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Three questions in Tanach


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Kislev 14, 5775
1) Since God is "Almighty," why didn’t God deliver the children of Israel much, much sooner than to wait over 350+ years to bring them out of Egypt. 2) Psalm 115:18 (Joseph’s) feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron. Exactly what is the meaning of "Soul entering the iron." 3) Job 1:6, 2:1 .... who exactly were the "sons of God" that presented themselves before the Lord.
1. It’s written explicitly why: “because the iniquity of the Emori (will) not yet be full” (Breishit 15, 16), and accordingly, we had to wait. It’s true the people of Israel are the Chosen People, but by no means does that mean that God doesn’t take into account the needs, the reward, punishment and challenges of other nations, as well. As for Israel, the oral tradition details that there were different levels of bondage and hardship over the years (e.g. the slavery itself was only 210 years), and therefore our fathers received the precisely beneficial amount of challenges. Accordingly, the element of time was relatively insignificant. 2. The correct source is 105, 18, is more correctly translated, ‘he was put in iron” The term “nefesh”, is usually literally translated as “soul”, but is often a poetic way to refer to the person involved (“he”, as in Isa. 29, 8). From the context (Joseph being locked up), it’s clearly referring to physical locking, i.e. “he (his body) was put (=locked) in iron”. 3. It’s referring to the “entourage” of God, commonly called: “angels”.
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