Showing posts with label yehoshua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yehoshua. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why was it called Kiryat Arba?

Summary: I believe that what drives Rashi is first peshat and second derash. But there are complications, in the form of an explicit pasuk which seems to contradict Rashi's peshat.

Post: Sarah dies in Kiryat Arba, which is Chevron. The pasuk, with Rashi's comment:

2. And Sarah died in Kiriath arba, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to eulogize Sarah and to bewail her.ב. וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיָּבֹא אַבְרָהָם לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ:
in Kiriath-arba: lit. the city of the four. So named because of the four giants who were there: Ahiman, Sheshai, Talmai, and their father (Gen. Rabbah from Num. 13:23). Another explanation: Because of the four couples that were buried there, man and wife: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer , ch. 20).בקרית ארבע: על שם ארבע ענקים שהיו שם אחימן ששי ותלמי ואביהם. דבר אחר על שם ארבעה זוגות שנקברו שם איש ואשתו אדם וחוה, אברהם ושרה, יצחק ורבקה, יעקב ולאה:

Thus, Rashi gives two explanations, both drawn from midrash. But the first one is quite similar to a pasuk in sefer Yehoshua, as well as a pasuk in sefer Bamidbar, which appears to attribute the etymology of Kiryat Arba to the four giants who lived there. Therefore, I would take this first explanation as his peshat explanation. The second explanation does not accord with any explicit pasuk, but it fits well into the theme of this parsha and the use the Mearat Hamachpela is to be put to. After all, Avraham here buys the field and cave as an achuzat kever. That, I would say, is why Rashi selects this particular midrash from the midrashim he could have selected from.

Note that while Judaica Press, in translating Rashi, attribute the midrash to Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer -- and they are correct -- there is sufficient material in Midrash Rabba for this as well. For Bereishit Rabbi gives several explanations:
ותמת שרה בקרית ארבע ארבעה שמות נקראו לה:
קרית ארבע,
ולמה הוא קורא אותה קרית ארבע? שדרו בה ארבעה צדיקים:
ונמולו בה ארבעה צדיקים:

דבר אחר: קרית ארבע שנקברו בה ארבעה צדיקים אבות העולם:
אדם הראשון,

דבר אחר: שנקברו בה ארבע אמהות:

ועל שם בעליה שהן ד' ענק וג' בניו.

אמר רבי עזריה:
שמשם יצא אבינו אברהם, שרדף אחרי ארבע מלכויות קוזמוקרטורין.

דבר אחר:שהוא עולה בקרנסין של ארבעה.
בתחלה ליהודה,
ואחר כך לכלב, ואח"כ ללוים,
ואחר כך לכהנים. 

I suppose the combination of the patriarchs with the matriarchs into pairs is unique to Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer. Regardless, there was what to select from, and Rashi chose these two.

Focusing now on the first explanation, that it was named after the four giants who lived there, this finds explicit Scriptural basis in Bemidbar 13:22, that giants lived there:

22. They went up in, the south, and he came to Hebron, and there were Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of the giant. Now Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan of Egypt.כב. וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב וַיָּבֹא עַד חֶבְרוֹן וְשָׁם אֲחִימַן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק וְחֶבְרוֹן שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים נִבְנְתָה לִפְנֵי צֹעַן מִצְרָיִם:

In terms of translating הָעֲנָק, I am not sure that it means a particular giant. It seems to be more of a collective noun, in context. Thus, these were descendants of giants. The sum of giants would then be three, rather than four. But if it were a particular giant, their father, then the sum would be three. Compare the pasuk later in the same perek:

33. There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, descended from the giants. In our eyes, we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes.לג. וְשָׁם רָאִינוּ אֶת הַנְּפִילִים בְּנֵי עֲנָק מִן הַנְּפִלִים וַנְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם:

which I believe bolsters the idea of anak being collective rather than particular.

There is also Scriptural basis, I believe, for treating Arba not as a personal name but as a thing -- perhaps a number. Thus, in these two pesukim:
בראשית פרק לה
  • פסוק כ"ז: וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב אֶל-יִצְחָק אָבִיו, מַמְרֵא קִרְיַת הָאַרְבַּע--הִוא חֶבְרוֹן, אֲשֶׁר-גָּר-שָׁם אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק. 
נחמיה פרק יא
  • פסוק כ"ה: וְאֶל-הַחֲצֵרִים, בִּשְׂדֹתָם--מִבְּנֵי יְהוּדָה, יָשְׁבוּ בְּקִרְיַת הָאַרְבַּע וּבְנֹתֶיהָ, וּבְדִיבֹן וּבְנֹתֶיהָ, וּבִיקַּבְצְאֵל וַחֲצֵרֶיהָ. 

note how it is Kiryat ha-Arba. The definite article does not go on proper nouns. We would never say ha-Moshe, for example. This might well be a cue for Rashi, and the midrashim he is basing himself on, to say that it refers to four, rather than, say, an individual whose name was Arba.

There is one problematic pasuk which appears to give an etymology to the place name, though one at odds with all this. In sefer Yehoshua, 14:15:
יהושוע פרק יד
  • פסוק ט"ו: וְשֵׁם חֶבְרוֹן לְפָנִים קִרְיַת אַרְבַּע, הָאָדָם הַגָּדוֹל בָּעֲנָקִים הוּא; וְהָאָרֶץ שָׁקְטָה, מִמִּלְחָמָה.  {פ}
Judaica Press' translation, coupled with Rashi's commentary:

{Arba} was the greatest man among the Anakim: Arba was the name of the father of Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai. Another explanation is: [It was called Kirjath-arba, the city of four] because of the father and the three sons for the scripture calls them the children of 'Anak.

I put Arba in {curly brackets} since it is not explicitly part of the pasuk. As I see it, Rashi here is grappling with this issue. Not just midrash vs. explicit pasuk, but perhaps even the definite article issue I mentioned coupled with that pasuk in Bemidbar which indicated three others.

Therefore, I would guess that in his two interpretations in sefer Yehoshua, he is not merely opposing the explicit pasuk to the midrash, but reading both into the pasuk. In the first interpretation, Arba is the name of the person, who was the father of the ones we saw in Bemidbar. Thus, Arba is the anak, the giant, and the city was named after him personally. In the second explanation, it is not clear that Arba was necessarily the name of the giant. Rather it was because now they number four. I must say, how this would fit into the word of the pasuk is still a bit unclear to me, and it seems more than a bit awkward. Perhaps take הוא as if it said הם?

(See what other meforshim have to say about this etymology.)

Regardless, it is this second interpretation in sefer Yehoshua which he gives as his first (peshat-oriented) explanation in our parasha of Chayei Sarah.

After writing this, I thought to look to Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite. As a Karaite, he has no reason to favor the midrash. And, at the same time, he is concerned with dikduk and thus would note the definite article in kiryat ha-Arba. This would then be a good gauge for whether Rashi is saying peshat (as I believe) or derash.

And indeed, Aharon ben Yosef the Karaite agrees! I'll cite him local to Chayei Sarah and local to sefer Yehoshua.

In Chayei Sarah:

In sefer Yehoshua:

I confess I am not absolutely sure what he means. I mean, in Chayei Sarah, he seems to initially designate it as a person's name, but then notes the heh of the definite article, which means that it could not be a personal name. Therefore, Arba (or ha-Arba) is a designation, though not a proper name, for him and his three sons. So, in the end, I take it that it means "four", and that it could also refer to the individual, the father of the other three, because of this.

In sefer Yehoshua, when he transitions to נקרא כן, does that refer to the city or the man? Whichever, "it" is called that because of him and because of his three sons. This strongly echoes Rashi's second peshat in sefer Yehoshua, that it was על שם האב וג' בנים שכן קורא אותם ילידי הענק.

Thus, due to the definite article, this Karaite scholar agrees with Rashi.

BTW, here are Mizrachi and Gur Aryeh on the matter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What is the tzir'ah?

Summary: Hornet or sickness? Rashi, along with midrash, and Ibn Ezra.

