Sh'mos 3:2–3:

‏…וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה הַסְּנֶה בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ וְהַסְּנֶה אֵינֶנּוּ אֻכָּל.‏
וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אָסֻרָה נָּא וְאֶרְאֶה אֶת הַמַּרְאֶה הַגָּדֹל הַזֶּה מַדּוּעַ לֹא יִבְעַר הַסְּנֶה.‏

…He [=Moshe] looked, and, lo, the bush was burning/בֹּעֵר in fire, but the bush was not consumed/מְאֻכָּל.
And Moshe said, "Let me turn now and see this great sight: Why won't the bush burn/בֹּעֵר?"

Huh? The bush was burning/בֹּעֵר! Moshe should, if anything, have asked why the bush wouldn't be consumed/מְאֻכָּל.


1 Answer 1


The Ramban writes that even though the same word is being used they have two different meanings. In the first posuk it means "burning", and in the second posuk it means "burned up and consumed". And he points out that the Targum Onkelos also translates the words differently - בער (burning) and מתוקד (burned up).

  • 1
    +1. I see that Rav Saadya Gaon alludes to this also, in his commentary.
    – msh210
    Dec 22, 2013 at 15:27

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