Monthly Archives: January 2013


The root צנח appears only three times in תנ”ך:

Twice it appears in a verse that is repeated in Judges from Joshua: Joshua 15:18, and Judges 1:14:

וַיְהִי בְּבוֹאָהּ וַתְּסִיתֵהוּ לִשְׁאוֹל מֵאֵת אָבִיהָ שָׂדֶה וַתִּצְנַח מֵעַל הַחֲמוֹר וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ כָּלֵב מַה לָּךְ:

Where it refers to עכסה the daughter of עתניאל בן קנז falling or alighting from the donkey that she is riding.  This is reminiscent of Rebecca falling from her camel: ותשא רבקה את עיניה ותרא את יצחק ותפל מעל הגמל (Genesis 24:64)

The third time describes the death of סיסרא at the hand of יעל in Judges 4:21

וַתִּקַּח יָעֵל אֵשֶׁת חֶבֶר אֶת יְתַד הָאֹהֶל וַתָּשֶׂם אֶת הַמַּקֶּבֶת בְּיָדָהּ וַתָּבוֹא אֵלָיו בַּלָּאט וַתִּתְקַע אֶת הַיָּתֵד בְּרַקָּתוֹ וַתִּצְנַח בָּאָרֶץ וְהוּא נִרְדָּם וַיָּעַף וַיָּמֹת

סיפור יציאת מצרים

Joshua 24 is Joshua’s farewell speech to the Israelites.  The beginning of this speech is a recounting of Jewish History from Abraham (from Terah really), and part of this speech is in the הגדה של פסח.  This is the first of several times in תנ”ך that the story of the Exodus is retold, each time slightly differently, with different emphasis and different purpose.  I will keep track of them in this post, and hopefully one day comment on some of the differences between the retellings.

It is fascinating that at the end of the speech Joshua gives them the opportunity to choose: they can choose יי or they can choose to go and worship their former gods, and his final words in this speech are ואנכי וביתי נעבד את יי.

After they declare themselves for יי Joshua tries to convince them that serving יי is too difficult for them!  Once they again declare for יי though, it is final.  They can’t say that they are stuck with a covenant that an earlier generation agreed to – they have now agreed themselves.


אל אלהים יי אל אלהים יי

When the 2½ tribes are accused of forsaking יי immediately upon settling east of the Jordan, they respond by declaring their loyalty to יי by declaring: אל אלהים יי אל אלהים יי

I will be collecting similar declarations in this post.  The best known is אליהו on הר הכרמל when the people of Israel declare יי הוא האלהים יי הוא האלהים

At the end of ספר יהושע Joshua has the Israelites reaffirm their allegiance to יי and they say גם אנחנו נעבד את ה כי הוא אלהינו (Joshua 24:18)


 יהושע כב:כב  אל אלהים יי אל אלהים יי
יהושע כב:לד כי יי האלהים
 יהושע כד:טז  כי יי אלהינו
 דברי הימים א יז:כו  אתה הוא האלהים

החושד בכשרים לוקה בגופו

In daf yomi we recently (שבת צז א) had the statement of ריש לקיש:

החושד בכשרים לוקה בגופו

In Joshua 22, Joshua sends the 2½ tribes – ראבן גד וחצי מנשה – to the land on the east side of the Jordan that they were promised, and they immediately build an altar.  What follows is a case of mistrust on both sides of the Jordan:  The majority tribes on the west side of the Jordan suspect the the 2½ tribes have already forsaken the LORD and have built an altar to foreign Gods, while the tribes east of the Jordan fear that the majority will regard them as a foreign nation across a border and therefore felt compelled to build a symbolic altar to show their connection to the LORD and to their brethren across the Jordan.

This unfortunately presages the fighting between the tribes that we will see in שפטים and then in the actual splitting of the Kingdoms after the reign of Solomon.

The 2½ tribes use the word תבנית to describe the altar that they build, and it is probably worth investigating the 18 times in תנ”ך that this word is used.

ולא עמד איש בפניהם

Those who are familiar with customs surrounding reading מגילת אסתר are familiar with the reading of verse Esther 9:2 twice, reading it once as ואיש לא עמד לפניהם and a second time ואיש לא עמד בפניהם.

In Joshua 21:42 and again in 23:9 there appears a similar phrase: ולא-עמד איש בפניהם (in 23:9 where Joshua is speaking to the Israelites it is בפניכם).

The only other occurrence of איש with לא עמד is when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers (Genesis 45:1) where we are told ולא עמד איש אתו בהתודע יוסף אל אחיו, but that is a very different, non-military, context.