I firmly believe that G-d made the Torah, but I wonder why He refers to himself in the third person, while the Ten Commandments are in the first person?

  • 2
    It often switches between the two constantly, sometimes in the same sentence.
    – Aaron
    Sep 22 '15 at 18:48
  • +1 for a great question. I think that Sefer Hatoda'ah (Book of our Heritage) in the Shavu'ot section answers this question. B"N after Yom Tov, I'll try to post the answer. G'mar Tov.
    – DanF
    Sep 22 '15 at 19:10
  • 1
    The ten commandments switch from first person (the first two commands) to third person (3rd command and on). Ramban learns from here that the Jewish people heard the first two clearly articulated from God, whereas the last 8 had to be taught by Moses in the 3rd person (because they didn't understand what they heard originally, and didn't want God to articulate more than the first 2 because they couldn't handle the prophecy). It is a questionable explanation, because God could've switched the person even if He Himself was articulating it. But that may have confused people to believe in 2 gods. Sep 24 '15 at 5:00
  • perhaps out of humility
    – ray
    Sep 24 '15 at 5:31
  • @Aaron First person parts always follow "וידבר ה'' אל משה", like in the commandments. So "G-d said I'm the Lord", etc.
    – Al Berko
    Jun 15 '19 at 19:12

The Torah is written בלשון בני אדם. It is a narrative that was chosen by Hashem as best to communicate the divine message.

Furthermore, some parts may seem incomprehensible if written in the first person e.g. the first pasuk would read "in the beginning I created the heaven and the earth..." this may leave more questions than answers.

'Getting to know Hashem' is gradually transmitted through the narrative, stories and subsequent lessons we learn.

However, having said this we may never know the reason for the exact stylistic choices of the Infinite.

  • Good answer, I still want to see other's responses before choosing the right one.
    – Gabriel12
    Sep 24 '15 at 2:24

here's a probable explanation:

The Torah that we currently possess is called Moses' Torah (תורת משה) which implies that it is literally written by Moses. Of course, it is a prophecy and is 100% G-d approved. THis is based on Rambam's 7th and 8th principles of Judaism, that the whole Torah comes from G-d by Moses. (This is unlike the Luchos that were written by G-d Himself and hence the first person.)

So if the Torah used the first person, it would sound that Moses is god H"V and he speaks for himself.

You might ask a similar question, why Moses wrote about himself in the third person and not "and G-d spoke to me..." but it is a different question.

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