אִיחַנַּנָא לֵיהּ כְּפָא לְקוֹמְתֵיהּ מִינֵּיהּ אִיתְּבַר בֵּיהּ גַּרְמָא אֲמַר הַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב וְלָשׁוֹן רַכָּה תִּשְׁבׇּר גָּרֶם and she begged him not to knock down the house. He bent his body away from her, to the other side, and broke one of his bones. He said: This is as it is written: “Soft speech can break a bone” (Proverbs 25:15).
חֲזָא סַמְיָא דַּהֲוָה קָא טָעֵי בְּאוֹרְחָא אַסְּקֵיהּ לְאוֹרְחֵיהּ חֲזָא רַוְיָא דַּהֲוָה קָא טָעֵי בְּאוֹרְחָא אַסְּקֵיהּ לְאוֹרְחֵיהּ חֲזָא חֶדְוְותָא דַּהֲווֹ קָמְחַדִּי לַהּ בְּכָה שַׁמְעֵיהּ לְהָהוּא גַּבְרָא דַּהֲוָה קָאָמַר לְאוּשְׁכָּפָא עָבֵיד לִי מְסָאנֵי לְשַׁב שְׁנֵי אַחֵיךְ חֲזָא הָהוּא קַסָּמָא דַּהֲוָה קָסֵים אַחֵיךְ Ashmedai saw a blind man who was lost on the road and he brought him to the correct road. He saw a drunk who was lost on the road and he brought him to the correct road. He saw the joy of a wedding celebration in which they were celebrating, and he cried. He heard a certain man say to a shoemaker [ushkafa]: Make me shoes that will last for seven years, and he laughed. He saw a certain sorcerer performing magic, and he laughed.
כִּי מְטָא לְהָתָם לָא עַיְּילוּהּ לְגַבֵּיהּ דִּשְׁלֹמֹה עַד תְּלָתָא יוֹמֵי יוֹמָא קַמָּא אֲמַר לְהוּ אַמַּאי לָא קָא בָעֵי לִי מַלְכָּא לְגַבֵּיהּ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ אַנְסֵיהּ מִישְׁתְּיָא שְׁקַל לְבֵינְתָּא אוֹתֵיב אַחֲבִרְתַּהּ אֲתוֹ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ לִשְׁלֹמֹה אָמַר לְהוּ הָכִי אָמַר לְכוּ הֲדוּר אַשְׁקְיוּהּ When Ashmedai arrived there, in Jerusalem, they did not bring him before Solomon until three days had passed. On the first day he said to them: Why doesn’t the king want me to come to him? They said to him: He drank too much and was overcome by drink. Ashmedai took a brick and placed it on top of another brick. The servants came and told Solomon what he had done. Solomon interpreted the action and said to them: This is what he said to you through this allusion: Return and give the king more to drink.
לִמְחַר אֲמַר לְהוּ וְאַמַּאי לָא קָא בָּעֵי לִי מַלְכָּא לְגַבֵּיהּ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ אַנְסֵיהּ מֵיכְלָא שְׁקַל לְבֵינְתָּא מֵחֲבִרְתַּהּ אוֹתְבַהּ אַאַרְעָא אֲתוֹ אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ לִשְׁלֹמֹה אֲמַר לְהוּ הָכִי אָמַר לְכוּ נְגִידוּ מִינֵּיהּ מֵיכְלֵיהּ The following day Ashmedai said to them: And why doesn’t the king want me to come to him? They said to him: He ate too much and was overcome by food. Ashmedai took the brick off the other brick and placed it on the ground. The servants came and told Solomon what Ashmedai had done. He interpreted Ashmedai’s actions and said to them: This is what he said to you through this allusion: Take his food away from him.
