Sanhedrin 99a:22סנהדרין צ״ט א:כב
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99aצ״ט א

והיינו דא"ל ההוא מינא לרבי אבהו אימתי אתי משיח א"ל לכי חפי להו חשוכא להנהו אינשי א"ל מילט קא לייטת לי א"ל קרא כתיב (ישעיהו ס, ב) כי הנה החשך יכסה ארץ וערפל לאומים ועליך יזרח ה' וכבודו עליך יראה

And that is the background for the following exchange, as a certain heretic said to Rabbi Abbahu: When will the Messiah come? Rabbi Abbahu said to him: He will come when the darkness will enshroud these people, i.e., you. The heretic said to him: Are you cursing me for no reason? Rabbi Abbahu said to him, I am merely relating to you a verse that is written: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and fog the peoples; but the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:2).

תניא ר' אליעזר אומר ימות המשיח ארבעים שנה שנאמר (תהלים צה, י) ארבעים שנה אקוט בדור רבי אלעזר בן עזריה אומר שבעים שנה שנאמר והיה ביום ההוא ונשכחת צור שבעים שנה כימי מלך אחד איזהו מלך מיוחד הוי אומר זה משיח

§ It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer says: The messianic era will be forty years long, as it is stated: “Forty years will I strive with the generation” (Psalms 95:10). The forty years of strife with the gentiles will be followed by the glory days of the Messiah. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: The messianic era will last seventy years, as it is stated: “And it shall come to pass on that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king” (Isaiah 23:15). In this context, one [eḥad], means unique [meyuḥad]. Which is the unique king? You must say that this is a reference to the Messiah.

רבי אומר שלשה דורות שנאמר (תהלים עב, ה) ייראוך עם שמש ולפני ירח דור דורים ר' הילל אומר אין להם משיח לישראל שכבר אכלוהו בימי חזקיה

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The messianic era will last three generations, as it is stated: “May they fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout the generations [dor dorim]” (Psalms 72:5). Dor is singular and dorim is plural, for a total of three generations. Rabbi Hillel says: There is no Messiah coming for the Jewish people, as they already ate from him, as all the prophecies relating to the Messiah were already fulfilled, during the days of Hezekiah.

אמר רב יוסף שרא ליה מריה לרבי הילל חזקיה אימת הוה בבית ראשון ואילו זכריה קא מתנבי בבית שני ואמר (זכריה ט, ט) גילי מאד בת ציון הריעי בת ירושלים הנה מלכך יבא לך צדיק ונושע הוא עני ורוכב על חמור ועל עיר בן אתונות

Rav Yosef says: May the Master forgive Rabbi Hillel for stating matters with no basis. With regard to Hezekiah, when was his reign? It was during the First Temple period. Whereas Zechariah ben Berechiah, the prophet, prophesied during the Second Temple period and said: “Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion; shout, daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your king will come to you; he is just and victorious; lowly and riding upon a donkey and upon a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). In the generations after Hezekiah, there are prophecies about both redemption and the coming of the Messiah.

תניא אידך ר' אליעזר אומר ימות המשיח ארבעים שנה כתיב הכא (דברים ח, ג) ויענך וירעיבך ויאכילך וכתיב התם (תהלים צ, טו) שמחנו כימות עניתנו שנות ראינו רעה

It is taught in another baraita: Rabbi Eliezer says: The messianic era will be forty years long. It is written here with regard to the forty-year sojourn of the children of Israel in the wilderness: “And He afflicted you, and suffered you to hunger and fed you with manna” (Deuteronomy 8:3); and it is written there: “Make us glad according to the days that You afflicted us, the years that we saw evil” (Psalms 90:15).

רבי דוסא אומר ד' מאות שנה כתיב הכא (בראשית טו, יג) ועבדום וענו אותם ארבע מאות שנה וכתיב התם שמחנו כימות עניתנו

Rabbi Dosa says: The messianic era will last four hundred years. It is written here with regard to the Covenant of the Pieces: “And they shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13); and it is written there: “Make us glad according to the days that You afflicted us.”

רבי אומר ג' מאות וששים וחמש שנה כמנין ימות החמה שנאמר (ישעיהו סג, ד) כי יום נקם בלבי ושנת גאולי באה

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The messianic era will last 365 years, corresponding to the number of days of the solar year, as it is stated: “For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed is come” (Isaiah 63:4).

מאי יום נקם בלבי א"ר יוחנן ללבי גליתי לאבריי לא גליתי ר"ש בן לקיש אמר ללבי גליתי למלאכי השרת לא גליתי

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: “For the day of vengeance is in My heart”? Rabbi Yoḥanan says that it means that God said: I revealed the day of vengeance to My heart, but I did not reveal it to My limbs, as it were, as I never stated it explicitly. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says that it means that God said: I revealed this secret to My heart, but I did not reveal it to the ministering angels.

