What are the implications of the phrase "Hirgu Ish Anashav!"?


Rashi and Ramban #1 (citing Sanhedrin, 18a): It implies that each Dayan 1 was ordered to kill two sinners. 2


Ramban #2: It implies that the Beis-Din (Sanhedrin, consisting of twenty-three Dayanim) of each tribe was to kill the sinners of their tribe and the thousand over which they were appointed. 3


Ramban #3 (citing Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin, 10:2): Refer to 25:5:1:1, only the Yerushalmi changes the number of Dayanim to seventy-eight thousand and six hundred. 4


Ramban #4: Hashem in his mercy, told Moshe to instruct the Dayanim to sentence the sinners to death, in order to stop the plague that was killing the innocent and the guilty alike. However when Pinchas sprang into action, 'Davened and stopped the plague,' 5 causing Hashem's anger to abate, the plague stopped and there was no longer any need for Beis-Din to carry out the death-sentence. 6


Rashi: Of whom there were eighty-six thousand.


See Ramban's objection to this explanation and refer to 25:5:1:3*.


Ramban: See Devarim, 1:15.


Ramban: Which means that a hundred and fifty-seven thousand two hundred people (over a quarter of the nation) died, and that they had increased considerably between the previous census (in Bamidbar) and the next one (in Pinchas).


Ramban: They were not let off the hook however, as Hashem destroyed all those who sinned by Ba'al Pe'or before Yisrael crossed the Yarden, as the Pasuk testifies in Devarim, 4:3 & 4.

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