Netziv_HaAmek_Davar_09

In this shiur Rabbi Triebitz explains Ibn Ezra’s “secret of the twelve” which has been interpreted in many (incorrect) ways by others.

Ibn Ezra Bereishit 12:6
“והכנעני אז בארץ יתכן שארץ כנען תפשה כנען מיד אחר. ואם איננו כן יש לו סוד. והמשכיל ידום:”

Also in Devarim 1:2 he writes:
ואם תבין סוד (השרים) [צ”ל: השנים] עשר, גם ויכתוב משה (דברים לא, כב), והכנעני אז בארץ (ברא’ יב, ו), בהר ד’ יראה (שם כב, יד), והנה ערשו ערש ברזל, (דברים ג, יא) תכיר האמת. יש אומרים, כי באחד (באדר) [ס”א: בשבט] מת משה, ואמר כי התאבלו שלשים יום, וישבו שם (שתי) [צ”ל: שש] שבתות. והראיה שלהם ויהי בעצם היום הזה (דברים לב, מח), כי ביום אחד קרא זה הספר אל כל ישראל ובו מת. וזאת איננה ראיה, כי בעצם היום הזה הוא על השירה, והנה כתוב: אתה עובר היום את הירדן (דברים ט, א):

See Ibn Ezra on Devarim 34:1
ויעל משה – לפי דעתי, כי מזה הפסוק כתב יהושע, כי אחר שעלה משה לא כתב, ובדרך נבואה כתבו.
From 34:1-12 (end of the chumash) is 12 verses. Ibn Ezra holds that these last 12 verses were not written by Moshe but by Yehoshua. This is the secret of the 12.

Bava Batra 15a brings an opinion that the last 8 verses were written by Yehoshua and not Moshe.
אמר מר: יהושע כתב ספרו ושמונה פסוקים שבתורה. תניא כמאן דאמר: שמונה פסוקים שבתורה יהושע כתבן, דתני’: וימת שם משה עבד ה’ – אפשר משה (מת) +מסורת הש”ס: [חי]+ וכתב וימת שם משה? אלא, עד כאן כתב משה, מכאן ואילך כתב יהושע, דברי ר”י, ואמרי לה ר’ נחמיה; אמר לו ר”ש: אפשר ס”ת חסר אות אחת? וכתיב: לקוח את ספר התורה הזה! אלא, עד כאן הקדוש ברוך הוא אומר ומשה אומר וכותב, מכאן ואילך הקדוש ברוך הוא אומר ומשה כותב בדמע

Ibn Ezra understands that it was not specifically the last 8 verses, but the last 12, and some other verses elsewhere in the chumash.

Look at the Netziv on the verse “the Canaanites were then in the land” who disagrees with Ibn Ezra.
Even though they were not yet Canaanites, but the Canaanites ruled the empire and would eventually conquer the country, so he referred to those people as Canaanites.

Similarly, when Avraham sent Eliezer, “Do not take a daughter for my son from the children of Canaan” they were not Canaanites, but it refers to the fact that the Canaanites were about to conquer the land.

Ibn Ezra there gives two explanations. His second is based on his “secret” but the first is similar to Netziv, that perhaps the Canaanites already began conquering the land.

Bereishit 22:14. Avraham called the place “G-d will see…”

This was not written at the time that Jerusalem was the site of the Temple (chas ve-shalom) but rather at the time when G-d commanded Moshe to tell the people that three times a year the people would have to appear in Jerusalem. The same word yera’e appears in the akeida and also in the mitzva of appearing in the Temple. Even though a person cannot make his own gezeira shava in matters of halakha, to understand p’shat in the chumash one may do so.

Bereishit 27:9

Why did Yitzchak require two goats to eat? Netziv makes it into a gezeira shava referring to the two goats of Yom Kippur.

Why was Yaakov punished with the rape of Dina? Netziv does not explain, but it requires explanation.
The name Yisrael refers to “higher than nature”
A person cannot aspire to live higher than nature unless there is an explicit Divine command to do so. Before there is a command, a person has to live according to nature. Part of this is an awareness of the natural and social environment. Because Yaakov tried too early to live beyond nature, (and the Netziv calls it a sin), he misunderstood the nature of the people who he was living amongst, and ignored the reality. This led to the rape of Dina.

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