Post: From parashat Eikev, with Rashi, about how Hashem will aid the Israelites in conquering the Canaanites once they cross over the Yarden:

20. And also the tzir'ah, the Lord, your God, will incite against them, until the survivors and those who hide from you perish.כ. וְגַם אֶת הַצִּרְעָה יְשַׁלַּח יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּם עַד אֲבֹד הַנִּשְׁאָרִים וְהַנִּסְתָּרִים מִפָּנֶיךָ:
The tzir’ah: Heb. הַצִּרְעָה, a species of flying insect which injected poison into them [the Canaanites], making them impotent and blinding their eyes wherever they hid. — [Sotah 36a]הצרעה: מין שרץ העוף, שהיתה זורקת בהם מרה ומסרסתן ומסמאה את עיניהם בכל מקום שהיו נסתרים שם:

(Also from Midrash Aggadah.) Midrash Aggadah's version:

וגם את הצרעה.  מלמד שהצרעה עברה עמהם בירדן ׳ וכל אותם
אורבים שהיו מטמינים עצמם במערות כדי להרוג, היתה הצרעה נכנסת לשם ומכה
אותם בעיניהם והיו מתים

That is, there was already a hornet that aided them in the time of Moshe. The gam is perhaps inclusive, telling us that Hashem will also send the tzir'ah. And the known tzir'ah that they have already seen.

The version in Sotah states that the tzir'ah, this special hornet, did not pass over the Yarden with them. Rather, this only happened in the time of Moshe. The reference seems to be to Yehoshua 24:12:
יב וָאֶשְׁלַח לִפְנֵיכֶם אֶת-הַצִּרְעָה וַתְּגָרֶשׁ אוֹתָם מִפְּנֵיכֶם שְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי לֹא בְחַרְבְּךָ וְלֹא בְקַשְׁתֶּךָ:

where the two kings of the Emorites would be taken to be Sichon and Og, from the time of Moshe. If this is contrasted with the wars the Israelites must wage, with sword and bow, then it didn't pass.

At any rate, in Sotah 36a:
A Tanna taught: The hornet did not pass over [Jordan] with them; but behold it is written: And I will send the hornet before thee! {Shemot 23:28, referring to the land of Canaan!}  — R. Simeon b. Lakish said: It stood by the bank of the Jordan and injected a virus [into the Canaanites] which blinded their eyes above and castrated them below; as it is said: Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above and his roots from beneath etc. {Amos 2:9} R. Papa said: There were two hornets, one in the period of Moses and the other in the period of Joshua; the former did not pass over [Jordan] but the other did.
I am unsure what the basis is for saying that the hornet did not pass, as in that brayta, such that this needs resolution. If anyone knows, please drop me a comment. Otherwise, I will leave it as an open question. The answer is alternatively separate hornets or that the hornets attacked but did not pass over.

Onkelos translates it as ערעיתא, hornet.

Ibn Ezra understands it as a type of sickness of the body, along the lines of צרעת. So does Ibn Janach, that it is כליון ודבר. Perhaps this makes more sense in context, of killing off the remnants in hiding. See also Ibn Ezra on parashat Mishpatim, on Shemot 23:28, as well as Yahel Or and Karnei Or there.

Digressing to a Radak I saw on that pasuk in sefer Yehoshua:
[כד, יב]
שני מלכי האמורי -
פירש: וגרשה שני מלכי האמרי גם כן, והם סיחון ועוג.

וכן אמרו רבותינו ז"ל:

שתי צרעות היו חדא דמשה וחדא דיהושע והצרעה היא מין זבוב רע מטיל ארס.
ואמרו: כי הייתה הצרעה מכה בעיניה ומסמא עיניהם ולא היו יכולין להלחם ובאין ישראל והורגין אותם, כמו שאמר: לא בחרבך ולא בקשתך .

צרעה ארעיתא.
ואמר למה נקרא שמה ארעיתא?
שעומדת לקראת אדם ומכה בפניו.

אשר קרך דארעך.
This is a bit strange. In our Onkelos, tzir'ah is consistently translated as ערעיתא with a leading ayin rather than aleph. This is an extremely straightforward translation. It is near transliteration. That is, there are two ayins in Aramaic, one corresponding to the ayin of Hebrew and one corresponding to a tzadi of Hebrew. (Or rather, when this strong letter was to be encoded, it was mapped in Hebrew to the letter tzadi and in Aramaic to the ayin.) Thus, the leading ע in Aramaic is equal to the leading צ, and so it is the word צרעה. If there is indeed a Targum which renders it with a leading aleph, this would come from a relaxing and switching of these two gutturals, not from דארעך. Our version of Targum local to sefer Yehoshua does not have this, but I suppose Radak did.

Although interestingly, from the language of ארעא as mishap, occurrence, there is the masculine plural ארעייא which means evils, diseases. (See Jastrow, pg 125.) This is just coincidence, though.

I would also note Shadal. He does not take the two kings of sefer Yehoshua to be Sichon and Og. Therefore, it is rather fulfillment of the promise in Chumash, in the land of Canaan, even though the specifics are not found elsewhere:
וגם את הצרעה יהושע כ " ד י " ב הזכירה לישראל א " כ בהכרח נתאמת הדבר אע " פ שלא נזכר המאורע הזה בפירוש הסיפור כיבוש הארץ .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Natural Order, and the Sun In Giveon

In Haazinu, some of the praises of Hashem:

ד הַצּוּר תָּמִים פָּעֳלוֹ, {ס} כִּי כָל-דְּרָכָיו מִשְׁפָּט: {ר} אֵל אֱמוּנָה וְאֵין עָוֶל, {ס} צַדִּיק וְיָשָׁר הוּא. {ר}4 The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He.

Ibn Ezra appears to understand the perfection of the natural order to be a wonderful thing, and a praise of Hashem.

He writes on this pasuk, in Haazinu:
כי כל דרכיו משפט -
שלא ישתנו רק הם על משפט אחד, וזו היא התהלה (התחלה) וכל הנבראים ישתנו מעשיהם כפי צרכיהם ומעשי השם )לכבודו) (בספר הנ"ל גרס לבדו) בגבורה כפי החכמה. ואין לטעון מעמידת השמש כי סודו ברור במלת: וירח בעמק אילון, כאשר פירשתי במקומו
Thus, the sun seems to have deviated. And this would be problematic, either because Hashem changed the order, or else because the natural order is not supposed to change. But Ibn Ezra notes that not only the sun is addressed, but also the moon. And he explains it in its place.

Alas, as far as I can tell, we don't have any extant sefarim by Ibn Ezra on sefer Yehoshua, so we do not know just how he explained this sod there. But various supercommentators attempt to explain it.

The pesukim in sefer Yehoshua, perek 10:

יב אָז יְדַבֵּר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, לַה', בְּיוֹם תֵּת יְהוָה אֶת-הָאֱמֹרִי, לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיֹּאמֶר לְעֵינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁמֶשׁ בְּגִבְעוֹן דּוֹם, וְיָרֵחַ, בְּעֵמֶק אַיָּלוֹן.12 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel: 'Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.'
יג וַיִּדֹּם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ עָמָד, עַד-יִקֹּם גּוֹי אֹיְבָיו--הֲלֹא-הִיא כְתוּבָה, עַל-סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר; וַיַּעֲמֹד הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ בַּחֲצִי הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְלֹא-אָץ לָבוֹא כְּיוֹם תָּמִים.13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
יד וְלֹא הָיָה כַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, לְפָנָיו וְאַחֲרָיו, לִשְׁמֹעַ ה', בְּקוֹל אִישׁ: כִּי ה', נִלְחָם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. {ס}14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. {S}

Rabbi Shmuel Motot explains on the basis of Volume II of Moreh Nevuchim, chapter 34 {36 is a typo}, that where it says וְלֹא-אָץ לָבוֹא כְּיוֹם תָּמִים, it does not mean that the Sun halted in its place for a full day. Rather, it means that the day was a complete day -- the full number of hours a day would have were it a summer day, when days are longest.

