hebrew
1)

Why is the word "Vayikachuhu" missing a 'Vav' (after the 'Ches')?

1.

Ba'al ha'Turim: Because it was only Shimon who actually took him and threw him into the pit. 1


1

Which explains why it was Shimon that Yosef later placed in jail. Refer also to Bereishis 42:24:2:1 & 42:24:3:1*.

2)

Having said that the pit was empty, why does the Torah add that it contained no water?

1.

Rashi: For the inference - that it contained no water, 1 but it did contain 2 snakes and scorpions. 3

2.

Ramban #1 (on Pasuk 22) and Rashbam: The Torah tells us that the pit was not full of water, because if it had been, having decided not to kill him directly, they would not have thrown him into it.

3.

Ramban #2: To teach us that not only was the pit empty, but there was not even a small amount of water in it. 4


1

Divrei Eliyahu: Mayim alludes to Torah. One who has no water (Torah) is prone to have snakes and scorpions, i.e. despicable Midos like snakes and scorpions.

2

Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim: Two exclusions always come to include. Do not say that it contained rocks, for 'Rak" implies something that sometimes it is Misroken (emptied) from it. Hadar Zekenim - i.e. it hides in cracks. Alternatively, we read "Yashvu Le'echol Lechem" like 'Yesh bo Le'echol Lechem' (there is something inside that can eat; Rosh - there is something edible inside). Moshav Zekenim - or, we learn a Gezeirah Shavah "Mayim-Mayim" - "Nachash Saraf ve'Akrav ve'Tzima'on Asher Ein Mayim" (Devarim 8:15).

3

See also Ba'al ha'Turim. Ramban: The brothers however, were unaware of this (either due to the depth of the pit or because the snakes were hidden in the crevices in the side of the pit). Had they known , they would have realized, when Yosef emerged alive from the pit, that he was a great Tzadik, and they would never have gone on to sell him into slavery (See Daniel, 6:23 ). In any event, based on their decision not to kill him directly, they would not have thrown him into a pit with snakes and scorpions. Refer to 37:24:2:2). Moshav Zekenim, Riva (22): Reuven can certainly not have known about the snakes and scorpions, since the Torah testifies that he intended to save Yosef! Alternatively, he knew; even so, this is better than overtly killing him, for perhaps Yosef is a snakecharmer and can save himself . The Moshav Zekeinim however explains that the pit was wide, so Yosef would not necesarilly have fallen on the snakes, and they would not necessarily have killed him.

4

Since that would have caused Yosef more suffering than he was destined to suffer. Refer to 37:25:2:2.

3)

Why did the brothers finally throw Yosef into the pit?

1.

Ramban and Seforno: Refer to 37:22:3:1.

2.

Oznayim la'Torah: They actually accepted Reuven's suggestion, and threw Yosef into the pit in the interim until they decided what to do with him. 1


1

Oznayim la'Torah: Since leaving him in the pit from which he could not extricate himself would have constituted murder

4)

Why did the brothers finally throw Yosef into the pit?

1.

Ramban and Seforno: Refer to 37:22:3:1.

2.

Oznayim la'Torah: They actually accepted Reuven's suggestion, and threw Yosef into the pit in the interim until they decided what to do with him. 1


1

Oznayim la'Torah: Since leaving him in the pit from which he could not extricate himself would have constituted murder

5)

רש"י: אבל נחשים ועקרבים יש בו: לכאורה היה אפשר לדרוש באותה הדרך שעצים ואבנים יש בו?

1.

גור אריה: אם היו בו עצים ואבנים לא הייתה התורה אומרת "והבור ריק", אבל נחשים ועקרבים אינם נחשבים לממלאים את הבור כי הם נמצאים כאן לפי שעה והולכים.

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