[103a - 52 lines; 103b - 59 lines]

1)[line 2]מרפה ידיהןMERAPEH YEDEIHEN- he weakens their hands (i.e., he weakens the resolve of potential penitents to do Teshuvah)

2)[line 9]דל מינייהוDAL MINAIHU- subtract from it

3)[line 10]פשו להוPASHU LEHU- there remain

4)[line 11]"[ויתפלל אליו] ויעתר לו...""[VA'YISPALEL ELAV] VA'YE'ASER LO [VAYISHMA TECHINASO, VA'YESHIVEHU YERUSHALAYIM L'MALCHUSO, VA'YEDA MENASHEH KI HASH-M HU HA'EL-OKIM]"- "[And he prayed to Him,] and He accepted his prayer, [and listened to his supplications, and returned him to Yerushalayim to his kingdom, and then Menasheh knew that HaSh-m is G-d]" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 33:13).

5)[line 13]מחתרת ברקיעMACHTERES BA'RAKI'A- [HaSh-m made] a tunnel in heaven [to accept Menasheh's repentance]

6)[line 19]לתוהו ובוהוL'SOHU VA'VOHU- to nothingness (like the state of the world before Creation)

7)[line 20]ונתקררה דעתוV'NISKARERAH DA'TO- (lit. his mind cooled) he calmed down

8)[line 26]זיבח וקיטרZIBE'ACH V'KITER- he slaughtered [an animal] and burned incense [to Avodah Zarah]

9)[line 29]"ויזבח לאלהי דרמשק וגו'""VA'YIZBACH LE'LOHEI DARMESEK HA'MAKIM BO, VA'YOMER, 'KI ELOHEI MALCHEI ARAM HEM MA'ZERIM OSAM; LA'HEM AZABE'ACH V'YA'ZERUNI; V'HEM HAYU LO L'HACHSHILO UL'CHOL YISRAEL" - "And he sacrificed to the gods of Darmasek who were killing his troops, and he said, 'It is the gods whom the kings of Syria worship who are helping them; if I sacrifice to them, then they will help me!' However, they caused the downfall of him and of all of Yisrael" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 28:23) (THE WICKED KING ACHAZ)

(a)Following the civil war, in which Pekach ben Remalyahu had wrought havoc with the army of Yehudah, the soldiers of Yehudah were attacked by Edom and the Pelishtim. Edom took captives from the Jewish people while the Pelishtim captured and settled in many of their towns. All this was Divine retribution against the wicked king, Achaz, who caused the Jewish people to sin publicly through his widespread idolatry. HaSh-m punished the Jewish people and sent enemies to humiliate them.

(b)Achaz sent a request for help to Piln'eser (Sancheriv), the king of Assyria, to assist him. Although Piln'eser did attack the Syrians, he did not help Achaz where help was needed most - to return the cities that the Pelishtim had captured. In addition, Achaz was forced to give him a portion of the treasury of the Beis ha'Mikdash and of the king's treasury.

(c)This did not deter Achaz from continuing to sin. He even went so far as to bring sacrifices to the gods of Syria, even as they were killing his troops in battle, claiming that just as they helped the Syrians, they would help him. He also stashed away all of the holy vessels of the Beis ha'Mikdash, removed all of their gold, and he even locked the doors of the Beis ha'Mikdash to encourage the Kohanim to relinquish the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash and to serve on the numerous altars that he had placed in every corner of Yerushalayim. Indeed, he built Bamos in every city in Eretz Yisrael on which to sacrifice to foreign gods.

(d)When Achaz died, he was buried in Yerushalayim, but not in the graves designated for the kings of Yisrael (and later Yehudah), due to the great evil that he had perpetrated.

10)[line 34]"ויהי אחרי בוא אמציהו וגו'""VAYEHI ACHAREI VO AMATZYAHU ME'HAKOS ES ADOMIM, VA'YAVEI ES ELOHEI BENEI SE'IR VA'YA'AMIDEM LO LE'LOHIM V'LIFNEIHEM YISHTACHAVEH V'LAHEM YEKATER" - "And it was after Amatzyahu returned from smiting the Edomim, he brought the gods of Se'ir (Edom) back with him, and set them up for himself as gods, and before them he prostrated and to them he sacrificed incense" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 25:14) (THE DOWNFALL OF KING AMATZYAH)

(a)When HaSh-m, in His anger, sent a prophet to rebuke Amatzyah, the king responded by asking who had appointed the prophet as the king's advisor. The king warned the prophet that if he did not cease criticizing him immediately, his men would kill him.

(b)The prophet indeed stopped, but he informed the king that since he refused to accept his advice, HaSh-m had other plans in store for him. Those plans took the form of putting into Amatzyah's mind the desire to challenge the militarily-superior Yo'ash, grandson of Yehu, king of Yisrael, in battle. Yo'ash attempted to dissuade Amatzyah from engaging in a battle that he had no chance of winning, but to no avail.

(c)The battle took place, and Yisrael routed Yehudah's army, which fled. Yo'ash captured Amatzyah in Beis Shemesh, and he brought him to Yerushalayim (the capital of Yehudah), which was much closer to Beis Shemesh than to Shomron (the capital of Yisrael). To ensure that Amatzyah would not rebel, Yo'ash made a huge breach in the walls of Yerushalayim, from the gate of Efrayim until Sha'ar ha'Pinah, a distance of four hundred Amos.

(d)The king of Yisrael also took with him all of the vessels of the Beis ha'Mikdash that were in the charge of the family of Oved Edom (where the Aron had remained for a few months, before David ha'Melech brought it to Yerushalayim). He also took the sons of the princes of Yehudah as a security, an additional assurance that Yehudah would not rebel.

11a)[line 37]בכיי ליה למרBACHYEI LEI L'MAR- when a wise man cries for him

b)[line 37]חייכי למרCHAICHEI L'MAR- when the wise man laughs at him laugh. (In either case, he does not listen, for he does not know the difference between good and bad.)

12)[line 37]ווי ליה למרVAY LEI L'MAR- woe to the person

13)[line 37]בין טב לבישBEIN TAV L'VISH- [to distinguish] between good and bad

14)[line 38]"ויבאו כל שרי מלך בבל וגו'""VA'YAVO'U KOL SAREI MELECH BAVEL VA'YESHVU B'SHA'AR HA'TAVECH" - "All the officers of the king of Bavel came, and they sat at the middle gate..." (Yirmeyahu 39:3) (THE CAPTURE OF KING TZIDKIYAHU)

(a)The officers of the king of Bavel came to Yerushalayim following the breaching of the walls of the holy city, on the ninth of Tamuz in the eleventh year of the reign of King Tzidkiyahu. The "middle gate" is the gate known as Sha'ar Nikanor, which stands between the gate of the Ezras Nashim and that of the Heichal. Others explain that it was the gate in the middle wall surrounding Yerushalayim. The Chachamim explain that it is the gate where the Sanhedrin convened and issued Halachic rulings.

(b)When Tzidkiyahu and the remnant of the army saw the officers approaching, they fled in the middle of the night via the secret cave next to the king's garden, which led all the way to the Plains of Yericho, a distance of some forty kilometers. By "coincidence," a deer happened to appear on the ground above the secret cave. The deer was spotted by a group of Babylonian soldiers who gave chase. The fleeing deer led the soldiers along the exact route that Tzidkiyahu was taking underground, and it passed the exit to the cave just as Tzidkiyahu and his entourage emerged.

(c)The contingent of Jewish soldiers escaped, but the Babylonian soldiers took Tzidkiyahu and his family captive and led them to Nevuchadnetzar in Rivlah. There, Nevuchadnetzar reminded Tzidkiyahu of the oath that he had made (to be loyal to Nevuchadnetzar) and had promptly violated. The king of Bavel now made Tzidkiyahu pay dearly for his broken promise. Tzidkiyahu pleaded with Nevuchadnetzar to kill him first so that he should not see the death of his ten children, but Nevuchadnetzar ignored his request. He chose instead to fulfill the request of Tzidkiyahu's children, who asked him to kill them first so that they should not witness the blood of their father being spilled.

(d)The Midrash relates that after Nevuchadnetzar extracted Tzidkiyahu's eyes, he threw the children into the oven and took Tzidkiyahu in chains to Bavel. On the way, Tzidkiyahu cried out bitterly, "Come everybody and see how Yirmeyahu prophesied that [if I would not surrender to the Babylonians] I would go to Bavel and die in Bavel, but I would never see Bavel. I ignored his warning, and now I am going to Bavel, but my eyes will not see it."

15)[line 38]מקום שמחתכין בו הלכותMAKOM SHE'MECHATCHIN BO HALACHOS- a place where they decide the laws (i.e., the meeting place of the Sanhedrin)

16)[line 39]באתרא דמריה תלא ליה זייניה תמן קולבא רעיא קולתיה תלאB'ASRA D'MAREI TALA LEI ZAINEI TAMAN KULBA RA'AYA KULTEI TALA- in a place where the master hangs his weapon, the lowly shepherd hangs his jug. (That is, in a place where the Sanhedrin used to sit, the ministers of Bavel now judge their cases.)