Therefore, it was not entirely outside of derech hateva. The Sun, at other times in the year, takes this long to go around the earth. But the sun was not supposed to take this long on that day. So it was a matter of extending the day by a few hours, to equal a certain natural day.

I highly doubt that this was Ibn Ezra's intent. For if so, how does וְיָרֵחַ בְּעֵמֶק אַיָּלוֹן solve the problem?

I would assert that Ibn Ezra is not troubled, as a rationalist, with how to account for the deviation from the normal workings of the world.

Rather, his trouble is that the pasuk states that the natural order, and the movements of the celestial bodies, is a perfect system that Hashem created and set into motion. If so, stopping the sun would spoil it. The planets and stars dance about the earth in their orbits, and perhaps also influence mazal down here on earth. Thus, the science of astrology. And they work in sync. Halt the sun for a day, or even a few hours, and the entire system is out of wack! For while the sun was halted, all the other celestial bodies presumably continued their orbits. So the Sun is out of place. Furthermore, Hashem set the system in motion at the very start, and this modification of only one element in the system represents a Change.

Now that we understand the question, we can suggest an answer. And hopefully, if and when they find Ibn Ezra's commentary on sefer Yehoshua, we will discover that we have intuited the correct answer.

The answer, to my mind, is simply that it was not only the Sun that stopped. The Moon also stopped. And if so, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn also stopped. This was not a modification of certain elements of the system, such that it is a change. Rather, Hashem hit the pause button. And pressed play when the battle was over. If so, the system as set up during Maaseh Bereishit was not changed by this temporary pause, and Ibn Ezra is happy.

Of course, this works on a geocentric model rather than a heliocentric model. But the point of this post is to understand the problem and solution of Ibn Ezra on this pasuk.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Authentic Judaism, in many different flavors

That is the message in a recent post at ThanBook, in a post titled 12X Authentic Judaism, with an idea he relates from Rabbi Sokol.

I heard a similar if not identical idea from Rav Schachter. Namely, that why the 12 sifrei Torah, one for each shevet? Because "variety is the spice of life"! And each shevet would have its own Sanhedrin, and might pasken slightly differently. And all of these flavors are beloved to Hashem, and what Hashem wants. And, he continued, nowadays, Hashem wants Sefardim and Ashkenazim, chassidic, yeshivish, etc.

Of course, this has its limitations. As much as we profess to be open to different "flavors" of Orthodox Judaism, I would guess that every religion sets limits on what they not only disagree with, but puts one entirely outside the pale of the religion. For example, as "pluralistic" as we are in condemning that certain blogger for considering only his narrow band to be authentic Judaism, do most Orthodox Jews consider Reform Judaism to be "authentic Judaism"? What do we maintain about Conservative Judaism? Reconstructionist? Frankists? Sabbateans? Karaites? And this is OK, and this is normal, though it makes the distinction between one fellow declaring his narrow version of Judaism to be authentic, and us doing the same.

Even as there were different tribes with different approaches, we see at the end of sefer Yehoshua that it was a big deal when this happened:

י וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל-גְּלִילוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן, אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן; וַיִּבְנוּ בְנֵי-רְאוּבֵן וּבְנֵי-גָד וַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט הַמְנַשֶּׁה שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ, עַל-הַיַּרְדֵּן--מִזְבֵּחַ גָּדוֹל, לְמַרְאֶה.10 And when they came unto the region about the Jordan, that is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar to look upon.
יא וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר: הִנֵּה בָנוּ בְנֵי-רְאוּבֵן וּבְנֵי-גָד וַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט הַמְנַשֶּׁה אֶת-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, אֶל-מוּל אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן--אֶל-גְּלִילוֹת הַיַּרְדֵּן, אֶל-עֵבֶר בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.11 And the children of Israel heard say: 'Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that pertaineth to the children of Israel.'

Friday, June 19, 2009

Radak is right; Rachav was a harlot

In the last post, I discussed the Targum to sefer Yehoshua which translates Rachav's profession of Zonah as pundekita. Literally this means innkeeper, and Rashi runs with this, giving an etymology whereby zonah can mean this. But Radak there, and in several other places, explains that this is a mistake. When Targum uses the word pundekita, it is merely a euphemism for harlot. And he makes reference to the fact that it uses pundekita in several other places as translation for zonah. Ralbag, in contrast, tends to take those instances of pundekita in Targum, interpret them as female innkeeper, and adopt that as his own explanation. In the last post, I examined four instances of zonah which the Targum translated as pundekita, but I overlooked one, in Shofetim 11:1. And naturally enough, it is this one which can help us make a decision.

Radak is right; Rachav was a harlot, even according to the Targum. The pasuk in question introduced Yiftach:
א וְיִפְתָּח הַגִּלְעָדִי, הָיָה גִּבּוֹר חַיִל, וְהוּא, בֶּן-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה; וַיּוֹלֶד גִּלְעָד, אֶת-יִפְתָּח.1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah.
ב וַתֵּלֶד אֵשֶׁת-גִּלְעָד לוֹ, בָּנִים; וַיִּגְדְּלוּ בְנֵי-הָאִשָּׁה וַיְגָרְשׁוּ אֶת-יִפְתָּח, וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ לֹא-תִנְחַל בְּבֵית-אָבִינוּ--כִּי בֶּן-אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת, אָתָּה.2 And Gilead's wife bore him sons; and when his wife's sons grew up, they drove out Jephthah, and said unto him: 'Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of another woman.'
Does it make sense to say that he was the son of a female innkeeper? Not really, and that does not really seem to accurately convey his status.

Looking in a Tanach with Targum, Radak, and Ralbag, we see how this is translated. There is a translation, and an addendum to the translation, also in Aramaic:
"And Yiftach the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of a pundekita woman; and Gilead begot Yiftach."
Addendum: This law/custom was in Israel in former times, in order not to pass an inheritance {achsanta with a chet, which means inheritance, rather than achsania with a khaf, which means inn or innkeeper} from one tribe to another tribe, and because of this, a man was not allowed to marry a woman who was not from his tribe. And when there was a woman who desired/loved a man {from another tribe}, she went out from her father's house without an inheritance, and people would call her "pundekita," for she desired/loved a man who was not of her tribe, and so it was to the mother of Yiftach."
The intent of this Targumic addendum seems to be that pundekita is a derogatory name. And that derogatory name is presumably harlot, because of her presumption in loving a man outside of her tribe. It does not make sense to call her a female innkeeper. Now, I do not know the source of this Targumic addendum, but it is written in Aramaic. Radak would seem not to have seen the addendum. Despite this, it was not only Radak who understands this here.

Turning for a moment to Radak, he explains the son of a harlot to mean the son of a concubine. She is not mufkeret umezumenet liznut, but she lacks a ketubah, and so is like a zonah. Then he notes the Targum of pundekita (presumably without the addendum) and compares it to Rachav the zonah. And he explains that a zonah is like an inn {?}, for she is mafkir herself. And then he interprets the local Targum further. But we already know of Radak's position.

What is interesting here is Ralbag's position. This time, he does not endorse the Targum's explanation of innkeeper. Rather, he says that
"she was of another tribe {this explanation may come out of pesukim}, and since she did not marry someone from her own tribe, they called her a zonah, harlot, since she turned from what she was supposed to marry, from one of her family, so that the inheritance should not shift from one tribe to another."
Interestingly enough, this explanation given by Ralbag matches nicely with the addendum to the Targum. Even so, Ralbag is not explaining the Targum this way, for he does not mention the Targum here, and in other places, including later in a few perakim (perek 16), he does cite pundekita and explains it as a innkeeperess.

Even so, in my mind, this makes me favor Radak's explanation of the Targum even more than I did in the past. (On the other hand, Targum without the addendum could still be trying to improve Yiftach's lineage somewhat, just as Radak and Ralbag do. In which case it could indeed intend innkeeperess.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Was Rachav an innkeeper or a harlot?

It is unclear. The pasuk calls her a "zonah." And if we look at the gemara in Zevachim 116b, we see a discussion of her as a harlot from the age of 10.

Yet popular perception is that she was no zonah but was an inkeeper. What is the basis of this?

Well, in Yehoshua 2:1, she is called a zonah, but Targum translates it as pundekita, which means inkeeperess. It would seem that zonah is being taken as related to the word mazon. Rashi cites this Targum and on its basis says "one who sells times of provisions." And so too Metzudat Tzion.

However, Radak dissents. After citing this popular explanation, based on Targum, he argues that this is the Targum's general translation of zonah, but in all these cases Targum means harlot. {I would suggest: Perhaps it is uses clean speech. Or perhaps such a woman usually plies her trade in an inn, so she would dwell there.}

He notes the famous case of Solomonic wisdom, where the two litigants were shetayim nashim zonot. He also notes that in a few places (e.g. the Targum to Devarim 23:19) the Targum translates zonah as nafkas bara (one who has gone out {of usual conduct}), but this does not mean that where he translates otherwise, he means something else. And his intent is that the harlot is like an inn, that she makes herself hefker to everyone.

As we see there, in the case of the two litigants, in I Melachim 3:16, Targum translates that as tartein neshin pundekan. Would we indeed say, as a matter of peshat, that these two are co-inkeepers?!

On the other hand, see Ralbag on that pasuk in Melachim. He tries the same trick. He writes "I think that they were inkeepers and sold mazon, in the same intent as Rachav the "zonah." And it is possible that they made themselves hefker {to zenut}. Though it is quite possible, indeed probable, that Ralbag began all this based on that Targum in Yehoshua.

The instances of zonah in Tanach are:
דברים פרק כג
  • פסוק יט: לֹא-תָבִיא אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב, בֵּית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ--לְכָל-נֶדֶר: כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, גַּם-שְׁנֵיהֶם. {ס}
יהושוע פרק ב
  • פסוק א: וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ-בִּן-נוּן מִן-הַשִּׁטִּים שְׁנַיִם-אֲנָשִׁים מְרַגְּלִים, חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר, לְכוּ רְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-יְרִיחוֹ; וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב--וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ-שָׁמָּה.
שופטים פרק יא
  • פסוק א: וְיִפְתָּח הַגִּלְעָדִי, הָיָה גִּבּוֹר חַיִל, וְהוּא, בֶּן-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה; וַיּוֹלֶד גִּלְעָד, אֶת-יִפְתָּח.
שופטים פרק טז
  • פסוק א: וַיֵּלֶךְ שִׁמְשׁוֹן, עַזָּתָה; וַיַּרְא-שָׁם אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ.
ישעיהו פרק כג
  • פסוק טז: קְחִי כִנּוֹר סֹבִּי עִיר, זוֹנָה נִשְׁכָּחָה; הֵיטִיבִי נַגֵּן הַרְבִּי-שִׁיר, לְמַעַן תִּזָּכֵרִי.
ירמיהו פרק ג
  • פסוק ג: וַיִּמָּנְעוּ רְבִבִים, וּמַלְקוֹשׁ לוֹא הָיָה; וּמֵצַח אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה הָיָה לָךְ, מֵאַנְתְּ הִכָּלֵם.
ירמיהו פרק ה
  • פסוק ז: אֵי לָזֹאת, אסלוח- (אֶסְלַח-) לָךְ--בָּנַיִךְ עֲזָבוּנִי, וַיִּשָּׁבְעוּ בְּלֹא אֱלֹהִים; וָאַשְׂבִּעַ אוֹתָם וַיִּנְאָפוּ, וּבֵית זוֹנָה יִתְגּוֹדָדוּ.
יחזקאל פרק טז
  • פסוק ל: מָה אֲמֻלָה לִבָּתֵךְ, נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה--בַּעֲשׂוֹתֵךְ, אֶת-כָּל-אֵלֶּה, מַעֲשֵׂה אִשָּׁה-זוֹנָה, שַׁלָּטֶת.
  • פסוק לד: וַיְהִי-בָךְ הֵפֶךְ מִן-הַנָּשִׁים בְּתַזְנוּתַיִךְ, וְאַחֲרַיִךְ לֹא זוּנָּה; וּבְתִתֵּךְ אֶתְנָן, וְאֶתְנַן לֹא נִתַּן-לָךְ--וַתְּהִי לְהֶפֶךְ.
  • פסוק לה: לָכֵן זוֹנָה, שִׁמְעִי דְּבַר-יְהוָה. {פ}

  • יחזקאל פרק כג
    • פסוק מד: וַיָּבוֹא אֵלֶיהָ, כְּבוֹא אֶל-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה; כֵּן בָּאוּ, אֶל-אָהֳלָה וְאֶל-אָהֳלִיבָה--אִשֹּׁת, הַזִּמָּה.

    מיכה פרק א
    • פסוק ז: וְכָל-פְּסִילֶיהָ יֻכַּתּוּ, וְכָל-אֶתְנַנֶּיהָ יִשָּׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ, וְכָל-עֲצַבֶּיהָ, אָשִׂים שְׁמָמָה: כִּי מֵאֶתְנַן זוֹנָה, קִבָּצָה, וְעַד-אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה, יָשׁוּבוּ.

    נחום פרק ג

    • פסוק ד: מֵרֹב זְנוּנֵי זוֹנָה, טוֹבַת חֵן בַּעֲלַת כְּשָׁפִים; הַמֹּכֶרֶת גּוֹיִם בִּזְנוּנֶיהָ, וּמִשְׁפָּחוֹת בִּכְשָׁפֶיהָ.

    תהילים פרק עג
    • פסוק כז: כִּי-הִנֵּה רְחֵקֶיךָ יֹאבֵדוּ; הִצְמַתָּה, כָּל-זוֹנֶה מִמֶּךָּ.

    משלי פרק ו
    • פסוק כו: כִּי בְעַד-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, עַד-כִּכַּר-לָחֶם:וְאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ-- נֶפֶשׁ יְקָרָה תָצוּד.
    משלי פרק ז
    • פסוק י: וְהִנֵּה אִשָּׁה, לִקְרָאתוֹ; שִׁית זוֹנָה, וּנְצֻרַת לֵב.
    משלי פרק כג
    • פסוק כז: כִּי-שׁוּחָה עֲמֻקָּה זוֹנָה; וּבְאֵר צָרָה, נָכְרִיָּה.

I did not look through other forms, such as zonot, just zonah, so perhaps there are other examples which can be helpful. And it seems that there are three different options when it comes to translating the word zonah.

There is pundekisa: Yehoshua 2:1 ; I Melachim 3:16 , as above; and Yechezkel 23:44 ; and Shofetim 16:1

There is zanyasa/zanyesa: Michah 1:7 ; Mishlei 6:26 ; Mishlei 7:10 ; Mishlei 23:27.

We considered two of the four instances of pundekisa above. We should consider the remaining two and see if zonah as innkeeperess / seller of food is plausible.

One is in Shofetim 16:1. Shimshon goes to Gaza and sees there an "isha zonah" and comes unto her.
א וַיֵּלֶךְ שִׁמְשׁוֹן, עַזָּתָה; וַיַּרְא-שָׁם אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ.1 And Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a harlot, and went in unto her.
Now, given Shimshon's history of going after women he should not; and given that it mentions the woman he saw, rather than an inn, which would be more appropriate; and given that the word vayovo eileha should rightly connote intercourse, we should expect it to mean prostitute. But as you can see, Targum renders it "pundekisa."

Radak notes this Targum and says "we have already explained the intent of the Targumist in the matter of Rachav the zonah." Thus, he refers to his commentary elsewhere, which we already discussed, where he maintains that the Targumist really means a harlot.

We see Ralbag also consistent in his position, in saying that Shimshon saw an "isha pundekisa," an inkeeper woman, and went to her house to stay overnight there. Thus he understands vayavo eileha to not mean intercourse.

