Michael Levi Rodkinson.

New edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 13) online

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differ, as we have learned in the following Boraitha: " If one of
the partners says to the other: ' Take your share in full, and
1 will take the remainder,' he must be listened to. R. Simeon
b. Gamaliel, however, says that he must not."

Now let us see. If the case be similar to that of our Mishna,
why should R. Simeon b. Gamaliel object ? We must say,
then, that the Boraitha cited is not complete, and it should read
thus: " You take the prescribed quantity for your share, and
I will take the remainder; or, I will concede or else you con-
cede " — he is to be listened to. And R. Simeon b. Gamaliel
said: " Nay." Hence Tanaim differ. The case maybe similar
to that quoted in our Mishna, and the reason of R. Simeon why
he must not be listened to, is this: He may claim: " I have no
money to pay for your share, and I do not want to accept a
present from you." As it is written [Prov. xv. 27]: " He that
hateth gifts shall live."

Said Abayi to R. Joseph: R. Jehudah's decision, that the
law of concession applies, is in accordance with Samuel, who
said, concerning the Holy Writ, that if it was a property of two
partners " it must not be divided even when both agree," the
case being only when it was bound in one volume; but if bound
in two parts, they may. And this can also be correct when the
law of concession does not apply; for if it were applied, then
there would be no difference whether bound in one or in two
parts. R. Shalman, however, explained the decision of Samuel:
When both partners agree to divide.

Amemar said: The law of concession is to be applied. Said
R. Ashi to him : And what about R. Nah'man's decision ? And
he said: I do not hold with him. " Is that so? Did it not
happen to Rabba and R. Dimi, the sons of Hinna, that their
father bequeathed unto them two female slaves, one of them


able to cook and bake, and the other to spin and weave; and
they came before Rabha, and he decided that the law of con-
cession did not apply here?" "There was another reason;
viz., both brothers needed the services of both slaves. And to
decide, ' You take one and I take the other,' would not be the
law of concession." But did not Samuel decide that when
bound in two parts they might divide ? It is already ex-
plained above that he speaks of a case when both partners are
willing to do so.

The rabbis taught : One may attach the Pentateuch to the
Prophets, and both to the Hagiographa, and keep them in one
volume. So is the decree of R. Meir. R. Jehudah, however,
said: " Each of them is to be kept separately." The sages
said, furthermore, that the book of each Prophet must be kept
separately. Said R. Jehudah : It happened with Beithus b.
Zonin, that he had eight books of the Prophets attached
together, with the permission of R. Elazar b. Azariah. Ac-
cording to others, however, he had the books, but they were
each of them kept separately. Said Rabbi: It happened once
that the Pentateuch, Prophets, and Hagiographa, attached to
one another, were brought to us, and we approved it.

After each book of the Pentateuch, four lines must be left
blank when copying. The law is the same regarding each book
of the Prophets ; except in the case of the books of the Twelve
Prophets, three lines after each is sufificient to be left blank.
However, if one book ends at the bottom of the page, the next
book may be begun right at the top of the next page without
leaving any lines blank.

The rabbis taught: " If one wishes to attach the scrolls of
the Pentateuch, Prophets, and Hagiographa to one another, he
may do so, provided he leaves a whole page blank at the begin-
ning, and at the end enough blank space to wrap around the
entire scroll ; and he may begin a new book at the top of a page
when the previous book ends at the bottom of the page preced-
ing. And if he wishes to separate the books afterwards, he may
do so." How is this to be understood ? It is self-evident that
a separate book is better than if attached. It means to say one
may begin at the top of the page; as then, if he decides to
separate the books, it will be easier for him to do so. There is
a contradiction in the following Boraitha, which states: " There
must be blank space at the beginning and at the end of each
book, sufficient to wrap it up." To wrap what up ? Around


the whole book ? Then it contradicts the former Boraitha which
states that at the beginning one page is sufficient; and if it
means only one page, then it contradicts the above, which states
"enough at the end to wrap around the book"? Said R.
Nah'man b. Itz'hak: This Boraitha also means to leave blank
space at the beginning and at the end, as prescribed. R. Ashi,
however, said : The latter Boraitha speaks of the Holy Scrolls,
as we have learned in the following Boraitha: " All scrolls are
rolled (around one holder) from right to left; the Holy Scrolls
are rolled towards the middle (and must be attached to two
holders); and a blank page must be left both at the beginning
and at the end." And R. Eliezer b. R. Zadok said: So wrote
the scribes of Jerusalem their Holy Scrolls.

The rabbis taught: The length of the Holy Scrolls must not
exceed the circumference ; nor must the latter exceed the length.

Rabbi was questioned about the prescribed dimensions of the
Holy Scrolls. He answered: Six spans in length when written
on double parchment will be equal to the circumference; and
when on ordinary parchment, I do not know what length.

R. Pluna wrote seventy Pentateuchs, and in only one of
them the length happened to be equal to the circumference.
R. A'ha b. Jacob wrote only one, on calf-skin, and the measure-
ments happened to be just as prescribed; and the rabbis cast
their eyes upon him, and he died.

[Said the rabbis to R. Hamnunah: Is it true that R. Ammi
wrote four hundred Pentateuchs ? And he answered: Perhaps
he wrote only one verse [Deut. xxxiii. 4]: "The law which
Moses commanded us, is the inheritance of the congregation of
Jacob," four hundred times. Similarly to this, Rabha ques-
tioned R. Zera: Is it true that R. Janai had planted four hun-
dred vineyards ? And he answered : Perhaps such as contain
five trees, two on each side and one behind (which, in regard to
the law of Kilaim, is considered a vineyard).]

An objection was raised : The ark which was made by Moses
was two and a half ells in length, one and a half in width, and
one and a half in height: all these measurements were taken
with an ell of six spans. The tablets which were brought down
by Moses were six spans square and three spans thick: they
were placed in the ark lengthwise. Now, how much space did
the tablets occupy in the ark ? Twelve spans. Then three
spans of space were left. Take off one span for the two walls
of the ark, each of which was half a span, then two spans' space


was left, where the Holy Scrolls were placed. As it is written
[I Kings, viii. 9]: " There was nothing in the ark save the two
tables of stone," etc. The expressions " nothing " and " save "
are an exclusion after an exclusion ; and there is a rule that where
such is to be found, it means an inclusion ; and here the Holy
Scrolls are included, which were in the ark. Now the length of
the ark is accounted for. How is the width to be accounted
for ? The tablets occupied six spans in width ; and from the
remaining three one span must be deducted for the two walls.
This leaves two spans of empty space, to the end that the Holy
Scrolls should not be crushed while being taken out or returned.
So said R. Mair. R. Jehudah, however, maintains that the ell
was of five spans. The tablets, which were six spans square
and three thick, were placed in the ark lengthwise, and occupied
twelve spans, thus leaving only one-half span of space: one
finger (a quarter of a span) for each wall. This is for the length.
As to the width, the tablets occupied six spans; and from the
remaining space of one and a half spans take off half a span —
one and a half fingers* for each wall — leaving then one span;
and this was occupied by the pillars. As it is written [Solo-
mon's Song, iii. 9 and 10]: " The pillars thereof," etc. And
also the casket in which the Philistines placed the gift to the
God of Israel was put alongside. As it is written [I Sam. vi. 8]:
" Ye must put in a casket alongside of it, and then send it
away," etc. And upon the casket the Holy Scrolls were
placed. As it is written [Deut. xxxl. 26] : " Take this book of
the law, and put it at the side of the ark," etc. We see, then,
that it was placed at the side and not within the ark. But what
is to be ijicluded from the two exclusions mentioned above ? The
broken tables, which were first broken by Moses. Now, if it is
borne in mind that the circumference of the Holy Scrolls was
six spans, its diameter must have been two spans, as there is
a rule that everything with a circumference of three spans has a
diameter of one span. Now, as it was said above, that the
Holy Scrolls were rolled toward the middle, then the diameter
must exceed two spans, for the space in the middle between the
two rolls could not be reckoned in the two spans. How, then,
could it get in ? Said R. A'ha b. Jacob: "The Holy Scrolls
which were written by Moses (of which the king read the por-

* " One and a half fingers" — meaning the little finger, of which there are six to
a span.


tion belonging to him, and the high priest read on the Day of
Atonement in the court of the Temple) were rolled from left to
right only, in one roll." But even then, how can you put in
a thing which is two spans in thickness into a space of only two
spans ? Said R. Ashi: " A piece of the parchment was left out
from the roll, so that it could be put in the two spans, and what
was left was lying on the top." But according to R. Jehudah's
theory, where were the Holy Scrolls placed before the Philistines
sent the casket ? A little board was attached to the pillars, and
the Holy Scrolls were put upon it.

The rabbis taught: " The order of the prophets is as follows:
Jehoshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah,
and the Twelve Prophets." Let us see: Hosea, of the Twelve
Prophets, was before Isaiah, as it is written [Hosea, i. 2]: " The
beginning of the word of the Lord," etc. This certainly cannot
be understood that he was the first of the prophets to whom
the Lord spoke since the time of Moses, as there were many
prophets after Moses preceding Hosea. And therefore R.
Johanan explains that he was the first of the four prophets who
prophesied at that period; viz.: Hosea, Isaiah, Amos, and
Micah. Hence he was before Isaiah. Why is he placed after ?
Because his book is counted among the Twelve, among whom
were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who were the last of the
prophets: therefore his book is placed together with theirs.
But why was the book of Hosea not separated, and placed first ?
Because his book is small, and if it were placed separately it
would become lost. However, was not Isaiah before Jeremiah
and Ezekiel ? Why is he not placed first ? Because " Kings "
ends with the destruction of the Temple, and the whole book of
Jeremiah speaks of the destruction, and that of Ezekiel at the
beginning speaks of the destruction and at the end of consola-
tion, while Isaiah's entire book speaks of consolation: destruc-
tion was put next to destruction, and consolation next to

The order of the Hagiographa is as follows: Ruth, Psalms,
Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations,
Daniel, Book of Esther, Book of Ezra, and Chronicles.*

• Rashi explains the reasons of the order of the Hagiographa, which, in his opin-
ion, was arranged in order of time, and maintains that Job was written after Ruth
and Psalms, the two latter having been written, according to him, by David ; and
concerning the Songs, he says : " It seems to me that Solomon said or wrote them
in his old age." However, the order of our Scriptures is different, and they are cer-


And who wrote all the books ? Moses wrote his book and
a portion of Bil'am [Numbers, xxii.], and Job. Jehoshua wrote
his book and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch beginning:
"And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died." Samuel wrote
his book. Judges, and Ruth. David wrote Psalms, with the
assistance of ten elders, viz. : Adam the First, Malachi Zedek,
Abraham, Moses, Hyman, Jeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons
of Korach. Jeremiah wrote his book, Kings, and Lamenta-
tions. King Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah, Proverbs,
Songs, and Ecclesiastes. The men of the great assembly wrote
Ezekiel, the Twelve Prophets, Daniel, and the Book of Esther.
Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles — the order of all genera-
tions down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh's the-
ory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had
not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his
genealogy.] And who finished Ezra's book ? Nehemiah ben

There is a Boraitha in accordance with him who said that the
last eight verses of the Torah were written by Joshua; namely:
" It is written [Deut. xxxvi. 5]: ' And Moses the servant of the
Lord died,' etc. Is it possible that Moses himself should have
written ' and he died ' ? Therefore it must be said that up to
this verse Moses wrote, and from this verse forward Joshua
wrote. So said R. Joshua, according to others R. Nehemiah."
Said R. Simeon to him: Is it possible that the Holy Scrolls
should not have been complete to the last letter, and neverthe-
less it should read [ibid., xxxi. 26]: "Take this book of the
law," etc. Therefore, we must say that up to this verse the
Holy One, blessed be He, dictated, and Moses repeated and
wrote it down ; and from this verse forward He dictated, and
Moses with tears in his eyes wrote it down ; as thus it is read
[Jer. xxxvi. 18]: "Then said Baruch unto them. With his
mouth did he utter clearly all these words unto me, and I wrote
them in the book with ink."

According to whom, then, is the following— that R. Joshua
b. Aba, in the name of R. Gidel, quoting Rabh, said: " The
last eight verses of the Pentateuch, when read from the Holy
Scrolls, must be read by one person without any interruption " ?

tainly not in the order of time, as modern critics ascribe a much later period of time
to 'almost all the books, and we are still ignorant of the reason why the order was
changed in the canons we possess from that in the Talmud, and who it was that sub-
stituted the existing order.


Should it not be in accordance with R. Simeon ? It may be
also in accordance with R. Simeon ; and the reason for the ex-
ception of these eight verses is because, as there was already
a change at the writing by Moses (as said above), the change is
made also here. " Joshua wrote his book " ; but is it not writ-
ten there: " And Joshua died " ? This was written by Elazar.
But is it not written there: " And Elazar died " ? The book
was finished by his son Pinchas.

"Samuel wrote his book." But is it not written: "And
Samuel died " ? The book was finished by Gad the seer and
Nathan the prophet.

" David wrote the Psalms," etc. But why did the Boraitha
not enumerate also Ethan the Ezrachite ? Said Rabh : "The
latter and Abraham are identical." It enumerates Moses, and
also Hyman ; did not Rabh say that by Hyman is meant Moses ?
There were two Hymans.

" Moses wrote his book," etc. This is a support to R. Levy
b. Lachma, who said that Job lived in the time of Moses.*
Rabha, however, said: Job lived in the time of the spies which
were sent by Moses to investigate Palestine.

One of the rabbis was sitting before R. Samuel b. Na'hmeni
and said: Job never existed; and is mentioned in the Scripture
only for an example. Said he to him : The Scripture is against
your theory, as it states plainly [Job, i. i ] : " There was a man,"
etc. But according to your theory it is also written [II Sam.
xii. 3]: *' But the poor man had nothing," etc. Was it so hi
reality ? It was written only for an example ! The same may
be said concerning Job ? If it were so, why, then, his name and
the name of the country he came from ?

R. Johanan and R. Elazar both said that Job was among the
ancestors of the Babylonian exiles; and his college was in

An objection was raised: There is a Boraitha: " Job's age
was from the time when Israel came to Egypt until he left it."
Read: " As many years as the Israelites were in Egypt." An-
other objection was raised. There were seven prophets who
have prophesied to the nations, viz. : Bil'am and his father,
Job, Eliphaz the Themanitc, Bildad the Shuchite, Zophar the
Na'amathite, and Elihu ben Barachel the Buzite. (Hence we

* His support is from an analogy of expression ; and the Gemara discusses the
analogy, but it is too complicated, and therefore omitted. The same is the case with
the saying of Rabha farther on.


see that Job was a Gentile ?) And according to your theory,
was then Elihu, just mentioned, a Gentile ? He was certainly
an Israelite, as it is written, " of the family of Ram." And
why is he called a prophet of the nations ? Because his prophe-
cies were for the nations. The same can be said concerning
Job. But did not the Jewish prophets also prophesy for the
nations ? The Jewish prophets prophesied to Israel, and to the
nations also, but the above-mentioned seven have prophesied
for the nations only.

There is an objection from the following : A pious man was
among the nations, and Job was his name; and he came to this
world only for the purpose of receiving his reward. The Holy
One, blessed be He, however, brought chastisements upon him,
and he began to blaspheme ; the Lord then doubled his reward
in this world, so that he should have no share in the world to
come. (Hence we see that Job was a Gentile ?) On this point
Tanaim of the following Boraitha differ: R. Elazar said: Job
was in the time of the Judges; as it is written [Job, xxvii. 12]:
" . . . deal in such vanities ?" And which generation was
one entirely of vanities ? It is the generation of the Judges.
R. Joshua b. Karha said: Job was in the time of Ahasuerus; as
it is written [Job, xlii. 15]: "And there were not found such
handsome women as the daughters of Job," etc. And in which
generation were handsome women searched for, if not in the
generation of Ahasuerus ? [But perhaps it was in the time of
David, when handsome women were also searched for [I Kings,
i. 3] ? There they searched only among the daughters of Israel,
but in the time of Ahasuerus it is written, " in all the land."]
R. Nathan said that Job was in the time of the Queen of Sheba,
as it is written [Job, i. 15] : " When the Sabeans made an incur-
sion." [And R. Samuel b. Na'hmenisaid in the name of R.Jona-
than : He who translates Malchas Sheba " the queen of Sheba "
is in error, as the right translation is " the government of
Sheba."] And the sages said: He was in the time of the Chal-
dea, as it is written [ibid., ibid. 17]: "The Chaldeans posted
themselves," etc. Still others said that Job was in the time of
Jacob and has married Dinah, Jacob's daughter. (They infer
it from an analogy of expression, Neda/a.) And all the just
mentioned sages hold that Job was an Israelite, except the last,
who maintains that he was a Gentile. R. Johanan said: It is
written [Ruth, i. i]: "And it came to pass in the days when
the judges judged," etc. It means it was a generation that


judged the judges. If, e.g., the judge said to them: " Take out
the toothpick from thy tooth," they answered: " If thou wilt
take the beam out of thy eyes, I will remove the toothpick."
If, e.g.y the judge said to one: " Thy silver is become dross,"
the answer was: " Thy wine is drugged with water" [Is. i. 22]
{i.e., if the judge accused one of a small transgression, the
accused said to him: " Thou thyself art a greater sinner than
I am ").

It is written [Job, i. 6-9]: "... that the accuser (Satan)
also came in the midst of them," etc. Satan said before the
Lord: " I have sped all over the world, and found no trusty
man like thy servant Abraham, to whom thou didst say [Gen.
xiii. 17] : ' Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and
in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it.' And not-
withstanding this, when he searched for a grave to bury his wife
Sarah, and did not find one until he bought it for four hundred
silver shekels, he did not murmur or bear in mind anything
against thee." " Then said the Lord to Satan," etc. Said
R. Johanan : That which was said about Job is more important
than that which was said about Abraham, as regarding the latter
it is written [ibid., xxii. 12]: " Now I know that thou fearest
God," etc. And regarding the former it is written [Job, i. i] :
" And this man was perfect and upright, and fearing God and
eschewing evil." What is meant by " eschewing evil " ? Said
R. Aba b. Samuel: Job was liberal with his money; it is cus-
tomary, if a laborer has done some service to the value of half
the smallest coin, that the employer takes him to the store-
keeper, buys something for this coin, and gives the laborer the
half due him. Job, however, gave him the whole coin for such
services. " Then Satan answered, Is it for nought that Job
feareth God ? . . . the work of his hands hast thou blessed."
What does this mean ? Said R. Samuel b. R. Itz'hak: " Any
one who took a coin from Job for business, has succeeded."
And what means, " And his cattle are far spread out in the
land" ? Said R. Jose b. Hanina: His cattle have changed the
order of the world. Usually wolves kill goats; Job's goats,
however, killed wolves.

" But only stretch forth thy hand," etc. [ibid. 11-19]:
" The oxen were ploughing, and the she asses were feeding be-
side them." How is this to be understood ? Said R. Johanan:
From this is to be inferred that the Holy One, blessed be He,
gave Job a foretaste of the world to come (as about the world


to come it is written [Jer. xxxi.] that pregnancy and birth in
a woman occurred together). " A fire of God," etc. [to ii. 5].
Satan again answered the Lord, as said above.

" And Thou hast incited me against him," etc. Said R.
Johanan : If this were not written it would be impossible for
a human being to conceive it : the Scripture speaks of the Lord
as if He were a human being who can be influenced through

There is a Boraitha: Satan descends and tempts human
beings; then ascends and accuses them; then takes the order
and takes the soul of him whom he has tempted.

" Then the accuser answered the Lord," etc. [ibid., ibid.
4-8]. Said R. Itz'hak: Satan was more afflicted than Job him-
self. It is similar to a master who says to his servant: " Break
the barrel, but save the wine " (without letting him have a ves-
sel to save it in). So was it with Satan ; the Lord told him to
take Job's body, but to save his soul. Said Resh Lakish: From
this we see that he who is called Satan is himself the evil spirit
who tempts one to sin; and he himself is the Angel of Death, as
he was told to save the life : from which it is to be seen that the
life of man was in his hands.

R. Levi said : Satan and Peninnah both intended (with their
accusation) to please heaven. Satan, who had seen that the
Lord was favorable toward Job, feared that through the justice
of Job Abraham's merits would be forgotten, and, therefore, he
spoke as above. And Peninnah, as it is written [I Sam. i. 6]:
" And her rival also provoked her continually, in order to make
her fret," etc. It means for the purpose of making her pray
and have a child. R. A'ha lectured the same in the city of
Papuniah, and Satan came and kissed his feet for this.

" With all this, did not Job sin with his lips." Said Rabha:
"With his lips he did not sin, but he sinned in his heart."
What was it? [Job, ix. 24]: "Is a land given up to the
wicked? He covereth the faces of its judges: if this be not the
truth, who is it then ?" * Said Rabha: Job was about to turn
the dish face downwards {i.e., to deny the might of the Lord).

* This is the exact translation of Leeser, which we follow in our edition. The
Bible commentaries differ in the explanation of this passage, which is very compli-
cated, and Leeser, following one of them, explains it all as a question. The latest
commentator. Dr. Benjamin Szold of Baltimore, interprets it according to the Tal-
mud, that the first half should not be understood as a question, but as a fact ; and it

Online LibraryMichael Levi RodkinsonNew edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 13) → online text (page 6 of 24)