Bava Batra 15b:5בבא בתרא ט״ו ב
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15bט״ו ב

אימא כמשעה שנכנסו ישראל למצרים ועד [שעה] שיצאו

The Gemara answers: Say that the baraita means that the duration of Job’s life lasted as long as from when Israel entered Egypt until when they left, but not that he lived during that specific time frame.

מיתיבי שבעה נביאים נתנבאו לאומות העולם ואלו הן בלעם ואביו ואיוב אליפז התימני ובלדד השוחי וצופר הנעמתי ואליהוא בן ברכאל הבוזי (א"ל) וליטעמיך אליהוא בן ברכאל לאו מישראל הוה והא כתיב ממשפחת רם

The Gemara raises an objection from another baraita against the notion that Job was a Jew: Seven prophets prophesied to the nations of the world, and they are: Balaam and his father Beor, and Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu ben Barachel the Buzite, which indicates that Job was not Jewish. He said to him: And according to your reasoning that Job could not have been Jewish because he prophesied to the nations of the world, was Elihu ben Barachel not a Jew? Is it not written: “Of the family of Ram” (Job 32:2), meaning Abraham?

אלא אינבוי אינבי לאומות העולם ה"נ איוב אינבוי אינבי [לאומות העולם] אטו כולהו נביאי מי לא אינבוי לאומות העולם התם עיקר נביאותייהו לישראל הכא עיקר נביאותייהו לאומות העולם

Rather, one must explain that Elihu is included in this list because he prophesied to the nations of the world; and so too it may be maintained that Job is included in this list, even though he is Jewish, because he prophesied to the nations of the world. The Gemara asks: But did not all the other prophets also prophesy to the nations of the world? Why then are only these seven mentioned? The Gemara answers: There, with regard to the other prophets, their main prophecies were directed to Israel, whereas here, with regard to these seven prophets, their main prophecies were directed to the nations of the world.

מיתיבי חסיד היה באומות העולם ואיוב שמו ולא בא לעולם אלא כדי לקבל שכרו הביא הקב"ה עליו יסורין התחיל מחרף ומגדף כפל לו הקב"ה שכרו בעוה"ז [כדי] לטרדו מן העולם הבא

The Gemara raises an objection from what is taught in a different baraita: There was a certain pious man among the nations of the world and his name was Job, and he came into the world only to receive his reward. The Holy One, Blessed be He, brought afflictions upon him, and he began to blaspheme and curse. The Holy One, Blessed be He, doubled his reward in this world in order to expel him from the World-to-Come. This baraita states that Job was not a Jew, but rather a gentile.

תנאי היא דתניא רבי אלעזר אומר איוב בימי שפוט השופטים היה שנאמר (איוב כז, יב) הן אתם כולכם חזיתם ולמה זה הבל תהבלו איזה דור שכולו הבל הוי אומר זה דורו של שפוט השופטים

The Gemara responds: The matter of whether or not Job was Jewish is a dispute between tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita with regard to the period during which Job lived: Rabbi Elazar says: Job lived in the days of the judging of the Judges, as it is stated in connection with Job: “Behold, all you yourselves have seen it; why then have you become altogether vain?” (Job 27:12). Which generation was completely vain? You must say it was the generation of the judging of the Judges, when the people judged the Judges, as will be explained shortly.

רבי יהושע בן קרחה אומר איוב בימי אחשורוש היה שנאמר (איוב מב, טו) ולא נמצא נשים יפות כבנות איוב בכל הארץ איזהו דור שנתבקשו בו נשים יפות הוי אומר זה דורו של אחשורוש ואימא בימי דוד דכתיב (מלכים א א, ג) ויבקשו נערה יפה התם בכל גבול ישראל הכא בכל הארץ

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa says: Job lived in the days of Ahasuerus, as it is stated: “And in all the world were no women found so beautiful as the daughters of Job” (Job 42:15). In which generation were beautiful women sought? You must say it was the generation of Ahasuerus (Esther, chapter 2). The Gemara asks: But why not say it was in the days of David, as it is written: “And they sought a beautiful maiden” (I Kings 1:3)? The Gemara answers: There, in the time of David, they searched “throughout the territory of Israel” (I Kings 1:3), whereas here, in the time of Ahasuerus, they searched throughout the world, as is similarly stated with regard to Job’s daughters.

