4 Ezra 9:312 Esdras
26 So I went out as the angel told me to a field called Ardat. There I sat among the flowers; my food was what grew in the field, and I ate to my heart’s content. 27 The week ended, and I was lying on the grass troubled again in mind with all the same perplexities. 28 I broke my silence and addressed the Most High 29 ‘O Lord,’ I said, ‘you showed yourself to our fathers in the desert at the time of the exodus from Egypt, when they were traveling through the barren and untraveled waste. 30 You said, “Hear me, Israel; listen to my words, race of Jacob. 31 This is my law, which I sow among you to bear fruit and bring you glory forever.” 32 But our fathers who received your law did not keep it; they did not observe your commandments. Not that the fruit of the law perished; that was impossible, for it was yours. 33 Those who received it perished, because they failed to keep safe the good seed that had been sown in them.
Sifre Deuteronomy 345Halakhic Midrash
(Devarim 33:4) "Torah was commanded lanu by Moses": This command is only "lanu," only for our sake. Similarly, (I Kings 8:20) "And I have built the house for the name of the L-rd, the G-d of Israel" — What is the purpose of this house? (Ibid. 21) "And I have built there a place for the ark" — This command is only lanu, only for our sake. Variantly: "Torah was commanded to us by Moses": It is not from Moses alone that we hold the Torah; for our fathers, too, acquired it, viz. (Devarim, Ibid.) "the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob." This tells me (only) of an inheritance for the sons of kings. Whence do I derive the same for the sons of non-kings? From (Devarim. 29:9) "You are standing this day, all of you, etc." Variantly: Do not read it "morashah" ("inheritance"), but me'orasah" ("betrothed"), the Torah being betrothed to Israel, and (it is forbidden) to the gentiiles as (is) a married woman. Similarly, (Mishlei 6:27-29) "Will a man draw forth fire into his lap, and his clothes not be burned? Will a man walk on coals and his feet not be scorched? So, he who comes to his friend's wife. No one who touches her shall go clean." Thus "the betrothed of the congregation of Jacob."
Notes and References
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