A Dangerous Metaphor - Parshat Bemidbar

(א) וַיְדַבֵּ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֛ה בְּמִדְבַּ֥ר סִינַ֖י בְּאֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד בְּאֶחָד֩ לַחֹ֨דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֜י בַּשָּׁנָ֣ה הַשֵּׁנִ֗ית לְצֵאתָ֛ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם לֵאמֹֽר׃ (ב) שְׂא֗וּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ֙ כָּל־עֲדַ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֹתָ֑ם בְּמִסְפַּ֣ר שֵׁמ֔וֹת כָּל־זָכָ֖ר לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָֽם׃ (ג) מִבֶּ֨ן עֶשְׂרִ֤ים שָׁנָה֙ וָמַ֔עְלָה כָּל־יֹצֵ֥א צָבָ֖א בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל תִּפְקְד֥וּ אֹתָ֛ם לְצִבְאֹתָ֖ם אַתָּ֥ה וְאַהֲרֹֽן׃

(1) On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Eternal spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, saying: (2) Take a census of the whole Israelite community by the clans of its ancestral houses, listing the names, every male, head by head. (3) You and Aaron shall record them by their groups, from the age of twenty years up, all those in Israel who are able to bear arms.

(א) וְֽ֠הָיָה מִסְפַּ֤ר בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כְּח֣וֹל הַיָּ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־יִמַּ֖ד וְלֹ֣א יִסָּפֵ֑ר וְֽ֠הָיָה בִּמְק֞וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יֵאָמֵ֤ר לָהֶם֙ לֹֽא־עַמִּ֣י אַתֶּ֔ם יֵאָמֵ֥ר לָהֶ֖ם בְּנֵ֥י אֵֽל־חָֽי׃ (ב) וְ֠נִקְבְּצוּ בְּנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֤ה וּבְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו וְשָׂמ֥וּ לָהֶ֛ם רֹ֥אשׁ אֶחָ֖ד וְעָל֣וּ מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ כִּ֥י גָד֖וֹל י֥וֹם יִזְרְעֶֽאל׃ (ג) אִמְר֥וּ לַאֲחֵיכֶ֖ם עַמִּ֑י וְלַאֲחֽוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם רֻחָֽמָה׃

(ד) רִ֤יבוּ בְאִמְּכֶם֙ רִ֔יבוּ

כִּֽי־הִיא֙ לֹ֣א אִשְׁתִּ֔י

וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹ֣א אִישָׁ֑הּ

וְתָסֵ֤ר זְנוּנֶ֙יהָ֙ מִפָּנֶ֔יה וְנַאֲפוּפֶ֖יהָ מִבֵּ֥ין שָׁדֶֽיהָ׃

(ה) פֶּן־אַפְשִׁיטֶ֣נָּה עֲרֻמָּ֔ה

וְהִ֨צַּגְתִּ֔יהָ כְּי֖וֹם הִוָּֽלְדָ֑הּ

וְשַׂמְתִּ֣יהָ כַמִּדְבָּ֗ר

וְשַׁתִּ֙הָ֙ כְּאֶ֣רֶץ צִיָּ֔ה

וַהֲמִתִּ֖יהָ בַּצָּמָֽא׃

(ו) וְאֶת־בָּנֶ֖יהָ לֹ֣א אֲרַחֵ֑ם

כִּֽי־בְנֵ֥י זְנוּנִ֖ים הֵֽמָּה׃

(ז) כִּ֤י זָֽנְתָה֙ אִמָּ֔ם

הֹבִ֖ישָׁה הֽוֹרָתָ֑ם

כִּ֣י אָמְרָ֗ה אֵלְכָ֞ה אַחֲרֵ֤י מְאַהֲבַי֙

נֹתְנֵ֤י לַחְמִי֙ וּמֵימַ֔י

צַמְרִ֣י וּפִשְׁתִּ֔י

שַׁמְנִ֖י וְשִׁקּוּיָֽי׃

(ח) לָכֵ֛ן הִנְנִי־שָׂ֥ךְ אֶת־דַּרְכֵּ֖ךְ בַּסִּירִ֑ים וְגָֽדַרְתִּי֙ אֶת־גְּדֵרָ֔הּ

