בֶּן־כַּרְמִ֧י בֶן־זַבְדִּ֛י בֶּן־זֶ֖רַח לְמַטֵּ֥ה יְהוּדָֽה
|18||And he had his house approach by man of valour, |
and he conquered Akan child of Carmi child of Zavdi child of Zerach of the branch of Judah.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־עָכָ֗ן בְּנִי֙ שִֽׂים־נָ֣א כָב֗וֹד לַֽיהוָ֛ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וְתֶן־ל֣וֹ תוֹדָ֑ה |
וְהַגֶּד־נָ֥א לִי֙ מֶ֣ה עָשִׂ֔יתָ אַל־תְּכַחֵ֖ד מִמֶּֽנִּי
|19||And Joshua said to Akan, My son, render, if you will, the glory to Yahweh the God of Israel, and give him thanksgiving, |
and tell me please what have you done. Do not conceal from me.
|וַיַּ֧עַן עָכָ֛ן אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ וַיֹּאמַ֑ר |
אָמְנָ֗ה אָנֹכִ֤י חָטָ֙אתִי֙ לַֽיהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְכָזֹ֥את וְכָזֹ֖את עָשִֽׂיתִי
|20||And Akan answered Joshua and said, Truly I myself have sinned to Yahweh the God of Israel, |
and like this and like this I have done.
|וָאֵ֣רֶא בַשָּׁלָ֡ל אַדֶּ֣רֶת שִׁנְעָר֩ אַחַ֨ת טוֹבָ֜ה וּמָאתַ֧יִם שְׁקָלִ֣ים כֶּ֗סֶף וּלְשׁ֨וֹן זָהָ֤ב אֶחָד֙ חֲמִשִּׁ֤ים שְׁקָלִים֙ מִשְׁקָל֔וֹ וָֽאֶחְמְדֵ֖ם וָֽאֶקָּחֵ֑ם |
וְהִנָּ֨ם טְמוּנִ֥ים בָּאָ֛רֶץ בְּת֥וֹךְ הָאָֽהֳלִ֖י וְהַכֶּ֥סֶף תַּחְתֶּֽיהָ
|21||And I saw in the spoil, one good majestic cape of Shinar, two hundred shekels of silver, and one tongue of gold, fifty shekels its weight, and I coveted them and I took them, |
and behold them buried in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver is under it.
|וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ מַלְאָכִ֔ים וַיָּרֻ֖צוּ הָאֹ֑הֱלָה |
וְהִנֵּ֧ה טְמוּנָ֛ה בְּאָהֳל֖וֹ וְהַכֶּ֥סֶף תַּחְתֶּֽיהָ
|22||And Joshua sent messengers and they raced towards the tent, |
and behold, it was buried in his tent and the silver under it.
|וַיִּקָּחוּם֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הָאֹ֔הֶל וַיְבִאוּם֙ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ וְאֶ֖ל כָּל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
וַיַּצִּקֻ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י יְהוָֽה
|23||And they took them away from the midst of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, |
and dumped them out in the presence of Yahweh.
|וַיִּקַּ֣ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ אֶת־עָכָ֣ן בֶּן־זֶ֡רַח וְאֶת־הַכֶּ֣סֶף וְאֶת־הָאַדֶּ֣רֶת וְֽאֶת־לְשׁ֣וֹן הַזָּהָ֡ב וְֽאֶת־בָּנָ֡יו וְֽאֶת־בְּנֹתָ֡יו וְאֶת־שׁוֹרוֹ֩ וְאֶת־חֲמֹר֨וֹ וְאֶת־צֹאנ֤וֹ וְאֶֽת־אָהֳלוֹ֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עִמּ֑וֹ |
וַיַּעֲל֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם עֵ֥מֶק עָכֽוֹר
|24||And Joshua took Akan child of Zerach and the silver and the majestic cape and the tongue of gold, and his sons and his daughters, and his bull and his ass and his sheep, and his tent and all that he had, and all Israel with him, |
and brought them up the valley of agitation.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ מֶ֣ה עֲכַרְתָּ֔נוּ יַעְכֳּרְךָ֥ יְהוָ֖ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה |
וַיִּרְגְּמ֨וּ אֹת֤וֹ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶ֔בֶן וַיִּשְׂרְפ֤וּ אֹתָם֙ בָּאֵ֔שׁ וַיִּסְקְל֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם בָּאֲבָנִֽים
|25||And Joshua said, Why have you agitated us? Yahweh will agitate you on this day. |
And all Israel crowded him with a stone, and they cremated them in the fire and they engulfed them with stones.
|וַיָּקִ֨ימוּ עָלָ֜יו גַּל־אֲבָנִ֣ים גָּד֗וֹל עַ֚ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה וַיָּ֥שָׁב יְהוָ֖ה מֵחֲר֣וֹן אַפּ֑וֹ |
עַל־כֵּ֠ן קָרָ֞א שֵׁ֣ם הַמָּק֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ עֵ֣מֶק עָכ֔וֹר עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה
|26||And they placed over him a rubble of great stones to this day, and Yahweh turned from his fierce anger. |
Therefore he called the name of that place, the valley of Agitation to this day.
