Shevuot 29b:1-16שבועות כ״ט ב:א׳-ט״ז
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29bכ״ט ב

אלא כי היכי דלא תהוי הפרה לשבועתייהו:

Rather, Moses administered the oath in this manner so that there would not be any possibility of the nullification of their oath. An oath taken with public consent cannot be dissolved. In this case, Moses and God constitute the public that gives its consent to the oath administered to the people. This was the reason for Moses’ insistence that the oath was taken according to his and God’s awareness; it was not because there was a possibility that the people could take the oath according to a private meaning.

ואם לא ראיתי נחש כקורת בית הבד: ולא והא ההוא דהוה בשני שבור מלכא הוה חד דאחזיק תליסר אורוותא תיבנא

§ The mishna teaches with regard to an oath about a matter that is impossible, e.g., If I did not see a camel flying through the air, or: If I did not see a snake as large as the beam of the olive press. The Gemara asks: And are there no snakes that large? But wasn’t there a certain snake during the years of the reign of King Shapur, one snake that could contain, i.e., swallow, thirteen stables of straw?

אמר שמואל בטרוף כולהו נמי מיטרף טריפין בשגבו טרוף:

Shmuel said: The size of the snake is not the subject of the analogy. The oath is referring to a snake that was flat [taruf ] like the beam of an olive press. The Gemara asks: Aren’t they all flat? The Gemara explains: Snakes’ undersides are flat. This oath is referring to a snake whose back is flat.

שבועה שאוכל ככר זו שבועה שלא אוכלנה כו': השתא משום שבועת ביטוי מיחייב משום שבועת שוא לא מיחייב הרי יצתה שבועה לשוא

§ The mishna teaches: If one said: On my oath I will eat this loaf, and later said: On my oath I will not eat it, the first oath is an oath on an utterance, and the second is an oath taken in vain. If he ate the loaf, he violated the prohibition against taking an oath in vain. If he did not eat it, he violated the prohibition against breaking an oath on an utterance. The Gemara asks: Now, if he did not eat it, he is liable because he violated his oath on an utterance. Is he not also liable for an oath taken in vain? An oath was issued in vain when he took the oath not to eat the loaf, as this required a violation of the oath he had taken to eat it.

אמר ר' ירמיה תני אף על שבועת ביטוי:

Rabbi Yirmeya said: Teach the mishna with this emendation: If he did not eat it, he also violated the prohibition against breaking an oath on an utterance.

מתני׳ שבועת ביטוי נוהגת באנשים ובנשים בקרובים וברחוקים בכשרין ובפסולין בפני בית דין ושלא בפני בית דין מפי עצמו וחייבין על זדונה מכות ועל שגגתה קרבן עולה ויורד

MISHNA: As opposed to the halakhot of an oath of testimony, which will be discussed in the following chapter, the halakhot of an oath on an utterance apply to men and to women, to relatives and to non-relatives, to those who are fit to testify and to those who are disqualified, whether the oath is taken in the presence of a court or not in the presence of a court, i.e., when one takes an oath on his own, at his own initiative. And for violating an oath intentionally one is liable to receive lashes, and for doing so unwittingly he is liable to bring a sliding-scale offering.

שבועת שוא נוהגת באנשים ובנשים ברחוקים ובקרובים בכשרין ובפסולין בפני ב"ד ושלא בפני ב"ד ומפי עצמו וחייבין על זדונה מכות ועל שגגתה פטור

Liability for an oath taken in vain applies to men and to women, to relatives and to non-relatives, to those who are fit to bear witness and to those who are disqualified, whether the oath is taken in the presence of a court or not in the presence of a court, and also when one takes an oath on his own. And for violating an oath intentionally one is liable to receive lashes, and for doing so unwittingly he is exempt.

אחת זו ואחת זו המושבע מפי אחרים חייב (אם) לא אכלתי היום ולא הנחתי תפלין היום משביעך אני ואמר אמן חייב:

With regard to both this, an oath on an utterance, and that, an oath taken in vain, even if he is administered the oath by others, he is liable. For example, if one said: If I did not eat today, or: I did not don phylacteries today, and another said to him: I administer an oath to you that your statement is true, and the former said: Amen, he is liable if the statement was false.

גמ׳ אמר שמואל כל העונה אמן אחר שבועה כמוציא שבועה בפיו דמי דכתיב (במדבר ה, כב) ואמרה האשה אמן אמן

GEMARA: Shmuel says: Anyone who answers amen after being administered an oath is like one who expresses an oath with his own mouth, as it is written in the context of the oath administered to a sota, a woman suspected by her husband of having been unfaithful: “And the woman shall say: Amen, amen” (Numbers 5:22).

