The Torah is a most complex work, and nowhere more so than in sefer Breisheet. Story after story lends itself to multiple and contradictory interpretations. The Torah often leaves out crucial details as it narrates the stories, and rarely passes judgment on the actions of the protagonists.
thought of the week
“And Elazar the priest said: This is the law of the Torah, which the Lord commanded Moshe” (Bamidbar 31:21). The Torah goes on to describe the laws of kashering utensils, laws that were pertinent in light of the spoils captured by the Israelites in their war with Midian.
Our Sages, quoted by Rashi, were perplexed as to why Elazar and not Moshe gave this series of laws, especially as the Torah tells us it was Moshe whom G-d had commanded regarding these laws.
The survival of the Jewish people in the desert was a direct result and only possible because of Divine intervention: the splitting of the sea; water from a rock; living on manna from heaven; clothes that did not wear out; and snakes and scorpions being kept away. The Jewish people were passive recipients of Divine favour, with no worries about survival.