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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 34

Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 34

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 34

1. And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, [to the] top of the summit facing Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the Land: The Gilead until Dan,   א. וַיַּעַל משֶׁה מֵעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב אֶל הַר נְבוֹ רֹאשׁ הַפִּסְגָּה אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי יְרֵחוֹ וַיַּרְאֵהוּ יְהֹוָה אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֶת הַגִּלְעָד עַד דָּן:
from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo: There were many levels [leading up from the plain to the summit], but Moses covered them with one step. — [Sotah 13b]   מערבות מואב אל הר נבו: כמה מעלות היו ופסען משה בפסיעה אחת:
all the Land: He showed him the entire Land of Israel in its tranquility, and the oppressors who were destined to oppress it. — [Sifrei 33:30]   את כל הארץ: הראהו את כל ארץ ישראל בשלותה והמציקין העתידים להיות מציקין לה:
until Dan: He showed him the children of Dan practicing idolatry, as Scripture states, “And the children of Dan set up for themselves the graven image” (Jud. 18:30), and He showed him Samson, who was destined to issue from him [Dan] as a savior [for Israel]. — [ibid.]   עד דן: הראהו בני דן עובדים עבודה זרה שנאמר (שופטים יח, ל) ויקימו להם בני דן את הפסל, והראהו שמשון שעתיד לצאת ממנו למושיע:
2. and all [the land of] Naftali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, until the western sea,   ב. וְאֵת כָּל נַפְתָּלִי וְאֶת אֶרֶץ אֶפְרַיִם וּמְנַשֶּׁה וְאֵת כָּל אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה עַד הַיָּם הָאַחֲרוֹן:
And all [the land of] Naftali: He showed him his land in its tranquility and in its destruction, and He showed him Deborah and Barak of Kedesh-Naftali, waging war against Sisera and his troops. — [Sifrei 33:31]   ואת כל נפתלי: הראהו ארצו בשלותה וחורבנה, והראהו דבורה וברק מקדש נפתלי נלחמים עם סיסרא וחיילותיו:
and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh: He showed him their land in its tranquility and in its destruction; and He showed him Joshua, who was descended from Ephraim, waging war against the kings of Canaan, and Gideon, who was descended from Manasseh, waging war against Midian and Amalek. — [Sifrei 33:31]   ואת ארץ אפרים ומנשה: הראהו ארצם בשלותה ובחורבנה והראהו יהושע נלחם עם מלכי כנען שבא מאפרים, וגדעון שבא ממנשה נלחם עם מדין ועמלק:
and all the land of Judah: in its tranquility and in its destruction, and He showed him the kingdom of the house of David and their victories. — [Sifrei 33:31]   ואת כל ארץ יהודה: בשלותה ובחורבנה והראהו מלכות בית דוד ונצחונם:
until the western sea: Heb. עַד הַיָּם הָאַחֲרוֹן, the land in the west [of Israel], in its tranquillity and in its destruction. [Here, the sea referred to is the Mediterranean Sea, which represents the westernmost flank of the Land of Israel.] Another explanation: Do not understand the verse as stating הַיָּם הָאַחֲרוֹן, but read it as though it had said הַיּוֹם הָאַחֲרוֹן, “until the very last day,” meaning that the Holy One, blessed is He, showed Him all the incidents that were destined to happen to Israel [until “the last day,” namely,] until the time that the dead would return to life. — [Sifrei 33:31]   עד הים האחרון: ארץ המערב בשלותה ובחורבנה. דבר אחר אל תקרי הים האחרון אלא היום האחרון, הראהו הקב"ה כל המאורעות שעתידין לארע לישראל עד שיחיו המתים:
3. and the south, and the plain, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, until Zoar.   ג. וְאֶת הַנֶּגֶב וְאֶת הַכִּכָּר בִּקְעַת יְרֵחוֹ עִיר הַתְּמָרִים עַד צֹעַר:
and the south: Heb. הַנֶּגֶב, the southland [of the Land of Israel]. Another explanation: the Machpelah Cave [which is in Hebron, in the south of Israel], as Scripture states, “And they went up to the south בַנֶּגֶב, and they came to Hebron” (Num. 13:22). - [Sifrei 33:32]   ואת הנגב: ארץ הדרום. דבר אחר מערת המכפלה, שנאמר (במדבר יג, כב) ויעלו בנגב ויבא עד חברון:
and the plain: He showed him Solomon molding the vessels of the Holy Temple, as Scripture states, “In the plain (כִּכָּר) of the Jordan, the king molded them in thick clay” (I Kings 7:46). - [Sifrei 33:31]   ואת הככר: הראהו שלמה יוצק כלי בית המקדש, שנאמר (מ"א א' ז, מו) בככר הירדן יצקם המלך במעבה האדמה:
4. And the Lord said to him, "This is the Land I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your offspring.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there."   ד. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו זֹאת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה הֶרְאִיתִיךָ בְעֵינֶיךָ וְשָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲבֹר:
saying, ‘I will give it to your offspring,’ I have let you see it: so that you [Moses] can go and say to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, “The oath that the Holy One, blessed is He, swore to you-He has fulfilled it!” This is what is meant by the word “saying” [i.e., Moses should say this to them] (Ber. 18b).“For this reason,” [God says to Moses,] “I have shown it to you. However, a decree has been made before Me, that you shall not cross over there, for otherwise, I would keep you alive until you would see Israel implanted and settled in the Land, and then you would go and tell them [the forefathers].”   לאמר לזרעך אתננה הראיתיך: כדי שתלך ותאמר לאברהם ליצחק וליעקב שבועה שנשבע לכם הקב"ה קיימה, וזהו לאמר, לכך הראיתיה לך, אבל גזרה היא מלפני ששמה לא תעבור, שאלולי כך הייתי מקיימך עד שתראה אותם נטועים וקבועים בה ותלך ותגיד להם:
5. And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there, in the land of Moab, by the mouth of the Lord.   ה. וַיָּמָת שָׁם משֶׁה עֶבֶד יְהֹוָה בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב עַל פִּי יְהֹוָה:
And Moses… died there: Is it possible that Moses died, and [then] wrote, “And Moses… died there”? But [the answer is:] Moses wrote up to that juncture, and Joshua wrote from then on. Says Rabbi Meir: But is it possible that the Torah Scroll would be lacking anything at all, and yet Scripture states (Deut. 31:26),“Take this Torah Scroll” [and Moses commanded this to the Levites; so, according to the above opinion, is it possible that the Torah Scroll referred to there was an incomplete one, up to the juncture of Moses’s death? This cannot be!] Rather, [continues Rabbi Meir, we must say that] The Holy One, blessed is He, dictated this [i.e., the verse “And Moses… died there”], and Moses wrote it in tears. — [B.B. 15b, Sifrei 33:34]   וימת שם משה: אפשר משה מת וכתב וימת שם משה, אלא עד כאן כתב משה, מכאן ואילך כתב יהושע. ר' מאיר אומר אפשר ספר התורה חסר כלום, והוא אומר (לעיל לא, כו) לקוח את ספר התורה הזה, אלא הקב"ה אומר ומשה כותב בדמע:
by the mouth of the Lord: [i.e., Moses died] by a Divine kiss. — [B.B. 17a]   על פי ה': בנשיקה:
6. And He buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Pe'or. And no person knows the place of his burial, unto this day.   ו. וַיִּקְבֹּר אֹתוֹ בַגַּי בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר וְלֹא יָדַע אִישׁ אֶת קְבֻרָתוֹ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה:
And He buried him: i.e., The Holy One, blessed is He, Himself, in His very glory [buried Moses]. — [Sotah 14a] Rabbi Ishmael, however, says that [the words“And he buried him” mean that] Moses buried himself. And this אֶת in the phrase here וַיִּקְבֹּר אוֹתוֹ is one of the three instances of the אֶת in Scripture which Rabbi Ishmael expounded on in this way [i.e., where the suffix attached אֶת is understood to be reflexive, meaning “to himself” , “to themselves” , and so on]. And similar to this case [are the following two instances]:“On the day when his Nazirite vow is completed, he must bring him (אֹתוֹ) ” (Num. 6:13), which means, “he shall bring himself” [i.e., present himself]. And likewise,“And they cause them (אוֹתָם) to bear the sin of their guilt” (Lev. 22:16). Surely does this refer to others causing them to bear that sin? Rather, the verse must mean that they cause themselves to bear the sin. — [Sifrei Nasso 32:124]   ויקבר אותו: הקב"ה בכבודו. רבי ישמעאל אומר הוא קבר את עצמו, וזהו אחד משלשה אתין שהיה רבי ישמעאל דורש כן. כיוצא בו (במדבר ו, יג) ביום מלאת ימי נזרו יביא אותו, הוא מביא את עצמו. כיוצא בו (ויקרא כב, טז) והשיאו אותם עון אשמה, וכי אחרים משיאים אותם, אלא הם משיאים את עצמם:
opposite Beth Pe’or: His burial site was ready there [at Beth Pe’or], since the six days of Creation, to atone for the [sinful] act of Pe’or. — [see Num. 25:1-8; Sotah 14a] This [Moses’s burial site] was one of the things created at twilight, on the eve of [the first] Sabbath. — [Avoth 5:6]   מול בית פעור: קברו היה מוכן שם מששת ימי בראשית לכפר על מעשה פעור, וזה אחד מן הדברים שנבראו בערב שבת בין השמשות:
7. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eye had not dimmed, nor had he lost his [natural] freshness.   ז. וּמשֶׁה בֶּן מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה בְּמֹתוֹ לֹא כָהֲתָה עֵינוֹ וְלֹא נָס לֵחֹה:
His eye had not dimmed: Even after he died. — [see Sifrei 33:36]   לא כהתה עינו: אף משמת:
nor had he lost his [natural] freshness: [The word לֵחֹה refers to his [body’s] moisture. [Thus, the phrase means:] “[Even after his death,] decomposition did not take over his body, nor did the appearance of his face change.”   ולא נס לחה: לחלוחית שבו לא שלט בו רקבון ולא נהפך תואר פניו:
8. And the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days, and the days of weeping over the mourning for Moses came to an end.   ח. וַיִּבְכּוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת משֶׁה בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב שְׁלשִׁים יוֹם וַיִּתְּמוּ יְמֵי בְכִי אֵבֶל משֶׁה:
The sons of Israel: [ordinarily meaning the children of Israel, male and female. But here, it refers only to] the males [who wept for Moses]. However, concerning [the passing of] Aaron, since he used to pursue peace and bring peace between a man and his fellow and between a woman and her husband, it is said [at Aaron’s passing], “The whole house of Israel [wept for him]” (Num. 20:29), meaning both males and females. — [Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer 17]   בני ישראל: הזכרים, אבל באהרן מתוך שהיה רודף שלום ונותן שלום בין איש לרעהו ובין אשה לבעלה נאמר (במדבר כ, כט) כל בית ישראל, זכרים ונקבות:
9. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands upon him. And the children of Israel obeyed him, and they did as the Lord had commanded Moses.   ט. וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן מָלֵא רוּחַ חָכְמָה כִּי סָמַךְ משֶׁה אֶת יָדָיו עָלָיו וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֵלָיו בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת משֶׁה:
10. And there was no other prophet who arose in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,   י. וְלֹא קָם נָבִיא עוֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמשֶׁה אֲשֶׁר יְדָעוֹ יְהֹוָה פָּנִים אֶל פָּנִים:
whom the Lord knew face to face: For he was quite familiar with Him, speaking with Him at any time he wished, as it is said, “So now I will go up to the Lord” (Exod. 32:30), and, “You stand still, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you” (Num. 9:8).   אשר ידעו ה' פנים אל פנים: שהיה לבו גס בו ומדבר אליו בכל עת שרוצה, כענין שנאמר (שמות לב, ל) ועתה אעלה אל ה', (במדבר ט, ח) עמדו ואשמעה מה יצוה ה' לכם:
11. as manifested by all the signs and wonders, which the Lord had sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and all his servants, and to all his land,   יא. לְכָל הָאֹתֹת וְהַמּוֹפְתִים אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחוֹ יְהֹוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם לְפַרְעֹה וּלְכָל עֲבָדָיו וּלְכָל אַרְצוֹ:
12. and all the strong hand, and all the great awe, which Moses performed before the eyes of all Israel.   יב. וּלְכֹל הַיָּד הַחֲזָקָה וּלְכֹל הַמּוֹרָא הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה משֶׁה לְעֵינֵי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
and all the strong hand: [This refers to] his receiving the Torah on the Tablets with his hands.   ולכל היד החזקה: שקבל את התורה בלוחות בידיו:
And all the great awe: [This refers to the] miracles and mighty deeds [that were performed for Israel] in the great and awesome wilderness. — [Sifrei 33:41]   ולכל המורא הגדול: נסים וגבורות שבמדבר הגדול והנורא:
before the eyes of all Israel: [This expression alludes to the incident where] his heart stirred him up to smash the tablets before their eyes, as it is said, “and I shattered them before your eyes” (Deut. 9:17). - [Sifrei 33:41] And [regarding Moses shattering the Tablets,] the Holy One Blessed is He gave His approval, as Scripture states, “[the first Tablets] which you shattered” (Exod. 34:1); [God said to Moses:] “Well done for shattering them!” - [Shab. 87a]   לעיני כל ישראל: שנשאו לבו לשבור הלוחות לעיניהם, שנאמר (לעיל ט, יז) ואשברם לעיניכם, והסכימה דעת הקב"ה לדעתו, שנאמר (שמות לד, א) אשר שברת, יישר כחך ששברת:
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