הִרְחִיבָה שְּׁאוֹל נַפְשָׁהּ וּפָעֲרָה פִיהָ לִבְלִי חֹק וְיָרַד הֲדָרָהּ וַהֲמוֹנָהּ וּשְׁאוֹנָהּ וְעָלֵז בָּהּ the netherworld has enlarged her desire, and opened her mouth without measure, and down goes their glory and their tumult and their uproar, and he who rejoices among them” (Isaiah 5:14). Their punishment is that they shall descend into the netherworld.
מִשֶּׁמֵּתוּ נְבִיאִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים מַאן נְבִיאִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים אָמַר רַב הוּנָא זֶה דָּוִד וּשְׁמוּאֵל וּשְׁלֹמֹה רַב נַחְמָן אָמַר בִּימֵי דָּוִד זִימְנִין סְלֵיק וְזִימְנִין לָא סְלֵיק שֶׁהֲרֵי שָׁאַל צָדוֹק וְעָלְתָה לוֹ שָׁאַל אֶבְיָתָר וְלֹא עָלְתָה לוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיַּעַל אֶבְיָתָר § The mishna taught: From the time when the early prophets died, the Urim VeTummim was nullified. The Gemara poses a question: Who are the early prophets? Rav Huna says: This is referring to David, and Samuel, and Solomon, and after their death the Urim VeTummim was no longer used. Rav Naḥman said: In the days of David there were times an answer rose up for them from the Urim VeTummim and there were times an answer did not rise up, i.e., they did not receive an answer. The proof for this is that Tzadok, the High Priest in David’s time, asked the Urim VeTummim and an answer rose up for him, whereas Abiathar asked and an answer did not rise up for him, as it is stated: “And Abiathar went up” (II Samuel 15:24), and he was removed from serving as the High Priest as a result.
מֵתִיב רַבָּה בַּר שְׁמוּאֵל וַיְהִי לִדְרֹשׁ אֱלֹהִים בִּימֵי זְכַרְיָהוּ הַמֵּבִין בִּרְאֹת הָאֱלֹהִים מַאי לָאו בְּאוּרִים וְתוּמִּים לֹא בִּנְבִיאִים Rabba bar Shmuel raises an objection: The verse states concerning Uzziah: “And he set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had an understanding of the vision of God” (II Chronicles 26:5). What, is the verse not stating that Uzziah would seek God by asking questions of the Urim VeTummim, despite the fact that he lived after the time of Solomon? The Gemara rejects this claim: No, he would seek God by asking questions of the prophets, but not of the Urim VeTummim.
תָּא שְׁמַע מִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ רִאשׁוֹן בָּטְלוּ עָרֵי מִגְרָשׁ וּפָסְקוּ אוּרִים וְתוּמִּים וּפָסַק מֶלֶךְ מִבֵּית דָּוִד The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from a baraita (Tosefta 13:2) with regard to when the Urim VeTummim ceased: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed, the cities with fields that were allocated to the Levites were nullified, and the Urim VeTummim ceased, and the monarchy ceased from the house of David.
וְאִם לְחָשְׁךָ אָדָם לוֹמַר וַיֹּאמֶר הַתִּרְשָׁתָא לָהֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יֹאכְלוּ מִקֹּדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים עַד עֲמֹד כֹּהֵן לְאוּרִים וּלְתֻמִּים אֱמוֹר לוֹ כְּאָדָם שֶׁאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵירוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּחְיוּ מֵתִים וְיָבֹא מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד And if a person would whisper to you saying that the Urim VeTummim was still extant, as it states with regard to when the Second Temple first stood: “And the Tirshatha said to them that they should not eat of the most sacred things, until there stood a priest with the Urim VeTummim” (Ezra 2:63), which seems to indicate that they merely had to wait until the Second Temple was built for the reappearance of the Urim VeTummim; you should say to him that this is not referring to an expectation of a short-term development, but it is like a person who says to his friend, with regard to something that will occur in the distant future: Until the dead live and the Messiah, the son of David, comes. In any case, the baraita indicates that the Urim VeTummim ceased only from the time when the First Temple was destroyed, and not in the time of Solomon.
אֶלָּא אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק מַאן נְבִיאִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים לְאַפּוֹקֵי מֵחַגַּי זְכַרְיָה וּמַלְאָכִי דְּאַחֲרוֹנִים נִינְהוּ דְּתָנוּ רַבָּנַן מִשֶּׁמֵּתוּ חַגַּי זְכַרְיָה וּמַלְאָכִי נִסְתַּלְּקָה רוּחַ הַקּוֹדֶשׁ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן הָיוּ מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁים בְּבַת קוֹל Rather, Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Who are the early prophets, with regard to whom it states that use of the Urim VeTummim ceased immediately after their death? This term early prophets serves to exclude Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who are the latter prophets. The Urim VeTummim was used throughout the First Temple period, up to, but not including, their time. As the Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 13:3): From the time when Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi died the Divine Spirit departed from the Jewish people, as these three were considered to be the last prophets. And even after the Urim VeTummim ceased to exist, they would nevertheless still make use of a Divine Voice to receive instructions from Above, even after this time.
