19 votes

Was Rachav A Harlot (Prostitute)?

Targum Yonassan followed by Rashi (2:1) explain that she was an inkeeper (that "zona" in this context relates to the word "mazon" for bread). Radak explains that she was actually a prostitute and that ...
  • 34.9k
17 votes

Was Rachav A Harlot (Prostitute)?

The Talmud Bavli (Zevachim 116b, top) states quite plainly that she was a harlot: דאמר מר: אין לך כל שר ונגיד שלא בא על רחב הזונה. אמרו: בת י' שנים היתה כשיצאו ישראל ממצרים, וזנתה [כל] מ' שנה שהיו ...
10 votes
Accepted

What's the link between prostitution and one who "one who sells Mezonot"

This is not a euphemism for prostitution. Your link is to a text which abridges Rashi's commentary. The full text of Rashi is available (in Hebrew) here, and (in English) here. אשה זונה • ת ״י ...
  • 20.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Did anyone other than Rashi think the Ark could "bear itself" (Joshua 4:18)?

Rashi's source is a Gemara in Sotah (35a): נמצא ארון ונושאיו וכהנים מצד אחד וישראל מצד אחד נשא ארון את נושאיו ועבר שנאמר (יהושע ד, יא) ויהי כאשר תם כל העם לעבור ויעבור ארון ה' והכהנים לפני העם ...
8 votes

Didn't the lottery of Achan make G-d an informant?

This is an excellent question, and is asked in many places such as here, here, here, here, and many other places. By far the best set of answers are found in the second link above, from Daf-yomi.com, ...
6 votes

Was the tribe of Shimon part of the Kingdom of Israel or Judah?

Ralbag notes this in his commentary to Melachim 12:23, and he writes that the verse does mention יתר העם in addition the tribes of Yehudah and Binyamin, which is meant to be a reference to Shimon. ...
6 votes

Why isn't the Book of Joshua part of the Torah?

Authorship is a biggie. The Torah was given to us, through Moshe, directly by God. That Torah that was given had specific contents. The Torah isn't the only divine revelation, but these five books ...
5 votes
Accepted

What does Radak mean by מקור?

Throughout his various commentaries, Radak used the word מקור dozens of times in explicit reference to the Hebrew infinitive. He does not appear to have discriminated between the infinitive construct ...
  • 1,539
5 votes
Accepted

Dageish in bin Nun

The masoretic treatise Kitāb al-Khilaf (ספר החילופים) by Misha'el ben `Uzziel records the differences (and similarities) between the famous masoretes Ben Asher and Ben Naftali. The book records that ...
  • 3,426
5 votes

Was Rachav A Harlot (Prostitute)?

There is a basic idea that whenever we have an opportunity to say good about a good person, we will. Likewise whenever there is the opportunity to say bad about a bed person we will. Rachav was a nice ...
  • 32.4k
4 votes

Why was Joshua allowed to break Shabbat in attacking Yericho?

Rashi indeed says that the 7th day of encircling Yericho was on Shabbos. Rashi on Yehoshua 6:15: "ביום השביעי" - שבת היה This siege was permitted on Shabbos for the Sake of Milchemes ...
  • 11.2k
4 votes

Does anyone say the "extra" pesukim in Yehoshua about the cities from Reuven belong there?

Minchas Shai there quotes various versions which were changed in order to answer your other question about style of the surrounded Pesukim, but seems to agree that there were not many old manuscripts ...
4 votes

At what stage of Joshua's leadership did he become Judge?

Why this must be wrong The Gemara Zevachim 118b derives from Kalev’s statement that he was 40 when he was a spy (Joshua 14:7), 85 when he said those words (v. 10), and 78 when they crossed the Jordan (...
  • 33.5k
3 votes

Who are considered "avot" who worshipped idols?

I heard from a relative of R' Yaakov Kaminetzky that R' Yaakov pointed out that we don't say "מתחילה אבותיהו היו עובדי עבודה זרה / at first our forefathers were idolaters," but rather "מתחילה עובדי ...
3 votes

Is there a connection between various 7 encirclings?

I don't know about 7 days of circling the alter on sukkot. But on the last day of sukkot the alter is circled 7 times that is meant to resemble the 7 circles around the walls of Jericho. And some say ...
  • 131
3 votes

Does Joshua 8:34-35 disprove oral law's existence?

The Hebrew word translated as "read" here is "קָ֣רָא" which doesn't only mean "read." In fact, if you look throughout the entire Tanakh, it about 95% of the time doesn't mean "read" but instead "...
3 votes

Why was Shechem designated as a city of refuge?

Schechem was chosen likely because it was a large city in the left middle third of Eretz Yisrael. Look up a map of the 6 cities. They are spaced out. Just because is was a city of refuge doesn't make ...
3 votes

Why didn't the tribes of Re'uven and Gad and 1/2 Menashe take up Moshe's suggestion?

Art Scroll on Matos 32:18 cites Haamek Hadavar that this was in order to allay suspicion that they would want to take advantage of their privileged position (having already received their land) to ...
  • 42.1k
3 votes

Why are the cities Reuven gave to the Leviyim not listed in Yehoshua?

Daas Soferim on 21:38 suggests that when the cities were being allotted, there weren't suitable ones in Reuven's territory. (There are various criteria for them, listed in Makkos 10a and codified from ...
  • 7,517
3 votes

Yehoshua 8:30- יבנה= built or will build?

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 91b) proves "resurrection of the dead" from this seemingly grammatical error: It has been taught: R. Meir said, Whence do we know resurrection from the Torah? From the verse, ...
2 votes

Why didn't Joshua appoint a leader after him?

From Hidabroot. Rabbi Menashe Yisrael explains that Yehoshua was compared to the moon, however the Shoftim after him were compared to the stars. Just like stars do not get their light from the moon, ...
2 votes
Accepted

Why was Joshua allowed to break Shabbat in attacking Yericho?

Yehoshua was a prophet Mishneh Torah» Sefer Madda » Yesodei haTorah - Chapter Ten Halacha 5: When a prophet proclaims that another individual is [also] a prophet, we accept the latter as a prophet ...
  • 7,250
2 votes

Oral Tradition in the Book of Yehoshua

Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written? points out that the Oral Torah was forbidden to be written down. Additionally, the prophets would only show what somebody did rather than ...
  • 42.1k
2 votes
Accepted

How was Klall Yisrael able to have the miracle of being gathered between the two poles of the Aaron HaKodesh if they weren't able to be near it?

Perhaps the same way 600,000 could fit between the poles, an extra 2,000 amoth on all sides could fit in as well.
  • 17.3k
2 votes

Looking for Peirush HaGra on Sefer Yehoshua online

You may check Aderes Elyahu on Neviim (at this link) containing his commentary to Yehoshua.
2 votes

Why didn't the tribes of Re'uven and Gad and 1/2 Menashe take up Moshe's suggestion?

The original proposition made to Moshe by b'nei Gad and b'nei Reuvan was that they would not return until after helping conquer the land and all of the tribes were settled. Moshe responded that they ...
  • 9,389
2 votes

Mashal and Mishal

As noted by @DanF in the comments, משאל and משל aren't tribes in Asher but two names of a city in the territory of Asher, one of a group of cities given to the Levites (see commentators on the verse). ...
  • 21.3k
2 votes

Why are the cities Reuven gave to the Leviyim not listed in Yehoshua?

The Judaica Press Mikraos Gedolos on Yehoshua quotes Keli Yakar on this (unfortunately a broken link on hebrewbooks): K. Y. suggests that since all of the Levitic cities served as refuge cities, it ...
2 votes

Which men needed to be circumcised in Joshua 5

I would definitely suggest splitting up your questions. To answer the first question(s), Radak (here) explains that "all the man of war" does not mean all of the men who actually went to war, but ...
2 votes
Accepted

Who pronounced the Curses?

As explained in Rashi, Rav Hirsch, and the Art Scroll Chumash, the words of the blessings and the curses were spoken by the Kohanim and Leviim in the middle. The command on what to do and what to say ...
  • 42.1k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible