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    1. RASHI METHOD: REFERENCES
    BRIEF EXPLANATION: Commentary on a verse is provided thru a cross-reference to another verse. The cross references can either provide
    • (1a) further details,
    • (1b) confirm citations, or
    • (1c) clarify word meaning.
    This examples applies to Rashis Ex03-18c
    URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/ex03-18c.htm

Verse Ex03-18c, discussing Moses request for the Jews to go and celebrate a holiday states And the Jews shall listen to your voice; and you,Moses, and the Jewish elders shall come, to the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him, The Lord God of the Hebrews has accidented us; and now let us plesae go away for a three daysí journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. . This verse uses the strange underlined term, accidented, which does not make sense here. Rashi clarifies this unusual term by cross-referencing another verse Nu23-03 presenting Bilam's attempt to achieve prophetic communication to help Moab: And Balaam said to Balak, Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go; perhaps the Lord will accident me; and whatever he shows me I will tell you. And he went to a high place. Hence the Rashi comment: To accident can mean (in the appropriate context) to receive a prophecy.

Sermonic and Advanced Points: Rashi describes but does not explain why: Why is prophecy called accident. Insight is provided by the revelation at the decalogue in Ex19,Ex20. There we see prophecy compared to confrontation with fire. Prophecy very often opens up dimensions of reality we were not aware of--it is su11en, abrupt and confrontational. Hence the use of fire symbolizing a burning revelation. The term accident also connotes something su11en, abrupt and unexpected.

Rashi goes a step further. Comparing the language used for prophecy in Lv01-01 vs. Nu23-03 Rashi comments: Jewish prophecy is termed God calls while non-Jewish prophecy is termed God accidents. The non-Jew sees the prophetic content as shocking and abrupt while the Jew is prepared for the prophecy by a calling by God which orients the prophet mentally to prepare for the unexpected.


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