interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation (Pronounced "par-sha-noot")

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Which Abigail is this?

In Book 2 of Shmuel Chapter 17. Paragraph 25 it says: "And Amasa, had Absalom set in place of Joab over the host; and Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who came to ...
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If Yosef didn't recognize each individual brother, how did he know who Shim'on was?

Sforno on Genesis 42:7: ויכירם שהם אחיו לא שהכיר אחד לאחד: He recognized (collectively) that they were his brothers. But he couldn't distinguish one from the other (he didn't know who was whom.) If ...
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Yosef sold into prostitution

I remember hearing of a source that states that Yosef was sold into prostitution, or some other form of sexual slavery, by his brothers, and not just plain slavery as is commonly assumed. Does such a ...
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Grammar question in Vayikra 11:21

I was recently reading something in Vayikra (in Chabad.org) and I found a parenthesis in 11:21. I've never seen something like this before. אַךְ אֶת זֶה תֹּאכְלוּ מִכֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף הַהֹלֵךְ עַל ...
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Is nechoshet copper, brass or bronze [duplicate]

In the bible the word נחושת means what? I saw a few translations: copper, brass, bronze. What is the definition of the word
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source for Potiphar not believing his wife

I mentioned to someone a vort I once heard pointing out a difficulty in the story of Potiphar's wife. Why did Potiphar not have Yosef killed, which would be the expected punishment for attacking the ...
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How is it that no one spots Potiphar's wife's lie?

There appears to be something strange about Potiphar telling people in her home that she called out in a loud voice. Genesis 39:14: וַתִּקְרָ֞א לְאַנְשֵׁ֣י בֵיתָ֗הּ וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר ...
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How was Yosef allowed to practice divination?

The Torah prohibits divination as stated in: Leviticus 19:26: לֹ֥א תֹאכְל֖וּ עַל־הַדָּ֑ם לֹ֥א תְנַחֲשׁ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א תְעוֹנֵֽנוּ׃ Do not eat with the blood; Do not practice divination or ...
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“We will say 'A bad animal ate him'” - What happened about stating that?

Genesis 37:20: וְעַתָּ֣ה ׀ לְכ֣וּ וְנַֽהַרְגֵ֗הוּ וְנַשְׁלִכֵ֙הוּ֙ בְּאַחַ֣ד הַבֹּר֔וֹת וְאָמַ֕רְנוּ חַיָּ֥ה רָעָ֖ה אֲכָלָ֑תְהוּ וְנִרְאֶ֕ה מַה־יִּהְי֖וּ חֲלֹמֹתָֽיו׃ Now, let us go and kill ...
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“What shall become of his dreams?” - Q on Rash"i on Breishit 37:20

I'm having trouble understanding Rashi on Genesis 37:20 When Joseph came towards his brothers, they plotted to kill him. They said, (Gen. 37:20): וְעַתָּה | לְכוּ וְנַהַרְגֵהוּ וְנַשְׁלִכֵהוּ ...
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Sequences of Binyanim with Infinitive Construct

We find in Tanakh the grammatical construction: infinitive absolute + finite verb, where the two verbs are of the same root. For example, in Genesis 22:17, we have two occurences (text and ...
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When was this verse written?

When was this written: "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel." (Genesis 36:31)? Are there any traditional commentators ...
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Did Moshe need to do all 3 signs for the Jewish people and if so why?

In Shemos 4:1 Moshe expresses his concern to God that the people will not believe that he was commanded by God to take them out. God then gives him 3 signs (4:2-9) stating that if they won't believe ...
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Are there any different implications from the three ways Achashverosh speaks to Esther?

In Megillat Esther, Achashverosh asks Esther what he can do for her three times (text and translation from chabad.org): 5:3 And the king said to her, "What concerns you, Queen Esther, and what is ...
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The Three Jewish Tribes That Lived In Medina At The Time Of Mohammad

Is there any mention at all in the Talmud that backs the claim in the Quran that there were three Jewish tribes that lived in Medina at the time of Mohammad?
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Why did King David tell Itai to go back or to wander somewhere else

In Shmuel 2 Chapter 15 Paragraph 20 Kind David singles out Itai and tells him to either go back or to leave him.. Was he scared that Itai would betray him? or did he fear for his and his brothers ...
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Why didn't Ya'akov contact Yitzchak prior to contacting Esav?

Follow up on this M.Y. question. Genesis 32:4: וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם׃ And Jacob sent messengers before him to ...
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Did Devorah get a tombstone / pillar, as Rachel did?

Genesis 35:20: וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃ And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave; it is the pillar of Rachel’s grave ...
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Did Rachel really die from Jacob's curse?

