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Deuteronomy

The Census
1:1 God spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert, in the Communion Tent on the first [day] of the second month in the second year of the Exodus, saying:
1:2 Take a census of the entire Israelite community. [Do it] by families following the paternal line, according to the names of each male, taken individually.
1:3 You and Aaron shall take a tally of them by their divisions, [counting] every male over 20 years old who is fit for service.
1:4 Alongside you there shall be [one] man from each tribe, [and] he shall be the head of his paternal line.
1:5 These are the names of the men who will assist you:

For Reuben, Elitzur son of Shedey-ur.

1:6 For Simeon, Shelumiel son of Tzuri-shaddai.
1:7 For Judah, Nachshon son of Aminadav.
1:8 For Issachar, Nethanel son of Tzuar.
1:9 For Zebulun, Eliav son of Chelon.
1:10 For Joseph's sons:
For Ephraim, Elishama son of Amihud.
For Manasseh, Gamliel son of Padah-tzur.
1:11 For Benjamin, Avidan son of Gid'oni.
1:12 For Dan, Achiezer son of Ami-shaddai.
1:13 For Asher, Pag'iel son of Akhran.
1:14 For Gad, Elyassaf son of D'euel.
1:15 For Naphtali, Achira son of Eynan.
1:16 These are the communal representatives, the princes of their paternal tribes and leaders of Israel's thousands.
1:17 Moses and Aaron took aside these men whose names had been designated.
1:18 They assembled the entire community on the first day of the second month, and [all the people] were registered by ancestry according to their paternal families. [All] those over 20 years old were counted individually by name.
1:19 Moses thus took a tally of [the Israelites] in the Sinai Desert as God had commanded him.

Reuben
1:20 This was [the result] for the descendants of Reuben, Israel's firstborn. According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of individual names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:21 The tally for the tribe of Reuben was 46,500.

Simeon
1:22 For the descendants of Simeon: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of individual names in the tally for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:23 The tally for the tribe of Simeon was 59,300.

Gad
1:24 For the descendants of Gad: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old. all fit for service.
1:25 The tally for the tribe of Gad was 45,650.

Judah
1:26 For the descendants of Judah: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:27 The tally for the tribe of Judah was 74,600.

Issachar
1:28 For the descendants of Issachar. According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:29 The tally for the tribe of Issachar was 54,400.

Zebulun
1:30 For the descendants of Zebulun: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:31 The tally for the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400.

Ephraim
1:32 Among the sons of Joseph, for the descendants of Ephraim: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:33 The tally for the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500.

Manasseh
1:34 For the descendants of Manasseh: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:35 The tally for the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200.

Benjamin
1:36 For the descendants of Benjamin. According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:37 The tally for the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400.

Dan
1:38 For the descendants of Dan: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service
1:39 The tally for the tribe of Dan was 62,700.

Asher
1:40 For the descendants of Asher: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:41 The tally for the tribe of Asher was 41,500.

Naphtali
1:42 The descendants of Naphtali: According to the records of their paternal families, [this was] the number of names for males over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:43 The tally for the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400.

The Total
1:44 These are the tallies made by Moses, Aaron, and the twelve men who were princes of Israel, one from each paternal family.
1:45 The tally of Israelites according to their paternal families [included] those over 20 years old, all fit for service.
1:46 The entire tally was 603,550.
1:47 [However,] the men who were Levites according to their father's tribe were not tallied together with [the other] Israelites.

The Levites
1:48 God spoke to Moses, saying:
1:49 Do not take a tally or census of the Levites together with the [other] Israelites.
1:50 Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of Testimony, all its furniture, and everything pertaining to it. They shall carry the Tabernacle and all its furniture, and they will serve in it. They shall [therefore] camp around the Tabernacle.
1:51 When the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites shall take it down, and when it is to remain in one place, they shall set it up. Any non-Levite who participates shall die.
1:52 When the Israelites camp, each individual shall be in his own camp, each one designated by the banner for its division.
1:53 The Levites, however, shall camp around the Tabernacle of Testimony, so that there will not be any divine anger directed against the Israelites. It shall be the Levites who safeguard the trust of the Tabernacle of Testimony.
1:54 The Israelites did all that God commanded Moses, [and] they did it exactly.



Commentary:

first day of the second month
  According to most authorities, this was 1 lyyar, two weeks after Passover (cf. Seder Olam 8). However, one source apparently indicates that is was 1 Marcheshvan, before the Tabernacle was erected, and that this is the count mentioned in Exodus 30:12, 38:26 (BeMidbar Rabbah 1:10; Hadar Zekenim). See Numbers 1:2.

Take a census of the entire Israelite community
  According to most authorities, this was a second census, the first having been taken before the Tabernacle was made; see Exodus 30:12, 38:26 (Rashi on Exodus 30:15,16; Ralbag; Josephus, Antiquities 3:7:4). While the first census was to determine the population of Israel as a whole , this was to determine the population of each tribe (Baaley Tosafoth). However, some sources appear to indicate that there was only one census (Tanchuma, Ki Thisa 9; see Numbers 1:1). See Numbers 1:46.

paternal line
  (cf. Bava Bathra 109b). The term beth avoth also denotes paternal extended families (see Exodus 6:14, 12:3).

individually
  Literally, 'by a head count.'

a tally
  Some say that this was done with a half shekel, as in Exodus 30:13, 38:26 (Rashi; Midrash Aggadah). According to others, however, this census was made by name lists, where every Israelite was listed separately (Ralbag; Shaar HaPesukim; Adereth Eliahu; cf. Lekach Tov).

fit for service
  Some say for military service (Saadia; Rashi). some say that this was meant to exclude those who were physically disabled (Midrash HaGadol). According to others, tzava does not denote a military army, but the community as a whole, and 'going out to tzava' denotes those who are full-fledged members of the community (Ramban; Hakethav VeHaKabbalah; see Numbers 4:2): It may also denote all who had participated in the building of the Tabernacle (see Exodus 38:8).

These are the names of the men who will assist you
  Also see Numbers, chapters 2,7,10.

Shelumiel son of Tzuri-shaddai
  Some identify him with Zimri in Numbers 25:14 (Sanhedrin 82b; Chizzkuni).

Nachshon son of Aminadav
  Aaron's brother-in-law (Exodus 6:23, q.v.).

Elishama son of Amihud
  Joshua's grandfather (see 1 Chronicles 7:26).

Akhran
  Or Okhran.

D'euel
  See Numbers 7:42,47, 10:20. However in Numbers 2:14 it is Reuel (cf. Septuagint).

representatives
  Literally, 'ones who are called' (Rashi). Or, 'the most prominent' (Septuagint).

first day of the second month
  See Numbers 1:1.

registered by ancestry
  (Septuagint). Some say that they actually had to bring proof of their ancestry (Rashi; Saadia).

records
  Family records, toledoth in Hebrew. See Exodus 6:16.

46,500
  All the numbers (except where a 50 is involved) are rounded out to the nearest hundred. But see Numbers 3:39.

individual
  Literally, 'by head count'. see Numbers 1:2. This expression is only found concerning Reuben and Simeon (cf. Ibn Ezra on Numbers 1:19).

tally
  This is only found regarding Simeon (see Lekach Tov; Midrash HaGadol; Bachya).

The descendants
  The word 'for' (le-) is omitted here (see Shaar HaPesukim; Adereth Eliahu).

603,550
  The number is the same as that in Exodus 38:26. Some say that the population had stabilized, with deaths being approximately equal to the number of men celebrating their 20th birthday (Rashi on Exodus 30:15,16). According to others, age was determined by years beginning in Tishrei (Rosh HaShanah), and these were the same people counted in Exodus. From this we see that as long as the Tabernacle was being built, there were no deaths (Lekach Tov). See Numbers 1:1, 1:2.

Tabernacle of Testimony
  See Exodus 38:21. From this it appears that one of the main functions of the Tabernacle was to hold the Tablets of Testimony.

participates
  (Rashi). Literally, 'approaches', or 'comes close'.





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