[56a - 51 lines; 56b - 47 lines]

*********************GIRSA SECTION*********************

We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any other important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.

[1] Gemara 56b [line 40]:

The words "Tzerif Echad v'Zehu Italya Shel Yavan" צריף אחד וזהו איטליא של יון

should be "Tzerif Echad b'Italya Shel Yavan" צריף אחד באיטליא של יון

(This is the Girsa in the Soncino printing and Dikdukei Sofrim #8.)

[2] Gemara 56b [line 42]:

The words "she'Kol Dayan she'Dan mi'Ben Shemonah" שכל דיין שדן מבן שמונה

should be "she'Kol Dinin she'Dan mi'Ben Shemonah" שכל דינים שדן מבן שמונה

(The Girsa "Dayan" appears only in certain editions of the Gemara. Other editions have corrected the error to "Din" or "Dinin.")


1)[line 2]"ויהי כאשר זקן שמואל וישם את בניו שפטים לישראל. ויהי שם בנו הבכור יואל ושם משנהו אביה שפטים בבאר שבע. ולא הלכו בניו בדרכיו ויטו אחרי הבצע ויקחו שחד ויטו משפט""VA'YEHI KI ZAKEN SHMUEL VA'YASEM ES BANAV SHOFTIM L'YISRAEL. VA'YEHI SHEM BENO HA'BECHOR YO'EL V'SHEM MISHNEHU AVIYAH, SHOFTIM BI'VE'ER SHAVA. V'LO HALCHU BANAV BI'DERACHAV, VA'YATU ACHAREI HA'BATZA VA'YIKCHU SHOCHAD VA'YATU MISHPAT" - "And it was when Shmuel became old, that he appointed his sons judges over Yisrael. The name of his firstborn son was Yo'el, and the name of his second son, Aviyah, who were judges in Be'er Sheva. But his sons did not go in his ways; they turned to monetary gains; they took bribery, and they perverted justice" (Shmuel I 8:1-3) (SHMUEL'S SONS)

(a)When Shmuel became old, he appointed his two sons, Yo'el and Aviyah, as judges. They set up court in Be'er Sheva.

(b)Chazal stress that the sons of Shmuel did not literally take bribes and pervert justice. What they actually did was that they failed to follow the ways of their righteous father (who would travel from town to town judging the people). They remained in their hometown so that the people were forced to come to them. The reason why they did so was to ensure that those who worked for the Beis Din would receive a higher salary (which the verse describes as monetary gains).

(c)In any event, as a result of his sons' behavior, the people complained to Shmuel and demanded a king to judge them "like all the surrounding nations."

2)[line 7]"והלך מדי שנה בשנה וסביב בית אל והגלגל והמצפה ושפט את ישראל את כל המקומות האלה""V'HALACH MIDEI SHANAH B'SHANAH V'SAVAV BEIS EL, VEHA'GILGAL, VEHA'MITZPAH, VESHAFAT ES YISRAEL ES KOL HA'MEKOMOS HA'ELEH" - "... every year, he would go round to Beis El, to Gilgal, to Mitzpah and he would judge Yisrael [(in) all these places]" (Shmuel I 7:16) (SHMUEL MAKES HIS ROUNDS)

(a)Unlike other Dayanim, Shmuel would make his rounds each year, traveling from place to place to judge the people and to serve as an arbitrator. He would return to his home in Ramah to judge the people who came to him from far and wide for judgment and arbitration. This was his practice throughout his life.

(b)Chazal extrapolate this from the words, "for that is where he lived," that when he traveled he took with him all his needs so as not to have to rely on others for assistance.

3)[line 10]חזניהןCHAZANEIHEN- their attendants. The sons of Shmuel hired these attendants to go call litigants to court, in order to enable those workers to profit.

4)[line 11]סופריהןSOFREIHEN- their scribes. The sons of Shmuel hired these scribes to write the various legal documents, in order to enable them to profit.

5)[line 12]חלקם שאלו בפיהםCHELKAM SHA'ALU V'FIHEM- they explicitly asked for their portion. As Leviyim, the sons of Shmuel were entitled to receive Ma'aser Rishon. However, by expressly asking that it be given to them, they left the owners no choice but to give it to them (since they were the leaders of the people, the owners would not refuse them). They thus caused poor Leviyim to lose out.

6)[line 13]מלאי הטילו על בעלי בתיםMELAI HITILU AL BA'ALEI BATIM- they placed merchandise upon the people [making them be their commerce agents]

7)[line 14]נטלו בזרועNATLU B'ZERO'A- they took forcefully

8)[line 15]מתנותMATANOS - the gifts of Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah which are given to Kohanim (MATNOS KEHUNAH: ZERO'A LECHAYAYIM V'KEIVAH)

(a)Whenever a person slaughters cattle, sheep or goats (that are not Kodesh), he must give to a Kohen the Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah (the foreleg, the [lower] jaw, and the maw or abomasum, the last of a cow's four stomachs) (Devarim 18:3).

