[90a - 58 lines; 90b - 56 lines]

1)[line 1] MACHLOKES B'OKER HA'GUF D'AVODAS KOCHAVIM V'KIYUM MIKTZAS U'VITUL MIKTZAS - Rebbi Shimon and the Chachamim argue about a false prophet who totally uproots (claims that HaSh-m permitted) idolatry, or uproots some prohibitions of idolatry and leaves others

(a)Rav Chisda holds that the verse, "And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from HaSh-m your G-d" (Devarim 13:6), refers specifically to subversion to idoloatry (and not to subversion regarding other Torah commandments)

(b)Rav Chisda infers this from the opening verses of this section which state: "If there should arise in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream... saying, 'Let us follow the gods of others that you did not know and let us worship them!'" The subject of these verses clearly is idolatry. One who prophesies abrogation of other commandments, however, is not included in the law of the subversive prophet, and he therefore is not subject to stoning.

2)[line 9] HEICHI MISHKACHAS LAH- how can you find it (such a case)? This rhetorical question points to a difficulty in setting up the case that has been formulated in the Mishnah or Beraisa under discussion.

3)[line 10] TARGEMA RAV CHISDA- Rav Chisda interpreted [the Beraisa] to refer to the following positive commandment

4)[line 16] HA'MISNABEI LA'AKOR DAVAR MIN HA'TORAH DIVREI HA'KOL B'CHENEK- one who prophesies to [totally] uproot a Mitzvah from the Torah is punished with Chenek, strangulation

5)[line 18] HA'YOM IVDUHA- serve (worship) it today (the prophet tells you to keep the Mitzvah today)

6)[line 19] UL'MACHAR BITLUHA- and tomorrow the prophet will tell you to nullify that Mitzvah. This is a false prophet.

7)[line 31] MAR KED'IS LEI U'MAR KED'IS LEI- [Is this a proof?] This [case] is unique unto itself, and the other is unique unto itself

8)[line 37]AVOR- transgress

9)[line 38] MA'AMID LECHA CHAMA- make the sun stand still (through sorcery)

10)[line 39] B'EMTZA HA'RAKI'A- in the middle of the sky

11)[line 39] AL TISHMA LO- do not listen and consent to him (to the false prophet) (see RAMBAM, Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah 9:5)

12)[line 40] HIGI'AH TORAH L'SOF DA'ATAH SHEL AVODAS KOCHAVIM- the Torah understood well the mindset of the prophets of idolatry, and realized that they would find ways to delude people into accepting idolatry by performing "wonders" through sorcery

13)[line 40] LEFIKACH NASNAH TORAH MEMSHALAH BAH- therefore, the Torah granted dominion in this. That is, the Torah spoke of the prophets of idolatry as being able to perform great wonders in support of their cause.

14)[line 43] L'OVREI RETZONO- to those who transgress G-d's will

15)[line 43] CHANANYAH BEN AZUR- the Torah teaches that even if an established and true Navi, such as Chananyah ben Azur, later sins and prophesies to serve idolatry, do not listen to him (even if he previously performed great wonders)

16)[line 43] ZOMEMEI BAS KOHEN - Edim Zomemim who falsely convicted a Bas Kohen (EDIM ZOMEMIM)

(a)If two witnesses testify to a crime or an event and a later set of witnesses contradict their testimony by saying that the crime or event did not take place exactly as the first set of witnesses testified, all of the witnesses are termed Edim Mukchashin (contradictory witnesses), and Beis Din cannot use either testimony.

(b)If, however, two witnesses testify to a crime or an event and a later set of witnesses disqualify that testimony by saying that the first set of witnesses were with them in a different place at the time that the first set of witnesses claim that the act took place, the first witnesses are termed Edim Zomimin (conspiring witnesses). The Torah commands that the second set of witnesses are believed, rather than the first. In general, Edim Zomemin are punished with the punishment they tried to cause. (Devarim 19:16-21. See Mishnah Makos 5a.)

(c)In the case of the Gemara here, a pair of witnesses appear in court and testify that a certain woman, the daughter of a Kohen, committed adultery. The woman, if convicted, would be executed with Sereifah (burning). A second set of witnesses discredits the first through Hazamah; the second witnesses state that the first witnesses could not have seen the alleged event because at the time they claim that it occurred, they were in a different place. Although the first witnesses become Edim Zomemim, the Torah teaches they are not executed with Sereifah, the punishment they tried to impose upon the woman. Rather, they are executed with Chenek (strangulation), the punishment which the woman's partner would have received.

