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Today's Daf Yomi

October 26, 2017 | ו׳ במרחשוון תשע״ח

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Ron and Shira Krebs to commemorate the 73rd yahrzeit of Shira's grandfather (Yitzchak Leib Ben David Ber HaCohen v'Malka), the 1st yahrzeit of Shira's father (Gershon Pinya Ben Yitzchak Leib HaCohen v'Menucha Sara), and the bar mitzvah of their son Eytan who will be making a siyum on Mishna Shas this month.

  • This month's learning is sponsored for the refuah shleima of Naama bat Yael Esther.

Sanhedrin 102

Details of Yeravam and Achav are brought to explain why they have no portion in the World to Come.  Despite the fact that they did terrible things, the rabbis also highlight that they did good things in their lives, particularly as it related to talmud torah or talmidei chachamim.


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ואף אחיה השילוני טעה וחתם דהא יהוא צדיקא רבה הוה שנאמר ויאמר ה׳ אל יהוא יען אשר הטיבת לעשות הישר בעיני ככל אשר בלבבי עשית לבית אחאב בני רבעים ישבו לך על כסא ישראל וכתיב ויהוא לא שמר ללכת בתורת ה׳ אלהי ישראל בכל לבבו לא סר מעל חטאות ירבעם אשר החטיא את ישראל

And even Ahijah the Shilonite erred in this matter and signed that he would accept all of Jeroboam’s pronouncements. And generations later this caused Jehu to sin. The Gemara explains: As Jehu was an extremely righteous person. As it is stated: “And the Lord said to Jehu: Because you have done well, to perform what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel” (II Kings 10:30). And it is written: “But Jehu took no care to walk in the Torah of the Lord, God of Israel, with all his heart; he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin” (II Kings 10:31).

מאי גרמא ליה אמר אביי ברית כרותה לשפתים שנאמר אחאב עבד את הבעל מעט יהוא יעבדנו הרבה רבא אמר חותמו של אחיה השילוני ראה וטעה

What caused Jehu to do so? Abaye says: A covenant is made with the lips, as it is stated that Jehu said cunningly in an attempt to entrap the priests of the Baal: “Ahab worshipped Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much” (II Kings 10:18). Although it was not his intention, once the statement escaped his lips he began following the path to its fulfillment. Rava says: He saw the seal of Ahijah the Shilonite on the coronation document of Jeroboam and he erred and believed that it was permitted to act as Jeroboam did.

דכתיב ושחטה שטים העמיקו ואני מוסר לכלם אמר רבי יוחנן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא הם העמיקו משלי אני אמרתי כל שאינו עולה לרגל עובר בעשה והם אמרו כל העולה לרגל ידקר בחרב

The Gemara continues its discussion of Jeroboam. With regard to that which is written: “And the apostates are deep in slaughter and I am rejected by them all” (Hosea 5:2), Rabbi Yoḥanan says that the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: They issued decrees that are more profound and more extreme than my own. I said: Anyone who does not ascend to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage Festival violates a positive mitzva, and they said: Anyone who ascends to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage Festival will be stabbed with the sword. In that way, Jeroboam successfully prevented the residents of the kingdom of Israel from ascending to Jerusalem.

ויהי בעת ההיא וירבעם יצא מירושלים וימצא אתו אחיה השילוני הנביא בדרך והוא מתכסה בשלמה חדשה תנא משום רבי יוסי עת היא מזומנת לפורענות

The verse states: “And it came to pass at that time, and Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the way, and he was clad in a new garment, and the two were alone in the field” (I Kings 11:29). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “at that time” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity.

בעת פקדתם יאבדו תנא משום רבי יוסי עת מזומנת לפורענות בעת רצון עניתיך תנא משום רבי יוסי עת מזומנת לטובה וביום פקדי ופקדתי עלהם חטאתם תנא משום רבי יוסי עת היא מזומנת לפורענות ויהי בעת ההיא וירד יהודה מאת אחיו תנא משום רבי יוסי עת מזומנת לפורענות

The verse states: “At the time of their punishment, they shall perish” (Jeremiah 51:18). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “at the time” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity. The verse states: “In an acceptable time have I answered you” (Isaiah 49:8). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “in an acceptable time” indicates that it is a time ordained for good. The verse states: “On the day when I punish, I will punish their sin upon them” (Exodus 32:34). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “on the day when I punish” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity. The verse states: “And it came to pass at that time, and Judah descended from his brothers” (Genesis 38:1). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “at that time” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity.

וילך רחבעם שכם כי שכם בא כל ישראל להמליך אתו תנא משום רבי יוסי מקום מזומן לפורענות בשכם עינו את דינה בשכם מכרו אחיו את יוסף בשכם נחלקה מלכות בית דוד

The verse states: “And Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel came to Shechem, to make him king” (I Kings 12:1). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: Shechem is a place ordained for calamity. In Shechem, they tormented and raped Dinah, in the outskirts of Shechem the brothers sold Joseph, in Shechem the kingdom of the house of David was divided.

וירבעם יצא מירושלים אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא שיצא מפיתקה של ירושלים

With regard to the verse which states: “And Jeroboam left Jerusalem” (I Kings 11:29), Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: It means that he left the destiny of Jerusalem, meaning he removed himself from the category of the residents of Jerusalem, never to return.

וימצא אתו אחיה השילוני הנביא בדרך והוא מתכסה בשלמה חדשה ושניהם לבדם בשדה מאי בשלמה חדשה אמר רב נחמן כשלמה חדשה מה שלמה חדשה אין בה שום דופי אף תורתו של ירבעם לא היה בה שום דופי דבר אחר שלמה חדשה שחידשו דברים שלא שמעה אזן מעולם

The verse states: “And the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the way, and he was clad in a new [ḥadasha] garment, and the two were alone in the field.” What is taught by the phrase “in a new garment”? Rav Naḥman says: It was like a new garment; just as a new garment has no imperfection, so too, the Torah studies of Jeroboam at that time had no imperfection. Alternatively, “a new garment” teaches that they introduced [sheḥideshu] matters that no ear had ever heard.

מאי ושניהם לבדם בשדה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שכל תלמידי חכמים דומין לפניהם כעשבי השדה ואיכא דאמר שכל טעמי תורה מגולין להם כשדה

What is taught by the phrase “and the two were alone in the field”? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: It teaches that all the Torah scholars of that generation seemed, relative to them, like grass of the field, as they were wiser than all of them. And there are those who say: It teaches that all the rationales of the Torah were revealed to them like a field that is exposed for all to see.

