משנה שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר שׁוּלְחָנוֹת הָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ שְׁמוֹנֶה שֶׁל שַׁיִישׁ בְּבֵית הַמִּטְבְּחַיִם שֶׁעֲלֵיהֶן מְדִיחִין אֶת הַקְּרָבַיִים. Halakha 3 · MISHNA This mishna details the exact location and purpose of the thirteen tables in the Temple. There were thirteen tables in the Temple. Eight of them were made of marble and were located in the slaughtering area, north of the altar, where the priests would slaughter the offerings of the most sacred order. Upon these tables they would wash the innards of the offerings, as the marble was cool and preserved the freshness of the meat.
וּשְׁנַיִם בְּמַעֲרַב הַכֶּבֶשׁ אֶחָד שֶׁל שַׁיִישׁ וְאֶחָד שֶׁל כֶּסֶף עַל שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ נוֹתְנִין אֶת הָאֵיבָרִין וְעַל שֶׁל כֶּסֶף כְּלֵי שָׁרֵת. And there were two more tables on the western side of the ramp, south of the altar, one of marble and one of silver.On the table of marble they would place the limbs before they were sacrificed, and from there the priests would bring them up to the altar. On the table made of silver they would place the ninety-three sacred vessels brought out from the Chamber of Vessels each morning for the services of that day.
וּשְׁנַיִם בָּאוּלָם מִבִּפְנִים עַל פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת אֶחָד שֶׁל שַׁיִישׁ וְאֶחָד שֶׁל זָהָב. עַל שֶׁל שַׁיִישׁ נוֹתְנִים לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים בִּכְנִיסָתוֹ וְעַל שֶׁל זָהָב בִּיצִיאָתוֹ And there were two tables in the Entrance Hall to the Sanctuary, on the inside of the Entrance Hall, near the opening to the Temple, one of marble and one of gold. On the table of marble they would put the shewbread before its entrance to the Sanctuary after it was baked on the eve of Shabbat. And they would place the old shewbread on the table of gold upon its exit from the Sanctuary, to be divided among the priests.
שֶׁמַּעֲלִין בַּקֹּדֶשׁ וְלֹא מוֹרִידִין. The reason the shewbread was placed on a marble table before being brought into the Sanctuary and on a golden one upon when removed from there is that one elevates to a higher level in matters of sanctity and one does not downgrade. Since it had been placed on the golden Shewbread table all week inside the Sanctuary, upon its removal it could not be derogated to a marble table and so was placed on a different golden table in the Entrance Hall.
אֶחָד שֶׁל זָהָב מִבִּפְנִים שֶׁעָלָיו לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים תָּמִיד׃ Finally, there was one table of gold inside the Sanctuary, i.e. the Shewbread table, upon which the shewbread was placed always.
הלכה תַּנֵּי. עַל שֶׁל כֶּסֶף. רִבִּי יוֹסֵי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר רַב יִצְחָק. רִבִּי חֲנַנְיָה מַטֵּי בָהּ מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרִבִּי יוֹחָנָן. לֵית כָּאן שֶׁלְכֶּסֶף מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מַרְתִּיחַ. GEMARA: The mishna stated that the shewbread was placed on a marble table when it was brought into the Sanctuary. The Gemara cites a different opinion: As it was taught in a baraita: When the shewbread was brought into the sanctuary it was placed on a table of silver. In accordance with the opinion stated in the mishna, that the bread was placed on a marble table, Rabbi Yosei said in the name of Rabbi Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak, who said that Rabbi Ḥananya cites this tradition in the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan: There was no table of silver here, as it boils, i.e., it heats articles placed upon it, which could cause the shewbread to grow moldy.
לֹא כֵן תַּנֵּי. זֶה אֶחָד מִן הַנִּיסִּים שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ בְבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהָיוּ מַנִּיחִין אוֹתוֹ חוֹם כָּךְ הָיוּ מוֹצִיאין אוֹתוֹ חוֹם. [שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר] לָשׁוּם֙ לֶ֣חֶם חוֹם כְּיוֹם הִלָּקְחֽוֹ: The Gemara raises a difficulty: Wasn’t it taught in a baraita as follows: This was one of the miracles that were performed in the Temple, that just as they would place the shewbread hot as it came out of the oven, so too they would remove it hot, as it is stated: “To put hot bread in the day when it was taken away” (I Samuel 21:7). When they removed the shewbread after seven days on the golden table, it was as hot as it was when they originally placed it there. Why, then, were they concerned about placing the shewbread on a silver table, if it would remain warm in any event?
רִבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי אָמַר. אֵין מַזְכִּירִין מַעֲשֶׂה נִיסִּים. The Gemara answers that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One does not mention miraculous events. Despite the fact that miracles occur, one should not rely on them, but rather act according to the laws of nature. Therefore the priests did not place the bread on a silver table that could have spoiled the shewbread through natural causes.
בְּעוֹן קוֹמֵי רִבִּי אִילָא. לֹא הָיָה שָׁם לֶחֶם מָהוּ לְהַנִּיחוֹ לַשַּׁבָּת הַבָּאָה. אֲמַר לוֹן. כְּתִיב וְנָֽתַתָּ֧ עַל־הַשֻּׁלְחָ֛ן לֶ֥חֶם פָּנִי֭ם לְפָנַ֥י תָּמִֽיד׃ לֶ֥חֶם פָּנִי֭ם אֲפִילוּ פָסוּל. They raised a dilemma before Rabbi Ila: If one week there was no new bread to replace the old bread on the shewbread table, what is the halakha with regard to leaving the old shewbread until the next Shabbat? On the one hand, as the time has arrived for the bread to be removed and divided among the priests, if it remains after this time it could be considered notar, left over, and disqualified by remaining overnight. On the other hand, as there is no new bread to replace it, perhaps this bread would still be considered the shewbread of the table and would not be disqualified until new bread would be brought. Rabbi Ila said to them that it is written: “And you shall set upon the table shewbread before Me always” (Exodus 25:30). There should always be shewbread on the table, even if it is disqualified.
עֲשָׂרָה שׁוּלְחָנוֹת עָשָׂה שְׁלֹמֹה. וַיַּ֣עַשׂ שֻׁלְחָנוֹת֘ עֲשָׂרָה֒ וַיַּנַּח֙ בַּֽהֵיכָ֔ל חֲמִשָּׁ֥ה מִיָּמִ֖ין וַֽחֲמִשָּׁ֣ה מִשְּׂמֹ֑אול. The Gemara cites a baraita that discusses the shewbread table: Solomon built ten tables for the Temple, modeled after the shewbread table. As it is written: “He made also ten tables, and placed them in the Temple, five on the right side and five on the left” (II Chronicles 4:8).
אִין תֵּימַר. חֲמִשָּׁה בַדָּרוֹם וַחֲמִשָּׁה בַצָּפוֹן. וַהֲלֹא אֵין הַשּׁוּלְחָן כָּשֵׁר אֶלָּא בַצָּפוֹן. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאֶת הַשֻּׁלְחָן תִּתֵּ֖ן עַל־צֶ֥לַע צָפֽוֹן. מַה תַלָמוּד לוֹמַר. חֲמִשָּׁ֥ה מִיָּמִ֖ין וַֽחֲמִשָּׁ֣ה מִשְּׂמֹ֑אול. אֶלָּא חֲמִשָּׁה מִיָּמִין שֻׁלְחֲנוּ שֶׁלְמֹשֶׁה וַֽחֲמִשָּׁה מִשְּׂמאֹלוֹ. The Gemara asks: If you say that right and left refer to the sides of the entrance to the Sanctuary, which means that Solomon set up five tables in the southern side of the Sanctuary to the left of its entrance, and five in the northern side of the Sanctuary to the right, this is difficult. The Gemara explains the difficulty: Isn’t the table fit only if it is in the northern part of the Sanctuary, as it is stated: “And you shall put the table on the north side” (Exodus 26:35)? If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “Five on the right side and five on the left”? Rather, it must mean that the table prepared by Moses was positioned in the proper place in the Sanctuary, and five of the tables made by Solomon were placed to the right of the table of Moses, and five to its left.
אַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא הָיָה מְסַדֵּר אֶלָּא שֶׁלְמֹשֶׁה בִּלְבַד. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֶת הַשֻּׁלְחָ֗ן אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָלָי֛ו לֶ֥חֶם הַפָּנִי֭ם. רִבִּי יוֹסֵי בֵּירִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. עַל כּוּלָּם הָיָה מְסַדֵּר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֶת הַשּׁוּלְחָנוֹת וַֽעֲלֵיהֶם֭ לֶ֥חֶם הַפָּנִֽים. Even so, despite the fact that there were so many tables in the Sanctuary, the priest would arrange the shewbread only on the table of Moses alone, as it is stated: “And Solomon made all the vessels that were in the House of the Lord, the golden altar, and the table whereupon the shewbread was, of gold” (I Kings 7:48). The use of the definite article “the” to describe the table indicates that there was one unique table upon which the shewbread was arranged, the table of Moses. Conversely, Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, says: He would arrange the shewbread on all of the tables, each one in turn, as it is stated: “And the tables upon which was the shewbread” (II Chronicles 4:19). This verse indicates that the shewbread was placed on all the tables.
תַּנֵּי. מִזְרַח וּמַעֲרָב הָיוּ נְתוּנִין. דִּבְרֵי רִבִּי. רִבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֵּירִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר. צָפוֹן וְדָרוֹם הָיוּ נְתוּנִין. The Gemara continues to discuss the shewbread table. It was taught in a baraita: All the tables, both of Moses and Solomon, were positioned from east to west, in the northern part of the Sanctuary, so that their length ran parallel to the length of the Sanctuary. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, says: They were placed from north to south, and their length was to the width of the Sanctuary.
מָאן דְּאָמַר. מִזְרַח וּמַעֲרָב. נִיחָא. כּוּלְּהֹן רְאוּיִין לְשֵׁירוּת. מָאן דְּאָמַר. צָפוֹן וְדָרוֹם. נִמְצָא שׁוּלְחָן בַדָּרוֹם [דף יח.] וּמְנוֹרָה בַצָּפוֹן. וְהָא תַנֵּי. הַשֻּׁלְחָן הָיָה נָתוּן מֵחֲצִי הַבַּיִת וְלִפְנִים מָשׁוּךְ מִן הַכּוֹתֶל כִּשְׁתֵּי אַמּוֹת כְּלַפֵּי הַצָּפוֹן וּמְנוֹרָה כְנֶגְדּוֹ בְדָרוֹם. According to the one who said that the tables were placed from east to west it works out well, as they are all suitable for service. The tables were positioned in a manner that rendered them all fit for service, as the table could be used only in the northern part of the Sanctuary, in accordance with the verse: “And you shall put the table on the north side” (Exodus 26:35). However, according to the one who said that they were placed from north to south, the table, i.e., five of the tables, are found in the southern part of the Sanctuary, [18a] and the candelabrum in the north of the Sanctuary. But wasn’t it taught in a baraita: The shewbread table was situated from the halfway point of the House and inward, in the inner half of the Sanctuary, drawn two and a half cubits away from the wall to the north. The priests who arranged the shewbread on the table would stand in this space. And the candelabrum was situated opposite it, in the south of the Sanctuary, likewise two and a half cubits from the wall.
מִזְבַּח הַזָּהָב הָיָה נָתוּן בְאֶמְצַע הַבַּיִת חוֹלֵק אֶת הַבַּיִת וְלִפְנִים מָשׁוּךְ קִימְעָא כְּלַפֵּי הַצָּפוֹן. וְכוּלְּהֹם הָיוּ נְתוּנִין מִשְּׁלִישׁ הַבַּיִת וְלִפְנִים. The golden altar was situated in the middle of the House, dividing the House from its halfway point and inward, i.e., equidistant from the north and south walls, slightly drawn back from the place of the table and the candelabrum toward the outside. Since the length of the entire area was sixty cubits, twenty for the Holy of Holies, and forty for the Sanctuary, all the vessels were situated from a third of the entire House and inward, i.e., the vessels were all contained in the second third of the entire area.
עֶשֶׂר מְנוֹרוֹת עָשָׂה שְׁלֹמֹה. [שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר] וַ֠יַּעַשׂ אֶת־מְנוֹרוֹת הַזָּהָ֛ב עֶ֖שֶׂר כְּמִשְׁפָּטוֹ. אּין תֵּימַר. חָמֵשׁ בַּצָּפוֹן וְחָמֵשׁ בַּדָּרוֹם. King Solomon constructed ten candelabra, modeled after the one that Moses crafted, as it is stated: “And he made the ten candlesticks of gold according to the ordinance concerning them; and he set them in the Sanctuary, five on the right, and five on the left” (II Chronicles 4:7). Before completing its citation of the baraita, the Gemara asks: If you say that right and left refer to the sides of the entrance to the Sanctuary, which would mean that Solomon set up five candelabra in the north of the Sanctuary, to the left of its entrance, and five in the south of the Sanctuary, to the right of its entrance, this is difficult.
וַהֲלֹא אֵין הַמְּנוֹרָה כְשֵׁירָה אֶלָּא בַדָּרוֹם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאֶת־הַמְּנוֹרָה֙ נֹ֣כַח הַשֻּׁלְחָ֔ן עַ֛ל צֶ֥לַע הַמִּשְׁכָּ֖ן תֵּימָ֑נָה. מַה תַלָמוּד לוֹמַר. חָמֵשׁ מִיָּמִ֖ין וְחָמֵשׁ מִשְּׂמֹ֑אול. אֶלָּא חָמֵשׁ מִיָּמִין מְנוֹרָתוֹ שֶׁלְמֹשֶׁה וְחָמֵשׁ מִשְּׂמאֹלָהּ. The Gemara explains the difficulty: Isn’t the candelabrum fit only if it is in the south of the Sanctuary, as it is stated: “And the candelabrum over against the table on the side of the Tabernacle toward the south” (Exodus 26:35). What, then, is the meaning when the verse states: “Five on the right, and five on the left”? Rather, it must mean that the candelabrum that Moses made was located in the Sanctuary, while five of the candelabra that Solomon crafted were placed to the right of the candelabrum of Moses, and five to its left.
אַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא הָיָה מַבְעִיר אֶלָּא שֶׁלְמֹשֶׁה בִּלְבַד. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וּמְנוֹרַ֨ת הַזָּהָ֤ב וְנֵֽרוֹתֶיהָ לְבָעֵר֙ בָּעֶ֣רֶב בָּעֶ֔רֶב. רִבִּי יוֹסֵה בֵּירִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. עַל כּוּלָּם הָיָה מַבְעִיר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְאֶת־הַמְּנוֹרוֹת וְנֵרוֹתֵיהֶם לְבַֽעֲרָ֧ם כַּמִּשְׁפָּ֛ט לִפְנֵ֥י הַדְּבִ֖יר זָהָ֥ב סָגֽוּר׃ Even so, i.e., despite the fact that there were so many candelabra in the Sanctuary, the priest would kindle only the candelabrum of Moses alone, as it is stated: “And the candelabrum of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening” (II Chronicles 13:11). The singular form indicates that only one candelabrum was lit. Conversely, Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, says: He would kindle all eleven candelabra, one of Moses and ten of Solomon, each one in turn, as it is stated: “And the candelabra with their lamps, that they should burn according to the ordinance before the Sanctuary, of pure gold” (II Chronicles 4:20). The plural “candelabra” indicates that they were all lit.
וְהַפֶּ֧רַח וְהַנֵּ֛רוֹת וְהַמֶּלְקָחַ֖יִם זָהָ֑ב ה֖וּא מִכְל֥וֹת זָהָֽב. הֵן כִּילוּ זְהָבוֹ שֶׁלְשְׁלֹמֹה. The baraita analyzes the subsequent verse: “And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, of gold, and that perfect gold [mikhelot zahav]” (II Chronicles 4:21). This means that the candelabrum completely depleted [killu] the gold of Solomon. As the gold was repeatedly purified until it reached the required level of purity, a large quantity of gold evaporated.
רַב יְהוּדָה בְשֵׁם אַסִּי. הָיָה שְׁלֹמֹה נוֹטֵל אֶלֶף כִּכְּרֵי זָהָב וּמַכְנִיסָן (לָאוֹר) [לַכּוּר] וּמוֹצִיאָן עַד שֶׁהוּא מַעֲמִידָן עַל אֶחָד. לְקַייֵם מַה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּכָּ֛ר זָהָ֥ב טָה֖וֹר עָשָׂ֣ה אֹתָ֑הּ וגו׳. The Gemara cites a related baraita. Rav Yehuda taught in the name of the Sage Asi: Solomon would take a thousand talents of gold and insert them into the crucible and remove them. He repeated this process until the gold was so refined that he established its weight as one talent of gold, to fulfill that which is stated about the original candelabrum in the Tabernacle: “Of a talent of pure gold made he it, etc.” (Exodus 37:24).
תַּנֵּי. אָמַר רִבִּי יוֹסֵי בֵּירִבִּי יְהוּדָה. מַעֲשֶׂה בִמְנוֹרַת זָהָב שֶׁעָשָׂה מֹשֶׁה בַמִּדְבָּר וְהָֽיְתָה יְתֵירָה דֵינָר זָהָב. וְהִכְנִיסוּהָ לַכּוּר שְׁמוֹנִים פַּעַם וְלֹא חָֽסְרָה כְלוּם. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, said: There was an incident involving the candelabrum of gold that Moses made in the desert, which exceeded the weight set by the Torah, one talent, by one dinar of gold. And they inserted it into the crucible eighty times, to further refine it and reduce its weight, but it was not reduced by anything.
וְיֵאוּת. עַד שֶׁלֹּא יְקוּם עַל בְּרָרֵיהּ הוּא חָסֵר סַגִּין. מִן דּוּ קַייָם עַל בְּרָרֵיהּ לֹא חָסֵר כְּלוּם. And this is proper, for as long as it had not achieved its correct state of purity, it would decrease greatly, as its refinement in the crucible removed all the impurities, thereby reducing its weight. However, from when it had achieved its correct state of purity, it was not reduced at all. Unlike the gold of Moses, the gold Solomon used was not originally free of impurity and therefore required refinement.