In Genesis 37:15 we read

Then a man found him, and behold, he was straying in the field, and the man asked him, saying, "What are you looking for?"

טווַיִּמְצָאֵ֣הוּ אִ֔ישׁ וְהִנֵּ֥ה תֹעֶ֖ה בַּשָּׂדֶ֑ה וַיִּשְׁאָלֵ֧הוּ הָאִ֛ישׁ לֵאמֹ֖ר מַה־תְּבַקֵּֽשׁ

Rashi states here as interpretation

Then a man found him: This is [the angel] Gabriel, as it is said: “And the man Gabriel” (Dan. 9:21). [From Tanchuma Vayeshev 2]

My siddur states on p.77 in the comments on the Baraita of Rabbi Yishmael, second principle of Torah interpretation, "similarity of words" (גזירה שוה)

"A Gezerah Shavah (גזירה שוה) cannot be original, it must be passed down from master to disciple, originating with Moshe to whom G'd taught it at Mount Sinai"

In this particular case man means angel Gabriel. In other cases man (obviously?) does not mean angel Gabriel. So I have a couple of questions about this.

  1. Is the Gen 27:15 specific man/ish interpretation an example of Gezerah Shavah (or maybe aggadah as a comment suggests)? How would one figure that out?
  2. Was each specific case (word+context) of applying Gezerah Shavah passed down by Moshe, or did he give rules when/if to apply the rule based on other contextual clues?
  3. Is there a listing of words that are used for Gezerah Shavah with the specific contexts they are to be used?
  • IIRC not everyone had the same list --- some authorities had words/examples on their lists that weren't accepted by others and vice versa.
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 16:22
  • 1
    I don't think that's a Gezera Shava being used there. There's no legal exegesis. It's agadda which is more flexible.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 16:26
  • 1
    I think you should edit this question to be either about the nature of the particular derasha employed in this Rashi (Q1) or about gezeirot shava in general (Q2 and Q3) without any reference to Vayeishev necessary. The two together is confusing.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 22:16
  • Regarding whether the Midrashim were handed down from Sinai, the Geonim and most of the Rishonim, hold that they were not matters of tradition. Significantly, according to Rambam (shoresh sheni of SHM), even the halakhic derashot were not transmitted from Sinai.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 0:05
  • Re #2, see #לד in יד מלאכי. He cites the Nimukei Yosef and others to say that there are actually instances of g'zera shava which are exegetical and those which weren't (perhaps eisegetical?).
    – WAF
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 0:07


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