לכן תתני שלוחים על מורשת גת בתי אכזיב לאכזב למלכי ישראל אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא יצאה בת קול ואמרה להן מי שהרג את הפלשתי והוריש אתכם גת תתנו שילוחים לבניו ׳בתי אכזיב לאכזב למלכי ישראל׳

The verse states: “Therefore shall you give parting gifts to Moresheth Gath; the houses of Achzib are a deceitful thing for the kings of Israel” (Micah 1:14). Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: When they crowned Jeroboam, a Divine Voice emerged and said to the subjects of the kingdom of Israel: He who killed the Philistine and bequeathed the city of Gath to you, i.e., King David, will you give parting gifts to his sons and revolt against them? Ultimately, the houses of Achzib are a deceitful thing for the kings of Israel, as the kings of Israel will also be forsaken by their subjects.

אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא כל הנהנה מן העולם הזה בלא ברכה כאילו גוזל להקדוש ברוך הוא וכנסת ישראל שנאמר גוזל אביו ואמו ואמר אין פשע חבר הוא לאיש משחית ואין אביו אלא הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר הלא הוא אביך קנך ואין אמו אלא כנסת ישראל שנאמר שמע בני מוסר אביך ואל תטש תורת אמך

Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: With regard to anyone who derives benefit from this world without reciting a blessing, it is as though he stole from the Holy One, Blessed be He, and the congregation of Israel, as it is stated: “Whoever robs his father and his mother and says: It is no transgression, he is the companion of a corrupter” (Proverbs 28:24). And the term “his father” is referring to none other than the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “Is He not your Father Who created you, Who made you and established you?” (Deuteronomy 32:6). And the term “his mother” is referring to none other than the congregation of Israel, as it is stated: “Hear, my son, the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8). The mention of the Torah as emanating from the mother indicates that the mother represents the congregation of Israel, and the Torah of the mother is the tradition of the Jewish people.

מאי חבר הוא לאיש משחית חבר הוא לירבעם בן נבט שהשחית ישראל לאביהם שבשמים

What is the meaning of the phrase “He is the companion of a corrupter”? It means that he is a companion of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who corrupted the people of Israel before their Father in Heaven by sinning and by causing others to sin.

וידח ירבעם (בן נבט) את ישראל מאחרי ה׳ והחטיאם חטאה גדולה אמר רבי חנין כשתי מקלות המתיזות זו את זו

With regard to the verse: “And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and caused them to sin a great sin” (II Kings 17:21), Rabbi Ḥanin says: This is like two sticks that when they collide cause each other to carom, as due to the strife, Jeroboam caused the subjects of the kingdom of Israel to grow distant from God.

ודי זהב אמרו דבי רבי ינאי אמר משה לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם בשביל כסף וזהב שהשפעת להן לישראל עד שיאמרו ׳דיי׳ גרם להם לעשות להם אלהי זהב משל אין ארי דורס ונוהם מתוך קופה של תבן אלא מתוך קופה של בשר

§ Apropos the calves of Jeroboam, the Gemara discusses the Golden Calf discussed in the Torah. The verse states: “And Di Zahav” (Deuteronomy 1:1). The school of Rabbi Yannai said: Moses said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, because of the gold and silver that You lavished upon the Jewish people during the exodus from Egypt until they said enough [dai], this wealth caused the Jewish people to fashion for themselves gods of gold. The combination of wealth and leisure left them open to a transgression of that sort. There is a parable for this: A lion does not maul and roar over a basket of straw from which he derives no pleasure; rather, he mauls and roars over a basket of meat, as he roars only when satiated. In other words, the guilt is not exclusively theirs.

אמר רבי אושעיא עד ירבעם היו ישראל יונקים מעגל אחד מכאן ואילך משנים ושלשה עגלים אמר רבי יצחק אין לך כל פורענות ופורענות שבאה לעולם שאין בה אחד מעשרים וארבעה בהכרע ליטרא של עגל הראשון שנאמר וביום פקדי ופקדתי עלהם חטאתם

Rabbi Oshaya says: Until Jeroboam, Israel was suckling, i.e., suffering the consequences, from worshipping one calf that they fashioned in the wilderness. From that point forward, they were suckling from two and three calves, as Jeroboam added the calves in Bethel and Dan. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: You have no punishment that comes to the world in which there is not one twenty-fourth of the surplus of a litra of the first calf. When weighing a substance, there would often be a disparity of up to one twenty-fourth of its weight. The point is that a minuscule portion of the sin of the Golden Calf is added to every punishment imposed upon the Jewish people, as it is stated: “On the day when I punish, I will punish their sin upon them” (Exodus 32:34), indicating that atonement for that sin is incomplete, and the Jewish people will continue to suffer for it.

אמר רבי חנינא לאחר עשרים וארבעה דורות נגבה פסוק זה שנאמר ויקרא באזני קול גדול לאמר קרבו פקדות העיר ואיש כלי משחתו בידו

Rabbi Ḥanina says: After twenty-four generations elapsed from the sin of the Golden Calf, the debt referred to in this verse was collected, as it is stated: “And he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying: Those who have charge over the city draw near, every man with his deadly weapon in his hand” (Ezekiel 9:1). This prophecy occurred twenty-four generations after the sin of the Golden Calf.

אחר הדבר הזה לא שב ירבעם מדרכו הרעה מאי אחר אמר רבי אבא אחר שתפשו הקדוש ברוך הוא לירבעם בבגדו ואמר לו חזור בך ואני ואתה ובן ישי נטייל בגן עדן אמר לו מי בראש בן ישי בראש אי הכי לא בעינא

The verse states: “And after this matter, Jeroboam returned not from his evil way” (I Kings 13:33). To what event is the verse alluding, when it states: “After this matter”? Rabbi Abba says: It is after the Holy One, Blessed be He, grabbed Jeroboam by his garment, i.e., he sent prophets and implored him, and said to him: Repent, and you and I and the son of Yishai will stroll together in the Garden of Eden. Jeroboam said to Him: Who will walk in the lead? God said to Jeroboam: The son of Yishai will walk in the lead. Jeroboam said: If so, I do not wish to repent.

רבי אבהו הוה רגיל דהוה קא דריש בשלשה מלכים חלש קביל עליה דלא דריש כיון

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Abbahu was accustomed to lecture at great length about the three kings enumerated in the mishna, who have no share in the World-to-Come. He fell ill, and he undertook that he would not lecture about those kings. Once

דאתפח הדר קא דריש אמרי לא קבילת עלך דלא דרשת בהו אמר אינהו מי הדרו בהו דאנא אהדר בי

he recovered, he then lectured on that topic. His students said to him: Did you not undertake that you will not lecture about them? Rabbi Abbahu said: Did they repent, that I will reconsider and refrain from condemning them?

רב אשי אוקי אשלשה מלכים אמר למחר נפתח בחברין אתא מנשה איתחזי ליה בחלמיה אמר ׳חברך׳ ׳וחבירי דאבוך׳ קרית לן

One day Rav Ashi ended his lecture just before reaching the matter of the three kings. He said to his students: Tomorrow we will begin the lecture with our colleagues the three kings, who, although they were sinners, were Torah scholars like us. Manasseh, king of Judea, came and appeared to him in his dream. Manasseh said to him angrily: You called us your colleague and the colleagues of your father? How dare you characterize yourself as our equal?

מהיכא בעית למישרא המוציא אמר ליה לא ידענא אמר ליה מהיכא דבעית למישרא המוציא לא גמירת ו׳חברך׳ קרית לן אמר ליה אגמריה לי ולמחר דרישנא ליה משמך בפירקא אמר ליה מהיכא דקרים בישולא

Manasseh said to him: I will ask you, from where are you required to begin cutting a loaf of bread when reciting the blessing: Who brings forth bread from the earth? Rav Ashi said to him: I do not know. Manasseh said to him: Even this, from where you are required to begin cutting a loaf of bread when reciting the blessing: Who brings forth bread from the earth, you did not learn, and yet you call us your colleague? Rav Ashi said to Manasseh: Teach me this halakha and tomorrow I will lecture and cite it in your name during my public lecture delivered on the Festival. Manasseh said to him: One cuts the loaf from where it crusts as a result of baking.

אמר ליה מאחר דחכימתו כולי האי מאי טעמא קא פלחתו לעבודה זרה אמר ליה אי הות התם הות נקיטנא בשיפולי גלימא ורהטת אבתראי למחר אמר להו לרבנן נפתח ברבוותא

Rav Ashi said to him: Since you were so wise, what is the reason you engaged in idol worship? Manasseh said to him: Had you been there at that time, you would have taken and lifted the hem of your cloak and run after me due to the fierce desire to engage in idol worship and due to the fact that it was a common faith. The next day Rav Ashi said to the Sages as a prelude to his lecture: We will begin with the treatment of our teachers, those kings who were greater than us in Torah knowledge but whose sins caused them to lose their share in the World-to-Come.

אחאב אח לשמים אב לעבודה זרה אח לשמים דכתיב אח לצרה יולד אב לעבודה זרה דכתיב כרחם אב על בנים

§ The Gemara proceeds to discuss the second king enumerated in the mishna, Ahab. Ahab [Aḥav], although he was a brother [aḥ] to Heaven, he was a father [av] for idol worship. He was a brother to Heaven, as it is written: “And a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17), and in desperate times, he turned to Heaven. He was a father for idolatry. This is the highest level of attachment, as it is written: “As a father has compassion for his children” (Psalms 103:13).

ויהי הנקל לכתו בחטאות ירבעם בן נבט אמר רבי יוחנן קלות שעשה אחאב כחמורות שעשה ירבעם ומפני מה תלה הכתוב בירבעם מפני שהוא היה תחילה לקלקלה גם מזבחותם כגלים על תלמי שדי אמר רבי יוחנן אין לך כל תלם ותלם בארץ ישראל שלא העמיד עליו אחאב עבודה זרה והשתחוה לה

With regard to Ahab, it is written: “And it came to pass, the most minor of his transgressions was his walking in the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat” (I Kings 16:31). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The minor sins that Ahab performed were on par with the major sins that Jeroboam performed, as the transgressions committed by Ahab were much more serious than those committed by Jeroboam. And for what reason did the verse attribute the sins of all the kings of Israel to Jeroboam, even though the sins of Ahab were more substantial? It is due to the fact that he was first to engage in iniquity. With regard to the verse: “Their altars shall also be like droppings in the furrows of the field” (Hosea 12:12), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: You do not have even one furrow in Eretz Yisrael upon which Ahab did not place an object of idol worship and bow to it.

ומנא לן דלא אתי לעלמא דאתי דכתיב והכרתי לאחאב משתין בקיר ועצור ועזוב בישראל עצור בעולם הזה ועזוב לעולם הבא

The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that Ahab does not enter into the World-to-Come? The Gemara answers: It is derived as it is written: “And I will excise from Ahab every man, and him that is shut up and him that is abandoned in Israel” (I Kings 21:21). “Him that is shut up” indicates he will be excised in this world, while “and him that is abandoned” indicates he will be excised in the World-to-Come.

אמר רבי יוחנן מפני מה זכה עמרי למלכות מפני שהוסיף כרך אחד בארץ ישראל שנאמר ויקן את ההר שמרון מאת שמר בככרים כסף ויבן את ההר ויקרא [את] שם העיר אשר בנה על שם שמר אדני ההר שמרון

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: For what virtue was Omri, king of Israel, who was Ahab’s father, privileged to ascend to the monarchy? It is due to the fact that he added one city in Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “And he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city that he built after Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria” (I Kings 16:24).

אמר רבי יוחנן מפני מה זכה אחאב למלכות עשרים ושתים שנה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: For what virtue was Ahab privileged to ascend to the monarchy and rule for twenty-two years?

מפני שכיבד את התורה שניתנה בעשרים ושתים אותיות שנאמר וישלח מלאכים אל אחאב מלך ישראל העירה ויאמר לו כה אמר בן הדד כספך וזהבך לי הוא ונשיך ובניך הטובים לי הם כי אם כעת מחר אשלח את עבדי אליך וחפשו את ביתך ואת בתי עבדיך והיה כל מחמד עיניך ישימו בידם ולקחו ויאמר למלאכי בן הדד אמרו לאדני המלך כל אשר שלחת (לעבדך) [אל עבדך] בראשונה אעשה והדבר הזה לא אוכל לעשות

It is due to the fact that he respected the Torah, which was given with twenty-two letters, as it is stated: “And he sent messengers to Ahab, king of Israel, into the city, and said to him: So says Ben-Hadad: Your silver and your gold are mine; your wives and also your good children, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said: It is according to your saying, my lord, O king: I am yours, and all that I have. And the messengers came again, and said: So speaks Ben-Hadad, saying: I sent to you, saying: You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children. Yet I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house, and the houses of your servants, and it shall be, that they shall put in their hand all the delight of your eyes and take it…And he said to the messengers of Ben-Hadad, tell my lord the king: All that you did send for to your servant at the first I will do; but this thing I may not do” (I Kings 20:2–6, 9).

מאי מחמד עיניך לאו ספר תורה

The Gemara asks: What is “the delight of your eyes” that Ahab refused to give Ben-Hadad after agreeing to give him his wives and his gold? Is it not a Torah scroll? Ahab treated the Torah with deference.

דילמא עבודה זרה לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב ויאמרו אליו כל הזקנים וכל העם לא תאבה ולא תשמע ודילמא סבי דבהתא הוו מי לא כתיב ויישר הדבר בעיני אבשלם (והזקנים) [ובעיני כל זקני ישראל] ואמר רב יוסף סבי דבהתא

The Gemara suggests: Perhaps the delight of his eyes was an object of idol worship. The Gemara answers: That could not enter your mind, as it is written that Ahab consulted the Sages with regard to this matter: “And all the elders and all the people said to him: Do not consent and heed not” (I Kings 20:8). The elders in this verse are presumably the Sages. The Gemara continues: But perhaps they were wicked elders, who worshipped idols. Isn’t it written: “And the saying pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel” (II Samuel 17:4), and Rav Yosef says: The elders of Israel mentioned in that verse were wicked elders. Perhaps the elders of Israel with whom Ahab consulted were also wicked.

התם לא כתיב וכל העם הכא כתיב וכל העם דאי אפשר דלא הוו בהון צדיקי וכתיב והשארתי בישראל שבעת אלפים כל הברכים אשר לא כרעו לבעל וכל הפה אשר לא נשק לו

The Gemara rejects this: There, with regard to Absalom it is not written: “And all the people,” whereas here, with regard to Ahab, it is written: “And all the people.” As it is impossible that there were not among them righteous people, if the righteous people agreed, apparently, “the delight of your eyes” was sacred. And it is written: “And I will leave seven thousand in Israel; all the knees that have not bent to the Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed it” (I Kings 19:18), indicating that there were righteous people among them.

אמר רב נחמן אחאב שקול היה שנאמר ויאמר ה׳ מי יפתה את אחאב ויעל ויפל ברמת גלעד ויאמר זה בכה וזה אמר בכה מתקיף לה רבי יוסף מאן דכתב ביה רק לא היה כאחאב אשר התמכר לעשות הרע בעיני ה׳ אשר הסתה אתו איזבל אשתו ותנינא בכל יום היתה שוקלת שקלי זהב לעבודה זרה ואת אמרת שקול היה אלא אחאב וותרן בממונו היה ומתוך שההנה תלמידי חכמים מנכסיו כיפרו לו מחצה

Rav Naḥman says: Ahab was balanced in terms of the mitzvot and transgressions that he performed, as it is stated: “And the Lord said, who shall entice Ahab that he may ascend and fall at Ramoth Gilead? And this one said in this manner, and that one said in that manner” (I Kings 22:20), indicating that it is unclear whether or not he was a full-fledged transgressor. Rav Yosef objects to this statement: This is the person about whom the prophet wrote: “But there was none like Ahab who devoted himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife had incited” (I Kings 21:25). And we learn in a baraita: Every day she would weigh gold shekels equal to Ahab’s weight for idol worship. And you say he was balanced? Rather, Ahab was generous with his money and did not scrimp, and since he also benefited Torah scholars with his property, the heavenly court expiated half his sins for him. The result was a balance between mitzvot and transgressions.

ויצא הרוח ויעמד לפני ה׳ ויאמר אני אפתנו ויאמר ה׳ אליו במה ויאמר אצא והייתי רוח שקר בפי כל נביאיו ויאמר תפתה וגם תוכל צא ועשה כן מאי רוח אמר רבי יוחנן רוחו של נבות היזרעאלי

With regard to God’s search for a volunteer to entice Ahab, it is written: “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said: I will entice him. And the Lord said to him: With what? And he said: I will go out, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And He said: You shall entice him, and also prevail; go out, and do so” (I Kings 22:21–22). The Gemara asks: What spirit was that? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It was the spirit of Naboth the Jezreelite, who sought to take revenge against Ahab.

מאי צא אמר רבינא צא ממחיצתי שכן כתיב דבר שקרים לא יכון לנגד עיני אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי דפרע קיניה מחריב ביתיה

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the term “go out” that God instructed the spirit? Ravina says that it means: Go out from within my partition and do not return, as so it is written: “He that speaks falsehoods shall not be established before My eyes” (Psalms 101:7). The spirit that volunteered to lie may no longer be before God. Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: One who avenges due to his zealotry destroys his own house. The spirit of Naboth that sought revenge was expelled from before God.

ויעש אחאב את האשרה ויוסף אחאב לעשות להכעיס את ה׳ אלהי ישראל מכל מלכי ישראל אשר היו לפניו אמר רבי יוחנן שכתב על דלתות שמרון אחאב כפר באלהי ישראל לפיכך אין לו חלק באלהי ישראל

With regard to the verse: “And Ahab made the ashera; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (I Kings 16:33), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It means that he wrote on the doors of Samaria: Ahab denies the existence of the God of Israel, therefore he has no share in the God of Israel.

ויבקש את אחזיהו וילכדהו והוא מתחבא בשמרון אמר רבי לוי שהיה קודר אזכרות וכותב עבודה זרה תחתיהן

With regard to the verse: “And he sought Ahaziah, and they apprehended him, for he was hiding in Samaria” (II Chronicles 22:9), Rabbi Levi says: What would he do in hiding? He would excise mentions of God’s name in Torah scrolls and write the name of an object of idol worship in their stead.

מנשה שנשה יה דבר אחר מנשה שהנשי את ישראל לאביהם שבשמים ומנלן דלא אתי לעלמא דאתי דכתיב בן שתים עשרה שנה מנשה במלכו וחמשים וחמש שנה מלך בירושלים ויעש (הרע) [אשרה] (בעיני ה׳) כאשר עשה אחאב מלך ישראל מה אחאב אין לו חלק לעולם הבא אף מנשה אין לו חלק לעולם הבא

The Gemara proceeds to discuss the third king enumerated in the mishna. He was called Manasseh [Menashe] because he forgot God [nasha yah]. Alternatively, he was called Manasseh since he caused the kingdom of Israel to forget [hinshi] their Father Who is in Heaven. And from where do we derive that Manasseh does not enter into the World-to-Come? The Gemara answers: It is derived as it is written: “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem…And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord…And he made an ashera, as did Ahab king of Israel” (II Kings 21:1–3). Just as Ahab has no share in the World-to-Come, so too, Manasseh has no share in the World-to-Come.

רבי יהודה אומר מנשה יש לו חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ויתפלל אליו ויעתר לו׳ וגו׳ אמר רבי יוחנן ושניהם מקרא אחד דרשו שנאמר ונתתים לזעוה לכל ממלכות הארץ בגלל מנשה בן יחזקיהו מר סבר בגלל מנשה שעשה תשובה ואינהו לא עבוד ומר סבר

§ The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yehuda says: Manasseh has a share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And he prayed to him and He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication and brought him back to Jerusalem unto his kingdom” (II Chronicles 33:13). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: And both of them, Rabbi Yehuda and the Rabbis, who disagree with regard to whether Manasseh has a share in the World-to-Come, interpreted one and the same verse, as it is stated: “And I will make them into a horror for all the kingdoms of the earth, on account of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah” (Jeremiah 15:4). One Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that “on account of Manasseh” means that the Jewish people will be judged harshly, as ultimately, one as wicked as Manasseh repented, and they did not do so. And one Sage, the Rabbis, holds that

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Ron and Shira Krebs to commemorate the 73rd yahrzeit of Shira's grandfather (Yitzchak Leib Ben David Ber HaCohen v'Malka), the 1st yahrzeit of Shira's father (Gershon Pinya Ben Yitzchak Leib HaCohen v'Menucha Sara), and the bar mitzvah of their son Eytan who will be making a siyum on Mishna Shas this month.

  • This month's learning is sponsored for the refuah shleima of Naama bat Yael Esther.

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Sanhedrin 102

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Sanhedrin 102

ואף אחיה השילוני טעה וחתם דהא יהוא צדיקא רבה הוה שנאמר ויאמר ה׳ אל יהוא יען אשר הטיבת לעשות הישר בעיני ככל אשר בלבבי עשית לבית אחאב בני רבעים ישבו לך על כסא ישראל וכתיב ויהוא לא שמר ללכת בתורת ה׳ אלהי ישראל בכל לבבו לא סר מעל חטאות ירבעם אשר החטיא את ישראל

And even Ahijah the Shilonite erred in this matter and signed that he would accept all of Jeroboam’s pronouncements. And generations later this caused Jehu to sin. The Gemara explains: As Jehu was an extremely righteous person. As it is stated: “And the Lord said to Jehu: Because you have done well, to perform what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel” (II Kings 10:30). And it is written: “But Jehu took no care to walk in the Torah of the Lord, God of Israel, with all his heart; he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin” (II Kings 10:31).

מאי גרמא ליה אמר אביי ברית כרותה לשפתים שנאמר אחאב עבד את הבעל מעט יהוא יעבדנו הרבה רבא אמר חותמו של אחיה השילוני ראה וטעה

What caused Jehu to do so? Abaye says: A covenant is made with the lips, as it is stated that Jehu said cunningly in an attempt to entrap the priests of the Baal: “Ahab worshipped Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much” (II Kings 10:18). Although it was not his intention, once the statement escaped his lips he began following the path to its fulfillment. Rava says: He saw the seal of Ahijah the Shilonite on the coronation document of Jeroboam and he erred and believed that it was permitted to act as Jeroboam did.

דכתיב ושחטה שטים העמיקו ואני מוסר לכלם אמר רבי יוחנן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא הם העמיקו משלי אני אמרתי כל שאינו עולה לרגל עובר בעשה והם אמרו כל העולה לרגל ידקר בחרב

The Gemara continues its discussion of Jeroboam. With regard to that which is written: “And the apostates are deep in slaughter and I am rejected by them all” (Hosea 5:2), Rabbi Yoḥanan says that the Holy One, Blessed be He, says: They issued decrees that are more profound and more extreme than my own. I said: Anyone who does not ascend to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage Festival violates a positive mitzva, and they said: Anyone who ascends to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage Festival will be stabbed with the sword. In that way, Jeroboam successfully prevented the residents of the kingdom of Israel from ascending to Jerusalem.

ויהי בעת ההיא וירבעם יצא מירושלים וימצא אתו אחיה השילוני הנביא בדרך והוא מתכסה בשלמה חדשה תנא משום רבי יוסי עת היא מזומנת לפורענות

The verse states: “And it came to pass at that time, and Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the way, and he was clad in a new garment, and the two were alone in the field” (I Kings 11:29). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “at that time” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity.

בעת פקדתם יאבדו תנא משום רבי יוסי עת מזומנת לפורענות בעת רצון עניתיך תנא משום רבי יוסי עת מזומנת לטובה וביום פקדי ופקדתי עלהם חטאתם תנא משום רבי יוסי עת היא מזומנת לפורענות ויהי בעת ההיא וירד יהודה מאת אחיו תנא משום רבי יוסי עת מזומנת לפורענות

The verse states: “At the time of their punishment, they shall perish” (Jeremiah 51:18). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “at the time” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity. The verse states: “In an acceptable time have I answered you” (Isaiah 49:8). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “in an acceptable time” indicates that it is a time ordained for good. The verse states: “On the day when I punish, I will punish their sin upon them” (Exodus 32:34). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “on the day when I punish” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity. The verse states: “And it came to pass at that time, and Judah descended from his brothers” (Genesis 38:1). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: The phrase “at that time” indicates that it is a time ordained for calamity.

וילך רחבעם שכם כי שכם בא כל ישראל להמליך אתו תנא משום רבי יוסי מקום מזומן לפורענות בשכם עינו את דינה בשכם מכרו אחיו את יוסף בשכם נחלקה מלכות בית דוד

The verse states: “And Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel came to Shechem, to make him king” (I Kings 12:1). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yosei: Shechem is a place ordained for calamity. In Shechem, they tormented and raped Dinah, in the outskirts of Shechem the brothers sold Joseph, in Shechem the kingdom of the house of David was divided.

וירבעם יצא מירושלים אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא שיצא מפיתקה של ירושלים

With regard to the verse which states: “And Jeroboam left Jerusalem” (I Kings 11:29), Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: It means that he left the destiny of Jerusalem, meaning he removed himself from the category of the residents of Jerusalem, never to return.

וימצא אתו אחיה השילוני הנביא בדרך והוא מתכסה בשלמה חדשה ושניהם לבדם בשדה מאי בשלמה חדשה אמר רב נחמן כשלמה חדשה מה שלמה חדשה אין בה שום דופי אף תורתו של ירבעם לא היה בה שום דופי דבר אחר שלמה חדשה שחידשו דברים שלא שמעה אזן מעולם

The verse states: “And the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the way, and he was clad in a new [ḥadasha] garment, and the two were alone in the field.” What is taught by the phrase “in a new garment”? Rav Naḥman says: It was like a new garment; just as a new garment has no imperfection, so too, the Torah studies of Jeroboam at that time had no imperfection. Alternatively, “a new garment” teaches that they introduced [sheḥideshu] matters that no ear had ever heard.

מאי ושניהם לבדם בשדה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שכל תלמידי חכמים דומין לפניהם כעשבי השדה ואיכא דאמר שכל טעמי תורה מגולין להם כשדה

What is taught by the phrase “and the two were alone in the field”? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: It teaches that all the Torah scholars of that generation seemed, relative to them, like grass of the field, as they were wiser than all of them. And there are those who say: It teaches that all the rationales of the Torah were revealed to them like a field that is exposed for all to see.

לכן תתני שלוחים על מורשת גת בתי אכזיב לאכזב למלכי ישראל אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא יצאה בת קול ואמרה להן מי שהרג את הפלשתי והוריש אתכם גת תתנו שילוחים לבניו ׳בתי אכזיב לאכזב למלכי ישראל׳

The verse states: “Therefore shall you give parting gifts to Moresheth Gath; the houses of Achzib are a deceitful thing for the kings of Israel” (Micah 1:14). Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: When they crowned Jeroboam, a Divine Voice emerged and said to the subjects of the kingdom of Israel: He who killed the Philistine and bequeathed the city of Gath to you, i.e., King David, will you give parting gifts to his sons and revolt against them? Ultimately, the houses of Achzib are a deceitful thing for the kings of Israel, as the kings of Israel will also be forsaken by their subjects.