17)[line 45]כת חניפיםKAS CHANIFIM- the class of flatterers

18)[line 49]ספק נדהSAFEK NIDAH - a doubtful Nidah (NIDAH)

(a)By Torah Law, a woman who has her period is a Nidah for seven days. It makes no difference whether she saw blood only one time or for the entire seven days. At the end of seven days, after nightfall, she immerses in a Mikvah to become Tehorah. (The current practice is to consider all women who have a show of blood to be a Zavah, and therefore they must count seven clean days before they go to the Mikvah.)

(b)The Gemara here relates that when a man returns home from a long journey and looks forward to reuniting with his wife, if he finds his wife in a state of doubtful Nidah he will be more distressed than if he finds her in a state of definite Nidah. If she would be a definite Nidah, he would resign himself to the fact that he must wait longer until he reunites with her. As a doubtful Nidah, though, he must abstain from her because of the possibility that she is in fact a Nidah, but he is tempted by his Yetzer ha'Ra which argues that she is not really a Nidah and he is holding himself back unnecessarily (RASHI).

19)[line 50]שלא יבעתוךSHE'LO YEVA'ATUCHA- that they (bad thoughts) will not terrify you

20)[line 51]שמקדיח תבשילו ברביםSHE'MAKDI'ACH TAVSHILO B'RABIM- who burns his food in public. (This refers to a son or student whose public conduct is disreputable. If that person does not act properly, he brings shame to the ones who bore him and taught him.)


21)[line 6]מפני מה עי"ן של רשעים תלויהMIPNEI MAH AYIN SHEL RESHA'IM TELUYAH- because of what is the letter Ayin in the word "Resha'im" suspended [higher than the other letters in that word]? The letter Ayin in the word "Resha'im" is not written on the same line as the other letters of that word, but slightly higher. The effect is that the word may be read as though the letter Ayin were missing, with the resulting word being "Rashim," or "poor people" (RASHI).

22)[line 10]שונה חמשים וחמשה פנים בתורת כהניםSHONEH CHAMISHIM VA'CHAMISHAH PANIM B'TORAS KOHANIM- Menasheh expounded and taught 55 facets of explanations in the Book of Vayikra: (a) According to RASHI, he taught one facet every year of his 55-year reign. (b) According to the YAD RAMAH, he expounded the 55 facets of the law when he was a Tzadik, and as a result he merited to reign for 55 years.

23)[line 14]"ויכו את אבשלום וגו'""[VA'YASOBU ASARAH NE'ARIM, NOS'EI KELEI YO'AV,] VA'YAKU ES AVSHALOM VA'YEMISEHU" - "[And ten young men, the armor-bearers of Yo'av, surrounded him,] and they struck Avshalom and killed him" (Shmuel II 18:15) (THE DEATH OF AVSHALOM)

(a)During the battle between David and his son Avshalom, one of Yo'av's men reported that he had spotted Avshalom hanging by his hair from the branch of an oak-tree. This was no coincidence because, as the Gemara explains (Sotah 10b), "Avshalom sinned with his hair, therefore he was hanged by his hair."

(b)Yo'av asked him the soldier why he had not killed Avshalom when he saw him, for which he would have received ample reward. The man replied that no reward would have induced him to lay a hand on the son of the king, who had specifically warned them not to kill his rebel son under any circumstances. Ignoring his reply, Yo'av thrust three staves into Avshalom's heart, but they did not kill him. His ten armor-bearers finished the job.

(c)They placed Avshalom's body into a large pit in the forest, which they then covered with a huge pile of stones. Meanwhile, Avshalom's army fled from the battle-front.

(d)Before his death, Avshalom - whose four children (three sons and one daughter) had all died during his lifetime - had prepared to perpetuate his name by constructing a stone monument that was to cover his grave following his death. He called it "Yad Avshalom," a name by which it was still called many years later.

24)[line 18]לא חיין ולא נידוניןLO CHAYIN V'LO NIDUNIN- they (Achaz and Achazyah, and any other king of Israel) will not come back to life at Techiyas ha'Mesim, and they will not be judged in Gehinom either. Their souls will wander aimlessly through the world, neither enjoying the World to Come nor suffering in Gehinom. They will suffer anguish at being prevented from returning to their source in the World to Come (YAD RAMAH).

25)[line 18]"וגם דם נקי שפך מנשה וגו'""V'GAM DAM NAKI SHAFACH MENASHEH HARBEH ME'OD AD ASHER MILEI ES YERUSHALAYIM PEH LE'PEH..."- "And Menasheh also shed a lot of innocent blood, until he filled Yerushalayim from one end to the other, besides the sin of causing Yehudah to do evil in the eyes of HaSh-m" (Melachim II 21:16).

26)[line 22]הכא תרגימוHACHA TARGIMU- here (in Bavel) they translate it as...

27)[line 28]פרצוףPARTZUF- face

28)[line 30]בעלייהBA'ALIYAH- in the loft

29)[line 40]מלהשתרר עליוMIL'HISHTARER ALAV- to rule over it [at one time]

30)[line 43]והרסV'HARAS- and he destroyed

31)[line 43]שממיתSHEMAMIS- (a) a cobweb. Since Amon did not allow sacrifices to be brought, the altar fell into disuse (RASHI); (b) a lizard (ARUCH); (c) a type of bird (YAD RAMAH).

32)[line 44]"כי הוא אמון הרבה אשמה""[V'LO NICHNA AMON MI'LIFNEI HASH-M, K'HIKANA MENASHEH AVIV,] KI HU AMON HIRBAH ASHMAH" - "[Amon did not humble himself before HaSh-m as his father had humbled himself,] for he, Amon, increased guilt" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 33:23) (THE WICKED KING AMON, SON OF MENASHEH)

(a)Amon, Menasheh's son, succeeded his father, but he reigned for only two years. He went in the ways of his father (before his father had done Teshuvah), worshipping all the gods that his father had worshipped before him. The Gemara here describes how his wickedness surpassed that of his father.

(b)Amon's servants plotted against him and assassinated him in his home. The people duly brought the assassins to justice and put them to death, and crowned in his place his eight-year-old son, Yoshiyahu.

33)[line 47]לארגוזיL'ARGUZEI- to anger

34)[line 47]זהב פרוייםZAHAV PARVAYIM- Parvayim gold (a certain type of gold)

35)[line 50]"ויתר דברי יהויקים וגו'""V'YESER DIVREI YEHOYAKIM V'SO'AVOSAV ASHER ASAH VEHA'NIMTZA ALAV, [HINAM KESUVIM AL SEFER MALCHEI YISRAEL VI'YEHUDAH, VA'YIMLOCH YEHOYACHIN BENO TACHTAV]" - "And the rest of the words of the deeds of Yehoyakim and the abominations that he committed and sins found upon him, [behold they are recorded in the Book of Chronicles of the kings of Yisrael and Yehudah. And Yehoyachin his son reigned in his place" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 36:8) (THE WICKED KING, YEHOYAKIM)

(a)It was Par'oh Nechoh (Pharaoh the Lame, king of Egypt; see Background to Sotah 9:14) who, after having killed Yehoyakim's father, king Yoshiyahu, changed his name from Elyakim to Yehoyakim and placed him on the throne, instead of his brother Yeho'achaz, whom he exiled to Egypt.

(b)Yehoyakim was a wicked king, about whom Yirmeyahu had already prophesied that he would be buried like a donkey (which is buried inside the stomach of a dog). Although Nevuchadnetzar intended to take him to Bavel in chains, Yehoyakim died on the way, and Nevuchadnetzar threw his corpse outside the walls of Yerushalayim, where it remained unburied. Eventually, his skull was found and burned (see Sanhedrin 104a).

(c)The Chachamim explain that Nevuchadnetzar actually came in the second year of his reign (the fourth year of Yehoyakim's reign) and exiled Yehoyakim to Bavel for three years, after which he returned him to Yerushalayim to serve as a vassal king. Nevuchadnetzar captured him again, four years later, which is when Yehoyakim died on the way to Bavel.

36)[line 51]אמתוAMASO- his male organ

37)[line 52]בהדיוטותB'HEDYOTOS- among commoners

38)[line 53]לעוברי דרכיםL'OVREI DERACHIM- for travelers

39)[line 54]עשן המערכהASHAN HA'MA'ARACHAH- the smoke of the burning woodpile [on the Mizbe'ach]

40)[line 55]לדוחפוL'DOCHFO- to push him (i.e., the angels wanted to kill Michah)

41)[line 55]הניחו לוHANICHU LO- leave him alone

42)[line 57]לגימהLEGIMAH- food (i.e., hospitality to guests)

43)[line 59]ומעלמת עיניםU'MA'ALEMES EINAYIM- and it makes the eyes [of HaSh-m] look away (and overlook the evil deeds of Resha'im)

44)[line 59]ושגגתו עולה זדוןV'SHIGEGASO OLAH ZADON- and unintentional failure (to provide proper hospitality) is counted as willful failure