Joshua 11:13 reads:

But all the cities that stood in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only, did Joshua burn.

Rashi says to this verse that there was a tradition that he burned it.

What is that tradition, and where?


1 Answer 1


That's a bit of a misunderstanding of Rashi.

Here's the Hebrew of Rashi:

"בַּמָּסוֹרֶת שְׂרָפָה משֶׁה צִוָּה לוֹ וּמָסַר לוֹ כֵּן. (בראשית רבה וישלח)."

Masoret means tradition, but it literally means something that was received, and that is the way it is used here. Rashi explains that Joshua received from Moshe the command to burn down Hazor. Evidently there was no such command to burn down every city, and so they were not burned down.

By the way, this is stated by Rashi based on the midrash in Genesis Rabbah 81:4, where it says:

"Rabbi Elazar said: He burned it per [the command] he received - The Holy One Blessed is He Said to Moshe, and Moshe told Joshua."

  • 1
    Very clarifying, thank you! Feb 21, 2023 at 13:24

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