According to my interpretation of Rashi's commentary was that Rachel died because of Jacob's curse. But the Torah text says whomever "You find" as in whomever Laban finds the idols that person will ...
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Which אֶת is which in Gen. 17:21?

The word "אֶת" can mark the direct object (as in Gen. 1:1) or mean "with" (as in Gen. 35:14). I recently saw someone ask whether "וְאֶת", the first word of Gen. 17:21, means "and with", which struck ...
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Why didn't Esav try to kill Ya'akov while Ya'akov was in Lavan's home?

I'm trying to reconcile a verse with the actual event timeline. Genesis 27:41: וַיִּשְׂטֹ֤ם עֵשָׂו֙ אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֔ב עַל־הַ֨בְּרָכָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּרֲכ֖וֹ אָבִ֑יו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו בְּלִבּ֗וֹ ...
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How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

The Gemoro Nedorim 20b is critical of children born to a wife who is hated. וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי אמר רבי לוי אלו בני תשע מדות בני אסנ"ת משגע"ח בני אימה בני אנוסה בני שנואה And I ...
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How did Ya'akov keep his vow regarding tithing?

With permission, I ask this question with honor and respect to a 92 year old man who paid attention to my laining this morning. May he live a long life! Genesis 28:22: וְהָאֶ֣בֶן הַזֹּ֗את ...
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Where was Moshe? How did he become so great?

Just curious over here. Is there any known sources for where Moshe Rabbeinu was in the break between him leaving Bais Pharaoh to the incident of the Sneh (the burning bush)? I heard that there are ...
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Why are some parts of the second paragraph of the Shema in the singular and some in plural?

The second paragraph of the Shema is mainly worded in the plural. But there are some parts in the singular. Why is that? The parts in the singular are in bold text below. וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמעַ ...
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Why two lambs to make a meal for Isaac?

In parshat Toldot Rivka asks Yaakov to get 2 kids for her to cook for Isaac. What can we learn from using two kids? Was it in the time of year when kids are first born and they were tiny? Was a ...
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Why does the Torah say ואלה תולדת יצחק?

Parashat Toldot starts with the words ואלה תולדת יצחק בן אברהם; אברהם הוליד את יצחק These are the generations of Yitzhak the son of Avraham; Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak. Normally when the ...
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Covenant (Brit) with Adam?

Hosea 6:7 says: וְהֵמָּה, כְּאָדָם עָבְרוּ בְרִית; שָׁם, בָּגְדוּ בִי. Which could be (and is) translated either as "They, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant," or "They, like men, have ...
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Why doesn't Yitzchak chastise Avimelech about the wells the way his father did?

In parshat Toldot, we see a number of situations that occur to Yitzhak that are (almost) identical to those that occurred to his father, Avraham. Examples: There is a famine. Yitzchak seeks to go to ...
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Is Rivkah implying any responsibility to Ya'akov for having “stolen” Esav's blessing?

Genesis 27:45: עַד־שׁ֨וּב אַף־אָחִ֜יךָ מִמְּךָ֗ וְשָׁכַח֙ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֣יתָ לּ֔וֹ וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֖י וּלְקַחְתִּ֣יךָ מִשָּׁ֑ם לָמָ֥ה אֶשְׁכַּ֛ל גַּם־שְׁנֵיכֶ֖ם י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ My Modified ...
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Why does Rashi describe Mahalath as “Another unsuitable wife”?

At the end of Parshat Toldot, Eisav marries the daughter of Yishmael, as he "perceives" that the daughters of Heth have upset his parents. Whilst obviously Eisav had many flaws, this appears to be a ...
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Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?

Background: In Parshat Toldot, Rivka conceives and is troubled by the discomfort. She goes to ask Hashem and it is explained to her that 2 nations are struggling within her, so she already knows that ...
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Where do we see that Avraham explicitly asked Eliezer to go to Avraham's family?

Genesis 24:40 (from Sefaria - modified English by me): וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלָ֑י יְהוָ֞ה אֲשֶׁר־הִתְהַלַּ֣כְתִּי לְפָנָ֗יו יִשְׁלַ֨ח מַלְאָכ֤וֹ אִתָּךְ֙ וְהִצְלִ֣יחַ דַּרְכֶּ֔ךָ וְלָקַחְתָּ֤ אִשָּׁה֙ ...
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In the story about Eliezer searching for a wife for Yitzchak, why does the Torah alternate terminology about him between “slave” and “man”?

