Sometimes we say that things in the Torah are not in chronological order. What are the parameters for this? do you need to have a mesorah (particular tradition) for this? Is there a list of all 'officially non-chronological events' that are agreed upon by all?


1 Answer 1


In a nutshell, no, there is no "official" list. See this short essay on the topic.

Basically, it seems that Rashi and Ramban disagree as to how to apply this rule (Rashi considers it a blanket rule which can be applied wherever it makes sense, and Ramban considers it a tool for last resort; incidentally, this is the reverse of what I thought their Shittoth were, but I defer to R' Leibtag), and they don't necessarily agree on when to apply it, either.

  • Also (perhaps surprisingly), Ibn Ezra sides with Rashi on this one. [If I have time later, maybe I'll write a more detailed answer.]
    – jake
    Jun 21, 2012 at 16:13
  • And, on the subject, Abarbanel follows Ramban. He quotes a very interesting ibn Ezra on this parshah (Korach) and then knocks it out because it follows ein mukdam umeuchar batorah. (He does offer a similar explanation, though.)
    – b a
    Jun 21, 2012 at 18:17
  • @ba, Abarbanel does not follow Ramban. In general, Abarbanel believes that the Torah is in chronological order (within reason, of course).
    – jake
    Jun 21, 2012 at 18:52
  • That's what Ramban says, too.
    – b a
    Jun 21, 2012 at 21:50
  • @jake: "Ain mukdam u'meuchar" is a statement in the Talmud, so none of the commentaries disagree with it. The question is how liberally it can be applied. I once heard a shiur that contrasted Rashi and the Ramban's view to the whole Sefer Shemot, and it turned out according to Ramban only two verses were out of order (as opposed to Rashi who says the whole Sefer pretty much jumps around). It's fascinating because this causes a huge divergence in the story according each of the commentaries.
    – Menachem
    Jun 21, 2012 at 22:22

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