משנה שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר שׁוֹפָרוֹת שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר שֻׁלְחָנוֹת שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה הִשְׁתַּחֲוָיוֹת הָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. Halakha 1 · MISHNA There were thirteen collection horns, narrow at the top and wide at the bottom, into which were placed the shekels that were collected for the various needs of the Temple. There were also thirteen tables for various purposes, and thirteen prostrations in the Temple.
שֶׁל בֵּית רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל וְשֶׁל בֵּית רַבִּי חֲנַנְיָה סְגַן הַכֹּהֲנִים הָיוּ מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים בְּאַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה. וְהֵיכָן הָֽיְתָה יְתֵרָה כְּנֶגֶד דִּיר הָעֵצִים שֶׁכֵּן מָסוֹרֶת בְּיָדָן מֵאֲבוֹתֵיהֶן שֶׁשָּׁם הָאָרוֹן גָּנוּז׃ The members of the household of Rabban Gamliel and the members of the household of Rabbi Ḥananya, the deputy High Priest, would prostrate themselves in fourteen places. And where was this extra location? It was facing the wood depository, as there was a tradition handed down to them from their fathers that the Ark was sequestered there.
מַעֲשֶׂה בְּכֹהֵן אֶחָד שֶׁהָיָה מִתְעַסֵּק וְרָאָה הָרִיצְפָּה שֶׁהִיא מְשׁוּנָּה מֵחֲבֵרוֹתֶיהָ. בָּא וְאָמַר לַחֲיבֵרוֹ. לֹא הִסְפִּיק לִגְמֹר אֶת הַדָּבָר עַד שֶׁיָּֽצְתָה נִשְׁמָתוֹ, וְיָדְעוּ בְיִיחוּד שֶׁשָּׁם הָאָרוֹן גָּנוּז: The mishna relates that there was an incident involving a certain priest who was going about his duties and saw a certain flagstone that was different from the others. He noticed that one of the stones was slightly raised above the others, indicating that it had been removed and returned to its place. The priest understood that this was the opening to an underground tunnel where the Ark was concealed. He came and said to his fellow that he had noticed this deviation in the floor. He did not manage to conclude relating the incident before his soul left him, i.e., he died. Following this event, they knew with certainty that the Ark was sequestered there and that God had prevented that priest from revealing its location.
הלכה שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר שׁוֹפָרוֹת כול׳. תַּנֵּי. הַשּׁוֹפָרוֹת הַלָּלוּ עֲקוּמוֹת הָיוּ. צָרוֹת מִלְּמַעֲלָן וּרְחָבוֹת מִלְמַטָּן מִפְּנֵי הָרַמָּאִין. GEMARA: It was taught in a baraita: Those collection horns were asymmetrical. They were narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. Why were they shaped like that? It was due to cheaters, to prevent them from inserting their hands on the pretense of adding shekels and removing them instead.
תַּנֵּי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר. הָאָרוֹן גָּלָה עִמָּהֶן לְבָבֶל. מָה טַעַם. לֹֽא־יִווָתֵר דָּבָר֭ אָמַ֥ר יְי. אֵין דָּבָר אֶלָּא שֶׁהַדִּיבְּרוֹת לְתוֹכוֹ. The Gemara cites a baraita that expounds a tannaitic dispute with regard to the sequestering of the Ark, a topic mentioned in the mishna: It was taught in the name of Rabbi Elazar: The Ark was exiled with the Jews to Babylonia. When the Jews were exiled to Babylonia, they took the Ark with them. What is the source for this statement? When Isaiah prophesied about the exile before King Hezekiah, he stated: “Behold, the days come, that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; no item shall be left, said the Lord” (II Kings 20:17). The item [davar] referred to in the verse can only be an item that contains the commandments [dibrot]. That is the Ark, which contains the two tablets upon which the Ten Commandments are carved.
וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר. וְלִתְשׁוּבַ֣ת הַשָּׁנָ֗ה שָׁלַח֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ נְבֽוּכַדְנֶצַּר וַיְבִיאֵהוּ בָבֶ֔לָה עִם־כְּלֵי֖ חֶמְדַּ֣ת בֵּֽית־יְי. אֵי זֶהוּ חֶמְדַּ֣ת בֵּֽית־יְי. זֶה הָאָרוֹן. And, so too, it says: “And at the return of the year, King Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the desired vessels of the House of the Lord, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem” (II Chronicles 36:10). What is referred to by the phrase “the desired vessels of the House of the Lord”? This is the Ark, in which the Tablets of the Law were placed. The Torah is a desirable object for the Jews, as it is stated, “More to be desired are they than gold, indeed, than much fine gold” (Psalms 19:11).
רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ אָמַר. בִּמְקוֹמוֹ הָיָה הָאָרוֹן גָּנוּז. הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב וַֽיַּֽאֲרִיכוּ הַבַּדִּים֒ וַיֵּֽרָאוּ֩ רָאשֵׁ֨י הַבַּדִּ֤ים אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֶל פְּנֵי הַדְּבִ֔יר וְלֹ֥א יֵֽרָא֖וּ הַח֑וּצָה. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish differs and says: The Ark was not sent into exile, but rather was sequestered in its place, i.e., buried in the Holy of Holies. This is as it is written: “And the staves were so long that the ends of the staves were seen from the holy place, even before the Sanctuary; but they could not be seen without; and there they are until this day” (I Kings 8:8). The phrase “until this day” means forever, as “this day” can refer to any point in time. Consequently, this verse indicates that the Ark was sequestered in its place.
כְּתִיב וַיֵּֽרָאוּ֩ וְאַתְּ אָמַר וְלֹ֥א יֵֽרָא֖וּ. אֶלָּא נִרְאִין וְלֹא נִרְאִין. בּוֹלְטִין וְיוֹצְאִין כִּשְׁנֵי דַדֵּי הָאִשָּׁה. Having cited this verse, the Gemara proceeds to further explain it, by pointing out an internal contradiction in the verse. Initially, it is written: “The ends of the staves were seen,” and you say, in the continuation of the verse, “but they could not be seen.” How can that be? Rather, the verse should be understood as follows: The staves could be seen and they could not be seen, as they protruded outward through the curtain like the two breasts of a woman. The staves themselves could not be seen, but their position was discernible from the protrusion of the curtain.