1.The ZERO'A consists of the two upper sections of the right foreleg, until the shoulder blade;

2.The LECHAYAYIM consists of the lower jaw, from the joint where it is attached to the upper jaw until the thyroid cartilage, including the tongue;

3.The KEIVAH consists of the maw together with its Chelev and the curdled milk that it contains, but the Minhag of the Kohanim is to let the animal's owner keep the Chelev and the curdled milk (Chulin 134b, SEFER HA'CHINUCH #506).

(b)Although one must give the Zero'a, Lechayayim, and Keivah to a Kohen, they may be eaten by a non-Kohen.

(c)Since the sons of Shmuel were Leviyim and not Kohanim, they had no right to take these Matanos, with or without force. However, Rashi offers a second explanation in which the portions that are given to the Leviyim are also called Matanos. In that case, the injustice was only the use of force.

9)[line 19]"מדוע בזית את דבר ה' לעשות הרע בעיני את אוריה החתי הכית בחרב ואת אשתו לקחת לך לאשה ואתו הרגת בחרב בני עמון""MADU'A BAZISA ES DEVAR HASH-M LA'ASOS HA'RA [B'EINEI HASH-M? URIYAH HA'CHITI HIKISA BA'CHEREV, V'ES ISHTO LAKACHTA LECHA L'ISHAH, V'OSO HARAGTA B'CHEREV BNEI AMON]" - "Why did you despise the word of HaSh-m to do what is evil [in the eyes of HaSh-m? Uriyah ha'Chiti you smote by the sword, his wife you took for yourself as a wife and him you killed with the sword of the people of Amon]" (Shmuel II 12:9) (DAVID HA'MELECH AND URIYAH HA'CHITI)

(a)Although David was not guilty of adultery for having taken Uriyah's wife Bas Sheva, and Uriyah ha'Chiti was Chayav Misah for disobeying David ha'Melech's orders, both acts (as we will describe below) — taking Bas Sheva in the way that he did, and the devious method he used to have Uriyah ha'Chiti killed — angered HaSh-m. That is why He sent Nasan ha'Navi with the harsh message warning David of the terrible punishment that awaited him.

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

(c)However, Uriyah refused to comply. As long as the Aron (with reference to the second Aron that they were permitted to take with them into battle), as well as the general and the army were away from home, he argued, it was not right for him to go home and be with his wife. Although the episode indeed was embarrassing for David, it was not adultery due to the custom prevalent among the soldiers in David ha'Melech's army to divorce their wives before going to war.

10)[line 21]מהפך ודריש בזכותיה דדודMEHAPECH V'DARISH B'ZECHUSEI D'DAVID- he would probe [and discern] and teach the merits of David

11)[line 28]ליקוחין יש לך בהLIKUCHIN YESH LECHA BAH- you are legally entitled to marry her. That is, (a) your nuptials are binding, since she is not married to anyone else (RASHI; TOSFOS' second explanation). (b) Even though you sinned, she is permitted to you, because she went with you originally against her will, and a woman who is coerced does not become forbidden to her husband or to her seducer (after her husband dies or divorces her) (TOSFOS' first explanation).

12)[line 31]"ואת עשרת חריצי החלב""V'ES ASERES CHARITZEI HE'CHALAV" - "[Yishai said to David his son:...] Go bring these ten milk-cheeses to the captain of the thousand, and ask them of their welfare, and bring back news of their victory" (Shmuel I 17:18) - "Bring back news of their victory" is the simple explanation of the words according to Rashi there. Our Gemara interprets it to mean "bring back their divorces for their wives." Hence, this is a source that soldiers at war would divorce their wives lest they be lost at war and their wives be left as Agunos. (DAVID VISITS HIS BROTHERS' CAMP)

(a)David was currently serving as Shaul's minstrel, playing before him when he was needed and returning home to his father Yishai when he was not. He was not conscripted since he was the youngest of Yishai's eight sons (evidently, it was customary to conscript the oldest sons from each family).

(b)It came about that David's father Yishai sent David to take provisions to his brothers who were serving in Shaul's army. They were arraigned opposite the Pelishti camp, and David was to inquire after their wellbeing, and bring a gift to their officer.

(c)He arrived just in time to hear the Pelishti champion Golyas (Goliath) challenging — as he had been doing for the past month — any man from the Jewish camp to single combat, stipulating that the side of whoever lost the dual would be subservient to the side of the winner.

(d)David was perturbed at the insults hurled by Golyas at the ranks of the army of the people of HaSh-m. After making inquiries as to what reward the Jewish champion could expect should he win, David was ready to fight.

(e)In reply to Shaul's attempt to dissuade him from fighting the Pelishti, David replied that it was not in vain that he had recently attacked a lion and a bear that had taken a lamb from the flock. He killed them both, which he now saw as a clear sign from Heaven that he would win here, too.

(f)The verse relates how, besides wearing a copper shield on his legs and a neck-guard between his shoulders, the handle of Golyas' spear was as thick as a weaver's beam, while its blade weighed 600 iron Shekalim.

(g)Shaul agreed and dressed David in his clothes, and he placed a copper helmet on his head, and dressed him in a suit of armor. David discarded it, preferring to attack the giant wearing his regular clothes and armed with no more than a sling and a few pebbles. He discarded the armor, he explained to Shaul, because he was simply not used to it and found it too cumbersome, although the real reason may have been because of the Ayin ha'Ra that Shaul gave him. Chazal explain that even though Shaul was a head and shoulders taller than any other man in the country, his clothes fit David perfectly, since David had been anointed as king in his place. When Shaul realized that, he gave David an Ayin ha'Ra, which David noticed. Presumably, this was the real reason why David felt safer not wearing Shaul's clothes and armor.

13)[line 37]"[ויאמר אוריה אל דוד הארון וישראל ויהודה ישבים בסכות] ואדני יואב ועבדי אדני על פני שדה חנים [ואני אבוא אל ביתי לאכל ולשתות ולשכב עם אשתי חיך וחי נפשך אם אעשה את הדבר הזה]""[VA'YOMER URIYAH EL DAVID: 'HA'ARON V'YISRAEL VI'YEHUDAH YOSHVIN BA'SUKOS] VA'ADONI YO'AV V'AVDEI ADONI AL PNEI HA'SADEH CHONIM [VA'ANI AVO EL BEISI LE'ECHOL V'LISHTOS V'LISHKAV IM ISHTI? CHAYECHA V'CHEI NAFSHECHA IM E'ESEH ES HA'DAVAR HA'ZEH?!']" - [The Aron, Yisrael, and Yehudah are dwelling in Sukos (the location of the battle with the Pelishtim)], and my master Yo'av and the servants of my master (the king) are encamped on the face of the field [and I should go to my house to eat and drink and to be with my wife?!']" (Shmuel II 11:11) (THE SIN OF URIYAH)

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

(b)However, Uriyah refused to comply. As long as the Aron (with reference to the second Aron that they were permitted to take with them into battle), as well as the general and the army were away from home, he argued, it was not right for him to go home and be with his wife. Although the episode indeed was embarrassing for David, it was not adultery due to the custom prevalent among the soldiers in David ha'Melech's army to divorce their wives before going to war.

(c)According to some, it was due to this act of insubordination that Uriyah was Chayav Misah. Others maintain that it was either because he referred to Yo'av as his master in the presence of the king, or because he mentioned Yo'av before the king (see Tosfos Kidushin 43a DH Mored). The Gemara there adds that David was guilty of sentencing Uriyah to death without the ruling of Beis Din, which even a king is not allowed to do.

(d)The verse here supports the view of Yuda ben Lakish. The Aron, after all, had already been transferred to Tzion, so what was it doing in Sukos? It therefore must have been the second Aron (the one that they took with them to war), to which Uriyah was referring.

14)[line 38]"[אשר עשה דוד את הישר בעיני ה' ולא סר מכל אשר צוהו כל ימי חייו] רק בדבר אוריה החיתי""[ASHER ASAH DAVID ES HA'YASHAR B'EINEI HASH-M, V'LO SAR MI'KOL ASHER TZIVAHU KOL YEMEI CHAYAV;] RAK B'DEVAR URYAH HA'CHITI" - "[Because David did what was right in the eyes of HaSh-m; he did not depart from all that He commanded him all the days of his life;] only concerning the matter of Uryah ha'Chiti" (Melachim I 15:5) (THE MERIT OF DAVID)

(a)After the Navi relates that during the three years that Aviyam, the son of Rechavam (Shlomo's son and successor), went in the way of his wicked father, the Navi informs us that due to the wickedness of these kings of Yehudah, they did not deserve to remain on the throne. It is only due to the merit of David ha'Melech, who — throughout his lifetime — went in the ways of HaSh-m, that HaSh-m left his lineage of kingship intact.

(b)His only sin was that of having Uriyah ha'Chiti killed.

(c)Although what he did with Bas Sheva was improper, it was not a sin, due to the custom of the soldiers of David's army to divorce their wives when they went to war.