17)[line 44] ZOMEMEIHEN U'VO'ALEIHEN- in all other cases of the death penalty, Edim Zomemim, and, in cases of forbidden relations, the partner in the relations, always receive the same death penalty

18)[line 44] KA'YOTZEI BA'HEN- they are treated the same. That is, they are executed by the same method as the offender herself.


(a)The daughter of a Kohen who commits adultery is put to death. She does not receive the death penalty of Chenek (choking), as in other cases of adultery, but rather Sereifah (molten lead is poured in her throat) as it states in Vayikra 21:9. Her adulterer is not punished with Sereifah but with Chenek.

20)[line 45] ZOMEMIN EINI YODE'A IM LO HUKSHU IM LAH HUKSHU- I do not know whether Edim Zomemim are associated with him (and receive his punishment) or are associated with her (and receive her punishment).

21)[line 46] LA'ASOS L'ACHIV V'LO L'ACHOSO- [the verse teaches that an Edim Zomem is punished with the punishment which he attempted] "to do to his brother" and not [with the punishment which he attempted to do] "to his sister." (RASHI: This applies only when the Edim Zomemim convicted both the man and the woman with their testimony. TOSFOS (51b): This applies even when the Edim Zomemim convicted only convicted the woman.)


22)[line 49]APIKORUS- heretic

23)[line 49] HA'KOREI SEFARIM CHITZONIM- one who reads foreign books

24)[line 49] VEHA'LOCHESH AL MAKASO- and one who whispers on his wound [to heal himself]. He whispers the verse, "Any of the diseases that I placed in Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I am HaSh-m your healer" (Shemos 15:26; Rashi Shevuos 15b)

25)[line 51] HA'HOGEH ES HA'SHEM B'OSIYOSAV- one who pronounces the Name of HaSh-m the way it is written.

26)[line 52] ' "VA'YISPALEL ELAV VA'YE'ASER LO VA'YISHMA TECHINASO, VA'YESHIVEIHU YERUSHALAYIM L'MALCHUSO; VA'YEDA MENASHEH KI HASH-M HU HA'ELOKIM" - "And he prayed to Him and He accepted [his prayer], and He listened to his supplication, and He returned him to Yerushalayim to his kingdom; then Menasheh knew that HaSh-m is G-d." (Divrei ha'Yamim II 33:13) (THE EVIL KING, MENASHEH)

(a)Menasheh was king over Yisrael for fifty-five years, and his reign was marked by evil and terror. Menasheh is considered one of the most wicked kings who ever ruled in Israel, despite the fact that his father was the righteous king, Chizkiyahu ha'Melech, and his mother was the daughter of the prophet, Yeshayah. He built altars in honor of idols and led the nation astray. Although HaSh-m sent him many prophets to warn him to repent, he paid them no heed. He dismantled the Mizbe'ach in the Beis ha'Mikdash and removed with it the Heavenly fire that had burned on it since the days of Shlomo ha'Melech. He murdered his own grandfather, Yeshayah ha'Navi, and he placed an idolatrous image in the Beis ha'Mikdash. (His sins will be discussed later in the Perek.) This act was the one which caused HaSh-m to finalize His decision to destroy the Beis ha'Mikdash four generations later.

(b)When Menasheh persistently refused to repent, HaSh-m sent the Assyrian army against him and his nation. They captured him with hunting-hooks and brought him in chains to Bavel. There, the Midrash explains, they tortured him mercilessly and placed him inside a large metal caldron perforated with holes, and they lit a fire around the caldron. Menasheh began to pray to every god that he knew, and when none of them answered him, he remembered HaSh-m. HaSh-m answered his prayers and returned him to Yerushalayim and restored his kingship to him.

(c)HaSh-m's salvation made a deep impression on Menasheh, and he sincerely repented for his former sins. He rebuilt certain sections of the outer wall of the City of David and fortified it, and he deployed defense forces in all of the cities of Yehudah. He removed all the foreign gods and the image that he had placed in the Beis ha'Mikdash. He also demolished all of the altars that he had built on Har ha'Bayis and throughout Yerushalayim. He then offered Korbanos (peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings) in the Beis ha'Mikdash, and he urged the people of Yehudah to serve HaSh-m.

(d)In spite of his Teshuvah, the Chachamim list Menasheh among the three kings who lost their portion in the World to Come. Apparently, his Teshuvah came too late to repair the harm that he had done during the first part of his reign.

