[107a - 53 lines; 107b - 41 lines]

1)[line 3]נסיוןNISAYON- trial

2)[line 10]דלדידהו לא הודעתינהוDEL'DIDHU LO HODA'ATINHU- that to them, I did not inform them (the Avos when they would be tested)

3)[line 13]שהפך משכבו של לילה למשכבו של יוםSHE'HAFACH MISHKAVO SHEL LAILAH L'MISHKAVO SHEL YOM- he (David ha'Melech) changed his night bed for his day bed. (That is, he had marital relations, which are normally reserved for nighttime, during the day. David knew that he would be put to a test of temptation, so he engaged in relations with his own wife during the daytime to ensure that no other woman would tempt him that day) (RASHI).

4)[line 15]אבר קטןAVER KATAN- a small organ, a reference to the male organ

5)[line 16]"ויהי לעת הערב ויקם דוד מעל משכבו ויתהלך על גג בית המלך, וירא אשה רוחצת מעל הגג; והאשה טובת מראה מאד""VA'YHI L'ES HA'EREV VA'YAKAM DAVID ME'AL MISHKAVO VA'YIS'HALECH AL GAG BEIS HA'MELECH, VA'YAR ISHAH ROCHETZES ME'AL HA'GAG; VEHA'ISHAH TOVAS MAR'EH ME'OD"- "And it came to pass towards evening, that David arose from his bed and he went up onto the roof of the palace, and he saw from upon the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was extremely beautiful" (Shmuel II 11:2).

6)[line 18]חייפא רישא תותי חלתאCHAIFA REISHA TUSEI CHALSA- she (Bas Sheva) was washing her hair under a round container

7)[line 19]כציפרתאK'TZIPARTA- like a bird

8)[line 20]פתק ביה גיראPATAK BEI GIRA- he (David ha'Melech) shot an arrow at it

9)[line 21]"וישלח דוד וידרוש לָאִשָּׁה; ויאמר הלוא זאת בת שבע בת אליעם אשת אוריה החתי. וישלח דוד מלאכים ויקחה ותבא אליו וישכב עמה והיא מתקדשת מטומאתה; וַתַָּשָׁב אל ביתה""VA'YISHLACH DAVID VA'YIDROSH LA'ISHAH; VA'YOMER, 'HALO ZOS BAS SHEVA BAS ELI'AM, ESHES URIYAH HA'CHITI.' VA'YISHLACH DAVID MAL'ACHIM VA'YIKACHEHAH, VA'TAVO ELAV, VA'YISHKAV IMAH V'HI MISKADESHES MI'TUM'ASAH; VA'TASHOV EL BEISAH" - "And David sent to inquire about the woman, and he was told, 'Is that not Bas Sheva, daughter of Eli'am, the wife of Uriyah the Chiti?" Then David sent messengers who took her; she came to him and he was intimate with her, after she cleansed herself from her impurity. Then she returned to her house" (Shmuel II 11:3-4) (DAVID HA'MELECH TAKES BAS SHEVA)

(a)When David asked HaSh-m to add him to the list of Avos (to add "Elokei David" to the sentence, "Elokei Avraham, Elokei Yitzchak, v'Elokei Yakov"), HaSh-m pointed out that David had done nothing to earn the title of "Av," in contrast to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yakov, who had been tested with, and passed, various trials. David challenged HaSh-m to test him with a Nisayon. HaSh-m agreed, and He even warned David in advance that he was about to test him in the area of morality. Forewarned, David prepared for the test and placated his Yetzer ha'Ra in advance by being intimate with one of his wives during the day. He failed to realize, however, that being intimate does not satiate and placate the Yetzer ha'Ra, but rather it whets its appetite even more.

(b)When David went up on the roof for a stroll, Bas Sheva, the wife of Uriyah ha'Chiti, was washing her hair behind a wickerwork screen. The Satan, in the disguise of a bird, alighted on the screen. David shot an arrow at it. The arrow struck the screen and broke it, revealing Bas Sheva's body.

