the broken pieces of the first set of tablets, which were placed in the Ark. Having cited the baraita, the Gemara now presents its objection to what was taught earlier with regard to the dimensions of a Torah scroll: And if it should enter your mind to say, as Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi held, that the circumference of a Torah scroll is six handbreadths, now since any cylindrical object having a circumference of three handbreadths has a diameter of one handbreadth, a Torah scroll with a circumference of six handbreadths has a diameter of two handbreadths. And since a Torah scroll is wound to the middle, since it is rolled from both sides, it must take up more than two handbreadths due to the space between the sheets of parchment and the double rolling. According to Rabbi Meir, who says that the Torah scroll was placed inside the ark, how did the scroll fit in the remaining two handbreadths [pushkei] of space in the Ark?
Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: The scroll of the Temple courtyard, which was kept in the Ark, was wound to its beginning, i.e., it had only a single pole, so that its circumference was only two handbreadths. The Gemara asks: But still, how does an item that is two handbreadths wide fit into a space that is precisely two handbreadths? It would be impossible to fit it in. Rav Ashi said: A small section of the scroll was wound separately and then placed on top of the scroll.
Having concluded its current discussion, the Gemara now addresses the details of the aforementioned baraita and asks: And according to Rabbi Yehuda, who says that the Torah scroll rested on the chest that came from the Philistines, where was the Torah scroll placed before the chest arrived? The Gemara answers: A shelf protruded from the Ark and the Torah scroll rested on it. The Gemara asks: And according to Rabbi Meir, who says that the Torah scroll rested inside the Ark, what does he do with this verse: “Take this Torah scroll and put it at the side of the Ark” (Deuteronomy 31:26)? The Gemara answers: He requires that verse to teach that the Torah scroll was placed at the side of the tablets, and that it was not placed between the two tablets, but it was actually placed inside the Ark at the side of the tablets.
The Gemara asks: And according to Rabbi Meir, where were the silver columns placed? The Gemara answers: Outside the Ark. The Gemara further asks: And from where does Rabbi Meir derive that the broken pieces of the first set of tablets were placed in the Ark, as the verse from which Rabbi Yehuda learns this: “There was nothing in the Ark except” (I Kings 8:9), is needed by Rabbi Meir to teach that the Torah scroll was placed there? The Gemara answers: He derives this point from what Rav Huna expounded, as Rav Huna says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The Ark of God, whereupon is called the Name, the name of the Lord of hosts that sits upon the cherubs” (II Samuel 6:2)? The phrase “the name, the name of the Lord” teaches that both the second tablets and the broken pieces of the first set of tablets were placed in the Ark.
The Gemara asks: And what does the other Sage, i.e., Rabbi Yehuda, derive from this verse? The Gemara responds: He requires that text for that which Rabbi Yoḥanan says, as Rabbi Yoḥanan says that Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai says: This teaches that the ineffable name of God and all of His appellations were placed in the Ark.
The Gemara inquires: And doesn’t the other Sage, Rabbi Meir, also require it for that? The Gemara answers: Yes, it is indeed so. Rather, from where does he derive that the broken pieces of the first set of tablets were placed in the Ark? The Gemara expounds: He derives this from that which Rav Yosef taught, as Rav Yosef taught a baraita: The verses state: “At that time the Lord said to me: Hew for yourself two tablets of stone like the first…and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke, and you shall put them in the Ark” (Deuteronomy 10:1–2). This teaches that both the second set of tablets and the broken pieces of the first set of tablets were placed in the Ark.
The Gemara asks: And what does the other one, Rabbi Yehuda, learn from this verse? The Gemara answers: He requires it for that which Reish Lakish teaches, as Reish Lakish says: What is the meaning of that which is stated: “The first tablets, which you broke [asher shibbarta]”? These words allude to the fact that God approved of Moses’ action, as if the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Moses: May your strength be straight [yishar koḥakha] because you broke them.
§ The Sages taught: The order of the books of the Prophets when they are attached together is as follows: Joshua and Judges, Samuel and Kings, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and Isaiah and the Twelve Prophets. The Gemara asks: Consider: Hosea preceded some of the other prophets whose books are included in the Bible, as it is written: “The Lord spoke first to Hosea” (Hosea 1:2). At first glance this verse is difficult: But did God speak first with Hosea, and not with any other prophet before him? Weren’t there many prophets between Moses and Hosea? And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: He was the first of four prophets who prophesied in that period, and they were: Hosea and Isaiah, Amos and Micah. Accordingly, Hosea preceded those three prophets; and the book of Hosea as well should precede the books of those prophets.
The Gemara answers: Since his prophecy is written together with those of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi in one book of the Twelve Prophets, and Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi were the last of the prophets, he is counted with them. The Gemara inquires: But let the book of Hosea be written separately and let it precede the others. The Gemara answers: Were it written separately, since it is small it would be lost.
The Gemara further asks: Consider: Isaiah preceded Jeremiah and Ezekiel; let the book of Isaiah precede the books of those other prophets. The Gemara answers: Since the book of Kings ends with the destruction of the Temple, and the book of Jeremiah deals entirely with prophecies of the destruction, and the book of Ezekiel begins with the destruction of the Temple but ends with consolation and the rebuilding of the Temple, and Isaiah deals entirely with consolation, as most of his prophecies refer to the redemption, we juxtapose destruction to destruction and consolation to consolation. This accounts for the order: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.
The baraita continues: The order of the Writings is: Ruth and the book of Psalms, and Job and Proverbs; Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations; Daniel and the Scroll of Esther; and Ezra and Chronicles. The Gemara asks: And according to the one who says that Job lived in the time of Moses, let the book of Job precede the others. The Gemara answers: We do not begin with suffering, i.e., it is inappropriate to start the Writings with a book that deals so extensively with suffering. The Gemara asks: But the book of Ruth, with which the Writings opens, is also about suffering, since it describes the tragedies that befell the family of Elimelech. The Gemara answers: This is suffering which has a future of hope and redemption. As Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Why was she named Ruth, spelled reish, vav, tav? Because there descended from her David who sated, a word with the root reish, vav, heh, the Holy One, Blessed be He, with songs and praises.
The baraita now considers the authors of the biblical books: And who wrote the books of the Bible? Moses wrote his own book, i.e., the Torah, and the portion of Balaam in the Torah, and the book of Job. Joshua wrote his own book and eight verses in the Torah, which describe the death of Moses. Samuel wrote his own book, the book of Judges, and the book of Ruth. David wrote the book of Psalms by means of ten elders of previous generations, assembling a collection that included compositions of others along with his own. He included psalms authored by Adam the first man, by Melchizedek king of Salem, and by Abraham, and by Moses, and by Heman, and by Jeduthun, and by Asaph,