1) THE INHERITANCE OF THOSE WHO ENTERED ERETZ YISRAEL
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses an argument between Rebbi Yoshiyah and Rebbi Yonasan regarding how the Jewish people inherited the land of Eretz Yisrael. The verse, "li'Shmos Matos Avosam Yinchalu" -- "according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit" (Bamidbar 26:55), seems to support Rebbi Yoshiyah's position that the inheritance of Eretz Yisrael started at the people who came out of Mitzrayim, who are the "names" referred to in this verse. Rebbi Yonasan argues that an earlier verse states, "la'Eleh Techalek ha'Aretz" -- "to these the land shall be divided" (26:53), implying that the inheritance started at the people who actually entered Eretz Yisrael.
How does Rebbi Yonasan interpret the verse of "li'Shmos Matos Avosam Yinchalu"? Rebbi Yonasan explains that the inheritance of Eretz Yisrael differed from all other situations of inheritance in the Torah. Although the inheritance was given to those who entered Eretz Yisrael, it was considered to have gone back up to those who came out of Mitzrayim, and then back down to those who entered Eretz Yisrael. What does this mean?
(a) RASHI in Bamidbar (26:55) explains this concept with an example that involves three generations. Reuven, who came out of Mitzrayim, had two sons, Shimon and Levi. Shimon had three sons, while Levi had one son. All four grandsons of Reuven entered Eretz Yisrael. According to Rebbi Yonasan, those grandsons do not receive their portions of land on their own merit. Rather, after they receive the rights to their portions (by virtue of entering Eretz Yisrael), those portions are "bequeathed" back to the patriarch of the family, Reuven, who left Mitzrayim. After Reuven acquires all of the portions, they then are bequeathed back down to those who entered Eretz Yisrael in accordance with the normal laws of Yerushah, such that Reuven's son's, Shimon and Levi, each receive half of that land. Shimon's half is then inherited by his three sons, and Levi's half is then inherited by his one son. This means that each of Shimon's three sons receive not one-fourth of the total amount of land (which they would have received had they received the land directly upon entering Eretz Yisrael), but rather each son receives one-sixth of that land (assuming that none of the sons is a Bechor; for example, the oldest child is a girl). If Levi is a Bechor, Shimon's three sons would receive only one-ninth of the land. On the other hand, if Shimon is a Bechor, each of his sons would receive close to the original one-quarter they would have received had they inherited Eretz Yisrael directly. Although the Gemara explains this concept and mentions only two generations of people (the parable of the Kohanim), the Gemara intends merely to illustrate the concept of a "reverse-inheritance," but not to illustrate exactly what happened with the inheritance of those who came out of Mitzrayim.
(b) TOSFOS (DH u'Machzirin) quotes the RIVA who is bothered by the Gemara's omission of three generations of heirs, and thus he gives a different explanation. The Riva leaves the original patriarch, Reuven out of the case, and he explains instead that Shimon and Levi came out of Mitzrayim. Shimon had three sons, and Levi had one son, all of whom entered Eretz Yisrael. All four sons receive portions of Eretz Yisrael, which are split evenly between Shimon and Levi. Shimon and Levi then bequeath their portions to their sons. The Riva says that the fact that Shimon and Levi split what they receive from their sons evenly (instead of Shimon having three portions and Levi having one portion) is a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv. The Riva adds that it is clear that when the Gemara says that the "dead inherit the living," it does not mean an exact form of inheritance, as a father who inherits a son does not have to split that inheritance with his brother. However, the Riva explains, it is similar enough to inheritance that it is called "inheritance." (Y. MONTROSE)
2) REBBI SHIMON BEN ELAZAR'S OPINION REGARDING THE INHERITANCE OF ERETZ YISRAEL
OPINIONS: The Gemara earlier discusses a dispute between Rebbi Yoshiyah and Rebbi Yonasan who argue about whether the inheritance of Eretz Yisrael was based on those who left Mitzrayim, or on those who entered Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara records a third opinion, that of Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, who says that the inheritance of Eretz Yisrael worked through a combination of both. Rebbi Shimon says that one who was among those who left Mitzrayim received a portion along with the other people who left Mitzrayim. One who was among those who entered Eretz Yisrael received a portion along with everyone else who entered Eretz Yisrael. If he was both from those who left Mitzrayim and from those who entered Eretz Yisrael, he received two portions, one portion among those who left Mitzrayim, and one portion among those who entered Eretz Yisrael.
