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This Study Series is being released according to the Torah Reading Schedule.

This week- Section 01
Name- בראשׁית B’resheet (In The Beginning)
Parashah/Parsha- B’resheet 1.1-6.8
Torah Portion- Genesis 1.1-6.8

Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are from the JPS edition of The Torah, The Five Books of Moses, A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures, according to the Masoretic Text, First Section. Copyright 1967 by the Jewish Publication Society of America, Second Edition.

This week I want to discuss Deuteronomy 11.18a.

18Therefore impress these My words…

– – – – –

This Essay opens up a new year of Torah study. This year of Torah study will continue the study that was begun back in the 2016-2017 Torah study, which are my essays on the book of Deuteronomy.

With that in mind, I will continue my essays in Deuteronomy. So welcome to my second year of studying Deuteronomy.

Last year, I established that as I have been navigating through Deuteronomy there are specific voices that are found within the text.

One of those voices is whom I call the Deuteronomy Redactor. This voice can be seen in several passages. For instance, Deuteronomy 1.1-5. Another for instance, Deuteronomy 10.6-9.

We can also find Moses quoting Jehovah. For instance, Deuteronomy 5.6-18. Another for instance, Deuteronomy 10.11.

We can also find Moses quoting the nation of Israel. For instance, Deuteronomy 5.24-27 (JPS 5.21-24).

Yet, so far, even when Moses is speaking, it appears that the narration of Deuteronomy is being presented from the narrator’s point of view (Deuteronomy 1.1-5), whom I have termed the Deuteronomy Redactor.

While I have been examining the contents of Deuteronomy, I have also been examining the manner in which the information in Deuteronomy is being expressed, which has led me write essays like Essay 54 from the 2016-2017 Torah study.

In that Essay, I discussed Deuteronomy 11.14-15, which consisted of establishing that the Septuagint Greek and the Samaritan Text do not agree with the Masoretic Text.

In the Masoretic Text, Deuteronomy 11.14-15 contain the use of the first-person pronoun (I) whereas the Samaritan Text and the Septuagint Greek contain the use of the second-person pronoun (He).

In the Jewish Publication Society translation of the Masoretic Text, the JPS presents the first-person pronoun in the English.

Those types of differences affect the manner in which Moses is interpreted, and is why the JPS capitalizes the first-person possessive pronoun (my) in Deuteronomy 5.18.

The JPS presents the first-person possessive pronoun as Moses speaking on behalf of Jehovah, which all goes back to the manner in which the Masoretic Text presents the contents of Deuteronomy 11.14-15.

In Deuteronomy 11.18, does Moses speak on behalf of Jehovah?

As I wrote in Essay 54, one’s answer to that question greatly depends upon how one interprets Moses and how Deuteronomy 11.14-15 present Moses.

For me, based upon the contextual nature of Moses, and other items discussed in Essay 54, I am not convinced that Moses is speaking on behalf of Jehovah in Deuteronomy 11.18.

Therefore, when the first-person possessive pronoun (my) is capitalized, English readers interpret that capitalization as Moses speaking on behalf of Jehovah.

However, such capitalization seems unnecessary when the contextual narrative is considered, and when the alternate readings of the Septuagint Greek and the Samaritan Text are considered.