תני אבימי בריה דרבי אבהו ימות המשיח לישראל שבעת אלפים שנה שנאמר (ישעיהו סב, ה) ומשוש חתן על כלה (כן) ישיש עליך (ה') אלהיך

Avimi, son of Rabbi Abbahu, taught: The messianic era for the Jewish people will last seven thousand years, as it is stated: “And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5). The bridegroom rejoices over the bride for seven days, and the day of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is one thousand years.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל ימות המשיח כמיום שנברא העולם ועד עכשיו שנאמר (דברים יא, כא) כימי השמים על הארץ

Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The duration of the messianic era is like the duration of the period that runs from the day the world was created until now, i.e., the day when the Messiah will come, as it is stated: “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:21).

רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר כימי נח עד עכשיו שנאמר (ישעיהו נד, ט) כי מי נח זאת לי אשר נשבעתי

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: The duration of the messianic era is like the duration of the period that runs from the days of Noah until now, i.e., the day when the Messiah will come, as it is stated with regard to redemption: “For this is as the seas of [ki mei] Noah to me; as I have sworn that the seas of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you nor rebuke you” (Isaiah 54:9). The words ki mei can be understood as one word, kimei, meaning: Like the days of.

אמר רבי חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן כל הנביאים כולן לא נתנבאו אלא לימות המשיח אבל לעולם הבא (ישעיהו סד, ג) עין לא ראתה אלהים זולתך (אלהים) יעשה למחכה לו ופליגא דשמואל דאמר שמואל אין בין העולם הזה לימות המשיח אלא שעבוד מלכיות בלבד

§ Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: In their prophecies with regard to redemption and the end of days, all the prophets prophesied only about the messianic era, but with regard to the World-to-Come the reward is not quantifiable, as it states: “No eye has seen it, God, aside from You, Who will do for those who await Him” (Isaiah 64:3). The Gemara notes: And this statement disagrees with the opinion of Shmuel, as Shmuel says: The difference between this world and the messianic era is only with regard to servitude to foreign kingdoms alone, as they will leave Eretz Yisrael.

ואמר רבי חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן כל הנביאים לא נתנבאו אלא לבעלי תשובה אבל צדיקים גמורים עין לא ראתה אלהים זולתך ופליגא דרבי אבהו דא"ר אבהו (א"ר) מקום שבעלי תשובה עומדין שם צדיקים אינן עומדין שם שנאמר (ישעיהו נז, יט) שלום שלום לרחוק ולקרוב ברישא רחוק והדר קרוב מאי רחוק רחוק דמעיקרא ומאי קרוב קרוב דמעיקרא ודהשתא

And Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: All of the prophets prophesied their prophecies of consolation only with regard to penitents, but with regard to the reward of the completely righteous it is stated: “No eye has seen it, God, aside from You.” The Gemara notes: And the opinion expressed in this statement disagrees with the opinion of Rabbi Abbahu, who holds that penitents are superior to the righteous, as Rabbi Abbahu says that Rav says: In the place where penitents stand, even the completely righteous do not stand, as it is stated: “Peace, peace upon him who is far and him who is near” (Isaiah 57:19). Peace and greeting is extended first to him who is far, and only thereafter is peace extended to him who is near. What is the meaning of the term: “Upon him who is far”? It means: One who was initially far, i.e., the penitent. And what is the meaning of the term: “Him who is near”? It means: One who was initially near and continues to be near at present, i.e., the completely righteous individual.

ורבי יוחנן אמר לרחוק שהוא רחוק מעבירה קרוב שהוא קרוב מעבירה ונתרחק ממנה

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: “Upon him who is far” is referring to one who is distant from transgression, the completely righteous individual. “Him who is near” is referring to one who is near to transgression and distanced himself from it, the penitent.

וא"ר חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן כל הנביאים כולן לא נתנבאו אלא למשיא בתו לתלמיד חכם ולעושה פרקמטיא לתלמיד חכם ולמהנה תלמיד חכם מנכסיו אבל תלמידי חכמים עצמן עין לא ראתה אלהים זולתך

And Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: All of the prophets prophesied their prophecies of consolation only with regard to one who values wisdom and therefore marries his daughter to a Torah scholar, and to one who conducts business [perakmatya] on behalf of a Torah scholar, and to one who utilizes his wealth to benefit a Torah scholar from his property in some other way. But the prophets did not describe the extent of the reward for Torah scholars themselves, whose reward is not quantifiable, as it is stated: “No eye has seen it, God, aside from You.”

מאי עין לא ראתה אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי זה יין המשומר בענביו מששת ימי בראשית ר"ל אמר זה עדן לא ראתה עין מעולם וא"ת אדם היכן דר בגן ואם תאמר גן הוא עדן תלמוד לומר (בראשית ב, י) ונהר יוצא מעדן להשקות את הגן:

The Gemara asks: What reward is indicated in the phrase “no eye has seen it”? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: This is wine preserved in its grapes from the six days of Creation. No person has drunk that wine and therefore no one can appreciate its quality. Reish Lakish says: This is Eden, which no eye has ever seen. And if you say: Where did Adam the first man live, if not in Eden, the answer is that he lived in the garden. And lest you say: The garden is Eden and they are indistinguishable, the verse states: “And a river emerged from Eden to irrigate the garden” (Genesis 2:10), indicating that they are two distinct places.