The RASHBAM (DH Hayah mi'Yotz'ei and DH Hayah mi'Ba'ei) explains that one who inherited a portion of Eretz Yisrael by virtue of being among those who left Mitzrayim refers to one who left Mitzrayim when he was twenty years old or older and thus died in the Midbar, but who had children who were less than twenty years old when they entered Eretz Yisrael. Although his children do not receive a portion on their own right because they were under twenty years old when they entered Eretz Yisrael, they receive a portion from their father who was one of the people who left Mitzrayim. In his explanation of the second opinion, the Rashbam writes that the father died in Mitzrayim and his children were under twenty years old when they left Mitzrayim. When those children entered Eretz Yisrael, they each received a portion for being among those who entered Eretz Yisrael.
What is the third case, one who both left Mitzrayim and entered Eretz Yisrael?
(a) The RASHBAM (DH Hayah Mikan) explains that this refers to one who was twenty years old when he left Mitzrayim, who later had children in the Midbar who were twenty years old when they entered Eretz Yisrael. The children received their own portion for being among those who entered Eretz Yisrael, and they inherited their father's portion because he left Mitzrayim. This explanation, however, is somewhat difficult in the text, because the Gemara says that "if he was from both, he receives from both," which implies that the same person who left Mitzrayim entered Eretz Yisrael.
(b) The Rashbam quotes a different explanation based on the Gemara later (121b). The Gemara there states that one who was above than 60 years old when he left Mitzrayim was not included in the decree that the generation which left Mitzrayim would die in the Midbar. Such a person could have lived a long life and entered Eretz Yisrael, and thus he merited to receive two portions in Eretz Yisrael, one for being among those who left Mitzrayim, and one for being among those who entered Eretz Yisrael.
Although the Rashbam initially argues that this explanation seems incorrect, he then writes that he found a Tosefta (7:3) which indeed says that this is the view of Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar. The Tosefta quotes Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar as saying that Yehoshua and Kalev received three portions in Eretz Yisrael: one portion for being among those who left Mitzrayim, one because they were at Arvos Mo'av (just before the nation entered Eretz Yisrael), and they also received the portion of the Meraglim.
TOSFOS (DH Mikan) questions the opinion that a person who was older than 60 received two portions. Yehoshua was older than 60 when he entered Eretz Yisrael, as he led the Jewish people (from the time they entered Eretz Yisrael) for 28 years, and lived to the age of 110. Hence, he was older than 80 when he entered Eretz Yisrael. Kalev was also 80 years old when the Jewish people entered Eretz Yisrael, as is apparent from Kalev's statement (in Yehoshua 14:7) that he was 40 years old when he went with the Meraglim to Eretz Yisrael. However, the verse states that at the census at Arvos Mo'av, "Among these there was no person from the counting of Moshe and Elazar ha'Kohen who was counted with Bnei Yisrael in the Sinai Desert... and no one was left from these people besides Kalev ben Yefuneh and Yehoshua bin Nun" (Bamidbar 26:64-5). If these two were the only ones over 60, the verse's assertion would be correct. However, the sons of Menasheh -- Yair and Machir -- also entered Eretz Yisrael and were included both in the census at the beginning of the forty-year period in the Midbar and in the census at Arvos Mo'av. How can the verse state that no one other than Kalev and Yehoshua was counted in both censuses?
Tosfos quotes the RASH MI'SHANTZ who answers that the verse must be interpreted differently. The verse means that there was no one who was counted at Arvos Mo'av who should have been included in the Gezeirah (i.e. who was under sixty at the first counting). Yair and Machir were exceptions, since they were already over sixty when they left Mitzrayim. They therefore were not supposed to be included in the Gezeirah, as the Gemara later says that anyone who left Mitzrayim at the age of sixty or older was not included in the Gezeirah of the Meraglim. (Y. MONTROSE)