The last example of the few I found (there might be others in other forms of zonah) is Yechezkel 23:44:

מג וָאֹמַר, לַבָּלָה נִאוּפִים; עת (עַתָּה) יזנה (יִזְנוּ) תַזְנוּתֶהָ, וָהִיא.43 Then said I of her that was worn out by adulteries: Still they commit harlotries with her, even her.
מד וַיָּבוֹא אֵלֶיהָ, כְּבוֹא אֶל-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה; כֵּן בָּאוּ, אֶל-אָהֳלָה וְאֶל-אָהֳלִיבָה--אִשֹּׁת, הַזִּמָּה.44 For every one went in unto her, as men go in unto a harlot; so went they in unto Oholah and unto Oholibah, the lewd women.
מה וַאֲנָשִׁים צַדִּיקִם, הֵמָּה יִשְׁפְּטוּ אוֹתְהֶם--מִשְׁפַּט נֹאֲפוֹת, וּמִשְׁפַּט שֹׁפְכוֹת דָּם: כִּי נֹאֲפֹת הֵנָּה, וְדָם בִּידֵיהֶן. {ס}45 But righteous men, they shall judge them as adulteresses are judged, and as women that shed blood are judged; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.
The context is clearly intercourse, and the end of the pasuk is clearly to ishot hazimah, the lewd women.

Yet Targum insists on translating it as isha pundekita. No one takes note of this. Radak doesn't. Rashi, though he made use of Targum by Rachav, does not here, and seems to understand it kifshuto that it means a harlot. And they take vayavo aileha to refer to intercourse. I don't see any Ralbag on it, and don't know if he did write a perush on Yechezkel. However, if I may put forth an explanation to Targum, which might be what Ralbag would say as well, "they come to her just like people check into an inn, or visit an inkeeperess." It is dochak, but that does not mean that he would not say it.

Because the question I am addressing here is not what the correct interpretation of the pasuk is. It is what the correct interpretation of Targum is. And while Radak is plausible, it is also quite possible that the Targum's intent in each of these four examples is indeed to say innkeeper.

All this calls to mind a story about Yeshu, with a similar confusion involving an innkeeper.

[R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] left and arrived at a particular inn and they showed him great respect. He said: How beautiful is this inn [Achsania, which also means innkeeper].

[Yeshu] said: Rabbi, she has narrow eyes.

[R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] said to him: Wicked one, this is how you engage yourself?

[R. Yehoshua Ben Perachiah] sent out four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him.

Now, I think that as a matter of peshat, it is quite plausible in sefer Yehoshua that the zonah is a harlot. After all, when you are trying to keep a low profile, you might associate with the lower classes of society, especially those who do not have a special affinity to the police, government or law. Now it does not trouble me that it states that they slept there:

א וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ-בִּן-נוּן מִן-הַשִּׁטִּים שְׁנַיִם-אֲנָשִׁים מְרַגְּלִים, חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר, לְכוּ רְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-יְרִיחוֹ; וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב--וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ-שָׁמָּה.1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two spies secretly, saying: 'Go view the land, and Jericho.' And they went, and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lay there.
There might be a double-entendre there, but there is no reason to think that they both had intercourse with her. Rather, they literally slept there. They stayed there overnight, or went to sleep. We see this explicitly a bit later:
ח וְהֵמָּה, טֶרֶם יִשְׁכָּבוּן; וְהִיא עָלְתָה עֲלֵיהֶם, עַל-הַגָּג.8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
ט וַתֹּאמֶר, אֶל-הָאֲנָשִׁים--יָדַעְתִּי, כִּי-נָתַן ה' לָכֶם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ; וְכִי-נָפְלָה אֵימַתְכֶם עָלֵינוּ, וְכִי נָמֹגוּ כָּל-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם.9 and she said unto the men: 'I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.
that שכב is being used for sleep.

Note: See also the stunning conclusion. I missed one source where zonah is translated pundekisa. There an addendum to the Targum makes it almost explicit that the word pundekisa is used in general to mean prostitute.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why did Yehoshua send the spies?

The haftarah for Shelach naturally enough involves sending spies to spy out the land.
א וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ-בִּן-נוּן מִן-הַשִּׁטִּים שְׁנַיִם-אֲנָשִׁים מְרַגְּלִים, חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר, לְכוּ רְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-יְרִיחוֹ; וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב--וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ-שָׁמָּה.1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two spies secretly, saying: 'Go view the land, and Jericho.' And they went, and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lay there.
But what in the world is Yehoshua thinking?! He was one of the 12 spies, and he saw what disaster ensued! This is a great question Ralbag asks.

His answer is that there are two reasons for sending out spies. One is to find out if one should engage the enemy or avoid them. And this was the intent of the people in Moshe's time. The other is, knowing of course that one will indeed engage the enemy, to encourage the people and strengthen their courage. Just as Gideon, though certainly fighting with a small force, spied and heard the dream of the soldier, which gave Gideon extra courage. And this was Yehoshua's intent. It was a different kind of spying.

We could support this with the reaction of Rachav, about how the Canaanite hearts melted in fear, and how they report this at the very end of the perek. This seems to be an intent of this episode.

However much I may like the question, I am not entirely convinced by the answer. I am not sure, e.g. that this was Moshe's intent in sending the spies. He might have done it as well to inspire courgage. Further, I would propose two other reasons for Yehoshua sending the spies.

The first reason is specifically in order to replay the failed mission. This was take two, under new leadership. It was a "tikkun" for the failure of the last generation, and a demonstration that this generation was going to get it right. Rachav's description of hearts melting shows a reversal of the attitude of the dor hamidbar, as does the last pasuk in the perek:
כד וַיֹּאמְרוּ, אֶל-יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, כִּי-נָתַן ה' בְּיָדֵנוּ, אֶת-כָּל-הָאָרֶץ; וְגַם-נָמֹגוּ כָּל-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, מִפָּנֵינוּ. {ס}24 And they said unto Joshua: 'Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; and moreover all the inhabitants of the land do melt away before us.' {S}

The second reason is that this is how one fights a war. Just as the men would not go to battle unarmed with weapons and shields (chamushim alu...), the men would not go to battle without military intelligence and some strategy. What was the reason that Yosef's brothers were purportedly spying in Egypt, according to Yosef's accusation in parshat Miketz?
ט וַיִּזְכֹּר יוֹסֵף--אֵת הַחֲלֹמוֹת, אֲשֶׁר חָלַם לָהֶם; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם, לִרְאוֹת אֶת-עֶרְוַת הָאָרֶץ בָּאתֶם.9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them: 'Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.'
י וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו, לֹא אֲדֹנִי; וַעֲבָדֶיךָ בָּאוּ, לִשְׁבָּר-אֹכֶל.10 And they said unto him: 'Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.
יא כֻּלָּנוּ, בְּנֵי אִישׁ-אֶחָד נָחְנוּ; כֵּנִים אֲנַחְנוּ, לֹא-הָיוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ מְרַגְּלִים.11 We are all one man's sons; we are upright men, thy servants are no spies.'
יב וַיֹּאמֶר, אֲלֵהֶם: לֹא, כִּי-עֶרְוַת הָאָרֶץ בָּאתֶם לִרְאוֹת.12 And he said unto them: 'Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.'