אמר רב פפא משמיה דרבא מתני' וברייתא נמי דיקא דקתני שבועת העדות נוהגת באנשים ולא בנשים ברחוקים ולא בקרובים בכשרין ולא בפסולין ואינה נוהגת אלא בראוין להעיד ובפני ב"ד ושלא בפני ב"ד מפי עצמו ומפי אחרים אינן חייבין עד שיכפרו בהן בב"ד דברי רבי מאיר

Rav Pappa said in the name of Rava: An inference from the mishna and a baraita also support this when they are read precisely, as it is taught in the mishna (30a): The oath of testimony is practiced with regard to men but not with regard to women; with regard to non-relatives of the litigants, but not with regard to relatives; with regard to those fit to testify but not with regard to those unfit to testify due to a transgression that they performed. And the oath of testimony is practiced only with regard to those fit to testify. And this oath applies both in the presence of a court and not in the presence of a court, i.e., when the witness takes the oath on his own that he has no knowledge of the matter. But if an oath is administered to the witnesses by others, they are not liable until they deny knowledge of the matter in court and take an oath to that effect; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir.

ותניא בברייתא שבועת העדות כיצד אמר לעדים בואו והעידוני שבועה שאין אנו יודעין לך עדות או שאמרו אין אנו יודעין לך עדות משביע אני עליכם ואמרו (לו) אמן בין בפני ב"ד בין שלא בפני בית דין בין מפי עצמו בין מפי אחרים כיון שכפרו בהם חייבין דברי רבי מאיר

Before stating the inference from the mishna, Rav Pappa cites the baraita. And it is taught in a baraita: With regard to an oath of testimony, how is one liable to bring a sliding-scale offering? A person said to witnesses: Come and testify for me. They replied: On our oath we do not know any testimony that concerns you, i.e., we have no knowledge of the matter. Alternatively, they said: We do not know any testimony that concerns you, and he said to them: I administer an oath to you, and they said to him: Amen. Whether this oath was taken in the presence of a court or whether it was not in the presence of a court, whether it was taken by each witness by himself or whether it was administered by others, once they denied knowing testimony that they in fact knew, they are liable; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir.

קשיין אהדדי אלא לאו ש"מ הא דענה אמן הא דלא ענה אמן ש"מ

Rav Pappa asks: Aren’t the mishna and the baraita difficult, as they contradict each other? According to the mishna one is liable when the oath is administered by others only if it takes place in the presence of a court, while according to the baraita one is liable even not in the presence of a court. Rather, isn’t it correct to conclude from it that this statement in the baraita, where he is liable even not in the presence of a court, is referring to one who answered amen to the administered oath. That statement in the mishna is referring to one who did not answer amen and is therefore liable only in the presence of a court? The Gemara affirms: Conclude from it that it is so.

אמר רבינא משמיה דרבא מתניתין דהכא נמי דיקא דקא תני שבועת ביטוי נוהגת באנשים ובנשים ברחוקים ובקרובים בכשרין ובפסולין בפני בית דין ושלא בפני בית דין מפי עצמו אין מפי אחרים לא וקתני סיפא זה וזה מושבע מפי אחרים חייב

Ravina said in the name of Rava: The mishna that is here (29b) also may be read precisely to support this point. As it is taught in the mishna: The halakhot of an oath on an utterance apply to men and to women, to relatives and to non-relatives, to those who are fit to testify and to those who are disqualified, whether the oath is taken in the presence of a court or not in the presence of a court, i.e., when one takes an oath on his own, at his own initiative. Ravina states his inference: On his own, yes, but administered by others, no. And it is taught in the last clause of the mishna: With regard to this, an oath on an utterance, and that, an oath taken in vain, even if he is administered the oath by others, he is liable.

קשיין אהדדי אלא לאו ש"מ הא דענה אמן הא דלא ענה אמן

These statements in the mishna are difficult, as they contradict each other. Rather, isn’t it correct to conclude from it that this latter clause of the mishna is referring to one who answered amen to the administered oath. That former clause is referring to one who did not answer amen and is therefore liable only in the presence of a court.

ואלא שמואל מאי קא משמע לן דוקיא דמתניתין קא משמע לן:

The Gemara asks: But since his statement can be derived from tannaitic sources, what is Shmuel teaching us? The Gemara answers: He is teaching us the precise reading of the mishna. Since that halakha is not stated explicitly in the mishna, Shmuel saw fit to state it.



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