VEZOTH HABBERAKAH

Jerusalem Targum

Pgs. 672-685
Ch. 33-34

SECTION LIV.

VEZOTH HABBERAKAH.

XXXIII. AND this is the order of the Benedictions wherewith Mosheh the Prophet blessed the children of Israel before he died. And he said:

The Lord was revealed at Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel, and the splendour of the glory of His Shekinah arose from Gebal to give itself to the sons of Esau: but they received it not. It shined forth in majesty and glory from mount Pharan, to give itself to the sons of Ishmael; but they received it not. It returned and revealed itself in holiness unto His people of Beth Israel, and with Him ten thousand times ten thousand holy angels. He wrote with His own right hand, and gave them His law and His commandments, out of the flaming fire. [JERUSALEM. This is the Benediction wherewith Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the children of Israel before be should be gathered, and he said: The Lord was revealed from Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel. He arose in His glory upon the mountain of Seir to give the law to the sons of Esau; but after they found that it was written therein, Thou shalt do no murder, they would not receive it. He revealed Himself in His glory oil the mountain of Gebala, to give the law to the sons of Ishmael; but when they found that it was written therein, Ye shall not be thieves, they would not receive it. Again did He reveal Himself upon Mount Sinai, and with Him ten thousands of holy angels; and the children of Israel said, All that the Word of the Lord hath spoken will we perform and obey. And He stretched forth His hand from the midst of the flaming fire, and gave the Law to His people.]

And whatever hath befallen to the nations (hath been done) because He loved His people of Beth Israel, and all of them He hath called to be saints, to stand in the place of His sanctuary. And when they observed the precepts of the law, they were conducted at the foot of Thy glorious Cloud, they rested and encamped according to the dictate of the Word. The sons of Israel said, Mosheh commanded us the law, and gave it for an heritage to the tribes of Jakob. And he was king in Israel: when the chiefs of the people were gathered together, the tribes of Israel were obedient to him. [JER. Is it not all manifest and known before Him, that neither the sons of Esau nor of Ishmael would receive the law? Nevertheless, because He loved His people of Beth Israel as myriads of the holy angels, though He brought upon them many corrections, they rested not, nor desisted from the doctrine of the law; and, behold, they were conducted and brought on at the foot of His Cloud, and went forward and encamped according to His Word. The sons of Israel said, Mosheh commanded us the law: he gave it for an inheritance and possession to the congregation of the house of Jakob. And a king shall arise from the house of Jakob, when the heads of the people are gathered together: unto Him shall the tribes of Israel be obedient.]

Let Reuben live in this world, nor die the second death which the wicked die in the world to come; and let his youths be numbered with the young men of his brethren of Beth Israel. [JER. Let Reuben live in this world, nor die the second death which the wicked the in the world to come; and let his youths be with the men in number.]

And this is the benediction of the tribe of Jehudah, conjoined with the portion and benediction of his brother Shemeon; and thus he spake: Receive, O Lord, the prayer of Jehudah when he goeth forth unto war, and bring Thou him back from war unto his people in peace. Let his hand take vengeance on his enemies, and be Thou his help and support against his foes. [JER. And this is the benediction with which Mosheh the prophet blessed the tribe of Jehudah, and he said: May the Word of the Lord hearken to the prayer of Jehudah, and bring him back to his people from battle. May his hand avenge him upon his enemies, and be Thou a help and a support against his foes.]

