32ל״ב
1 א

וַיַּ֣רְא הָעָ֔ם כִּֽי־בֹשֵׁ֥שׁ מֹשֶׁ֖ה לָרֶ֣דֶת מִן־הָהָ֑ר וַיִּקָּהֵ֨ל הָעָ֜ם עַֽל־אַהֲרֹ֗ן וַיֹּאמְר֤וּ אֵלָיו֙ ק֣וּם ׀ עֲשֵׂה־לָ֣נוּ אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר יֵֽלְכוּ֙ לְפָנֵ֔ינוּ כִּי־זֶ֣ה ׀ מֹשֶׁ֣ה הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הֶֽעֱלָ֙נוּ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לֹ֥א יָדַ֖עְנוּ מֶה־הָ֥יָה לֽוֹ׃

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who shall go before us, for that man Moses, who brought us from the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him.”

2 ב

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ אַהֲרֹ֔ן פָּֽרְקוּ֙ נִזְמֵ֣י הַזָּהָ֔ב אֲשֶׁר֙ בְּאָזְנֵ֣י נְשֵׁיכֶ֔ם בְּנֵיכֶ֖ם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶ֑ם וְהָבִ֖יאוּ אֵלָֽי׃

Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”

3 ג

וַיִּתְפָּֽרְקוּ֙ כָּל־הָעָ֔ם אֶת־נִזְמֵ֥י הַזָּהָ֖ב אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּאָזְנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיָּבִ֖יאוּ אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹֽן׃

And all the people took off the gold rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.

4 ד

וַיִּקַּ֣ח מִיָּדָ֗ם וַיָּ֤צַר אֹתוֹ֙ בַּחֶ֔רֶט וַֽיַּעֲשֵׂ֖הוּ עֵ֣גֶל מַסֵּכָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ אֵ֤לֶּה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶעֱל֖וּךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

This he took from them and cast in a mold, and made it into a molten calf. And they exclaimed, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

5 ה

וַיַּ֣רְא אַהֲרֹ֔ן וַיִּ֥בֶן מִזְבֵּ֖חַ לְפָנָ֑יו וַיִּקְרָ֤א אַֽהֲרֹן֙ וַיֹּאמַ֔ר חַ֥ג לַיהוָ֖ה מָחָֽר׃

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron announced: “Tomorrow shall be a festival of the LORD!”

6 ו

וַיַּשְׁכִּ֙ימוּ֙ מִֽמָּחֳרָ֔ת וַיַּעֲל֣וּ עֹלֹ֔ת וַיַּגִּ֖שׁוּ שְׁלָמִ֑ים וַיֵּ֤שֶׁב הָעָם֙ לֶֽאֱכֹ֣ל וְשָׁת֔וֹ וַיָּקֻ֖מוּ לְצַחֵֽק׃ (פ)

Early next day, the people offered up burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; they sat down to eat and drink, and then rose to dance.

7 ז

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה לֶךְ־רֵ֕ד כִּ֚י שִׁחֵ֣ת עַמְּךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶעֱלֵ֖יתָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

The LORD spoke to Moses, “Hurry down, for your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have acted basely.

8 ח

סָ֣רוּ מַהֵ֗ר מִן־הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּיתִ֔ם עָשׂ֣וּ לָהֶ֔ם עֵ֖גֶל מַסֵּכָ֑ה וַיִּשְׁתַּֽחֲווּ־לוֹ֙ וַיִּזְבְּחוּ־ל֔וֹ וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ אֵ֤לֶּה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶֽעֱל֖וּךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

They have been quick to turn aside from the way that I enjoined upon them. They have made themselves a molten calf and bowed low to it and sacrificed to it, saying: ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’”

9 ט

וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה רָאִ֙יתִי֙ אֶת־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה עַם־קְשֵׁה־עֹ֖רֶף הֽוּא׃

The LORD further said to Moses, “I see that this is a stiffnecked people.

