Bava Batra 118aבבא בתרא קי״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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118aקי״ח א

אלא למאן דאמר לבאי הארץ מאי לרב תרבו נחלתו קשיא

But according to the one who says that Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who entered Eretz Yisrael, what does the verse: “To the more you shall give the more inheritance” teach? It is obvious that larger families will receive more land due to their greater numbers. The Gemara concludes: This poses a difficulty to one who holds that opinion.

ואמר ליה רב פפא לאביי בשלמא למאן דאמר ליוצאי מצרים היינו דקא צווחן בנות צלפחד אלא למ"ד לבאי הארץ אמאי צווחן הא ליתיה דלשקול

The Gemara presents the second question. And Rav Pappa said to Abaye: Granted, according to the one who says that Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who left Egypt, this is why the daughters of Zelophehad cried out in protest of the fact that they would be denied their father’s portion, to which he was entitled as one who left Egypt. But according to the one who says that Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who entered Eretz Yisrael, why did they cry out in protest; after all, Zelophehad was not there to take his portion, so his daughters should have no claim to the land?

אלא לחזרה וליטול בנכסי חפר

Abaye answers: Rather, according to this opinion, the protest of Zelophehad’s daughters was in reference to the returning of the portions from the generation that entered Eretz Yisrael to the generation that left Egypt, as described in the baraita above. And accordingly, Zelophehad’s daughters demanded to take their portion in the property of their grandfather Hepher, who received land posthumously through his children, their uncles.

בשלמא למאן דאמר ליוצאי מצרים היינו דקא צווחן בני יוסף דכתיב (יהושע יז, יד) וידברו בני יוסף אלא למאן דאמר לבאי הארץ מאי קא צווחי כולהו שקול

The Gemara presents Rav Pappa’s third question: Granted, according to the one who says that Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who left Egypt, this is why the descendants of Joseph cried out in protest of the fact that they would receive an inadequate portion of land due to the fact that they had proliferated greatly in the wilderness. As it is written: “And the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying: Why have you given me but one lot and one part for an inheritance, seeing I am a great people, because the Lord has blessed me thus” (Joshua 17:14). But according to the one who says that Eretz Yisrael was divided among those who entered Eretz Yisrael, what is the reason they were crying out? They were all entitled to take their own portion of land and should have had no cause for complaint.

משום טפלים דהוו נפישי להו

The Gemara answers: They protested due to the children, as they had many children who were not entitled to a portion of the land.

אמר אביי שמע מינה לא הוה חד דלא שקיל דאי סלקא דעתך הוה חד דלא שקיל איבעי ליה למצווח וכי תימא דצווח ואהני כתביה קרא דצווח ולא אהני לא כתביה קרא הא בני יוסף דצווחי ולא אהני וכתבינהו קרא

Abaye said: Learn from the fact that the Bible records the complaints of only the daughters of Zelophehad and the descendants of Joseph that there was not one other individual who did not take a portion of land; as if it enters your mind that there was even one other who did not take a portion of land, he should have cried out in protest. And if you would say: The verse wrote about one who cried out and his protest was effective, and the verse did not write about one who cried out and his protest was not effective, that is difficult. But there is the counterexample of the descendants of Joseph, who cried out and their protest was not effective, and the verse wrote about them.

התם עצה טובה קא משמע לן דאיבעי ליה לאיניש לאיזדהורי מעינא בישא והיינו דקאמר להו יהושע דכתיב (יהושע יז, טו) ויאמר אליהם יהושע אם עם רב אתה עלה לך היערה אמר להו לכו והחבאו עצמכם ביערים שלא תשלוט בכם עין רע

The Gemara rejects Abaye’s inference: Generally, the verse would not record an instance where one cried out if his protest was not effective, and there, the verse includes the protest of Joseph’s descendants in order to teach us a measure of good advice: That a person should be wary of the evil eye. And this is what Joshua said to them, as it is written: “And Joshua said unto them: If you be a great people, go up to the forest, and cut down for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim” (Joshua 17:15). Joshua said to them: Go and conceal yourselves in the forests so that the evil eye will not have dominion over you.