לְסוֹף תְּלָתָא יוֹמֵי עֲיַיל לְקַמֵּיהּ שְׁקַל קַנְיָא וּמְשַׁח אַרְבְּעָה גַּרְמִידֵי וּשְׁדָא קַמֵּיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ מִכְּדִי כִּי מָיֵית הָהוּא גַּבְרָא לֵית לֵיהּ בְּהָדֵין עָלְמָא אֶלָּא אַרְבָּעָה גַּרְמִידֵי הַשְׁתָּא כְּבַשְׁתֵּיהּ לְכוּלֵּי עָלְמָא וְלָא שְׂבַעְתְּ עַד דִּכְבַשְׁתְּ נָמֵי לְדִידִי At the end of three days Ashmedai came before Solomon. Ashmedai took a reed and measured four cubits [garmidei], and threw it before him. He said to Solomon: See, when that man, Solomon, dies, he will have nothing in this world except the four cubits of his grave. Now you have conquered the entire world and yet you are not satisfied until you also conquer me?
אֲמַר לֵיהּ לָא קָא בָעֵינָא מִינָּךְ מִידֵּי בָּעֵינָא דְּאֶיבְנְיֵיהּ לְבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְקָא מִיבְּעֵי לִי שָׁמִירָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ לְדִידִי לָא מְסִיר לִי לְשָׂרָא דְיַמָּא מָסֵיר לֵיהּ וְלָא יָהֵיב לֵיהּ אֶלָּא לְתַרְנְגוֹלָא בָּרָא דִּמְהֵימַן לֵיהּ אַשְּׁבוּעֲתֵיהּ Solomon said to him: I need nothing from you. I want to build the Temple and I need the shamir for this. Ashmedai said to him: The shamir was not given to me, but it was given to the angelic minister of the sea. And he gives it only to the wild rooster, also known as the dukhifat or the hoopoe, whom he trusts by the force of his oath to return it.
וּמַאי עָבֵד בֵּיהּ מַמְטֵי לֵיהּ לְטוּרֵי דְּלֵית בְּהוּ יִשּׁוּב וּמַנַּח לֵהּ אַשִּׁינָּא דְטוּרָא וּפָקַע טוּרָא וּמְנַקֵּיט מַיְיתִי בִּיזְרָנֵי מֵאִילָנֵי וְשָׁדֵי הָתָם וְהָוֵי יִשּׁוּב וְהַיְינוּ דִּמְתַרְגְּמִינַן נַגָּר טוּרָא And what does the wild rooster do with it? He brings it to mountains that are not fit for habitation, and he places the shamir on the craggy rock and the mountain splits. And he takes and brings seeds of trees, throws them there, and it becomes fit for habitation. And this is why we interpret the word dukhifat as a cutter of mountains [naggar tura], i.e., the Aramaic translation of the word dukhifat in the Bible is naggar tura, cutter of mountains.
בְּדַקוּ קִינָּא דְּתַרְנְגוֹלָא בָּרָא דְּאִית לֵיהּ בְּנֵי וְחַפְּיוּהּ לְקִינֵּיהּ זוּגִּיתָא חִיוָּרְתִּי כִּי אֲתָא בָּעֵי לְמֵיעַל וְלָא מָצֵי אֲזַל אַיְיתִי שָׁמִירָא וְאוֹתְבֵיהּ עִלָּוֵיהּ רְמָא בֵּיהּ קָלָא שַׁדְיֵיהּ שַׁקְלֵיהּ אֲזַל חֲנַק נַפְשֵׁיהּ אַשְּׁבוּעֲתֵיהּ They investigated and found the nest of a wild rooster in which there were chicks, and he covered its nest with translucent glass. When the rooster came it wanted to enter the nest but was unable to do so. It went and brought the shamir and placed it on top to crack the glass. Solomon’s servant threw a clump of dirt at the rooster and the rooster knocked over the shamir. The man took it and the wild rooster went and strangled itself over the fact that it had not kept its oath, by not returning the shamir.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ בְּנָיָהוּ מַאי טַעְמָא כִּי חֲזִיתֵיהּ לְהָהוּא סַמְיָא דַּהֲוָה קָא טָעֵי בְּאוֹרְחָא אַסֵּיקְתֵּיהּ לְאוֹרְחֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַכְרְזִי עֲלֵיהּ בִּרְקִיעָא דְּצַדִּיק גָּמוּר הוּא וּמַאן דַּעֲבַד לֵיהּ נִיחָא נַפְשֵׁיהּ זָכֵי לְעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי Later, Benayahu said to Ashmedai: What is the reason that when you saw that blind man who was lost on the road you brought him to the correct road? Ashmedai said to him: They proclaim about him in heaven that he is a completely righteous man, and anyone who does good for his soul shall merit to enter the World-to-Come.