10 י

וְעַתָּה֙ הַנִּ֣יחָה לִּ֔י וְיִֽחַר־אַפִּ֥י בָהֶ֖ם וַאֲכַלֵּ֑ם וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂ֥ה אוֹתְךָ֖ לְג֥וֹי גָּדֽוֹל׃

Now, let Me be, that My anger may blaze forth against them and that I may destroy them, and make of you a great nation.”

11 יא

וַיְחַ֣ל מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־פְּנֵ֖י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑יו וַיֹּ֗אמֶר לָמָ֤ה יְהוָה֙ יֶחֱרֶ֤ה אַפְּךָ֙ בְּעַמֶּ֔ךָ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הוֹצֵ֙אתָ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם בְּכֹ֥חַ גָּד֖וֹל וּבְיָ֥ד חֲזָקָֽה׃

But Moses implored the LORD his God, saying, “Let not Your anger, O Lord, blaze forth against Your people, whom You delivered from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand.

12 יב

לָמָּה֩ יֹאמְר֨וּ מִצְרַ֜יִם לֵאמֹ֗ר בְּרָעָ֤ה הֽוֹצִיאָם֙ לַהֲרֹ֤ג אֹתָם֙ בֶּֽהָרִ֔ים וּ֨לְכַלֹּתָ֔ם מֵעַ֖ל פְּנֵ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה שׁ֚וּב מֵחֲר֣וֹן אַפֶּ֔ךָ וְהִנָּחֵ֥ם עַל־הָרָעָ֖ה לְעַמֶּֽךָ׃

Let not the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that He delivered them, only to kill them off in the mountains and annihilate them from the face of the earth.’ Turn from Your blazing anger, and renounce the plan to punish Your people.

13 יג

זְכֹ֡ר לְאַבְרָהָם֩ לְיִצְחָ֨ק וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל עֲבָדֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתָּ לָהֶם֮ בָּךְ֒ וַתְּדַבֵּ֣ר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם אַרְבֶּה֙ אֶֽת־זַרְעֲכֶ֔ם כְּכוֹכְבֵ֖י הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וְכָל־הָאָ֨רֶץ הַזֹּ֜את אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמַ֗רְתִּי אֶתֵּן֙ לְזַרְעֲכֶ֔ם וְנָחֲל֖וּ לְעֹלָֽם׃

Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, how You swore to them by Your Self and said to them: I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and I will give to your offspring this whole land of which I spoke, to possess forever.”

14 יד

וַיִּנָּ֖חֶם יְהוָ֑ה עַל־הָ֣רָעָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֖ר לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת לְעַמּֽוֹ׃ (פ)

And the LORD renounced the punishment He had planned to bring upon His people.

15 טו

וַיִּ֜פֶן וַיֵּ֤רֶד מֹשֶׁה֙ מִן־הָהָ֔ר וּשְׁנֵ֛י לֻחֹ֥ת הָעֵדֻ֖ת בְּיָד֑וֹ לֻחֹ֗ת כְּתֻבִים֙ מִשְּׁנֵ֣י עֶבְרֵיהֶ֔ם מִזֶּ֥ה וּמִזֶּ֖ה הֵ֥ם כְּתֻבִֽים׃

Thereupon Moses turned and went down from the mountain bearing the two tablets of the Pact, tablets inscribed on both their surfaces: they were inscribed on the one side and on the other.

16 טז

וְהַ֨לֻּחֹ֔ת מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים הֵ֑מָּה וְהַמִּכְתָּ֗ב מִכְתַּ֤ב אֱלֹהִים֙ ה֔וּא חָר֖וּת עַל־הַלֻּחֹֽת׃

The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing, incised upon the tablets.

17 יז

וַיִּשְׁמַ֧ע יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶת־ק֥וֹל הָעָ֖ם בְּרֵעֹ֑ה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה ק֥וֹל מִלְחָמָ֖ה בַּֽמַּחֲנֶה׃

When Joshua heard the sound of the people in its boisterousness, he said to Moses, “There is a cry of war in the camp.”