And Mosheh the prophet blessed the tribe of Levi and said, With Perfections and Lights hast Thou robed Aharon, the man whom Thou didst find devout before Thee, whom Thou didst try in the temptation, and he was sincere, and didst prove at the Contention Waters in Rekem, and he was found faithful. The tribe of Levi go forth to the service of the tabernacle, and separate themselves from their dwellings, saying of their fathers and mothers, I have not regarded them and of their brethren, Since we were of thirty years we have not known them or their children, for that they abide twenty years in their charge according to Thy Word, and keep the service of the holy covenant. Apt are they in teaching the orders of Thy judgments to them of Beth Jakob, and Thy law to them of Beth Israel. Their brethren the priests put incense on the censers to restrain the plague in the day of Thy wrath, and offer up the burnt sacrifice with acceptance at Thy altar. Bless Lord, the sacrifice of the house of Levi, who give the tenth of the tenth; and the oblation of the hand of Elijah the priest, which he will offer on Mount Karmela, receive Thou with acceptance: break the lons of Achab his enemy, and the neck of the false prophets who rise up against him, that the ene. mies of Johanan the high priest[1] may not have a foot to stand. [JER. And Mosheh the prophet blessed the tribe of Levi, and said: With the Uraia and Tummaia hast thou clothed Aharon the saint, whom Thou didst try, and he was steadfast in the temptation, and whom Thou didst prove at the Waters of Contention in Rekem, and he was found faithful. For of the tribe of Levi it may be said, He respected not the face of his own father and mother in the judgment of Tamar, and knew not his brother in the matter of the (golden) calf, nor towards his own children was he moved with mercy, in the work of Zimri; for they have kept the word of Thy mouth, and have been ready (to fulfil) the decree of Thy law. Apt are they to teach the orders of Thy judgments to them of Beth Jakob, and the decree of Thy law to the congregation of the tribes of Israel. They put the goodly aromatic incense (on the censer) to restrain Thy anger, and offer the perfect sacrifice with acceptance at Thy altar. Bless, Lord, the substance of the tribe of Levi, and receive with favour the oblation of his hand; break Thou the loins of his enemies, that his adversaries may fall, and rise nomore.]

Mosheh the prophet blessed the tribe of Benjamin, and said: The beloved of the Lord shall abide in safety with Him, He will protect him all the days, and His Shekinah will dwell within his borders. [JER. Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Benjamin, and said: The beloved of the Lord shall abide with confidence by Him, He will protect him all the days, and within his borders will dwell the glory of the Shekinah of the Lord.]

And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Joseph, and said: The land of Joseph shall be blessed from before the Lord. From the bounty of the heavens shall it have goodly fruit, from the dew and the rain that come down from above, and from the bounty of the founts of the deep which rise up and flow and with good fruitage to water the herbage from beneath, age and produce that the earth maketh perfect by the aid (bringing out) of the sun, and with the bounty of the firstfruits of the trees which the ground yieldeth in the beginning of month after month, and with the good through the birthright ordained ness of the mountain tops, him at the beginning by the benediction of the fathers who resemble the mountains, and with the goodness of the hills whose produce faileth not, which was given him in heritage by the benedictions of the mothers of old, Who resemble the hills; and with the goodness of the excellent fruits of the earth and its fulness and the favour towards him of Eloah who revealed Himself to Mosheh at the bush in the glory of His Shekinah: let all these blessings be combined, and be made a diadem of grandeur for the head of Joseph, and for the brow of the man who was chief and ruler in the land of Mizraim, and was the glory and honour of his brethren. The birthright had belonged to Reuben, but was taken from him and given to Joseph at the beginning; from thence comes the splendour of his glory and praise. For as it may not be that a man should work the ground with the firstling of his herd, so are not the children of Joseph to be reduced to servitude among the kingdoms; and as the reema pusheth with his horns the beasts of the wilderness, so will the sons of Joseph predominate together among the peoples in all the ends of the earth. Myriads will be slain in Gulgela by Hoshea bar Nun who hath arisen from the house of Ephraim, and thousands of the Midyance by Gideon bar Yoash who will be of the tribe of Menasheh. [JER. And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Joseph, and said: Blessed be the laud of Joseph, before the Lord, with the blessing of the dew and the rain that come down from the heavens above, with the blessings of the fountains of the deep which well up from the earth beneath. Bounteous produce will it yield from the good provision of the sun; and will ripen its first fruits at the beginning of month and month. It aboundeth in fruitfulness for the righteousness sake of Abraham, Izhak, and Jakob, the holy fathers who are like the mountains, and for the merit of Sarah, Revekah, Rahel, and Leah, the four mothers who are like the hills. It bringeth forth richly from the excellence of the earth and its fulness, and by the good will of Him who caused the glory of His Shekinah to dwell in the bush. Let all these blessings come and be a crown upon the head of Joseph, and upon the brow of the man who ruled in the land of Mizraim, and was the brightness of his brothers glory. The birthright, king­dom, and honour are Joseph’s: for as it may not be that one should work with the firstling among cattle, nor bring the horns of the reema into servitude; but as the ox and the reema push with their horns, so this people, the sons of the tribe of Joseph, going out to battle against their enemies, will slaughter kings and princes. Myriads of the Amoraah will be slain by Jehoshua bar Nun, who is of the tribe of the Beni Ephraim; thou­ sands of the Midyanee will be slain by Gideon bar Yoash, who is of the tribe of the Beni Menasheh.]