(c)When David discovered that Uriyah ha'Chiti's wife was pregnant with his baby, he tried to extricate himself from the embarrassment by ordering Uriyah to go home to his wife.

(d)Uriyah refused to comply. As long as the Aron (the second Aron, which was carried with the Jewish army to war) as well as the general and the army were away from home, Uriyah argued, it was not right for him to go home and be with his wife. The Chachamim point out that although the episode indeed was embarrassing for David, he committed no transgression of adultery, due to the custom prevalent among the soldiers in the Jewish army to divorce their wives before they went to war.

(e)According to some opinions, Uriyah became liable for death as a result of his act of insubordination to the king's command. Others maintain that he was liable for death because he referred to Yo'av as his "master" in the presence of the king, or because he mentioned Yo'av's name before he mentioned the king (see Tosfos to Kidushin 43a, DH Mored).

10)[line 26]זממאZEMAMA- a muzzle

11)[line 26]דסני ליD'SANEI LI- who hate me

12)[line 28]צפור נדדתוTZIPOR NADEDASO- a bird drove him away

13)[line 32]במכאובB'MACH'OV- in pain

14)[line 33]פגהPAGAH- an unripe fig. David ha'Melech did not wait until the preordained time for their marriage. Had he been more patient, he could have married her without any complications (TORAS CHAIM).

15)[line 35]ממשנתןMI'MISHNASAN- from their learning

16)[line 36]המלבין פני חבירו ברביםHA'MALBIN PENEI CHAVEIRO B'RABIM- one who embarrasses (lit. causes to become white) the face of his fellow man in public

17)[line 37]עונותONOS- the time periods at which a husband is obligated to provide his wife with her conjugal rights

18)[line 40]"ויהי דוד בא עד הראש אשר ישתחוה שם לאלקים; והנה לקראתו חושי הארכי קרוע כתנתו ואדמה על ראשו""VA'YEHI DAVID BA AD HA'ROSH ASHER YISHTACHAVEH SHAM LE'LOKIM; V'HINEI LIKRASO CHUSHAI HA'ARKI, KARU'A KUTONTO V'ADAMAH AL ROSHO" - "And when David came to the top [of Har ha'Zeisim], where he would prostrate himself before HaSh-m; there was Chushai ha'Arki coming to meet him, his garment torn and with earth upon his head" (Shmuel II 15:32) (ACHITOFEL AND CHUSHAI HA'ARKI)

(a)Following the rebellion of Avshalom, David was forced to flee from Yerushalayim. When he arrived at the outskirts of Yerushalayim, Chushai ha'Arki - the elderly servant of his deceased father, Yishai - came to meet him. David pointed out that should Chushai, already an old man, join his ranks, he would only be a hindrance to the fleeing party of loyalists. David therefore suggested that he return to Yerushalayim and act as a spy on his behalf. His job would be twofold: first, to wheedle his way into Avshalom's inner cabinet, and to foil any plan that Achitofel would design (considering that Achitofel's plans were invariably successful); second, to pass on to Tzadok and Evyasar (the Kohanim) any major strategic developments that took place in Yerushalayim, who would then send their respective sons, the youthful Achima'atz and Yonasan, to David with any important information. After offering a short prayer to HaSh-m to foil all of Achitofel's plans, David sent Chushai back to Yerushalayim.

(b)Chushai succeeded. When Achitofel suggested that David and his men must be weak after fleeing from Yerushalayim, and that now was the time to catch them off-guard, Chushai countered that David was far too clever to be caught napping and that he certainly had prepared for such a contingency and laid an ambush against such an attack. Achitofel's intuition was correct, but miraculously Avshalom accepted Chushai's suggestion instead and did not attack immediately, giving David and his men time to escape.

(c)For the first time in his life, his advice had been rejected. Achitofel went on to commit suicide.

