hebrew
1)

Who were the "Moshlim"?

1.

Rashi and Ramban #2 (on Pasuk 29, citing the Midrash Rabah): "The Moshlim" (the parable-tellers) refers to Bil'am and his father Be'or. 1

2.

Ramban #1: Refer to 21:14:2:2*.

3.

Seforno: They are people who interpreted the parables that they dreamt, such as Bil'am. 2

4.

Rashbam: It refers to people who predicted the future, such as Bil'am and his contemporaries.

5.

Targum Yonasan: It refers to Tzadikim, who rule over their Yeitzer ha'Ra. 3


1

Rashi: See Bamidbar 23:7.

2

Seforno: As the Pasuk writes in Bamidbar, 23:7.

3

Refer also to 21:27:2:3.

2)

To whom did they say 'Come to Cheshbon ... !'

1.

Rashi and Ramban 1 : The Moshlim cursed Mo'av that Cheshbon (the erstwhile capital of Mo'av) should fall into the hands of Sichon, 2 and that it should be rebuilt as the capital of Sichon.

2.

Seforno: The Moshlim are telling the inhabitants of Ar, the capital of Mo'av, to come to Cheshbon, the capital of Sichon and to submit to his sovereignty. 3

3.

Targum Yonasan: Refer to 21:27:1:5. They said to themselves 'Come let us make a Cheshbon 4 - the gains of an Aveirah against the punishment, and the losses of a Mitzvah against the reward. The one who awakens and speaks words of Torah will be established!'


1

According to the Ramban, the Moshlim predicted that Sichon would come and destroy Cheshbon and subsequently rebuild as his own capital.

2

Rashi: When Sichon hired him after failing to defeat it. And it was as a result of that curse that Balak said to Bil'am (in Bamidbar, 22:6) "Because I know that whoever you bless is blessed and that whoever you curse is cursed.

3

From the fact that the Rashbam refers to Ar as the capital of Mo'av, he seems to explain the Pasuk like the Seforno.

4

See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

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