Sanhedrin 93aסנהדרין צ״ג א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
Toggle Reader Menu Display Settings
93aצ״ג א

גדולים צדיקים יותר ממלאכי השרת שנאמר (דניאל ג, כה) ענה ואמר הא אנא חזי גוברין ארבעה שריין מהלכין בגו נורא וחבל לא איתי בהון ורויה די רביעאה דמה לבר אלהין

The righteous are greater than the ministering angels, as it is stated: “He answered and said: I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). Nebuchadnezzar saw three righteous people and an angel in the fire of the furnace and noted the presence of the righteous people before noting the presence of the angel.

אמר ר' תנחום בר חנילאי בשעה שיצאו חנניה מישאל ועזריה מכבשן האש באו כל אומות העולם וטפחו לשונאיהן של ישראל על פניהם אמרו להם יש לכם אלוה כזה ואתם משתחוים לצלם מיד פתחו ואמרו (דניאל ט, ז) לך ה' הצדקה ולנו בושת הפנים כיום הזה

§ Rabbi Tanḥum bar Ḥanilai says: At the moment that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah emerged from the fiery furnace, all the nations of the world came and struck the enemies of Israel, a euphemism for the Jewish people, in the face and said to them: You have a God with capabilities like that and you bow to the graven image? Immediately Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah began and said: “Lord, righteousness is Yours, but we are shamefaced, as of this day” (Daniel 9:7).

אמר ר' שמואל בר נחמני אמר ר' יונתן מאי דכתיב (שיר השירים ז, ט) אמרתי אעלה בתמר אוחזה בסנסניו אמרתי אעלה בתמר אלו ישראל ועכשיו לא עלה בידי אלא סנסן אחד של חנניה מישאל ועזריה

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says on a similar note: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I said: I will climb into the palm tree; I will grasp its boughs” (Song of Songs 7:9)? “I said: I will climb into the palm tree”; this is a reference to the Jewish people, who are likened to a palm tree, as they are upright and have one heart directed toward their Father in Heaven. God continues: And now that I have tested them by means of the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar, I have succeeded in grasping in My hand only the one bough of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, as only they were willing to give their lives.

אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב (זכריה א, ח) ראיתי הלילה והנה איש רוכב על סוס אדום והוא עומד בין ההדסים אשר במצולה [וגו'] מאי ראיתי הלילה ביקש הקב"ה להפוך את כל העולם כולו ללילה והנה איש רוכב אין איש אלא הקב"ה שנאמר (שמות טו, ג) ה' איש מלחמה ה' שמו על סוס אדום ביקש הקב"ה להפוך את העולם כולו לדם

Rabbi Yoḥanan says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “I saw the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle bushes that were in the depths” (Zechariah 1:8)? What is the meaning of the phrase “I saw the night”? The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to transform the entire world into night and destroy it, as there were no righteous people. “And behold, a man riding”; the word “man” is referring to no one but the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: “The Lord is a man of war, The Lord is His name” (Exodus 15:3). “Upon a red horse” alludes to the fact that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to transform the whole world into blood.

כיון שנסתכל בחנניה מישאל ועזריה נתקררה דעתו שנאמר (זכריה א, ח) והוא עומד בין ההדסים אשר במצולה ואין הדסים אלא צדיקים שנאמר (אסתר ב, ז) ויהי אומן את הדסה ואין מצולה אלא בבל שנאמר (ישעיהו מד, כז) האומר לצולה חרבי ונהרותיך אוביש מיד מלאים רוגז נעשים שרוקים ואדומים נעשו לבנים אמר רב פפא שמע מינה סוסיא חיורא מעלי לחלמא:

Once He looked at Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah He was placated, as it is stated: “And he stood among the myrtle bushes [hadassim] that were in the depths [bametzula].” And hadassim is referring to no one but the righteous, as it is stated: “And he raised Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter” (Esther 2:7). Hadassah is an appellation for the righteous Esther. And metzula is referring to no place but Babylonia, as it is stated with regard to the downfall of Babylonia: “That says to the deep [latzula]: Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers” (Isaiah 44:27). Immediately those messengers, in the form of horses, filled with anger and became gray, and those who were red became white. Rav Pappa says: Conclude from it that seeing a white horse in a dream is a good portent for that dream, as it presages peace and quiet.

