Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Numbers 36

I remember hearing an old friend rave about the daughters of Zelophehad. What I see is a tribal allocation protecting their lot. True, it is a step forward that daughters inherit. I must be missing something. This is an economic model and not particularly attractive. The folks with the riches are figuring out how to keep them in the family.

I think I am open to correction. What I suspect is that this man (for it was a man) was celebrating a type and an analogy without saying what it was that thrilled him. I respect him and he has predeceased me, and one day, who knows, I might even understand.

From a language point of view, this chapter was reasonably straightforward.

The repetition of ownership is very awkward in English in verses 3 and 4, so I have rearranged the word order. This awkward thought sequence in English is worth exploring.
וְנוֹסַ֕ף עַ֚ל נַחֲלַ֣ת הַמַּטֶּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּהְיֶ֖ינָה לָהֶ֑ם
word by word - read right to left:
their [to them masc. pl.] לָהֶ֑ם they belong to [they become/are fem. pl.] תִּהְיֶ֖ינָה that אֲשֶׁ֥ר branch הַמַּטֶּ֔ה [the branch] the inheritance of נַחֲלַ֣ת onto עַ֚ל and added וְנוֹסַ֕ף 
becomes
and added onto the inheritance of their branch that they belong to
1. Translations avoid translating להם because it is already implied with the rest of the sentence.
2. The verb to be is also to become and sometimes to have or belong to is the implication.
3. Sometimes belong is expressed by the preposition ל. 
Perhaps the awkwardness is reflected in the English gloss belong to ending in the preposition to. But you can see my simple reasoning as I move from the Hebrew to the English.