19)[line 40]"והוא צלמא רישיה די דהב טב""(V)'HU TZALMA REISHEI DI DEHAV TAV, [CHADOHI U'DERA'OHI DI CHESAF, ME'OHI V'YARCHASEI DI NECHASH. SHAKOHI DI PARZEL, RAGLOHI MINHEN DO FARZEL, U'MINHEN DI CHASAF]" - "The head of that image was made of fine-quality gold, [its chest and its arms of silver, and its stomach and its thighs of copper. Its calves were made of silver; part of each leg was of iron and part of clay]" (Daniel 2:32-33) (NEVUCHADNETZAR'S DREAM)

(a)All of the sages of Bavel had just been put to death because they were unable to inform Nevuchadnetzar what he had dreamt or the meaning of his dream. Daniel and his colleagues were next in line to attempt to explain his dream were. Daniel asked the king for time to work out the interpretation of the dream (see Malbim), and he used that time to pray for Divine assistance.

(b)That night, their prayers were answered. Daniel had a vision in which he was informed both of the contents of the dream and its interpretation. The following morning, he was again ushered into the king's quarters, where, like Yosef in the presence of Pharaoh, he made it clear that he merely was repeating what HaSh-m had revealed to him. He then proceeded to describe the strange creature that the king had seen in his dream, representing the four kingdoms that would dominate the world until the time of Mashi'ach (Bavel, Madai, Yavan, and Edom).

20)[line 41]ואל יתחלל שם שמים בפרהסיאV'AL YISCHALEL SHEM SHAMAYIM B'FARHESYA- and the Name of HaSh-m should not be profaned in public

21)[line 42]יפת תוארYEFAS TO'AR

(a)The Torah (Devarim 21:10-14) permits a Jewish soldier to take home a foreign female prisoner of war, convert her, and marry her. The Torah permits this "only in recognition of the power of a man's evil inclination," in order to prevent the strong likelihood that some Jews might be overcome by their Yetzer ha'Ra and engage in forbidden relations with her.

(b)However, the Torah requires first that she undergo a thirty-day period of mourning for her parents (as well as for their idolatrous practices; Yevamos 48b, RAMBAM Hilchos Melachim 8:5). This involves shaving her head, letting her fingernails grow (or be cut; see Yevamos 48b), and replacing the fine garments that she was wearing when she was captured with ordinary clothes. This is done in order to make her less attractive (RASHI to Devarim ibid., IBN EZRA to Devarim ibid.) and to signify purification and a new status (CHIZKUNI to Devarim ibid.).

(c)There is a Machlokes Rishonim regarding whether it is permitted for the Jewish soldier to have relations with the Yefas To'ar a single time, during the war, before bringing her home (RAMBAM, RABEINU TAM), or whether such an act during war is forbidden and that the soldier must wait until after her period of mourning is completed (RASHI, according to TOSFOS; see RITVA to Kidushin 21b).

22)[line 42]רחמנא שרייהRACHAMANA SHARYEHA- the Torah permits her

23)[line 42]לא דרשת סמוכיםLO DARASHT SEMUCHIN- [Chushai said to David,] "Do you not expound proximity of verses [in order to derive Torah law]?"

24)[line 43]בן סורר ומורהBEN SORER U'MOREH - the "stubborn and rebellious son"

(a)A boy can become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh (Devarim 21:18-21) from the time that he shows signs of puberty (when two hairs grow) until he reaches a further stage of development (approximately three months later). He must steal money from his father, and buy 50 Dinars' weight of meat, eating it rare outside his father's property and in bad company. He must also drink half a log (5 oz.) of wine with the meal. It is therefore forbidden for a boy of this age to eat such a meal at any time (Sefer ha'Mitzvos, Lo Sa'aseh #195).

(b)A Ben Sorer u'Moreh is punished with Sekilah (stoning). Rebbi Yosi ha'Gelili explains that since he is running after worldly pleasures, he will eventually deplete all of his father's possessions, and when there is nothing left, he will stand at a crossroads and steal from people. It is better to kill him when he is young and has few sins than to let him live and die a wicked man (Sanhedrin 72a).

