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Today's Daf Yomi

October 17, 2017 | כ״ז בתשרי 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 Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

Sanhedrin 93

Various details about verses relating to Chanania, Mishael and Azaria are brought and discussed.


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גדולים צדיקים יותר ממלאכי השרת שנאמר ענה ואמר הא אנא חזי גברין ארבעה שרין מהלכין בגו נורא וחבל לא איתי בהון ורוה די רביעאה דמה לבר אלהין

The righteous are greater than the ministering angels, as it is stated: “He answered and said: I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). Nebuchadnezzar saw three righteous people and an angel in the fire of the furnace and noted the presence of the righteous people before noting the presence of the angel.

אמר רבי תנחום בר חנילאי בשעה שיצאו חנניה מישאל ועזריה מכבשן האש באו כל אומות העולם וטפחו לשונאיהן של ישראל על פניהם אמרו להם יש לכם אלוה כזה ואתם משתחוים לצלם מיד פתחו ואמרו לך ה׳ הצדקה ולנו בשת הפנים כיום הזה

§ Rabbi Tanḥum bar Ḥanilai says: At the moment that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah emerged from the fiery furnace, all the nations of the world came and struck the enemies of Israel, a euphemism for the Jewish people, in the face and said to them: You have a God with capabilities like that and you bow to the graven image? Immediately Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah began and said: “Lord, righteousness is Yours, but we are shamefaced, as of this day” (Daniel 9:7).

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן מאי דכתיב אמרתי אעלה בתמר אחזה בסנסניו אמרתי אעלה בתמר אלו ישראל ועכשיו לא עלה בידי אלא סנסן אחד של חנניה מישאל ועזריה

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says on a similar note: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I said: I will climb into the palm tree; I will grasp its boughs” (Song of Songs 7:9)? “I said: I will climb into the palm tree”; this is a reference to the Jewish people, who are likened to a palm tree, as they are upright and have one heart directed toward their Father in Heaven. God continues: And now that I have tested them by means of the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar, I have succeeded in grasping in My hand only the one bough of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as only they were willing to give their lives.

אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב ראיתי הלילה והנה איש רכב על סוס אדם והוא עמד בין ההדסים אשר במצלה [וגו׳] מאי ראיתי הלילה ביקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להפוך את כל העולם כולו ללילה והנה איש רכב אין איש אלא הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר ה׳ איש מלחמה ה׳ שמו על סוס אדם ביקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להפוך את העולם כולו לדם

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I saw the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle bushes that were in the depths” (Zechariah 1:8)? What is the meaning of the phrase “I saw the night”? The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to transform the entire world into night and destroy it, as there were no righteous people. “And behold, a man riding”; the word “man” is referring to no one but the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “The Lord is a man of war, The Lord is His name” (Exodus 15:3). “Upon a red horse” alludes to the fact that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to transform the whole world into blood.

כיון שנסתכל בחנניה מישאל ועזריה נתקררה דעתו שנאמר והוא עמד בין ההדסים אשר במצלה ואין הדסים אלא צדיקים שנאמר ויהי אמן את הדסה ואין מצולה אלא בבל שנאמר האמר לצולה חרבי ונהרתיך אוביש מיד מלאים רוגז נעשים שרוקים ואדומים נעשו לבנים אמר רב פפא שמע מינה סוסיא חיורא מעלי לחלמא

Once He looked at Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah He was placated, as it is stated: “And he stood among the myrtle bushes [hadassim] that were in the depths [bametzula].” And hadassim is referring to no one but the righteous, as it is stated: “And he raised Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter” (Esther 2:7). Hadassah is an appellation for the righteous Esther. And metzula is referring to no place but Babylonia, as it is stated with regard to the downfall of Babylonia: “That says to the deep [latzula]: Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers” (Isaiah 44:27). Immediately those messengers, in the form of horses, filled with anger and became gray, and those who were red became white. Rav Pappa says: Conclude from it that seeing a white horse in a dream is a good portent for that dream, as it presages peace and quiet.

ורבנן להיכא אזלו אמר רב בעין [הרע] מתו ושמואל אמר ברוק טבעו ורבי יוחנן אמר עלו לארץ ישראל ונשאו נשים והולידו בנים ובנות

The Gemara asks: And with regard to the Sages, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, where did they go after their miraculous deliverance, as there is no further mention of them? Rav says: They died as the result of the evil eye, as everyone was jealous of their deliverance. And Shmuel says: They drowned in the spittle of the nations of the world who held the Jewish people in contempt due to their failure to serve God in the appropriate manner. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: They ascended to Eretz Yisrael and married women and fathered sons and daughters.

כתנאי רבי אליעזר אומר בעין [הרע] מתו רבי יהושע אומר ברוק טבעו וחכמים אומרים עלו לארץ ישראל ונשאו נשים והולידו בנים ובנות שנאמר שמע נא יהושע הכהן הגדול אתה ורעיך הישבים לפניך כי אנשי מופת המה איזו הם אנשים שנעשה להן מופת הוי אומר זה חנניה מישאל ועזריה

The Gemara comments: This amoraic dispute is parallel to a dispute between tanna’im. Rabbi Eliezer says: They died as the result of the evil eye. Rabbi Yehoshua says: They drowned in the spittle. And the Rabbis say: They ascended to Eretz Yisrael and married women and fathered sons and daughters, as it is stated: “Hear now, Joshua the High Priest, you and your fellows who sit before you, for they are men of wonder” (Zechariah 3:8). Who are the people who had a wonder performed for them in that generation? You must say that it is Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

ודניאל להיכן אזל אמר רב למיכרא נהרא רבא בטבריא ושמואל אמר לאתויי ביזרא דאספסתא ורבי יוחנן אמר לאתויי חזירי דאלכסנדריא של מצרים איני והתניא תודוס הרופא אמר אין פרה וחזירה יוצא מאלכסנדריא של מצרים שאין חותכין האם שלה בשביל שלא תלד זוטרי אייתי בלא דעתייהו

The Gemara asks: And where did Daniel go? He certainly did not bow to the graven image, and he was not cast into the furnace. Apparently, he was elsewhere. Rav says: He went to dig the great river in Tiberias. And Shmuel says: Daniel went to bring choice alfalfa seed from a distance, and therefore he was not in Babylonia. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: He went to bring the high-quality pigs of Alexandria of Egypt. The Gemara asks: Is that so that he went to bring the pigs? But isn’t it taught in a baraita that Theodosius the doctor says: No cow or sow emerges from Alexandria of Egypt whose womb is not severed so that it will not give birth? The Gemara answers: They were small pigs that he brought without the knowledge of the people of Alexandria.

תנו רבנן שלשה היו באותה עצה הקדוש ברוך הוא ודניאל ונבוכדנצר הקדוש ברוך הוא אמר ניזיל דניאל מהכא דלא לימרו בזכותיה איתנצל

The Sages taught: Three were partners in that plan to ensure that Daniel would not be in Babylonia when the decree of persecution was in effect: The Holy One, Blessed be He; Daniel; and Nebuchadnezzar. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Let Daniel go from here, so that people would not say that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were delivered from the fiery furnace due to the virtue of Daniel, rather than due to their own righteousness.

ודניאל אמר איזיל מהכא דלא ליקיים בי ׳פסילי אלהיהם תשרפון באש׳

And Daniel said to himself: I will go away from here so that this verse will not be fulfilled in my regard: “The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:25). Daniel was concerned that because Nebuchadnezzar worshipped him like a deity, his legal status was that of an idol, and he would be burned.

ונבוכדנצר אמר יזיל דניאל מהכא דלא לימרו ׳קלייה לאלהיה בנורא׳ ומניין דסגיד ליה דכתיב באדין מלכא נבוכדנצר נפל על אנפוהי ולדניאל סגד וגו׳

And Nebuchadnezzar said: Daniel should go away from here so that the people will not say: Nebuchadnezzar burned his god in fire. And from where is it derived that Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Daniel? It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshipped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an offering and pleasing aromas to him” (Daniel 2:46).

כה אמר ה׳ צבאות אלהי ישראל אל אחאב בן קוליה ואל צדקיהו בן מעשיה הנבאים לכם בשמי לשקר וגו׳ וכתיב ולקח מהם קללה לכל גלות יהודה אשר בבבל לאמר ישימך ה׳ כצדקיהו וכאחאב אשר קלם מלך בבל באש אשר שרפם לא נאמר אלא אשר קלם אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מלמד שעשאן כקליות

§ Apropos the deliverance of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, the Gemara cites the verses: “So says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah, who prophesy to you a lie in My name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylonia; and he shall slay them before your eyes” (Jeremiah 29:21). And it is written: “And of them shall be taken a curse by all the captivity of Judea, who are in Babylonia, saying: May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylonia toasted in the fire” (Jeremiah 29:22). It is not stated: Whom the king of Babylonia burned, but “whom the king of Babylonia toasted.” Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: This teaches that he rendered them like toasted wheat, which is toasted on all sides.

יען אשר עשו נבלה בישראל וינאפו את נשי רעיהם מאי עבוד אזול לגבי ברתיה דנבוכדנצר אחאב אמר לה כה אמר ה׳ השמיעי אל צדקיה וצדקיה אמר כה אמר ה׳ השמיעי אל אחאב אזלה ואמרה ליה לאבוה אמר לה אלהיהם של אלו שונא זימה הוא כי אתו לגבך שדרינהו לגבאי

The verse states: “Because they have committed baseness in Israel, and have committed adultery with the wives of their neighbors” (Jeremiah 29:23). What did they do? The Gemara relates: They went to the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. Ahab said to her: So says the Lord: Submit to Zedekiah and engage in intercourse with him. And Zedekiah said to her: So says the Lord: Submit to Ahab and engage in intercourse with him. She went and said to her father what they said to her. Nebuchadnezzar said to her: The God of these people abhors lewdness, so this is likely a false prophecy. When they come to you, send them to me.

כי אתו לגבה שדרתנהו לגבי אבוה אמר להו מאן אמר לכון אמרו הקדוש ברוך הוא והא חנניה מישאל ועזריה שאלתינהו ואמרו לי אסור אמרו ליה אנן נמי נביאי כוותייהו לדידהו לא אמר להו לדידן אמר לן אמר להו אנא בעינא דאיבדקינכו כי היכי דבדקתינהו לחנניה מישאל ועזריה

When they came to her, she sent them to her father. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: Who told you to do this? They said: It was the Holy One, Blessed be He. Nebuchadnezzar said: But haven’t I have asked Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about this and they said to me: It is prohibited? They said to him: We too are prophets like they are. God did not say this prophecy to them; He said it to us. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: If so, I wish to put you to the test to determine if you are righteous, just as I put Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to the test.

אמרו ליה אינון תלתא הוו ואנן תרין אמר להו בחרו לכון מאן דבעיתו בהדייכו אמרו יהושע כהן גדול סברי ליתי יהושע דנפיש זכותיה ומגנא עלן

Ahab and Zedekiah said to Nebuchadnezzar: They were three and we are only two, and our merit is not great enough to save us from the fire. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: Choose for yourselves a third person, whomever you wish, to be put to the test with you. They said to him: We choose Joshua the High Priest. They chose him because they thought: Let Joshua the High Priest come with us, since his merit is great and it will protect us.

אחתיוהו שדינהו אינהו איקלו יהושע כהן גדול איחרוכי מאניה שנאמר ויראני את יהושע הכהן הגדול עמד לפני מלאך ה׳ וגו׳ וכתיב ויאמר ה׳ אל השטן יגער ה׳ בך וגו׳

They took the three of them down and cast them into the furnace. They were burned, and as for Joshua the High Priest, his garments were singed, as it is stated: “And He showed me Joshua the High Priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan was standing at his right to thwart him” (Zechariah 3:1). And it is written: “And the Lord said to Satan, the Lord shall rebuke you, Satan, the Lord Who has chosen Jerusalem shall rebuke you; is this man not a firebrand plucked from fire?” (Zechariah 3:2). This is an allusion to the fact that he was delivered from the fiery furnace, although he was slightly singed.

אמר ליה ידענא דצדיקא את אלא מאי טעמא אהניא בך פורתא נורא חנניה מישאל ועזריה לא אהניא בהו כלל אמר ליה אינהו תלתא הוו ואנא חד אמר ליה והא אברהם יחיד הוה התם לא הוו רשעים בהדיה ולא אתיהיב רשותא לנורא הכא הוו רשעים בהדי ואתיהיב רשותא לנורא היינו דאמרי אינשי תרי אודי יבישי וחד רטיבא אוקדן יבישי לרטיבא

Nebuchadnezzar said to Joshua the High Priest: I know you are righteous because you were delivered from the fire, but what is the reason that the fire was slightly effective concerning you, and for Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah the fire was not effective concerning them at all, and their garments were not singed? Joshua the High Priest said to him: They were three righteous people, and I am one. Nebuchadnezzar said to him: But wasn’t Abraham one person, and when he was cast into the furnace the fire had no effect? Joshua answered him: There, in the case of Abraham, there were no wicked people with him, and license to cause damage was not given to the fire. Here, in this case, there were wicked people with me, and license to cause damage was given to the fire. The Gemara adds that this explains the adage that people say: If there are two dry firebrands and one moist one in a fire, the dry firebrands burn the moist one.

מאי טעמא איענש אמר רב פפא שהיו בניו נושאין נשים שאינן הגונות לכהונה ולא מיחה בהן שנאמר ויהושע היה לבש בגדים צואים וכי דרכו של יהושע ללבוש בגדים צואים אלא מלמד שהיו בניו נושאים נשים שאינן הגונות לכהונה ולא מיחה בהן

The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Joshua the High Priest was punished and was cast into the furnace? Rav Pappa says: It was due to the fact that his sons would marry women who were not fit for marriage into the priesthood, and he did not reprimand them, as it is stated: “And Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and he stood before the angel” (Zechariah 3:3). And was it the typical manner of Joshua to wear filthy garments? Rather this verse teaches an allusion that his sons would marry women who were not fit for marriage into the priesthood, and he did not reprimand them. That is why he appeared with soiled garments in the vision of the prophet Zechariah.

אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בציפורי מאי דכתיב שש השערים האלה נתן לי מאי שש השערים אילימא שש שעורים ממש וכי דרכו של בועז ליתן מתנה שש שעורים

§ Apropos Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, the Gemara cites that which Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: What is the meaning of that which is written with regard to the statement of Ruth to Naomi concerning Boaz: “These six grains of barley he gave me” (Ruth 3:17). What is the meaning of the phrase “six grains of barley”? If we say that the reference is to six actual grains of barley, is it the typical manner of Boaz to give a minimal gift of six grains of barley?

אלא שש סאין

Rather, he gave her six se’a.

וכי דרכה של אשה ליטול שש סאין אלא רמז [ רמז] לה שעתידין ששה בנים לצאת ממנה שמתברכין בשש [שש] ברכות ואלו הן דוד ומשיח דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה דוד דכתיב ויען אחד מהנערים ויאמר הנה ראיתי בן לישי בית הלחמי ידע נגן וגבור חיל ואיש מלחמה ונבון דבר ואיש תאר וה׳ עמו וגו׳

The Gemara asks: And is it the typical manner of a woman to take a heavy burden of six se’a of barley? Rather, Boaz alluded to Ruth that six descendants are destined to emerge from her who would each be blessed with six blessings, and these are they: David, and the Messiah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The Gemara elaborates: David was blessed with six virtues, as it is written: “And one of the servants answered and said: Behold, I have seen a son of Yishai of the house of Bethlehem who knows to play, and is a fine warrior, and a man of war, and prudent in speech, and a comely man, and the Lord is with him” (I Samuel 16:18).

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל הפסוק הזה לא אמרו דואג אלא בלשון הרע ידע נגן שיודע לישאל גבור שיודע להשיב איש מלחמה שיודע לישא וליתן במלחמתה של תורה איש תאר שמראה פנים בהלכה ונבון דבר שמבין דבר מתוך דבר וה׳ עמו שהלכה כמותו בכל מקום

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Doeg the Edomite, one of Saul’s servants, stated this entire verse only as malicious speech, in an attempt to incite Saul to be jealous of David. “Who knows how to play” means that he knows how to ask complex and germane questions about Torah matters. “A fine warrior” means that he knows how to answer questions raised with regard to matters of Torah. “A man of war,” means that he knows to negotiate his way in the battle to understand the Torah. “A comely man” is one who displays understanding in facets of halakha and explains it well. “And prudent in speech [davar]” means that he infers one matter [davar] from another matter. “And the Lord is with him” means that the halakha is ruled in accordance with his opinion in every area of halakha.

בכולהו אמר להו יהונתן בני כמוהו כיון דאמר ליה וה׳ עמו מילתא דבדידיה נמי לא הוה ביה חלש דעתיה ואיקניא ביה דבשאול כתיב ובכל אשר יפנה ירשיע ובדוד כתיב ובכל אשר יפנה יצליח

The Gemara relates: In response to all of these virtues listed in praise of David, Saul said to his servants: My son Jonathan is his equal. Once Doeg said to Saul: “And the Lord is with him,” meaning that the halakha is ruled in accordance with his opinion in every area of halakha, a matter that did not apply even to Saul himself, he was offended and grew jealous of David. As with regard to Saul it is written: “And wherever he turned he put them to the worse” (I Samuel 14:47), and with regard to David it is written: And wherever he turns he does prosper. Although the verse about Saul is referring to his victories and his prominence in Torah, he was not privileged to have all of his conclusions accepted as halakha.

מנלן דדואג הוה כתיב הכא ויען אחד מהנערים מיוחד שבנערים וכתיב התם ושם איש מעבדי שאול ביום ההוא נעצר לפני ה׳ ושמו דאג האדמי אביר הרעים אשר לשאול

The Gemara asks: From where do we derive that it was Doeg who listed the virtues in this verse? The Gemara answers that it is written here: “And one [eḥad] of the servants answered,” meaning the most notable [meyuḥad] of the servants. And it is written there: “And a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord, and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen that belonged to Saul” (I Samuel 21:8).

משיח דכתיב ונחה עליו רוח ה׳ רוח חכמה ובינה רוח עצה וגבורה רוח דעת ויראת ה׳ וגו׳ וכתיב והריחו ביראת ה׳

The Messiah was blessed with six virtues, as it is written: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2); and it is written: “And his delight [vahariḥo] shall be the fear of the Lord, and he shall neither judge after the sight of his eyes, nor decide after the hearing of his ears” (Isaiah 11:3).

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי מלמד שהטעינו מצות ויסורין כריחיים רבא אמר דמורח ודאין דכתיב ולא למראה עיניו ישפוט ושפט בצדק דלים והוכיח במישור לענוי ארץ

Rabbi Alexandri says that the term hariḥo teaches that God burdened the Messiah with mitzvot and afflictions like millstones [reiḥayim]. Rava says that hariḥo teaches that the Messiah will smell [demoraḥ] and then judge on that basis, sensing who is right, as it is written: “And he shall neither judge after the sight of [lemareh] his eyes, nor decide after the hearing of his ears; and with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide equity for the meek of the earth” (Isaiah 11:3–4).

בר כוזיבא מלך תרתין שנין ופלגא אמר להו לרבנן אנא משיח אמרו ליה במשיח כתיב דמורח ודאין נחזי אנן אי מורח ודאין כיון דחזיוהו דלא מורח ודאין קטלוהו

The Gemara relates: Bar Koziva, i.e., bar Kokheva, ruled for two and a half years. He said to the Sages: I am the Messiah. They said to him: With regard to the Messiah it is written that he is able to smell and judge, so let us see ourselves whether he, bar Kokheva, is able to smell and judge. Once they saw that he was not able to smell and judge, the gentiles killed him.

דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה דכתיב בהו אשר אין בהם כל מאום וטובי מראה ומשכלים בכל חכמה וידעי דעת ומביני מדע ואשר כח בהם לעמד בהיכל המלך וללמדם ספר ולשון כשדים

Six virtues were ascribed to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as it is written in their regard: “Youths in whom was found no blemish, and well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and discerning in knowledge, and perceptive in understanding, and who had strength in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:4).

מאי אשר אין בהם כל מום אמר רבי חמא בר חנניא אפילו כריבדא דכוסילתא לא הוה בהו מאי ואשר כח בהם לעמד בהיכל המלך אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מלמד שהיו אונסין את עצמן מן השחוק ומן השיחה ומן השינה ומעמידין על עצמן בשעה שנצרכין לנקביהם מפני אימת מלכות

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “in whom was found no blemish”? Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: Even a scratch like the wound that remains after bloodletting was not found in them. What is the meaning of the phrase “and who had strength in them to stand in the king’s place”? What strength is needed to do so? Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: This teaches that they would force themselves to refrain from laughter, and from conversation, and from sleep, and would restrain themselves when they felt the urge to relieve themselves via their orifices, due to fear of the monarchy.

ויהי בהם מבני יהודה דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה אמר רבי אליעזר כולן מבני יהודה הם ורבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר דניאל מבני יהודה חנניה מישאל ועזריה משאר שבטים

§ The Gemara explores more of their attributes. The verse states: “Now among these were, of the descendants of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah” (Daniel 1:6). Rabbi Eliezer says: They were all of the descendants of Judah. And Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says: Daniel was of the descendants of Judah, and Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were descendants of other tribes.

ומבניך אשר יצאו ממך אשר תוליד יקחו והיו סריסים בהיכל מלך בבל מאי סריסים רב אמר סריסים ממש ורבי חנינא אמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם

Isaiah prophesied to Hezekiah: “And of your sons that shall issue from you, they shall be taken away; and they shall be officers [sarisim] in the palace of the king of Babylonia” (Isaiah 39:7). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of sarisim? Rav says: It means literally eunuchs, whom the Babylonians castrated to render them suitable for employment in all aspects of the king’s service. And Rabbi Ḥanina says: It means that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, as it became clear to all that it lacks substance.

בשלמא למאן דאמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם היינו דכתיב וחבל לא איתי בהון אלא למאן דאמר סריסים ממש מאי וחבל לא איתי בהון חבלא דנורא והכתיב וריח נור לא עדת בהון לא חבלא ולא ריחא

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the one who says that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, that is as it is written: “And they have no hurt” (Daniel 3:25), indicating that the bodies of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were intact and they were not castrated. But according to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, what is the meaning of the phrase “And they have no hurt”? The Gemara answers: It means they had no hurt from the fire of the furnace, not that their bodies were completely intact. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it already written: “Nor had the odor of fire passed over them” (Daniel 3:27)? There was no need to repeat that they were unaffected by the fire. The Gemara answers: This means that there was neither hurt from the fire nor harm from the odor of the fire.

בשלמא למאן דאמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם היינו דכתיב כה אמר ה׳ לסריסים אשר ישמרו את שבתתי וגו׳ אלא למאן דאמר סריסים ממש משתעי קרא בגנותא דצדיקי הא והא הוה בהו

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the one who says that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, that is as it is written: “For so says the Lord to the sarisim who observe My Shabbatot, and choose what pleases Me, and keep My covenant” (Isaiah 56:4). This verse calls them sarisim due to their miraculous deliverance from the furnace. But according to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, would the verse speak in denigration of the righteous? Would the verse identify Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah by their blemish rather than by their names? The Gemara answers: According to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, both this, the physical imperfection, and that, the fact that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, were true concerning them.

בשלמא למאן דאמר סריסים ממש היינו דכתיב בביתי ובחומתי יד ושם טוב מבנים ומבנות אלא למאן דאמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם מאי טוב מבנים ומבנות אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מבנים שהיו להם כבר ומתו מאי שם עולם אתן לו אשר לא יכרת אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בצפורי זה ספר דניאל שנקרא על שמו

The Gemara asks from another perspective: Granted, according to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, that is as it is written in the next verse: “And to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial better than sons and daughters: I will give him an everlasting name, that shall not be excised” (Isaiah 56:5). But according to the one who says that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, what is the meaning of the phrase “better than sons and daughters”? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: It is consolation that concerning children that they already had and who died, that they would also be memorialized. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “an everlasting name that shall not be excised”? Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: This is referring to the book of Daniel, which is called by his name.

מכדי כל מילי דעזרא נחמיה בן חכליה אמרינהו ונחמיה בן חכליה מאי טעמא לא איקרי סיפרא על שמיה אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא מפני שהחזיק טובה לעצמו שנאמר זכרה לי אלהי לטובה דוד נמי מימר אמר זכרני ה׳ ברצון עמך פקדני בישועתך דוד רחמי הוא דקבעי

§ Apropos books of the Bible named for a prominent person, the Gemara asks: Now with regard to all the matters of the book of Ezra, Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, said them and wrote most of them; and with regard to Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, what is the reason that a book was not called by his name? Over the course of many generations, extending many years after the talmudic period, the book that is today named for Nehemiah was not a separate book and was included in the book of Ezra. Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: The book was not named for Nehemiah because he took credit for himself and boasted about his good deeds, as it is stated: “Remember me, God, for good” (Nehemiah 13:31). The Gemara asks: Is that a shortcoming? King David also said: “Remember me, Lord, when You show favor to Your people; visit me with Your salvation” (Psalms 106:4). The Gemara answers: David was asking for compassion and formulated his words as a prayer. Nehemiah stated them as a fact and a demand.

רב יוסף אמר מפני שסיפר בגנותן של ראשונים שנאמר והפחות הראשונים אשר לפני הכבידו על העם ויקחו מהם בלחם ויין אחר כסף שקלים ארבעים וגו׳ ואף על דניאל שגדול ממנו סיפר

Rav Yosef says: Nehemiah was punished because he spoke in denigration of his predecessors, as it is stated: “But the former governors who were before me placed burdens upon the people, and took from them for bread and wine beyond forty shekels of silver; even their servants ruled over the people; but I did not do so, due to the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:15). And he related these disparaging statements even about Daniel, who was greater than he was.

ומנלן דגדול ממנו דכתיב וראיתי אני דניאל לבדי את המראה והאנשים אשר היו עמי לא ראו את המראה אבל חרדה גדלה נפלה עליהם ויברחו בהחבא והאנשים אשר היו עמי לא ראו את המראה ומאן נינהו אנשים אמר רבי ירמיה ואיתימא רבי חייא בר אבא זה חגי זכריה ומלאכי

The Gemara asks: From where do we derive that Daniel was greater than he was? The Gemara answers: It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, and the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide” (Daniel 10:7). The Gemara asks: “And the men who were with me did not see the vision”; and who were these men? Rabbi Yirmeya, and some say Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, says: That is referring to Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who were with him and did not see. Evidently, Daniel was greater than these prophets, and all the more so was he greater than Nehemiah, who was never privileged to prophesy.

  • 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 Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

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Sanhedrin 93

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Sanhedrin 93

גדולים צדיקים יותר ממלאכי השרת שנאמר ענה ואמר הא אנא חזי גברין ארבעה שרין מהלכין בגו נורא וחבל לא איתי בהון ורוה די רביעאה דמה לבר אלהין

The righteous are greater than the ministering angels, as it is stated: “He answered and said: I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). Nebuchadnezzar saw three righteous people and an angel in the fire of the furnace and noted the presence of the righteous people before noting the presence of the angel.

אמר רבי תנחום בר חנילאי בשעה שיצאו חנניה מישאל ועזריה מכבשן האש באו כל אומות העולם וטפחו לשונאיהן של ישראל על פניהם אמרו להם יש לכם אלוה כזה ואתם משתחוים לצלם מיד פתחו ואמרו לך ה׳ הצדקה ולנו בשת הפנים כיום הזה

§ Rabbi Tanḥum bar Ḥanilai says: At the moment that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah emerged from the fiery furnace, all the nations of the world came and struck the enemies of Israel, a euphemism for the Jewish people, in the face and said to them: You have a God with capabilities like that and you bow to the graven image? Immediately Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah began and said: “Lord, righteousness is Yours, but we are shamefaced, as of this day” (Daniel 9:7).

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן מאי דכתיב אמרתי אעלה בתמר אחזה בסנסניו אמרתי אעלה בתמר אלו ישראל ועכשיו לא עלה בידי אלא סנסן אחד של חנניה מישאל ועזריה

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says on a similar note: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I said: I will climb into the palm tree; I will grasp its boughs” (Song of Songs 7:9)? “I said: I will climb into the palm tree”; this is a reference to the Jewish people, who are likened to a palm tree, as they are upright and have one heart directed toward their Father in Heaven. God continues: And now that I have tested them by means of the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar, I have succeeded in grasping in My hand only the one bough of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as only they were willing to give their lives.

אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב ראיתי הלילה והנה איש רכב על סוס אדם והוא עמד בין ההדסים אשר במצלה [וגו׳] מאי ראיתי הלילה ביקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להפוך את כל העולם כולו ללילה והנה איש רכב אין איש אלא הקדוש ברוך הוא שנאמר ה׳ איש מלחמה ה׳ שמו על סוס אדם ביקש הקדוש ברוך הוא להפוך את העולם כולו לדם

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I saw the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle bushes that were in the depths” (Zechariah 1:8)? What is the meaning of the phrase “I saw the night”? The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to transform the entire world into night and destroy it, as there were no righteous people. “And behold, a man riding”; the word “man” is referring to no one but the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “The Lord is a man of war, The Lord is His name” (Exodus 15:3). “Upon a red horse” alludes to the fact that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to transform the whole world into blood.

כיון שנסתכל בחנניה מישאל ועזריה נתקררה דעתו שנאמר והוא עמד בין ההדסים אשר במצלה ואין הדסים אלא צדיקים שנאמר ויהי אמן את הדסה ואין מצולה אלא בבל שנאמר האמר לצולה חרבי ונהרתיך אוביש מיד מלאים רוגז נעשים שרוקים ואדומים נעשו לבנים אמר רב פפא שמע מינה סוסיא חיורא מעלי לחלמא

Once He looked at Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah He was placated, as it is stated: “And he stood among the myrtle bushes [hadassim] that were in the depths [bametzula].” And hadassim is referring to no one but the righteous, as it is stated: “And he raised Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter” (Esther 2:7). Hadassah is an appellation for the righteous Esther. And metzula is referring to no place but Babylonia, as it is stated with regard to the downfall of Babylonia: “That says to the deep [latzula]: Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers” (Isaiah 44:27). Immediately those messengers, in the form of horses, filled with anger and became gray, and those who were red became white. Rav Pappa says: Conclude from it that seeing a white horse in a dream is a good portent for that dream, as it presages peace and quiet.

ורבנן להיכא אזלו אמר רב בעין [הרע] מתו ושמואל אמר ברוק טבעו ורבי יוחנן אמר עלו לארץ ישראל ונשאו נשים והולידו בנים ובנות

The Gemara asks: And with regard to the Sages, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, where did they go after their miraculous deliverance, as there is no further mention of them? Rav says: They died as the result of the evil eye, as everyone was jealous of their deliverance. And Shmuel says: They drowned in the spittle of the nations of the world who held the Jewish people in contempt due to their failure to serve God in the appropriate manner. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: They ascended to Eretz Yisrael and married women and fathered sons and daughters.

כתנאי רבי אליעזר אומר בעין [הרע] מתו רבי יהושע אומר ברוק טבעו וחכמים אומרים עלו לארץ ישראל ונשאו נשים והולידו בנים ובנות שנאמר שמע נא יהושע הכהן הגדול אתה ורעיך הישבים לפניך כי אנשי מופת המה איזו הם אנשים שנעשה להן מופת הוי אומר זה חנניה מישאל ועזריה

The Gemara comments: This amoraic dispute is parallel to a dispute between tanna’im. Rabbi Eliezer says: They died as the result of the evil eye. Rabbi Yehoshua says: They drowned in the spittle. And the Rabbis say: They ascended to Eretz Yisrael and married women and fathered sons and daughters, as it is stated: “Hear now, Joshua the High Priest, you and your fellows who sit before you, for they are men of wonder” (Zechariah 3:8). Who are the people who had a wonder performed for them in that generation? You must say that it is Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

ודניאל להיכן אזל אמר רב למיכרא נהרא רבא בטבריא ושמואל אמר לאתויי ביזרא דאספסתא ורבי יוחנן אמר לאתויי חזירי דאלכסנדריא של מצרים איני והתניא תודוס הרופא אמר אין פרה וחזירה יוצא מאלכסנדריא של מצרים שאין חותכין האם שלה בשביל שלא תלד זוטרי אייתי בלא דעתייהו

The Gemara asks: And where did Daniel go? He certainly did not bow to the graven image, and he was not cast into the furnace. Apparently, he was elsewhere. Rav says: He went to dig the great river in Tiberias. And Shmuel says: Daniel went to bring choice alfalfa seed from a distance, and therefore he was not in Babylonia. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: He went to bring the high-quality pigs of Alexandria of Egypt. The Gemara asks: Is that so that he went to bring the pigs? But isn’t it taught in a baraita that Theodosius the doctor says: No cow or sow emerges from Alexandria of Egypt whose womb is not severed so that it will not give birth? The Gemara answers: They were small pigs that he brought without the knowledge of the people of Alexandria.

תנו רבנן שלשה היו באותה עצה הקדוש ברוך הוא ודניאל ונבוכדנצר הקדוש ברוך הוא אמר ניזיל דניאל מהכא דלא לימרו בזכותיה איתנצל

The Sages taught: Three were partners in that plan to ensure that Daniel would not be in Babylonia when the decree of persecution was in effect: The Holy One, Blessed be He; Daniel; and Nebuchadnezzar. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Let Daniel go from here, so that people would not say that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were delivered from the fiery furnace due to the virtue of Daniel, rather than due to their own righteousness.

ודניאל אמר איזיל מהכא דלא ליקיים בי ׳פסילי אלהיהם תשרפון באש׳

And Daniel said to himself: I will go away from here so that this verse will not be fulfilled in my regard: “The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:25). Daniel was concerned that because Nebuchadnezzar worshipped him like a deity, his legal status was that of an idol, and he would be burned.

ונבוכדנצר אמר יזיל דניאל מהכא דלא לימרו ׳קלייה לאלהיה בנורא׳ ומניין דסגיד ליה דכתיב באדין מלכא נבוכדנצר נפל על אנפוהי ולדניאל סגד וגו׳

And Nebuchadnezzar said: Daniel should go away from here so that the people will not say: Nebuchadnezzar burned his god in fire. And from where is it derived that Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Daniel? It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshipped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an offering and pleasing aromas to him” (Daniel 2:46).

כה אמר ה׳ צבאות אלהי ישראל אל אחאב בן קוליה ואל צדקיהו בן מעשיה הנבאים לכם בשמי לשקר וגו׳ וכתיב ולקח מהם קללה לכל גלות יהודה אשר בבבל לאמר ישימך ה׳ כצדקיהו וכאחאב אשר קלם מלך בבל באש אשר שרפם לא נאמר אלא אשר קלם אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יוחי מלמד שעשאן כקליות

§ Apropos the deliverance of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, the Gemara cites the verses: “So says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah, who prophesy to you a lie in My name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylonia; and he shall slay them before your eyes” (Jeremiah 29:21). And it is written: “And of them shall be taken a curse by all the captivity of Judea, who are in Babylonia, saying: May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylonia toasted in the fire” (Jeremiah 29:22). It is not stated: Whom the king of Babylonia burned, but “whom the king of Babylonia toasted.” Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: This teaches that he rendered them like toasted wheat, which is toasted on all sides.

יען אשר עשו נבלה בישראל וינאפו את נשי רעיהם מאי עבוד אזול לגבי ברתיה דנבוכדנצר אחאב אמר לה כה אמר ה׳ השמיעי אל צדקיה וצדקיה אמר כה אמר ה׳ השמיעי אל אחאב אזלה ואמרה ליה לאבוה אמר לה אלהיהם של אלו שונא זימה הוא כי אתו לגבך שדרינהו לגבאי

The verse states: “Because they have committed baseness in Israel, and have committed adultery with the wives of their neighbors” (Jeremiah 29:23). What did they do? The Gemara relates: They went to the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. Ahab said to her: So says the Lord: Submit to Zedekiah and engage in intercourse with him. And Zedekiah said to her: So says the Lord: Submit to Ahab and engage in intercourse with him. She went and said to her father what they said to her. Nebuchadnezzar said to her: The God of these people abhors lewdness, so this is likely a false prophecy. When they come to you, send them to me.

כי אתו לגבה שדרתנהו לגבי אבוה אמר להו מאן אמר לכון אמרו הקדוש ברוך הוא והא חנניה מישאל ועזריה שאלתינהו ואמרו לי אסור אמרו ליה אנן נמי נביאי כוותייהו לדידהו לא אמר להו לדידן אמר לן אמר להו אנא בעינא דאיבדקינכו כי היכי דבדקתינהו לחנניה מישאל ועזריה

When they came to her, she sent them to her father. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: Who told you to do this? They said: It was the Holy One, Blessed be He. Nebuchadnezzar said: But haven’t I have asked Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about this and they said to me: It is prohibited? They said to him: We too are prophets like they are. God did not say this prophecy to them; He said it to us. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: If so, I wish to put you to the test to determine if you are righteous, just as I put Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to the test.

אמרו ליה אינון תלתא הוו ואנן תרין אמר להו בחרו לכון מאן דבעיתו בהדייכו אמרו יהושע כהן גדול סברי ליתי יהושע דנפיש זכותיה ומגנא עלן

Ahab and Zedekiah said to Nebuchadnezzar: They were three and we are only two, and our merit is not great enough to save us from the fire. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: Choose for yourselves a third person, whomever you wish, to be put to the test with you. They said to him: We choose Joshua the High Priest. They chose him because they thought: Let Joshua the High Priest come with us, since his merit is great and it will protect us.

אחתיוהו שדינהו אינהו איקלו יהושע כהן גדול איחרוכי מאניה שנאמר ויראני את יהושע הכהן הגדול עמד לפני מלאך ה׳ וגו׳ וכתיב ויאמר ה׳ אל השטן יגער ה׳ בך וגו׳

They took the three of them down and cast them into the furnace. They were burned, and as for Joshua the High Priest, his garments were singed, as it is stated: “And He showed me Joshua the High Priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan was standing at his right to thwart him” (Zechariah 3:1). And it is written: “And the Lord said to Satan, the Lord shall rebuke you, Satan, the Lord Who has chosen Jerusalem shall rebuke you; is this man not a firebrand plucked from fire?” (Zechariah 3:2). This is an allusion to the fact that he was delivered from the fiery furnace, although he was slightly singed.

אמר ליה ידענא דצדיקא את אלא מאי טעמא אהניא בך פורתא נורא חנניה מישאל ועזריה לא אהניא בהו כלל אמר ליה אינהו תלתא הוו ואנא חד אמר ליה והא אברהם יחיד הוה התם לא הוו רשעים בהדיה ולא אתיהיב רשותא לנורא הכא הוו רשעים בהדי ואתיהיב רשותא לנורא היינו דאמרי אינשי תרי אודי יבישי וחד רטיבא אוקדן יבישי לרטיבא

Nebuchadnezzar said to Joshua the High Priest: I know you are righteous because you were delivered from the fire, but what is the reason that the fire was slightly effective concerning you, and for Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah the fire was not effective concerning them at all, and their garments were not singed? Joshua the High Priest said to him: They were three righteous people, and I am one. Nebuchadnezzar said to him: But wasn’t Abraham one person, and when he was cast into the furnace the fire had no effect? Joshua answered him: There, in the case of Abraham, there were no wicked people with him, and license to cause damage was not given to the fire. Here, in this case, there were wicked people with me, and license to cause damage was given to the fire. The Gemara adds that this explains the adage that people say: If there are two dry firebrands and one moist one in a fire, the dry firebrands burn the moist one.

מאי טעמא איענש אמר רב פפא שהיו בניו נושאין נשים שאינן הגונות לכהונה ולא מיחה בהן שנאמר ויהושע היה לבש בגדים צואים וכי דרכו של יהושע ללבוש בגדים צואים אלא מלמד שהיו בניו נושאים נשים שאינן הגונות לכהונה ולא מיחה בהן

The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Joshua the High Priest was punished and was cast into the furnace? Rav Pappa says: It was due to the fact that his sons would marry women who were not fit for marriage into the priesthood, and he did not reprimand them, as it is stated: “And Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and he stood before the angel” (Zechariah 3:3). And was it the typical manner of Joshua to wear filthy garments? Rather this verse teaches an allusion that his sons would marry women who were not fit for marriage into the priesthood, and he did not reprimand them. That is why he appeared with soiled garments in the vision of the prophet Zechariah.

אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בציפורי מאי דכתיב שש השערים האלה נתן לי מאי שש השערים אילימא שש שעורים ממש וכי דרכו של בועז ליתן מתנה שש שעורים

§ Apropos Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, the Gemara cites that which Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: What is the meaning of that which is written with regard to the statement of Ruth to Naomi concerning Boaz: “These six grains of barley he gave me” (Ruth 3:17). What is the meaning of the phrase “six grains of barley”? If we say that the reference is to six actual grains of barley, is it the typical manner of Boaz to give a minimal gift of six grains of barley?

אלא שש סאין

Rather, he gave her six se’a.

וכי דרכה של אשה ליטול שש סאין אלא רמז [ רמז] לה שעתידין ששה בנים לצאת ממנה שמתברכין בשש [שש] ברכות ואלו הן דוד ומשיח דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה דוד דכתיב ויען אחד מהנערים ויאמר הנה ראיתי בן לישי בית הלחמי ידע נגן וגבור חיל ואיש מלחמה ונבון דבר ואיש תאר וה׳ עמו וגו׳

The Gemara asks: And is it the typical manner of a woman to take a heavy burden of six se’a of barley? Rather, Boaz alluded to Ruth that six descendants are destined to emerge from her who would each be blessed with six blessings, and these are they: David, and the Messiah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The Gemara elaborates: David was blessed with six virtues, as it is written: “And one of the servants answered and said: Behold, I have seen a son of Yishai of the house of Bethlehem who knows to play, and is a fine warrior, and a man of war, and prudent in speech, and a comely man, and the Lord is with him” (I Samuel 16:18).

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל הפסוק הזה לא אמרו דואג אלא בלשון הרע ידע נגן שיודע לישאל גבור שיודע להשיב איש מלחמה שיודע לישא וליתן במלחמתה של תורה איש תאר שמראה פנים בהלכה ונבון דבר שמבין דבר מתוך דבר וה׳ עמו שהלכה כמותו בכל מקום

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Doeg the Edomite, one of Saul’s servants, stated this entire verse only as malicious speech, in an attempt to incite Saul to be jealous of David. “Who knows how to play” means that he knows how to ask complex and germane questions about Torah matters. “A fine warrior” means that he knows how to answer questions raised with regard to matters of Torah. “A man of war,” means that he knows to negotiate his way in the battle to understand the Torah. “A comely man” is one who displays understanding in facets of halakha and explains it well. “And prudent in speech [davar]” means that he infers one matter [davar] from another matter. “And the Lord is with him” means that the halakha is ruled in accordance with his opinion in every area of halakha.

בכולהו אמר להו יהונתן בני כמוהו כיון דאמר ליה וה׳ עמו מילתא דבדידיה נמי לא הוה ביה חלש דעתיה ואיקניא ביה דבשאול כתיב ובכל אשר יפנה ירשיע ובדוד כתיב ובכל אשר יפנה יצליח

The Gemara relates: In response to all of these virtues listed in praise of David, Saul said to his servants: My son Jonathan is his equal. Once Doeg said to Saul: “And the Lord is with him,” meaning that the halakha is ruled in accordance with his opinion in every area of halakha, a matter that did not apply even to Saul himself, he was offended and grew jealous of David. As with regard to Saul it is written: “And wherever he turned he put them to the worse” (I Samuel 14:47), and with regard to David it is written: And wherever he turns he does prosper. Although the verse about Saul is referring to his victories and his prominence in Torah, he was not privileged to have all of his conclusions accepted as halakha.

מנלן דדואג הוה כתיב הכא ויען אחד מהנערים מיוחד שבנערים וכתיב התם ושם איש מעבדי שאול ביום ההוא נעצר לפני ה׳ ושמו דאג האדמי אביר הרעים אשר לשאול

The Gemara asks: From where do we derive that it was Doeg who listed the virtues in this verse? The Gemara answers that it is written here: “And one [eḥad] of the servants answered,” meaning the most notable [meyuḥad] of the servants. And it is written there: “And a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord, and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen that belonged to Saul” (I Samuel 21:8).

משיח דכתיב ונחה עליו רוח ה׳ רוח חכמה ובינה רוח עצה וגבורה רוח דעת ויראת ה׳ וגו׳ וכתיב והריחו ביראת ה׳

The Messiah was blessed with six virtues, as it is written: “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2); and it is written: “And his delight [vahariḥo] shall be the fear of the Lord, and he shall neither judge after the sight of his eyes, nor decide after the hearing of his ears” (Isaiah 11:3).

אמר רבי אלכסנדרי מלמד שהטעינו מצות ויסורין כריחיים רבא אמר דמורח ודאין דכתיב ולא למראה עיניו ישפוט ושפט בצדק דלים והוכיח במישור לענוי ארץ

Rabbi Alexandri says that the term hariḥo teaches that God burdened the Messiah with mitzvot and afflictions like millstones [reiḥayim]. Rava says that hariḥo teaches that the Messiah will smell [demoraḥ] and then judge on that basis, sensing who is right, as it is written: “And he shall neither judge after the sight of [lemareh] his eyes, nor decide after the hearing of his ears; and with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide equity for the meek of the earth” (Isaiah 11:3–4).

בר כוזיבא מלך תרתין שנין ופלגא אמר להו לרבנן אנא משיח אמרו ליה במשיח כתיב דמורח ודאין נחזי אנן אי מורח ודאין כיון דחזיוהו דלא מורח ודאין קטלוהו

The Gemara relates: Bar Koziva, i.e., bar Kokheva, ruled for two and a half years. He said to the Sages: I am the Messiah. They said to him: With regard to the Messiah it is written that he is able to smell and judge, so let us see ourselves whether he, bar Kokheva, is able to smell and judge. Once they saw that he was not able to smell and judge, the gentiles killed him.

דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה דכתיב בהו אשר אין בהם כל מאום וטובי מראה ומשכלים בכל חכמה וידעי דעת ומביני מדע ואשר כח בהם לעמד בהיכל המלך וללמדם ספר ולשון כשדים

Six virtues were ascribed to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as it is written in their regard: “Youths in whom was found no blemish, and well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and discerning in knowledge, and perceptive in understanding, and who had strength in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:4).

מאי אשר אין בהם כל מום אמר רבי חמא בר חנניא אפילו כריבדא דכוסילתא לא הוה בהו מאי ואשר כח בהם לעמד בהיכל המלך אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מלמד שהיו אונסין את עצמן מן השחוק ומן השיחה ומן השינה ומעמידין על עצמן בשעה שנצרכין לנקביהם מפני אימת מלכות

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “in whom was found no blemish”? Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina says: Even a scratch like the wound that remains after bloodletting was not found in them. What is the meaning of the phrase “and who had strength in them to stand in the king’s place”? What strength is needed to do so? Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: This teaches that they would force themselves to refrain from laughter, and from conversation, and from sleep, and would restrain themselves when they felt the urge to relieve themselves via their orifices, due to fear of the monarchy.

ויהי בהם מבני יהודה דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה אמר רבי אליעזר כולן מבני יהודה הם ורבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר דניאל מבני יהודה חנניה מישאל ועזריה משאר שבטים

§ The Gemara explores more of their attributes. The verse states: “Now among these were, of the descendants of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah” (Daniel 1:6). Rabbi Eliezer says: They were all of the descendants of Judah. And Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says: Daniel was of the descendants of Judah, and Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were descendants of other tribes.

ומבניך אשר יצאו ממך אשר תוליד יקחו והיו סריסים בהיכל מלך בבל מאי סריסים רב אמר סריסים ממש ורבי חנינא אמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם

Isaiah prophesied to Hezekiah: “And of your sons that shall issue from you, they shall be taken away; and they shall be officers [sarisim] in the palace of the king of Babylonia” (Isaiah 39:7). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of sarisim? Rav says: It means literally eunuchs, whom the Babylonians castrated to render them suitable for employment in all aspects of the king’s service. And Rabbi Ḥanina says: It means that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, as it became clear to all that it lacks substance.

בשלמא למאן דאמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם היינו דכתיב וחבל לא איתי בהון אלא למאן דאמר סריסים ממש מאי וחבל לא איתי בהון חבלא דנורא והכתיב וריח נור לא עדת בהון לא חבלא ולא ריחא

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the one who says that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, that is as it is written: “And they have no hurt” (Daniel 3:25), indicating that the bodies of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were intact and they were not castrated. But according to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, what is the meaning of the phrase “And they have no hurt”? The Gemara answers: It means they had no hurt from the fire of the furnace, not that their bodies were completely intact. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it already written: “Nor had the odor of fire passed over them” (Daniel 3:27)? There was no need to repeat that they were unaffected by the fire. The Gemara answers: This means that there was neither hurt from the fire nor harm from the odor of the fire.

בשלמא למאן דאמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם היינו דכתיב כה אמר ה׳ לסריסים אשר ישמרו את שבתתי וגו׳ אלא למאן דאמר סריסים ממש משתעי קרא בגנותא דצדיקי הא והא הוה בהו

The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the one who says that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, that is as it is written: “For so says the Lord to the sarisim who observe My Shabbatot, and choose what pleases Me, and keep My covenant” (Isaiah 56:4). This verse calls them sarisim due to their miraculous deliverance from the furnace. But according to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, would the verse speak in denigration of the righteous? Would the verse identify Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah by their blemish rather than by their names? The Gemara answers: According to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, both this, the physical imperfection, and that, the fact that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, were true concerning them.

בשלמא למאן דאמר סריסים ממש היינו דכתיב בביתי ובחומתי יד ושם טוב מבנים ומבנות אלא למאן דאמר שנסתרסה עבודה זרה בימיהם מאי טוב מבנים ומבנות אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק מבנים שהיו להם כבר ומתו מאי שם עולם אתן לו אשר לא יכרת אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בצפורי זה ספר דניאל שנקרא על שמו

The Gemara asks from another perspective: Granted, according to the one who says that they were literally eunuchs, that is as it is written in the next verse: “And to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial better than sons and daughters: I will give him an everlasting name, that shall not be excised” (Isaiah 56:5). But according to the one who says that idol worship was emasculated during their lifetime, what is the meaning of the phrase “better than sons and daughters”? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: It is consolation that concerning children that they already had and who died, that they would also be memorialized. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “an everlasting name that shall not be excised”? Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: This is referring to the book of Daniel, which is called by his name.

מכדי כל מילי דעזרא נחמיה בן חכליה אמרינהו ונחמיה בן חכליה מאי טעמא לא איקרי סיפרא על שמיה אמר רבי ירמיה בר אבא מפני שהחזיק טובה לעצמו שנאמר זכרה לי אלהי לטובה דוד נמי מימר אמר זכרני ה׳ ברצון עמך פקדני בישועתך דוד רחמי הוא דקבעי

§ Apropos books of the Bible named for a prominent person, the Gemara asks: Now with regard to all the matters of the book of Ezra, Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, said them and wrote most of them; and with regard to Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah, what is the reason that a book was not called by his name? Over the course of many generations, extending many years after the talmudic period, the book that is today named for Nehemiah was not a separate book and was included in the book of Ezra. Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: The book was not named for Nehemiah because he took credit for himself and boasted about his good deeds, as it is stated: “Remember me, God, for good” (Nehemiah 13:31). The Gemara asks: Is that a shortcoming? King David also said: “Remember me, Lord, when You show favor to Your people; visit me with Your salvation” (Psalms 106:4). The Gemara answers: David was asking for compassion and formulated his words as a prayer. Nehemiah stated them as a fact and a demand.

רב יוסף אמר מפני שסיפר בגנותן של ראשונים שנאמר והפחות הראשונים אשר לפני הכבידו על העם ויקחו מהם בלחם ויין אחר כסף שקלים ארבעים וגו׳ ואף על דניאל שגדול ממנו סיפר

Rav Yosef says: Nehemiah was punished because he spoke in denigration of his predecessors, as it is stated: “But the former governors who were before me placed burdens upon the people, and took from them for bread and wine beyond forty shekels of silver; even their servants ruled over the people; but I did not do so, due to the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:15). And he related these disparaging statements even about Daniel, who was greater than he was.

ומנלן דגדול ממנו דכתיב וראיתי אני דניאל לבדי את המראה והאנשים אשר היו עמי לא ראו את המראה אבל חרדה גדלה נפלה עליהם ויברחו בהחבא והאנשים אשר היו עמי לא ראו את המראה ומאן נינהו אנשים אמר רבי ירמיה ואיתימא רבי חייא בר אבא זה חגי זכריה ומלאכי

The Gemara asks: From where do we derive that Daniel was greater than he was? The Gemara answers: It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, and the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide” (Daniel 10:7). The Gemara asks: “And the men who were with me did not see the vision”; and who were these men? Rabbi Yirmeya, and some say Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, says: That is referring to Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who were with him and did not see. Evidently, Daniel was greater than these prophets, and all the more so was he greater than Nehemiah, who was never privileged to prophesy.

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