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Chukat

  
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 21:3
 21:4
21:3 God heard Israel's voice, and He allowed them to defeat the Canaanites. [The Israelites] declared them and their cities taboo. The place was therefore named Taboo (Charmah).
Vayishma Adonay bekol Yisra'el vayiten et-haKna'ani vayacharem ethem ve'et-areyhem vayikra shem-hamakom Chormah.
21:4 [The Israelites] moved on from Hor Mountain, going by way of the South Sea so as to skirt the territory of Edom. The people began to become discouraged along the way.
Vayis'u meHor hahar derech Yam-Suf lisbov et-erets Edom vatiktsar nefesh-ha'am badarech.



Commentary:

Charmah
  Or Chormah. See Numbers 14:45. This was some 27 miles directly west of Arad. Some say that Chormah here is not the same as the one in Numbers 14:45 (Chizzkuni).

South Sea
  Yam Suf in Hebrew, usually denoting the 'Red Sea,' but here most probably the Gulf of Aqaba.

to skirt
  According to tradition, after Aaron's death, the Israelites went back seven stages, finally going from Beney Yaakan to Moserah (comparing Deuteronomy 10:6 and Numbers 33:31; Seder Olam 9; Yerushalmi, Yoma 1:1, 2 a,b; BeMidbar Rabbah 19:20; Rashi on Numbers 26:13). It was therefore in Moserah that Aaron was mourned (Bachya). The Israelites then came back, and stopped in Tzalmona and Ponan (33:42; Baaley Tosafoth; Lekach Tov; Chizzkuni, on Numbers 21:10).

discouraged
  Katzar nefesh in Hebrew; see Exodus 6:9. The discouragement began in Tzalmonah, and the snakes began biting them in Punon Targum Yonathan on Numbers 33:41,42; cf. Lekach Tov on Numbers 21:10).





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