The ervat ha`aretz is the weakness of its defenses. A similar question might be read into Moshe's instructions to his spies. And see, here, how the king of Yericho reacts:

ב וַיֵּאָמַר, לְמֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ לֵאמֹר: הִנֵּה אֲנָשִׁים בָּאוּ הֵנָּה הַלַּיְלָה, מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--לַחְפֹּר אֶת-הָאָרֶץ.2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying: 'Behold, there came men in hither to-night of the children of Israel to search out the land.'
ג וַיִּשְׁלַח מֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ, אֶל-רָחָב לֵאמֹר: הוֹצִיאִי הָאֲנָשִׁים הַבָּאִים אֵלַיִךְ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּאוּ לְבֵיתֵךְ--כִּי לַחְפֹּר אֶת-כָּל-הָאָרֶץ, בָּאוּ.3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying: 'Bring forth the men that are come to thee, that are entered into thy house; for they are come to search out all the land.'
ד וַתִּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה אֶת-שְׁנֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים, וַתִּצְפְּנוֹ; וַתֹּאמֶר כֵּן, בָּאוּ אֵלַי הָאֲנָשִׁים, וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי, מֵאַיִן הֵמָּה.4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them; and she said: 'Yea, the men came unto me, but I knew not whence they were;
ה וַיְהִי הַשַּׁעַר לִסְגּוֹר, בַּחֹשֶׁךְ וְהָאֲנָשִׁים יָצָאוּ--לֹא יָדַעְתִּי, אָנָה הָלְכוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים; רִדְפוּ מַהֵר אַחֲרֵיהֶם, כִּי תַשִּׂיגוּם.5 and it came to pass about the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out; whither the men went I know not; pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.'
Why should the king care about these spies? They came "to search out the land" -- that is, to gather intelligence to plan the conquest. And he pursues them hoping to catch them before they make it back to the Israelite camp. This all strongly suggests to me that they were serving a military purpose. But my addition is that this military purpose is part of the derech hateva and hishtadlus aspect inherent in the military campaign.

Now I see that Malbim suggests as much as part of his five-pronged answer to how this sending differs from Moshe's sending. I don't agree entirely with Malbim that there must be a distinction between tarim and meraglim, but I do somewhat in this conclusion.

Radak also grapples with this question. His solution, which he says in passing, is to note that the first pasuk reads:
א וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ-בִּן-נוּן מִן-הַשִּׁטִּים שְׁנַיִם-אֲנָשִׁים מְרַגְּלִים, חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר, לְכוּ רְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-יְרִיחוֹ; וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית-אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה, וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב--וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ-שָׁמָּה.1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two spies secretly, saying: 'Go view the land, and Jericho.' And they went, and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lay there.
What is meant by cheresh? The Targum translates it as ברז, "in secret." Rashi takes this as:
secretly: Secretly. So did Jon. render it. He said to them: Disguise yourselves as deaf-mutes (חרשים) so that they will not conceal their affairs from you. Another explanation is: חרש [with a “shin”] is like חרש [with a “sin” or “samech,” namely pottery.] Load yourselves with pots so that you appear as potters.
But Radak suggests that the secret is from the Israelites. They are conduct the mission without telling anyone from their own camp of the mission, and so only Yehoshua is to receive the report. This makes their missing safe.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Masei: Did Joshua Add The Section About Arad and Chormah?

In sefer Yehoshua, perek 12, we read:

ז וְאֵלֶּה מַלְכֵי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן יָמָּה, מִבַּעַל גָּד בְּבִקְעַת הַלְּבָנוֹן, וְעַד-הָהָר הֶחָלָק הָעֹלֶה שֵׂעִירָה; וַיִּתְּנָהּ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לְשִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְרֻשָּׁה--כְּמַחְלְקֹתָם. 7 And these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the children of Israel smote beyond the Jordan westward, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the bare mountain, that goeth up to Seir; and Joshua gave it unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions;
ח בָּהָר וּבַשְּׁפֵלָה, וּבָעֲרָבָה וּבָאֲשֵׁדוֹת, וּבַמִּדְבָּר, וּבַנֶּגֶב--הַחִתִּי, הָאֱמֹרִי, וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי הַפְּרִזִּי, הַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי. {ש} 8 in the hill-country, and in the Lowland, and in the Arabah, and in the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the South; the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: {P}
ט מֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ, {ס} אֶחָד; {ס} מֶלֶךְ הָעַי אֲשֶׁר-מִצַּד בֵּית-אֵל, אֶחָד. {ר} 9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Beth-el, one;
י מֶלֶךְ יְרוּשָׁלִַם {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ חֶבְרוֹן {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;
יא מֶלֶךְ יַרְמוּת {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ לָכִישׁ {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;
יב מֶלֶךְ עֶגְלוֹן {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ גֶּזֶר {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;
יג מֶלֶךְ דְּבִר {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ גֶּדֶר {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;
יד מֶלֶךְ חָרְמָה {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ עֲרָד {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
טו מֶלֶךְ לִבְנָה {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ עֲדֻלָּם {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;
טז מֶלֶךְ מַקֵּדָה {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ בֵּית-אֵל {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Beth-el, one;
יז מֶלֶךְ תַּפּוּחַ {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ חֵפֶר {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;
יח מֶלֶךְ אֲפֵק {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ לַשָּׁרוֹן {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of the Sharon, one;
יט מֶלֶךְ מָדוֹן {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ חָצוֹר {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;
כ מֶלֶךְ שִׁמְרוֹן מְרֹאון {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ אַכְשָׁף {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 20 the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;
כא מֶלֶךְ תַּעְנַךְ {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ מְגִדּוֹ {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;
כב מֶלֶךְ קֶדֶשׁ {ס} אֶחָד, {ס} מֶלֶךְ-יָקְנְעָם לַכַּרְמֶל {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one;
כג מֶלֶךְ דּוֹר לְנָפַת דּוֹר, {ס} אֶחָד; {ס} מֶלֶךְ-גּוֹיִם לְגִלְגָּל, {ס} אֶחָד. {ר} 23 the king of Dor in the region of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in the Gilgal, one;
כד מֶלֶךְ תִּרְצָה, {ס} אֶחָד; {ס} כָּל-מְלָכִים, שְׁלֹשִׁים {ס} וְאֶחָד. {ר} {ש} 24 the king of Tirzah, one. All the kings thirty and one. {P}
Pasuk 14 is troubling, for it states "the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one." But in parshat Masei, we see a king of Arad, who is a Canaanite. In Bemidbar 33:
מ וַיִּשְׁמַע, הַכְּנַעֲנִי מֶלֶךְ עֲרָד, וְהוּא-יֹשֵׁב בַּנֶּגֶב, בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן--בְּבֹא, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. 40 And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.--
And in the earlier accounting of this, in parshat Chukat, not only do we have Arad, but Chormah as well:
א וַיִּשְׁמַע הַכְּנַעֲנִי מֶלֶךְ-עֲרָד, יֹשֵׁב הַנֶּגֶב, כִּי בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל, דֶּרֶךְ הָאֲתָרִים; וַיִּלָּחֶם, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיִּשְׁבְּ מִמֶּנּוּ, שֶׁבִי. 1 And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.
ב וַיִּדַּר יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶדֶר לַיהוָה, וַיֹּאמַר: אִם-נָתֹן תִּתֵּן אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה, בְּיָדִי--וְהַחֲרַמְתִּי, אֶת-עָרֵיהֶם. 2 And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said: 'If Thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.'
ג וַיִּשְׁמַע יְהוָה בְּקוֹל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיִּתֵּן אֶת-הַכְּנַעֲנִי, וַיַּחֲרֵם אֶתְהֶם, וְאֶת-עָרֵיהֶם; וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם-הַמָּקוֹם, חָרְמָה. {פ} 3 And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities; and the name of the place was called Hormah. {P}
ד וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהֹר הָהָר, דֶּרֶךְ יַם-סוּף, לִסְבֹב, אֶת-אֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם; וַתִּקְצַר נֶפֶשׁ-הָעָם, בַּדָּרֶךְ. 4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became impatient because of the way.
Though the text in context, in pasuk 4 places this by Hor HaHar. On the other hand, this whole section might be read as insertion, in which case pasuk 4 tells us nothing.

Is it possible that this is a late insertion into the Torah by Yehoshua, of his own battle?

Ibn Ezra addresses this:
וישמע הכנעני מלך ערד -
אמרו הקדמונים:
שהוא סיחון ונקרא הכנעני כי כל אמורי כנעני.

