Joshua 7:11
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11  Yisrael has sinned! They have broken the covenant by which I bound them. They have taken of the proscribed and put it in their vessels; they have stolen; they have broken faith!

kha-TA yis-ra-AYL v’-GAM a-v’-RU et b’-ree-TEE a-SHER tzi-VEE-tee o-TAM v’-GAM la-k’-KHU min ha-KHAY-rem v’-GAM ga-n’-VU v’-GAM ki-kha-SHU v’-GAM SA-mu vikh-lay-HEM

יא  חָטָא יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגַם עָבְרוּ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אוֹתָם וְגַם לָקְחוּ מִן־הַחֵרֶם וְגַם גָּנְבוּ וְגַם כִּחֲשׁוּ וְגַם שָׂמוּ בִכְלֵיהֶם׃

 7:11   Yisrael has sinned

Malbim (1809-1879)

On the surface, it seems odd that Hashem would say that the People of Israel had sinned. Wasn’t it only Achan, the one who stole items from Yericho, who sinned? The Malbim points out that this verse teaches the critical principle of collective responsibility. The Children of Israel are not simply a collection of individuals. Rather, they are a spiritually united nation where the actions of one impact the fate of all.  Therefore, when they entered Eretz Yisrael they became responsible for one another. This collective responsibility extends beyond simply avoiding negative things. All are also responsible for the positive welfare of their brothers and sisters, wherever they may be. Successfully meeting this collective responsibility is part of what makes the State of Israel great.

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Comment ( 1 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Phyllis Pearson

    I have always thought that Hosea 2, especially v 15 indicates that Achor, the Valley, becomes a place of hope. Most of Hosea 2 speaks of a 'wanton woman' I'm not a Bible scholar, but this verse, 15 has always been for me the hope that in G-d's time he will turn all the things in my life that I know and He surely knows, are wrong and that He will use those things, when forgiven and refined to become strengths in my life. As we put to death things, it's almost like they are burnt and we know from scripture that G-d knows and recognises the fragrance of a burnt offering and it is sweet to Him.

    Yes the collective responsibilty and also the collective blessing?

Joshua 7:11

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