אמר רבי חנינא בר פפא כל הנהנה מן העולם הזה בלא ברכה כאילו גוזל להקדוש ברוך הוא וכנסת ישראל שנאמר גוזל אביו ואמו ואמר אין פשע חבר הוא לאיש משחית ואין אביו אלא הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר הלא הוא אביך קנך ואין אמו אלא כנסת ישראל שנאמר שמע בני מוסר אביך ואל תטש תורת אמך

Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: With regard to anyone who derives benefit from this world without reciting a blessing, it is as though he stole from the Holy One, Blessed be He, and the congregation of Israel, as it is stated: “Whoever robs his father and his mother and says: It is no transgression, he is the companion of a corrupter” (Proverbs 28:24). And the term “his father” is referring to none other than the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “Is He not your Father Who created you, Who made you and established you?” (Deuteronomy 32:6). And the term “his mother” is referring to none other than the congregation of Israel, as it is stated: “Hear, my son, the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8). The mention of the Torah as emanating from the mother indicates that the mother represents the congregation of Israel, and the Torah of the mother is the tradition of the Jewish people.

מאי חבר הוא לאיש משחית חבר הוא לירבעם בן נבט שהשחית ישראל לאביהם שבשמים

What is the meaning of the phrase “He is the companion of a corrupter”? It means that he is a companion of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who corrupted the people of Israel before their Father in Heaven by sinning and by causing others to sin.

וידח ירבעם (בן נבט) את ישראל מאחרי ה׳ והחטיאם חטאה גדולה אמר רבי חנין כשתי מקלות המתיזות זו את זו

With regard to the verse: “And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and caused them to sin a great sin” (II Kings 17:21), Rabbi Ḥanin says: This is like two sticks that when they collide cause each other to carom, as due to the strife, Jeroboam caused the subjects of the kingdom of Israel to grow distant from God.

ודי זהב אמרו דבי רבי ינאי אמר משה לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם בשביל כסף וזהב שהשפעת להן לישראל עד שיאמרו ׳דיי׳ גרם להם לעשות להם אלהי זהב משל אין ארי דורס ונוהם מתוך קופה של תבן אלא מתוך קופה של בשר

§ Apropos the calves of Jeroboam, the Gemara discusses the Golden Calf discussed in the Torah. The verse states: “And Di Zahav” (Deuteronomy 1:1). The school of Rabbi Yannai said: Moses said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, because of the gold and silver that You lavished upon the Jewish people during the exodus from Egypt until they said enough [dai], this wealth caused the Jewish people to fashion for themselves gods of gold. The combination of wealth and leisure left them open to a transgression of that sort. There is a parable for this: A lion does not maul and roar over a basket of straw from which he derives no pleasure; rather, he mauls and roars over a basket of meat, as he roars only when satiated. In other words, the guilt is not exclusively theirs.

אמר רבי אושעיא עד ירבעם היו ישראל יונקים מעגל אחד מכאן ואילך משנים ושלשה עגלים אמר רבי יצחק אין לך כל פורענות ופורענות שבאה לעולם שאין בה אחד מעשרים וארבעה בהכרע ליטרא של עגל הראשון שנאמר וביום פקדי ופקדתי עלהם חטאתם

Rabbi Oshaya says: Until Jeroboam, Israel was suckling, i.e., suffering the consequences, from worshipping one calf that they fashioned in the wilderness. From that point forward, they were suckling from two and three calves, as Jeroboam added the calves in Bethel and Dan. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: You have no punishment that comes to the world in which there is not one twenty-fourth of the surplus of a litra of the first calf. When weighing a substance, there would often be a disparity of up to one twenty-fourth of its weight. The point is that a minuscule portion of the sin of the Golden Calf is added to every punishment imposed upon the Jewish people, as it is stated: “On the day when I punish, I will punish their sin upon them” (Exodus 32:34), indicating that atonement for that sin is incomplete, and the Jewish people will continue to suffer for it.

אמר רבי חנינא לאחר עשרים וארבעה דורות נגבה פסוק זה שנאמר ויקרא באזני קול גדול לאמר קרבו פקדות העיר ואיש כלי משחתו בידו

Rabbi Ḥanina says: After twenty-four generations elapsed from the sin of the Golden Calf, the debt referred to in this verse was collected, as it is stated: “And he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying: Those who have charge over the city draw near, every man with his deadly weapon in his hand” (Ezekiel 9:1). This prophecy occurred twenty-four generations after the sin of the Golden Calf.

אחר הדבר הזה לא שב ירבעם מדרכו הרעה מאי אחר אמר רבי אבא אחר שתפשו הקדוש ברוך הוא לירבעם בבגדו ואמר לו חזור בך ואני ואתה ובן ישי נטייל בגן עדן אמר לו מי בראש בן ישי בראש אי הכי לא בעינא

The verse states: “And after this matter, Jeroboam returned not from his evil way” (I Kings 13:33). To what event is the verse alluding, when it states: “After this matter”? Rabbi Abba says: It is after the Holy One, Blessed be He, grabbed Jeroboam by his garment, i.e., he sent prophets and implored him, and said to him: Repent, and you and I and the son of Yishai will stroll together in the Garden of Eden. Jeroboam said to Him: Who will walk in the lead? God said to Jeroboam: The son of Yishai will walk in the lead. Jeroboam said: If so, I do not wish to repent.

רבי אבהו הוה רגיל דהוה קא דריש בשלשה מלכים חלש קביל עליה דלא דריש כיון

§ The Gemara relates: Rabbi Abbahu was accustomed to lecture at great length about the three kings enumerated in the mishna, who have no share in the World-to-Come. He fell ill, and he undertook that he would not lecture about those kings. Once

דאתפח הדר קא דריש אמרי לא קבילת עלך דלא דרשת בהו אמר אינהו מי הדרו בהו דאנא אהדר בי

he recovered, he then lectured on that topic. His students said to him: Did you not undertake that you will not lecture about them? Rabbi Abbahu said: Did they repent, that I will reconsider and refrain from condemning them?

רב אשי אוקי אשלשה מלכים אמר למחר נפתח בחברין אתא מנשה איתחזי ליה בחלמיה אמר ׳חברך׳ ׳וחבירי דאבוך׳ קרית לן

One day Rav Ashi ended his lecture just before reaching the matter of the three kings. He said to his students: Tomorrow we will begin the lecture with our colleagues the three kings, who, although they were sinners, were Torah scholars like us. Manasseh, king of Judea, came and appeared to him in his dream. Manasseh said to him angrily: You called us your colleague and the colleagues of your father? How dare you characterize yourself as our equal?

