Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In parashat shemini, chapter 10, verse 1 it is written:

וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִיבוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֵשׁ זָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוָּה אֹתָם׃

Why, after ויתנו בהן , it is written וישימו עליה ?

share|improve this question
1  
just off the top of my head, eish is singular and the ketoret went on a singular fire (either the combined fires of the two, or two separate, singular fires -- is there a plural for "fire"?). the fire had been placed in a singular pan but the fire had been placed in both pans (vahen) by them (vayitNU). so it might just be a function of the nature of the noun eish. –  Danno Apr 5 '13 at 13:41
    
I think Dan's got it - esh is a "mass noun" and so it would take a singular: "they lit fire in them [the pans] and they placed incense on it [the fire]". –  Noam Sienna Apr 5 '13 at 20:49
    
@Dan Isn't the plural אשים Ishshim (dagesh in the shin)? –  Double AA Apr 5 '13 at 21:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ralbag's commentary clarifies that "עָלֶיהָ/on it" means "on the fire", and that they placed the incense on the fire after placing the fire on the inner altar. [The Torah would not say "וַיָּשִׂימוּ בָהֵן קְטֹרֶת/and placed incense in them", in the pans, because they didn't put the incense in the pans according to Ralbag.]

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.