“Moses went up from the steppes of Moab…and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali; the land of Ephraim and Manasseh; the whole plain of Judah as far as the Western Sea” (Deuteronomy 34:1-2).
We have shown already, in the portion of Vayelech, shown that the whole Torah was written by an anonymous author. That author certainly did not intend that his work be treated as though Moses himself had written it. Here, in this portion, we will add to and strengthen our words.
Moses stands here on the far side of the Jordan River, long before the Children of Israel divide the land between them. The division of the land was by lots, as written in Numbers 26:55, “The land, moreover, is to be apportioned by lot; and the allotment shall be made according to the listings of their ancestral tribes. Each portion shall be assigned by lot, whether for larger or smaller groups.”
They divided the land, as is known, in the days of Joshua, as written in Joshua 19:32, “The sixth lot fell to the Naphtalites,” and in verse 40, “The seventh lot fell to the tribe of the Danites, by their clans.” Then how is it possible that Moses wrote in the Torah, “A and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali; the land of Ephraim and Manasseh; the whole plain of Judah,” that is, the portions of the tribes of Dan and Naphtali, of Ephraim, Manasseh and Judah? At the point the people of Israel still did had no clue which place what tribe would get in the lottery.
See for yourself: If this really had been written in the Torah scroll Moses gave the priests, the people of Israel would have been greatly surprised. Why wold Joshua have to hold a lottery if they already knew the holdings of the tribes of Dan and Naphtali, of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Judah?
Therefore Ibn Ezra spoke well when he wrote on Deuteronomy 34:1, “‘Moses went up,’ from this verse on, I think, Joshua wrote” (and these are the 12 verses of which Ibn Ezra wrote in his commentary on Deuteronomy 1:3, “And if you understand the secret of the twelve… you will know the truth” – that is, that Moses did not write the whole Torah; see what we wrote on the portion of Devarim, that it is the view of R’ Joseph the son of Eliezer Bonfils in his book “Tzafnat Pa’aneach”). But Ibn Ezra went on and wondered how Joshua knew what G-d showed Moses, for Moses went up the mountain alone, died there and was buried alone, and about this he said, “And [Joshua] wrote it through the ways of prophecy.” Again we have the “excuse of prophecy”; for more about this, see below.
Similarly, in I Samuel, chapter 4: “And Samuel’s word went forth to all of Israel. Israel marched out to engage the Philistines in battle; they encamped near [the stone called] Eben-haEzer.” But this stone was called is only later, in I Samuel 7:12, called Eben-haEezer only later, in I Samuel 7:12: “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and named it ‘Eben-haEzer’…”
This is what Radak wrote on I Samuel 4:1, “The Scripture says this because during this war it was a pestilential stone and not a help one, and it still was not called ‘the stone of help’ [(Eben-haEzer])…What is written here, calling it ‘Eben-haEzer’ are words of the scribeis a scribal addition, as is ‘he pursued them to Dan’.” And who is this “scribe” whom Radak writes about? It is that anonymous author we spoke of. It follows from Radak’s words that what is written in Genesis 14:14, “When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive…and went in pursuit as far as Dan” are the words of the author of the Torah, who lived after they divided the land by lots and named the city Dan, as written in Judges 18:29, “And they named the city Dan after their father Dan…” There is no need to say that it is therefore clear that this author wrote the Torah after Moses’s death.
In Mechilta D’Rabbi Shimon on Beshalach Chazal say about this: “As far as Dan, the tribes of Israel had not yet come to the land, nor had the Land of Israel been divided amongst the People of Israel. What does it mean, ‘as far as Dan’? He told Abraham, ‘Twelve tribes will issue from your loins and this is the portion of one of them.” We have already said many times that this is the way of our rabbis; when they find a question in the Scriptures they give the excuse of prophecy. (If we found, in any book, “In the year 1888, in the holy city of Jerusalem, in the place called Knesset Hill…” would we say that the book was really written in 1888 and the author was imbued with the spirit of prophecy, or would we say that this book was obviously written after 1948? The wise one will understand.)
Know that not only our rabbis the Rishonim, Ibn Ezra and Radak, dared explicitly that Moses did not write the whole Torah; even our rabbis in the Talmud said that. In Baba Batra 14b it is written, “Moses wrote his book and the section about Bileaam.” This means that Moses wrote down a book and the words of Bileaam, and therefore this book that he wrote is certainly not the Torah, for the section about BilaamBileam is part of the Torah. According to the Jerusalem Talmud, Sotah, chapter 5, halacha 5 26a, “Moses wrote five Torah scrolls and then went back and wrote the sections about Balak and BilaamBileam.” The Jerusalem Talmud gives absolute evidence that the sections about Balak and BilaamBileam were not part of the original Torah scroll, but are a later addition by Moses.
In Baba Batra page 15a it it is writtensays, “TheyMar said: ‘Joshua wrote his book and eight verses in the Torah’ [from ‘And Moses died’ until the end of the book, and according to the Ibn Ezra it is from ‘And Moses ascended,’ for a total of 12 verses]… [But] Rabbi Simeon said to him: is it possible that the Torah scroll lacks even a single letter, and it is written ‘Take this book of the Torah’ (Deuteronomy 31:26)? But until here G-d spoke and Moses wrote, from here on G-d spoke and Moses wrote in tears.” According to the first Tanna Joshua is the one who wrote the last eight verses. See for yourself: According to those who believe that the Torah scroll we have has not a single letter not originally written down by Moses, as dictated by the Glory, what Torah scroll was Moses speaking of when he commanded the Levites in Deuteronomy 31:26, “Take this book of Teaching and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.” Was this a scroll which was missing the last eight verses?
And with these words we will conclude, at a fortuitous time, our explanation of all the weekly portions. May it be His will that the wise, interested, and intelligent reader will get to the bottom of our intent. And you, who examines and with open eyes, common sense, and an honest heart tests our words over the course of all the weekly portions, will also prove that all our words are true and are held in place by pegs of the words of quotes from the Scriptures, Mishnah, Gemara, Rishonim and Achronim. After we removed all the broken supports, the empty excuses, and the irrationalnonsensical answers which make no sense and which cannot be reconciled to any sense of logic, we showed that the Five Books of the Torah these five wereere not written by G-d nor by Moses from Divine dictation, but that they are human books in every way, written by man, and, edited by man, and meant for man.
May we be strengthened.
Words of True Knowledge