27)[line 56] ' ' "VA'YOMER ELISHA, 'SHIM'U DEVAR HASH-M, KO AMAR HASH-M: KA'ES MACHAR SE'AH SOLES B'SHEKEL, V'SASAYIM SE'ORIM B'SHEKEL, B'SHA'AR SHOMRON.'"- "And Elisha said, 'Listen to the word of HaSh-m: So said HaSh-m: At this time tomorrow a Se'ah of fine flour will cost a Shekel, and two Se'ah of barley will cost a Shekel, at the gate of Shomron.'" (Melachim 2 7:1)

28)[line 57] ' "VA'YA'AN HA'SHALISH ASHER LA'MELECH NISH'AN AL YADO ES ISH HA'ELOKIM, VA'YOMER, 'HINEI HASH-M OSEH ARUBOS BA'SHAMAYIM, HA'YIHEYEH HA'DAVAR HA'ZEH?' VA'YOMER, 'HINCHA RO'EH B'EINECHA, U'MISHAM LO SOCHEL!'" - "And the officer on whom the king leaned answered the man of G-d and he said, 'Even if HaSh-m were to make skylights in the heavens, would such a thing happen?' To which he replied, 'Behold you will see it with your eyes, but you will not eat from it!'" (Melachim II 7:2) (THE OFFICER WHO SCOFFED)

(a)This incident story took place in the time of the king Yehoram, the son of Achav. Shomron was under siege, and there was a severe food shortage. It had reached the point at which the head of a donkey sold for eighty silver pieces and a quarter Kav of pigeon dung for five. Elisha had predicted that at the same time on the morrow, there would be so much food available that one Se'ah of wheat flour and two Se'ah of barley flour would cost only one Shekel at the gate of Shomron. One of the king's officers scoffed when he heard this prediction: "Even if HaSh-m were to make skylights in the heavens, would such a thing happen?" Elisha responsd that he would be punished for scoffing at the words of a prophet; he would see the prophecy take place, but he would not partake of the food.

(b)Meanwhile, Gechazi and his three sons were in a dilemma. They were lepers and were forbidden to enter the city. If they would remain outside of the city, they would die of starvation. If they would surrender to the Assyrians who were surrounding the city, they would probably be killed outright. They decided on the latter option, which at least gave them a slight chance of survival. When they arrived at the Assyrian encampment, they were surprised to find it completely devoid of soldiers. They entered the first tent they came to, and they ate and drank, and then they took silver, gold, and clothes and hid them.

(c)Realizing that it was wrong to keep the good news to themselves, they went immediately (even though it was the middle of the night) and announced their discovery to the gatekeeper, who passed the message to the king.

(d)At first, Yehoram suspected a trap. The Assyrians must be hiding in the fields, waiting for the starving Jews to leave Shomron to help themselves to the food in the deserted camp. When the Jews come to get the food, the Assyrians will attack and massacre them. However, one of the king's servants convinced him that they had nothing to lose by sending a small detachment of men (who were destined to die anyway). The men set out on five of the few surviving horses.

(e)HaSh-m caused the Assyrians to hear the tumultous sound of an approaching army. Thinking that the Jews had hired mercenaries from the Chitim and the Egyptians, they fled via the Jordan River, leaving their entire camp intact. The small group sent by Yehoram discovered a long line of clothes and vessels that the fleeing Assyrian soldiers had discarded, which led all the way to the Jordan.

(f)Exactly as Elisha had predicted the day before, one Se'ah of wheat flour and two Se'ah of barley flour were sold for merely a Shekel at the gate of Shomron. The officer who scoffed indeed saw the food but did not partake of it; he was trampled underfoot, as the prophet had said.


29)[line 1]VA'YIRMESU- and they trampled

30)[line 1]"VA'YEHI LO CHEN; VA'YIRMESU OSO HA'AM BA'SHA'AR VA'YAMOS"- "And that is what happened to him; the people trampled him to death at the gate." (Melachim II 7:20) See above, entry #28.