Numbers 36 Fn Min Max Syll
וַֽיִּקְרְב֞וּ רָאשֵׁ֣י הָֽאָב֗וֹת לְמִשְׁפַּ֤חַת בְּנֵֽי־גִלְעָד֙ בֶּן־מָכִ֣יר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה מִֽמִּשְׁפְּחֹ֖ת בְּנֵ֣י יוֹסֵ֑ף
וַֽיְדַבְּר֞וּ לִפְנֵ֤י מֹשֶׁה֙ וְלִפְנֵ֣י הַנְּשִׂאִ֔ים רָאשֵׁ֥י אָב֖וֹת לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
1 And they approached the heads of the fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, child of Makir, child of Manasseh, from the family of the children of Joseph,
and they spoke before Moses and before the principals, the heads of the fathers of of the children of Israel.
3e 4C 32
22
וַיֹּאמְר֗וּ אֶת־אֲדֹנִי֙ צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה לָתֵ֨ת אֶת־הָאָ֧רֶץ בְּנַחֲלָ֛ה בְּגוֹרָ֖ל לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
וַֽאדֹנִי֙ צֻוָּ֣ה בַֽיהוָ֔ה לָתֵ֗ת אֶֽת־נַחֲלַ֛ת צְלָפְחָ֥ד אָחִ֖ינוּ לִבְנֹתָֽיו
2 And they said, Yahweh commanded my master to give the land to be an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel,
and my lord was commanded in Yahweh to grant the inheritance of Tselofexad our kin to his daughters.
3c 4B 29
22
וְ֠הָיוּ לְאֶחָ֞ד מִבְּנֵ֨י שִׁבְטֵ֥י בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮ לְנָשִׁים֒ וְנִגְרְעָ֤ה נַחֲלָתָן֙ מִנַּחֲלַ֣ת אֲבֹתֵ֔ינוּ וְנוֹסַ֕ף עַ֚ל נַחֲלַ֣ת הַמַּטֶּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּהְיֶ֖ינָה לָהֶ֑ם
וּמִגֹּרַ֥ל נַחֲלָתֵ֖נוּ יִגָּרֵֽעַ
3 ~ And they will belong to one among the sons of the bands of the children of Israel, as their wives, then their inheritance will be subtracted from the inheritance of our ancestors and added onto the inheritance of their branch that they belong to,
and from the lot of our inheritance will be subtracted.
3e 4C 51
13
וְאִם־יִהְיֶ֣ה הַיֹּבֵל֮ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וְנֽוֹסְפָה֙ נַחֲלָתָ֔ן עַ֚ל נַחֲלַ֣ת הַמַּטֶּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּהְיֶ֖ינָה לָהֶ֑ם
וּמִֽנַּחֲלַת֙ מַטֵּ֣ה אֲבֹתֵ֔ינוּ יִגָּרַ֖ע נַחֲלָתָֽן
4 And when the Jubilee happens for the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be added into the inheritance of their branch that they belong to,
and from the inheritance of the branch of our ancestors their inheritance will be subtracted.
3e 4C 33
18
וַיְצַ֤ו מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַל־פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר
כֵּ֛ן מַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־יוֹסֵ֖ף דֹּבְרִֽים
5 And Moses commanded the children of Israel at the mandate of Yahweh, saying,
So the branch of the children of Joseph has spoken.
3d 4C 16
8
זֶ֣ה הַדָּבָ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֗ה לִבְנ֤וֹת צְלָפְחָד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לַטּ֥וֹב בְּעֵינֵיהֶ֖ם תִּהְיֶ֣ינָה לְנָשִׁ֑ים
אַ֗ךְ לְמִשְׁפַּ֛חַת מַטֵּ֥ה אֲבִיהֶ֖ם תִּהְיֶ֥ינָה לְנָשִֽׁים
6 B This is the thing which Yahweh commanded to the daughters of Tselofexad, saying, For what is good in their eyes, let them become their wives,
but of the families of the branch of their father, let them become their wives.
3d 4C 29
16
וְלֹֽא־תִסֹּ֤ב נַחֲלָה֙ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מִמַּטֶּ֖ה אֶל־מַטֶּ֑ה
כִּ֣י אִ֗ישׁ בְּנַחֲלַת֙ מַטֵּ֣ה אֲבֹתָ֔יו יִדְבְּק֖וּ בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
7 And an inheritance will go not round and round to the children of Israel from branch to branch.
For anyone in the inheritance of the branch of his fathers, the children of Israel will stay close.
3e 4C 17
19
וְכָל־בַּ֞ת יֹרֶ֣שֶׁת נַחֲלָ֗ה מִמַּטּוֹת֮ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ לְאֶחָ֗ד מִמִּשְׁפַּ֛חַת מַטֵּ֥ה אָבִ֖יהָ תִּהְיֶ֣ה לְאִשָּׁ֑ה
לְמַ֗עַן יִֽירְשׁוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אִ֖ישׁ נַחֲלַ֥ת אֲבֹתָֽיו
8 And every daughter who possesses an inheritance from a branch of the children of Israel, to one from the family of the branch of her father she will be wife,
in order that the children of Israel may each possess the inheritance of its fathers.
3d 4B 34
17
וְלֹֽא־תִסֹּ֧ב נַחֲלָ֛ה מִמַּטֶּ֖ה לְמַטֶּ֣ה אַחֵ֑ר
כִּי־אִישׁ֙ בְּנַ֣חֲלָת֔וֹ יִדְבְּק֕וּ מַטּ֖וֹת בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
9 And an inheritance will not go round and round from branch to another branch,
but for each in its inheritance, the branches of the children of Israel will stay close.
3c 4B 14
17
כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֑ה
כֵּ֥ן עָשׂ֖וּ בְּנ֥וֹת צְלָפְחָֽד
10 As Yahweh commanded Moses,
so it was done by the daughters of Tselofexad.
3d 4A 10
8
וַתִּהְיֶ֜ינָה מַחְלָ֣ה תִרְצָ֗ה וְחָגְלָ֧ה וּמִלְכָּ֛ה וְנֹעָ֖ה בְּנ֣וֹת צְלָפְחָ֑ד
לִבְנֵ֥י דֹדֵיהֶ֖ן לְנָשִֽׁים
11 And Maxelah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and No`ah, the daughters of Tselofexad were,
to the sons of their uncles, to be their wives.
3c 4B 22
8
מִֽמִּשְׁפְּחֹ֛ת בְּנֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֥ה בֶן־יוֹסֵ֖ף הָי֣וּ לְנָשִׁ֑ים
וַתְּהִי֙ נַחֲלָתָ֔ן עַל־מַטֵּ֖ה מִשְׁפַּ֥חַת אֲבִיהֶֽן
12 From the family of the children of Manasseh, child of Joseph, they were to be their wives,
so their inheritance was into the branch of the families of their father.
3d 4B 17
15
אֵ֣לֶּה הַמִּצְוֺ֞ת וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֧ה יְהוָ֛ה בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁ֖ה אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֔ב עַ֖ל יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵחֽוֹ
13 B These are the commandments and the judgments that Yahweh commanded by the hand of Moses to the children of Israel,
in the steppes of Moab, at the Jordan by Jericho.
3c 4B 26
11