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Today's Daf Yomi

October 18, 2017 | כ״ח בתשרי תשע״ח

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Sanhedrin 94

The story of the battle between Hizkiyahu and Sancheriv is discussed in detail, beginning with the tradition that Hizkiyahu was meant to be the messiah but was deemed unworthy for not showing thanks to God.  In the context of the description of the story, the gemara uses it as a platform to stress the importance of learning Torah.

אינהו עדיפי מיניה ואיהו עדיף מנייהו אינהו עדיפי מיניה דאינהו נביאי ואיהו לאו נביא ואיהו עדיף מנייהו דאיהו חזא ואינהו לא חזו

Apropos Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the Gemara notes: In certain respects, the latter three were greater than Daniel, and in certain respects, Daniel was greater than the latter three. They were greater than he, as they were prophets and he was not a prophet. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi were designated to transmit their visions of God to the Jewish people, but Daniel was not designated to share his visions with others. And he was greater than they, as he saw this vision, and they did not see this vision.

וכי מאחר דלא חזו מאי טעמא איבעות אף על גב דאינהו לא חזו מידי מזלייהו חזי אמר רבינא שמע מינה האי מאן דמבעית אף על גב דאיהו לא חזי מזליה חזי

The Gemara asks: And since they did not see the vision, what is the reason that they were frightened? The Gemara answers: Although they did not see the vision, their guardian angels saw it, and they were overcome with fear and fled. Ravina said: Conclude from it that in the case of this person who becomes frightened with no apparent cause, although he does not see what causes his fear, his guardian angel sees it.

מאי תקנתיה לינשוף מדוכתיה ארבעה גרמידי אי נמי ליקרי קרית שמע ואי קאי במקום הטנופת לימא הכי עיזא דבי טבחא שמינא מינאי

What is his remedy? Let him leap four cubits from his current location to distance himself from the perceived danger. Alternatively, let him recite Shema, which will afford him protection. And if he is standing in a place of filth, where it is prohibited to recite verses from the Torah, let him say this formula: The goat of the slaughterhouse is fatter than I, and let the demon harm the goat instead.

לםרבה המשרה ולשלום אין קץ וגו׳ אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בציפורי מפני מה כל מם שבאמצע תיבה פתוח וזה סתום ביקש הקדוש ברוך הוא לעשות חזקיהו משיח וסנחריב גוג ומגוג

§ Apropos Hezekiah, the Gemara cites that which is stated: “That the government may be increased [lemarbe] and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it through justice and through righteousness, from now and forever; the zeal of the Lord of hosts does perform this” (Isaiah 9:6). Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: Due to what reason is it that every letter mem in the middle of a word is open and this mem, of the word lemarbe, is closed? In the Masoretic text, the letter mem in the word “lemarbe” is written in the form of a mem that appears at the end of a word, closed on all four sides. This is because the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to designate King Hezekiah as the Messiah and to designate Sennacherib and Assyria, respectively, as Gog and Magog, all from the prophecy of Ezekiel with regard to the end of days (Ezekiel, chapter 38), and the confrontation between them would culminate in the final redemption.

אמרה מדת הדין לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם ומה דוד מלך ישראל שאמר כמה שירות ותשבחות לפניך לא עשיתו משיח חזקיה שעשית לו כל הנסים הללו ולא אמר שירה לפניך תעשהו משיח לכך נסתתם

The attribute of justice said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, and if with regard to David, king of Israel, who recited several songs and praises before You, You did not designate him as the Messiah, then with regard to Hezekiah, for whom You performed all these miracles, delivering him from Sennacherib and healing his illness, and he did not recite praise before You, will You designate him as the Messiah? It is for that reason that the mem was closed, because there was an opportunity for redemption that was thwarted.

מיד פתחה הארץ ואמרה לפניו רבונו של עולם אני אומרת לפניך שירה תחת צדיק זה ועשהו משיח פתחה ואמרה שירה לפניו שנאמר מכנף הארץ זמרת שמענו צבי לצדיק וגו׳

Immediately, the earth began and stated before Him: Master of the Universe, I will recite song before You in place of that righteous person, i.e., Hezekiah, and designate him as the Messiah. The earth began and recited a song before Him, as it is stated: “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous. But I said, my secret is mine, my secret is mine, woe unto me. The treacherous deal treacherously; the treacherous deal very treacherously” (Isaiah 24:16).

אמר שר העולם לפניו רבונו של עולם צביונו עשה לצדיק זה יצאה בת קול ואמרה רזי לי רזי לי אמר נביא אוי לי אוי לי עד מתי יצאה בת קול ואמרה בגדים בגדו ובגד בוגדים בגדו ואמר רבא ואיתימא רבי יצחק עד דאתו בזוזי ובזוזי דבזוזי

The angel appointed to oversee the world said before Him: Master of the Universe, perform the will of this righteous person. A Divine Voice emerged and said: “My secret is Mine, My secret is Mine”; this matter will remain secret, as I am not yet bringing the redemption. The prophet said: “Woe unto me,” woe unto me; until when will the exile continue? A Divine Voice emerged and said: “The treacherous deal treacherously; the treacherous deal very treacherously” (Isaiah 24:16). And Rava, and some say Rabbi Yitzḥak, says: Until looters and looters of looters come, the Messiah will not come.

משא דומה אלי קרא משעיר שמר מה מלילה שמר מה מליל וגו׳ אמר רבי יוחנן אותו מלאך הממונה על הרוחות דומה שמו נתקבצו כל הרוחות אצל דומה אמרו לו שמר מה מלילה שמר מה מליל אמר שמר אתא בקר וגם לילה אם תבעיון בעיו שבו אתיו

On a similar note, Isaiah said: “The burden of Dumah. One calls to me out of Seir: Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The Watchman said: The morning comes and also the night; if you will inquire, inquire; return, come” (Isaiah 21:11–12). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: That angel, who is appointed over the spirits [seirim], his name is Dumah. All the spirits assembled near Dumah and said to him: “Watchman of the night, what of the night? Does God, Guardian of Israel, say that the time for redemption has arrived?” The angel answered: “The Watchman said: The morning comes and also the night; if you will inquire, inquire; return, come.” The Holy One, Blessed be He, said that the morning of redemption has come as well as the night of the exile. If you inquire and seek repentance, inquire and repent, and return to God and redemption will come.

תנא משום רבי פפייס גנאי הוא לחזקיה וסייעתו שלא אמרו שירה עד שפתחה הארץ ואמרה שירה שנאמר ׳מכנף הארץ זמרת שמענו צבי לצדיק׳ וגו׳ כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר ויאמר יתרו ברוך ה׳ אשר הציל אתכם תנא משום רבי פפייס גנאי הוא למשה וששים ריבוא שלא אמרו ׳ברוך׳ עד שבא יתרו ואמר ׳ברוך ה׳׳

It was taught in the name of Rabbi Pappeyas: It is a disgrace for Hezekiah and his associates that they did not recite a song themselves and that a song was not recited until the earth began and recited a song, as it is stated: “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous” (Isaiah 24:16). On a similar note, you say: “And Jethro said: Blessed be the Lord, Who has delivered you out of the hand of Egypt and out of the hand of Pharaoh” (Exodus 18:10). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Pappeyas: It is a disgrace for Moses and the six hundred thousand adult men of the children of Israel whom he led out of Egypt that they did not say: Blessed, until Yitro came and said: “Blessed be the Lord.”

ויחד יתרו רב ושמואל רב אמר שהעביר חרב חדה על בשרו ושמואל אמר שנעשה חדודים חדודים כל בשרו אמר רב היינו דאמרי אינשי גיורא עד עשרה דרי לא תבזה ארמאי קמיה

It is written in the previous verse: “Vayyiḥad Yitro for all the goodness that the Lord had done to Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of Egypt” (Exodus 18:9). Rav and Shmuel disagreed with regard to the meaning of vayyiḥad. Rav says: He passed a sharp [ḥad] sword over his flesh, i.e., he circumcised himself and converted. And Shmuel says: He felt as though cuts [ḥiddudim] were made over his flesh, i.e., he had an unpleasant feeling due to the downfall of Egypt. Rav says with regard to this statement of Shmuel that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: With regard to a convert, for ten generations after his conversion one should not disparage a gentile before him and his descendants, as they continue to identify somewhat with gentiles and remain sensitive to their pain.

לכן ישלח האדון ה׳ צבאות במשמניו רזון מאי במשמניו רזון אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא יבא חזקיהו שיש לו שמונה שמות ויפרע מסנחריב שיש לו שמונה שמות חזקיה דכתיב כי ילד ילד לנו בן נתן לנו ותהי המשרה על שכמו ויקרא שמו פלא יועץ אל גבור אבי עד שר שלום והאיכא חזקיה שחזקו יה דבר אחר חזקיה שחיזק את ישראל לאביהם שבשמים

§ The verse states: “Therefore shall the Master, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones [mishmanav] leanness” (Isaiah 10:16). What is the meaning of the phrase “send among his fat ones leanness”? The meaning is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Let Hezekiah, who has eight [shemona] names, come, and exact retribution from Sennacherib, who has eight names. The Gemara elaborates: The eight names of Hezekiah are as it is written: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele Joez El Gibbor Abi Ad Sar Shalom” (Isaiah 9:5). The Gemara asks: But isn’t there an additional name, Hezekiah? The Gemara explains: That was not a given name; rather, it is an appellation based on the fact that God strengthened him [ḥizzeko]. Alternatively, he was called Hezekiah due to the fact that he strengthened the devotion of the Jewish people to their Father in Heaven.

סנחריב דכתיב ביה תגלת פלאסר פלנאסר שלמנאסר פול סרגון (סרגין) אסנפר רבא ויקירא והאיכא סנחריב שסיחתו ריב דבר אחר שסח וניחר דברים כלפי מעלה

The eight names of Sennacherib are as it is written in his regard among the kings of Assyria: “Tiglath-Pileser” (II Kings 15:29), “Tiglath-Pilneser” (II Chronicles 28:20), “Shalmaneser” (II Kings 17:3), “Pul” (II Kings 15:19), “Sargon” (Isaiah 20:1), and “the great and noble Asenappar” (Ezra 4:10). And the Gemara asks: But isn’t there an additional name, Sennacherib [Sanḥeriv]? The Gemara explains: That was not a given name; rather, it is an appellation based on the fact that his speech is contentious [siḥato riv], leading to quarrel and shame. Alternatively, he was called Sanḥeriv due to the fact that he spoke [saḥ] and snorted out [niḥer] contemptuous statements vis-à-vis the Transcendent.

אמר רבי יוחנן מפני מה זכה אותו רשע לקרותו אסנפר רבא ויקירא מפני שלא סיפר בגנותה של ארץ ישראל שנאמר עד באי ולקחתי אתכם אל ארץ כארצכם

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: For what reason was that wicked person privileged to be named “the great and noble Asenappar”? It was due to the fact that he did not speak [sipper] in disparagement of Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “Until I come and take you to a land like your own” (II Kings 18:32), and he did not say that he was taking them to a superior land.

רב ושמואל חד אמר מלך פקח היה וחד אמר מלך טיפש היה למאן דאמר מלך פקח היה אי אמינא להו עדיפא מארעייכו אמרו קא משקרת ומאן דאמר מלך טיפש היה אם כן מאי רבותיה

Rav and Shmuel disagreed with regard to that statement of Sennacherib: One says he was a clever king and one says he was a foolish king. According to the one who says he was a clever king, he said that he is taking them to a land like their own, as he thought: If I say to them: I am taking you to a land that is superior to your land, they will say: You are lying. And as for the one who says he was a foolish king, he explains: If so, if he said that he is not taking them to a superior land, what is his greatness and how would they be convinced to go into exile?

להיכא אגלי להו מר זוטרא אמר לאפריקי ורבי חנינא אמר להרי סלוג אבל ישראל ספרו בגנותה של ארץ ישראל כי מטו שוש אמרי שויא כי ארעין כי מטו עלמין אמרו כעלמין כי מטו שושתרי אמרי על חד תרין

The Gemara asks: To where did Sennacherib exile the ten tribes? Mar Zutra says: He exiled them to Afrikei, and Rabbi Ḥanina says: To the Selug Mountains. The Gemara adds: But those exiled from the kingdom of Israel spoke in disparagement of Eretz Yisrael and extolled the land of their exile. When they arrived at one place, they called it Shosh, as they said: It is equal [shaveh] to our land. When they arrived at another place, they called it Almin, as they said: It is like our world [almin], as Eretz Yisrael is also called beit olamim. When they arrived at a third place they called it Shosh the second [terei], as they said: For one measure of good in Eretz Yisrael, there are two [terein] here.

ותחת כבדו [יקד] יקד כיקוד אש אמר רבי יוחנן תחת כבודו ולא כבודו ממש כי הא דרבי יוחנן קרי ליה למאני מכבדותי רבי אלעזר אמר תחת כבודו ממש כשריפת בני אהרן מה להלן שריפת נשמה וגוף קיים אף כאן שריפת נשמה וגוף קיים

The Gemara cites additional verses written with regard to Sennacherib. “And beneath his glory shall be kindled a blaze like the blaze of a fire” (Isaiah 10:16). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A blaze was kindled beneath his glory, but it was not actually kindled on his glory. The blaze consumed the bodies of the troops of Sennacherib beneath their garments, which were referred to as glory, as in that practice of Rabbi Yoḥanan, who would call his garments: My glory. Rabbi Elazar says: It means beneath his actual glory, i.e., the blaze consumed their souls, and their flesh was not consumed, like the burning of the sons of Aaron. Just as there, the death of the sons of Aaron entailed the burning of the soul, and the body remained intact, so too here, the death of the troops of Sennacherib entailed the burning of the soul, and the body remained intact.

תנא משמיה דרבי יהושע בן קרחה פרעה שחירף בעצמו נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו בעצמו סנחריב שחירף

It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa: With regard to Pharaoh, who himself blasphemed God, the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself exacted retribution from him. With regard to Sennacherib, who blasphemed God

על ידי שליח נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו על ידי שליח

by means of an agent, the Holy One, Blessed be He, exacted retribution from him by means of an agent.

פרעה דכתיב ביה מי ה׳ אשר אשמע בקלו נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו בעצמו דכתיב וינער ה׳ את מצרים בתוך הים וכתיב דרכת בים סוסיך וגו׳ סנחריב דכתיב ביד מלאכיך חרפת ה׳ נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו על ידי שליח דכתיב ויצא מלאך ה׳ ויך במחנה אשור מאה שמונים וחמשה אלף וגו׳

Pharaoh blasphemed God, as it is written that he said to Moses and Aaron: “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Exodus 5:2) The Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself exacted retribution from him, as it is written: “And the Lord overthrew Egypt in the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:27), and it is written: “You have trodden through the sea with Your horses” (Habakkuk 3:15). Sennacherib blasphemed God by means of an agent, as it is written: “By your messengers you have taunted the Lord” (II Kings 19:23). The Holy One, Blessed be He, exacted retribution from him by means of an agent, as it is written: “Then the angel of the Lord went forth and smote in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand” (II Kings 19:35).

רבי חנינא בר פפא רמי כתיב מרום קצו וכתיב מלון קצו אמר אותו רשע בתחלה אחריב דירה של מטה ואחר כך אחריב דירה של מעלה

Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa raises a contradiction. It is written that Sennacherib said: “And I will enter into its farthest height” (Isaiah 37:24), and it is written in a parallel verse that he said: “And I have entered into its farthest lodge” (II Kings 19:23). The Gemara resolves the contradiction. That wicked person said: Initially, I will destroy the earthly dwelling place below, i.e., the Temple, its farthest lodge, and thereafter, I will destroy the heavenly dwelling place above, its farthest height.

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי מאי דכתיב עתה המבלעדי ה׳ עליתי על המקום הזה להשחתו ה׳ אמר אלי עלה על הארץ הזאת והשחיתה מאי היא דשמע לנביא דקאמר יען כי מאס העם הזה את מי השלח ההולכים לאט ומשוש את רצין ובן רמליהו

§ Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: What is the meaning of that which is written in the statement of Rab-shakeh, emissary of Sennacherib: “Have I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me: Go up against this land and destroy it” (II Kings 18:25). What is this command to destroy the land? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi explains: It is referring to the fact that he heard the prophet who said: “Since the people rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow slowly and rejoice with Rezin and the son of Remaliah. Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them…the king of Assyria” (Isaiah 8:6–7).

אמר רב יוסף אלמלא תרגומא דהאי קרא לא הוה ידענא מאי קאמר חלף דקץ עמא הדין במלכותא דבית דוד דמדבר להון בנייח כמי שילוחא דנגדין בנייח ואיתרעיאו ברצין ובר רמליה

Rav Yosef says: Were it not for the Aramaic translation of this verse I would not know what it is saying. It is translated: Since this people loathed the reign of the house of David that led them gently, like the waters of the Shiloah, which flow gently, and they preferred Rezin and the son of Remaliah, who were kings from the northern kingdom of Israel. And the verse continues: “Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them…the king of Assyria.”

אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב מארת ה׳ בבית רשע ונוה צדיקים יברך מארת ה׳ בבית רשע זה פקח בן רמליהו שהיה אוכל ארבעים סאה גוזלות בקינוח סעודה ונוה צדיקים יברך זה חזקיה מלך יהודה שהיה אוכל ליטרא ירק בסעודה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked, but He blesses the habitation of the just” (Proverbs 3:33)? “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked”; this is a reference to Pekah, son of Remaliah, who would eat forty se’a of fledglings for dessert and would still not be satiated, as his property was cursed. “But He blesses the habitation of the just”; this is a reference to Hezekiah, king of Judea, who would eat a litra of vegetables at his meal and was satiated, as his property was blessed.

ולכן הנה ה׳ מעלה עליהם את מי הנהר העצומים והרבים את מלך אשור וכתיב וחלף ביהודה שטף ועבר עד צואר יגיע

It is written in the verse: “Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up upon them the strong and abundant waters of the river, the king of Assyria” (Isaiah 8:7). And it is written: “And he shall sweep through Judea; he shall inundate and pass through, reaching even the neck” (Isaiah 8:8). Rab-shakeh alluded to that prophecy when he said in the verse in Kings that the Lord said to destroy the land.

אלא מאי טעמא איעניש נביא אעשרת השבטים איתנבי איהו יהיב דעתיה על כולה ירושלים בא נביא ואמר ליה כי לא מועף לאשר מוצק לה אמר רבי אלעזר בר ברכיה אין נמסר עם עייף בתורה ביד מי המציק לו

The Gemara asks: But what is the reason that Sennacherib was punished if he was merely fulfilling God’s command? The Gemara answers: The prophet prophesied about the destruction of the kingdom of Israel and the exile of the ten tribes, but he directed his attention to destroy all of Jerusalem. The prophet came and said to him: “For there is no weariness [mu’af ] that is set [mutzak] against her” (Isaiah 8:23). Rabbi Elazar bar Berekhya says that the verse is interpreted homiletically: A nation that is weary [ayef ] from its constant engagement in Torah study is not delivered into the hands of one who oppresses [metzik] it.

מאי כעת הראשון הקל ארצה זבולן וארצה נפתלי והאחרון הכביד דרך הים עבר הירדן גליל הגוים לא כראשונים שהקלו מעליהם עול תורה אבל אחרונים שהכבידו עליהן עול תורה וראויין הללו לעשות להם נס כעוברי הים וכדורכי הירדן אם חוזר בו מוטב ואם לאו אני אעשה לו גליל בגוים

What is the meaning of the continuation of the verse, which states: “Now the former has lightly afflicted [hakel] the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali but the latter has dealt a more grievous blow [hikhbid] by way of the sea, beyond the Jordan in the district [gelil] of the nations”? The generation in Judea in the time of Hezekiah is not like the former generation of Ahaz, who eased [hekellu] the yoke of Torah from upon the people. But the latter generation of Hezekiah, who intensified [hikhbidu] the yoke of Torah upon the people, is fit for God to perform a miracle for them like the miracles performed for those who crossed the Red Sea and those who trod through the Jordan River. God is saying: If Sennacherib reconsiders his planned conquest, good, but if he does not, I will render him wallowing [galil] in shame among the nations.

אחרי הדברים והאמת האלה בא סנחריב מלך אשור ויבא ביהודה ויחן על הערים הבצרות ויאמר לבקעם אליו האי רישנא להאי פרדשנא

The verse states: “After these matters and this truth, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came and entered Judea and encamped against the fortified cities and sought to breach them for himself” (II Chronicles 32:1). The Gemara asks: Is this gift [rishna], the invasion of Sennacherib, appropriate compensation for that gift [pardashna], Hezekiah’s restoration of the Temple and the worship of God in Judea?

אחרי הדברים והאמת אחר מאי אמר רבינא לאחר שקפץ הקדוש ברוך הוא ונשבע ואמר אי אמינא ליה לחזקיה מייתינא ליה לסנחריב ומסרנא ליה בידך השתא אמר לא הוא בעינא ולא ביעתותיה בעינא

The Gemara explains: When the verse states: “After these matters and this truth [emet],” after what matters is the verse referring to? Ravina says: This is referring to after the Holy One, Blessed be He, preempted and took an oath, referenced with the term emet, that He will deliver the spoils of the army of the king of Assyria into the hands of Hezekiah. And this was because He had said: If I say to Hezekiah: I will bring Sennacherib and I will deliver him into your hands; he will then say: I neither want him delivered into my hands nor do I want the accompanying fear of him.

מיד קפץ הקדוש ברוך הוא ונשבע דמייתינא ליה שנאמר נשבע ה׳ צבאות לאמר אם לא כאשר דמיתי כן היתה וכאשר יעצתי היא תקום לשבר אשור בארצי ועל הרי אבוסנו וסר מעליהם עלו וסבלו מעל שכמו יסור אמר רבי יוחנן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא יבא סנחריב וסיעתו ויעשה אבוס לחזקיהו ולסיעתו

Immediately, the Holy One, Blessed be He, preempted Hezekiah and took an oath: I take an oath that I will deliver him, as it is stated: “The Lord of hosts has taken an oath, saying: Is it not as I imagined it, so has it come to pass; and as I have proposed, so shall it arise, that I will break Assyria in My land, and upon My mountains subdue him [avusennu]; then shall his yoke depart from them, and his burden depart from its shoulder” (Isaiah 14:24–25). Rabbi Yoḥanan says that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Sennacherib and his entourage shall come and be transformed into a feeding trough [evus], in the sense of a source of sustenance for Hezekiah and his entourage.

והיה ביום ההוא יסור סבלו מעל שכמך ועלו מעל צוארך וחבל על מפני שמן אמר רבי יצחק נפחא חובל עול של סנחריב מפני שמנו של חזקיהו שהיה דולק בבתי כנסיות ובבתי מדרשות

§ It is stated with regard to the downfall of Assyria: “And it shall come to pass on that day, his burden shall be taken from on your shoulder, and his yoke from on your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed due to fatness [shamen]” (Isaiah 10:27). Rabbi Yitzḥak Nappaḥa says: The yoke of Sennacherib was destroyed due to the oil [shemen] of Hezekiah that would burn in the synagogues and study halls when the Jewish people were engaged in Torah study at night.

מה עשה נעץ חרב על פתח בית המדרש ואמר כל מי שאינו עוסק בתורה ידקר בחרב זו בדקו מדן ועד באר שבע ולא מצאו עם הארץ מגבת ועד אנטיפרס ולא מצאו תינוק ותינוקת איש ואשה שלא היו בקיאין בהלכות טומאה וטהרה

What did Hezekiah do to ensure Torah study? He inserted a sword at the entrance of the study hall and said: Anyone who does not engage in Torah study shall be stabbed with this sword. As a result, they searched from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, and did not find an ignoramus. They searched from Gevat to Antipatris and did not find a male child, or a female child, or a man, or a woman who was not expert even in the complex halakhot of ritual purity and impurity.

ועל אותו הדור הוא אומר והיה ביום ההוא יחיה איש עגלת בקר ושתי צאן וגו׳ ואומר והיה ביום ההוא יהיה כל מקום אשר יהיה שם אלף גפן באלף כסף לשמיר ולשית יהיה אף על פי שאלף גפן באלף כסף לשמיר ולשית יהיה

And it is about that generation that the prophet says: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young calf and two sheep. And it shall come to pass, from the abundance of milk that they produce, he shall eat butter, for butter and honey shall everyone eat, everyone who remains in the midst of the land” (Isaiah 7:21–22). And the prophet continues and says: “And it shall come to pass in that day that every place where there were one thousand vines for one thousand silver coins, it shall be for briars and thorns” (Isaiah 7:23). Although one thousand vines are worth one thousand silver coins and one could earn substantial profits through agricultural labor, the fields will grow briars and thorns due to neglect. The people of that generation were devoted to the study of Torah and engaged in labor only minimally to sustain themselves.

ואסף שללכם אסף החסיל אמר להם נביא לישראל אספו שללכם אמרו לו לבזוז או לחלוק אמר להם ׳כאסף החסיל׳ מה אסף החסיל כל אחד ואחד לעצמו אף שללכם כל אחד ואחד לעצמו

It is written: “And your spoils shall be gathered like the gathering of the locusts; as the advance of the locusts shall he advance” (Isaiah 33:4). The prophet said to the Jewish people: Gather your spoils from the army of Sennacherib. They said to him: Are we to pillage the spoils, each person for himself, or are we to divide the spoils with the monarchy? He said to them: Gather the spoils like the gathering by the locusts. Just as in the gathering by the locusts, each and every one of the locusts takes food for itself, so too, in gathering your spoils, each and every one of you shall take spoils for himself.

אמרו לו והלא ממון עשרת השבטים מעורב בו אמר להם ׳כמשק גבים שקק בו׳ מה גבים הללו מעלין את האדם מטומאה לטהרה אף ממונם של ישראל כיון שנפל ביד גוים מיד טיהר כדרב פפא דאמר רב פפא עמון ומואב טהרו בסיחון

They said to him: Since the army of Sennacherib came to Jerusalem after its conquest of the kingdom of Israel, isn’t the property of the ten tribes intermingled with it, and therefore, gathering the spoils would be robbery? He said to them: “As the advance of the locusts [gevim] shall he advance” (Isaiah 33:4). Just as these pools of water elevate a person up from a state of ritual impurity to a state of purity through immersion, so too the property of the Jewish people, once it falls into the hands of gentiles, it immediately purifies the property, in the sense that it is no longer considered robbery to take it, as its owners despair of its recovery. This is in accordance with the statement of Rav Pappa, as Rav Pappa says: The property of Ammon and Moab was purified through the conquest of Sihon. Although the Torah rendered it prohibited to conquer the land of Ammon and Moab, once Sihon conquered their land, it was permitted for the Jewish people to conquer it.

אמר רב הונא עשר מסעות נסע אותו רשע באותו היום שנאמר בא על עית עבר במגרון למכמש יפקיד כליו עברו מעברה גבע מלון לנו חרדה הרמה גבעת שאול נסה צהלי קולך בת גלים הקשיבה לישה עניה ענתות נדדה מדמנה ישבי הגבים העיזו עוד היום בנב לעמד ינפף ידו הר בת ציון גבעת ירושלם

§ Rav Huna says: That wicked Sennacherib traveled ten journeys on that day, as it is stated: “He is come to Aiath, he is passed through Migron; at Michmas he deposited his baggage. They passed [averu] Mabara; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah trembles; Gibeath Shaul has fled. Cry with a shrill voice, daughter of Gallim; hearken, Laish; poor Anathoth. Madmenah is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim flee to cover. This very day shall he halt at Nov; he shall shake his hand against the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 10:28–32). He traveled to all these places on the same day.

הני טובא הויין צהלי קולך בת גלים נביא הוא דקאמר לה לכנסת ישראל צהלי קולך בת גלים בתו של אברהם יצחק ויעקב שעשו מצות כגלי הים הקשיבה לישה מהאי לא תסתפי אלא איסתפי מנבוכדנצר הרשע דמתיל כאריה שנאמר עלה אריה מסבכו וגו׳

The Gemara asks: Aren’t these more than ten? The Gemara answers that in the verse: “Cry with a shrill voice, daughter of Gallim,” it is the prophet who is saying it to the congregation of Israel: “Cry with a shrill voice, daughter of Gallim,” daughter of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who performed mitzvot as numerous as the waves of the sea. “Hearken, Laish”; from this king, Sennacherib, fear not; but fear Nebuchadnezzar, the wicked who is likened to a lion, as it is stated: “The lion [arye] is gone up from its thicket” (Jeremiah 4:7).

מאי

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase:

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Sanhedrin 94

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Sanhedrin 94

אינהו עדיפי מיניה ואיהו עדיף מנייהו אינהו עדיפי מיניה דאינהו נביאי ואיהו לאו נביא ואיהו עדיף מנייהו דאיהו חזא ואינהו לא חזו

Apropos Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the Gemara notes: In certain respects, the latter three were greater than Daniel, and in certain respects, Daniel was greater than the latter three. They were greater than he, as they were prophets and he was not a prophet. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi were designated to transmit their visions of God to the Jewish people, but Daniel was not designated to share his visions with others. And he was greater than they, as he saw this vision, and they did not see this vision.

וכי מאחר דלא חזו מאי טעמא איבעות אף על גב דאינהו לא חזו מידי מזלייהו חזי אמר רבינא שמע מינה האי מאן דמבעית אף על גב דאיהו לא חזי מזליה חזי

The Gemara asks: And since they did not see the vision, what is the reason that they were frightened? The Gemara answers: Although they did not see the vision, their guardian angels saw it, and they were overcome with fear and fled. Ravina said: Conclude from it that in the case of this person who becomes frightened with no apparent cause, although he does not see what causes his fear, his guardian angel sees it.

מאי תקנתיה לינשוף מדוכתיה ארבעה גרמידי אי נמי ליקרי קרית שמע ואי קאי במקום הטנופת לימא הכי עיזא דבי טבחא שמינא מינאי

What is his remedy? Let him leap four cubits from his current location to distance himself from the perceived danger. Alternatively, let him recite Shema, which will afford him protection. And if he is standing in a place of filth, where it is prohibited to recite verses from the Torah, let him say this formula: The goat of the slaughterhouse is fatter than I, and let the demon harm the goat instead.

לםרבה המשרה ולשלום אין קץ וגו׳ אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בציפורי מפני מה כל מם שבאמצע תיבה פתוח וזה סתום ביקש הקדוש ברוך הוא לעשות חזקיהו משיח וסנחריב גוג ומגוג

§ Apropos Hezekiah, the Gemara cites that which is stated: “That the government may be increased [lemarbe] and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it through justice and through righteousness, from now and forever; the zeal of the Lord of hosts does perform this” (Isaiah 9:6). Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: Due to what reason is it that every letter mem in the middle of a word is open and this mem, of the word lemarbe, is closed? In the Masoretic text, the letter mem in the word “lemarbe” is written in the form of a mem that appears at the end of a word, closed on all four sides. This is because the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to designate King Hezekiah as the Messiah and to designate Sennacherib and Assyria, respectively, as Gog and Magog, all from the prophecy of Ezekiel with regard to the end of days (Ezekiel, chapter 38), and the confrontation between them would culminate in the final redemption.

אמרה מדת הדין לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא רבונו של עולם ומה דוד מלך ישראל שאמר כמה שירות ותשבחות לפניך לא עשיתו משיח חזקיה שעשית לו כל הנסים הללו ולא אמר שירה לפניך תעשהו משיח לכך נסתתם

The attribute of justice said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, and if with regard to David, king of Israel, who recited several songs and praises before You, You did not designate him as the Messiah, then with regard to Hezekiah, for whom You performed all these miracles, delivering him from Sennacherib and healing his illness, and he did not recite praise before You, will You designate him as the Messiah? It is for that reason that the mem was closed, because there was an opportunity for redemption that was thwarted.

מיד פתחה הארץ ואמרה לפניו רבונו של עולם אני אומרת לפניך שירה תחת צדיק זה ועשהו משיח פתחה ואמרה שירה לפניו שנאמר מכנף הארץ זמרת שמענו צבי לצדיק וגו׳

Immediately, the earth began and stated before Him: Master of the Universe, I will recite song before You in place of that righteous person, i.e., Hezekiah, and designate him as the Messiah. The earth began and recited a song before Him, as it is stated: “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous. But I said, my secret is mine, my secret is mine, woe unto me. The treacherous deal treacherously; the treacherous deal very treacherously” (Isaiah 24:16).

אמר שר העולם לפניו רבונו של עולם צביונו עשה לצדיק זה יצאה בת קול ואמרה רזי לי רזי לי אמר נביא אוי לי אוי לי עד מתי יצאה בת קול ואמרה בגדים בגדו ובגד בוגדים בגדו ואמר רבא ואיתימא רבי יצחק עד דאתו בזוזי ובזוזי דבזוזי

The angel appointed to oversee the world said before Him: Master of the Universe, perform the will of this righteous person. A Divine Voice emerged and said: “My secret is Mine, My secret is Mine”; this matter will remain secret, as I am not yet bringing the redemption. The prophet said: “Woe unto me,” woe unto me; until when will the exile continue? A Divine Voice emerged and said: “The treacherous deal treacherously; the treacherous deal very treacherously” (Isaiah 24:16). And Rava, and some say Rabbi Yitzḥak, says: Until looters and looters of looters come, the Messiah will not come.

משא דומה אלי קרא משעיר שמר מה מלילה שמר מה מליל וגו׳ אמר רבי יוחנן אותו מלאך הממונה על הרוחות דומה שמו נתקבצו כל הרוחות אצל דומה אמרו לו שמר מה מלילה שמר מה מליל אמר שמר אתא בקר וגם לילה אם תבעיון בעיו שבו אתיו

On a similar note, Isaiah said: “The burden of Dumah. One calls to me out of Seir: Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The Watchman said: The morning comes and also the night; if you will inquire, inquire; return, come” (Isaiah 21:11–12). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: That angel, who is appointed over the spirits [seirim], his name is Dumah. All the spirits assembled near Dumah and said to him: “Watchman of the night, what of the night? Does God, Guardian of Israel, say that the time for redemption has arrived?” The angel answered: “The Watchman said: The morning comes and also the night; if you will inquire, inquire; return, come.” The Holy One, Blessed be He, said that the morning of redemption has come as well as the night of the exile. If you inquire and seek repentance, inquire and repent, and return to God and redemption will come.

תנא משום רבי פפייס גנאי הוא לחזקיה וסייעתו שלא אמרו שירה עד שפתחה הארץ ואמרה שירה שנאמר ׳מכנף הארץ זמרת שמענו צבי לצדיק׳ וגו׳ כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר ויאמר יתרו ברוך ה׳ אשר הציל אתכם תנא משום רבי פפייס גנאי הוא למשה וששים ריבוא שלא אמרו ׳ברוך׳ עד שבא יתרו ואמר ׳ברוך ה׳׳

It was taught in the name of Rabbi Pappeyas: It is a disgrace for Hezekiah and his associates that they did not recite a song themselves and that a song was not recited until the earth began and recited a song, as it is stated: “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous” (Isaiah 24:16). On a similar note, you say: “And Jethro said: Blessed be the Lord, Who has delivered you out of the hand of Egypt and out of the hand of Pharaoh” (Exodus 18:10). It was taught in the name of Rabbi Pappeyas: It is a disgrace for Moses and the six hundred thousand adult men of the children of Israel whom he led out of Egypt that they did not say: Blessed, until Yitro came and said: “Blessed be the Lord.”

ויחד יתרו רב ושמואל רב אמר שהעביר חרב חדה על בשרו ושמואל אמר שנעשה חדודים חדודים כל בשרו אמר רב היינו דאמרי אינשי גיורא עד עשרה דרי לא תבזה ארמאי קמיה

It is written in the previous verse: “Vayyiḥad Yitro for all the goodness that the Lord had done to Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of Egypt” (Exodus 18:9). Rav and Shmuel disagreed with regard to the meaning of vayyiḥad. Rav says: He passed a sharp [ḥad] sword over his flesh, i.e., he circumcised himself and converted. And Shmuel says: He felt as though cuts [ḥiddudim] were made over his flesh, i.e., he had an unpleasant feeling due to the downfall of Egypt. Rav says with regard to this statement of Shmuel that this is in accordance with the adage that people say: With regard to a convert, for ten generations after his conversion one should not disparage a gentile before him and his descendants, as they continue to identify somewhat with gentiles and remain sensitive to their pain.

לכן ישלח האדון ה׳ צבאות במשמניו רזון מאי במשמניו רזון אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא יבא חזקיהו שיש לו שמונה שמות ויפרע מסנחריב שיש לו שמונה שמות חזקיה דכתיב כי ילד ילד לנו בן נתן לנו ותהי המשרה על שכמו ויקרא שמו פלא יועץ אל גבור אבי עד שר שלום והאיכא חזקיה שחזקו יה דבר אחר חזקיה שחיזק את ישראל לאביהם שבשמים

§ The verse states: “Therefore shall the Master, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones [mishmanav] leanness” (Isaiah 10:16). What is the meaning of the phrase “send among his fat ones leanness”? The meaning is that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Let Hezekiah, who has eight [shemona] names, come, and exact retribution from Sennacherib, who has eight names. The Gemara elaborates: The eight names of Hezekiah are as it is written: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele Joez El Gibbor Abi Ad Sar Shalom” (Isaiah 9:5). The Gemara asks: But isn’t there an additional name, Hezekiah? The Gemara explains: That was not a given name; rather, it is an appellation based on the fact that God strengthened him [ḥizzeko]. Alternatively, he was called Hezekiah due to the fact that he strengthened the devotion of the Jewish people to their Father in Heaven.

סנחריב דכתיב ביה תגלת פלאסר פלנאסר שלמנאסר פול סרגון (סרגין) אסנפר רבא ויקירא והאיכא סנחריב שסיחתו ריב דבר אחר שסח וניחר דברים כלפי מעלה

The eight names of Sennacherib are as it is written in his regard among the kings of Assyria: “Tiglath-Pileser” (II Kings 15:29), “Tiglath-Pilneser” (II Chronicles 28:20), “Shalmaneser” (II Kings 17:3), “Pul” (II Kings 15:19), “Sargon” (Isaiah 20:1), and “the great and noble Asenappar” (Ezra 4:10). And the Gemara asks: But isn’t there an additional name, Sennacherib [Sanḥeriv]? The Gemara explains: That was not a given name; rather, it is an appellation based on the fact that his speech is contentious [siḥato riv], leading to quarrel and shame. Alternatively, he was called Sanḥeriv due to the fact that he spoke [saḥ] and snorted out [niḥer] contemptuous statements vis-à-vis the Transcendent.

אמר רבי יוחנן מפני מה זכה אותו רשע לקרותו אסנפר רבא ויקירא מפני שלא סיפר בגנותה של ארץ ישראל שנאמר עד באי ולקחתי אתכם אל ארץ כארצכם

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: For what reason was that wicked person privileged to be named “the great and noble Asenappar”? It was due to the fact that he did not speak [sipper] in disparagement of Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “Until I come and take you to a land like your own” (II Kings 18:32), and he did not say that he was taking them to a superior land.

רב ושמואל חד אמר מלך פקח היה וחד אמר מלך טיפש היה למאן דאמר מלך פקח היה אי אמינא להו עדיפא מארעייכו אמרו קא משקרת ומאן דאמר מלך טיפש היה אם כן מאי רבותיה

Rav and Shmuel disagreed with regard to that statement of Sennacherib: One says he was a clever king and one says he was a foolish king. According to the one who says he was a clever king, he said that he is taking them to a land like their own, as he thought: If I say to them: I am taking you to a land that is superior to your land, they will say: You are lying. And as for the one who says he was a foolish king, he explains: If so, if he said that he is not taking them to a superior land, what is his greatness and how would they be convinced to go into exile?

להיכא אגלי להו מר זוטרא אמר לאפריקי ורבי חנינא אמר להרי סלוג אבל ישראל ספרו בגנותה של ארץ ישראל כי מטו שוש אמרי שויא כי ארעין כי מטו עלמין אמרו כעלמין כי מטו שושתרי אמרי על חד תרין

The Gemara asks: To where did Sennacherib exile the ten tribes? Mar Zutra says: He exiled them to Afrikei, and Rabbi Ḥanina says: To the Selug Mountains. The Gemara adds: But those exiled from the kingdom of Israel spoke in disparagement of Eretz Yisrael and extolled the land of their exile. When they arrived at one place, they called it Shosh, as they said: It is equal [shaveh] to our land. When they arrived at another place, they called it Almin, as they said: It is like our world [almin], as Eretz Yisrael is also called beit olamim. When they arrived at a third place they called it Shosh the second [terei], as they said: For one measure of good in Eretz Yisrael, there are two [terein] here.

ותחת כבדו [יקד] יקד כיקוד אש אמר רבי יוחנן תחת כבודו ולא כבודו ממש כי הא דרבי יוחנן קרי ליה למאני מכבדותי רבי אלעזר אמר תחת כבודו ממש כשריפת בני אהרן מה להלן שריפת נשמה וגוף קיים אף כאן שריפת נשמה וגוף קיים

The Gemara cites additional verses written with regard to Sennacherib. “And beneath his glory shall be kindled a blaze like the blaze of a fire” (Isaiah 10:16). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A blaze was kindled beneath his glory, but it was not actually kindled on his glory. The blaze consumed the bodies of the troops of Sennacherib beneath their garments, which were referred to as glory, as in that practice of Rabbi Yoḥanan, who would call his garments: My glory. Rabbi Elazar says: It means beneath his actual glory, i.e., the blaze consumed their souls, and their flesh was not consumed, like the burning of the sons of Aaron. Just as there, the death of the sons of Aaron entailed the burning of the soul, and the body remained intact, so too here, the death of the troops of Sennacherib entailed the burning of the soul, and the body remained intact.

תנא משמיה דרבי יהושע בן קרחה פרעה שחירף בעצמו נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו בעצמו סנחריב שחירף

It was taught in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa: With regard to Pharaoh, who himself blasphemed God, the Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself exacted retribution from him. With regard to Sennacherib, who blasphemed God

על ידי שליח נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו על ידי שליח

by means of an agent, the Holy One, Blessed be He, exacted retribution from him by means of an agent.

פרעה דכתיב ביה מי ה׳ אשר אשמע בקלו נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו בעצמו דכתיב וינער ה׳ את מצרים בתוך הים וכתיב דרכת בים סוסיך וגו׳ סנחריב דכתיב ביד מלאכיך חרפת ה׳ נפרע הקדוש ברוך הוא ממנו על ידי שליח דכתיב ויצא מלאך ה׳ ויך במחנה אשור מאה שמונים וחמשה אלף וגו׳

Pharaoh blasphemed God, as it is written that he said to Moses and Aaron: “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Exodus 5:2) The Holy One, Blessed be He, Himself exacted retribution from him, as it is written: “And the Lord overthrew Egypt in the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:27), and it is written: “You have trodden through the sea with Your horses” (Habakkuk 3:15). Sennacherib blasphemed God by means of an agent, as it is written: “By your messengers you have taunted the Lord” (II Kings 19:23). The Holy One, Blessed be He, exacted retribution from him by means of an agent, as it is written: “Then the angel of the Lord went forth and smote in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand” (II Kings 19:35).

רבי חנינא בר פפא רמי כתיב מרום קצו וכתיב מלון קצו אמר אותו רשע בתחלה אחריב דירה של מטה ואחר כך אחריב דירה של מעלה

Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa raises a contradiction. It is written that Sennacherib said: “And I will enter into its farthest height” (Isaiah 37:24), and it is written in a parallel verse that he said: “And I have entered into its farthest lodge” (II Kings 19:23). The Gemara resolves the contradiction. That wicked person said: Initially, I will destroy the earthly dwelling place below, i.e., the Temple, its farthest lodge, and thereafter, I will destroy the heavenly dwelling place above, its farthest height.

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי מאי דכתיב עתה המבלעדי ה׳ עליתי על המקום הזה להשחתו ה׳ אמר אלי עלה על הארץ הזאת והשחיתה מאי היא דשמע לנביא דקאמר יען כי מאס העם הזה את מי השלח ההולכים לאט ומשוש את רצין ובן רמליהו

§ Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: What is the meaning of that which is written in the statement of Rab-shakeh, emissary of Sennacherib: “Have I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me: Go up against this land and destroy it” (II Kings 18:25). What is this command to destroy the land? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi explains: It is referring to the fact that he heard the prophet who said: “Since the people rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow slowly and rejoice with Rezin and the son of Remaliah. Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them…the king of Assyria” (Isaiah 8:6–7).

אמר רב יוסף אלמלא תרגומא דהאי קרא לא הוה ידענא מאי קאמר חלף דקץ עמא הדין במלכותא דבית דוד דמדבר להון בנייח כמי שילוחא דנגדין בנייח ואיתרעיאו ברצין ובר רמליה

Rav Yosef says: Were it not for the Aramaic translation of this verse I would not know what it is saying. It is translated: Since this people loathed the reign of the house of David that led them gently, like the waters of the Shiloah, which flow gently, and they preferred Rezin and the son of Remaliah, who were kings from the northern kingdom of Israel. And the verse continues: “Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them…the king of Assyria.”

אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב מארת ה׳ בבית רשע ונוה צדיקים יברך מארת ה׳ בבית רשע זה פקח בן רמליהו שהיה אוכל ארבעים סאה גוזלות בקינוח סעודה ונוה צדיקים יברך זה חזקיה מלך יהודה שהיה אוכל ליטרא ירק בסעודה

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked, but He blesses the habitation of the just” (Proverbs 3:33)? “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked”; this is a reference to Pekah, son of Remaliah, who would eat forty se’a of fledglings for dessert and would still not be satiated, as his property was cursed. “But He blesses the habitation of the just”; this is a reference to Hezekiah, king of Judea, who would eat a litra of vegetables at his meal and was satiated, as his property was blessed.

ולכן הנה ה׳ מעלה עליהם את מי הנהר העצומים והרבים את מלך אשור וכתיב וחלף ביהודה שטף ועבר עד צואר יגיע

It is written in the verse: “Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up upon them the strong and abundant waters of the river, the king of Assyria” (Isaiah 8:7). And it is written: “And he shall sweep through Judea; he shall inundate and pass through, reaching even the neck” (Isaiah 8:8). Rab-shakeh alluded to that prophecy when he said in the verse in Kings that the Lord said to destroy the land.

אלא מאי טעמא איעניש נביא אעשרת השבטים איתנבי איהו יהיב דעתיה על כולה ירושלים בא נביא ואמר ליה כי לא מועף לאשר מוצק לה אמר רבי אלעזר בר ברכיה אין נמסר עם עייף בתורה ביד מי המציק לו

The Gemara asks: But what is the reason that Sennacherib was punished if he was merely fulfilling God’s command? The Gemara answers: The prophet prophesied about the destruction of the kingdom of Israel and the exile of the ten tribes, but he directed his attention to destroy all of Jerusalem. The prophet came and said to him: “For there is no weariness [mu’af ] that is set [mutzak] against her” (Isaiah 8:23). Rabbi Elazar bar Berekhya says that the verse is interpreted homiletically: A nation that is weary [ayef ] from its constant engagement in Torah study is not delivered into the hands of one who oppresses [metzik] it.

מאי כעת הראשון הקל ארצה זבולן וארצה נפתלי והאחרון הכביד דרך הים עבר הירדן גליל הגוים לא כראשונים שהקלו מעליהם עול תורה אבל אחרונים שהכבידו עליהן עול תורה וראויין הללו לעשות להם נס כעוברי הים וכדורכי הירדן אם חוזר בו מוטב ואם לאו אני אעשה לו גליל בגוים

What is the meaning of the continuation of the verse, which states: “Now the former has lightly afflicted [hakel] the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali but the latter has dealt a more grievous blow [hikhbid] by way of the sea, beyond the Jordan in the district [gelil] of the nations”? The generation in Judea in the time of Hezekiah is not like the former generation of Ahaz, who eased [hekellu] the yoke of Torah from upon the people. But the latter generation of Hezekiah, who intensified [hikhbidu] the yoke of Torah upon the people, is fit for God to perform a miracle for them like the miracles performed for those who crossed the Red Sea and those who trod through the Jordan River. God is saying: If Sennacherib reconsiders his planned conquest, good, but if he does not, I will render him wallowing [galil] in shame among the nations.

אחרי הדברים והאמת האלה בא סנחריב מלך אשור ויבא ביהודה ויחן על הערים הבצרות ויאמר לבקעם אליו האי רישנא להאי פרדשנא

The verse states: “After these matters and this truth, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came and entered Judea and encamped against the fortified cities and sought to breach them for himself” (II Chronicles 32:1). The Gemara asks: Is this gift [rishna], the invasion of Sennacherib, appropriate compensation for that gift [pardashna], Hezekiah’s restoration of the Temple and the worship of God in Judea?

אחרי הדברים והאמת אחר מאי אמר רבינא לאחר שקפץ הקדוש ברוך הוא ונשבע ואמר אי אמינא ליה לחזקיה מייתינא ליה לסנחריב ומסרנא ליה בידך השתא אמר לא הוא בעינא ולא ביעתותיה בעינא

The Gemara explains: When the verse states: “After these matters and this truth [emet],” after what matters is the verse referring to? Ravina says: This is referring to after the Holy One, Blessed be He, preempted and took an oath, referenced with the term emet, that He will deliver the spoils of the army of the king of Assyria into the hands of Hezekiah. And this was because He had said: If I say to Hezekiah: I will bring Sennacherib and I will deliver him into your hands; he will then say: I neither want him delivered into my hands nor do I want the accompanying fear of him.

מיד קפץ הקדוש ברוך הוא ונשבע דמייתינא ליה שנאמר נשבע ה׳ צבאות לאמר אם לא כאשר דמיתי כן היתה וכאשר יעצתי היא תקום לשבר אשור בארצי ועל הרי אבוסנו וסר מעליהם עלו וסבלו מעל שכמו יסור אמר רבי יוחנן אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא יבא סנחריב וסיעתו ויעשה אבוס לחזקיהו ולסיעתו

Immediately, the Holy One, Blessed be He, preempted Hezekiah and took an oath: I take an oath that I will deliver him, as it is stated: “The Lord of hosts has taken an oath, saying: Is it not as I imagined it, so has it come to pass; and as I have proposed, so shall it arise, that I will break Assyria in My land, and upon My mountains subdue him [avusennu]; then shall his yoke depart from them, and his burden depart from its shoulder” (Isaiah 14:24–25). Rabbi Yoḥanan says that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Sennacherib and his entourage shall come and be transformed into a feeding trough [evus], in the sense of a source of sustenance for Hezekiah and his entourage.

והיה ביום ההוא יסור סבלו מעל שכמך ועלו מעל צוארך וחבל על מפני שמן אמר רבי יצחק נפחא חובל עול של סנחריב מפני שמנו של חזקיהו שהיה דולק בבתי כנסיות ובבתי מדרשות

§ It is stated with regard to the downfall of Assyria: “And it shall come to pass on that day, his burden shall be taken from on your shoulder, and his yoke from on your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed due to fatness [shamen]” (Isaiah 10:27). Rabbi Yitzḥak Nappaḥa says: The yoke of Sennacherib was destroyed due to the oil [shemen] of Hezekiah that would burn in the synagogues and study halls when the Jewish people were engaged in Torah study at night.

מה עשה נעץ חרב על פתח בית המדרש ואמר כל מי שאינו עוסק בתורה ידקר בחרב זו בדקו מדן ועד באר שבע ולא מצאו עם הארץ מגבת ועד אנטיפרס ולא מצאו תינוק ותינוקת איש ואשה שלא היו בקיאין בהלכות טומאה וטהרה

What did Hezekiah do to ensure Torah study? He inserted a sword at the entrance of the study hall and said: Anyone who does not engage in Torah study shall be stabbed with this sword. As a result, they searched from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, and did not find an ignoramus. They searched from Gevat to Antipatris and did not find a male child, or a female child, or a man, or a woman who was not expert even in the complex halakhot of ritual purity and impurity.

ועל אותו הדור הוא אומר והיה ביום ההוא יחיה איש עגלת בקר ושתי צאן וגו׳ ואומר והיה ביום ההוא יהיה כל מקום אשר יהיה שם אלף גפן באלף כסף לשמיר ולשית יהיה אף על פי שאלף גפן באלף כסף לשמיר ולשית יהיה

And it is about that generation that the prophet says: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young calf and two sheep. And it shall come to pass, from the abundance of milk that they produce, he shall eat butter, for butter and honey shall everyone eat, everyone who remains in the midst of the land” (Isaiah 7:21–22). And the prophet continues and says: “And it shall come to pass in that day that every place where there were one thousand vines for one thousand silver coins, it shall be for briars and thorns” (Isaiah 7:23). Although one thousand vines are worth one thousand silver coins and one could earn substantial profits through agricultural labor, the fields will grow briars and thorns due to neglect. The people of that generation were devoted to the study of Torah and engaged in labor only minimally to sustain themselves.

ואסף שללכם אסף החסיל אמר להם נביא לישראל אספו שללכם אמרו לו לבזוז או לחלוק אמר להם ׳כאסף החסיל׳ מה אסף החסיל כל אחד ואחד לעצמו אף שללכם כל אחד ואחד לעצמו

It is written: “And your spoils shall be gathered like the gathering of the locusts; as the advance of the locusts shall he advance” (Isaiah 33:4). The prophet said to the Jewish people: Gather your spoils from the army of Sennacherib. They said to him: Are we to pillage the spoils, each person for himself, or are we to divide the spoils with the monarchy? He said to them: Gather the spoils like the gathering by the locusts. Just as in the gathering by the locusts, each and every one of the locusts takes food for itself, so too, in gathering your spoils, each and every one of you shall take spoils for himself.

אמרו לו והלא ממון עשרת השבטים מעורב בו אמר להם ׳כמשק גבים שקק בו׳ מה גבים הללו מעלין את האדם מטומאה לטהרה אף ממונם של ישראל כיון שנפל ביד גוים מיד טיהר כדרב פפא דאמר רב פפא עמון ומואב טהרו בסיחון

They said to him: Since the army of Sennacherib came to Jerusalem after its conquest of the kingdom of Israel, isn’t the property of the ten tribes intermingled with it, and therefore, gathering the spoils would be robbery? He said to them: “As the advance of the locusts [gevim] shall he advance” (Isaiah 33:4). Just as these pools of water elevate a person up from a state of ritual impurity to a state of purity through immersion, so too the property of the Jewish people, once it falls into the hands of gentiles, it immediately purifies the property, in the sense that it is no longer considered robbery to take it, as its owners despair of its recovery. This is in accordance with the statement of Rav Pappa, as Rav Pappa says: The property of Ammon and Moab was purified through the conquest of Sihon. Although the Torah rendered it prohibited to conquer the land of Ammon and Moab, once Sihon conquered their land, it was permitted for the Jewish people to conquer it.

אמר רב הונא עשר מסעות נסע אותו רשע באותו היום שנאמר בא על עית עבר במגרון למכמש יפקיד כליו עברו מעברה גבע מלון לנו חרדה הרמה גבעת שאול נסה צהלי קולך בת גלים הקשיבה לישה עניה ענתות נדדה מדמנה ישבי הגבים העיזו עוד היום בנב לעמד ינפף ידו הר בת ציון גבעת ירושלם

§ Rav Huna says: That wicked Sennacherib traveled ten journeys on that day, as it is stated: “He is come to Aiath, he is passed through Migron; at Michmas he deposited his baggage. They passed [averu] Mabara; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah trembles; Gibeath Shaul has fled. Cry with a shrill voice, daughter of Gallim; hearken, Laish; poor Anathoth. Madmenah is in flight; the inhabitants of Gebim flee to cover. This very day shall he halt at Nov; he shall shake his hand against the mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 10:28–32). He traveled to all these places on the same day.

הני טובא הויין צהלי קולך בת גלים נביא הוא דקאמר לה לכנסת ישראל צהלי קולך בת גלים בתו של אברהם יצחק ויעקב שעשו מצות כגלי הים הקשיבה לישה מהאי לא תסתפי אלא איסתפי מנבוכדנצר הרשע דמתיל כאריה שנאמר עלה אריה מסבכו וגו׳

The Gemara asks: Aren’t these more than ten? The Gemara answers that in the verse: “Cry with a shrill voice, daughter of Gallim,” it is the prophet who is saying it to the congregation of Israel: “Cry with a shrill voice, daughter of Gallim,” daughter of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who performed mitzvot as numerous as the waves of the sea. “Hearken, Laish”; from this king, Sennacherib, fear not; but fear Nebuchadnezzar, the wicked who is likened to a lion, as it is stated: “The lion [arye] is gone up from its thicket” (Jeremiah 4:7).

מאי

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase:

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