15)[line 38]"ויאמר לו המלך איפה הוא ויאמר ציבא אל המלך הנה הוא בית מכיר בן עמיאל בלו דבר. וישלח המלך דוד ויקחהו מבית מכיר בן עמיאל מלו דבר""VA'YOMER LO HA'MELECH, 'EIFOH HU?' VA'YOMER TZIVA EL HA'MELECH, 'HINEI HU BEIS MACHIR BEN AMI'EL B'LO DAVAR.' VA'YISHLACH HA'MELECH DAVID VA'YIKACHEHU MI'BEIS MACHIR BEN AMI'EL MI'LO DAVAR" - "And the king (David) said to him (Tziva, Yonasan's ex-slave), 'Where is he (Mefivoshes)?' And Tziva said to the king, 'Behold, he is in the house of Machir ben Ami'el in Lo Davar.' So King David sent [an emissary] and he fetched him from the house of Machir ben Ami'el in Lo Davar'" (Shmuel II 9:4-5) (DAVID PERFORMS CHESED WITH MEFIVOSHES)

(a)After Shaul and his three sons fell in battle, David, on account of his friendship with Yonasan, summoned Tziva, Yonasan's erstwhile slave, to ascertain whether any descendents of Shaul still lived. When the latter confirmed that a son of Yonasan named Mefivoshes (crippled in both legs) was still alive, David summoned him to appear before him. After assuring that he had no intention of punishing him for the anguish that his father Shaul had caused him, and, to the contrary, out of the love he bore for his (Mefivoshes') father Yonasan, he would perform only kindness with him.

(b)He promptly transferred all of Yonasan's property to him. In addition, he invited Mefivoshes to eat regularly at his table. He now ordered Tziva to serve his new master Mefivoshes faithfully and to ensure that his family was well-fed (even though Mefivoshes himself did not need it). As the Navi goes on to mention, he also ordered him to work the land on his behalf, he and his sons, as well as the many servants that he owned, and to harvest the crops.

(c)According to Chazal, Tziva lied about the Torah-learning of Mefivoshes, claiming that he was unlearned (from the phrase "Lo Davar"). David discovered him to be an exceptional Torah scholar (from the phrase "mi'Lo Davar," which may be read "Malei Davar" — full of the Torah.

16a)[line 43]"ומפבשת בן שאול ירד לקראת המלך ולא עשה רגליו ולא עשה שפמו ואת בגדיו ולא כבס למן היום לכת המלך עד היום אשר בא בשלום. ויהי כי בא ירושלם לקראת המלך ויאמר לו המלך למה לא הלכת עמי מפיבשת. ויאמר אדני המלך עבדי רמני כי אמר עבדך אחבשה לי החמור וארכב עליה ואלך את המלך כי פסח עבדך""U'MEFIVOSHES BEN SHAUL YARAD LI'KRAS HA'MELECH, V'LO ASAH RAGLO V'LO ASAH SEFAMO, V'ES BEGADAV LO KIBES, L'MIN HA'YOM LECHES HA'MELECH AD HA'YOM ASHER BA B'SHALOM. VA'YEHI KI VA YERUSHALAYIM LI'KRAS HA'MELECH, VA'YOMER LO HA'MELECH, 'LAMAH LO HALACHTA IMI, MEFIVOSHES?' VA'YOMAR, 'ADONI, AVDI RIMONI, KI AMAR AVDECHA, ECHBESHAH LI HA'CHAMOR V'ERKAV ALEHAH, V'EILECH ES HA'MELEVCH, KI FISE'ACH AVDECHA'" - "And Mefivoshes the son of Shaul went down to greet the king. He had not dressed his legs or trimmed his beard, nor had he washed his clothes, from the day that the king left [Yerushalayim] until the day that he returned in peace. And it was, when he came to Yerushalayim to greet the king, that the king said to him, 'Why did you not accompany me [when I fled], Mefivoshes?' And he replied, 'My lord, my slave tricked me. For your servant said I will saddle my donkey and ride on it, and go with the king, for your servant is crippled'" (Shmuel II 19:25-27) (TZIVA TRICKS MEFIVOSHES)

(a)Following David's suppression of the rebellion of his son Avshalom, and the defeat of the latter's army, the people (many of whom had sided with Avshalom) unanimously recalled David to Yerushalayim to take back the throne and to rule over them.

(b)Among the many subjects of David who came to Yerushalayim to greet him upon his return was Mefivoshes, the son of Yonasan ben Shaul. Grief-stricken at David's predicament, he had neither shaved nor washed his clothes since David fled from Avshalom. When David asked him why he failed to accompany him upon his departure, he replied that his slave Tziva tricked him. Mefivoshes went on to explain that he was a cripple and could not possibly have accompanied David on foot. So he planned to saddle one of his donkeys in order to join him. Tziva however, had taken his pair of donkeys, which he had laden with a generous gift of food, which he presented to the exiled king, together with the donkeys, as he made his way out of Yerushalayim. When David asked Tziva about his master's son (Mefivoshes), he replied that he had remained in Yerushalayim in anticipation of David's defeat, hoping that Yisrael would return to him the throne that was rightfully his (since he was the sole heir of Shaul ha'Melech).

(c)Mefivoshes was aware of Tziva's evil plan, as he now intimated to David. He also acknowledged the kindness David displayed towards him, having fed him at his table ever since Shaul and Yonasan had been killed in battle, despite the fact that his grandfather (Shaul) had attempted to kill David and he owed Mefivoshes nothing.

(d)David, however, did not accept Mefivoshes' version of the story, and, as he informed him, he had already issued the verdict that he (Mefivoshes) and Tziva were to divide Mefivoshes' field. (What he actually said there (16:4) was that he had given all of Mefivoshes' property to Tziva, and that there was nothing more to discuss. The reason for this, according to one opinion, was not because he believed Tziva more than he believed Mefivoshes, but because the state in which Mefivoshes appeared indicated that Mefivoshes was mourning his safe return, bearing out Tziva's version of the story.)

(e)Mefivoshes (incredibly) replied that he would not mind if the king would give all his property to Tziva, since David had returned safely to his house, and that is what made him happy (see below, entry #18). Chazal, however, interpret Mefivoshes' answer somewhat differently.

(f)Chazal teach that when David said to Mefivoshes, "You and Tziva shall divide the field," a Bas Kol announced, "Rechavam and Yeravam shall divide the kingdom!" Moreover, they said that had David not accepted the Lashon ha'Ra that Tziva spoke about Mefivoshes, the kingdom would not have been split, Yisrael would not have served idols, and the nation would not have subsequently gone into Galus.

b)[line 47]ומפיבושת בן שאולU'MEFIVOSHES BEN SHAUL- That is, Mefivoshes son of Yonasan son of Shaul. (Even though he was the son of Yonasan, the verse calls him the son of Shaul because now, when he learned that David suspected him of treason, he began to hate David [as is explained below on 56b], like his grandfather. (IYUN YAKOV) Alternatively, he may be called son of Shaul because he had complaints against HaSh-m, like his grandfather, as the Gemara explains on 56b. (M. KORNFELD)

17)[line 49]"ויהי כי בא ירושלים""VAYEHI KI VA YERUSHALAYIM"- See above, entry #16.


18)[line 1]"וירגל בעבדך אל אדני המלך ואדני המלך כמלאך האלקים ועשה הטוב בעיניך... ויאמר לו המלך למה תדבר עוד דבריך אמרתי אתה וציבא תחלקו את השדה. ויאמר מפיבשת אל המלך גם את הכל יקח אחרי אשר בא אדני המלך בשלום אל ביתו""'VA'YERAGEL B'AVDECHA EL ADONI HA'MELECH, VA'ADONI HA'MELECH K'MAL'ACH HA'ELOKIM; VA'ASEH HA'TOV B'EINECHA'... VA'YOMER LO HA'MELECH, 'LAMAH TEDABER OD DEVARECHA? AMARTI ATAH V'TZIVA TECHALKU ES HA'SADEH!' VA'YOMER MEFIVOSHES EL HA'MEECH, 'GAM ES HA'KOL YIKACH, ACHAREI ASHER BA ADONI HA'MELECH B'SHALOM EL BEISO" - "... 'he (Tziva) slandered your servant to my lord the king, and my lord the king is like an angel of G-d. Do what is proper in your eyes'... And the king said to him, 'Why do you still speak your words? I hereby declare that you and Tziva shall divide the field!' Mefivoshes replied to the king, 'Let him take it all, now that my master the king has returned home safely'" (Shmuel II 19:28, 29-30) (DAVID GIVES HALF THE FIELD TO TZIVA)

(a)See above, entry #16.

(b)Mefivoshes also humbly pointed out that all the house of Shaul (himself included) deserved to be killed, due to Shaul's repeated efforts to eliminate David, but the king had favored him and granted him an ongoing invitation to eat at his table, and for that alone he had no right to complain.

19)[line 7]אמר לו אני אמרתיAMAR LO, ANI AMARTI- Mefivoshes said to King David, "I thought..."

20)[line 9]"ובן יהונתן מריב בעל [ומריב בעל הוליד את מיכה]""U'BEN YEHONASAN MERIV BA'AL [U'MERIV BA'AL HOLID ES MICHAH]" - "And the son of Yehonasan was Meriv-Ba'al [and Meiriv-Ba'al begot Michah]" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 8:34) (QUARRELER, SON OF A QUARRELER)

(a)When following David ha'Melech's ruling that he and Tziva (his slave) would divide his (Mefivoshes') field, Chazal derive from this verse that Mefivoshes' seemingly humble answer had distinct negative undertones. They learn this from the fact that Yonasan's son was called Mefivoshes, not Meriv Ba'al. They therefore expound "Meriv Ba'al" to mean that he quarreled with his Master (HaSh-m). What he really meant to say was that whereas originally he had wished for David's safe return, now that David had done this to him, it was not against David that he bore a grudge but against the One who brought David safely back.

(b)It is because his grandfather Shaul sinned in exactly the same manner that Chazal gave him the title of "quarreler, [grand]son of a quarreler."

21)[line 11]עשה מריבה עם בעליוASAH MERIVAH IM BE'ALAV- he made a quarrel with his Owner

22)[line 12]נצא בר נצאNATZA BAR NATZA- Strife (Mefivoshes) son of Strife (Shaul)

23)[line 13]"ויבא שאול עד עיר עמלק וירב בנחל""VA'YAVO SHAUL AD IR AMALEK VA'YAREV BA'NACHAL" - "... Shaul came to the city of Amalek, and he quarreled (fought) in the valley" (Shmuel I 15:5) (SHAUL ARGUES WITH HASH-M)

(a)Before going to war against Amalek, Shaul ha'Melech counted the soldiers by means of lambs (i.e. every man gave him a lamb). Shaul defeated Amalek, but in spite of instructions to wipe out every man, woman, and child of Amalek, as well as every ox and lamb, camel and donkey, Shaul not only allowed the soldiers to bring back sheep with them (ostensibly in order to sacrifice them to HaSh-m), he also kept alive Agag the king (because he took pity on him).

(b)His failure to carry out his instructions went much deeper than that, as Chazal learn from the words, "va'Yarev ba'Nachal," which Chazal interpret to mean that "he quarreled because of the valley."

(c)Shaul ha'Melech allowed the soldiers to bring back animals to sacrifice to HaSh-m, and he himself brought back Agag as a captive because, basing his view on the Parshah of Eglah Arufah where the Torah makes an issue of just one murdered man, he queried the very command of HaSh-m. He could not accept the fact that he had been ordered to kill all of the innocent Amalekim who had done him no harm.

(d)Therefore, a Heavenly voice announced, "Do not be overly righteous" (Koheles 7:16). That is why — when, a little later — he cruelly had all the Kohanim in Nov the town of Kohanim killed, another Heavenly voice announced, "Do not be overly wicked" (ibid. 7:17). So Chazal have taught (referring to this very episode), "Someone who is kind to the cruel, will eventually be cruel to the kind."

24)[line 19]"ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו אחרי אלקים אחרים ולא היה לבבו שלם עם ה' אלקיו כלבב דוד אביו... אז יבנה שלמה במה לכמוש שקץ מואב בהר אשר על פני ירושלם ולמלך שקץ בני עמון""VA'YEHI L'ES ZIKNAS SHLOMO, NASHAV HITU ES LEVAVO ACHAREI ELOHIM ACHERIM, V'LO HAYAH LEVAVO SHALEM IM HASH-M ELOKAV KI'LEVAV DAVID AVIV... AZ YIVNEH SHLOMO BAMAH LI'CHEMOSH SHIKUTZ MO'AV [BA'HAR ASHER AL PNEI YERUSHALAYIM, UL'MOLECH SHIKUTZ BNEI AMON" - "And it was when Shlomo grew old, his wives swayed his heart after other gods; and his heart was not as complete with HaSh-m as that of David his father... Then Shlomo built a Bamah to Kemosh, the god of Mo'av, [on the mountain that faced Yerushalayim, and to Molech the god of the sons of Amon]" (Melachim I 11:4, 7) (SHLOMO AND HIS WIVES, SHLOMOH BUILDS BAMOS)

(a)Although Shlomo himself did not build these Bamos, the Navi ascribes them to him because he allowed his foreign wives to build them. Indeed, these were not the only Bamos to which he turned a blind eye, but, as the verse itself goes on to testify, he allowed all his wives to sacrifice to their gods.

(b)As the verse then informs us, HaSh-m was particularly angry, since "his heart now turned away from the G-d of Yisrael" Who had appeared to him on two occasions with specific instructions not to go after foreign gods.

(c)That is why HaSh-m sent a Navi to inform Shlomo that as a result of his laxness, He would tear his kingdom into two and give one half to his own servant (Yeravam ben Nevat). However, for the sake of his righteous father, David, this would not happen during his lifetime, but only in the days of his son Rechavam. Moreover, he would leave one tribe under his sovereignty, both for the sake of David and for the sake of Yerushalayim, the city which He had chosen. HaSh-m meant that since the Beis ha'Mikdash was destined to be built in the portion of his tribe, Yehudah, and in part of Binyamin, it was befitting for the two tribes to be under the same sovereignty.

25)[line 26]"אז יבנה יהושע מזבח לה' אלקי ישראל בהר עיבל""AZ YIVNEH YEHOSHUA MIZBE'ACH LA'HASH-M... B'HAR EIVAL" - "Then Yehoshua built a Mizbe'ach to HaSh-m [on Har Eival]" (Yehoshua 8:30) (YEHOSHUA BUILDS A MIZBE'ACH ON HAR EIVAL)

(a)Immediately after crossing the River Yarden, following the instructions of Moshe in Parshas Ki Savo, Yehoshua built a Mizbe'ach to HaSh-m on Har Eival, using the twelve giant stones that they took from the riverbed as they crossed. They sacrificed Olos and Shelamim on the Mizbe'ach, and inscribed on the stones the Mishneh Torah (Sefer Devarim).

(b)The Kohanim who carried the Aron then stood in the middle (between the mountains, Har Gerizim and Har Eival), while the whole of Yisrael, including the elders, the judges, the law-officers, and the Gerim, surrounded them. Half of Yisrael (the tribes of Shimon, Levi, Yehudah, Yisachar, Yosef, and Binyamin) climbed onto the slopes of Har Gerizim, and half (the tribes of Reuven, Gad, Asher, Zevulun, Dan, and Naftali) climbed onto the slopes of Har Eival.

(c)The Kohanim then faced Har Gerizim and announced in a loud voice the first of the curses listed in Ki Savo in the form of a Berachah ("Blessed be the man who does not make himself an image... and place it in secret"), and all the people replied in a loud voice, "Amen." They then faced Har Eival and announced the curse in its original form, and all the people answered in a loud voice, "Amen." They went through all of the thirteen curses mentioned there, first in the form of a blessing, then in the form of a curse. In addition, Yehoshua read aloud the Parshah of Berachah ("v'Hayah Im Shamo'a Tishma") and Klalah ("v'Hayah Im Lo Tishma") in Parshas Ki Savo in the presence of all of Yisrael — the men, the women, the children, and the Gerim.

(d)The above ceremony also served as the initiation of the principle of Arvus (where all of Yisrael became guarantors for one another).

26)[line 27]"ואת הבמות אשר על פני ירושלים אשר מימין להר (המשחה) [המשחית]""V'ES HA'BAMOS ASHER AL PNEI YERUSHALAYIM ASHER MI'YEMIN L'HAR (HA'MISHCHAH) [HA'MASHCHIS]..." - "And the high places that were before Yerushalayim, which were on the south of the Mount of Corruption (Mount of Olives), [which Shlomo the king of Yisrael had built for Ashtores, the abomination of the Tzidonim, and for Kemosh the abomination of Mo'av, and for Milkom the abomination of the people of Amon, the king (Yoshiyahu) defiled]" (Melachim II 23:13) (YOSHIYAH DESTROYS THE BAMOS)

(a)After making a covenant to do everything commanded by the Torah, Yoshiyahu, the great Ba'al Teshuvah king, ordered Chilkiyah the Kohen Gadol and the Kohanim to destroy all forms of idolatry from the land, and he put to death all the priests who worshipped them. He ordered all the brothels and the altars that they had set up in the Beis ha'Mikdash to be smashed, and he put to death all those who worshipped on them. Among the idols that he destroyed was the one in the Valley of Hinom, on which the people would burn their children to the abominable Molech. He ordered the horses on which the worshippers of the sun rode to perform their abominations killed, the altar that Yeravam had set up in Beis El demolished, and those that his predecessors Achaz and Menasheh had erected destroyed. He also ordered the killing of the witches and sorcerers that abounded in Yehudah and Yerushalayim, together with all the images connected with them, and the Asheirah cleared out from the House of HaSh-m. He even had the bones of the dead Resha'im who had been guilty of the above sins burned.

(b)Besides the above initiatives, Yoshiyahu disqualified the priests who served on the Bamos from serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash, although he did permit them to partake of the Korbanos that were allotted to the Kohanim.

(c)Having achieved all of that, he ordered the people to bring the Korban Pesach, in the eighteenth year of his reign. The people responded enthusiastically, and the result was that so many people participated in bringing the Pesach that a festival of Pesach like it had not been seen since the days of Shmuel, who, like Yoshiyahu, encouraged Yisrael to do Teshuvah and gathered them all to Mitzpah.

(d)Alternatively, this verse refers to the ten tribes (whom Yirmeyahu had brought back from exile, and over whom Yoshiyahu ruled together with the kingdom of Yehudah). Since Yeravam ben Nevat came to power, they had been denied permission to go to Yerushalayim for Yom Tov. Consequently, this was the first time in hundreds of years that the entire nation of Yisrael was able to participate in bringing the Korban Pesach.

(e)The above list incorporates most of the things that Yoshiyahu ha'Melech achieved at that time.

27)[line 31]אחרוניםACHARONIM- Yoshiyahu (lit. the later ones)

28)[line 31]"ויעש שלמה הרע בעיני ה' ולא מלא אחרי ה' כדוד אביו""VA'YA'AS SHLOMO HA'RA B'EINEI HASH-M V'LO MILEI ACHAREI HASH-M K'DAVID AVIV"- "... Shlomo did evil in the eyes of HaSh-m [and he did not go after HaSh-m with perfection, as did his father David]" (Melachim I 11:6).

29)[line 32]ראשוניםRISHONIM- Shlomo (lit. the first ones)

30)[line 34]שמש לדבר אחרSHAMASH L'DAVAR ACHER- a servant for a house of idol worship (that is, a chopper of wood, drawer of water or the like for purposes of idol worship, which is not in essence a prohibition, but it is a great disgrace, as seen in Vayikra 25:47, "v'Nimkar... l'Eker Mishpachas Ger" ("and sell himself... for purposes of idol worship"). Idol worship is called Eker because Sofo l'Aker (it is destined to be uprooted).

31)[line 36]אלף מיני זמרELEF MINEI ZEMER- a thousand types of musical instruments

32)[line 39]שירטוןSEIRATON- a sand bank, silt

33)[line 39]כרך גדול [של רומי]KRACH GADOL [SHEL ROMI]- the great metropolis of Rome. When Shlomo married the daughter of Pharaoh after the completion of the building of the Beis ha'Mikdash, it was decreed by HaSh-m that the Beis ha'Mikdash would be destroyed. Furthermore, it was decreed that world power and domination would eventually be given to Rome, who would destroy the second Beis ha'Mikdash (which would not be rebuilt "Ad Ki Yavo Shilo," until Mashi'ach comes). (M. KORNFELD)

34)[line 40]צריף אחדTZRIF ECHAD- one hut

35)[line 40]איטליא של יוןITALYA SHEL YAVAN- Italya, the strongest part of the Roman Empire, which once was part of the Greek Empire (before being conquered by Rome). At the time that Yaravam set up the two calves as idols in order to prevent Bnei Yisrael from traveling to the Beis ha'Mikdash, a hut was built on the land mass of Rome (see above, entry #33), from which the strongest part of Rome eventually grew, which would eventually destroy the Beis ha'Mikdash. (M. KORNFELD)

36)[line 41]"ויעש הישר בעיני ה' וילך בכל דרך דוד אביו ולא סר ימין ושמאל""VA'YA'AS HA'YASHAR B'EINEI HASH-M, VA'YELECH B'CHOL DERECH DAVID AVIV V'LO SAR YAMIN U'SEMOL"- "And he (Yoshiyahu ha'Melech) did what was right in the eyes of HaSh-m; he did not deviate either right or left" (Melachim II 22:2).

37)[line 42]"וכמהו לא היה לפניו מלך אשר שב אל ה' בכל לבבו ובכל נפשו ובכל מאדו ככל תורת משה ואחריו לא קם כמהו""U'CHEMOHU LO HAYAH LEFANAV MELECH ASHER SHAV EL HASH-M B'CHOL LEVAVO UV'CHOL NAFSHO UV'CHOL ME'ODO K'CHOL TORAS MOSHE, V'ACHARAV LO KAM KAMOHU" - "Before him, there had never been a king like him who returned to HaSh-m with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his resources, in accordance with all the Torah of Moshe, and after him there was none like him" (Melachim II 23:25) (THERE WAS NEVER ANOTHER KING LIKE YOSHIYAHU)

(a)Although the verse also says about Chizkiyahu that, after him, there never arose a king like him, that was with regard to Bitachon, Chizkiyahu's unique Midah, but as far as Teshuvah is concerned there was none who could compare with Yoshiyahu. Other commentaries maintain that Yoshiyahu never sinned, and that the Teshuvah in the verse refers to the monetary judgments that he arbitrated between the ages of eight and eighteen, all of which he retracted and paid back out of his own pocket. In fact, that is what the Navi means when he says "with all his resources."

(b)Despite all of Yoshiyahu's righteous deeds, the verse goes on to inform us that so much harm had Menasheh (Chizkiyahu's son) perpetrated with his idolatry that HaSh-m's burning anger did not abate. Consequently, Yoshiyahu succeeded only in postponing the impending Churban of the Beis ha'Mikdash, but he was unable to abrogate it. This, as the Navi explains, was because even though Menasheh did Teshuvah, the people had secretly adopted his evil ways and continued with his idolatrous practices clandestinely.

38)[line 46]נתן דצוציתאNASAN D'TZUTZISA- the name given to Mar Ukva (a) because he was rewarded with a shining light (Nitzotzos) over his head due to a great act of abstinence and Teshuvah; (b) because he was a great Torah sage, and the verse states "Chochmas Adam Ta'ir Panav" ("The wisdom of a person lights up his face" - Koheles 8:1); (c) because the Angel who accepted his Teshuvah held him by his sidelocks (Tzitzis Rosho)

39)[last line]מנמנםMENAMNEM- dozing

40)[last line]חזאי בחילמאCHAZA'I B'CHELMA- I saw in a dream

41)[last line]קא פשט ידיהKA PASHAT YADEI- an angel stretched out his hand and accepted it