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by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x 141 S E C T I O N TWO T H E S O N S O F N OA H CHAPTER IX, VERSE 18— CHAPTER XI, VERSE 9 GENERAL INTRODUCTION § 1. Delimitation  of the Section. The entire portion from ix 18 to xi 9  constitutes a single, unitary  section, although it includes ( after the  two verses ix 18– 19,  which form the exordium of the entire section) three wholly unrelated  themes, namely: ( a) The story of Noah’s intoxication ( ix 20– 27),  followed by a concluding passage on Noah’s death ( ix  28– 29). ( b) The history of Noah’s descendants ( ch. x). ( c) The story of the Generation of Division  ( xi 1– 9). Although it is manifest that in the ancient tradition each of these three subjects was an independent theme and pursued its own course of development, yet in the Book before us they are all three linked together and have become a single unit that can no longer be dismembered. The unmistakable sign that marks the unity of the section and determines its extent is the framework in which the Toraharranged the  three topics mentioned. In the two opening verses( ix 18– 19)  it is stated that from the sons of Noah who went outof the ark  the whole earth           [  נָֽפְצָה naphesa, literally, ‘ was scattered’], and in the last verse ( xi 9)  we are told: and from there the Lord                     [ הֱפִיצָם hôphisam] over the face of all the earth. The exordium alludes to the main theme of the section, which is the dispersion of Noah’s descendants in all parts of the earth; the continuation of the section proceeds to explain in detail the manner in which the dispersion was effected; and the last verse indicates it as the final outcome of the course of events. From this it follows that it is not possible for us to understand these passages properly unless we pay attention to the inter-connecting links between them and to the purport of the section

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< < C h a p t e r >> Home | T O C | I n d e x 141 S E C T I O N TWO T H E S O N S O F N OA H CHAPTER IX, VERSE 18— CHAPTER XI, VERSE 9 GENERAL INTRODUCTION § 1. Delimitation of the Section. The entire portion from ix 18 to xi 9 constitutes a single, unitary section, although it includes ( after the two verses ix 18– 19, which form the exordium of the entire section) three wholly unrelated themes, namely: ( a) The story of Noah’s intoxication ( ix 20– 27), followed by a concluding passage on Noah’s death ( ix 28– 29). ( b) The history of Noah’s descendants ( ch. x). ( c) The story of the Generation of Division ( xi 1– 9). Although it is manifest that in the ancient tradition each of these three subjects was an independent theme and pursued its own course of development, yet in the Book before us they are all three linked together and have become a single unit that can no longer be dismembered. The unmistakable sign that marks the unity of the section and determines its extent is the framework in which the Torah arranged the three topics mentioned. In the two opening verses ( ix 18– 19) it is stated that from the sons of Noah who went out of the ark the whole earth           [ נָֽפְצָה naphesa, literally, ‘ was scattered’], and in the last verse ( xi 9) we are told: and from there the Lord                    [ הֱפִיצָם hôphisam] over the face of all the earth. The exordium alludes to the main theme of the section, which is the dispersion of Noah’s descendants in all parts of the earth; the continuation of the section proceeds to explain in detail the manner in which the dispersion was effected; and the last verse indicates it as the final outcome of the course of events. From this it follows that it is not possible for us to understand these passages properly unless we pay attention to the inter-connecting links between them and to the purport of the section
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