(c)The Gemara (Sanhedrin 68b-72a) learns that there are additional conditions necessary to become a Ben Sorer u'Moreh, which are so numerous and intricate that it is unfeasible for this punishment ever to be executed.

25)[line 44]לסוחר כותיL'SOCHER KUSI- [David is compared] to a Kusi merchant. (a) A Kusi merchant sells his wares to a customer in small measures, each for a nominal price, and lures the customer into buying more than he would buy if would make one large purchase and pay for it at once (RASHI); (b) Kusi merchants are wise buyers, who are willing to pay a little extra to ensure that the seller fulfills the contract to the letter of the agreement (YAD REMAH).

26)[line 52]"הָשִׁיבָה לִּי שְׂשׂוֹן יִשְׁעֶךָ וְרוּחַ נְדִיבָה תִסְמְכֵנִי""HASHIVAH LI SESON YISH'ECHA, V'RU'ACH NEDIVAH SISMECHENI"- "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and with a generous spirit sustain me" (Tehilim 51:14) - This verse refers to the Shechinah, and it appears in the Psalm that begins, "When Nasan the Prophet came to him (David), after he had relations with Bas Sheva." From this verse the Gemara learns that the Shechinah departed from David.

27)[last line]"והימים אשר מלך דוד על ישראל ארבעים שנה; בחברון מלך שבע שנים ובירושלים מלך שלשים ושלש שנים""VEHA'YAMIM ASHER MALACH DAVID AL YISRAEL ARBA'IM SHANAH; B'CHEVRON MALACH SHEVA SHANIM, UVI'YERUSHALAYIM MALACH SHELOSHIM V'SHALOSH SHANIM"- "The time that David reigned over Yisrael was forty years: seven years he ruled in Chevron, and in Yerushalayim he ruled thirty-three years" (Melachim I 2:11) - See next entry.


28)[line 2]"בחברון מלך על יהודה שבע שנים וששה חדשים, ובירושלים מלך שלשים ושלש שנה על כל ישראל ויהודה""B'CHEVRON MALACH AL YEHUDAH SHEVA SHANIM V'SHISHAH CHODASHIM, UVI'YERUSHALAYIM MALACH SHELOSHIM SHANAH AL KOL YISRAEL VI'YEHUDAH" - "[David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years.] In Chevron he ruled seven years and six months, and in Yerushalayim he ruled for thirty-three years over the whole of Yehudah and Yisrael" (Shmuel II 5:4-5) (KING DAVID'S 40-YEAR REIGN)

(a)The commentaries give a number of reasons for why the corresponding verse in Melachim (see previous entry) does not list the additional six months that David reigned in Chevron. Some say that it is because the verse in Melachim simply counts full years and not months. Others say that these six months are the six months during which David was forced to flee from before his son, Avshalom, and thus they are not worthy of being referred to as a period of Meluchah, kingship. The Gemara here explains that these six months are not mentioned in Melachim because it was during that period that David was stricken with Tzara'as, due to his "sin" with Bas Sheva.

29)[line 10]עשרים וארבעה רננותESRIM V'ARBA'AH RENANOS- twenty-four prayers. The verses (Melachim I 8:22-60) that describe the prayers of Shlomo ha'Melech at the dedication of the Beis ha'Mikdash mention fourteen expressions related to the word "Tefilah" ("prayer"), nine related to the word "Techinah" ("supplication"), and one expression of the word "Rinah" ("glad song").

30)[line 16]כשולי קדירהK'SHULEI KEDERAH- like the [black] bottom of a pot

31)[line 17]" [וילך] ויבא אלישע דמשק [ובן הדד מלך ארם חלה; ויגד לו לאמר בא איש הא-לקים עד הנה]""VA'YAVO ELISHA DAMESEK [U'VEN HADAD MELECH ARAM CHOLEH; VA'YUGAD LO LEIMOR, 'BA ISH HA'EL-KIM AD HEINAH'"- "Elisha came to Damesek, [when Ben Hadad was sick; and he was told, saying, 'The man of G-d has arrived here']" (Melachim II 8:7).

