1)SANCHERIV'S MARCH TO YERUSHALAYIM
(a)Question: What does it mean "Aniyah Anasos"?
(b)Answer: The prophecy that Yerushalayim will fall to Nebuchadnetzar will come from Yirmeyah of Anasos.
(c)Question: Nebuchadnetzar is called Aryeh, and not Layish!
(d)Answer: Both are among six names for lions - Ari, Kefir, Lavi, Layish, Shachal and Shachatz.
(e)Question: If "Aniyah Anasos" refers to Yirmeyah, Sancheriv only made nine journeys!
(f)Answer: "Ovru Mabarah" refers to two journeys.
(g)Question: What does it mean "Od ha'Yom b'Nov La'amod"?
(h)Answer (Rav Huna): This was the last day that Yisrael were still worthy to be punished for killing the Kohanim of Nov. Had Sancheriv attacked Yerushalayim (and not waited for the morrow), he would have conquered it.
(i)Sancheriv's astrologers told him 'if you attack now, you will conquer Yerushalayim; if not, you will not.' He traveled what is normally a journey of 10 days in one day.
(j)When he got to Yerushalayim, he piled up carpets higher than the walls and sat on them, and saw the entire city. It was small in his eyes. He regretted having brought all his army and bothered conquering so many places (on the route) to get to Yerushalayim. 'It is smaller than all the other cities I conquered!' He waved his head and hands at it.
1.His army: Let us begin the battle!
2.Sancheriv: You are tired from the journey. Tomorrow, everyone will bring to me a small piece of the wall (and we will conquer the city).
(k)"Va'Yetzei Mal'ach Hash-m va'Yach (185,000 men)... va'Boker Chulam Pegarim Mesim."
(l)(Rav Papa): This is like people say, if judgment is left for the morrow, it will not happen.
2)DAVID'S PUNISHMENT FOR NOV
(a)Question: What does "va'Yishbi b'Nov..." mean?
(b)Answer (Rav Yehudah): It is Ish she'Ba (a man who came) to kill David, to be his punishment for the killing of the Kohanim of Nov.
1.Hash-m: You have been liable for this sin for too long! Through you, Do'eg sinned (by telling Lashon ha'Ra to Sha'ul, that Achimelech helped David, which caused that) of Kohanim of Nov were killed (on Sha'ul's command), and (due to this) Sha'ul and his three sons were killed! Either your descendants will be killed off, or you will be captured by the enemy.
2.David: It is better that I be taken by the enemy.
(c)One day, David went hunting (alternatively - to a certain village). The Satan appeared to him like a deer. He shot an arrow at it, but it did not reach it. He pursued it to Eretz Plishtim; Yishbi b'Nov (a giant) recognized that this was David who had killed his brother Galyus. Yishbi tied him up and put him under the olive-press (some texts - under a sheet) and sat on him (to crush him).
1.A miracle occurred, the ground under him became soft, David was not hurt (alternatively - the ground formed a crater to protect him) - "Tarchiv Tza'adi Sachtai v'Lo Ma'adu Karsulai."
2.It was Erev Shabbos. Avishai ben Tzeruyah was shampooing his hair. He saw drops of blood (Some say, he saw a dove shaking itself in front of him - Yisrael is compared to a dove, "Kanfei Yonah Nechpah ba'Kesef.") (Ramah - because Yisrael was not in trouble,) he deduced that David was in trouble. He looked in David's house, and did not find him.
3.Question (Avishai): The Mishnah says, we may not ride on a king's horse, nor sit on his throne, or use his scepter - does this apply even at a time of danger?
4.Answer (Rabanan in the Beis Medrash): At a time of danger it is permitted.
5.Avishai rode on David's mule; he experienced Kefitzas ha'Derech (he travelled miraculously quickly) and arrived in Eretz Plishtim. He saw Orpah (the mother of Yishbi) weaving. When she saw him, she slipped the spindle off the thread and flung it towards him (hoping to kill him, but she missed. She pretended that it fell accidentally.) She asked him to bring it. He threw it at her head and killed her.
6.Yishbi saw Avishai. He was concerned lest Avishai and David together be able to kill him. He threw David up and inserted his sword in the ground, so David would land on it and die. Avishai said a name of Hash-m, suspending David in mid-air.