מהיכא בעית למישרא המוציא אמר ליה לא ידענא אמר ליה מהיכא דבעית למישרא המוציא לא גמירת ו׳חברך׳ קרית לן אמר ליה אגמריה לי ולמחר דרישנא ליה משמך בפירקא אמר ליה מהיכא דקרים בישולא

Manasseh said to him: I will ask you, from where are you required to begin cutting a loaf of bread when reciting the blessing: Who brings forth bread from the earth? Rav Ashi said to him: I do not know. Manasseh said to him: Even this, from where you are required to begin cutting a loaf of bread when reciting the blessing: Who brings forth bread from the earth, you did not learn, and yet you call us your colleague? Rav Ashi said to Manasseh: Teach me this halakha and tomorrow I will lecture and cite it in your name during my public lecture delivered on the Festival. Manasseh said to him: One cuts the loaf from where it crusts as a result of baking.

אמר ליה מאחר דחכימתו כולי האי מאי טעמא קא פלחתו לעבודה זרה אמר ליה אי הות התם הות נקיטנא בשיפולי גלימא ורהטת אבתראי למחר אמר להו לרבנן נפתח ברבוותא

Rav Ashi said to him: Since you were so wise, what is the reason you engaged in idol worship? Manasseh said to him: Had you been there at that time, you would have taken and lifted the hem of your cloak and run after me due to the fierce desire to engage in idol worship and due to the fact that it was a common faith. The next day Rav Ashi said to the Sages as a prelude to his lecture: We will begin with the treatment of our teachers, those kings who were greater than us in Torah knowledge but whose sins caused them to lose their share in the World-to-Come.

אחאב אח לשמים אב לעבודה זרה אח לשמים דכתיב אח לצרה יולד אב לעבודה זרה דכתיב כרחם אב על בנים

§ The Gemara proceeds to discuss the second king enumerated in the mishna, Ahab. Ahab [Aḥav], although he was a brother [aḥ] to Heaven, he was a father [av] for idol worship. He was a brother to Heaven, as it is written: “And a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17), and in desperate times, he turned to Heaven. He was a father for idolatry. This is the highest level of attachment, as it is written: “As a father has compassion for his children” (Psalms 103:13).

ויהי הנקל לכתו בחטאות ירבעם בן נבט אמר רבי יוחנן קלות שעשה אחאב כחמורות שעשה ירבעם ומפני מה תלה הכתוב בירבעם מפני שהוא היה תחילה לקלקלה גם מזבחותם כגלים על תלמי שדי אמר רבי יוחנן אין לך כל תלם ותלם בארץ ישראל שלא העמיד עליו אחאב עבודה זרה והשתחוה לה

With regard to Ahab, it is written: “And it came to pass, the most minor of his transgressions was his walking in the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat” (I Kings 16:31). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The minor sins that Ahab performed were on par with the major sins that Jeroboam performed, as the transgressions committed by Ahab were much more serious than those committed by Jeroboam. And for what reason did the verse attribute the sins of all the kings of Israel to Jeroboam, even though the sins of Ahab were more substantial? It is due to the fact that he was first to engage in iniquity. With regard to the verse: “Their altars shall also be like droppings in the furrows of the field” (Hosea 12:12), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: You do not have even one furrow in Eretz Yisrael upon which Ahab did not place an object of idol worship and bow to it.

ומנא לן דלא אתי לעלמא דאתי דכתיב והכרתי לאחאב משתין בקיר ועצור ועזוב בישראל עצור בעולם הזה ועזוב לעולם הבא

The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that Ahab does not enter into the World-to-Come? The Gemara answers: It is derived as it is written: “And I will excise from Ahab every man, and him that is shut up and him that is abandoned in Israel” (I Kings 21:21). “Him that is shut up” indicates he will be excised in this world, while “and him that is abandoned” indicates he will be excised in the World-to-Come.

אמר רבי יוחנן מפני מה זכה עמרי למלכות מפני שהוסיף כרך אחד בארץ ישראל שנאמר ויקן את ההר שמרון מאת שמר בככרים כסף ויבן את ההר ויקרא [את] שם העיר אשר בנה על שם שמר אדני ההר שמרון

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: For what virtue was Omri, king of Israel, who was Ahab’s father, privileged to ascend to the monarchy? It is due to the fact that he added one city in Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “And he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city that he built after Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria” (I Kings 16:24).

אמר רבי יוחנן מפני מה זכה אחאב למלכות עשרים ושתים שנה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: For what virtue was Ahab privileged to ascend to the monarchy and rule for twenty-two years?

מפני שכיבד את התורה שניתנה בעשרים ושתים אותיות שנאמר וישלח מלאכים אל אחאב מלך ישראל העירה ויאמר לו כה אמר בן הדד כספך וזהבך לי הוא ונשיך ובניך הטובים לי הם כי אם כעת מחר אשלח את עבדי אליך וחפשו את ביתך ואת בתי עבדיך והיה כל מחמד עיניך ישימו בידם ולקחו ויאמר למלאכי בן הדד אמרו לאדני המלך כל אשר שלחת (לעבדך) [אל עבדך] בראשונה אעשה והדבר הזה לא אוכל לעשות

It is due to the fact that he respected the Torah, which was given with twenty-two letters, as it is stated: “And he sent messengers to Ahab, king of Israel, into the city, and said to him: So says Ben-Hadad: Your silver and your gold are mine; your wives and also your good children, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said: It is according to your saying, my lord, O king: I am yours, and all that I have. And the messengers came again, and said: So speaks Ben-Hadad, saying: I sent to you, saying: You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children. Yet I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house, and the houses of your servants, and it shall be, that they shall put in their hand all the delight of your eyes and take it…And he said to the messengers of Ben-Hadad, tell my lord the king: All that you did send for to your servant at the first I will do; but this thing I may not do” (I Kings 20:2–6, 9).

מאי מחמד עיניך לאו ספר תורה

The Gemara asks: What is “the delight of your eyes” that Ahab refused to give Ben-Hadad after agreeing to give him his wives and his gold? Is it not a Torah scroll? Ahab treated the Torah with deference.

דילמא עבודה זרה לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב ויאמרו אליו כל הזקנים וכל העם לא תאבה ולא תשמע ודילמא סבי דבהתא הוו מי לא כתיב ויישר הדבר בעיני אבשלם (והזקנים) [ובעיני כל זקני ישראל] ואמר רב יוסף סבי דבהתא

The Gemara suggests: Perhaps the delight of his eyes was an object of idol worship. The Gemara answers: That could not enter your mind, as it is written that Ahab consulted the Sages with regard to this matter: “And all the elders and all the people said to him: Do not consent and heed not” (I Kings 20:8). The elders in this verse are presumably the Sages. The Gemara continues: But perhaps they were wicked elders, who worshipped idols. Isn’t it written: “And the saying pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel” (II Samuel 17:4), and Rav Yosef says: The elders of Israel mentioned in that verse were wicked elders. Perhaps the elders of Israel with whom Ahab consulted were also wicked.