18 יח

וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֵ֥ין קוֹל֙ עֲנ֣וֹת גְּבוּרָ֔ה וְאֵ֥ין ק֖וֹל עֲנ֣וֹת חֲלוּשָׁ֑ה ק֣וֹל עַנּ֔וֹת אָנֹכִ֖י שֹׁמֵֽעַ׃

But he answered, “It is not the sound of the tune of triumph, Or the sound of the tune of defeat; It is the sound of song that I hear!”

19 יט

וַֽיְהִ֗י כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר קָרַב֙ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וַיַּ֥רְא אֶת־הָעֵ֖גֶל וּמְחֹלֹ֑ת וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֣ף מֹשֶׁ֗ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֤ךְ מידו [מִיָּדָיו֙] אֶת־הַלֻּחֹ֔ת וַיְשַׁבֵּ֥ר אֹתָ֖ם תַּ֥חַת הָהָֽר׃

As soon as Moses came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, he became enraged; and he hurled the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.

20 כ

וַיִּקַּ֞ח אֶת־הָעֵ֨גֶל אֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשׂוּ֙ וַיִּשְׂרֹ֣ף בָּאֵ֔שׁ וַיִּטְחַ֖ן עַ֣ד אֲשֶׁר־דָּ֑ק וַיִּ֙זֶר֙ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הַמַּ֔יִם וַיַּ֖שְׁקְ אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

He took the calf that they had made and burned it; he ground it to powder and strewed it upon the water and so made the Israelites drink it.

21 כא

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֔ן מֶֽה־עָשָׂ֥ה לְךָ֖ הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה כִּֽי־הֵבֵ֥אתָ עָלָ֖יו חֲטָאָ֥ה גְדֹלָֽה׃

Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such great sin upon them?”

22 כב

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אַהֲרֹ֔ן אַל־יִ֥חַר אַ֖ף אֲדֹנִ֑י אַתָּה֙ יָדַ֣עְתָּ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם כִּ֥י בְרָ֖ע הֽוּא׃

Aaron said, “Let not my lord be enraged. You know that this people is bent on evil.

23 כג

וַיֹּ֣אמְרוּ לִ֔י עֲשֵׂה־לָ֣נוּ אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֵלְכ֖וּ לְפָנֵ֑ינוּ כִּי־זֶ֣ה ׀ מֹשֶׁ֣ה הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר הֶֽעֱלָ֙נוּ֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לֹ֥א יָדַ֖עְנוּ מֶה־הָ֥יָה לֽוֹ׃

They said to me, ‘Make us a god to lead us; for that man Moses, who brought us from the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him.’

24 כד

וָאֹמַ֤ר לָהֶם֙ לְמִ֣י זָהָ֔ב הִתְפָּרָ֖קוּ וַיִּתְּנוּ־לִ֑י וָאַשְׁלִכֵ֣הוּ בָאֵ֔שׁ וַיֵּצֵ֖א הָעֵ֥גֶל הַזֶּֽה׃

So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off!’ They gave it to me and I hurled it into the fire and out came this calf!”

25 כה

וַיַּ֤רְא מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם כִּ֥י פָרֻ֖עַ ה֑וּא כִּֽי־פְרָעֹ֣ה אַהֲרֹ֔ן לְשִׁמְצָ֖ה בְּקָמֵיהֶֽם׃

Moses saw that the people were out of control—since Aaron had let them get out of control—so that they were a menace to any who might oppose them.

26 כו

וַיַּעֲמֹ֤ד מֹשֶׁה֙ בְּשַׁ֣עַר הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וַיֹּ֕אמֶר מִ֥י לַיהוָ֖ה אֵלָ֑י וַיֵּאָסְפ֥וּ אֵלָ֖יו כָּל־בְּנֵ֥י לֵוִֽי׃

Moses stood up in the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come here!” And all the Levites rallied to him.

27 כז

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֗ם כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל שִׂ֥ימוּ אִישׁ־חַרְבּ֖וֹ עַל־יְרֵכ֑וֹ עִבְר֨וּ וָשׁ֜וּבוּ מִשַּׁ֤עַר לָשַׁ֙עַר֙ בַּֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וְהִרְג֧וּ אִֽישׁ־אֶת־אָחִ֛יו וְאִ֥ישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵ֖הוּ וְאִ֥ישׁ אֶת־קְרֹבֽוֹ׃

He said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Each of you put sword on thigh, go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay brother, neighbor, and kin.”

28 כח

וַיַּֽעֲשׂ֥וּ בְנֵֽי־לֵוִ֖י כִּדְבַ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיִּפֹּ֤ל מִן־הָעָם֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא כִּשְׁלֹ֥שֶׁת אַלְפֵ֖י אִֽישׁ׃

The Levites did as Moses had bidden; and some three thousand of the people fell that day.

29 כט

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֗ה מִלְא֨וּ יֶדְכֶ֤ם הַיּוֹם֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה כִּ֛י אִ֥ישׁ בִּבְנ֖וֹ וּבְאָחִ֑יו וְלָתֵ֧ת עֲלֵיכֶ֛ם הַיּ֖וֹם בְּרָכָֽה׃

And Moses said, “Dedicate yourselves to the LORD this day—for each of you has been against son and brother—that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.”

30 ל

וַיְהִי֙ מִֽמָּחֳרָ֔ת וַיֹּ֤אמֶר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם אַתֶּ֥ם חֲטָאתֶ֖ם חֲטָאָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֑ה וְעַתָּה֙ אֶֽעֱלֶ֣ה אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה אוּלַ֥י אֲכַפְּרָ֖ה בְּעַ֥ד חַטַּאתְכֶֽם׃

The next day Moses said to the people, “You have been guilty of a great sin. Yet I will now go up to the LORD; perhaps I may win forgiveness for your sin.”

31 לא

וַיָּ֧שָׁב מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה וַיֹּאמַ֑ר אָ֣נָּ֗א חָטָ֞א הָעָ֤ם הַזֶּה֙ חֲטָאָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֔ה וַיַּֽעֲשׂ֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י זָהָֽב׃

Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people is guilty of a great sin in making for themselves a god of gold.

32 לב

וְעַתָּ֖ה אִם־תִּשָּׂ֣א חַטָּאתָ֑ם וְאִם־אַ֕יִן מְחֵ֣נִי נָ֔א מִֽסִּפְרְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֥ר כָּתָֽבְתָּ׃

Now, if You will forgive their sin [well and good]; but if not, erase me from the record which You have written!”

33 לג

וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה מִ֚י אֲשֶׁ֣ר חָֽטָא־לִ֔י אֶמְחֶ֖נּוּ מִסִּפְרִֽי׃

But the LORD said to Moses, “He who has sinned against Me, him only will I erase from My record.

34 לד

וְעַתָּ֞ה לֵ֣ךְ ׀ נְחֵ֣ה אֶת־הָעָ֗ם אֶ֤ל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבַּ֙רְתִּי֙ לָ֔ךְ הִנֵּ֥ה מַלְאָכִ֖י יֵלֵ֣ךְ לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וּבְי֣וֹם פָּקְדִ֔י וּפָקַדְתִּ֥י עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם חַטָּאתָֽם׃

Go now, lead the people where I told you. See, My angel shall go before you. But when I make an accounting, I will bring them to account for their sins.”

35 לה

וַיִּגֹּ֥ף יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־הָעָ֑ם עַ֚ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשׂ֣וּ אֶת־הָעֵ֔גֶל אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה אַהֲרֹֽן׃ (ס)

Then the LORD sent a plague upon the people, for what they did with the calf that Aaron made.

Avodah Zarah 44aעבודה זרה מ״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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44aמ״ד א
1 א

אשר עשיתם את העגל לקחתי ואשרוף אותו באש ואכות אותו טחון היטב עד אשר דק לעפר ואשליך את עפרו אל הנחל היורד מן ההר

the calf that you had made, I took and burned it with fire, and beat it in pieces, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust; and I cast its dust into the brook that descended out of the mount” (Deuteronomy 9:21)? Moses, who ground up the idolatrous golden calf and dispersed its dust, was apparently unconcerned with the fact that it may fertilize the soil.

2 ב

אמר לו משם ראיה הרי הוא אומר (שמות לב, כ) ויזר על פני המים וישק את בני ישראל לא נתכוין אלא לבודקן כסוטות

The Rabbis said to him: You seek to bring proof from there? Doesn’t it state in the verse: “And he took the calf that they had made, and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it” (Exodus 32:20)? Moses ground up the calf intending only to inspect them like sota women, i.e., like a woman suspected by her husband of having been unfaithful. Such a woman is compelled to drink water containing the ground-up ink from a scroll of Torah passages relating to a sota woman, which causes her to die if she was unfaithful, and exonerates her and bestows blessings upon her if she was faithful. Similarly, Moses ground up the calf in order to compel the people to drink, to cause the guilty parties to die.

3 ג

אמר להם רבי יוסי והלא כבר נאמר (דברי הימים ב טו, טז) וגם את מעכה אמו הסירה מגבירה אשר עשתה מפלצתה וגו' וידק וישרף בנחל קדרון אמר לו משם ראיה נחל קדרון אינו מגדל צמחין

Rabbi Yosei said to them: But isn’t it already stated concerning Asa: “And he also removed Maacah his mother from being queen, because she had made an abominable image [miflatztah] for an ashera; and Asa cut down her image, and burned it at the Kidron River” (see I Kings 15:13)? It seems that Asa was unconcerned that the ground-up idol may provide fertilization. They said to him: You seek to bring proof from there? The Kidron River does not grow vegetation, so even if the idol would have fertilized the soil, it would have been of no benefit.

4 ד

ולא והתניא אלו ואלו מתערבין באמה ויוצאין לנחל קדרון ונמכרין לגננין לזבל ומועלין בהן מקומות מקומות יש בו יש מקום מגדל צמחין ויש מקום שאין מגדל צמחין

The Gemara asks: And does the Kidron River not grow vegetation? But isn’t it taught in a mishna (Yoma 58b): This remainder of blood from the external altar and that remainder of blood from the inner altar are mixed in the Temple courtyard drain beneath the altar, and they flow out with the water used to rinse the area, to the Kidron River, and this water is sold to gardeners for use as fertilizer? The mishna continues: The gardeners pay for this water and thereby desacralize it, and failure to do so would render them liable for misuse of consecrated property. This is explicit proof that the Kidron River does yield produce. The Gemara answers: There are different places in the Kidron River area. There is a place that grows vegetation, and there is a place that does not grow vegetation.

5 ה

מאי מפלצתה אמר רב יהודה דהוה מפליא ליצנותא כדתני רב יוסף כמין זכרות עשתה לה והיתה נבעלת לו בכל יום

The Gemara tangentially inquires about the meaning of a word in the verse quoted above. What is the meaning of miflatztah”? Rav Yehuda says: It means an object that intensifies [mafli] licentiousness [leitzanuta]; as Rabbi Yosef teaches: Maacah fashioned upon the idol the likeness of a male organ, and she would engage in sexual activity with it daily.

6 ו

אמר להן רבי יוסי והלא כבר נאמר (מלכים ב יח, ד) וכתת נחש נחשת אשר עשה משה

The baraita continues: Rabbi Yosei attempts to cite another proof that grinding an object of idol worship is sufficient, from Hezekiah’s destruction of Moses’ serpent, which was worshipped by the Jewish people in Hezekiah’s time. Rabbi Yosei said to them: But isn’t it already stated: “And he broke into pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; as until those days the children of Israel sacrificed to it” (II Kings 18:4)? This indicates that breaking an object of idol worship into pieces suffices.