7.Question: Why didn't David do so himself?
8.Answer: A prisoner cannot take himself out of jail. (David was in danger, so he lacked the composure to say Hash-m's name.)
(d)Avishai: What were you doing here?
(e)David: Hash-m told me that I must choose a punishment. I opted to be taken by the enemy.
(f)Avishai: It is better that you yourself should be safe. Let your children sell wax (be very poor, i.e. face their own problems), but do not sacrifice yourself!
(g)David: Help me pray to switch the punishment!
1.(Rav Yehudah): "Va'Ya'azor Lo Avishai..." - he prayed for him (Ramah - counseled him what to pray for).
(h)Avishai said a name of Hash-m, and David came down; Yishbi chased them. When they reached the village 'Kubi', they said 'this is a good place to Kum Bei (oppose him).'
1.When they reached the village 'Bei Trei', they said 'will two lions cubs kill the lion?!'
2.They told him 'Orpah, your mother is in the grave.' The mention of her name (Maharsha - which alludes to the throng that were Oref (had Bi'ah with) her) made him grow weak, and they killed him - "Az Nishbe'u Anshei David Lo Leimor Lo Setzei Od Itanu la'Milchamah v'Lo Sevakeh Es Ner Yisrael."
(i)(Beraisa): Three people experienced Kefitzas ha'Derech: Eliezer (Avraham's slave), Yakov and Avishai.
1.Regarding R. Eliezer it says "va'Avo ha'Yom El ha'Ayin." This implies that he arrived the same day he left;
2.Regarding Yakov it says "...va'Yelech Charanah (this implies that he already arrived there) and it says "va'Yifga ba'Makom"!
i.After he reached Charan, he regretted that he had not prayed at the place (of the Akeidah) where Avraham and Yitzchak had prayed. Once he decided to return, he had Kefitzas ha'Derech and immediately arrived - "va'Yifga ba'Makom"!
ii.(Alternatively, "va'Yifga" denoes prayer - "Al Tispalel... v'Al Tifga Bi" - Gra deletes this from the text.)
3."Va'Yalen Sham Ki Va ha'Shemesh" - after he prayed, he wanted to return, but Hash-m wanted him to spend the night at His dwelling (the Beis ha'Mikdash would later be built there), therefore He made the sun set immediately.
i.This explains "va'Yizrach Lo ha'Shemesh."
ii.Question: The sun shines for everyone!
iii.Answer (R. Yitzchak): The sun, which had set early due to Yakov, now shone early for him (to heal his thigh).
(j)Question: Where do we find that David's descendants were killed off?
(k)Answer: "Va'Asalyah...va'Te'abed Es Kol Zera ha'Mamlachah."
(l)Question: Yo'ash remained!
(m)Answer: It was proper for one person to remain, for this was a punishment for the killing of the Kohanim of Nov, and there also, one remained - "va'Yimalet Ben Echad la'Achimelech... Evyasar."
(n)(Rav Yehudah): Had Evyasar not remianed, there would not have been any remnant of David's seed!
3)SANCHERIV'S CAMPAIGN TO CONQUER YERUSHALAYIM
(a)(Rav Yehudah): Sancheriv came against Yerushalayim with 45,000 princes in gold carriages with queens and harlots, and 80,000 soldiers in armor, 60,000 sword-bearing soldiers running in front of him, and others on horses;
1.A similar army opposed Avraham (when he fought the four kings), and a similar army will come with Gog and Magog.
(b)(Beraisa): The length of the army was 400 Parsa'os, the width of the horses' necks (if they would stand side by side) was 40 Parsa'os; the total number of soldiers was 2,600,000 thousands, less one. (It is unclear whether this means less one soldier, or less 1,000.)
(c)(Beraisa): "V'Cholaf bi'Yhudah Shataf v'Avar" - the first soldiers swam across the Yarden river;
1.(Due to what they drank and the water absorbed in their garments), the middle ones walked through the water - "Ad Tzavar Yagi'a";
2.The river was totally dry when the last ones came. They kicked up dirt and had to find a new source of water to drink - "Karti v'Shasisi Mayim (v'Achriv b'Chaf Pe'amai Kol Ye'orei Matzor."
