Bava Batra 117aבבא בתרא קי״ז א
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117aקי״ז א

גמ׳ תנן כמאן דאמר ליוצאי מצרים נתחלקה הארץ

GEMARA: The Gemara comments: In the mishna that teaches that Zelophehad and Hepher were entitled to portions in Eretz Yisrael, we learned in accordance with the opinion of the one who says: Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who left Egypt.

דתניא ר' יאשיה אומר ליוצאי מצרים נתחלקה הארץ שנא' (במדבר כו, נה) לשמות מטות אבותם ינחלו אלא מה אני מקיים (במדבר כו, נג) לאלה תחלק הארץ בנחלה לאלה כאלה להוציא את הטפלים

The Gemara cites a baraita that presents three opinions as to how Eretz Yisrael was divided. As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yoshiya says: Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who left Egypt, as it is stated: “According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit” (Numbers 26:55), which teaches that the Jewish people would inherit Eretz Yisrael according to the names of their fathers, i.e., those who left Egypt. Rabbi Yoshiya continues: But how do I realize the meaning of the verse: “Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance” (Numbers 26:53), which indicates that the land was to be divided among those recently counted in the wilderness, i.e., those who would enter Eretz Yisrael? He answers: “Unto these” teaches that the land will be divided among those who are like these people who were counted, in that they were adults above the age of twenty, to exclude the children, who were not entitled to a portion in Eretz Yisrael, as they were not of age at the time of the Exodus.

ר' יונתן אומר לבאי הארץ נתחלקה הארץ שנאמר לאלה תחלק הארץ בנחלה אלא מה אני מקיים לשמות מטות אבותם ינחלו משונה נחלה זו מכל נחלות שבעולם שכל נחלות שבעולם חיין יורשין מתים וכאן מתים יורשין חיין

The baraita presents a second opinion. Rabbi Yonatan says: Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who entered Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance” (Numbers 26:53). But how do I realize the meaning of the verse: “According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit” (Numbers 26:55)? This teaches that this inheritance is different from all other inheritances in the world, for in all other inheritances in the world, the living inherit from the dead, but here, the dead inherit from the living. In other words, the portions of land received by those who entered Eretz Yisrael were transferred to their fathers who left Egypt, and then inherited by the current generation, as the Gemara will now explain.

אמר רבי אמשול לך משל למה הדבר דומה לשני אחין כהנים שהיו בעיר אחת לאחד יש לו בן אחד ואחד יש לו שני בנים והלכו לגורן זה שיש לו בן אחד נוטל חלק אחד וזה שיש לו שני בנים נוטל שני חלקים ומחזירין אצל אביהן וחוזרין וחולקין בשוה

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: I will tell you a parable. To what is this matter comparable? To two brothers who were priests and who were in one town. One brother has one son, and one brother has two sons, and the sons all went to the threshing floor to collect teruma. This brother, who has one son, takes one portion of the teruma from his child, and that brother, who has two sons, takes two portions from his sons. And the brothers then return with the three portions to their father, and then redivide the portions among themselves equally, so that each brother receives one and one-half portions. When the brothers give their shares to their children, the son of the first brother will receive all that his father had received, while the sons of the other brother will divide what their father had received.

רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר

The baraita presents a third opinion. Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: