hebrew
1)

What are the connotations of "Keil Kana"?

1.

Rashi: It means that, when it comes to Avodah-Zarah, Hashem is zealous - He will punish the sinner, and not pardon him.

2.

Ramban (in Pasuk 3): It is not befitting that Yisrael partners Hashem with any other being 1 - specifically Yisrael, Hashem's treasured nation, whom He singled out from all the other nations. 2

3.

Seforno: Hashem does not want to share His Kavod with others. 3 Consequently, when people confer Hashem's honor upon another, He is zealous for the honor that has ben conferred upon one who is unworthy of it.

4.

Hadar Zekenim (3): Hashem loves you so much that He wants that you will be slaves only to Him, and He is angry at those who serve other gods.


1

Refer to 20:3:2:3.

2

As this is akin to a woman who abandons her husband and goes with another man, or to a servant who adopts another master. It does not therefore apply to other nations, whom Hashem placed under the jurisdiction of the celestial bodies (Ramban).

3

Since there is no one who can in any way compare with Hashem. (Seforno).

2)

Why does Hashem wait so long before punishing the sinners?

1.

Ramban and Seforno: He waits until their measure is full, as the generations go from bad to worse, before destroying them. 1


1

Like Yerav'am ben N'vat, whose children and grandchildren followed in his footsteps (Seforno). This is the explanation of the Seforno; the Ramban says virtually the same thing, adding that we never find the term "Kana" in any context other than that of Avodah-Zarah. (Bamidbar 25:11 connotes that Hashem had Kin'ah due to Zimri's Zenus, but we can say that it was due to the idolatry (25:2,3).

3)

And to whom does "le'Son'ai" refer?

1.

Rashi, Ramban, Rashbam and Targum Onkelos: It refers to those who go in the evil ways of their fathers.

4)

What does "Poked Avon Avos al Banim" mean?

1.

Ramban #1 (citing Ibn Ezra) and Targum Yonasan: It means that Hashem remembers 1 the sins of the fathers up to the fourth generation, waiting for them to do Teshuvah, and if also the fourth does not repent, He wipes them out. 2

2.

Ramban, Seforno 3 and Targum Onkelos: Hashem avenges the sins of the father on to the sons (if they do not do Teshuvah) 4 and destroys them, and on to the grandsons or great-grandsons, 5 in the event that the measure of the previous generations are not full. 6 He does not avenge the fifth generation.

3.

Moshav Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim (3): Normally, Hashem waits until one dies


1

Poked is like Zocher, also in Bereishis 21:1 (Ibn Ezra).

2

See Ramban's interpretation of this explanation, and his objection to it).

3

Refer to 20:5:5:1.

4

As in Shemos 32:34, and in Yeshayah, 27:1 (Ramban).

5

See, for example, Bereishis (15:16 [Ramban]).

6

Whereas Hashem will never punish the fifth generation for the sins of their great-great-grandfather (Ramban),

5)

If Hashem punishes the third generation of sinners, how can there be a fourth generation?

1.

Seforno: He destroys the third generation if they degenerate further, 1 and the fourth generation, if they continue along their grandfather's path without degenerating further. 2

2.

Refer to 20:5:4:1-3.


1

As occurred with the children of Omri (See Melachim 2, 9:8, 9 [Seforno]).

2

As occurred with the children of Yeihu (See Melachim 2, 10:30 [Seforno]).

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