וְרַבָּנִן אָֽמְרִין. בְּלִישְׁכַּת דִּיר הָעֵצִים הָיָה הָאָרוֹן גָּנוּז. מַעֲשֶׂה בְכֹהֵן אֶחָד בַּעַל מוּם שֶׁהָיָה עוֹמֵד וּמַפְצִיעַ עֵצִים בְּלִישְׁכַּת דִּיר הָעֵצִים וְרָאָה אֶת הָרִצְפָּה שֶׁהִיא מְשׁוּנָּה מֵחֲבֵרוֹתֶיהָ. בָּא וְאָמַר לַחֲבֵירוֹ. בּוֹא וּרְאֵה אֶת הָרִצְפָּה הַזֹּאת שֶׁהִיא מְשׁוּנָּה מֵחֲבֵרוֹתֶיהָ. לֹא הִסְפִּיקוּ לִגְמוֹר אֶת הַדָּבָר עַד שֶׁיָּצָאתָה נִשְׁמְתוֹ. וְיָֽדְעוּ בְיִיחוּד שֶׁשָּׁם הָאָרוֹן גָּנוּז. תַּנֵּי רִבִּי הוֹשַׁעְיָה. הִקִּישׁ עָלֶיהָ בְקוּרְנָס וְיָצָאת אֵשׁ וּשְׂרָפָתוֹ. The Gemara returns to the discussion of the location of the Ark during the Second Temple period. And the Rabbis say: The Ark was sequestered in the wood depository chamber. The Gemara relates that there was an incident involving a certain blemished priest who was standing and splitting wood in the wood depository chamber in order to verify that the wood was not infested with worms. And he saw the flagstone that was different from the others. He came and said to his fellow: Come and see that this flagstone differs from the others. He did not manage to conclude relating the incident before his soul left him. And they knew with certainty that the Ark was sequestered there. Rabbi Hoshaya taught a slightly different version of the story in a baraita: He tapped on the stone with a mallet [kurenas] to determine if it was hollow underneath the stone, and fire came out and burned him.
תַּנֵּי. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה בֶּן לָקִישׁ אָמַר. שְׁנֵי אֲרוֹנוֹת הָיוּ מְהַלְּכִין עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמִּדְבָּר. אֶחָד שֶׁהָֽיְתָה הַתּוֹרָה נְתוּנָה בְתוֹכוֹ. וְאֶחָד שֶׁהָיוּ שִׁבְרֵי הַלּוּחוֹת נְתוּנִין בְתוֹכוֹ. זֶה שֶׁהָֽיְתָה הַתּוֹרָה נְתוּנָה בְתוֹכוֹ הָיָה מוּנַח בְּאֹהֵל מוֹעֵד. הָדָא הִיא דִכְתִיב וַֽאֲר֤וֹן בְּרִית־יְי וּמֹשֶׁ֔ה לֹא־מָ֖שׁוּ מִקֶּ֥רֶב הַֽמַּֽחֲנֶֽה: זֶה שֶׁהָיוּ שִׁבְרֵי הַלּוּחוֹת בְתוֹכוֹ הָיָה נִכְנַס וְיוֹצֵא עִמָּהֶן וּפְעָמִים הוּא מַתְרֶה עִמָּהֶן. The Gemara elaborates on the topic of the Ark of the Covenant. It was taught that Rabbi Yehuda ben Lakish said: Two Arks would travel with Israel in the desert: One, in which the Torah, i.e., the second tablets that were given to Moses after he broke the first ones, was placed, and the other, in which the shards of the first tablets were placed. That in which the Torah was kept, was the Ark that was placed in the Tent of Meeting, in the Holy of Holies. This is as it is written: “And the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, and Moses, departed not out of the camp” (Numbers 14:44). The one in which the shards of the tablets were placed would embark and return with them when they went to war. Consequently, there were times that it would be seen among them.
וְרַבָּנִן אָֽמְרֵי. אָרוֹן אֶחָד הָיָה וּפַעַם אַחַת יָצָא בִימֵי עֵלִי וְנִשְׁבָּה. קִרְייָה מְסַייֵעַ לְהוֹן לְרַבָּנִן. א֣וֹי לָ֔נוּ מִ֣י יַצִּילֵ֔נוּ מִיַּד֛ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֥ים הָֽאַדִּירִ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה. מִילָּה דְלָא חֲמוּן מִן יוֹמֵיהוֹן. And the Rabbis say: There was only one Ark, not two, kept in the Holy of Holies. And one time it went out with the nation to battle in the days of Eli and it was captured. The Gemara notes that a verse supports the opinion of the Rabbis: When the Philistines who captured the Ark saw it, they said: “Woe unto us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods?” (I Samuel 4:8). It is clear that they were very frightened, and it would seem that this was due to the fact that the Ark was something that they had never seen in all their days.
קִרְייָה מְסַייֵעַ לְרִבִּי יוּדָה בֶּן לָקִישׁ. וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שָׁאוּל֙ לַֽאֲחִיָּ֔ה הַגִּי֭שָׁה אֲר֣וֹן הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים. וַהֲלֹא אָרוֹן בְּקִרְיַת יְעָרִים הָיָה. There is also a verse that supports the opinion of Rabbi Yuda ben Lakish that there were two Arks, one that they took with them into battle and one that remained in its place. Apropos the battle of King Saul with the Philistines, the verse states: “And Saul said unto Ahijah: Bring here the Ark of God, for the Ark of God was there at that time with the children of Israel” (I Samuel 14:18). This is puzzling. Wasn’t the Ark in Kiryat Ye’arim at the time (see I Samuel 7:1–2)? Therefore, it is clear that there were two Arks, one that resided in Kiryat Ye’arim and a different one that they took with them to battle.
מֶה עָבְדוּן לֵיהּ רַבָּנִן. הַגִּישָׁה אֵלַי הַצִּיץ. קִרְייָה מְסַייֵעַ לְרִבִּי יוּדָה בֶּן לָקִישׁ. הָ֠אָרוֹן וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֨ל וִֽיהוּדָ֜ה יֹֽשְׁבִ֣ים בַּסּוּכּוֹת. What do the Rabbis do with this verse so that it does not contradict their opinion? The Rabbis would interpret the verse as follows: Saul said, “Bring here” the container that contains the eight priestly garments, among them the frontplate. The verse is referring to this container, not the Ark. A different verse supports the opinion of Rabbi Yuda ben Lakish that there were two Arks: When Uriah explains to King David why he will not return to his house while there is a war with the children of Ammon, he says: “The Ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife?” (II Samuel 11:11).
[דף טז.] וַהֲלֹא אָרוֹן בְּצִיּוֹן הָיָה. [16a] But wasn’t the Ark in Zion, i.e., Jerusalem, at the time, and not in a booth at the battlefield? Rather, there must have been two Arks; one remained in Jerusalem and the other went out with the Jews to the battlefield.
מֶה עָבְדוּן לֵיהּ רַבָּנִן. סְכָךְ שֶׁהוּא כְקִירוּי. שֶׁאַדַּיִין לֹא נִבְנֶה בֵית הַבְּחִירָה. What do the Rabbis do with this verse? How would they interpret it according to their opinion that there was only one Ark, and it remained in Jerusalem? The word for booth, sukka, is related to the word sekhakh, which is temporary roofing for a structure. The verse, in mentioning that the Ark was in a booth, is not implying that it was with the army at the battlefield, but merely that the Ark was in a temporary structure, as the Temple had not yet been built.
מִשֶּׁנִּגְנַז הָאָרוֹן נִגְנַז עִמּוֹ צִנְצֶנֶּת הַמָּן וּצְלוֹחִית שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה וּמַקְלוֹ שֶׁלְאַהֲרוֹן וּפְרָחָיו וּשְׁקֵידָיו וְאַרְגָּז שֶׁהֵשִׁיבוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אָשָׁם לֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. § As the mishna mentions the subject of concealing the Ark, the Gemara cites a further baraita on this topic: When the Ark was sequestered, sequestered along with it was the canister of manna that Moses placed before God to be kept throughout the generations (see Exodus 16:32–34); the flask of the anointing oil; Aaron’s staff with its blossoms and berries, which were placed before the Ark (see Numbers 17:23); and the box that the Philistines returned together with the Ark that was captured during the war, which they filled with golden vessels as a guilt-offering to the God of Israel, as the verse says: “And put the jewels of gold, which you return Him for a guilt-offering, in a coffer by the side thereof” (I Samuel 6:8).
מִי גְנָזוֹ. יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ גְנָזוֹ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה שֶׁכָּתוּב יוֹלֵ֨ךְ יְי אֹֽתְךָ֗ וְאֶֽת־מַלְכְּךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תָּקִ֣ים עָלֶ֔יךָ אֶל־גּ֕וֹי אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־יָדַ֖עְתָּ אַתָּ֣ה וַֽאֲבֹתֶ֑יךָ. עָמַד וּגְנָזוֹ. Who sequestered the Ark? Josiah, king of Judah, sequestered it. Since he saw that it is written, “The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you shall set over you, to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers” (Deuteronomy 28:36), he arose and sequestered it, so that it would not be sent into exile with the Jews.
הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לַֽ֠לְוִיִּם הַמְּבִינִ֨ים לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל הַקְּדוֹשִׁ֣ים לַֽיי תְּנ֤וּ אֶת אֲרֽוֹן הַקּוֹדֶשׁ֙ בַּ֠בַּיִת אֲשֶׁ֨ר בָּנָ֜ה שְׁלֹמֹ֤ה בֶן־דָּוִד מֶ֣לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵֽין־לָכֶ֥ם מַשָּׂ֖א בַּכָּתֵ֑ף. אָמַר לָהֶן. אִם גּוֹלֶה הוּא עִמָּכֶם לְבָבֶל עוֹד אֵין אַתֶּם מַחֲזִירִין אוֹתוֹ לִמְקוֹמוֹ. אֶלָּא עַתָּ֗ה עִבְדוּ֙ אֶת־יְי אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם וְאֵ֖ת עַמּ֥וֹ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ This is as it is written: “And he said unto the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy unto the Lord: Put the Holy Ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden upon your shoulders; now serve the Lord your God, and His people Israel” (II Chronicles 35:3). The Gemara explains: Josiah said to the Levites: If the Ark is exiled with you to Babylonia, there is a real concern that you will never return it to its place. Rather, I am concealing it so you will no longer need to carry it. “Now serve the Lord your God, and His people Israel” (II Chronicles 35:3) in the other tasks that are incumbent upon you.
פִּיטּוּם שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה וְאַתָּ֣ה קַח־לְךָ֘ בְּשָׂמִ֣ים רֹאשׁ֒ וגו׳ וְקִדָּ֕ה חֲמֵ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת וגו׳. שֶׁהֵן אֶלֶף וַחֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת מָנִים. שֶׁמֶן זַיִ֖ת הִֽין. שֶׁהֵן שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר לוֹג שֶׁבּוֹ שׁוֹלְקִין אֶת הָעִיקָּרִין. דִּבְרֵי רִבִּי מֵאִיר. § Apropos the anointing oil mentioned among the items sequestered with the Ark, the Gemara elaborates: The types and quantities of spices that were used in the blending of the anointing oil are detailed in the verses: “Take you also unto yourself the chief spices, of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty, and of cassia [kidda] five hundred, after the shekel of the Sanctuary” (Exodus 30:23–24). All together, they total 1,500 maneh. The Gemara explains in a baraita how this was done: “And of olive oil a hin” (Exodus 30:24), this hin equals twelve log of oil in which they would cook the roots of the plants mentioned in the verse above, so that the oil would absorb their fragrance; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir.
רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. שׁוֹלְקָן הָיָה בַמַּיִם וְנוֹתֵן שֶׁמֶן עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן. מִשֶּׁהָיָה קוֹלֵט אֶת הָרֵיחַ הָיָה מַעֲבִירוֹ כַּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהַפַּטָּמִין עוֹשִׂין. הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב שֶׁ֠מֶן מִשְׁחַת־קֹ֨דֶשׁ וגו׳. Rabbi Yehuda says: That is not how it was prepared. Rather, the priest who prepared the oil would cook the roots in water, such that the fragrant essence would rise to the top, and he would then place oil on top of the water. When it had completely absorbed the fragrance, he would remove the oil from the water, in the manner that the perfumers prepare fragrant oils. The accepted way of extracting fragrances was to boil the plants in water and then place the oil on top to absorb the fragrance essences. This is as it is written: “And you shall make it a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil” (Exodus 30:25). “After the art of the perfumer” indicates that it should be prepared in the manner of those who make such perfumes.
תַּנֵּי רִבִּי יוּדָה בֵּירִבִּי אִילָעִי. שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה שֶׁעָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה בַמִּדְבָּר מַעֲשֵׂה נִיסִּים נַעֲשׂוּ בוֹ מִתְּחִילָּה וְעַד סוֹף. שֶׁמִּתְּחִילָּה לֹא הָיָה בוֹ אֶלָּא שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר לוֹג. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שֶׁמֶן זַיִ֖ת הִֽין: אִם לָסוּךְ בּוֹ אֶת (הֶעֵצִים) [הָעִיקָּרִים] לֹא הָיָה בוֹ סָפַק. עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה שֶׁהָאוֹר בּוֹלֵעַ וְהָעֵצִים בּוֹלְעִין וְהַיּוֹרָה בוֹלַעַת. מִמֶּנּוּ נִמשְׁחוּ הַמִּשְׁכָּן וְכָל־כֵּלָיו. הַשּׁוּלְחָן וְכָל־כֵּלָיו. הַמְּנוֹרָה וְכָל־כֵּלֶיהָ. וּמִמֶּנּוּ נִמשְׁחוּ אַהֲרֹן כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל וּבָנָיו כָּל־שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הַמִּילּוּאִים. מִמֶּנּוּ נִמְשְׁחוּ כֹּהֲנִים גְּדוֹלִים וּמְלָכִים. Continuing on the subject of the anointing oil, Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Elai, taught: The anointing oil that Moses prepared in the desert was a miraculous feat from beginning to end. At the outset, there were only twelve log of oil, as it is stated: “And of olive oil a hin,” and a hin is twelve log. If there initially wasn’t even enough oil to pour over the roots, all the more so after the fire absorbs some oil, as it reduces the amount of oil through cooking, and the wood, i.e., the roots from which the fragrant essence was extracted, absorbs some oil, and the pot in which the roots were cooked absorbs some oil as well. Yet from this small amount were anointed the Tabernacle and all its vessels, the table and all its vessels, and the candelabrum and all its vessels. And from that oil Aaron the High Priest and his sons were anointed during all the seven days of consecration, and from that oil the High Priests and kings throughout all the generations were anointed.
מֶלֶךְ בַּתְּחִילָּה טָעוּן מְשִׁיחָה. מֶלֶךְ בֶּן מֶלֶךְ אֵין טָעוּן מְשִׁיחָה. [מַאי טַעֲמָא. ק֥וּם מָשְׁחֵהוּ כִּֽי־זֶ֥ה הֽוּא. זֶה טָעוּן מְשִׁיחָה וְאֵין בְּנוֹ טָעוּן מְשִׁיחָה.] The baraita goes on to discuss those who were anointed with the anointing oil. A king at the outset, i.e., when his appointment as king begins a dynasty, requires anointing with the anointing oil. A king who is the son of a king, who stands to reign in his father’s place, does not require anointing. What is the source for this ruling? God instructed Samuel with regard to David: “Arise, anoint him; for this is he” (I Samuel 16:12). Only “this” one, i.e., David, requires anointing, as his monarchy begins a dynasty, but his son does not require anointing.
אֲבָל כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל בֶּן כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל אֲפִילוּ עַד עֲשָׂרָה דוֹרוֹת טָעוּן מְשִׁיחָה. וְכולּוֹ קַייָם לְעָתִיד לָבוֹא. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שֶׁ֠מֶן מִשְׁחַת־קוֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶ֥ה זֶ֛ה לִי֖ לְדוֹרוֹתֵיכֶם: In contrast to the anointing of kings, with regard to a High Priest, son of a High Priest, even up to ten generations or more of High Priests of fathers and sons, each one requires anointing, as the position of High Priest is not passed as an inheritance from father to son like the monarchy. Rabbi Yehuda concludes his statement about the miraculous nature of the anointing oil, adding that despite the reduction in the amount of oil during its preparation process, as well as its multiple uses throughout history, it all will remain intact in the future that will surely come. This is as it is written: “This [zeh] shall be a holy anointing oil unto Me throughout your generations” (Exodus 30:31). The word zeh has a numerical value of twelve, which teaches that the original twelve log of oil that existed at the outset will remain throughout all the generations.
אֵין מוֹשְׁחִין מְלָכִים אֶלָּא עַל גַּבֵּי הַמַּעַייָן. הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב וְהִרְכַּבְתֶּם֙ אֶת־שְׁלֹמֹ֣ה בְנִ֔י עַל־הַפִּרְדָּ֖ה אֲשֶֽׁר־לִ֑י וְהֽוֹרַדְתֶּ֥ם אֹת֖וֹ אֶל־גִּחֽוֹן׃ וּמָשַׁ֣ח אֹת֣וֹ שָׁ֠ם צָד֨וֹק הַכֹּהֵ֜ן וְנָתָ֧ן הַנָּבִ֛יא לְמֶ֖לֶךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל. § The Gemara continues the discussion of anointing kings, citing an additional baraita on the subject. One may anoint kings only next to a spring. It is a fortuitous sign that their monarchy should continue uninterrupted just as the waters of the spring flow uninterrupted throughout the year, as it is stated with regard to the coronation of Solomon in the days of King David: “And the king said unto them: Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon my own mule, and bring him down to Giḥon. And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel” (I Kings 1:33–34). From this verse, the Sages learned that all kings should be anointed near a spring, just as David instructed that the anointing of Solomon take place near the Giḥon spring.
אֵין מוֹשְׁחִין (מְלָכִים) [מֶלֶךְ בֶּן מֶלֶךְ] אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי הַמַּחֲלוֹקֶת. מִפְּנֵי מַה נִמְשַׁח שְׁלֹמֹה. מִפְּנֵי מַחֲלוֹקָתוֹ שֶׁלָּאֲדוֹנִיָּהוּ. יוֹאָשׁ מִפְּנֵי עֲתַלְיָה. וְיֵהוּא מִפְּנֵי יוֹרָם. Another baraita states: One only anoints a king, son of a king, due to a dispute over the monarchy. For example, why was Solomon anointed, despite the fact that he was the son of a king? It was because of the dispute over the throne instigated by his older brother Adonijah, who attempted to usurp the monarchy. Similarly, Joash, son of Ahaziah, was anointed as king (see II Kings 11:12) due to the threat of Athaliah, his paternal grandmother, who attempted to seize the monarchy for herself (II Kings 11:1–3). Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, was anointed (II Kings 23:30) due to the competition from Jehoiakim, his brother, who was older than him by two years. Ordinarily, the older brother should have succeeded their father, but Jehoahaz was more worthy of the throne. Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, was anointed due to Joram, son of Ahab, who was the incumbent king, and Jehu rebelled against his rule (see II Kings 9:6).
לֹא כֵן כָּתוּב ק֥וּם מְשָׁחֵ֖הוּ כִּֽי־זֶ֥ה הֽוּא. זֶה טָעוּן מְשִׁיחָה וְאֵין מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל טְעוּנִין מְשִׁיחָה. אֶלָּא יְהוֹאָחָז מִפְּנֵי יְהוּיָקִים אָחִיו שֶׁהָיָה גָדוֹל מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים. וְלֹא יִאשִׁיָּהוּ גְּנָזוֹ. הָדָא אָֽמְרָה. בְּאַפֵּירְסָמוֹן מְשָׁחוֹ. The Gemara presents a difficulty concerning the latter example cited previously: Why was Jehu anointed as king? Isn’t it written with regard to the anointing of David: “Arise, anoint him; for this is he” (I Samuel 16:12)? This king, i.e., any king from the house of David, requires anointing, but the kings from the kingdom of Israel, who were not descendants of the house of David, do not require anointing. Jehu, a king of Israel, should not have required anointing. The Gemara presents a counter-question: According to that line of reasoning, there is a further difficulty in the baraita. How can one explain that Jehoahaz was anointed due to the competition from Jehoiakim his brother, who was older than him by two years? Didn’t Josiah, their father, sequester the anointing oil as was explained previously? How then was there oil available to anoint Jehoahaz, his son? Rather, when the baraita says that Jehoahaz was anointed, that is to say that he was anointed with balsam oil and not with the anointing oil. Similarly, one can say that Jehu was also anointed with balsam oil and not with the anointing oil.
אֵין מוֹשְׁחִין מְלָכִים אֶלָּא מִן הַקֶּרֶן. שָׁאוּל וְיֵהוּא נִמְשְׁחוּ מִן הַפָּךְ. שֶׁהָֽיְתָה מַלְכוּתָן מַלְכוּת עוֹבֶרֶת. דָּוִד וּשְׁלֹמֹה נִמְשְׁחוּ מִן הַקֶּרֶן. שֶׁהָֽיְתָה מַלְכוּתָן מַלְכוּת קַייֶמֶת. It was further taught that one may anoint kings only with anointing oil that is poured from a horn, and not any other vessel. Saul and Jehu were anointed from oil poured from an earthenware cruse, and their monarchy was a temporary monarchy. David and Solomon were anointed with oil poured from a horn, and their monarchy was a monarchy that was established for many generations.
אֵין מוֹשְׁחִין כֹּהֲנִים מְלָכִים. אָמַר רִבִּי יוּדָן עַנְתּוֹנְדְרַייָא. עַל שֵׁם לֹֽא־יָס֥וּר שֵׁ֨בֶט֙ מִֽיהוּדָ֔ה. אָמַר רִבִּי חִייָה בַּר אָדָא. לְמַ֩עַן֩ יַֽאֲרִ֨יךְ יָמִ֧ים עַל־מַמְלַכְתּ֛וֹ ה֥וּא וּבָנָי֖ו בְּקֶ֥רֶב יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ מַה כְתִיב בַּתְרֵיהּ. לֹא־יִֽ֠הְיֶ֠ה לַכֹּֽהֲנִ֙ים הַֽלְוִיִּ֜ם. One may not anoint priests to serve as kings ab initio. Rabbi Yuda Antondraya said that this rule is on account of the verse that states: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah” (Genesis 49:10), i.e., the scepter of monarchy will forever belong to the tribe of Judah and not to any other tribe. Therefore, the priests who are from the tribe of Levi may not be appointed as kings. Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Adda said that this rule is derived from a different verse, as it is written: “To the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:20). What is written in the subsequent verse? “The priests the Levites, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with Israel” (Deuteronomy 18:1). This implies that the priests will have no part in that which is referred to previously, i.e., the monarchy.
אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן. הוּא יוֹחָנָן הוּא יְהוֹאָחָז. וְהָֽכְתִיב הַבְּכוֹר֙ יֽוֹחָנָ֔ן. בְּכוֹר לַמַּלְכוּת. אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן. הוּא שַׁלּוּם הוּא צִדְקִיָּהוּ. וְהָֽכְתִיב הַשְּׁלִישִׁי צִדְקִיָּ֔הוּ וְהָֽרְבִיעִי שַׁלּֽוּם: שְׁלִישִׁי לְתוֹלְדוֹת וּרְבִיעִי לַמַּלְכוּת. It was taught previously that Jehoahaz was anointed king, despite the fact that his brother Jehoiakim was older. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The one who is called Johanan in the verse, “And the sons of Josiah: The firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum” (I Chronicles 3:15), he is the same as the one called Jehoahaz. But isn’t it written in that verse “the firstborn Johanan,” and it was just stated that Jehoiakim was two years older than Jehoahaz? The Gemara explains that in calling Jehoahaz firstborn, the verse means that he was the first to rise to the monarchy. Rabbi Yoḥanan continued and said: He who is called Shallum is the same as he who is called Zedekiah. The Gemara challenges this statement: But isn’t it written: “The third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum,” indicating that these are two different people? The Gemara explains the verse is as follows: He was the third in birth position, but he was fourth to achieve kingship, as his two brothers, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, as well as his nephew, Jehoiachin, all ruled before him.
צִדְקִיָּ֔הוּ שֶׁצִּידֵּק עָלָיו מִידַּת הַדִּין. שַׁלּֽוּם שֶׁבְּיָמָיו שָֽׁלְמָה מַלְכוּת בֵּית דָּוִד. לָא שַׁלּוּם הֲוָה שְׁמֵיהּ וְלָא צִדְקִיָּה הֲוָה שְׁמֵיהּ אֶלָּא מַתַּנְיָה. הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב וַיַּמְלֵ֧ךְ מֶֽלֶךְ־בָּבֶ֛ל אֶת־מַתַּנְיָ֥ה דוֹדוֹ תַּחְתָּ֑יו וַיַּסֵּ֥ב אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ צִדְקִיָּֽהוּ. The Gemara cites an additional baraita that discusses these names: He was called Zedekiah because he accepted [tzideik] upon himself the attribute of judgment when the king of Babylonia had Zedekiah’s sons slaughtered in front of him and then proceeded to have his eyes gouged out. Zedekiah justified the punishment that God had inflicted upon him. He was called Shallum because in his days the kingdom of the house of David was completed [shalma], as he was the last king in King David’s dynasty. Reish Lakish said: His name was not Shallum and his name was not Zedekiah; rather, his name was Mattaniah. This is as it is written: “And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, his father’s brother, king in his stead and changed his name to Zedekiah” (II Kings 24:17). This verse indicates that the king of Babylonia changed his name to Zedekiah, but it was not his original name.
אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹחָנָן. בָּאַמָּה שֶׁל שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים הָיָה הָאָרוֹן עָשׂוּי. מְָאן תַּנָּא. בָּאַמָּה שֶׁל שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים. רִבִּי מֵאִיר [הִיא. דִּתְנָן. רִבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר. כָּל־הָאַמּוֹת הוּא כְבִינְייָנוֹת. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. אַמַּת הַבִּנְייָן שִׁשָּׁה. שֶׁל כֵּלִים חֲמִשָּׁה:] § The Gemara turns to a discussion of the measurements of the Ark. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The Ark was constructed with a cubit of six handbreadths. The unit of measurement used in the Torah to describe the Ark, the cubit, equaled six handbreadths. Who is the tanna that holds that the Ark was constructed using cubits of six handbreadths? It is Rabbi Meir, as we learned in a mishna: Rabbi Meir says: All the cubits that are mentioned in the Torah were medium-sized cubits six handbreadths in length. Rabbi Yehuda says that cubits used for measuring the building, such as the walls or the gates, were of six handbreadths. However, cubits used for measuring the vessels, such as the Ark, were of five handbreadths.
עַל דַּעְתֵּיהּ דְּרִבִּי מֵאִיר דּוּ אָמַר. בָּאַמָּה שֶׁל שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים הָיָה הָאָרוֹן עָשׂוּי. אוֹרְכּוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן חַמִּישָּׁה עָשָׂר טֶפַח. דִּכְתִיב אַמָּתַ֨יִם וָחֵ֜צִי אָרְכּ֗וֹ. אַמְתָּא אֲשִׁיתָא וְאַמְתָּא אֲשִׁיתָא וּפַלְגּוּת אַמְתָּא תְּלָתָא. According to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who said that the Ark was constructed using a cubit of six handbreadths, the length of the Ark was fifteen handbreadths, as it is written: “Two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof” (Exodus 25:10). A cubit is six handbreadths, and another cubit is six handbreadths, and a half-cubit is three handbreadths. This totals fifteen handbreadths.
