The format rule requires inferences from formatting items
such as bold, italics, underline, and bullets. The format rule
also requires inferences from paragraph structure and sequence. Today's
example illustrates this.
Verses Nu14-22:26, Nu14-27:31 form a sequence of two consecutive
paragraphs discussing offerings. The main discussion of offerings occurs
in Lv. The specific purpose of these sin offerings mentiohed in Numbers is not
explicitly indicated there. However we have derived above in rules,#3,
#4,#5, that the Bible, in Nu14-22:26, is speaking about an idolatry sin offering
which is not discussed elsewhere in the Bible.
Hence the elegant but punchy Rashi:
Just as the first paragraph discussing communal offerings is
discussing the idolatry offering, so too the 2nd paragraph discussing
individual offerings, is discussing idolatry offerings.
The technical rule used here is inference from consecutive paragraphs.
This rule is used throughout the Talmud. Certain Talmudic Rabbis believed that
the consecutive paragraph rule only applied in Genesis - Numbers
but did not apply to Deuteronomy. We have further classified the
consecutive paragraph rule under the formatting rule.