Questions tagged [mattos]

The weekly Torah portion of Mattos (Numbers 30:2–32:42)

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12
votes
3answers
474 views

Why was there a distinction made for women captives?

In Numbers 31, God tells the Israelites to wipe out the Midianites (and incidentally, Balaam) by killing every male. But they spared certain women (v17-18): Now therefore kill every male among the ...
10
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2answers
147 views

Do we know more about נבח?

The last verse of Parshas Mattos (Bamidbar 32:42) is about a fellow named Novach who conquered a city and named it after himself: וְנֹבַח הָלַךְ וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת קְנָת וְאֶת בְּנֹתֶיהָ וַיִּקְרָא ...
10
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4answers
171 views

Why does the Torah switch around the order of annulling vows in the summary?

In the beginning of Parshas Matos, the Torah first describes the process of a father annulling the oaths of his daughter (30:4-6), and then afterwards the the law of a husband doing so for his wife's ...
7
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3answers
309 views

When is it moral to line up and kill thousands of little girls? A question on the Torah's morality

I am bothered by an incident in the Torah that seems morally unacceptable. After the incident with Pinchas, the Torah records that Klal Yisroel were commanded to attack Midian to avenge their attempt ...
7
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2answers
231 views

What is the significance of using shevet vs. mattot in Parshat Mattot?

In Parashat Mattot the word matteh is used in place of the more commonly found shevet? Why is that? They both mean tribes no?
6
votes
3answers
252 views

Moav or Midian - who seduced the Jews at Shitim?

Who were the women seducers in Shitim who caused the Jewish people to stray after their gods (Baal Peor), discussed in Parshas Balak and Pinchas? On the one hand, it seems like the women came from ...
6
votes
4answers
185 views

נַ֣חְנוּ נַעֲבֹ֧ר Is the Torah using slang

In Bamidbar 32:32, The Torah tells us in reference to Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven that נַ֣חְנוּ נַעֲבֹ֧ר, we will cross over. Also, the only other times that the Tanach uses the word נַ֣חְנוּ is in: ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Zombie Midianites?

In Numbers 31, the Jews wipe out Midyan. I'd think this referred to only those of Midyan who happened to be defending against the Jews' attack, and not the whole nation, except that even women and ...
6
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1answer
69 views

Fate of female captive children from Midian given to Elozor and the Leviim

Bamidbor 31 (18) allows the female captive children from the war with Midian to be kept alive. From them there had to be a 'tax' of one out of 500. One half of these was to be given to Elozor Hacohen ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

How strong was Midian's army?

When Israel took vengeance on Midian they sent 12,000 troops (Numbers 31:4) and prevailed. We aren't told how numerous Midian was, only that the spoils includes 32,000 virgin women (31:35). This isn'...
6
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0answers
60 views

Gad and Reuven exiled eight years before everyone else

Bamidbar Rabbah 22:7, Eichah Rabbah Pesikta 5, Midrash Tanchumah Mattos 4, Tanchumah Yashan Mattos 8 all point out that the tribes of Gad and Reuven, because they chose to live outside the land of ...
5
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1answer
143 views

When was the last time when we had 4 consecutive leap years when Matot and Masei were read separately?

I noticed that the only times that parshat Matot and Mas'ei are read separately outside Israel is during a leap year when the first day of the previous Rosh Hashannah occurred on Thursday. This would ...
5
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3answers
136 views

Did the half tribe of Menashe have the same conditions as the tribe of Re'uven and Gad?

Prior to giving Gad and Re'uven land on the East side of Jordan River, Moses makes them keep a condition: Numbers 32:20-22: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה אִֽם־תַּעֲשׂ֖וּן אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה ...
5
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2answers
60 views

Why did the two tribes have significantly more livestock than others?

The sizes of Gad and Reuben tribes were pretty average, however, Torah states that their livestock was disproportionally big (Num 32): וּמִקְנֶה רַב הָיָה לִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלִבְנֵי־גָד עָצוּם ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Why is the initial speech of Gad and R'euven divided into two?

In Matos, 32:2–4, we have (in loose translation): The children of Gad and the children of R'uven came and said to Moshe, to El'azar the kohen, and to the heads of the congregation as follows: ...
4
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1answer
74 views

Would Moshe have lived longer if he had delayed fighting Midyan?