ורבים אמרו:
כי זאת הפרשה יהושע כתבה והראיה מלך ערד אחד ומצאו שבני יהודה קראו שם המקום חרמה, ולא אמרו כלום כי אותו המקום יקרא בתחלה צפת וזה מלך ערד והאמת שני מקומות ורבים במקרא כמו הם ומלך ערד על פשוטו הוא מעבר לירדן מזרחה ונסמכה זאת הפרשה למות אהרן כי הכתוב ספר מה שאירע בהר ההר קודם נסעם משם והעד: וישמע הכנעני מלך ערד ואחריו ויסעו מהר ההר ואם תבקש מה שמע הנה מפורש.
I don't know who these "many" are, who say this. But why say this, that that place in sefer Yehoshua, in Tzfas (Sefad)? Because there is another pasuk, and another place, called Chormah. In Shofetim 1:17:
יז וַיֵּלֶךְ יְהוּדָה, אֶת-שִׁמְעוֹן אָחִיו, וַיַּכּוּ, אֶת-הַכְּנַעֲנִי יוֹשֵׁב צְפַת; וַיַּחֲרִימוּ אוֹתָהּ, וַיִּקְרָא אֶת-שֵׁם-הָעִיר חָרְמָה. 17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they smote the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.
Shadal's take on this, in parshas Chukas, is as follows:
נראה כי המאורע הזה איננו אותו שבשופטים (א י"ז), אלא עכשו לקחו קצת מעריהם והשאר בימי יהושע.
I am not 100% certain of the point he is making here. Thus, it would appear that at the least, he does not equate the one in Tzfas to the one in Chukas and Masei. This is one point Ibn Ezra makes, though Ibn Ezra equates the cities in Yehoshua with the cities in Shofetim.

But by saying that now they took some of their cities and the others in the days of Yehoshua, he seems to me to be saying (though I could be wrong) that this is indeed the one mentioned in sefer Yehoshua. Except that it happened earlier, in Penteteuchal times, and just happened to be listed among other cities in sefer Yehoshua, which happened in post-Penteteuchal times, that is only in the days of Yehoshua.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bereishit, Noach: Gilgamesh, UtanPishtim and Gan Eden

Many people refer to Gilgamesh for its parallels to the story of Noach, but there is far more there. Here is one such gem, from tablet 11 of the Gilgamesh epic. Gilgamesh is seeking eternal life, and asked Utanpishtim how he attained his eternal life. Utanpishtim tells him the flood story, and how he and his wife survived the flood.

At the end of this episode, after surviving the flood, Enlil, the deity primarily responsible for the flood deals with them.
Enlil went up inside the boat
and, grasping my hand, made me go up.
He had my wife go up and kneel by my side.
He touched our forehead and, standing between us, he
blessed us:
'Previously Utanapishtim was a human being.
But now let Utanapishtim and his wife become like us,
the gods!
Let Utanapishtim reside far away, at the Mouth of the Rivers.'
They took us far away and settled us at the Mouth of the Rivers."
"Now then, who will convene the gods on your behalf,
that you may find the life that you are seeking!
This blessing of Utanpishtim and his wife accords with what happens to Noach, in Bereishit 9:
א וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-נֹחַ וְאֶת-בָּנָיו; וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ, וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ. 1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.
but also importantly to the blessing of man and his wife by Adam and Chava, in Bereishit 1:
כח וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם, אֱלֹהִים, וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְכִבְשֻׁהָ; וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם, וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבְכָל-חַיָּה, הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל-הָאָרֶץ. 28 And God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.'
A parallel to Adam and Chava is apt. After all, initially it seems that they were supposed to live forever in Gan Eden, but eating from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil brought death to humanity.

The opposite happens to Utanpishtim. They used to be like humans but now they are to be like gods:
'Previously Utanapishtim was a human being.
But now let Utanapishtim and his wife become like us,
the gods!
Compare to Adam and Chava. In Bereishit 3, Hashem tried to prevent them from becoming like the gods.
ד וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה: לֹא-מוֹת, תְּמֻתוּן. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman: 'Ye shall not surely die;
ה כִּי, יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים, כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ, וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם; וִהְיִיתֶם, כֵּאלֹהִים, יֹדְעֵי, טוֹב וָרָע. 5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.'
This knowledge will make them like the gods, or like God, at least if we are to trust the snake on this point.

And another way Hashem tries to prevent this is by subsequently ensuring they do not get eternal life. In the same perek:
כב וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ, לָדַעַת, טוֹב וָרָע; וְעַתָּה פֶּן-יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ, וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים, וְאָכַל, וָחַי לְעֹלָם. 22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.'
כג וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, מִגַּן-עֵדֶן--לַעֲבֹד, אֶת-הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר לֻקַּח, מִשָּׁם. 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Yet what Enlil wants to do here is grant Utanpishtim eternal life.

There is this dynamic though, in that while Hashem does not intend for man, or mankind to be like a god, He does wish to make man God-like, in His own image, and with aspects of rulership:

In Bereishit 1:
כו וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ; וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ, וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ, הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ. 26 And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'

More along the lines of contrast between Utanpishtim and Adam, the way Enlil accomplishes granting Utanpishtim eternal life is by sending Utanpishtim into Gan Eden, rather than casting him out of it. Thus,
Let Utanapishtim reside far away, at the Mouth of the Rivers.'
They took us far away and settled us at the Mouth of the Rivers."
The Mouth of the Rivers, of course, is Gan Eden. We see this explicitly in Bereishit 2, where Gan Eden is the mouth of the four rivers:

ח וַיִּטַּע יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, גַּן-בְּעֵדֶן--מִקֶּדֶם; וַיָּשֶׂם שָׁם, אֶת-הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר יָצָר. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed.
ט וַיַּצְמַח יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, כָּל-עֵץ נֶחְמָד לְמַרְאֶה, וְטוֹב לְמַאֲכָל--וְעֵץ הַחַיִּים, בְּתוֹךְ הַגָּן, וְעֵץ, הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
י וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן, לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת-הַגָּן; וּמִשָּׁם, יִפָּרֵד, וְהָיָה, לְאַרְבָּעָה רָאשִׁים. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads.
יא שֵׁם הָאֶחָד, פִּישׁוֹן--הוּא הַסֹּבֵב, אֵת כָּל-אֶרֶץ הַחֲוִילָה, אֲשֶׁר-שָׁם, הַזָּהָב. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
יב וּזְהַב הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא, טוֹב; שָׁם הַבְּדֹלַח, וְאֶבֶן הַשֹּׁהַם. 12 and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
יג וְשֵׁם-הַנָּהָר הַשֵּׁנִי, גִּיחוֹן--הוּא הַסּוֹבֵב, אֵת כָּל-אֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush.
יד וְשֵׁם הַנָּהָר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי חִדֶּקֶל, הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ קִדְמַת אַשּׁוּר; וְהַנָּהָר הָרְבִיעִי, הוּא פְרָת. 14 And the name of the third river is Tigris; that is it which goeth toward the east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

In fact, midrash later follows this partial apotheosis, granting various Biblical characters and post-Biblical characters eternal life by having them enter Gan Eden alive. For example, Serach bat Asher.

The contrast is of course that Utanpishtim and his wife are just two people, while Adam and Eve are prototypes for all humanity, which is intended to be mortal.

In the epic of Gilgamesh, we also have a parallel to the snake and to the tree of Life. To cite the same tablet:

Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, the ferryman, saying:
"Urshanabi, this plant is a plant against decay(!)
by which a man can attain his survival(!).
I will bring it to Uruk-Haven,
and have an old man eat the plant to test it.
The plant's name is 'The Old Man Becomes a Young Man.'"
Then I will eat it and return to the condition of my youth."
At twenty leagues they broke for some food,
at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.
Seeing a spring and how cool its waters were,
Gilgamesh went down and was bathing in the water.
A snake smelled the fragrance of the plant,
silently came up and carried off the plant.
While going back it sloughed off its casing.'
Thus, the plant is a plant of eternal life, because it returns the old to young. By continuously eating of this plant, one can live forever. He gets the plant but a snake takes it away from him. Just as in Bereishit the snake brings death to mankind. And as the snake is associated with a plant, though a different plant.