התם לא כתיב וכל העם הכא כתיב וכל העם דאי אפשר דלא הוו בהון צדיקי וכתיב והשארתי בישראל שבעת אלפים כל הברכים אשר לא כרעו לבעל וכל הפה אשר לא נשק לו

The Gemara rejects this: There, with regard to Absalom it is not written: “And all the people,” whereas here, with regard to Ahab, it is written: “And all the people.” As it is impossible that there were not among them righteous people, if the righteous people agreed, apparently, “the delight of your eyes” was sacred. And it is written: “And I will leave seven thousand in Israel; all the knees that have not bent to the Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed it” (I Kings 19:18), indicating that there were righteous people among them.

אמר רב נחמן אחאב שקול היה שנאמר ויאמר ה׳ מי יפתה את אחאב ויעל ויפל ברמת גלעד ויאמר זה בכה וזה אמר בכה מתקיף לה רבי יוסף מאן דכתב ביה רק לא היה כאחאב אשר התמכר לעשות הרע בעיני ה׳ אשר הסתה אתו איזבל אשתו ותנינא בכל יום היתה שוקלת שקלי זהב לעבודה זרה ואת אמרת שקול היה אלא אחאב וותרן בממונו היה ומתוך שההנה תלמידי חכמים מנכסיו כיפרו לו מחצה

Rav Naḥman says: Ahab was balanced in terms of the mitzvot and transgressions that he performed, as it is stated: “And the Lord said, who shall entice Ahab that he may ascend and fall at Ramoth Gilead? And this one said in this manner, and that one said in that manner” (I Kings 22:20), indicating that it is unclear whether or not he was a full-fledged transgressor. Rav Yosef objects to this statement: This is the person about whom the prophet wrote: “But there was none like Ahab who devoted himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife had incited” (I Kings 21:25). And we learn in a baraita: Every day she would weigh gold shekels equal to Ahab’s weight for idol worship. And you say he was balanced? Rather, Ahab was generous with his money and did not scrimp, and since he also benefited Torah scholars with his property, the heavenly court expiated half his sins for him. The result was a balance between mitzvot and transgressions.

ויצא הרוח ויעמד לפני ה׳ ויאמר אני אפתנו ויאמר ה׳ אליו במה ויאמר אצא והייתי רוח שקר בפי כל נביאיו ויאמר תפתה וגם תוכל צא ועשה כן מאי רוח אמר רבי יוחנן רוחו של נבות היזרעאלי

With regard to God’s search for a volunteer to entice Ahab, it is written: “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said: I will entice him. And the Lord said to him: With what? And he said: I will go out, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And He said: You shall entice him, and also prevail; go out, and do so” (I Kings 22:21–22). The Gemara asks: What spirit was that? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It was the spirit of Naboth the Jezreelite, who sought to take revenge against Ahab.

מאי צא אמר רבינא צא ממחיצתי שכן כתיב דבר שקרים לא יכון לנגד עיני אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי דפרע קיניה מחריב ביתיה

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the term “go out” that God instructed the spirit? Ravina says that it means: Go out from within my partition and do not return, as so it is written: “He that speaks falsehoods shall not be established before My eyes” (Psalms 101:7). The spirit that volunteered to lie may no longer be before God. Rav Pappa says that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: One who avenges due to his zealotry destroys his own house. The spirit of Naboth that sought revenge was expelled from before God.

ויעש אחאב את האשרה ויוסף אחאב לעשות להכעיס את ה׳ אלהי ישראל מכל מלכי ישראל אשר היו לפניו אמר רבי יוחנן שכתב על דלתות שמרון אחאב כפר באלהי ישראל לפיכך אין לו חלק באלהי ישראל

With regard to the verse: “And Ahab made the ashera; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (I Kings 16:33), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It means that he wrote on the doors of Samaria: Ahab denies the existence of the God of Israel, therefore he has no share in the God of Israel.

ויבקש את אחזיהו וילכדהו והוא מתחבא בשמרון אמר רבי לוי שהיה קודר אזכרות וכותב עבודה זרה תחתיהן

With regard to the verse: “And he sought Ahaziah, and they apprehended him, for he was hiding in Samaria” (II Chronicles 22:9), Rabbi Levi says: What would he do in hiding? He would excise mentions of God’s name in Torah scrolls and write the name of an object of idol worship in their stead.

מנשה שנשה יה דבר אחר מנשה שהנשי את ישראל לאביהם שבשמים ומנלן דלא אתי לעלמא דאתי דכתיב בן שתים עשרה שנה מנשה במלכו וחמשים וחמש שנה מלך בירושלים ויעש (הרע) [אשרה] (בעיני ה׳) כאשר עשה אחאב מלך ישראל מה אחאב אין לו חלק לעולם הבא אף מנשה אין לו חלק לעולם הבא

The Gemara proceeds to discuss the third king enumerated in the mishna. He was called Manasseh [Menashe] because he forgot God [nasha yah]. Alternatively, he was called Manasseh since he caused the kingdom of Israel to forget [hinshi] their Father Who is in Heaven. And from where do we derive that Manasseh does not enter into the World-to-Come? The Gemara answers: It is derived as it is written: “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem…And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord…And he made an ashera, as did Ahab king of Israel” (II Kings 21:1–3). Just as Ahab has no share in the World-to-Come, so too, Manasseh has no share in the World-to-Come.

רבי יהודה אומר מנשה יש לו חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ׳ויתפלל אליו ויעתר לו׳ וגו׳ אמר רבי יוחנן ושניהם מקרא אחד דרשו שנאמר ונתתים לזעוה לכל ממלכות הארץ בגלל מנשה בן יחזקיהו מר סבר בגלל מנשה שעשה תשובה ואינהו לא עבוד ומר סבר

§ The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yehuda says: Manasseh has a share in the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And he prayed to him and He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication and brought him back to Jerusalem unto his kingdom” (II Chronicles 33:13). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: And both of them, Rabbi Yehuda and the Rabbis, who disagree with regard to whether Manasseh has a share in the World-to-Come, interpreted one and the same verse, as it is stated: “And I will make them into a horror for all the kingdoms of the earth, on account of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah” (Jeremiah 15:4). One Sage, Rabbi Yehuda, holds that “on account of Manasseh” means that the Jewish people will be judged harshly, as ultimately, one as wicked as Manasseh repented, and they did not do so. And one Sage, the Rabbis, holds that

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