The Middot of Hillel [Hillel’s Hermeneutical Rules] Part 4

[4] Binyan av mishene ketuvim [#3b Ishmael]

This principle may be translated from a General Principle Found in Two Verses. Additional information regarding this principle can be found above in binyan av mikatuv echad. Here, however, a single verse is insufficient to apply its rule elsewhere in Torah. In b.Bava Kamma 6a, we’re given an example of this rule.

According to our Sages’ understanding of Deuteronomy 23:25, a laborer is permitted to eat of the grapes or of the standing corn as he’s working those particular fields. One may ask if that permits him to eat anything else in the farmer’s property. Leviticus 19:10 cannot be used to make that determination because the owner of the vineyard is obligated to leave gleaning remnants for the poor. Nor can Numbers 15:17-21 be used because the owner of the corn is obligated to give challah. Since Challah does not apply to grapes and gleaning does not apply to standing corn, we cannot determine if the laborer can eat other things growing in the fields. However, taking the two cases together, other mitzvoth can be determined from them because a common factor does exist between them: they are both plants [cf. b.Bava Metzia 87b].

The Book of Hebrews in the Newer Testament has several binyan av arguments, which strongly suggests a rabbinic authorship to the book [though deduction lets one know with certainty it was not Paul]. In Hebrews 1:5-14, the author quotes the following passages in order to build an extensive argument that Moshiach is superior to the angels:

1:5 = Psalms 2:7 [In Judaism, Psalms 2 has been held to refer to Aaron, David, Am Israel in Messianic times, Moshiach ben Yosef, and the oldest reference in Psalms of Solomon 17:21-27 and b.Succah 62a it refers to Moshiach ben David]

1:5 = 2 Samuel 7:14 [This is been midrashically applied to Am Israel, but the Newer Testament’s application is a chiddush, an innovation, showing that not only is Moshiach (G-d’s firstborn) better than the angels, but that all prophesy is fulfilled in Yeshua as David haMelech’s physical descendant]

1:6 = Psalms 97:7 [Since Judaism allows for “elohim” to be used in reference to angels, the LXX translation and its use in Hebrews is compatible; yet here it is used to suggest that the angels of Heaven worship Moshiach.]

1:7 = Psalms 104:4 [This text is crediting deeds to Moshiach that Tanach and Jewish Tradition attribute to Hashem. The use of “fire” and “wind” come from Jewish tradition: Yalchut Shimoni 2.11.3 state “sometimes he makes us fire and sometimes winds,” elsewhere in 4 Ezra 8:20-21 it states, “O L-rd, before whom your hosts stand trembling at your word, change to fire and wind.”]

1:8-9 = Psalms 45:8-9 [The Soncino Tanach states, “This psalm came to be understood as referring to King Messiah and his marriage as an allusion to his redemption of Israel.”]

1:10-12 = Psalms 102:25-27 [The LXX version of this passage has Hashem speaking to someone whom He addresses as “L-rd.” The MT does not paint the same picture; instead no one is specifically addressed.]

1:13 = Psalms 110:1 [Psalms 110, visualizes a Priest-King.]

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