Rashi to Bamidbar 31:3 says: וידבר משה וגו': אף על פי ששמע שמיתתו תלויה בדבר עשה בשמחה ולא איחר: Moses spoke: Although he heard that his death depended on the matter, he did it joyfully, ...
4
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2answers
241 views

Why did Moshe insist on killing the Midianite babies?

After the Midianites enticed the Israelites to fornicate and worship their false deity (Baal of Peor), Moshe launched a surprise attack and slaughtered all the adults, but the warriors left the ...
4
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1answer
59 views

How did Midyan survive the war? [duplicate]

According to the Torah, the Israelites killed all of the kings of Midian and all males and all but the youngest girls and took all of their possessions (Parashat Mattot - B'midbar 31:7-10). ...
4
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0answers
56 views

Why does the Chumash wait until Mattos to discuss the laws of Kashering vessels?

The main place the Chumash discusses laws of Kashering is after the war with Midian. One of the explanations I've seen is that this was the first battle where they captured items from a country which ...
3
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2answers
173 views

Mishkav/Mishkave… , Is there a difference?

I am new to "Mi Yodeya?" and this is my first time asking questions. First, I have always heard that everything that is written in the Torah has a purposeful meaning; nothing in it is a coincidence ...
3
votes
3answers
390 views

Annulment of women's nedarim

Can vows made by women nowadays still be annulled by father or husband (until sunset of the same day), as described in this week's parshah (mattos), or is this a practice of biblical/talmudic times ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Understanding an apparent conflict regarding Israel's Biblical eastern boundary

I'm trying to understand what appears (for me) to be a conflict regarding the Biblical eastern boundary of the "Promised land". It seems that the land promised to the fathers went all the way as east ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Spelling of צֹנַאֲכֶם

In Parshas Mattos, 32:24, there is an unusual construction for the plural possessive "your sheep" - בְּנוּ-לָכֶם עָרִים לְטַפְּכֶם, וּגְדֵרֹת לְצֹנַאֲכֶם; וְהַיֹּצֵא מִפִּיכֶם, תַּעֲשׂוּ. What is ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Billam's Bitter End

The Gemara in Sanhedrin (Kuf Vav Amud Beis) says that Billam suffered all 4 deaths that are given by Beis Din. Rashi explains they hung him-CHENEK, and lit a fire under him, and chopped off his head-...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Location of land for Gad, Reuven and 1/2 Menashe and randomness

In Bemidbar 26:55, G-d tells Moshe that the land should be apportioned by lottery. I.e., no tribe was to know or choose its section of land, in advance. Yet, we see that Moshe gives the tribes of ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Why did Moses add part of the tribe of Menashe to join Re'uvean and Gad on the east of the Jordan?

In response to Reuven and Gad's request to settle on the east side of Jordan, Moses includes part of the tribe of Menashe to join them, as it says: Numbers 32:33: וַיִּתֵּ֣ן לָהֶ֣ם ׀ מֹשֶׁ֡ה ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

Why did God sanction killing everything that breathes against the 7 nations?

Why did God sanction killing everything that breathes against the 7 nations? Why did God sanction such a thing? How is every single person of these nations to blame? Deuteronomy 20:16 "However, of ...
3
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0answers
35 views

Why did Machir have to conquer Gil'ad?

I'm trying to "coordinate" my understanding of various verses regarding what happened with Gil'ad as referenced in parshat Matot. Bemidbar 32:1 The tribes of Gad and Re'uven see that the lands of Ya'...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Please explain the difference in the order of naming Tzelafchad's daughters

When naming the daughters of Tzelafchad in Bemidbar 26:33 and when they approached Moshe with the inheritance question in Bemidbar 27:1 the order is: Machla, Noah, Chaglah, Milka, Tirtzah When they ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Why didn't the tribes of Re'uven and Gad and 1/2 Menashe take up Moshe's suggestion?

In Bemidbar 32:18 the tribes of Gad and Re'uven tell Moshe that they will not return back to their land until all the other tribes have inherited their land portion (after conquering the land and ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

In Bamidbar 31:6 Pinchas is instructed by Moshe to take “the holy vessels” and the trumpets in his hand. What are the holy vessels?

When Moshe was sending the 12,000 man army to war against the Midianites, he instructs Pinchas to take the "holy vessels/articles" and the trumpets in his hand. What were the holy vessels? Could this ...
2
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0answers
43 views

How the areas of the tribes were possibly equally valued?