In viewing the story in Breishit 24, regarding Eliezer searching for a wife for Yitzchak, we see that the Torah first calls him עבד - slave (starting from the point that Eliezer leaves Avraham's home) ...
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Eliezer did not know that he should praise Hashem first and then pray?

Rav Simloi in the Gem Brochos 32a says לעולם יסדר אדם שבחו של הקב"ה ואחר כך יתפלל A person should always praise Hashem first and then pray. We learn it from Moshe Rabeinu. Why did not ...
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How is not asking about the welfare of a guest an indication of lack of fear of G-d? (Rashi on Br. 20:11)

Rashi on Genesis 20:11:1: רק אין יראת אלהים. אכסנאי שבא לעיר, על עסקי אכילה ושתיה שואלין אותו או על עסקי אשתו שואלין אותו אשתך היא או אחותך היא: My (loose) translation: When a a guest comes ...
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Why did God change His method of judgement towards people after the generation of Noach? (Rash"i on Br. 18:25)

Rashi on Genesis 18:25 (excerpt): חלילה לך יאמרו כך הוא אמנתו, שוטף הכל, צדיקים ורשעים, כך עשית לדור המבול ולדור הפלגה: My translation: People will say that this is your method (of ...
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Why is Sarah rebuked for laughing whereas Avraham is not?

In parshat Lech Lecha Avraham laughs when he hears that he'll have a son. God even tells Avraham to call his son Yitzchak which means "he will laugh" straight after that. In parshat Vayera however, ...
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Noah and Clean Animals

Why did God command Noah to take seven each of the "clean" animals on the ark? Is this evidence that the sacrificial system was in play? Why did God make a distinction between clean and unclean to ...
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For a righteous man can fall seven times and rise - why seven?

Shelomo HaMelekh (King Solomon) famously wrote in Mishle'i 24:16 (Proverbs): כִּי שֶׁבַע יִפּוֹל צַדִּיק וָקָם וּרְשָׁעִים יִכָּשְׁלוּ בְרָעָה For a righteous man can fall seven times and ...
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In Breishit 15:16, is G-d implying to Avram about the sin of the spies?

Genesis 15:16: וְד֥וֹר רְבִיעִ֖י יָשׁ֣וּבוּ הֵ֑נָּה כִּ֧י לֹא־שָׁלֵ֛ם עֲוֺ֥ן הָאֱמֹרִ֖י עַד־הֵֽנָּה׃ (Modified Sefria.org translation) 'And in the fourth generation they shall come back here; ...
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Where did the Assyrian language originate from according to Chazzal?

Rashi in parshas Noach 10 11, seen here quotes the Medrash Rabba: From that land: Since Asshur saw his sons obeying Nimrod and rebelling against the Omnipresent by building the tower, he departed ...
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Pharaoh should have asked for his presents back when he found out that Soroi was Abram's wife?

Pharaoh took Soroi and benefited Abram for her sake 12 (16). He did this on the understanding that Soroi was Abram's sister. He asked 12 (18) “Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?” ...
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Language before and after the Tower of Bavel [duplicate]

Genesis 11:1: (Sefaria English translation) וַֽיְהִ֥י כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ שָׂפָ֣ה אֶחָ֑ת וּדְבָרִ֖ים אֲחָדִֽים׃ And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. After they built the ...
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The choice to eat the forbidden [duplicate]

I wonder about the fact that both Adam and Chava chose to eat the forbidden, and although I read many answers to different kind of questions about this moment in history on this and other websites, I ...
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Which Rishonim viewed maaseh bereishit as an allegory?

I have often heard that many rishonim were comfortable with the idea that at least the first week of creation could be read allegorically, not literally. What are the specific sources that support ...
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196 views

Doesn't Zeresh know Mordechai was Jewish?

In Esther 6:13 Zeresh says 'If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.' Wasn't it already ...
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Wording at the beginning of Nitzavim

Parshas Nitzavim begins (Devarim 29:9-11): אתם נצבים היום כלכם... ראשיכם שבטיכם זקניכם ושטריכם כל איש ישראל. טפכם נשיכם וגרך אשר בקרב מחניך מחטב עציך עד שאב מימיך. לעברך The first ...
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What do the different terms for “judges” indicate?

In a few places in the chumash, the word "elohim" is translated as "judges". Rashi does this on Bereishit 6:2 and many meforshim do this on the uses in Shemot (such as in 22:7 and 8) saying that the ...
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Is it generally accepted by Jewish scholars that Judaism was at one stage henotheist and/or monolatrist? [duplicate]

It is widely believed, among scholars of the history of Judaism and the Jewish scriptures, that the earliest books of the Tanakh display a gradual shift from a position of henotheism, to a form of ...