32)[line 18]ומחטיא את הרביםU'MACHTI ES HA'RABIM- and he causes others to sin

33)[line 19]אבן שואבתEVEN SHO'EVES- a magnet

34)[line 19]שם חקק בפיהSHEM CHAKAK B'FIHA- he (Gechazi) engraved a Divine Name in its (the calf's) mouth

35)[line 20]מכרזתMACHREZES- announces

36)[line 20]"ויאמרו בני הנביאים אל אלישע הנה נא המקום אשר אנחנו יושבים שם לפניך צר ממנו""VA'YOMRU BENEI HA'NEVI'IM EL ELISHA, 'HINEI NA HA'MAKOM ASHER ANACHNU YOSHVIM SHAM LEFANECHA TZAR MIMENU" - "And the students of the prophets said to Elisha, 'Behold, please, the place that we are sitting before you has become too narrow for us" (Melachim II 6:1) (THE MIRACLE OF THE FLOATING AX)

(a)When Gechazi was stricken with Tzara'as and removed from the vicinity of Elisha and his disciples, many Talmidim gained entry to Elisha's study hall. The Gemara explains that they obtained permission from Elisha to create a new clearing by chopping down some trees in the forest by the banks of the Jordan River, and for each man to take a beam. The new clearing would serve as the spot for the new study hall. He also agreed to accompany them to the new location, when they went to chop down the trees.

(b)On the way, one of the axes fell off the handle and into the water of the river, and was lost. The axe was borrowed, and the student who dropped it did not have money to pay for it.

(c)When the disciple pointed out the exact location where the axe had fallen into the river, Elisha cut a piece of wood and cast it into the water, and the metal axe floated to the surface.

37a)[line 22]"ויאמר נעמן הואל קח ככרים; ויפרץ בו ויצר ככרים כסף [בשני חרטים ושתי חלפות בגדים, ויתן אל שני נעריו וישאו לפניו]""VA'YOMER NA'AMAN, 'HO'EL KACH KIKARAYIM; VA'YIFRATZ BO, VA'YATZAR KIKRAYIM KESEF [BI'SHNEI CHARETIM U'SHETEI CHALIFOS BEGADIM, VA'YITEN EL SHNEI NE'ARAV, VA'YIS'U LEFANAV]"- "And Na'aman said, 'Swear and take two Kikar,' and he prevailed upon him [to do so]. So he wrapped two Kikar of silver [in two pouches and [he also took] two suits, and gave them to his attendants, who carried it before him]" (Melachim II 5:23). See next entry.

b)[line 23]"[והוא בא ויעמד אל אדניו] ויאמר אליו אלישע מאין גחזי; ויאמר לא הלך עבדך אנה ואנה. ויאמר אליו לא לבי הלך כאשר הפך איש מעל מרכבתו לקראתך; העת לקחת את הכסף ולקחת בגדים וזיתים וכרמים וצאן ובקר ועבדים ושפחות""[V'HU BA VA'YA'AMOD EL ADONAV,] VA'YOMER ELAV ELISHA, 'ME'AYIN GECHAZI?' VA'YOMER, LO HALACH AVDECHA ANEH VA'ANAH.' VA'YOMER ELAV, 'LO LIBI HALACH KA'ASHER HAFACH ISH ME'AL MERKAVTO LIKRASECHA? HA'ES LAKACHAS ES HA'KESEF, V'LAKACHAS BEGADIM V'ZEISIM U'CHERAMIM V'TZON U'VAKAR VA'AVADIM U'SHEFACHOS?" - "[And he came and stood before his master;] and Elisha said to him, 'Where are you coming from, Gechazi?' And he said, 'Your servant did not go anywhere in particular.' And he (Elisha) said to him (Gechazi), 'Did my heart not go along when a man turned from on his chariot to greet you? Is this the time to accept the money, together with the garments, the olive-trees and the vineyards, the sheep and the cattle, the slaves and the maidservants?' " (Melachim II 5:26) (THE TZARA'AS OF NA'AMAN)

(a)After Elisha cured Na'aman, general of the army of Aram (Syria), from his leprosy, Na'aman offered Elisha a gift. Elisha declined to accept it on the grounds that it contained some Avodah Zarah (or because one does not accept payment for a miracle). Consequently, he sent Na'aman on his way in awe of the G-d of Yisrael and His prophet. As a mark of his new-found belief in G-d, Na'aman took with him as much earth from Eretz Yisrael as could be drawn by a pair of mules, on which he later would offer sacrifices to Him, and to Him alone.

(b)However, Gechazi, Elisha's servant, considered it a pity to let such an opportunity slip by. He ran after Na'aman, who stopped his chariot and turned to greet him. Gechazi explained to him, falsely, that Elisha had just received two unexpected guests, young men from among the student prophets, who could use a little extra cash and a new suit. Na'aman, suspicious of Gechazi, asked him to swear to that effect, which he did. So Na'aman obliged, and gave Gechazi the gifts.

(c)When Gechazi returned, Elisha questioned him as to where he had been. Gechazi declined to disclose his secret, but he soon discovered that it is not so simple to hide one's whereabouts from a prophet.

(d)The verses that follow verse relate Elisha's declaration that the Tzara'as of Na'aman would cleave to Gechazi and his children forever. Gechazi left Elisha's presence stricken with leprosy like snow (see below, entry #33).

38)[line 26]ודורש בשמונה שרציםV'DORESH B'SHEMONEH SHERATZIM- and he (Elisha) was expounding the chapter of "Shemoneh Sheratzim," the fourteenth chapter of Maseches Shabbos

39)[line 26]שר צבאSAR TZAVA- general of the army

40)[line 27]רביתא דאישתבאיREVISA D'ISHTABA'I- a young Jewish girl who had been taken captive [from Eretz Yisrael]

41)[line 27]מסי לךMASI LACH- he will heal you

42)[line 28]אחוכי קא מחייכת ביACHUCHEI KA MECHAYECHAS BI- you are making fun of me

43)[line 29]לא צבי לקבולי מיניהLO TZAVI L'KIBULI MINEI- he (Elisha) did not want to accept it from him

44)[line 30]ואפקידV'AFKID- and he deposited (i.e. gave the gifts to his sons to hide them)

45)[line 30]פרחא עילויה רישיהPARCHA ILAVEI REISHEI- sprouted on his head

46)[line 31]"וצרעת נעמן תדבק בך ובזרעך לעולם; ויצא מלפניו מצרע כשלג""'V'TZARA'AS NA'AMAN TIDBAK BECHA UV'ZARECHA L'OLAM'; VA'YETZEI MI'LEFANAV METZORA KA'SHALEG"- "'And the Tzara'as of Na'aman shall cleave to you and your children forever;' and he left his presence a leper like snow" (Melachim II 5:27) - Gechazi was punished with Tzara'as on account of the false oath that he made to Na'aman, as explained earlier (see above, entry #30). Nevertheless, Elisha was unduly harsh by rejecting Gechazi entirely and leaving him no opportunity to do Teshuvah. For this Elisha was punished with one of his three illnesses.

47)[line 31]"וארבעה אנשים היו מצורעים פתח השער [ויאמרו איש אל רעהו מה אנחנו ישבים פה עד מתנו]""V'ARBA'AH ANASHIM HAYU METZORA'IM PESACH HA'SHA'AR, [VA'YOMRU ISH EL RE'EHU, MAH ANACHNU YOSHVIM POH AD MASNU?" - "There were four men who were lepers at the city gates, [and one said to the other, 'Why should we sit here until we die?']" (Melachim II 7:3) (THE FOUR LEPERS AT THE GATE OF SHOMRON)

(a)The four lepers sitting at the city gates were Gechazi and his three sons.

(b)In the time of Yehoram, the son of Achav, Shomron was under siege and there was a severe food shortage. It had reached the point where the head of a donkey was sold for eighty silver pieces and a quarter-Kav of pigeon dung for five silver pieces. Elisha had predicted that at the same time the next day, there would be so much food available that one Se'ah of wheat-flour and two Se'ah of barley-flour would cost a single Shekel at the gate of Shomron. One of the king's officers scoffed at that prediction ("Even if HaSh-m were to open the skylights of the heavens," he mocked, "it would not be possible [to have so much grain]!"). Elisha informed him that for scoffing at the words of a Navi, he would see it take place, but he would not partake of it.

(c)Meanwhile, Gechazi and his three sons were in a dilemma. As lepers, they were forbidden to enter the city. Consequently, if they remained where they were, they would die of starvation. If they surrendered to the Syrians 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 Syrian camp, they were surprised to find it devoid of soldiers. They entered the first tent that they came to and ate and drank their fill, before taking silver, gold, and clothes from that tent and from the next, and hiding them.

(d)Then, 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 on the message to the king.

(e)At first, Yehoram suspected a trap. The Syrians, he suggested, were hiding in the field, waiting for the starving Jews to leave Shomron to help themselves to the food, at which point they would fall on them and massacre them. However, one of his servants convinced him that they did not have much to lose by sending a small group (who were destined to die anyway), on five of the few live horses that still remained, to survey the situation.

(f)What had actually happened was that HaSh-m had caused the Syrians to hear the sound of an approaching army, and, thinking that the Jews had hired mercenaries from the Chitim and the Egyptians, they simply fled via the Jordan River, leaving their entire camp intact. The small troop sent by Yehoram soon discovered a long line of clothes and vessels that the fleeing Syrian soldiers had discarded that led all the way to the Jordan River.

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

48)[line 33]חלאיםCHALA'IM- illnesses

49)[line 33]שגירה דוביםSHE'GIRAH DUBIM- that he incited bears

50)[line 34]"ואלישע חלה את חליו [אשר ימות בו וירד אליו יואש מלך ישראל ויבך על פניו ויאמר אבי אבי רכב ישראל ופרשיו]""V'ELISHA CHALAH ES CHOLYO [ASHER YAMUS BO, VA'YERED ELAV YO'ASH MELECH YISRAEL VA'YEVK AL PANAV, VA'YOMER, 'AVI AVI RECHEV YISRAEL U'FARASHAV!']" - "And Elisha was stricken with the illness via which he was destined to die; and Yo'ash (king of Yisrael) came down to visit him and he cried out, 'Father, father, chariot of Yisrael and its horsemen!'" (Melachim II 13:14) (YO'ASH KING OF ISRAEL AND THE DEATH OF ELISHA)

(a)This was Elisha's third and final illness, the one from which he would not recover. The Gemara in Bava Metzia points out that Elisha was actually the first person from the time of Creation to recover from an internal illness.

(b)The extent to which Yo'ash revered Elisha, considering that he was a Rasha, is fascinating. Worthy of note also is that Yo'ash used the very same words with regard to Elisha that Elisha used with regards to Eliyahu, when he was taken away in a fiery chariot ("Avi Avi Rechev Yisrael..."). These words mean that when Eliyahu in his time and Elisha in his time would pray on behalf of the Jewish people, their prayers were as effective as chariots and horsemen in defending the people.

(c)Elisha then commanded Yo'ash to fit an arrow onto the bow, and to open the window and shoot the arrow outside. This was an arrow of salvation against Syria (who was currently tormenting Yisrael), whom they were destined to defeat totally.

(d)Yo'ash shot three arrows out of the window and then stopped. Elisha became angry with him for stopping. Had he shot all of the arrows in the quiver, the Jewish people would have emerged entirely victorious. The fact that he shot only three times symbolized that he would go on to defeat them only three times, but they would still survive (and continue to be a thorn in the side of Yisrael).

51)[line 35]חולשאCHULSHA- weakness, illness

52)[line 36]דמיתפחD'MITPACH- that he recovered