(d)Question: "Va'Yetzei Mal'ach Hash-m va'Yach (185,000 men)... Chulam Pegarim Mesim" (there were only 185,000)!
(e)Answer (R. Avahu): Those were the troop leaders.
(f)Support #1 (Rav Ashi): "B'Mishmanav Razon" - the verse discusses only the fat (important) ones.
(g)Support #2 (Ravina): "Va'Yachched Kol Gibor Chayil v'Nagid v'Sar ba'Machaneh (the verse discusses only the officers)...v'Yavo (Sancheriv) Beis Elohav u'Mitzi'ei Me'av Sham Hipiluhu ve'Charev."
(h)Question: What did he (the angel) used to kill them?
(i)Answer #1 (R. Eliezer): He used His hand. "Va'Yar Yisrael (at Kri'as Yam Suf) Es ha'Yad ha'Gedolah" refers to the hand that will later wipe out Sancheriv's army. ? (Chidushei Agados Maharal - Hash-m's hand was with the angel.)
(j)Answer #2 (R. Yehoshua): He used His finger. "Etzba Elokim Hu" refers to the finger that will later wipe out Sancheriv's army.
(k)Answer #3 (R. Eliezer, son of R. Yosi ha'Galili): Hash-m told Gavri'el to sharpen his scythe to destroy them;
1.Gavri'el: It has been sharpened, waiting for this from six days of creation - "Nadadu Mipnei Cherev Netushah."
2.(R. Shimon): It was the time when fruits ripen. Hash-m told Gavri'el to destroy them when he goes to ripen the fruits - "Midei Ovru Yikach Eschem..."
3.(Rav Papa): This is like people say, on the way, make your enemy hear you (to frighten him).
(l)Answer #4: Some say, Hash-m blew into their nostrils - "v'Gam Nofash Bahem va'Yivashu";
(m)Answer #5 (R. Yirmeyah bar Aba): He clapped His hands in front of them and they died - "Akeh Kapi El Kapi v'Hanichosi Chamasi."
(n)Answer #6 (R. Yitzchak Nafcha): He uncovered their ears, enabling them to hear Shirah of the Chayos (a class of angels) - "me'Romemusecha Noftzu Goyim."
(o)Question: How many of the army remained?
(p)Answer #1 (Rav): Ten remained. "U'Sh'ar Etz Yaro Mispar v'Na'ar Yichtevem" - a child can write (Yud, which is a mere drop of ink, and signifies) 10.
(q)Answer #2 (Shmuel): Nine remained. "V'Nish'ar Bo Olelos... Shnayim Sheloshah Gargarim b'Rosh Amir Arba'ah Chamishah bi'Se'ifeha."
(r)Answer #3 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Fourteen remained (we add all the numbers in the above verse).
(s)Answer #4 (R. Yochanan): Five remained - Sancheriv and his two sons, and Nebuchadnetzar and Nevuzaradan (who later brought the Churban).
1.We have a tradition that Nevuzaradan was there;
2.We learn Nebuchadnetzar from "v'Reveh Di Revi'a'ah Damei l'Var Elahin (his form resembles an angel)." Had he not seen the angel kill Sancheriv's camp, how would he know the form of angels?!
3.We learn that Sancheriv and his two sons survived from "Hu Mishtachaveh Beis Nisroch Elohav v'Adramelech v'Sar'etzer Banav Hikuhu va'Cherev." (The verses do not say that his sons were there, but since he was so confident of victory, surely he took them.)
(t)(R. Avahu): If we did not have the verse, it would be forbidden for us to say the following!
1."B'Yom ha'Hu Yegalach Hash-m... b'Melech Ashur Es ha'Rosh..." - Hash-m assumed the guise of an old man, and came (Ramah - Hash-m prompted an old man to come) in front of Sancheriv.
2.The old man: When you return to the kings of the east and west, what will you say to them? (You took their princes to witness your expected victory, and they all died!)
3.Sancheriv: I worry about this! What should I say?
4.The old man: Disguise yourself!
5.Sancheriv: How can I do so?
6.The old man: Bring me scissors from that house, and I will shave you!