Bemidbar 27:21 says that prior to going to war, Yehoshu'a should stand before Elazar the Kohen and ask the Urim Vetumim questions, and go by its advice.

I am aware that there is a rule that no other prophet following Moses compared to Moses. Yet we do see that G-d Yehoshua does ask G-d questions such as after the initial defeat at 'Ai (Yehoshua ch. 7). Why did he have to use the Urim Vetumim regarding war-related questions rather than asking G-d directly? Is there something specific about preparing for war that requires using that medium?

  • It seems like it was common practice to use the Urim for war. see Shoftim 20. 1 Shumel 23. see also brachot 3b. – Bach Jul 17 '17 at 13:56
  • @Bach (Is your 1st name "Carl" ?) Would you know if questions asked of Urim Vetumim were specifically restricted to war-related questions, or was it used for other items? – DanF Jul 17 '17 at 14:37
  • It does not look like that it was restricted to war only. The Rambam (keli hamikdash 10:11-12) says the Urim should not be used only for community related questions - that is questions that affect the whole nation of Israel. However, i cannot imagine anything other than war that would affect the whole community (my name is not Carl nor Bach, but i am i big fan of his music though :). – Bach Jul 17 '17 at 18:46

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