וּמַאי טַעְמָא כִּי חֲזֵיתֵיהּ לְהָהוּא רַוְיָא דְּקָטָעֵי בְּאוֹרְחָא אַסֵּיקְתֵּיהּ לְאוֹרְחֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַכְרְזִי עֲלֵיהּ בִּרְקִיעָא דְּרָשָׁע גָּמוּר הוּא וְעָבְדִי לֵיהּ נִיחָא נַפְשֵׁיהּ כִּי הֵיכִי דְּלֵיכְלֵיהּ לְעָלְמָא Then Benayahu asked: And what is the reason that when you saw the drunk man who was lost on the road you brought him to the correct road? Ashmedai said to him: They proclaim about him in heaven that he is a completely wicked man. And I did good for his soul so that he will consume his reward in this world and not have any reward in the World-to-Come.
מַאי טַעְמָא כִּי חֲזֵיתֵיהּ לְהָהוּא חֶדְוְותָא בְּכֵית אֲמַר לֵיהּ בָּעֵי מֵימָת גַּבְרָא בְּגוֹ תְּלָתִין יוֹמִין וּבָעֲיָא מִינְטָר לְיָבָם קָטָן תְּלֵיסְרֵי שְׁנִין Benayahu continued and asked him: What is the reason that when you saw that joy of the wedding you cried? Ashmedai said to him: I knew that this man will die within thirty days. And his wife is required to wait for the yavam, the husband’s brother, who is a minor, to reach the age of thirteen years, the age of majority, so that he can release her through ḥalitza, the ritual through which the yavam frees the yevama of her levirate bonds.
מַאי טַעְמָא כִּי שְׁמַעְתֵּיהּ לְהָהוּא גַּבְרָא דַּאֲמַר לֵיהּ לְאוּשְׁכָּפָא עֲבֵיד לִי מְסָאנֵי לְשַׁב שְׁנִין אַחֵיכְתְּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָהוּא שִׁבְעָה יוֹמֵי לֵית לֵיהּ מְסָאנֵי לְשַׁב שְׁנִין בָּעֵי In addition, he asked: What is the reason that when you heard that man say to a shoemaker: Make me shoes that will last for seven years, you laughed? Ashmedai said to him: That man does not have seven days to live; does he need shoes that will last for seven years?
מַאי טַעְמָא כִּי חֲזֵיתֵיהּ לְהָהוּא קַסָּמָא דַּהֲוָה קָסֵים אַחֵיכְתְּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ דַּהֲוָה יְתֵיב אַבֵּי גַזָּא דְּמַלְכָּא לִקְסוֹם מַאי דְּאִיכָּא תּוּתֵיהּ Benayahu then asked: What is the reason that when you saw that sorcerer performing magic you laughed? Ashmedai said to him: Because he was sitting on the king’s treasury [bei gaza]. Let him use his magic to know what there is buried underneath him.
תַּרְחֵיהּ גַּבֵּיהּ עַד דְּבַנְיֵיהּ לְבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ יוֹמָא חַד הֲוָה קָאֵי לְחוֹדֵיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ כְּתִיב כְּתוֹעֲפוֹת רְאֵם לוֹ וְאָמְרִינַן כְּתוֹעֲפוֹת אֵלּוּ מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת רְאֵם אֵלּוּ הַשֵּׁדִים מַאי רְבוּתַיְיכוּ מִינַּן Solomon kept Ashmedai with him until he completed building the Temple. One day he stood with Ashmedai alone. He said to Ashmedai: It is written: “For him like the lofty horns of the wild ox” (Numbers 24:8), and the Sages say in explanation of the verse: “Like the lofty horns”; these are the ministering angels. “The wild ox”; these are the demons. In what way are you greater than us? Why does the verse praise your abilities and powers over those of human beings?