There is a clear repetition here of 'the ban', the 'utter destruction' that is required of Israel. In this case it is the ban within themselves that must be destroyed. I emphasize this because the way the traditional translations read, you would think the 'whatever it is that is bad' is only in 'the enemy' or an infection caused by and from the enemy. This is to misread the story. And to misread, unfortunately, is also to mishear and therefore to take the wrong actions in moral self-righteousness. I'm all right, Jack. Thanks very much. It's the others who are the problem.
I am not sure this will solve my problem with the book, but it will mitigate it temporarily as I work my way through the patterns of narrative. Then I can conveniently leave this valley of agitation and forget about it again.
Idiom: two expressions are used to which we might use the words: they turned tail.
Verse 8: אַ֠חֲרֵי אֲשֶׁ֨ר הָפַ֧ךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל עֹ֖רֶף לִפְנֵ֥י אֹיְבָֽיו
after - that - changed - Israel - nape - in the face of - its enemies,
I.e. after Israel turned tail ... But the word isn't tail but the nape of the neck, and it isn't turn either. Then in
verse 12: עֹ֗רֶף יִפְנוּ֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אֹֽיְבֵיהֶ֔ם
nape they faced in the face of their enemies (reading word by word backwards).
The verb for face פנה is the same word as the preposition before, or the expression in the face or presence of. Both Hebrew phrases above use nape. Two related English idioms - are there such? I might need to coin one.
But no one in guilt can face an enemy. Isn't that our problem in a nutshell?
Choosing English glosses is both an art and an accident. Another common word in Joshua is עבר, to cross over. In English we could use as a synonym the Latin equivalent transgress, but I have already decided to use transgress for another stem (פשׁע). In fact tradition uses transgress for this Hebrew stem פשׁע also. That breaks my rules. I don't mind breaking my rules for literary or idiomatic reasons, for acrostic reasons, or word games, but for this word, so tightly tied to the concept of sin, I cannot let myself be careless. So you will find I use cross over in the current context. I was going to use interfere, but to do that is to interfere with the word play here.
פשׁע is part of the domain of sin, עבר is generally not part if this domain. Why would one or two uses be sufficient to create a synonym? I don't want to lose the impact of the direct crossing of Yahweh that is described here. (Whether I like this story or not.)
My current domain of sin has many stems and the main synonyms of sin are all present: אשׁם offense, חטא sin, מעל trespass, עון iniquity, פשׁע transgression, and so far I haven't mixed them up with any other stems than these. I have no compunction about translating with these words. The fact of sin and evil pervasive within humanity is one of the most obvious observable facts of life. (Wonder, beauty,and persistence are others.)
The language pointers for dealing with sin are to turn to a power that is good and greater than the power in us that is against us. This is embedded in the word שוב, turn, return. I don't think the English repent gets this idea so I have not used that word. Equally I have not used punish for a similar reason: the consequences of sin are implicit in themselves. They do not require an agent of punishment. Also I have not used soul since the religious associations with this word are incommensurate with the very physical and tangible usage of נפשׁ.
This raises other questions of course like common concepts of justice, payment, and so on. Justice and judgment are part of my vocabulary. So are payment, ransom and so on. But Psalm 49 is clear here: no one can pay his or her own ransom or the ransom of anyone else. Something equally incommensurate is required here. It is in the Old Testament as it is in the New. It has to be a gift. It has to be outside ourselves. I.e. it has to be greater than any human construction or organization, family, community, religion, ideology, nation, or domination. We cannot hear the problem with confused language.
On the gloss front, I do have a problem with words like turn. Turn turns up in all sorts of places. It is like go, put, take, set, come, bring. Many Hebrew stems have these simple concepts as part of their usage. It has been impossible to follow my non-overlap rules in several cases. The places where I let my rules be broken are explicit in the data accumulating within my database. I.e. I can report on them, and control them more tightly or loosely as I proceed.