Contents Calendar Find Reference
Torah 
Navigating the Bible
Exodus Tetsaveh
Genesis
Exodus
  Shemot
  VaEra
  Bo
  BeShalach
  Yitro
  Mishpatim
  Terumah
  Tetsaveh
  Ki Tisa
  VaYakhel
  Pekudey
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
First Reading, Second Reading, Third Reading, Fourth Reading, Fifth Reading, Sixth Reading, Seventh Reading, Last Reading

Tetsaveh

  
BackForward
 28:9
 28:10
28:10 There shall be six names on one stone, and the remaining six names on the second stone [inscribed] in the order of their birth.
Shishah mishmotam al ha'even ha'echat ve'et-shemot hashishah hanotarim al-ha'even hashenit ketoldotam.



Commentary:

in the order of their birth
  Some take this literally (Rashi; Josephus, Antiquities 3:7:5; cf. Genesis 29:31-30:24). The names were therefore:

right: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali.
left: Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin.

According to others, the verse is interpreted, 'Six names shall be on the first stone, while on the other stone, there shall be six names in the order of their birth.' According to this, the names are in order of birth only on the second stone, but on the first stone, Judah comes first (Sotah 36a, Rashi ad loc. s.v. KeToldatham):

right: Judah, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Dan, Naphtali.
left: Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin.

Others, however, do not translate ke-tolda-tham here as 'in order of their birth,' but as, 'according to their chronicles.' According to one opinion, they are listed in the same manner as they are at the beginning of the Book of Exodus (Exodus 1:2-5) (Sotah 36b, Rashi ad loc. s.v. BeChumash):

right: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun.
left: Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph.

Others basically agree with this interpretation, but maintain that the names follow the order of their mothers with Leah first and Rachel last (Baaley Tosafoth; cf. BeMidbar Rabbah 2:7; see note on Exodus 25:21). The order is then:

right: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun.
left: Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin.

Other sources agree with this ordering, except that they have the names alternate from one stone to the other, and transpose Dan and Naphtali (Yad, Kley HaMikdash 9:9; Avraham ben HaRambam; Ralbag; Or HaChaim; Get Pashut 129:127; Teshuvoth Kenesseth Yechezkel 1):

right: Reuben, Levi, Issachar, Naphtali, Gad, Joseph.
left: Simeon, Judah, Zebulun, Dan, Asher, Benjamin.

There is another opinion that the tribes on the sardonyx stones were divided in exactly the same manner as they were at Mount Gerizim and Eval (Deuteronomy 27:13; Rav Kahanah, Sotah 36a):

right: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, Benjamin.
left: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali.

Finally, there are some who omit Levi and Joseph, and substitute Manasseh and Ephraim (Teshuvoth HaGeonim, Harkevy, 4; Otzar HaGaonim, Yoma 70; cf. Rashi, Sotah 36b, s.v. Lo).

right: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad.
left: Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, Ephraim, Benjamin.

There is a tradition that there were 25 letters in each of these stones (Sotah 36a).





Copyright © 2000 World ORT
Notice: This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.