31)[line 5] AL ISKEI SHA'AR- because of the matters pertaining to the gate

32)[line 12] D'VEI REBBI YISHMAEL TANA- the academy of Rebbe Yishmael taught

33)[line 12] L'AHARON K'AHARON- by stating that the Terumah is to be given to Aharon, the Torah indicates that Terumah is to be given specifically to a Kohen like Aharon

34)CHAVER - a Talmid Chacham who is meticulous in his observance of Halachah (CHAVER)

A person is called a Chaver if he accepts upon himself four things: 1. never to give Terumah and Ma'asros to an Am ha'Aretz; 2. never to prepare Taharos in the vicinity of an Am ha'Aretz; 3. to always eat Chulin b'Taharah; 4. to take Ma'aser from all produce that one eats, sells and buys (Tosefta Demai 2:2-3). The Gemara in Bechoros 30b explains exactly how one goes about accepting this distinguished status.

35)[line 15] AM HA'ARETZ- ignoramus

36)[line 16] '"VA'YOMER LA'AM L'YOSHVEI YERUSHALAYIM LA'SES MENAS HA'KOHANIM VEHA'LEVIYIM LEMA'AN YECHEZKU B'SORAS HASH-M." - "And he said to the people, to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, to give the portion of the Kohanim and the Leviyim, that they might give themselves firmly to the Torah of HaSh-m." (Divrei ha'Yamim II 31:4) (CHIZKIYAHU'S CAMPAIGN OF REPENTANCE)

(a)Following the reign of his wicked father Achaz, Chizkiyahu revived Torah study and Torah life in Yehudah. He organized a magnificent communal Korban Pesach, the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Shlomo ha'Melech. This caused great enthusiasm among the people, who then destroyed all the Matzeivos (altars of one stone), the Bamos, the Asheros (trees worshipped as idols) and the altars from Yehudah, Binyamin, Efrayim and Menasheh.

(b)Chizkiyahu had just reinstated the twenty-four groups of Kohanim and Leviyim, who served in weekly rotation in the Beis ha'Mikdash. He donated a large stock of burnt-offerings for the Korban Tamid, as well as for the Korban Musaf for Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and festivals. He then urged the people to give the Kohanim and the Leviyim the tithes that they were entitled to receive, so that these servants of HaSh-m be free to devote themselves entirely to their holy tasks. As the verse teaches, his efforts bore fruit and the people gave willingly. They even gave Terumos and Ma'aseros from all fruits and vegetables, something which the Torah did not command.

37)[line 17]MENAS- portion

38)[line 25] GOREM LO MISAH- by giving Terumah to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz, one even causes death to that Kohen

39)[line 27] MESI'O AVON ASHAMAH- by giving Terumah to a Kohen Am ha'Aretz, one burdens that Kohen with sin and guilt (see RASHI)

40)[line 36] "V'CHIKECH K'YEIN HA'TOV, HOLECH L'DODI L'MEISHARIM, DOVEV SIFSEI YESHENIM"- "And your palate [words] should be like the choicest wine, that causes a sleeper's lips to murmur; I am true to my beloved!" (Shir ha'Shirim 7:10) This refers to the stirring of the lips of those who sleep in the grave.

41)[line 35] RICHUSHEI MERACHASHAN SEFAVOSEI- his lips quiver [in the grave] (but the person does not return to life)

42)[line 39]MICHAN- from this case or verse it may be derived

43)[line 42]TARVAIHU- the two of them; both of them

44)[line 43] NEKOTU PALGA B'YADAICHU D'YODE'A MAH SHE'ASID LIHEYOS- take [at least] half [of the proof] in your hands, that HaSh-m knows what will be in the future (because even you concede that the second part of the verse indicates HaSh-m's knowledge of the future) (see RASHI, MAHARSHA)

45)[line 46] ZIYAFTI SIFREI MINIM- I proved that the books (and views) of the heretics are false

46)[line 48] "HIKARES TIKARES HA'NEFESH HA'HI AVONAH VAH"- "[Because he has despised the word of HaSh-m, and has broken His commandment,] that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." (Bamidbar 15:31) See Background to Sanhedrin 83:6.

47)[line 49] V'LEIMA LEHU- and let us say to them

48)[line 49] -DIBRAH TORAH K'LASHON BENEI ADAM - the Torah [in this instance] speaks in the manner of man

Every word in the Torah is holy and contains worlds of insights and nuances. However, certain sages of the Mishnah felt that there were some phrases recorded in the Torah that paralleled people's speech, and should not be used for homiletics or insights.

49)[line 54] YADANA D'CHAYEI SHICHVEI- I know that the dead will come to life

50)[line 55]LEVUSHIN- garments

51)[line 56]KEISAR- the Roman Caesar. (The Roman emperors became known by the term "Keisar" after the almost absolute reign of Gaius Julius Caesar.)

52)[line 56]AFRA- dust