אֲמַר לֵיהּ שְׁקוֹל שׁוּשִׁילְתָּא מִינַּאי וְהַב לִי עִיזְקְתָךְ וְאַחְוִי לָךְ רְבוּתַאי שַׁקְלֵיהּ לְשׁוּשִׁילְתָּא מִינֵּיהּ וְיָהֵיב לֵיהּ עִיזְקְתֵיהּ בַּלְעֵיהּ אוֹתְבֵיהּ לְחַד גַּפֵּיהּ בִּרְקִיעָא וּלְחַד גַּפֵּיהּ בְּאַרְעָא פַּתְקֵיהּ אַרְבַּע מְאָה פַּרְסֵי עַל הַהִיא שַׁעְתָּא אֲמַר שְׁלֹמֹה מַה יִּתְרוֹן לָאָדָם בְּכׇל עֲמָלוֹ שֶׁיַּעֲמֹל תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ Ashmedai said to him: Take the chain engraved with God’s name off me and give me your ring with God’s name engraved on it, and I will show you my strength. Solomon took the chain off him and he gave him his ring. Ashmedai swallowed the ring and grew until he placed one wing in the heaven and one wing on the earth. He threw Solomon a distance of four hundred parasangs. With regard to that moment Solomon said: “What profit is there for a person through all of his toil under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3). With Solomon deposed from the throne, Ashmedai took his place.
וְזֶה הָיָה חֶלְקִי מִכׇּל עֲמָלִי מַאי וְזֶה רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל חַד אָמַר מַקְלוֹ וְחַד אָמַר גּוּנְדּוֹ הָיָה מְחַזֵּר עַל הַפְּתָחִים כֹּל הֵיכָא דִּמְטָא אָמַר אֲנִי קֹהֶלֶת הָיִיתִי מֶלֶךְ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּירוּשָׁלִָים כִּי מְטָא גַּבֵּי סַנְהֶדְרִין אֲמַרוּ רַבָּנַן מִכְּדִי שׁוֹטֶה בַּחֲדָא מִילְּתָא לָא סְרִיךְ מַאי הַאי With regard to the verse: “And this was my portion from all of my toil” (Ecclesiastes 2:10), the Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the expression: “And this”? This expression is always an allusion to an item that is actually in his hand or can be shown. Rav and Shmuel disagree with regard to the meaning of this phrase. One said: This is referring to Solomon’s staff that remained in his hand. And one said: This is referring to his cloak. Solomon circulated from door to door collecting charity, and wherever he arrived he would say: “I, Ecclesiastes, was king over Israel in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 1:12). When he finally arrived at the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem the sages said: Now, an imbecile does not fixate on one matter all of the time, so what is this matter? Is this man perhaps telling the truth that he is Solomon?
אֲמַרוּ לֵיהּ לִבְנָיָהוּ קָא בָעֵי לָךְ מַלְכָּא לְגַבֵּיהּ אֲמַר לְהוּ לָא שְׁלַחוּ לְהוּ לְמַלְכְּווֹתָא קָאָתֵי מַלְכָּא לְגַבַּיְיכוּ שְׁלַחוּ לְהוּ אִין קָאָתֵי שְׁלַחוּ לְהוּ בִּידְקוּ בְּכַרְעֵיהּ שְׁלַחוּ לְהוּ בְּמוּקֵי קָאָתֵי The sages said to Benayahu: Does the king require you to be with him? Benayahu said to them: No. They sent to the queens and asked: Does the king come to be with you? The queens sent a response to them: Yes, he comes. They sent a request to the queens: Check his feet to see if they are human feet. The queens sent a response to the sages: He always comes in socks [bemokei], and it is not possible to see his feet.
וְקָא תָבַע לְהוּ בְּנִידּוּתַיְיהוּ וְקָא תָבַע לַהּ נָמֵי לְבַת שֶׁבַע אִימֵּיהּ אַתְיוּהּ לִשְׁלֹמֹה וְהַבוּ לֵיהּ עִזְקְתָא וְשׁוּשִׁילְתָּא דַּחֲקִוק עָלֶיהָ שֵׁם כִּי עָיֵיל חַזְיֵיהּ פְּרַח The queens continued discussing the king’s behavior: And he demands of them, i.e., the queens, to engage in sexual inter-course when they are menstruating. And he also demands that Bathsheba his mother engage in sexual intercourse with him. Once the Sanhedrin heard this they understood that this was an imposter and not actually Solomon. They brought Solomon, gave him a ring and the chain on which the name of God was carved. When Solomon entered, Ashmedai saw him and fled.
וַאֲפִילּוּ הָכִי הֲוָה לֵיהּ בִּיעֲתוּתָא מִינֵּיהּ וְהַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב הִנֵּה מִטָּתוֹ שֶׁלִּשְׁלֹמֹה שִׁשִּׁים גִּבּוֹרִים סָבִיב לָהּ מִגִּבּוֹרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כּוּלָּם אֲחוּזֵי חֶרֶב מְלוּמְּדֵי מִלְחָמָה אִישׁ חַרְבּוֹ עַל יְרֵיכוֹ מִפַּחַד בַּלֵּילוֹת The Gemara adds: And even so, although Ashmedai fled, Solomon was fearful of him, and this is as it is written: “Behold the bed of Solomon surrounded by sixty strong men from the warriors of Israel. All of them holding swords and trained in war, each man with his sword on his thigh from fear in the nights” (Song of Songs 3:7–8).
רַב וּשְׁמוּאֵל חַד אָמַר מֶלֶךְ וְהֶדְיוֹט וְחַד אָמַר מֶלֶךְ וְהֶדְיוֹט וּמֶלֶךְ Rav and Shmuel disagreed with regard to this story of Solomon. One said: He was a king and afterward he became a commoner, and never returned to his position as king. And one said: He was a king, and became a commoner, and a king, as ultimately he returned to his throne and defeated Ashmedai.
לִדְמָא דְּרֵישָׁא לַיְתֵי שׁוּרְבִּינָא וּבִינָא וְאָסָא דָּרָא וְזֵיתָא וְחִילְפָא וְחִילְפֵי דְיַמָּא וְיַבְלָא וְלִישְׁלוֹקִינְהוּ בַּהֲדֵי הֲדָדֵי וְלִנְטוֹל תְּלָת מְאָה כָּסֵי אַהַאי גִּיסָא דְרֵישָׁא וּתְלָת מְאָה כָּסֵי אַהַאי גִּיסָא דְרֵישָׁא § The Gemara returns to the discussion concerning the different remedies with which the chapter began: As a remedy for a headache caused by excessive blood in the head, let him bring cypress [shurvina], willow, fresh myrtle [asa dara], olive, poplar, sea willow, and cynodon grass and boil them together. And he should pour three hundred cups of this liquid on one side of his head and three hundred cups on this, the other side of his head.
וְאִי לָא לַיְתֵי וַרְדָּא חִיוָּרָא דְּקָאֵי בְּחַד דָּרָא וְלִישְׁלְקֵיהּ וְלִינְטוֹל שִׁיתִּין כָּסֵי אַהַאי גִּיסָא דְרֵישָׁא וְשִׁיתִּין כָּסֵי אַהַאי גִּיסָא דְרֵישָׁא And if it is not effective or he is unable to obtain all of these ingredients then let him bring a white rose [varda] that stands in one row, meaning that it was growing alone, and he should boil it. And he should pour sixty cups on this side of his head and sixty cups on this side of his head.
לִצְלִיחְתָּא לַיְתֵי תַּרְנְגוֹלָא בָּרָא וְלִישְׁחֲטֵיהּ בְּזוּזָא חִיוָּרָא אַהָהוּא גִּיסָא דְּכָיֵיב לֵיהּ וְנִזְדְּהַר מִדְּמֵיהּ דְּלָא לְסַמִּינְהוּ לְעֵינֵיהּ וְלִיתְלְיֵיהּ בְּסֵיפָא דְבָבָא דְּכִי עָיֵיל חָיֵיף בֵּיהּ וְכִי נָפֵיק חָיֵיף בֵּיהּ As a remedy for a migraine, let him bring a wild rooster and slaughter it using a silver dinar, so that the blood flows over the side of his head that hurts him. And he should be careful of its blood so as not to blind his eye. And he should hang it on the doorpost of his house, so that when he enters he rubs against it and when he exits he rubs against it.