וְאַרְבָּעָה לוֹחוּת הָיוּ בָהּ. שְׁנַיִם שְׁלֵמִים וּשְׁנַיִם שְׁבוּרִים. דִּכְתִיב אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁבַּ֑רְתָּ וְשַׂמְתָּם֭ בָּֽאָרֽוֹן: הַלּוּחוֹת הָיוּ כָּל־אֶחָד וְאֶחָד אָרְכּוֹ שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים וְרָחְבּוֹ (שְׁלֹשָׁה) [שִׁשָּׁה.] וְתֵן אוֹרְכָן שֶׁל לוּחוֹת (לְרוֹחְבוֹ) [לְאָרְכּוֹ] שֶׁלְאָרוֹן נִשְׁתַּייֵר שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים. And four tablets were placed in the Ark, two tablets were whole and two tablets were broken, as it is written: “And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you did break, and you shall put them in the Ark” (Deuteronomy 10:2). The juxtaposition of these phrases teaches that the broken tablets were also placed in the Ark. The length of each one of the tablets was six handbreadths, and its width was six handbreadths. Lay the length of the tablets across the length of the Ark, and three handbreadths remain there. The length of the Ark was fifteen handbreadths, and the length of the two tablets together was twelve handbreadths; there were three remaining handbreadths available at the end of the Ark.
[דף טז:] (תְּנֵם לְאִיסְטְּווָה) [תֵּן מֵהֶם חֲצִי טֶפַח לְכָל־כּוֹתֶל נִשְׁתַּייֵר שְׁנֵי טְפָחִים לְסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה.] [16b] Give, i.e., subtract, from those remaining three handbreadths a half-handbreadth for the width of each wall of the Ark. There remain two handbreadths in which to place the Torah scroll that Moses wrote (see Bava Batra 14a).
רָחְבּוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן תִשְׁעָה טְפָחִים. דִּכְתִיב אַמָּה וָחֵ֨צִי֙ רָחְבּ֔וֹ. אַמְתָּא אֲשִׁיתָא וּפַלְגּוּת אַמְתָּא תְּלָתָא. וְאַרְבָּעָה לוֹחוּת הָיוּ בָהּ. שְׁנַיִם שְׁלֵימִים וּשְׁנַיִם שְׁבוּרִים. דִּכְתִיב אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁבַּרְ֑תָּ וְשַׂמְתָּם֭ בָּֽאָרֽוֹן׃ The width of the Ark was nine handbreadths, as it is written: “And a cubit and a half the breadth thereof” (Exodus 25:10). A cubit is six handbreadths, and a half-cubit is three handbreadths. Therefore, the total width of the Ark is nine handbreadths. And four tablets were placed in the Ark, two tablets were whole and two tablets were broken. What is the source for the fact that the broken tablets were placed in the Ark? As it is written: “And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you did break, and you shall put them in the Ark” (Deuteronomy 10:2).
הַלּוּחוֹת הָיוּ כָּל־אַחַת וְאַחַת אָרְכָּן שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים וְרָחְבָּן (שְׁלֹשָׁה) [שִׁשָּׁה.] תֵּן אוֹרְכָן שֶׁלְלוּחוֹת לְרוֹחְבוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן נִשְׁתַּייֵר שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים חֲצִי טֶפַח מִיכָּן וַחֲצִי טֶפַח מִיכָּן לְשִׁילּוּט. וּמְקוֹם שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין בּוֹ סֵפֶֶר תוֹרָה טְפָחַיִים. The length of each one of the tablets was six handbreadths and their width was six handbreadths. If one lays the width of the tablets across the width of the Ark, three handbreadths remains there: A half-handbreadth from here, on one side, for the thickness of this wall, and a half-handbreadth from here, on the other side, for the thickness of that wall, and two handbreadths for handling [shilut] in the place where the Torah scroll was placed. It was necessary to leave this space around the Torah scroll in order to allow the insertion and removal of the Torah scroll with ease. This is the opinion of Rabbi Meir that is adopted by Rabbi Yoḥanan.
רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ אָמַר. בָּאַמָּה שֶׁלְחֲמִשָּׁה טְפָחִים הָיָה הָאָרוֹן עָשׂוּי. מָאן תַּנָּא. בָּאַמָּה שֶׁל חֲמִשְּׁה טְפָחִים. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה. דְּתַנִּינָן תַּמָּן. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. אַמַּת הַבִּנְייָן שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים וְשֶׁלְכֵּלִים חֲמִשָּׁה: וְהָהֵן אָרוֹן כֶּלִי הוּא. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish disagrees with Rabbi Yoḥanan’s opinion. He said: The Ark was constructed using a cubit of five handbreadths. Who is the tanna that holds that the Ark was constructed using a cubit of five handbreadths? It is Rabbi Yehuda. As we learned in a mishna there (Kelim 17:10): Rabbi Yehuda says: The cubit used as the unit of measurement for the construction of the walls and the gates was of six handbreadths; the cubit for the vessels was of five handbreadths. And this Ark is a vessel. Therefore, it was constructed with a cubit of five handbreadths.
עַל דַּעְתֵּיהּ דְּרִבִּי יוּדָה דּוּ אָמַר. בָּאַמָּה שֶׁלְחֲמִשָּׁה טְפָחִים הָיָה אָרְכּוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן עָשׂוּי. שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר טֶפַח וּמֶחֱצָה. דִּכְתִיב אַמָּתַ֨יִם וָחֵ֜צִי אָרְכּ֗וֹ. אַמְתָּא חֲמִשָּׁה וְאַמְתָּא חֲמִשָּׁה וּפַלְגּוּת אַמְתָּא תְּרֵיי וּפְלִיג. According to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who said that unit of measurement for the Ark was a cubit of five handbreadths, it was constructed to a length of twelve and a half handbreadths, as it is written: “Two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof” (Exodus 25:10). A cubit is five handbreadths, and another cubit is five handbreadths, and a half-cubit is two and a half handbreadths, which totals twelve and a half handbreadths.
וְאַרְבָּעָה לוֹחוּת הָיוּ בוֹ. שְׁנַיִם שְׁלֵימִים וּשְׁנַיִם שְׁבוּרִים. דִּכְתִיב אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁבַּרְ֑תָּ וְשַׂמְתָּם֭ בָּֽאָרֽוֹן׃ וְהַלּוּחוֹת הָיוּ כָּל־אֶחָד וְאֶחָד אָרְכָּן שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים וְרָחְבָּן שְׁלֹשָׁה. תֵּן רָחְבָּן שֶׁלְלוּחוֹת לְאוֹרְכּוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן וְנִשְׁתַּייֵר שָׁם חֲצִי טֶפַח. אֶצְבַּע לִכְתָלִים מִיכָּן וְאֶצְבַּע לִכְתָלִים מִיכָּן. And four tablets were placed in the Ark, two tablets were whole and two tablets were broken, as it is written: “And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you did break, and you shall put them in the Ark” (Deuteronomy 10:2). Each one of the tablets’ length was six handbreadths, and its width was six handbreadths. If one lays the length of the tablets across the length of the Ark, a half-handbreadth remains there. This leaves a fingerbreadth, equal to a quarter of a handbreadth, for the wall from here, on one side, and a fingerbreadth for the wall from there, on the other side. According to this opinion, the Torah scroll was not placed in the Ark.
רָחְבּוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן שִׁבְעָה טְפָחִים וּמֶחֱצָה. דִּכְתִיב אַמָּה וָחֵ֨צִי֙ רָחְבּ֔וֹ. אַמְתָּא חֲמִשָּׁה וּפַלְגּוּת אַמְתָּא תְּרֵיי וּפְלִיג. וְאַרְבָּעָה לוֹחוּת הָיוּ בוֹ. שְׁנַיִם שְׁלֵימִים וּשְׁנַיִם שְׁבוּרִים. דִּכְתִיב אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁבַּרְ֑תָּ וְשִׂמְתָּם֭ בָּֽאָרֽוֹן: The width of the Ark was seven and a half handbreadths, as it is written: “And a cubit and a half the breadth thereof” (Exodus 25:10). A cubit is five handbreadths, and a half-cubit is two and a half handbreadths, which totals seven and a half handbreadths. And four tablets were placed in the Ark, two tablets were whole and two tablets were broken, as it is written: “And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you did break, and you shall put them in the Ark” (Deuteronomy 10:2).
הַלּוּחוֹת הָיוּ כָּל־אֶחָד וְאֶחָד אָרְכָּן שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים וְרָחְבָּן שְׁלֹשָׁה. תֵּן אָרְכָן שֶׁלְלוּחוֹת לְרָחְבּוֹ שֶׁלְאָרוֹן נִשְׁתַּייֵר שָׁם טֶפַח וּמֶחֱצָה. אֶצְבַּע לִכְתָלִים מִיכָּן וְאֶצְבַּע לִכְתָלִים מִיכָּן. חֲצִי טֶפַח מִיכָּן וַחֲצִי טֶפַח מִיכָּן לְשִׁילּוּט. The length of each one of the tablets was six handbreadths, and their width was six handbreadths. If one lays the width of the tablets across the width of the Ark, one and a half handbreadths remains there: A fingerbreadth for the wall from here, on one side, and a fingerbreadth for the wall from there, on the other side, as well as a half-handbreadth from here, on one side, and a half-handbreadth from here, on the other side, for handling the tablets.
כֵּיצַד עָשָׂה בְצַלְאֵל אֶת הָאָרוֹן. רִבִּי חֲנִינָה אָמַר. שָׁלֹשׁ תֵּיבוֹת עֲשָׂאוֹ שְׁתַּיִם שֶׁלְזָהָב וְאַחַת שֶׁלְעֵץ. נָתַן (שֶׁלְעֵץ בְּשֶׁלְזָהָב וְ)שֶׁלְזָהָר בְּשֶׁלְעֵץ [וְשֶׁל עֵץ בְּשֶׁלְזָהָב]. וְצִיפָּהוּ. דִּכְתִיב וְצִפִּיתָ֤ אוֹתוֹ זָהָ֣ב טָה֔וֹר מִבַּ֥יִת וּמִח֖וּץ. מַה תַלְמוּד לוֹמַר תְּצַפֶּ֑נּוּ. לְהָבִיא שְׂפָתוֹ הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. The Gemara continues its discussion of the Ark. How did Bezalel construct the Ark? Rabbi Ḥanina said: He constructed it of three boxes, each one larger than the previous one (see Yoma 72b). Two of them were made of gold and one was made of wood. He placed the smallest box, which was made of gold, in the box of wood, and he placed the box of wood in the box of gold, the largest box. And he then overlaid the lip of the box of wood with gold as well, as it is written: “And you shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without shall you overlay it” (Exodus 25:11). The verse already stated: “You shall overlay it.” What is the added meaning when the verse states: “Shall you overlay it?” The added words convey that the upper lip of the wooden box was also covered in gold.
רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ אָמַר. תֵּיבָה אַחַת עֲשָׂאוֹ וְצִיפָּהוּ. דִּכְתִיב וְצִפִּיתָ֤ אוֹתוֹ זָהָ֣ב טָה֔וֹר מִבַּ֥יִת וּמִח֖וּץ. מַה תַלְמוּד לוֹמַר תְּצַפֶּ֑נּוּ. אָמַר רִבִּי פִינְחָס לְהָבִיא בֵין נֶסֶר לְנֶסֶר. Alternatively, Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: He constructed one box and overlaid it on all sides with gold, as it is written: “And you shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without shall you overlay it” (Exodus 25:11). According to this explanation, what is the added meaning when the verse states: “Shall you overlay it”? Rabbi Pineḥas said: The added words convey that the area between each board needed to be covered in gold as well, to insure that no part of the Ark lacked a gold covering.
כֵּיצד הָיוּ הַלּוּחוֹת כְּתוּבִים. רִבִּי חֲנַנְיָה בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר. חֲמִשָּׁה עַל לוּחַ זֶה וַחֲמִשָּׁה עַל לוּחַ זֶה. הָדָא הוּא דִּכְתִיב וַֽיִּכְתְּבֵ֔ם עַל־שְׁנֵי֖ לוּחוֹת אֲבָנִֽים: חֲמִשָּׁה עַל לוּחַ זֶה וַחֲמִשָּׁה עַל לוּחַ זֶה. וְרַבָּנִן אָֽמְרִין. עֲשָׂרָה עַל לוּחַ זֶה וַעֲשָׂרָה עַל לוּחַ זֶה. הָדָא הוּא דִּכְתִיב וַיַּגֵּ֨ד לָכֶ֜ם אֶת־בְּרִית֗וֹ אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֤ה אֶתְכֶם֙ לַעֲשׂ֔וֹת עֲשֶׂרֶ֭ת הַדְּבָרִ֑ים. עֲשָׂרָה עַל לוּחַ זֶה וַעֲשָׂרָה עַל לוּחַ זֶה. רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַי אָמַר. עֶשְׂרִים עַל לוּחַ זֶה וְעֶשְׂרִים עַל לוּחַ זֶה. דִּכְתִיב וַֽיִּכְתְּבֵ֔ם עַל־שְׁנֵי֖ לוּחוֹת אֲבָנִֽים: עֶשְׂרִים עַל לוּחַ זֶה וְעֶשְׂרִים עַל לוּחַ זֶה. רִבִּי סִימַאי אָמַר. אַרְבָּעִים עַל לוּחַ זֶה ןְאַרְבָּעִים עַל לוּחַ זֶה. מִזֶּ֥ה וּמִזֶּ֖ה הֵ֥ם כְּתוּבִים. טֶטְרַגוֹנָה. The Gemara continues with discussion of the two tablets. How were the tablets written? Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel says: Five on this tablet and five on that tablet. This is as it is written: “And He wrote them upon two tablets of stone” (Deuteronomy 4:13), i.e., five of the Ten Commandments on this tablet and five on that tablet. But the Rabbis say: All of the Ten Commandments were written on this tablet and the same ten were written on that tablet. This is as it is written: “And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten words” (Deuteronomy 4:13). This teaches that there were ten on this tablet and ten on that tablet. Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai says: Twenty on this tablet and twenty on that tablet, as it is written: “And He wrote them upon two tablets of stone” (Deuteronomy 4:13). This teaches that there were twenty on this tablet and twenty on that tablet. Rabbi Simai said: Forty on this tablet and forty on that tablet, as it is written: “On the one side and on the other were they written” (Exodus 32:15), as a cube [tatroga].