Note also the physical fulfillment of eternal life, in the snake in Gilgamesh. "While going back it sloughed off its casing." That it, a snake shedding its skin is a fulfillment of returning old to new. In Bereishit, we also have physical repercussions for the snake.

We also have a parallel to the sleep that overtakes Adam, and a mention of a wife in this regard. From the same tablet:

Utanapishtim said to his wife:
"Mankind is deceptive, and will deceive you.
Come, bake leaves for him and keep setting them by his head
and draw on the wall each day that he lay down."
She baked his leaves and placed them by his head
and marked on the wall the day that he lay down.
The first loaf was dessicated,
the second stale, the third moist(?), the fourth turned white,
its ...,
the fifth sprouted gray (mold), the sixth is still fresh.
the seventh--suddenly he touched him and the man awoke.
Gilgamesh said to Utanapishtim:
"The very moment sleep was pouring over me
you touched me and alerted me!"
Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:
"Look over here, Gilgamesh, count your loaves!
You should be aware of what is marked on the wall!
Your first loaf is dessicated,
the second stale, the third moist, your fourth turned white,
its ...
the fifth sprouted gray (mold), the sixth is still fresh.
The seventh--suddenly he touched him and the man awoke.
Gilgamesh said to Utanapishtim:
"The very moment sleep was pouring over me
you touched me and alerted me!"
Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:
"Look over here, Gilgamesh, count your leaves!
You should be aware of what is marked on the wall!
Your first loaf is dessicated,
the second stale, the third moist, your fourth turned white,
its ...
the fifth sprouted gray (mold), the sixth is still fresh.
The seventh--at that instant you awoke!"
Thus, he slept, and lost out of eternal life that would possibly had been granted had he stayed awake and convened with the gods.

The idea of old rotting bread as evidence of passage of time, by the way, is also found in sefer Yehoshua, perek 9, in interactions with the Gibeonites.

ג וְיֹשְׁבֵי גִבְעוֹן שָׁמְעוּ, אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לִירִיחוֹ--וְלָעָי. 3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
ד וַיַּעֲשׂוּ גַם-הֵמָּה בְּעָרְמָה, וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיִּצְטַיָּרוּ; וַיִּקְחוּ שַׂקִּים בָּלִים, לַחֲמוֹרֵיהֶם, וְנֹאדוֹת יַיִן בָּלִים, וּמְבֻקָּעִים וּמְצֹרָרִים. 4 they also did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine skins, worn and rent and patched up;
ה וּנְעָלוֹת בָּלוֹת וּמְטֻלָּאוֹת בְּרַגְלֵיהֶם, וּשְׂלָמוֹת בָּלוֹת עֲלֵיהֶם; וְכֹל לֶחֶם צֵידָם, יָבֵשׁ הָיָה נִקֻּדִים. 5 and worn shoes and clouted upon their feet, and worn garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and was become crumbs.
ו וַיֵּלְכוּ אֶל-יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל-הַמַּחֲנֶה, הַגִּלְגָּל; וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו וְאֶל-אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה בָּאנוּ, וְעַתָּה, כִּרְתוּ-לָנוּ בְרִית. 6 And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel: 'We are come from a far country; now therefore make ye a covenant with us.'
ז ויאמרו (וַיֹּאמֶר) אִישׁ-יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶל-הַחִוִּי: אוּלַי, בְּקִרְבִּי אַתָּה יוֹשֵׁב, וְאֵיךְ, אכרות- (אֶכְרָת-) לְךָ בְרִית. 7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites: 'Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a covenant with you?'
ח וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל-יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲנָחְנוּ; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ מִי אַתֶּם, וּמֵאַיִן תָּבֹאוּ. 8 And they said unto Joshua: 'We are thy servants.' And Joshua said unto them: 'Who are ye? and from whence come ye?'
ט וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו, מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה מְאֹד בָּאוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ, לְשֵׁם, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: כִּי-שָׁמַעְנוּ שָׁמְעוֹ, וְאֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה בְּמִצְרָיִם. 9 And they said unto him: 'From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God; for we have heard the fame of Him, and all that He did in Egypt,
י וְאֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, לִשְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי, אֲשֶׁר, בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן--לְסִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ חֶשְׁבּוֹן, וּלְעוֹג מֶלֶךְ-הַבָּשָׁן אֲשֶׁר בְּעַשְׁתָּרוֹת. 10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.
יא וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֵינוּ זְקֵינֵינוּ וְכָל-יֹשְׁבֵי אַרְצֵנוּ לֵאמֹר, קְחוּ בְיֶדְכֶם צֵידָה לַדֶּרֶךְ, וּלְכוּ, לִקְרָאתָם; וַאֲמַרְתֶּם אֲלֵיהֶם עַבְדֵיכֶם אֲנַחְנוּ, וְעַתָּה כִּרְתוּ-לָנוּ בְרִית. 11 And our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying: Take provision in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them: We are your servants; and now make ye a covenant with us.
יב זֶה לַחְמֵנוּ, חָם הִצְטַיַּדְנוּ אֹתוֹ מִבָּתֵּינוּ, בְּיוֹם צֵאתֵנוּ, לָלֶכֶת אֲלֵיכֶם; וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה יָבֵשׁ, וְהָיָה נִקֻּדִים. 12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and is become crumbs.

Some translations have nikudim to mean moldy rather than crumbs.

One final point in terms of parshat Bereishit, but it is somewhat rated. As such, you might wish to skip the end of this post.

One reading of the sin of the eating the forbidden fruit was that they engaged in sexual intercourse. I think this is all likelihood an incorrect reading. For example, the fact that they were naked is to show that they were simple, without cunning, as opposed to the cunning snake. Thus the ערום/ערום play on words. But some do read it that way.

We might find support for this reading from the epic of Gilgamesh is that primitive man was originally a brute, and only became an intelligent being as a result of repeated sexual intercourse with Shamhat:
Then he, Enkidu, offspring of the mountains,
who eats grasses with the gazelles,
came to drink at the watering hole with the animals,
with the wild beasts he slaked his thirst with water.
Then Shamhat saw him--a primitive,
a savage fellow from the depths of the wilderness!
"That is he, Shamhat! Release your clenched arms,
expose your sex so he can take in your voluptuousness.
Do not be restrained--take his energy!
When he sees you he will draw near to you.
Spread out your robe so he can lie upon you,
and perform for this primitive the task of womankind!
His animals, who grew up in his wilderness, will become alien to him,
and his lust will groan over you."
Shamhat unclutched her bosom, exposed her sex, and he took in her voluptuousness.
She was not restrained, but took his energy.
She spread out her robe and he lay upon her,
she performed for the primitive the task of womankind.
His lust groaned over her;
for six days and seven nights Enkidu stayed aroused,
and had intercourse with the harlot
until he was sated with her charms.
But when he turned his attention to his animals,
the gazelles saw Enkidu and darted off,
the wild animals distanced themselves from his body.
Enkidu ... his utterly depleted(?) body,
his knees that wanted to go off with his animals went rigid;
Enkidu was diminished, his running was not as before.
But then he drew himself up, for his understanding had broadened.
Thus his body was utterly depleted, but his understanding had broadened.

This increased knowledge made him God-like, just as in the beginning of Bereishit:
The harlot said to Enkidu:
"You are beautiful," Enkidu, you are become like a god.
Why do you gallop around the wilderness with the wild beasts?
Come, let me bring you into Uruk-Haven,
to the Holy Temple, the residence of Anu and Ishtar,
the place of Gilgamesh, who is wise to perfection,
but who struts his power over the people like a wild bull."
There is so much more, but this will have to suffice for now.


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