[b-hebrew] Song of the Sea : Az Yiashir moshe

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Mar 30 07:19:21 EST 2004

Dear Sonny,

You are certainly correct in pointing out that people who read the Bible in
translation may often miss out on intricacies in the Hebrew. I think that
most people on this list would agree. However, where did you get your
"Jewish" interpretation? It's not one I've ever seen in a Jewish commentary.
Could you please point to its source?

Several of the commentators that I read, such as Rashi and Ramban, point to
other examples of the future being used in the past, such as um. 21:17, Josh
10:12, 1 Kings 7:8 and 1 Kings 11:7. They understand it as meaning that
Moses decided to sing, and then sang. Ibn-Ezra says: "it is customary for
the narrator to put himself in the place of the character - to look at
things from his prospective".
Rashi does quote the Talmud (Sanhedrin 91b) as bringing this as proof of the
future resurrection of the dead, but he takes this to be a secondary
midrash, not the literal meaning of the verse. Hezkuni quotes Ramban (not in
his commentary on Exodus) as understanding "then Moses and the Children of
Israel WILL SING" as meaning that the Song of the Sea is to be sung every
day for all generations - which certainly reflects Jewish practice since
antiquity - the Song is recited as part of the daily prayers.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Sonny FROMMELT" <ovadyahf at hotmail.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 11:40 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Song of the Sea : Az Yiashir moshe

> Dear friends
> I draw your attention to "az to yiashir moshe", "then Moses sang", as we
> usually translate:
> In fact, it is about unaccomplished time that we can translate by a
> like this :
> "Then (az) Moses will sing". You will object that according to the
> context and the continuation of the verse, it is necessary to translate by
> past, which admittedly is not impossible, grammatically. HOWEVER, we must
> pay attention to the Jewish comprehension of this passage :
> They preserve the future and apply that to times of the Messiah.
> the children of Israel undoubtedly sang in the past, it is an obviousness,
> but according to this reading, this past returns us towards a future
> And that gives all its direction to the verse in the Apocalypse which says
> that then, one will sing the canticle of Moses and that of the lamb. We
> know in addition, that the pharisees kept here the direction of "future".
> They deduced some from there, the resurrection of deaths, like principle
> resulting from the Torah. Such a comprehension seems to agree with the
> comprehension of the authors of the New Testament; and consequently, we
> pay great attention not to level the translations, to have only "correct"
> sentences in English, but to leave the text with its reliefs, its
> provocations! The irregularities of the text are there to lead us to the
> reflexion and to draw hidden richnesses there. Jesus spoke in parabolas,
> much of secrecies are for the attentive ears. We should not apply an
> excessive rationnalism to the exegèse, but we must try to
> include/understand, how and with what made to references the writers of
> NT. Paul, in Galates, made more a Jewish exegèse that a Christian exegèse,
> that must make us reflect, and I wish a handing-over there of cause in
> field.  Fraternally (of France).
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