Puzzles – Shemot 18

  • What Biblical characters are referred to by multiple names, despite there being no record of their having undergone a name change?
    Yitro, according to some opinions – see Who is Yitro. See Midrash – identifications for many other examples which are all the subjects of exegetical debates.
  • How does Tanakh refer to the respective fathers-in-law of the husband and wife?
    Choten and Cham. See choten for elaboration.
  • What son-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships are described in Tanakh?
    Son in law / Father-in-law relationships: Yaakov & Lavan, Shimshon and the father of the Timnite (Shofetim 15), the husband & father of the concubine (Shofetim 19), David & Shaul. See Inlaws for a comparison.
    Daughter in law / Father-in-law relationships: Sarai & Terach (Bereshit 11), Tamar & Yehuda (Bereshit 38), the wife of Pinechas & Eli (Shemuel I 4).
    Daughter in law / Mother-in-law relationships: Rut and Orpah & Naomi (Rut 1).
  • Name five Biblical characters who may have converted to Judaism.
    There are no explicit cases, and all of the following examples are the subjects of exegetical debate: Yitro – see Yitro's Religious Identity, Paroh's daughter Bityah (see Divrei HaYamim I 4:18 and Bavli Sotah 12b), Rachav (Sifre Bemidbar 78, Bavli Zevachim 116b), Rut (Sifre Bemidbar 78, Bavli Yevamot 47b, Rut Rabbah 2:22), and Queen of Sheba (Shemot Rabbah 27:4).
  • Three Biblical characters share the same name. One was a Jew, one was a Gentile, and one may have converted to Judaism. What is the common name?
    • Jews – Bemidbar 10:29, Divrei HaYamim I 9:8
    • Gentile – Bereshit 36:4
    • Convert – Shemot 2:18 – this depends on whether Yitro converted and whether this Reuel is Yitro – see Who is Yitro and Yitro's Religious Identity.
  • Name three events in the Torah which are introduced with "it happened on the next day."
    Bereshit 19:34, Shemot 18:13 – Yitro observing Moshe judging the people – but see Chronology that not all agree that this happened on the day after Yitro came, Bemidbar 17:23.
  • Which four words in the Torah end with a daled vocalized with a sheva?
    The name Ard (Bereshit 46:21, Bemidbar 26:40), vayichad (Shemot 18:9) – see discussion here, veyerd (Bemidbar 24:19).
  • Name four Gentiles whom the Children of Israel encounter during their trek through the wilderness.
    Individuals – Yitro, Bilam, Chovav (see Who is Yitro), Kozbi.
    Kings of nations – Kings of Arad, Edom, and Midyan, Sichon, Og, Balak.