I base my question solely on the WIKI of the division of the Land of Israel between the 9.5 tribes (the final division by Yehoshua). I'm not a big of a geographer, but I live in Israel, and I know ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

What was the nature of the tax of 32 people?

BeMidbar 31:40 states that, after the war with the Midyanim, in which Bnei Yisrael were instructed to take captives and booty, and to pay taxes to HaShem from this plunder, they "paid" a total of ...
1
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2answers
41 views

B'midbar 32:17 - Why did the tribes of Re'uven and Gad need to build fortified cities?

Numbers 32:17: וַאֲנַ֜חְנוּ נֵחָלֵ֣ץ חֻשִׁ֗ים לִפְנֵי֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֛ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִם־הֲבִֽיאֹנֻ֖ם אֶל־מְקוֹמָ֑ם וְיָשַׁ֤ב טַפֵּ֙נוּ֙ בְּעָרֵ֣י הַמִּבְצָ֔ר מִפְּנֵ֖י יֹשְׁבֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Explanation of Gemara on why the Jews were only commanded to attack Midian and not Moav

In Bamidbar 25:16-18, Hashem commands Moshe to take revenge on Midian for having caused the Jews to sin at Shittim, discussed at the beginning of the chapter. Yet v. 1 seems to indicate that the Jews ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Who or what was Gilaad?

In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we ...
1
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0answers
24 views

How fast did the 2.5 tribes build their new cities?

I can't find a clear timeline of the events that preceded the conquest but in a short recap: Gad and Reuben asked to settle in Transjordan Moses agrees and offers them to build cities(?) and fences: "...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Command of the Eastern Tribes

Why is it that in Numbers 32:1–32 Moses only commands Reuben and Gad to cross the Jordan River, but then in Joshua 1:12–15 it has Joshua talking about how Moses commanded Manasseh to cross over as ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Why didn't Moses argue to spare lives of Midianites?

IIRC Avraham was praised for arguing with G-d about the fate of pious Sodomites asking G-d to spare their fate. G-d spared Lot and his family but the two cities were destroyed. Some speculate whether ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Did Moshe give 1/50 of the donkeys, sheep and cattle to the Levi'im?

Numbers 31:30 says: (Sefaria.org translation), describing G-d's command to Moshe: וּמִמַּחֲצִ֨ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל תִּקַּ֣ח ׀ אֶחָ֣ד ׀ אָחֻ֣ז מִן־הַחֲמִשִּׁ֗ים מִן־הָאָדָ֧ם מִן־הַבָּקָ֛ר מִן־...
0
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1answer
97 views

hebrew grammar query, Bamidbar 31:17

I seek to understand Bamidbar sedra mattos Chapter 31 verse 17. Specifically, the word הֲרֹגוּ is stumping me. It is not the kal impererative masculine plural. The word Hirgoo, הִרְגוּ, appears as the ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Weren't 2.5 tribes afraid that their families would be attacked? [duplicate]

The deal with Moses was that while all the men go conquer the land, the kids and families and cattle stay abroad. Weren't they afraid that their cities: families and cattle and property would be ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Explanation of Kli Yakar on why the Jews were only commanded to attack Midian and not Moav

In Bamidbar 25:16-18, Hashem commands Moshe to take revenge on Midian for having caused the Jews to sin at Shittim, discussed at the beginning of the chapter. Yet v. 1 seems to indicate that the Jews ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

War of Sichon & Og Erev Shabbos?

The Talelei Oros (Bamidbar 31:23) quotes the Satmar Rav (Kuntros Chiddushei Torah on Avos) who says the war of Sichon & Og took place on Erev Shabbos and ended just before Shabbos in order to ...
-1
votes
1answer
151 views

Questions surrounding Bilam's death

In Parshas Matos (Bamidbar 31:8) it says וְאֵת בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר הָרְגוּ בֶּחָרֶב. Did Bilam do anything to avoid getting killed? What did he do? And who actually killed him?
-1
votes
2answers
78 views

Why fight the Midianites with such a huge army?

G-d promises the Israeli Nation that (Lev 26,6): וְרָדְפוּ מִכֶּם חֲמִשָּׁה מֵאָה, וּמֵאָה מִכֶּם רְבָבָה יִרְדֹּפוּ וְנָפְלוּ אֹיְבֵיכֶם לִפְנֵיכֶם לֶחָרֶב׃ Five of you shall give chase to ...