והאומר אין תורה מן השמים וכו': תנו רבנן (במדבר טו, לא) כי דבר ה' בזה ומצותו הפר הכרת תכרת זה האומר אין תורה מן השמים ד"א כי דבר ה' בזה זה אפיקורוס

§ The mishna teaches that those who have no share in the World-to-Come include: And one who says: The Torah did not originate from Heaven. The Sages taught in a baraita that with regard to the verse: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has breached His commandment; that soul shall be excised; his iniquity shall be upon him” (Numbers 15:31), this is a reference to one who says: The Torah did not originate from Heaven. Alternatively, one can explain: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord”; this is a reference to an epikoros, who treats the word of God with contempt.

ד"א כי דבר ה' בזה זה המגלה פנים בתורה ואת מצותו הפר זה המפר ברית בשר הכרת תכרת הכרת בעולם הזה תכרת לעולם הבא מכאן אמר רבי אליעזר המודעי המחלל את הקדשים והמבזה את המועדות והמפר בריתו של אברהם אבינו והמגלה פנים בתורה שלא כהלכה והמלבין פני חבירו ברבים אף על פי שיש בידו תורה ומעשים טובים אין לו חלק לעולם הבא

Alternatively, one can explain: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord”; this is a reference to one who interprets the Torah inappropriately. “And has breached His commandment”; this is a reference to one who breaches the covenant of flesh, who refuses to circumcise his foreskin. “Shall be excised [hikkaret tikkaret]”; “hikkaret refers to being excised in this world, and tikkaret refers to being excised from the World-to-Come. From here Rabbi Elazar HaModa’i says: With regard to one who desecrates consecrated items, e.g., intentionally rendering them impure; and one who treats the intermediate days of the Festivals with contempt; and one who breaches the covenant of Abraham our forefather; and one who reveals aspects in the Torah that are not in accordance with halakha; and one who humiliates another in public, even if he has to his credit Torah study and good deeds, he has no share in the World-to-Come.

תניא אידך כי דבר ה' בזה זה האומר אין תורה מן השמים ואפילו אמר כל התורה כולה מן השמים חוץ מפסוק זה שלא אמרו הקדוש ברוך הוא אלא משה מפי עצמו זהו כי דבר ה' בזה ואפילו אמר כל התורה כולה מן השמים חוץ מדקדוק זה מקל וחומר זה מגזרה שוה זו זה הוא כי דבר ה' בזה

It is taught in another baraita: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord”; this is a reference to one who says the Torah did not originate from Heaven. And even if one says the entire Torah originated from Heaven except for this verse, i.e., any one verse, claiming that the Holy One, Blessed be He, did not say it but Moses himself said it on his own, this is included in the category of: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord.” And even if one says the entire Torah originated from Heaven except for this inference inferred by the Sages, or except for this a fortiori inference, or except for this verbal analogy, this is included in the category of: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord.”

תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר הלומד תורה ואינו מלמדה זה הוא דבר ה' בזה רבי נתן אומר כל מי שאינו משגיח על המשנה ר' נהוראי אומר כל שאפשר לעסוק בתורה ואינו עוסק

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: With regard to one who studies Torah and does not teach it to others, this person is included in the category of: “He has despised the word of the Lord,” as his conduct indicates that he does not consider the word of God significant enough to teach others. Rabbi Natan says: Anyone who does not pay the requisite attention to the Mishna and does not consider it essential halakha is included in the category of: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord.” Rabbi Nehorai says: Anyone for whom it is possible to engage in Torah study and who nevertheless does not engage in its study is included in the category of: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord.”

רבי ישמעאל אומר זה העובד עבודת כוכבים מאי משמעה דתנא דבי ר' ישמעאל כי דבר ה' בזה זה המבזה דבור שנאמר לו למשה מסיני (שמות כ, ב) אנכי ה' אלהיך לא יהיה לך אלהים אחרים וגו'

Rabbi Yishmael says: This verse: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord,” is a reference to an idol worshipper. The Gemara asks: From where in the verse is this inferred? The Gemara explains: It is derived from a verse, as the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: “Because he has despised the word [devar] of the Lord”; this is a reference to one who treats with contempt a statement [dibbur] that was stated to Moses at Sinai and heard by all of the Jewish people: “I am the Lord your God…You shall have no other gods beside me” (Exodus 20:2–3).

רבי יהושע בן קרחה אומר כל הלומד תורה ואינו חוזר עליה דומה לאדם שזורע ואינו קוצר רבי יהושע אומר כל הלומד תורה ומשכחה דומה לאשה שיולדת וקוברת

Apropos Torah study, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa says: Anyone who studies Torah and does not review it is comparable to a person who sows and does not reap. Rabbi Yehoshua says: Anyone who studies Torah and causes himself to forget it is similar to a woman who gives birth and buries her newborn child.

רבי עקיבא אומר

Rabbi Akiva says: