The Torah Revealed: Talmudic Masters Unveil the Secrets of the Bible

By Avraham Yaakov Finkel | Go to book overview

16
Torah Portion
Beshalach
Exodus 13:17–17:16

CROSSING THE RED SEA

(13:19) Moses took Joseph's remains with him. Joseph had bound the Israelites by an oath: “God will grant you special providence, and you must then bring my remains out of here with you.”


The Talmud Teaches

Moses took Joseph's remains In the manner that a person deals with others, God will deal with him. Moses earned merit by looking after the remains of Joseph, for it says “Moses took Joseph's remains with him.” And no one in Israel was greater than Moses. So measure for measure, no one other than God Himself took care of his burial. For it says “And He buried Moses in the valley” (Sotah 9b).

Moses took It says here, “Moses took Joseph's remains with him”; and in Joshua 24:32, it says “The remains of Joseph that the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt they buried in Shechem.” The two verses contradict each other! R. Chama b. R. Chanina resolved the inconsistency, saying: If you perform a task without finishing it, and someone else completes it, Scripture credits the one who completed it as though he had done the whole task (Sotah 13b).

-109-

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