רבי נתן אומר איוב בימי מלכות שבא היה שנאמר (איוב א, טו) ותפל שבא ותקחם וחכמים אומרים איוב בימי כשדים היה שנאמר (איוב א, יז) כשדים שמו שלשה ראשים ויש אומרים איוב בימי יעקב היה ודינה בת יעקב נשא כתיב הכא (איוב ב, י) כדבר אחת הנבלות תדברי וכתיב התם (בראשית לד, ז) כי נבלה עשה בישראל וכולהו תנאי סבירא להו דאיוב מישראל הוה לבר מיש אומרים

Rabbi Natan says: Job lived in the days of the kingdom of Sheba, as it is stated: “And Sheba fell upon them, and took them away” (Job 1:15). And the Rabbis say: Job lived in the days of the kingdom of the Chaldeans in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, as it is stated: “The Chaldeans formed three bands” (Job 1:17). And some say that Job lived in the days of Jacob and that he married Dina, the daughter of Jacob. As it is written here: “You speak as one of the loathsome women speaks” (Job 2:10), and it is written there in the account of the incident involving Dina: “He has done a loathsome act in Israel” (Genesis 34:7). This concludes the text of the baraita. The Gemara comments: And all these tanna’im hold that Job was a Jew except for the opinion introduced with the phrase: And some say, according to which Job lived in the time of Jacob, and he was certainly not one of Jacob’s sons.

דאי ס"ד מאומות העולם הוה בתר דשכיב משה מי שריא שכינה על עובדי כוכבים והא אמר מר בקש משה שלא תשרה שכינה על עובדי כוכבים ונתן לו שנאמר (שמות לג, טז) ונפלינו אני ועמך

And what is the proof that all these tanna’im maintain that Job was Jewish? As if it should enter your mind to say that he came from the nations of the world, there is a difficulty: After Moses died, did the Divine Presence rest any longer on the nations of the world? But doesn’t the Master say: Moses requested that the Divine Presence not rest again on the nations of the world, and his request was granted to him, as it is stated: “That we shall be differentiated, I and Your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth” (Exodus 33:16), and it is stated there that God acceded to his request.

א"ר יוחנן דורו של איוב שטוף בזמה היה שנאמר הן אתם כולכם חזיתם ולמה זה הבל תהבלו וכתיב (שיר השירים ז, א) שובי שובי השולמית שובי שובי ונחזה בך אימא בנבואה דכתיב (ישעיהו א, א) חזון ישעיהו בן אמוץ א"כ למה זה הבל תהבלו למה לי

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The generation of Job was awash in licentiousness, as it is stated: “Behold, all of you yourselves have seen [ḥazitem] it; why then have you become altogether vain?” (Job 27:12), and it is written: “Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look [veneḥeze] upon you” (Song of Songs 7:1), which teaches that the phrase “you have seen it” connotes a licentious gaze. The Gemara asks: But say that the phrase “you yourselves have seen it” signifies prophecy, as it is written: “The vision [ḥazon] of Isaiah ben Amoz” (Isaiah 1:1). The Gemara answers: If so, why do I need the words: “Why then have you become altogether vain”? Rather, the reference must be to inappropriate licentious gazing.

וא"ר יוחנן מאי דכתיב (רות א, א) ויהי בימי שפוט השופטים דור ששופט את שופטיו אומר לו טול קיסם מבין (עיניך) אומר לו טול קורה מבין עיניך אמר לו (ישעיהו א, כב) כספך היה לסיגים אמר לו סבאך מהול במים

And further, with regard to Rabbi Elazar’s statement in the baraita that the generation of the judging of the Judges was one of vanity, Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And it happened in the days of the judging of the Judges” (Ruth 1:1)? This indicates a generation that judged its judges. If a judge would say to the defendant standing before him: Remove the splinter from between your eyes, meaning rid yourself of some minor infraction, the defendant would say to him: Remove the beam from between your eyes, meaning you have committed far more severe sins. If the judge would say to him: “Your silver is become dross” (Isaiah 1:22), meaning your coins are counterfeit, the defendant would say to him: “Your wine is mixed with water” (Isaiah 1:22), meaning you yourself dilute your wine with water and sell it. Since nobody behaved in proper manner, the judges were unable to judge.

א"ר שמואל בר נחמני א"ר יונתן כל האומר מלכת שבא אשה היתה אינו אלא טועה מאי מלכת שבא מלכותא דשבא

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: Anyone who says that the queen of Sheba [malkat Sheva] who came to visit King Solomon (see I Kings, chapter 10) was a woman is nothing other than mistaken. What is the meaning of malkat Sheba? The kingdom [malkhuta] of Sheba, as is mentioned in Job: “And Sheba fell on them and took them away” (Job 1:15).

