מתני׳ שבועות שתים שהן ארבע
MISHNA: With regard to oaths on an utterance of the lips, there are two types that are actually four types. The Torah specifies only two types of oaths whose violation renders one liable to bring a sliding-scale offering to atone for his transgression (see Leviticus 5:4): Where a person takes an oath to perform some action, and where he takes an oath to refrain from performing some action. With regard to both types, the Torah explicitly mentions liability only for an oath pertaining to one’s future behavior. Nevertheless, the Sages derive that one is also liable for a violation of both types of oaths when they pertain to one’s past behavior. Accordingly, although only two types are explicitly mentioned in the Torah, the Sages derive that there are actually four types.
ידיעות הטומאה שתים שהן ארבע
The mishna lists similar groups of halakhot. With regard to cases of awareness of the defiling of the Temple by entering it while one is ritually impure, or defiling its sacrificial foods by partaking of them while one is ritually impure, there are two types that are actually four. It is prohibited for an impure person to enter the Temple (see Numbers 19:20) or to partake of its sacrificial foods (see Leviticus 7:19–20). If one transgressed either prohibition during a lapse of awareness, then upon becoming aware of his transgression, he is liable to bring a sliding-scale offering (see Leviticus 5:2). The Torah specifies that one is liable to bring the offering only in the case in which he had a lapse of awareness of the fact that he was impure. The Sages derive that one is liable not only in these two cases, but also where he was aware of his personal status but had a lapse of awareness concerning the identity of the place he was entering or the status of the foods he ate.
יציאות השבת שתים שהן ארבע
With regard to acts of carrying out that are prohibited on Shabbat, there are two types that are actually four. On Shabbat, it is prohibited to transfer an item from domain to domain. The Torah explicitly refers to only two cases, both of which involve an item being transferred from a private domain to a public domain: Where the transfer is made by a person who remains in the public domain, and where the transfer is made by a person who remains in the private domain. The Sages derive that liability is incurred in these cases also if the item is transferred from the public domain to the private domain. Although only two types are mentioned by the Torah, the Sages derive that there are actually four types.
מראות נגעים שנים שהן ארבעה
With regard to shades of leprous marks on a person’s skin, there are two types that are actually four. The Torah specifies that if a leprous mark appears on a person’s skin, the afflicted person must undergo a process of purification and then bring various offerings. Part of the classification of these types of leprosy is based on their shade of white. Two types of marks are explicitly mentioned in the Torah, and the Sages derive that each of these two types has a secondary mark.
את שיש בה ידיעה בתחלה וידיעה בסוף והעלם בינתים הרי זה בעולה ויורד
The mishna returns to the subject of defiling the Temple or its sacrificial foods. It elaborates on which offerings atone for different cases of defiling the Temple or its sacrificial foods: In cases in which one had awareness, i.e., he knew he was ritually impure and was aware of the sanctity of the Temple or foods involved at the beginning, i.e., before he transgressed, and had awareness at the end, i.e., after the transgression, but had a lapse of awareness of one of those two components in between, while he actually transgressed, this person is liable to bring a sliding-scale offering.
יש בה ידיעה בתחלה ואין בה ידיעה בסוף שעיר הנעשה בפנים ויום הכפורים תולה עד שיודע לו ויביא בעולה ויורד
For cases in which one had awareness at the beginning, transgressed during a lapse of awareness, and still had no awareness at the end, the goat whose blood presentation is performed inside the Sanctuary on Yom Kippur, and Yom Kippur itself, suspend any punishment that he deserves until he becomes aware of his transgression; and then to achieve atonement he brings a sliding-scale offering.
אין בה ידיעה בתחלה אבל יש בה ידיעה בסוף שעיר הנעשה בחוץ ויום הכפורים מכפר שנאמר (במדבר כט, יא) מלבד חטאת הכפורים על מה שזה מכפר זה מכפר מה הפנימי אין מכפר אלא על דבר שיש בה ידיעה אף החיצון אין מכפר אלא על דבר שיש בה ידיעה
For cases in which one did not have awareness at the beginning but had awareness at the end, the goat whose blood presentation is performed outside the Sanctuary, i.e., the goat of the additional offerings of Yom Kippur, and Yom Kippur itself, atone, as it is stated with regard to the offerings brought on Yom Kippur: “One goat for a sin-offering aside from the sin-offering of the atonements” (Numbers 29:11). The verse juxtaposes the internal and external goats together to teach that for that which this one atones, that one atones. Just as the internal goat, i.e., the one whose blood presentation is performed inside the Sanctuary, atones only for a case in which there was awareness of the components of the transgression at some point, i.e., at the beginning, so too, the external goat, i.e., the goat of the additional offerings of Yom Kippur, atones only for a case in which there was awareness at some point, i.e., at the end.
ועל שאין בה ידיעה לא בתחלה ולא בסוף שעירי הרגלים ושעירי ראשי חדשים מכפרין דברי ר' יהודה ר"ש אומר שעירי הרגלים מכפרין אבל לא שעירי ראשי חדשים ועל מה שעירי ראשי חדשים מכפרין
And for cases in which one did not have awareness, neither at the beginning nor at the end, the goats brought as sin-offerings for the additional offerings of the Festivals and the goats brought as sin-offerings for the additional offerings of the New Moons atone. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Shimon says: The goats of the Festivals atone for cases in which one never had awareness of the transgression, but the goats of the New Moons do not. But if so, for what do the goats of the New Moons atone?