חֲנַנְיָה בֶּן אֲחִי רִבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אוֹמֵר. בֵּין כָל־דִּיבּוּר וְדִיבּוּר דִּיקְדּוּקֶיהָ וְאוֹתוֹתֶיהָ שֶׁלְתּוֹרָה. מְמוּלָּאִים בַּתַּרְשִׁ֑ישׁ. כְּיַמָּא רַבָּא. Ḥananya, nephew of Rabbi Yehoshua, says: Between each and every statement that was written on the tablets, its precise details and the explanation of its letters were written as well, as it is written: “Filled with beryl [tarshish]” (Song of Songs 5:14). Tarshish is the name of a sea, or more likely, an area of the Mediterranean. The verse is indicating that the Torah is filled with all of these details, like the great sea is filled with waves.
רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ כַּד הֲוֵי מַטֵּי הָדֵין קִרְייָא הֲוָה אֲמַר. יָפֶה לִימְּדֵנִי חֲנַנְיָה בֶּן אֲחִי רִבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ. מַה הַיָּם הַזֶּה בֵּין גַּל גָּדוֹל לְגַל [גָּדוֹל] גַּלִּים קְטַנִּים כָּךְ בֵּין כָּל־דִּיבֵּר וְדִיבֵּר דִּיקְדּוּקֶיהָ וְאוֹתוֹתֶיהָ שֶׁלְתּוֹרָה. When Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish would reach this verse, “Filled with beryl,” he would say: The parable that Ḥananya, nephew of Rabbi Yehoshua, taught me is appropriate. Just as between one large wave and another large wave there are smaller waves in this sea, so too, the precise details and the explanations of the letters of the Torah were written between each and every commandment.
אָמַר רִבִּי תַנְחוּמָא. אִיתְקַשְׁייָת קוֹמֵי רִבִּי פִינְחָס. אַתְיָא כְרִבִּי יוּדָה וְלָא אַתְיָא כְרִבִּי מֵאִיר. מַה טַעֲמֵיהּ דְּרִבִּי יוּדָה. לָקוֹחַ אֵ֣ת סֵ֤פֶר הַתּוֹרָה֙ הַזֹּאת וְשַׂמְתֶּ֣ם אוֹתוֹ מִצַּ֛ד אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִית־יְי וגו׳. עַל דַּעְתֵּיהּ דְּרִבִּי יוּדָה דוּ אָמַר. אֵיכָן הָיָה סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה נָתוּן. כְּמִין גְּלוֹסֳּקוֹס עָשָׂה לוֹ מִבַּחוּץ וְהָיָה סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה נָתוּן לְתוֹכוֹ. Due to the differing opinions with regard to the length of the cubit, there are differing opinions with regard to the size of the Ark. It follows that, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, the Torah scroll was placed in the Ark, while according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, it was not placed there. Rabbi Tanḥuma said: I raised the following difficulty in the presence of Rabbi Pineḥas. The next verse conforms to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda and does not conform to the opinion of Rabbi Meir. What is the source for the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda? As it is written: “Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 31:26). This verse indicates that the Torah scroll was placed next to the Ark and not inside it. This is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who said: Where was the Torah scroll placed? A box-like container [gluskiyya] was made for it on the outside, and the Torah scroll was placed inside it.
מַה טַעֲמֵיהּ דְּרִבִּי מֵאִיר. וְנָֽתַתָּה אֶת־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת עַל־הָֽאָרוֹן מִלְמָ֑עְלָה וגו׳. What is the source for the opinion of Rabbi Meir that the Torah scroll was placed inside the Ark? It is as it is written, “And you shall put the Ark cover upon the Ark from above; and in the Ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you” (Exodus 25:21). This verse indicates that first the Ark cover was placed on the Ark, and only subsequently was the testimony, i.e., the tablets, placed inside. Since a previous verse (Exodus 25:16) already commands to put the tablets in the Ark, this second instruction to place the testimony must be referring to the Torah scroll rather than the tablets. This reading is supported by the fact that the instruction to place the testimony follows the instruction to place the Ark cover. The Ark cover must have been put in place first, as the complete Torah scroll did not exist until the end of the fortieth year in the desert, long after the assembly of the Tabernacle and the Ark.
עַל דַּעְתֵּיהּ דְּרִבִּי מֵאִיר דוּ אָמַר. אֵין מוּקְדָּם וּמְאוּחַר בַּתּוֹרָה. אֶלָּא וְאֶל־הָֽאָרוֹן תִּתֵּן אֵ֚ת הָֽעֵדוּת אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֶתֵּ֖ן אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ וְאַחַר כָּךְ וְנָֽתַתָּה אֶת־הַכַּפֹּ֛רֶת עַל־הָֽאָרוֹן מִלְמָ֑עְלָה. According to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who stated that there is no absolute chronological order in the Torah, the verse can be understand that testimony always refers to the tablets. Therefore, the verse may be understood that first it states: “And in the Ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you,” and only afterward it states: “And you shall put the Ark cover upon the Ark from above.”
רִבִּי פִינְחָס בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ. הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוךְ הוּא לְמֹשֶׁה נְתָנָהּ לוֹ אֵשׁ לְבָנָה חָרוּתָה בְאֵשׁ שְׁחוֹרָה. הִיא אֵשׁ מוּבְלֶלֶת בְאֵשׁ חֲצוּבָה מֵאֵשׁ וּנְתוּנָה בָאֵשׁ. הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב מִֽימִינ֕וֹ אֵ֥שְׁ דָּ֖ת לָֽמוֹ Apropos the discussion of the tablets and the Torah, the Gemara cites a further statement on the subject. Rabbi Pineḥas said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish: The Torah that the Holy One, Blessed be He, gave to Moses on Mount Sinai was given to him as white fire engraved with black fire. It, the Torah itself, is fire mixed with fire, carved from beneath the throne of glory, which is fire, and given from the One who is fire, as it is written: “At His right hand was a fiery law unto them” (Deuteronomy 33:2).