וּנְתִיבוֹתֶ֖יהָ לֹ֥א תִמְצָֽא׃

(ט) וְרִדְּפָ֤ה אֶת־מְאַהֲבֶ֙יהָ֙

וְלֹֽא־תַשִּׂ֣יג אֹתָ֔ם

וּבִקְשָׁ֖תַם וְלֹ֣א תִמְצָ֑א

וְאָמְרָ֗ה אֵלְכָ֤ה וְאָשׁ֙וּבָה֙

אֶל־אִישִׁ֣י הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן

כִּ֣י ט֥וֹב לִ֛י אָ֖ז מֵעָֽתָּה׃

(י) וְהִיא֙ לֹ֣א יָֽדְעָ֔ה

כִּ֤י אָֽנֹכִי֙ נָתַ֣תִּי לָ֔הּ

הַדָּגָ֖ן וְהַתִּיר֣וֹשׁ וְהַיִּצְהָ֑ר

וְכֶ֨סֶף הִרְבֵּ֥יתִי לָ֛הּ

וְזָהָ֖ב עָשׂ֥וּ לַבָּֽעַל׃

(יא) לָכֵ֣ן אָשׁ֔וּב וְלָקַחְתִּ֤י דְגָנִי֙ בְּעִתּ֔וֹ וְתִירוֹשִׁ֖י בְּמֽוֹעֲד֑וֹ

וְהִצַּלְתִּי֙ צַמְרִ֣י וּפִשְׁתִּ֔י

לְכַסּ֖וֹת אֶת־עֶרְוָתָֽהּ׃

(יב) וְעַתָּ֛ה אֲגַלֶּ֥ה אֶת־נַבְלֻתָ֖הּ

לְעֵינֵ֣י מְאַהֲבֶ֑יהָ

וְאִ֖ישׁ לֹֽא־יַצִּילֶ֥נָּה מִיָּדִֽי׃

(יג) וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי֙ כָּל־מְשׂוֹשָׂ֔הּ

חַגָּ֖הּ חָדְשָׁ֣הּ וְשַׁבַּתָּ֑הּ

וְכֹ֖ל מוֹעֲדָֽהּ׃

(יד) וַהֲשִׁמֹּתִ֗י גַּפְנָהּ֙ וּתְאֵ֣נָתָ֔הּ

אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמְרָ֗ה אֶתְנָ֥ה הֵ֙מָּה֙ לִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָֽתְנוּ־לִ֖י מְאַֽהֲבָ֑י

וְשַׂמְתִּ֣ים לְיַ֔עַר

וַאֲכָלָ֖תַם חַיַּ֥ת הַשָּׂדֶֽה׃

(טו) וּפָקַדְתִּ֣י עָלֶ֗יהָ אֶת־יְמֵ֤י הַבְּעָלִים֙

אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּקְטִ֣יר לָהֶ֔ם

וַתַּ֤עַד נִזְמָהּ֙ וְחֶלְיָתָ֔הּ

וַתֵּ֖לֶךְ אַחֲרֵ֣י מְאַהֲבֶ֑יהָ

וְאֹתִ֥י שָׁכְחָ֖ה נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה׃ (פ)

(טז) לָכֵ֗ן הִנֵּ֤ה אָֽנֹכִי֙ מְפַתֶּ֔יהָ

וְהֹֽלַכְתִּ֖יהָ הַמִּדְבָּ֑ר

וְדִבַּרְתִּ֖י עַל לִבָּֽהּ׃

(יז) וְנָתַ֨תִּי לָ֤הּ אֶת־כְּרָמֶ֙יהָ֙ מִשָּׁ֔ם

וְאֶת־עֵ֥מֶק עָכ֖וֹר לְפֶ֣תַח תִּקְוָ֑ה

וְעָ֤נְתָה שָּׁ֙מָּה֙ כִּימֵ֣י נְעוּרֶ֔יהָ

וִּכְי֖וֹם עֲלֹתָ֥הּ מֵאֶֽרֶץ־מִצְרָֽיִם׃(ס)

(יח) וְהָיָ֤ה בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה

תִּקְרְאִ֖י אִישִׁ֑י

וְלֹֽא־תִקְרְאִי־לִ֥י ע֖וֹד בַּעְלִֽי׃

(יט) וַהֲסִרֹתִ֛י אֶת־שְׁמ֥וֹת הַבְּעָלִ֖ים מִפִּ֑יהָ וְלֹֽא־יִזָּכְר֥וּ ע֖וֹד בִּשְׁמָֽם׃

(כ) וְכָרַתִּ֨י לָהֶ֤ם בְּרִית֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עִם־חַיַּ֤ת הַשָּׂדֶה֙ וְעִם־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה וְקֶ֨שֶׁת וְחֶ֤רֶב וּמִלְחָמָה֙ אֶשְׁבּ֣וֹר מִן־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְהִשְׁכַּבְתִּ֖ים לָבֶֽטַח׃

(כא) וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י לְעוֹלָ֑ם

וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִי֙ בְּצֶ֣דֶק

וּבְמִשְׁפָּ֔ט וּבְחֶ֖סֶד וּֽבְרַחֲמִֽים׃

(כב) וְאֵרַשְׂתִּ֥יךְ לִ֖י בֶּאֱמוּנָ֑ה

וְיָדַ֖עַתְּ אֶת־יְהוָֽה׃ (ס)

(1) The number of the people of Israel shall be like that of the sands of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted; and instead of being told, “You are Not-My-People,” they shall be called Children-of-the-Living-God. (2) The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall assemble together and appoint one head over them; and they shall rise from the ground—for marvelous shall be the day of Jezreel! (3) Oh, call your brothers “My People,” And your sisters “Lovingly Accepted!”

(4) Rebuke your mother, rebuke her—

For she is not My woman [or, 'wife']

And I am not her man [or 'husband']—

And let her put away her harlotry from her face

And her adultery from between her breasts.

(5) Else will I strip her naked

And leave her as on the day she was born: And I will make her like a wilderness, Render her like desert land,

And let her die of thirst.

(6) I will also disown her children;

For they are now a harlot’s brood,

(7) For their mother has played the harlot,

She that conceived them has acted shamelessly—

Because she thought, “I will go after my lovers,

Who supply my bread and my water,

My wool and my linen,

My oil and my drink.”

(8) And so, I will hedge up her roads with thorns

And raise walls against her,

And she shall not find her paths.

(9) Pursue her lovers as she will,

She shall not reach them;

And seek them as she may,

She shall never find them.

Then she will say, “I will go and return

To my first husband,

For then I fared better than now.”

(10) And she did not consider this:

It was I who bestowed on her

The new grain and wine and oil;

I who lavished silver on her

And gold—which they used for Baal.

(11) Therefore, I will take back My new grain in its time

And My new wine in its season,

And I will snatch away My wool and My linen

That serve to cover her nakedness.

(12) Now will I uncover her shame

In the very sight of her lovers,

And none shall save her from Me.

(13) And I will end all her rejoicing:

Her festivals, new moons, and sabbaths— All her festive seasons.

(14) I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,

Which she thinks are a fee

She received from her lovers;

I will turn them into brushwood,

And beasts of the field shall devour them.

(15) Thus will I punish her For the days of the Baalim,

On which she brought them offerings; When, decked with earrings and jewels,

She would go after her lovers,

Forgetting Me —declares the Eternal.

(16) So I will lure her back

And lead her through the wilderness

And speak to her heart.

(17) I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a plowland of hope.

There she shall respond as in the days of her youth,

When she came up from the land of Egypt.

(18) And in that day —declares the Eternal— You will call [Me] Ishi [my man], And no more will you call Me Baali [my husband].

(19) For I will remove the names of the Baalim from her mouth,

And they shall nevermore be mentioned by name.

(20) In that day, I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; I will also banish bow, sword, and war from the land. Thus I will let them lie down in safety.

(21) And I will betroth you to me forever:

I will betroth you to me with righteousness and justice,

And with goodness and mercy,

(22) And I will betroth you to me with faith;

And then you shall know the Eternal.

(א) דְּבַר־יְהוָ֣ה ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָיָ֗ה אֶל־הוֹשֵׁ֙עַ֙ בֶּן־בְּאֵרִ֔י בִּימֵ֨י עֻזִּיָּ֥ה יוֹתָ֛ם אָחָ֥ז יְחִזְקִיָּ֖ה מַלְכֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה וּבִימֵ֛י יָרָבְעָ֥ם בֶּן־יוֹאָ֖שׁ מֶ֥לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (ב) תְּחִלַּ֥ת דִּבֶּר־יְהוָ֖ה בְּהוֹשֵׁ֑עַ (פ) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־הוֹשֵׁ֗עַ לֵ֣ךְ קַח־לְךָ֞ אֵ֤שֶׁת זְנוּנִים֙ וְיַלְדֵ֣י זְנוּנִ֔ים כִּֽי־זָנֹ֤ה תִזְנֶה֙ הָאָ֔רֶץ מֵֽאַחֲרֵ֖י יְהוָֽה׃ (ג) וַיֵּ֙לֶךְ֙ וַיִּקַּ֔ח אֶת־גֹּ֖מֶר בַּת־דִּבְלָ֑יִם וַתַּ֥הַר וַתֵּֽלֶד־ל֖וֹ בֵּֽן׃

(1) The word of the Eternal that came to Hosea son of Beeri, in the reigns of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah, and in the reign of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel. (2) When the Eternal first spoke to Hosea, the Eternal said to Hosea, “Go, get yourself a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land will stray from following the Eternal.” (3) So he went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She conceived and bore him a son.