7 ז

אמרו לו משם ראיה הרי הוא אומר (במדבר כא, ח) ויאמר ה' אל משה עשה לך שרף לך משלך ואין אדם אוסר דבר שאינו שלו והתם בדין הוא דכתותי לא הוה צריך

The Rabbis said to him: You seek to bring proof from there? Doesn’t it state in the verse: “And the Lord said to Moses: Make you a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he sees it, shall live” (Numbers 21:8)? The term “make you” is interpreted to mean that the Lord commanded Moses: Make the serpent from your property. Consequently, the serpent belonged to Moses, and the principle in such a case is that a person does not render forbidden an item that is not his. Therefore, despite worshipping the serpent, the Jewish people could not render it a forbidden object of idol worship, and by right, it was not necessary to demolish it there.

8 ח

אלא כיון דחזא דקא טעו ישראל בתריה עמד וכיתתו

Rather, despite the fact that the serpent did not have the halakhic status of an object of idol worship, since Hezekiah saw that the Jewish people were straying after it, he arose and demolished it. Nevertheless, since this demolishing was not done in order to fulfill the obligation to eradicate objects of idol worship, but merely to prevent its worship, breaking it into pieces was sufficient.

9 ט

אמר להם והלא כבר נאמר (שמואל ב ה, כא) ויעזבו שם את עצביהם וישאם דוד ואנשיו ומאי משמע דהאי וישאם דוד לישנא דזרויי הוא כדמתרגם רב יוסף (ישעיהו מא, טז) תזרם ורוח תשאם ומתרגמינן תזרינון ורוח תטלטלינון

Rabbi Yosei said to the Rabbis, citing another proof for his opinion: But isn’t it already stated: “And they left their images there, and David and his men took them away [vayyissa’em]” (II Samuel 5:21)? And from where may it be inferred that the meaning of this formulation: “Vayyissa’em David,” is winnowing, i.e., scattering in the wind? It is as Rav Yosef translates the verse: Tizrem veruaḥ tissa’em (Isaiah 41:16), and we translate it as follows: “You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away.” Apparently, this way of disposing of idolatrous objects is sufficient.

10 י

אמרו לו משם ראיה הרי הוא אומר וישרפו באש ומדלא כתיב וישרפם וישאם ש"מ וישאם ממש

The Rabbis said to him: You seek to bring proof from there? Doesn’t it state with regard to the same incident: “And they left their gods there; and David gave an order, and they were burned with fire” (I Chronicles 14:12)? And from the fact that it is not written here: And they burned them vayyissa’em, learn from it that the word vayyissa’em is not referring to scattering in the wind, but rather it should be understood literally, i.e., David and his men took the idols away; and it does not mean that they demolished and scattered them.

11 יא

מכל מקום קשו קראי אהדדי

The Gemara asks: In any case, the verses contradict each other. The two accounts with regard to David’s disposal of the idols seem inconsistent. One states that his men took them away or scattered them, while the other recounts that they burned them.

12 יב

כדרב הונא דרב הונא רמי כתיב (דברי הימים א יד, יב) ויאמר דוד וישרפו באש וכתיב וישאם

The Gemara answers in accordance with the resolution of Rav Huna, as Rav Huna raises a contradiction between the verses, as follows: It is written: “And they left their gods there; and David gave an order, and they were burned with fire” (I Chronicles 14:12), and it is also written: “And David and his men took them away” (II Samuel 5:21).

13 יג

לא קשיא כאן קודם שבא איתי הגיתי כאן לאחר שבא איתי הגיתי

Rav Huna answers: It is not difficult. In the interim, Ittai the Gittite, who was a gentile, arrived, and David commanded him to revoke the idolatrous status of the idols, as only gentiles are capable of doing this. Here, the verse that states that they burned the idols describes their actions before Ittai the Gittite came, whereas there, the verse that indicates that they simply carried them away is referring to after Ittai the Gittite came and revoked their status as objects of idol worship, obviating the need to burn them.

14 יד

דכתיב (שמואל ב יב, ל) ויקח את עטרת מלכם מעל ראשו ומשקלה ככר זהב ומי שרי איסורי הנאה נינהו אמר רב נחמן איתי הגיתי בא וביטלה

Another difficulty is resolved by Ittai’s arrival; as it is written with regard to the Ammonite idol: “And he took the crown of Malcam from off his head, and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it were precious stones; and it was set on David’s head” (II Samuel 12:30). But is it permitted for David to wear the crown? Isn’t it an object of idol worship and therefore under the category of items from which deriving benefit is prohibited? Rav Naḥman says: Ittai the Gittite arrived and revoked its status as an object of idol worship.

15 טו

משקלה ככר זהב היכי מצי מנח לה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב ראויה לנוח על ראש דוד רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא אמר אבן שואבת היתה בה דהות דרא לה רבי אלעזר אמר אבן יקרה היתה בה ששוה ככר זהב:

§ The Gemara discusses David’s crown. The verse states: “And its weight was a talent of gold.” As a talent is a very heavy weight, the Gemara asks: How could David place it on his head? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: What is meant is not that it was actually placed on his head, but rather that it was fit to rest on David’s head, i.e., it fit the size of his head. Giving a different answer, Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: There was a lodestone in it that would hold it up, i.e., from which it was suspended. David sat and placed his head in it, giving the appearance that he was wearing it. Rabbi Elazar says: What is meant is not that it weighed a full talent of gold, but rather that there was a precious stone on it that was worth a talent of gold.

16 טז

(תהלים קיט, נו) זאת היתה לי כי פקודיך נצרתי מאי קאמר הכי קאמר בשכר שפקודיך נצרתי זאת היתה לי לעדות מאי עדותה א"ר יהושע בן לוי שהיה מניחה במקום תפילין והולמתו והא בעי אנוחי תפילין א"ר שמואל בר רב יצחק מקום יש בראש שראוי להניח בו שתי תפילין

The Gemara asks with regard to the verse: “This I have had, as I have kept Your precepts” (Psalms 119:56): What is it saying? The Gemara answers that this is what the verse is saying: As reward for the fact that I kept your precepts, this crown was a testimony for me that I am fit to be king. What exactly was its testimony? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: It was that David would place the crown on his head on the spot where one dons phylacteries, and it fit him perfectly. The Gemara asks: But how could he have worn the crown? Wasn’t he required to don phylacteries? Rabbi Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says: There is enough space on the part of the head that is fit for donning phylacteries for one to don two phylacteries.

17 יז

(דברי הימים ב כג, יא) ויוציאו את בן המלך ויתנו עליו את הנזר ואת העדות נזר זו כלילא עדות א"ר יהודה אמר רב עדות הוא לבית דוד שכל הראוי למלכות הולמתו וכל שאינו ראוי למלכות אין הולמתו

Similarly, it is stated with regard to Joash: “Then they brought out the king’s son, and put upon him the crown [hanezer] and the testimony, and made him king” (II Chronicles 23:11). Nezer” is a crown. What was the “testimony”? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: It is a testimony for the progeny of house of David that anyone who is fit for kingship, the crown fits him properly; and anyone who is unfit for kingship, the crown does not fit him properly.

18 יח

(מלכים א א, ה) ואדניה בן חגית מתנשא לאמר אני אמלוך אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שמתנשא להולמו ולא הולמתו

Similarly, the verse states: “Now Adonijah, son of Haggith, exalted himself, saying: I will be king” (I Kings 1:5). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The term “exalted himself” teaches that he sought to have the crown fit him, but it did not fit him.

19 יט

(מלכים א א, ה) ויעש לו רכב ופרשים וחמשים איש רצים לפניו מאי רבותייהו תנא כולם נטולי טחול וחקוקי כפות הרגלים היו:

The verse continues: “And he prepared for himself chariots and riders and fifty people to run before him” (I Kings 1:5). The Gemara asks: What is the novelty of these actions, since other wealthy people do the same, even if they are not the sons of kings with designs on the throne? It is taught in a baraita that what was unique was that the runners all had their spleens removed and had the soles of their feet hollowed, i.e., flesh from their feet was removed, and these two procedures enhanced their speed.