- The BIG question: The count is 69. How is this 70?
- The Torah is VERY SPECIFIC on the numbers. So much so that it is making it into a big deal. WHY?
- Statistical Improbability: Is Ya'akov's large family only able to produce TWO females in the bloodline (Dina and Serach)?
- What is this list needed for in the first place? Why do we care? If you need it to tell me the greatness of growing from 70 to a whole nation, just mention the number "70" and then move on.
- Who made the cut to be on this list? Who didn't?
- What is this a list of anyways? Is this a comprehensive list?
- Are all these people ACTUALLY coming down to Egypt? See Binyamin, above.
- Notice the symmetry with Leah/Zilpa (32/16) and Rachel/Bilha (14/7).
Without Yosef: 32 + 16 + 11 + 7 = 66
Add Yosef: +3
Total = 69 (!)
(Items in bold are main questions.)
- He get's an intro while the others (except Yosef and Binyamin) do not.
- Interesting to point out that he's still called a "bechor".
- Shaul's mother "ben Cana'anit" is pointed out while we hear of no other child's wife except for Asanat (Yosef's wife) - see below.
- Are we counting Ar an Onan? If not, why are they listed here at all? If we are counting them, we will have 8 total for Yehudah bringing Leah's total seeming to 34!
- Yehudah's kids are all "ben Cana'anit" (and we know it!) - why are they not mentioned here like by Shimon?
- Chetzron and Chamul being alive and going down to Egypt is problematic assuming that the Yehudah-Tamar story took place right after mechirat Yosef - since the MOST time that could elapse is 22 years from mechirat Yosef to the family coming down to Egypt.
- Are we counting Dina? Seems like we do, but:
- If not and if we count Ar and Onan, we're good at 33.
- If not and if we do NOT count Ar and Onan, we're at 31.
- If we do and if we count Ar and Onan, we're at 34.
- If we do and if we do NOT count Ar and Onan, we're at 32.
- Are we not listing Dina's children? Does she not have any?
- Who are Ya'acov's "b'notav" (in plural)?
- Big problem with the Leah count of 33. See above issues with Ar/Onan and Dina.
- Why do we do directly to Zilpah and not to Rachel?
- Why is Serach the only granddaughter mentioned?
- Why does Rachel get a nice intro ("eshet Ya'akov") while the others do not?
- Why is he and his family mentioned at all if he's already in Egypt? Is this a list of people that came down or a list of people that ended up in Egypt?
- Why is Asanat (with full family recognition) mentioned here while the other brothers' wives are not?
- If this is not a comprehensive list but a list of important people, why are Menashe's children (Machir) not mentioned?
- Are all of his children actually coming down to Egypt? Think about Reuven and Binyamin. Reuven - the oldest - has 4 children and Binyamin - the youngest - has 10 children. Do we mean to say that Binyamin had all 10 sons by the time this is happening?
- If Chushim is his only son, why say "b'nei"?
- Why re-add it up?
- Why re-add it up without Yosef and family?
- Why specifically exclude the wives of the children of Ya'akov when clearly stating this a a count of the bloodline (which automatically excludes them anyway).
- Why re-add it up and get to 69 and state that the total is 70?
I. Dealing with the issue of Ya'akov's daughters.
II. Dealing with the overall "meta-issue" of getting to 70.
WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT THE TEXT - DESPITE THE MANY, MANY PROBLEMS (WITH NO REAL "SILVER BULLET" SOLUTION) - WANTS US TO GET TO 70!
This begs the question...
BUT WHY ???
But I think there another symbolism here as well: