סנהדרין  פרק  אחד עשרה   חלק  ( צח: )       Sanhedrin 98b  ❃

שאין כל דקל ודקל שבבבל שאין סוס של פרסיים נקשר בו, ואין לך כל ארון וארון שבארץ ישראל שאין סוס מדי אוכל בו תבן.

אמר רב: אין בן דוד בא עד שתתפשט המלכות הרשעה על ישראל תשעה חדשים, שנאמר (מיכה ה') לכן יתנם עד עת יולדה ילדה ויתר אחיו ישובון על בני ישראל.

אמר עולא: ייתי ולא איחמיניה.

וכן אמר [רבה]: ייתי ולא איחמיניה, רב יוסף אמר: ייתי, ואזכי דאיתיב בטולא דכופיתא דחמריה.

אמר ליה אביי (לרבא) [לרבה]: מאי טעמא?

אילימא משום חבלו של משיח - והתניא, שאלו תלמידיו את רבי אלעזר: מה יעשה אדם וינצל מחבלו של משיח?

- יעסוק בתורה ובגמילות חסדים.

ומר - הא תורה והא גמילות חסדים - אמר [ליה]: שמא יגרום החטא.

כדרבי יעקב בר אידי.

דרבי יעקב בר אידי רמי: כתיב (בראשית כ"ח) והנה אנכי עמך ושמרתיך בכל אשר תלך, וכתיב (בראשית ל"ב) ויירא יעקב מאד ויצר לו - שהיה מתיירא שמא יגרום החטא.

כדתניא: (שמות ט"ו) עד יעבר עמך ה' - זו ביאה ראשונה, עד יעבר עם זו קנית - זו ביאה שניה, אמור מעתה: ראויים היו ישראל לעשות להם נס בביאה שניה כביאה ראשונה, אלא שגרם החטא.

וכן אמר רבי יוחנן: ייתי ולא איחמיניה.

אמר ליה ריש לקיש: מאי טעמא?

אילימא משום דכתיב (עמוס ה') כאשר ינוס איש מפני הארי ופגעו הדב [ובא הבית] וסמך ידו על הקיר ונשכו הנחש - בא ואראך דוגמתו בעולם הזה: בזמן שאדם יוצא לשדה ופגע בו סנטר - דומה כמי שפגע בו ארי, נכנס לעיר פגע בו גבאי - דומה כמי שפגעו דב, נכנס לביתו ומצא בניו ובנותיו מוטלין ברעב - דומה כמי שנשכו נחש.

אלא משום דכתיב (ירמיהו ל') שאלו - נא וראו אם ילד זכר מדוע ראיתי כל גבר ידיו על חלציו כיולדה ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון.

מאי ראיתי כל גבר?

אמר רבא בר יצחק אמר רב: מי שכל גבורה שלו, ומאי ונהפכו כל פנים לירקון?

אמר רבי יוחנן: פמליא של מעלה ופמליא של מטה.

בשעה שאמר הקדוש ברוך הוא: הללו מעשה ידי והללו מעשה ידי, היאך אאבד אלו מפני אלו?

אמר רב פפא, היינו דאמרי אינשי: רהיט ונפל תורא ואזיל ושדי ליה סוסיא באורייה.

אמר רב גידל אמר רב: עתידין ישראל דאכלי שני משיח.

אמר רב יוסף: פשיטא ואלא מאן אכיל להו?

חילק ובילק אכלי להו?

- לאפוקי מדרבי הילל דאמר: אין משיח לישראל, שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה.

אמר רב: לא אברי עלמא אלא לדוד.

ושמואל אמר: למשה.

ורבי יוחנן אמר: למשיח.

מה שמו?

דבי רבי שילא אמרי: שילה שמו, שנאמר (בראשית מ"ט) עד כי יבא שילה.

דבי רבי ינאי אמרי: ינון שמו, שנאמר (תהלים ע"ב) יהי שמו לעולם לפני שמש ינון שמו.

דבי רבי חנינה אמר: חנינה שמו, שנאמר (ירמיהו ט"ז) אשר לא אתן לכם חנינה.

ויש אומרים מנחם בן חזקיה שמו, שנאמר (איכה א') כי רחק ממני מנחם משיב נפשי.

ורבנן אמרי: חיוורא דבי רבי שמו שנאמר (ישעיהו נ"ג) אכן חליינו הוא נשא ומכאבינו סבלם ואנחנו חשבנהו נגוע מכה אלהים ומענה.

אמר רב נחמן: אי מן חייא הוא - כגון אנא, שנאמר (ירמיהו ל') והיה אדירו ממנו ומשלו מקרבו יצא.

אמר רב: אי מן חייא הוא - כגון רבינו הקדוש, אי מן מתיא הוא - כגון דניאל איש חמודות.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב: עתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להעמיד להם דוד אחר, שנאמר (ירמיהו ל') ועבדו את ה' אלהיהם ואת דוד מלכם אשר אקים להם, הקים לא נאמר, אלא אקים.

אמר ליה רב פפא לאביי: והכתיב (יחזקאל ל"ו) ודוד עבדי נשיא להם לעולם - כגון קיסר ופלגי קיסר.

דרש רבי שמלאי: מאי דכתיב (עמוס ה') הוי המתאוים את יום ה' למה-זה לכם יום ה' הוא חשך ולא אור משל לתרנגול ועטלף שהיו מצפין לאור, אמר ליה תרנגול לעטלף: אני מצפה לאורה - שאורה שלי היא, ואתה למה לך אורה?


for there is not one palm-tree in Babylon to which a Persian horse will not be tethered, nor one coffin in Palestine out of which a Median horse will not eat straw.'(1)

Rab said: The son of David will not come until the [Roman] power enfolds Israel(2) for nine months, as it is written, Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.(3) 'Ulla said; Let him [The Messiah] come, but let me not see him.(4)

Rabbah said likewise: Let him come, but let me not see him.

R`Joseph said: Let him come, and may I be worthy of sitting in the shadow of his ass's saddle.(5)

Abaye enquired of Rabbah: 'What is your reason [for not wishing to see him]?

Shall we say, because of the birth pangs [preceding the advent] of the Messiah?(6)

But it has been taught, R`Eleazar's disciples asked him: 'What must a man do to be spared the pangs of the Messiah? ' [He answered,] 'Let him engage in study and benevolence; and you Master do both.'

He replied: '[I fear] lest sin cause it,(7) in accordance with [the teaching of] R`Jacob B`Idi, who opposed [two verses] [viz. ,] it is written, And, Behold, I am with thee, and 'will guard thee in all places whither thou goest:(8) but it is written, Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed'(9) - He was afraid that sin might cause [the nullification of God's promise].

Even as it was taught, Till thy people pass over, O Lord.'(10) this refers to the first entry [into Palestine]; till thy people pass ov which thou hast purchased:(11) this refers to their second entry.

Hence you may reason: The Israelites were as worthy of a miracle being wrought for them at the second entry as at the first, but that sin caused it [not to happen].

R`Johanan said likewise: Let him come, and let me not see him.

Resh Lakish said to him: Why so?

Shall we say, because it is written, As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him,' or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him?(12)

But come, and I will shew you its like even in this world.

When one goes out into the field and meets a bailiff,(13) it is as though he had met a lion.

When he enters the town, and is accosted by a tax-collector, it is as though he had met a bear.

On entering his house and finding his sons and daughters in the throes of hunger, it is as though he were bitten by a serpent!(14) - But [his unwillingness to see the Messiah] is because it is written, Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child?

Wherefore do I see every man [geber](15) with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?(16)

What is meant by 'wherefore do I see every geber? ' - Raba B`Isaac said in Rab's name: it refers to Him to whom all geburah(17) [strength] belongs.(18)

And what is the meaning of 'and all faces are turned into paleness? ' - R`Johanan said: [This refers to God's] heavenly family [I.

e. , the angels] and his earthly family [I.

e. , Israel,] when God says, These [the Gentiles] are my handiwork, and so are these [the Jews]; how shall I destroy the former on account of the latter?(19)

R`Papa said: Thus men say, 'When the ox runs and falls, the horse is put into his stall.'(20)

R`Giddal said in Rab's name: The Jews are destined to eat [their fill] in the days of the Messiah.(21)

R`Joseph demurred: is this not obvious; who else then should eat - Hilek and Bilek?(22) - This was said in opposition to R`Hillel, who maintained that there will be no Messiah for Israel, since they have already enjoyed him during the reign of Hezekiah.(23)

Rab said: The world was created only on David's account.(24)

Samuel said: On Moses account;(25) R`Johanan said: For the sake of the Messiah.

What is his [the Messiah's] name? - The School of R`Shila said: His name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come.(26)

The School of R`Yannai said: His name is Yinnon, for it is written, His name shall endure for ever:(27) e'er the sun was, his name is Yinnon.(28)

The School of R`Haninah maintained: His name is Haninah, as it is written, Where I will not give you Haninah.(29)

Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah,for it is written, Because Menahem ['the comforter' ], that would relieve my soul, is far.(30)

The Rabbis said: His name is 'the leper scholar,' as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.(31)

R`Nahman said: if he [the Messiah] is of those living [to day], it might be one like myself, as it is writt And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governors shall proceed from the midst of them.(32)

Rab said: if he is of the living, it would be our holy Master;(33) if of the dead, it would have been Daniel the most desirable man.(34)

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The Holy One, blessed be He, will raise up another David for us,(35) as it is written, But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them:(36) not 'I raised up', but 'I will raise up' is said.

R`Papa said to Abaye: But it is written, And m servant David shall be their prince [nasi] for ever?(37) - E.g. , an emperor and a viceroy.(38)

R`Simlai expounded: What is meant by, Woe unto you, that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you?

the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.(39) ?

This may be compared to a cock and a bat who were hopefully waiting for the light [i.e., dawn].

The cock said to the bat, 'I look forward to the light, becau I have sight; but of what use is the light to thee? '(40)


(1) This was a forecast of the future. Babylon and Palestine would be overrun with Persians, Medes and Parthians and their horses would dig up the dead, whose coffins would serve as cribs.

(2) I.e., the whole world in which Israel is scattered.

(3) Micah V, 2: 'therefore will he give them up' is interpreted as meaning to a foreign - viz., the Roman - power, and the duration of their servitude is fixed by 'until the time etc.' i.e., nine months, the period of pregnancy.

(4) V. n. 7. tkuac t,hpufs

(5) [Following the reading in Yalkut (v. Levy,) . Our texts read: , 'dung'.]

(6) These troubles are generally referred to as birth pangs, being the travail which precedes the birth of a new era.

(7) That sin may neutralise the other two, and so I will suffer after all.

(8) Gen. XXVIII, 15; spoken by God to Jacob.

(9) Ibid. XXXII, 8: in view of God's promise, why did he fear?

(10) Ex. XV, 16.

(11) Ibid.

(12) Amos V, 19.

(13) Who contests his title to the field- (Jast.) . Rashi translates: an official surveyor, who fixes the boundary lines of the different owners, and thus may increase or: limit one's property.

(14) I.e., we experience the same successive troubles even now, without the Messiah coming: why then should you be afraid of it? rcd

(15) .

(16) Jer. XXX, 6. vrucd

(17) .

(18) I.e., the Almighty himself bewails Israel in the power of the Gentile.

(19) To avenge the wrongs suffered by the Jews. Because the suffering would be so great that even the Almighty would lament it, R. Johanan desired to be spared the Messiah's coming.

(20) The horse is made to replace it, but when the ox recovers, it is difficult to remove the horse. So the Israelites, having fallen, were replaced in power by the Gentiles: but on their recovery, it will be difficult to remove the Gentiles from their position without inflicting much suffering.

(21) I.e., the years of plenty which the Messiah will usher in will be enjoyed by the Israelites.'

(22) Two fictitious names - 'any Tom, Dick and Harry' - shall these years be enjoyed indiscriminately by anyone?

(23) Therefore R. Giddal puts it in the future.

(24) That he might sing hymns and psalms to God.

(25) That he might receive the Torah.

(26) Gen. XLIX, 10.

(27) E.V. 'shall be continued'.

(28) Ps. LXXII, 17.

(29) Jer. XVI, 13. Thus each School evinced intense admiration of its teacher in naming the Messiah after him by a play on words.

(30) Lam. I, 16.

(31) Isa. LIII, 4.

(32) Jer. XXX, 21: this description fitted R. Nahman, who, as the son-in-law of the Resh Galutha, enjoyed great power and prestige.

(33) I.e., R. Judah the Nasi, generally called Rabbi par excellence.

(34) [Preferably, if of the living, our holy Master (would be the type) of the Messiah; if of the dead, Daniel.]

(35) Lit., 'for them'.

(36) Ibid. XXX, 9.

(37) Ezek. XXXVII, 25: prince (nasi) is a lower title than king.

(38) The second David shall be the king, and the former David shall be his viceroy.

(39) Amos V, 18.

(40) Thus Israel should hope for the redemption, because it will be a day of light to them: but why should the Gentiles, seeing that for them it will be a day of darkness?