And Mosheh the prophet blessed the tribe of Zebulon, and said: Rejoice, O house of Zebulon, in your going forth for your commerce, and you, O house of Issakar, in the tabernacles of your schools. Many peoples shall pray at the mountain of the sanctuary, thither will they bring their oblations of truth: for they dwell by the side of the great sea, they are nourished with (its) dainties; and they take the shell‑fish and dye with its blood in purple the threads of their vestments; and from the sands make mirrors and vessels of glass; for the treasures of their coasts are discovered to them. [JER. Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Zebulon, and said: Rejoice, O ye of the house of Zebulon, when you go out upon your commerce; and ye of the house of Issakar, rejoice, when you come in unto your houses of learning. Behold, this people of the house of Zebulon will come up together to the mountain of the sanctuary to offer true oblations; for they eat the revenue of the seas, and the treasures hidden in the sands are disclosed unto them.]

Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Gad, and said: Blessed be He who hath made wide the border of Gad. He reposeth as a lion in his habitation; but when he goeth out to battle against his adversaries, he slayeth kings and rulers, and his slaughtered ones are known from all the slain, for he striketh off the arm with the crown (of the head). And he saw that the land was good, and took his portion among the first; for there was a place strown with precious stones and pearls; for there is the place where Mosheh the prophet is hidden, who, as he went in and out at the head of the people in this world, will go in and out in the world that cometh; because he wrought righteousness before the Lord, and taught the orders of the judgments to the house of Israel his people. [JER. And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Gad, and said: Blessed is he who hath made wide the border of Gad. He reposeth and inhabiteth as a lion and a lioness; nor will there be any kingdom or people who can stand before him; and when he goeth forth in war against his enemies his slaughtered are known among the slain by the head being cut away unto the arm. And he saw at the beginning that a place had been prepared there for a sepulchre, a place strown with precious stones and pearls, where Mosheh the prophet, the scribe of Israel, was to be hidden, (who,) as he went in and out at the head of the people in this world, so will he go in and oat in the world to come; because he wrought righteousness before the Lord, and taught the orders of the judgments to the sons of Israel.]

And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Dan, and said: The tribe of Dan is like a lion’s whelp, his land is watered by the streams that flow from Mathnan, and his border cometh unto Batania. [JER. And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Dan, and said: The tribe of Dan is like a lion’s whelp, and his land is watered from Batanea.]

And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Naphtali, and said: Naphtali is satisfied with favour, and hath delight in the fishes of the sea which falleth within his portion; and he will be replete with blessings in the fruits of the vale of Genesareth which hath been given him from the Lord; he shall inherit the water of Sopheni, and the sea of Tebaria. [JER. And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Naphtali, and said: Naphtali shall be satisfied with favour, and be filled with blessings from the Lord; he will have possession to the west of the sea of Genesareth, and to the south.]

And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Asher, and said: Blessed is Asher of the sons of Jakob. He will be acceptable to his brethren, and will supply them with provender in the years of release: his border will produce many olives yielding oil, enough for him to bathe in it even his feet. The tribe of Asher be sound[2] as iron, and their feet‑strong as brass in walking on the stony rocks; and as the days of their youth so shall they be strong in their age. [JER. And Mosheh the prophet of the Lord blessed the tribe of Asher, and said: Asher will be blessed of the children; he will be acceptable to his brethren, in the release of the land, for his ground shall produce oil like water. Behold, this people of Beth Asher are sound as iron and strong as brass; as the days of their youth so will be the days of their age.]

There is no God like the God of Israel, whose Shekinah and Chariot dwell in the heavens. He will be your helper. He sitteth on His glorious throne in His majesty, in the expanse of the heavens above. The habitation of Eloha is from eternity; by the arm of His power beneath the world is upborne. He will scatter your adversaries before you, and will say by His Word, Destroy them. And Isreal shall dwell safely as of old according to the benediction with which Jakob their father did bless them, for whose righteousness sake He will cause them to inherit the good land that yieldeth corn and wine; the heavens also above them will drop with the dews of blessing, and the rains of lovingkindness. Happy are you, 0 Israel: who of all the nations are like you, a people saved in the Name of the Word of the Lord? He is the shield of your help, and His sword, the strength of your excellency. And your enemies shall be found liars against you from terror, and you shall tread upon the necks of their kings. [JER. There is none like the God of Israel, whose glorious Shekinah dwelleth in the heavens, and His magnificence in the high expanse. In His abode hath His Shekinah dwelt before they were, and under His power He bringeth[3] the world; and He driveth out your enemies before you, and saith in His word, Let them be destroyed. But Israel shall dwell safely by themselves according to the benediction with which Jakob did bless them, in the land yielding wine and oil, The heavens also above you are bidden to send down upon you the dew and the rain. O Israel, happy are you! Who is as you, a people saved before the Lord, the shield of your help, the guardian of your armies, and the trusty sword of your pre‑eminence? Your enemies are to be scattered before you; but you, O Beth Israel, while you give diligence in the law, and keep the commandments, shall tread upon the necks of their kings.]

XXXIV. And Mosheh went up from the plains of Moab to the mountain of Nebo, to the summit of the height which is over against Jericho; and the Word of the Lord showed him all the strong ones of the land, and the mighty acts which would be done by Jeptha of Gilead, and the victories of Shimeon bar Manoah of tribe of Dan; and the thousand princes of Beth Naphtali who would gather with Barak, and the kings who would be slain by Jehoshua bar Nun of the tribe of Ephraim, and the deeds of strength to be wrought by Gideon bar Yoash of the tribe of Menasheh, and all the kings of Israel, and of the kingdom of Beth Jehudah, who would have dominion in the land until the latter sanctuary should be destroyed. And the king of the south who will combine with the king of the north to destroy the inhabitants of the land and the Ammonites and Moabites, the dwellers in the plain, who will oppress Israel, and the captives of Elijah’s disciples who will be dispersed from the plain of Jericho, and the captives of Elisha’s disciples who will be dispersed from the city of palm trees by the hand of their brethren of Beth Israel, two hundred thousand men; and the affliction of generation after generation, and the punishment of Armalgos the wicked,[4] and the battle of Gog, when in the time of that great tribulation Michael will rise up to deliver by his arm.[5] [JER. And Mosheh went up from the plain of Moab to the mountain of Nebo, to the summit. of the height which is over against Jericho; and the Lord showed him the whole land of Gilead unto Dan of Kesavan, and the whole land of Naphtali and Ephraim and Manasheh, and all the land of Jehudah to. the outer sea, and the south, and the plain of the vale of Jericho, the city which cultivateth palms, which is Zeir.]

And the Lord said to him, This is the end of the word concerning the land,[6] and this is the land which I covenanted unto Abraham, to Izhak, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it unto your children. I grant thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not pass over to it.

Mosheh, the Rabban of Israel, was born on the seventh day of the month Adar, and on the seventh day of Adar he was gathered from the world. A voice fell from heaven, and thus spake: Come, all ye who have entered into the world, and behold the grief of Mosheh, the Rabban of Israel, who hath laboured, but not to please himself, and who is ennobled with four goodly crowns: the crown of the Law is his, because he brought it from the heavens above, when there was revealed to him the Glory of the Lord’s Shekinah, with two thousand myriads of angels, and forty and two thousand chariots of fire. The crown of the Priesthood bath been his in the seven days of the peace offerings. The crown of the kingdom they gave him in possession from heaven: he drew not the sword, nor prepared the war horse, nor gathered he the host. The crown of a good name he possesseth by good works and by his humility. Therefore is Mosheh, the servant of the Lord, gathered in the land of Moab, by the kiss of the Word of the Lord.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord of the world, who hath taught us His righteous way. He hath taught us to clothe the naked, as He clothed Adam and Hava; He hath taught us to unite the bridegroom and the bride in marriage, as He united Hava to Adam. He bath taught us to visit the sick, as He revealed Himself to Abraham when he was ill, from being circumcised; He hath taught us to console the mourners, as He revealed Himself again to Jakob when returning from Padan, in the place where his mother had died. He hath taught us to feed the poor, as He sent Israel bread from heaven; He hath taught us to bury the dead by (what He did for) Mosheh; for He revealed Himself in His Word, and with Him the companies of ministering angels. Michael and Gabriel spread forth the golden bed, fastened with chrysolites, gems, and beryls, adorned with hangings of purple silk, and satin, and white linens. Metatron, Jophiel, and Uriel, and Jephephya, the wise sages, laid him upon it, and by His Word He conducted him four miles, and buried him in the valley opposite Beth Peor; that Israel, as oft as they look up to Peor, may have the memory of their sin; and at sight of the burying place of Mosheh may be humbled: but no man knoweth his sepulchre unto this day.

[JER. Spake Mosheh the prophet: The Word of the Lord said unto me, This is the land which I have sworn unto Abraham, to Izhak, and to Jakob, saying, Unto the children of thy children will I give it. Behold it with thine eyes, but thou, shalt not pass over unto it. And Mosheh, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of the Moabaee, according to the mouth of the decree of the Word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of the Moabaee, opposite to the idol Peor; nor knoweth any one his sepulchre unto this day.] Mosheh was a son of a hundred and twenty years when be died; the orbs of his eyes were not darkened, nor had his teeth passed away. [JER. Mosheh was the son of a hundred and twenty years in the time that he died; his eyes were not darkened, nor had the brightness of his face faded away.]

And the children of Israel wept for Mosheh in the plains of Moab thirty days; and the days of weeping in the mourning for Mosheh were completed on the eighth of the month of Nisan. And on the ninth of Nisan the people of Beth Israel prepared their vessels and set their cattle in order, and passed over the Jordan on the tenth of Nisan. And the manna ceased for them on the sixteenth of Nisan. They found manna to eat thirty-seven days after the death of Mosheh, for the sake of his righteousness. [JER. And the children of Israel wept for Mosheh in the plains of Moab thirty days; and so were fulfilled the days of weeping in mourning for Mosheh.]

But Jehoshua bar Nun was filled with the Spirit of wisdom; for Mosheh had laid his hands upon him; and the children of Israel received instruction from him, and did as the Lord had commanded (by) Mosheh.

But no prophet hath again risen in Israel like unto Mosheh, because the Word of the Lord had known him to speak with him word for word, in all the signs, and wonders, and manifestations which the Word of the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Mizraim upon Pharoh, and all his servants, and all the people of his land; and in all the strength of the Mighty Hand by which he bare the rod whose weight was forty savin and that divided the sea, and smote the rock; and in all the solemn things which Mosheh did when he received the two tables of sapphire stone, whose weight was forty savin, and carried both of them in his bands in the sight of all Israel. [JER. And Jehoshua bar Nun was filled with the Spirit of Wisdom: for Mosheh had laid his hands upon him; and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Word of the Lord had commanded Mosheh. But no prophet hath arisen yet in Israel as Mosheh, whom the Word of the Lord knew, (speaking with him word for word,) in all the miracles, and wonders, and distinguishing signs which the Word of the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Mizraim, on Pharoh, and all his servants, and all his land; and in all the Mighty Hand, and all the great manifestations which Mosheh did in the sight of all Israel.

END OF THE TARGUM OF PALESTINE ON THE TORAH.

BLESSED BE THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, FOR EVER AND EVER, AND LET THE WHOLE EARTH BE FILLED WITH HIS GLORY.

[1] According to Seder Olam, high priest in the region of Jehooshaphat.

[2] Or, “cleat, unalloyed.”

[3] Or, “conducteth.”

[4] Armillos, i.e., Antichrist. Vide the Midrash, Sepher Zerubabel.

[5] Ezek. xxxviii.; Dan. xii

[6] Sepha de miltha be arah.