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      5. RASHI METHOD: CONTRADICTION
      BRIEF EXPLANATION:Rashi resolves contradictory verses using 3 methods.
      • (5a) Resolution using two aspects of the same event
      • (5b) Resolution using two stages of the same process
      • (5c) Resolution using broad-literal interpretation.
      This examples applies to Rashis Gn20-12a
      URL Reference: (c) http://www.Rashiyomi.com/w34n18.htm
      Brief Summary: Abraham called Sarah SISTER (Daughter of father) even though she was really NEICE (Daughter of son of father).

The table below presents two contradictory verses / verse phrases. Both verses / verse phrases talk about Sarah's relationship with Abraham. The underlined words highlight the contradiction. One verse / verse phrase says Sarah was a sister, daughter of a father while the other verse / verse phrase says Sarah was a niece, daughter of a son of a father. Which is it? Was Sarah Abraham's sister or niece? Rashi simply resolves this using the broad-literal method: Sarah was Abraham's niece. But people colloquially identify generations. Grandfathers are fathers and neices are sisters.

Summary Verse / Source Text of verse / Source
Sarah was a sister, daughter of a father Gn20-12a And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
Abraham named him Ishmael Gn11-29 And Abram and Nahor took wives; the name of Abramís wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahorís wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah [Sarah]. [So Sarah was son of Haran who was Abraham's brother]
Resolution: Broad-Literal Sarah was Abraham's niece. But people colloquially identify generations. Grandfathers are fathers and neices are sisters.

Advanced Rashi: Rashi's point becomes stronger when other verses are brought in. For example a comparison of Ex02-18, Nu10-29 shows that grandparents are called parents. Here also we have two generations identified. This makes Rashi's identification of sister and niece (daugther of father vs daughter of son of father) more palatable.


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