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The Torah speaks of a couple of official public positions, that have extensive Halachic Nafka-Minahs, e.g. Kohen Gadol, Jewish king, a Judge, maybe Nessi Shevet.

IIRC Moses wasn't officially any of those.

According to the scriptures (not speculations or interpretations), did Torah give Moses (and thereafter Yehoshua) any officially defined position?


NB I"m aware that many compared Moses to be a King, but I ask

  • A prophet? The prophet? "And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face"(Devarim 34:10). – Tamir Evan Aug 9 '19 at 15:40
  • According to dry scripture only, IOW, is there an explicit biblical text stating that “Torah” gave Moses a position? For one, I imagine Korach didn’t think so. – Oliver Aug 9 '19 at 15:42
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    If you see maseches zevachim 102 ,you will see that your assertion that Moshe Rabbeinu was none of those is incorrect. – sam Aug 9 '19 at 18:00
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    @sam OP asked “according to the scriptures”; I know, tall order. – Oliver Aug 9 '19 at 19:05
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    Moshe was unique - that's one of the ikkarim. We're not going to find his position discussed extensively halacha lema'aseh because it's not lema'aseh anymore. It's like hilchos Har Grizim and Har Eival. There's a little Gemara about them in Sotah, but no Shulchan Aruch. – Heshy Aug 9 '19 at 19:24
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Rambam writes that Moses had the halachic status of king (Mishnah Torah Beis Habechirah 6:11):

אֵין מוֹסִיפִין עַל הָעִיר אוֹ עַל הָעֲזָרוֹת אֶלָּא עַל פִּי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְעַל פִּי נָבִיא וּבְאוּרִים וְתֻמִּים וְעַל פִּי סַנְהֶדְרִין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד זְקֵנִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כה ט) "כְּכל אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מַרְאֶה אוֹתְךָ" וְכֵן תַּעֲשׂוּ לְדוֹרוֹת. וּמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ מֶלֶךְ הָיָה

The Talmud also alludes to his status as king (Zvachim 102a):

...חמש שמחות היתה אלישבע יתירה על בנות ישראל יבמה מלך אישה כהן גדול
Elisheva had five more reasons for joy than the other daughters of Israel: Her brother-in-law [Moses] was a king; her husband, Aaron, was the High Priest...

Ibn Ezra understands the verse in Devarim 33:5 וַיְהִ֥י בִישֻׁר֖וּן מֶ֑לֶךְ 'And he was king...' as referring to Moshe.

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  • also משה במקום ע"א קאי – wfb Aug 9 '19 at 19:05
  • Also Moshe was the Kohen Gadol during the inauguration of the mishkan until Aharon took over the position. – sabbahillel Aug 9 '19 at 20:40
  • Thank you for your sources. My personal approach, however, is not to trust unsupported and unrelated statements, like those you quoted (by unsupported I mean with no sources and by unrelated I mean with no related Nafka Minos explanations). I wondered whether someone assigned Moses a position covering all Halachic implications. – Al Berko Aug 17 '19 at 22:03

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