ורבנן להיכא (אזול) [אזלו] אמר רב בעין [הרע] מתו ושמואל אמר ברוק טבעו ור' יוחנן אמר עלו לארץ ישראל ונשאו נשים והולידו בנים ובנות

The Gemara asks: And with regard to the Sages, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, where did they go after their miraculous deliverance, as there is no further mention of them? Rav says: They died as the result of the evil eye, as everyone was jealous of their deliverance. And Shmuel says: They drowned in the spittle of the nations of the world who held the Jewish people in contempt due to their failure to serve God in the appropriate manner. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: They ascended to Eretz Yisrael and married women and fathered sons and daughters.

כתנאי ר' אליעזר אומר בעין [הרע] מתו ר' יהושע אומר ברוק טבעו וחכ"א עלו לא"י ונשאו נשים והולידו בנים ובנות שנאמר (זכריה ג, ח) שמע נא יהושע הכהן הגדול אתה ורעיך היושבים לפניך כי אנשי מופת המה איזו הם אנשים שנעשה להן מופת הוי אומר זה חנניה מישאל ועזריה

The Gemara comments: This amoraic dispute is parallel to a dispute between tanna’im. Rabbi Eliezer says: They died as the result of the evil eye. Rabbi Yehoshua says: They drowned in the spittle. And the Rabbis say: They ascended to Eretz Yisrael and married women and fathered sons and daughters, as it is stated: “Hear now, Joshua the High Priest, you and your fellows who sit before you, for they are men of wonder” (Zechariah 3:8). Who are the people who had a wonder performed for them in that generation? You must say that it is Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

ודניאל להיכן אזל אמר רב למיכרא נהרא רבא בטבריא ושמואל אמר לאתויי ביזרא דאספסתא ור' יוחנן אמר לאתויי חזירי דאלכסנדריא של מצרים איני והתניא תודוס הרופא אמר אין פרה וחזירה יוצא מאלכסנדריא של מצרים שאין חותכין האם שלה בשביל שלא תלד זוטרי אייתי בלא דעתייהו

The Gemara asks: And where did Daniel go? He certainly did not bow to the graven image, and he was not cast into the furnace. Apparently, he was elsewhere. Rav says: He went to dig the great river in Tiberias. And Shmuel says: Daniel went to bring choice alfalfa seed from a distance, and therefore he was not in Babylonia. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: He went to bring the high-quality pigs of Alexandria of Egypt. The Gemara asks: Is that so that he went to bring the pigs? But isn’t it taught in a baraita that Theodosius the doctor says: No cow or sow emerges from Alexandria of Egypt whose womb is not severed so that it will not give birth? The Gemara answers: They were small pigs that he brought without the knowledge of the people of Alexandria.

ת"ר שלשה היו באותה עצה הקב"ה ודניאל ונבוכדנצר הקב"ה אמר ניזיל דניאל מהכא דלא לימרו בזכותיה איתנצל

The Sages taught: Three were partners in that plan to ensure that Daniel would not be in Babylonia when the decree of persecution was in effect: The Holy One, Blessed be He; Daniel; and Nebuchadnezzar. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Let Daniel go from here, so that people would not say that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were delivered from the fiery furnace due to the virtue of Daniel, rather than due to their own righteousness.

ודניאל אמר איזיל מהכא דלא ליקיים בי (דברים ז, כה) פסילי אלהיהם תשרפון באש

And Daniel said to himself: I will go away from here so that this verse will not be fulfilled in my regard: “The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:25). Daniel was concerned that because Nebuchadnezzar worshipped him like a deity, his legal status was that of an idol, and he would be burned.

ונבוכדנצר אמר יזיל דניאל מהכא דלא לימרו קלייה לאלהיה בנורא ומניין דסגיד ליה דכתיב (דניאל ב, מו) באדין מלכא נבוכדנצר נפל על אנפוהי ולדניאל סגיד וגו':

And Nebuchadnezzar said: Daniel should go away from here so that the people will not say: Nebuchadnezzar burned his god in fire. And from where is it derived that Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Daniel? It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshipped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an offering and pleasing aromas to him” (Daniel 2:46).

(ירמיהו כט, כא) כה אמר ה' צבאות אלהי ישראל אל אחאב בן קוליה ואל צדקיה בן מעשיה הנבאים לכם בשמי לשקר וגו' וכתיב (ירמיהו כט, כב) ולוקח מהם קללה לכל גלות יהודה אשר בבבל לאמר ישימך ה' כצדקיהו וכאחאב אשר קלם מלך בבל באש אשר שרפם לא נאמר אלא אשר קלם אמר רבי יוחנן משום ר' שמעון בן יוחי מלמד שעשאן כקליות

§ Apropos the deliverance of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, the Gemara cites the verses: “So says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab, son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah, who prophesy to you a lie in My name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylonia; and he shall slay them before your eyes” (Jeremiah 29:21). And it is written: “And of them shall be taken a curse by all the captivity of Judea, who are in Babylonia, saying: May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylonia toasted in the fire” (Jeremiah 29:22). It is not stated: Whom the king of Babylonia burned, but “whom the king of Babylonia toasted.” Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: This teaches that he rendered them like toasted wheat, which is toasted on all sides.

(ירמיהו כט, כג) יען אשר עשו נבלה בישראל וינאפו את נשי רעיהם מאי עבוד אזול לגבי ברתיה דנבוכדנצר אחאב אמר לה כה אמר ה' השמיעי אל צדקיה וצדקיה אמר כה אמר ה' השמיעי אל אחאב אזלה ואמרה ליה לאבוה אמר לה אלהיהם של אלו שונא זימה הוא כי אתו לגבך שדרינהו לגבאי

The verse states: “Because they have committed baseness in Israel, and have committed adultery with the wives of their neighbors” (Jeremiah 29:23). What did they do? The Gemara relates: They went to the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. Ahab said to her: So says the Lord: Submit to Zedekiah and engage in intercourse with him. And Zedekiah said to her: So says the Lord: Submit to Ahab and engage in intercourse with him. She went and said to her father what they said to her. Nebuchadnezzar said to her: The God of these people abhors lewdness, so this is likely a false prophecy. When they come to you, send them to me.

כי אתו לגבה שדרתנהו לגבי אבוה אמר להו מאן אמר לכון אמרו הקדוש ברוך הוא והא חנניה מישאל ועזריה שאלתינהו ואמרו לי אסור אמרו ליה אנן נמי נביאי כוותייהו לדידהו לא אמר להו לדידן אמר לן אמר להו אנא בעינא דאיבדקינכו כי היכי דבדקתינהו לחנניה מישאל ועזריה

When they came to her, she sent them to her father. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: Who told you to do this? They said: It was the Holy One, Blessed be He. Nebuchadnezzar said: But haven’t I have asked Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about this and they said to me: It is prohibited? They said to him: We too are prophets like they are. God did not say this prophecy to them; He said it to us. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: If so, I wish to put you to the test to determine if you are righteous, just as I put Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to the test.

אמרו ליה אינון תלתא הוו ואנן תרין אמר להו בחרו לכון מאן דבעיתו בהדייכו אמרו יהושע כהן גדול סברי ליתי יהושע דנפיש זכותיה ומגנא עלן

Ahab and Zedekiah said to Nebuchadnezzar: They were three and we are only two, and our merit is not great enough to save us from the fire. Nebuchadnezzar said to them: Choose for yourselves a third person, whomever you wish, to be put to the test with you. They said to him: We choose Joshua the High Priest. They chose him because they thought: Let Joshua the High Priest come with us, since his merit is great and it will protect us.

אחתיוהו שדינהו אינהו איקלו יהושע כהן גדול איחרוכי מאניה שנאמר (זכריה ג, א) ויראני את יהושע הכהן הגדול עומד לפני מלאך ה' וגו' וכתיב (זכריה ג, ב) ויאמר ה' אל השטן יגער ה' בך וגו'

They took the three of them down and cast them into the furnace. They were burned, and as for Joshua the High Priest, his garments were singed, as it is stated: “And He showed me Joshua the High Priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan was standing at his right to thwart him” (Zechariah 3:1). And it is written: “And the Lord said to Satan, the Lord shall rebuke you, Satan, the Lord Who has chosen Jerusalem shall rebuke you; is this man not a firebrand plucked from fire?” (Zechariah 3:2). This is an allusion to the fact that he was delivered from the fiery furnace, although he was slightly singed.

א"ל ידענא דצדיקא את אלא מאי טעמא אהניא בך פורתא נורא חנניה מישאל ועזריה לא אהניא בהו כלל א"ל אינהו תלתא הוו ואנא חד א"ל והא אברהם יחיד הוה התם לא הוו רשעים בהדיה ולא אתיהיב רשותא לנורא הכא הוו רשעים בהדי ואתיהיב רשותא לנורא היינו דאמרי אינשי תרי אודי יבישי וחד רטיבא אוקדן יבישי לרטיבא

Nebuchadnezzar said to Joshua the High Priest: I know you are righteous because you were delivered from the fire, but what is the reason that the fire was slightly effective concerning you, and for Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah the fire was not effective concerning them at all, and their garments were not singed? Joshua the High Priest said to him: They were three righteous people, and I am one. Nebuchadnezzar said to him: But wasn’t Abraham one person, and when he was cast into the furnace the fire had no effect? Joshua answered him: There, in the case of Abraham, there were no wicked people with him, and license to cause damage was not given to the fire. Here, in this case, there were wicked people with me, and license to cause damage was given to the fire. The Gemara adds that this explains the adage that people say: If there are two dry firebrands and one moist one in a fire, the dry firebrands burn the moist one.

מאי טעמא איענש אמר רב פפא שהיו בניו נושאין נשים שאינן הגונות לכהונה ולא מיחה בהן שנאמר (זכריה ג, ג) ויהושע היה לבוש בגדים צואים וכי דרכו של יהושע ללבוש בגדים צואים אלא מלמד שהיו בניו נושאים נשים שאינן הגונות לכהונה ולא מיחה בהן

The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Joshua the High Priest was punished and was cast into the furnace? Rav Pappa says: It was due to the fact that his sons would marry women who were not fit for marriage into the priesthood, and he did not reprimand them, as it is stated: “And Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and he stood before the angel” (Zechariah 3:3). And was it the typical manner of Joshua to wear filthy garments? Rather this verse teaches an allusion that his sons would marry women who were not fit for marriage into the priesthood, and he did not reprimand them. That is why he appeared with soiled garments in the vision of the prophet Zechariah.

אמר רבי תנחום דרש בר קפרא בציפורי מאי דכתיב (רות ג, יז) שש השעורים האלה נתן לי מאי שש השעורים אילימא שש שעורים ממש וכי דרכו של בועז ליתן מתנה שש שעורים

§ Apropos Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, the Gemara cites that which Rabbi Tanḥum says that bar Kappara taught in Tzippori: What is the meaning of that which is written with regard to the statement of Ruth to Naomi concerning Boaz: “These six grains of barley he gave me” (Ruth 3:17). What is the meaning of the phrase “six grains of barley”? If we say that the reference is to six actual grains of barley, is it the typical manner of Boaz to give a minimal gift of six grains of barley?