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When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the knowledge that his people corrupted themselves (dealt corruptly) - quickly turned aside the way which HaShem commanded them, making a molten calf, worshipping it and sacrificed unto it and said that it was their G-d which brought them out of the land of Egypt - is met halfway by Yehoshua. When Yehoshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted he tells Moshe (Exodus/Shemot 32:17):

"וַיִּשְׁמַע יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶת־קוֹל הָעָם בְּרֵעֹה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־מֹשֶׁה קוֹל מִלְחָמָה בַּמַּחֲנֶה׃"

"There is a voice of battle/war in the camp."

But Moshe answers him:

"וַיֹּאמֶר אֵין קוֹל עֲנוֹת גְּבוּרָה וְאֵין קוֹל עֲנוֹת חֲלוּשָׁה
קוֹל עַנּוֹת אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ׃"

"It is not the sound of the tune of triumph, Or the sound of the tune of defeat; It is the sound of song that I hear"

The last phrase "קוֹל עַנּוֹת אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ" is explained by Rabbi JJ Hecht as: "קוֹל עַנּוֹת-אָנֹכִי [אני] שֹׁמֵעַ" - "the voice of selfish preoccupation [I] hear" (Anochiyut; egoism, egotism, the voice of arrogant selfishness).

Are there any commentaries which confirm such point of view or which point in the direction it was some sort of selfishness which caused the people to sin?

  • @AlBerko found it twice: shorashimshop.com/blog/2011/02/… and also ohrtmimim.org/ki-tisa-essays All I want to know is if there’s a way to interpret, translate or understand this verse in this way. – Levi Feb 10 at 11:23
  • @AlBerko original source is Rabbi J Hecht (Brimstone and Fire). – Levi Feb 10 at 12:10
  • @WAF maybe I misunderstood you, but שמע refers to קול ענות, so what is being heard is the sound of the utterance, which sound is that, sound comming from ‘Anochi’. So in such a case I would take קול ענות to be the object of שמע and then אנכי would be the subject. It reminds me of a drash about Devarim 5:5 which is sometimes explained to mean that the “I” stood between the people and HaShem. Although both are grammatically incorrect, it seems that it’s just a way of rendering and interpreter these verses. – Levi Feb 10 at 12:19
  • 'I hear the voice of Anochi' has the subject "I", which is either meant to be implied (I was asking if this is possible.) or the translation of "אנכי" (meaning it is self-referentially double-counting, which is cool, but surely not feasible). One way or another, I suspect the downvotes are due to syntactic difficulties that make the premise hard to defend. Although both are grammatically incorrect addresses this and I think should be included in the question to clarify that you are aware of and looking past these difficulties. – WAF Feb 10 at 13:09

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