(ג) לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־פָּנָֽ֗יַ (ד) לֹֽ֣א תַֽעֲשֶׂ֨ה־לְךָ֥֣ פֶ֣֙סֶל֙ ׀ וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֙יִם֙ ׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם ׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ (ה) לֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּחְוֶ֥֣ה לָהֶ֖ם֮ וְלֹ֣א תָעָבְדֵ֑ם֒ כִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֞י יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אֵ֣ל קַנָּ֔א פֹּ֠קֵד עֲוֺ֨ן אָבֹ֧ת עַל־בָּנִ֛ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֥ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִ֖ים לְשֹׂנְאָֽ֑י׃ (ו) וְעֹ֥֤שֶׂה חֶ֖֙סֶד֙ לַאֲלָפִ֑֔ים לְאֹהֲבַ֖י וּלְשֹׁמְרֵ֥י מִצְוֺתָֽי׃ (ס)

(3) You shall have no other gods besides Me. (4) You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. (5) You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I the Eternal your God am a jealous God, visiting the guilt of the parents upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generations of those who reject Me, (6) but showing kindness to the thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

(יב) דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם אִ֥ישׁ אִישׁ֙ כִּֽי־תִשְׂטֶ֣ה אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וּמָעֲלָ֥ה ב֖וֹ מָֽעַל׃ (יג) וְשָׁכַ֨ב אִ֣ישׁ אֹתָהּ֮ שִׁכְבַת־זֶרַע֒ וְנֶעְלַם֙ מֵעֵינֵ֣י אִישָׁ֔הּ וְנִסְתְּרָ֖ה וְהִ֣יא נִטְמָ֑אָה וְעֵד֙ אֵ֣ין בָּ֔הּ וְהִ֖וא לֹ֥א נִתְפָּֽשָׂה׃ (יד) וְעָבַ֨ר עָלָ֧יו רֽוּחַ־קִנְאָ֛ה וְקִנֵּ֥א אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ וְהִ֣וא נִטְמָ֑אָה אוֹ־עָבַ֨ר עָלָ֤יו רֽוּחַ־קִנְאָה֙ וְקִנֵּ֣א אֶת־אִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהִ֖יא לֹ֥א נִטְמָֽאָה׃ (טו) וְהֵבִ֨יא הָאִ֣ישׁ אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ֮ אֶל־הַכֹּהֵן֒ וְהֵבִ֤יא אֶת־קָרְבָּנָהּ֙ עָלֶ֔יהָ עֲשִׂירִ֥ת הָאֵיפָ֖ה קֶ֣מַח שְׂעֹרִ֑ים לֹֽא־יִצֹ֨ק עָלָ֜יו שֶׁ֗מֶן וְלֹֽא־יִתֵּ֤ן עָלָיו֙ לְבֹנָ֔ה כִּֽי־מִנְחַ֤ת קְנָאֹת֙ ה֔וּא מִנְחַ֥ת זִכָּר֖וֹן מַזְכֶּ֥רֶת עָוֺֽן׃
(12) Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: If any man’s wife has gone astray and broken faith with him (13) in that a man has had carnal relations with her unbeknown to her husband, and she keeps secret the fact that she has defiled herself without being forced, and there is no witness against her— (14) but a fit of jealousy comes over him and he is wrought up about the wife who has defiled herself; or if a fit of jealousy comes over one and he is wrought up about his wife although she has not defiled herself— (15) the man shall bring his wife to the priest. And he shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley flour. No oil shall be poured upon it and no frankincense shall be laid on it, for it is a meal offering of jealousy, a meal offering of remembrance which recalls wrongdoing.

(א) וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּשִּׁטִּ֑ים וַיָּ֣חֶל הָעָ֔ם לִזְנ֖וֹת אֶל־בְּנ֥וֹת מוֹאָֽב׃ (ב) וַתִּקְרֶ֣אןָ לָעָ֔ם לְזִבְחֵ֖י אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֑ן וַיֹּ֣אכַל הָעָ֔ם וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲוּ֖וּ לֵֽאלֹהֵיהֶֽן׃ (ג) וַיִּצָּ֥מֶד יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְבַ֣עַל פְּע֑וֹר וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֥ף יְהוָ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

(1) While Israel was staying at Shittim, the people profaned themselves by whoring with the Moabite women, (2) who invited the people to the sacrifices for their god. The people partook of them and worshiped that god. (3) Thus Israel attached itself to Baal-peor, and the Eternal was enraged with Israel.

(א) תקראי אישי וגו'. תעבדוני מאהבה ולא מיראה

אישי לשון אישות וחיבת נעורים:

(ב) בעלי. לשון אדנות ומורא

you shall call Me Ishi - You shall worship Me out of love and not out of fear.

Ishi is the language of marriage and the love of one’s youth.

Baali - is the language of mastership and fear.