Sanhedrin 21a:3סנהדרין כ״א א:ג
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21aכ״א א

(דברי הימים א כט, כב) וימשחו לה' לנגיד ולצדוק מקיש נגיד לצדוק מה צדוק מחצה לו ומחצה לאחיו אף נגיד מחצה לו ומחצה לאחיו

“And they made Solomon, son of David, king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be leader, and Tzadok to be priest” (I Chronicles 29:22). This verse compares a leader, referring to King Solomon, to Tzadok, the High Priest: Just as for Tzadok, half of the shewbread given to the priests is for him, the High Priest, and half is for all his brothers, the other priests, so too for the leader, half is for him and half is for his brothers, the rest of the army.

וצדוק גופיה מנלן דתניא רבי אומר (ויקרא כד, ט) והיתה לאהרן ולבניו מחצה לאהרן ומחצה לבניו:

The Gemara asks: And with regard to Tzadok himself, from where do we derive that the High Priest takes half? The Gemara responds: As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The Torah states with regard to the apportionment of the shewbread: “And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place” (Leviticus 24:9), from which it is inferred: Half for Aaron and half for his sons.

מתני׳ (דברים יז, יז) לא ירבה לו נשים אלא שמנה עשרה רבי יהודה אומר מרבה הוא לו ובלבד שלא יהו מסירות את לבו ר' שמעון אומר אפילו אחת ומסירה את לבו הרי זה לא ישאנה אם כן למה נאמר לא ירבה לו נשים דאפילו כאביגיל:

mishna The king “shall not add many wives for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only eighteen. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may add many wives for himself, provided that they are not like those who turn his heart away from reverence for God. Rabbi Shimon says: Even if he wants to marry only one wife, if she turns his heart away, he should not marry her. If so, why is it stated: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? This teaches that even if his wives are like Abigail, who was righteous and prevented David from sin (see I Samuel, chapter 25), it is prohibited for him to have many wives.

גמ׳ למימרא דר' יהודה דריש טעמא דקרא ור"ש לא דריש טעמא דקרא והא איפכא שמעינן להו

gemara The Gemara asks: Is this to say that Rabbi Yehuda interprets the rationale behind the mitzva in the verse and draws halakhic conclusions based on that interpretation, and Rabbi Shimon does not interpret the rationale in the verse? But didn’t we hear them hold the opposite opinions with regard to interpreting the rationale behind a mitzva in a verse?

דתניא אלמנה בין שהיא ענייה בין שהיא עשירה אין ממשכנין אותה שנאמר (דברים כד, יז) לא תחבול בגד אלמנה דברי רבי יהודה רבי שמעון אומר עשירה ממשכנין אותה ענייה אין ממשכנין אותה ואתה חייב להחזיר לה ואתה משיאה שם רע בשכנותיה

As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Bava Metzia 10:3): In the case of a widow, whether she is poor or whether she is wealthy, one may not take collateral from her for a loan, as it is stated: “You may not take the garment of a widow for a pledge” (Deuteronomy 24:17); this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Shimon says: In the case of a wealthy widow, one may take collateral from her. But in the case of a poor widow, one may not take collateral from her, because you are obligated to return it to her, and you will give her a bad name among her neighbors.

ואמרינן מאי קאמר הכי קאמר מתוך שאתה ממשכנה אתה חייב להחזיר לה ואתה משיאה שם רע בשכנותיה אלמא ר' יהודה לא דריש טעמא דקרא ורבי שמעון דריש טעמא דקרא

And we say about this dispute: What is Rabbi Shimon saying? This is what he is saying: Because you take collateral from her, you are required to return it to her, as the verse states: “And if he is a poor person, you shall not sleep with his pledge; you shall restore the pledge to him when the sun goes down” (Deuteronomy 24:12–13), and you thereby give her a bad name among her neighbors, who will suspect licentious behavior when they see a man come to her house every morning and evening. Evidently, according to this dispute Rabbi Yehuda does not interpret the rationale in the verse and Rabbi Shimon does interpret the rationale in the verse.

בעלמא רבי יהודה לא דריש טעמא דקרא ושאני הכא דמפרש טעמא דקרא מה טעם לא ירבה לו נשים משום (דברים יז, יז) דלא יסור לבבו

The Gemara explains: Generally, Rabbi Yehuda does not interpret the rationale in the verse, but it is different here, as the verse itself explains the rationale in the verse: What is the reason that “he shall not add many wives for himself”? He should not add many wives because of what is articulated in the continuation of the verse: “His heart should not turn.”

ור' שמעון אמר לך מכדי בעלמא דרשינן טעמא דקרא א"כ לכתוב קרא לא ירבה לו נשים ולישתוק ואנא אמינא מה טעם לא ירבה משום דלא יסור לא יסור למה לי אפילו אחת ומסירה את לבו הרי זו לא ישאנה אלא מה אני מקיים לא ירבה דאפילו כאביגיל

And Rabbi Shimon could have said to you: Since generally we interpret the rationale in the verse, then if it is so that the prohibition against marrying many wives applies only to wives that are likely to lead his heart astray, the verse should write only: “He shall not add many wives for himself” and then be silent. In that case, I would say, on my own, what is the reason that he shall not add many wives? It is so that his heart should not turn away. Accordingly, why do I need the additional phrase “his heart should not turn away”? It serves to teach another halakha, that even if he wants to marry only one wife, if she turns his heart away, he should not marry her. But then how do I realize the meaning of the verse: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? It means that he should not have many wives even if they are like Abigail.

הני שמונה עשרה מנלן דכתיב (שמואל ב ג, ב) ויולדו לדוד בנים בחברון ויהי בכורו אמנון לאחינועם היזרעאלית ומשנהו כלאב לאביגיל אשת נבל הכרמלי והשלישי אבשלום בן מעכה והרביעי אדוניה בן חגית והחמישי שפטיה בן אביטל והששי יתרעם לעגלה אשת דוד אלה ילדו לדוד בחברון

§ As for those eighteen women that the king may marry, from where do we derive that number? The Gemara responds: As it is written: “And to David sons were born in Hebron; and his firstborn was Amnon, from Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; and his second, Chileab, from Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom, son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah, son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah, son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron” (II Samuel 3:2–5). In these verses, a total of six wives are mentioned.

וקאמר ליה נביא (שמואל ב יב, ח) אם מעט ואוסיפה לך כהנה וכהנה כהנה שית וכהנה שית דהוו להו תמני סרי

And the prophet Nathan said to King David in his rebuke: “And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that were too little, then I would add to you like these and like those” (II Samuel 12:8). “Like these”; this is referring to the wives enumerated above, meaning another six. “And like those”; this is referring to another six, so that all together there are eighteen he would be permitted to marry.

מתקיף לה רבינא אימא כהנה תרתי סרי וכהנה עשרין וארבע

Ravina objects to this explanation: Say instead: “Like these”; this is referring to an additional six, like the wives enumerated above, totaling twelve. “And like those”; this is referring to all of those enumerated previously, totaling twenty-four.

תניא נמי הכי לא ירבה לו נשים יותר מעשרים וארבע למאן דדריש וי"ו ארבעים ושמנה הוו תניא נמי הכי לא ירבה לו נשים יותר מארבעים ושמנה

The Gemara adds: Support for Ravina’s interpretation is also taught in a baraita: “He shall not add many wives to himself”; this means he may not marry more than twenty-four women. The Gemara comments: According to the one who interprets the letter vav, translated as the conjunction “and” in the term “and like those,” to add and expand upon what came before, the vav is written in order to add more, and therefore, there are forty-eight women. The Gemara comments: Support for this interpretation is also taught in a baraita: “He shall not add many wives to himself”; this means he may not marry more than forty-eight women.

ותנא דידן מאי טעמיה אמר רב כהנא מקיש כהנה בתרא לכהנה קמא מה כהנה קמא שית אף כהנה בתרא שית

The Gemara asks: And as for the tanna of our mishna, what is his reason for limiting the number to eighteen? Rav Kahana says: The verse compares the latter term: “Like those [kahenna],” to the former term: “Like these [kahenna],” teaching that just as the former term: “Like these,” means six, so too, the latter term: “Like those,” means six and no more.

והא הואי מיכל אמר רב עגלה זו מיכל ולמה נקרא שמה עגלה שחביבה עליו כעגלה וכן הוא אומר (שופטים יד, יח) לולי חרשתם בעגלתי וגו'

The Gemara challenges the notion that David had only six wives. But there was also Michal, and so he had at least seven wives. Rav said: One of those six wives, Eglah, is Michal, and why was she called Eglah in the verse? It was because she was dear to him like a calf [egla], and so the verse states that Samson referred to his wife with the same term: “If you had not plowed with my calf you would not have found my secret” (Judges 14:18).

ומי הוו למיכל בני והכתיב (שמואל ב ו, כג) ולמיכל בת שאול לא היה לה ולד עד יום מותה אמר רב חסדא עד יום מותה לא היה לה ביום מותה היה לה

The Gemara challenges the identification of Eglah with Michal: And did Michal have children? But isn’t it written: “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child until the day of her death” (II Samuel 6:23)? Rav Ḥisda said: Until the day of her death she had no child, but on the day of her death she had a child.

מכדי בנים היכא קא חשיב להו בחברון ואילו מעשה דמיכל בירושלים הוה דכתיב (שמואל ב ו, טז) ומיכל בת שאול נשקפה בעד החלון ותרא את המלך דוד מפזז ומכרכר לפני ה' ותבז ואמר רב יהודה ואיתימא רב יוסף שקלתה מיכל למיטרפסה אלא אימא עד אותו מעשה היה לה מכאן ואילך לא היה לה

The Gemara challenges this: Now, these children of David’s, where does it count them? In Hebron, as Eglon was listed above with David’s wives in Hebron. But the incident with Michal, in the context of which the verse says she had no children, was in Jerusalem, as it is written: “And it was so, as the Ark of the Lord came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart” (II Samuel 6:16). And Rav Yehuda says, and some say it is Rav Yosef who says: Michal received her punishment [lemitarpesah] immediately, and therefore could not have had children afterward. Rather, say a different explanation: Until that incident, she had a child; from that point forward, she did not have a child.

והכתיב (שמואל ב ה, יג) ויקח דוד עוד פלגשים ונשים בירושלים למלויי שמונה עשר מאי נשים ומאי פלגשים אמר רב יהודה אמר רב נשים בכתובה ובקידושין פלגשים בלא כתובה ובלא קידושין

The Gemara challenges the notion that David had only this limited number of wives. But isn’t it written: “And David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem after he came from Hebron” (II Samuel 5:13). The Gemara responds: All of these were to complete the tally of eighteen and no more. The Gemara asks about this verse: What is the meaning of “wives” and what is the meaning of “concubines” in that verse? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Wives receive a marriage contract and betrothal; concubines are taken without a marriage contract and without betrothal.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב ארבע מאות ילדים היו לו לדוד וכולן בני יפת תואר היו ומגדלי בלוריות היו וכולן יושבין בקרונות של זהב ומהלכין בראשי גייסות היו והם היו בעלי אגרופין של בית דוד

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: David had four hundred children in his army, and all of them were sons of beautiful women taken captive from their gentile homes during war (see Deuteronomy 21:10–14). And they grew their hair in a gentile hairstyle, and they all sat in carriages [bikronot] of gold. And they walked at the head of the troops, and they were the strong-arm enforcers of the house of David, on whose loyalty David’s monarchy relied.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב תמר בת יפת תואר היתה שנאמר (שמואל ב יג, יג) ועתה דבר נא (על) המלך כי לא ימנעני ממך ואי ס"ד בת נישואין הואי אחתיה מי הוה שריא ליה אלא שמע מינה בת יפת תואר היתה

And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: David’s daughter Tamar was the daughter of a beautiful woman taken captive in war and was born before her mother converted. Therefore, Tamar was not considered the daughter of David according to halakha. The proof of this is in what she said to Amnon, son of David, as it is stated: “Now, therefore, speak, please, to the king, for he will not withhold me from you” (II Samuel 13:13). And if it enters your mind to say that she was the daughter of a woman David married, would David have permitted Amnon’s sister to him as a wife? Rather, learn from this verse that she was the daughter of a beautiful woman who converted after Tamar was born, so halakhically Tamar was not a daughter of David.

(שמואל ב יג, ג) ולאמנון רע ושמו יונדב בן שמעה אחי דוד (והיה) איש חכם וגו' אמר רב יהודה אמר רב איש חכם לרשעה

The Gemara continues to interpret the story of Amnon and Tamar. The verse states: “And Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very wise man” (II Samuel 13:3). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: A wise man for wickedness.

(שמואל ב יג, ד) ויאמר מדוע אתה ככה דל בן המלך ויאמר לו יונדב שכב על משכבך והתחל וגו' עד ועשתה לעיני את הבריה (שמואל ב יג, ט) ותקח המשרת ותצוק לפניו אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שעשתה לו מיני טיגון

The verse recounts Jonadab’s words to Amnon: “And he said to him: Why, son of the king, are you so becoming leaner from day to day…and Jonadab said to him: Lie on your bed and feign illness, and when your father comes to see you, say to him: Let my sister Tamar come, please, and give me bread, and she should dress the food in my sight…And she took the pan and poured them out before him” (II Samuel 13:4–5, 9). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: This means that Tamar prepared various kinds of fried [tiggun] food for Amnon.

(שמואל ב יג, טו) וישנאה אמנון שנאה גדולה מאוד מ"ט אמר ר' יצחק נימא נקשרה לו ועשאתו כרות שפכה וכי נקשרה לו איהי מאי עבדה אלא אימא קשרה לו נימא ועשאתו כרות שפכה

At the end of the story, the verse states: “Then Amnon hated her with exceeding, great hatred, for greater was the hatred with which he hated her than the love with which he had loved her” (II Samuel 13:15). The Gemara asks: What is the reason for Amnon’s intense hatred? Rabbi Yitzḥak says: While he raped her, a hair [nima] of hers became tied around his penis and caused him to be one whose penis has been severed. The Gemara asks: But if the hair became tied around his penis, what did she do? Why would Amnon hold this against her? Rather, say that she intentionally tied a hair around his penis during intercourse, and she made him one whose penis has been severed in order to take revenge on him, and for this he hated her.

איני והא דרש רבא מאי דכתיב (יחזקאל טז, יד) ויצא לך שם בגוים ביפיך שאין להן לבנות ישראל לא שער בית השחי ולא בית הערוה שאני תמר דבת יפת תואר הואי

The Gemara challenges this: Is that so? But didn’t Rava interpret a verse homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And your renown went forth among the nations about your beauty” (Ezekiel 16:14)? This teaches that Jewish women do not have armpit hair or pubic hair. Therefore, Tamar would have had no hair to injure Amnon in that way. The Gemara responds: Tamar is different, as she was the daughter of a beautiful woman, who was a gentile.

(שמואל ב יג, יט) ותקח תמר אפר על ראשה (ואת כתונת) הפסים אשר עליה קרעה תנא משמיה דר' יהושע בן קרחה גדר גדול גדרה תמר באותה שעה אמרו לבנות מלכים כך לבנות הדיוטות על אחת כמה וכמה אם לצנועות כך לפרוצות על אחת כמה וכמה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב באותה שעה גזרו

The verse relates that after Amnon raped her: “And Tamar put ashes on her head and rent her garment of many colors that was on her” (II Samuel 13:19). The Sages taught in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa: Tamar established a great fence at that time by way of her public outcry, as people said: If such an occurrence could happen to the daughters of kings, all the more so could it happen to the daughters of ordinary people. If such an occurrence could happen to modest women like Tamar, who resisted, all the more so could it happen to licentious women. Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: At that time they decreed