(איוב א, ו) ויהי היום ויבאו בני האלהים להתיצב על ה' ויבא גם השטן בתוכם ויאמר ה' אל השטן מאין תבא ויען השטן וגו' אמר לפניו רבש"ע שטתי בכל העולם כולו ולא מצאתי נאמן כעבדך אברהם שאמרת לו (בראשית יג, יז) קום התהלך בארץ לארכה ולרחבה כי לך אתננה ואפילו הכי בשעה שלא מצא מקום לקבור את שרה [עד שקנה בד' מאות שקל כסף] לא הרהר אחר מדותיך

§ Having mentioned the book of Job, the Gemara addresses several matters relating to it. It is stated: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Satan came also among them. And the Lord said to the Satan: From where do you come? And the Satan answered the Lord, and said: From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking through it” (Job 1:6–7). The Satan said to God: Master of the Universe, I have gone to and fro throughout the entire world and I have not found anyone as faithful as Your servant Abraham, to whom You said: “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to you” (Genesis 13:17). And even so, when he did not find a place to bury Sarah before he purchased a burial site for four hundred silver shekels, he did not find fault with Your ways or complain about the fact that you had failed to fulfill Your promise.

ויאמר ה' אל השטן השמת לבך אל עבדי איוב כי אין כמוהו בארץ וגו' א"ר יוחנן גדול הנאמר באיוב יותר ממה שנאמר באברהם דאילו באברהם כתיב (בראשית כב, יב) כי עתה ידעתי כי ירא אלהים אתה ובאיוב כתיב (איוב א, ח) איש תם וישר ירא אלהים [וסר מרע]

“And the Lord said to the Satan: Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on earth, a perfect and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8). About this Rabbi Yoḥanan says: That which is stated about Job is greater than that which is stated about Abraham. As with regard to Abraham it is written: “For now I know that you fear God” (Genesis 22:12), with regard to Job it is written: “A perfect and an upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8).

מאי וסר מרע א"ר אבא בר שמואל איוב וותרן בממונו היה מנהגו של עולם נותן חצי פרוטה לחנוני איוב ויתרה משלו

The Gemara clarifies the meaning of the aforementioned verse: What is meant by “and turns away from evil”? Rabbi Abba bar Shmuel says: Job was forgiving with his money. It is the way of the world that one pays the storekeeper for even half-peruta of merchandise purchased from him. But if somebody bought an item of such little value from Job, he would forgive him his half-peruta.

(איוב א, ט) ויען השטן את ה' ויאמר החנם ירא איוב אלהים הלא אתה סכת בעדו ובעד ביתו וגו' מאי מעשה ידיו ברכת א"ר שמואל בר רב יצחק כל הנוטל פרוטה מאיוב מתברך

The Gemara continues to clarify the verses concerning Job. “Then the Satan answered the Lord, and said: Does Job fear God for naught? Have You not made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his cattle is increased in the land” (Job 1:9–10). What is meant by: “You have blessed the work of his hands”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says: Anyone who took a peruta from Job was blessed. Not only was Job’s own handiwork blessed, but anybody who received anything from him was also blessed.

מאי (איוב א, י) ומקנהו פרץ בארץ א"ר יוסי בר חנינא מקנהו של איוב פרצו גדרו של עולם מנהגו של עולם זאבים הורגים העזים מקנהו של איוב עזים הורגים את הזאבים

The Gemara continues with its explication of these verses. What is meant by: “And his livestock is increased [paratz] in the land” (Job 1:10)? Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina says: Job’s livestock breached [paretzu] the order of the world. It is the way of the world that wolves kill goats, but in the case of Job’s livestock, the goats killed the wolves.

(איוב א, יא) ואולם שלח נא ידך וגע בכל אשר לו אם לא על פניך יברכך (איוב א, יב) ויאמר ה' אל השטן הנה כל אשר לו בידך רק אליו אל תשלח ידך וגו' (איוב א, יג) ויהי היום ובניו ובנותיו אוכלים ושותים יין בבית אחיהם הבכור ומלאך בא אל איוב ויאמר הבקר היו חורשות וגו' מאי הבקר היו חורשות והאתונות רועות על ידיהם א"ר יוחנן מלמד שהטעימו הקב"ה לאיוב

The Gemara continues to relate the Satan’s challenge to God: “But now put forth Your hand, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face. And the Lord said to the Satan: Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand. And the Satan went out from the presence of the Lord” (Job 1:11–12). The verses relate what then occurred: “Now there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, and there came a messenger to Job, and said: The oxen were plowing, and the asses were feeding beside them” (Job 1:13–14). The Gemara asks: What is meant by: “The oxen were plowing and the asses were feeding beside them”? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: This teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, gave Job a taste