Throughout Rav Hirsch's commentary on the Torah we find a deeper connection between related words. (i.e. Vayikra (5:15) "מַעַל is related to the me’il – robe of the Kohen gadol – as begged “garment” is related to bagad “faithless”.) Therefore, do Torah sources discuss an inherent connection between the number five in relation to being armed Shemos (13:18) seen below?

Mechon Mamre translates (Shemos 13:18):

וַיַּסֵּב אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָעָם דֶּרֶךְ הַמִּדְבָּר, יַם-סוּף; וַחֲמֻשִׁים עָלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. "But God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt."

Note: I'm not looking for the Rashi quoted here that "'chamushim' is from the root 'chamaish'- 5 showing only 1/ 5 of the Jews came out of Egypt. Or the Targum Yonasan ben Uziel who writes "Chamushim stems from the root 'chamaish'- that each family left Egypt with 5 kids!" What is the inherent connection between 5 and being armed?

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    I would think that Rav Hirsch, himself, would comment on this, no? My surmising - One needs his five fingers to use weapons? In a sense, English has a similar relationship. Why is using weapons calmed "arming"?
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 14:52
  • Note that many stridently argue against Rav Hirch's view, noting a dearth of evidence and indeed counter evidence on linguistic grounds (and his predecessors in the Torah commentary department). Accordingly, there is likely no connection whatsoever. However, with enough creativity you can connect any two random things.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 15:31
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    I do not understand what you mean by inherent connection. I would think that the reason for Rashi and the Targum is that it is not an inherent connection but a connection al pi drash Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 21:16
  • Might be something about making a fist.
    – Shalom
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 1:16
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    IMO this is on-topic, as it asks about the connection between words specifically according to the Torah-learning style of Rabbi Hirsch, i.e. it's a Torah question. If I were to click reopen, this would reopen, as I'm a moderator; but consider this my unofficial nonbinding reopen vote.
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


The Baal Haturim there connects the idea of being armed with the number five; corresponding to the five types of weapons mentioned in Yechezkel.

וחמושים. מזויינים על שם חמשה מיני כלי זיין הנזכרים בפסוק מגן וצנה ורומח וחצים ומקל יד דכתיב (יחזקאל לט, ט) ויצאו יושבי ערי ישראל ובערו והשיקו בנשק ומגן וצנה בקשת ובחצים ובמקל יד וברומח.‏

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