שֶׁפַּעַם אַחַת הָיוּ מְסוּבִּין בַּעֲלִיַּית בֵּית גּוּרְיָא בִּירִיחוֹ נִתְּנָה עֲלֵיהֶן בַּת קוֹל מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאָמְרָה יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אָדָם אֶחָד שֶׁרָאוּי שֶׁתִּשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָה עָלָיו אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵין דּוֹרוֹ רָאוּי לְכָךְ נָתְנוּ עֵינֵיהֶם בְּהִלֵּל הַזָּקֵן וּכְשֶׁמֵּת הִסְפִּידוּהוּ הִי חָסִיד הִי עָנָיו תַּלְמִידוֹ שֶׁל עֶזְרָא For on one occasion the Sages were reclining in the upper story of the house of Gurya in Jericho. A Divine Voice from Heaven was issued to them, and it said: There is one person among you for whom it is fitting that the Divine Presence should rest upon him as a prophet, but his generation is not fit for it; they do not deserve to have a prophet among them. The Sages present directed their gaze to Hillel the Elder. And when he died, they eulogized him in the following manner: Alas pious one, alas humble one, student of Ezra.
וְשׁוּב פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת הָיוּ מְסוּבִּין בַּעֲלִיָּיה בְּיַבְנֶה נִתְּנָה (לָהֶן) [עֲלֵיהֶן] בַּת קוֹל מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאָמְרָה לָהֶן יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אָדָם אֶחָד שֶׁרָאוּי שֶׁתִּשְׁרֶה שְׁכִינָה עָלָיו אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵין דּוֹרוֹ זַכָּאִין לְכָךְ נָתְנוּ עֵינֵיהֶם בִּשְׁמוּאֵל הַקָּטָן וּכְשֶׁמֵּת הִסְפִּידוּהוּ הִי עָנָיו הִי חָסִיד תַּלְמִידוֹ שֶׁל הִלֵּל And again, on another occasion several generations later, the Sages were reclining in an upper story of a house in Yavne, and a Divine Voice from Heaven was issued to them, and said: There is one person among you for whom it is fitting that the Divine Presence should rest upon him, but his generation is not fit for it. The Sages present directed their gaze to Shmuel HaKatan. And when he died, they eulogized him in the following manner: Alas humble one, alas pious one, student of Hillel.
וְאַף הוּא אָמַר בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָתוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל לְחַרְבָּא וְחַבְרוֹהִי לִקְטָלָא וּשְׁאָר עַמָּא לְבִיזָּא וְעָקָן סַגִּיאִין עֲתִידִין לְמֵיתֵי עַל עַמָּא וְאַף עַל רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בֶּן בָּבָא בִּקְּשׁוּ לוֹמַר הִי חָסִיד הִי עָנָיו אֶלָּא שֶׁנִּטְרְפָה שָׁעָה שֶׁאֵין מַסְפִּידִין עַל הֲרוּגֵי מַלְכוּת And he too, Shmuel HaKatan, said the following statement of divinely inspired prediction at the time of his death: Shimon, i.e., Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, and Yishmael, i.e., Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha the High Priest, are slated for the sword, and their colleagues for killing, and the rest of the people for plunder, and great troubles are destined to befall the people. The Gemara relates: And they also sought to say about Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava, when eulogizing him: Alas pious one, alas humble one, but the moment was disturbed and they could not do so. That is because eulogies are not given for those killed by the monarchy, which was Rabbi Yehuda ben Baba’s fate, in order not to arouse the monarchy’s wrath.
מִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בָּטַל הַשָּׁמִיר כּוּ׳ תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן שָׁמִיר שֶׁבּוֹ בָּנָה שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְהַבַּיִת בְּהִבָּנֹתוֹ אֶבֶן שְׁלֵמָה מַסָּע נִבְנָה הַדְּבָרִים כִּכְתָבָן דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה § The mishna taught: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed the shamir ceased to exist. The Sages taught: This shamir is the creature with which Solomon built the Temple, as it is stated: “For the house, when it was built, was built of whole stone from the quarry” (I Kings 6:7). Now these words should be understood exactly as they are written, that King Solomon took whole stones and shaped them by having the shamir do the cutting. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.
אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה וְכִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹמַר כֵּן וַהֲלֹא כְּבָר נֶאֱמַר כׇּל אֵלֶּה אֲבָנִים יְקָרֹת וְגוֹ׳ מְגֹרָרוֹת בַּמְּגֵרָה אִם כֵּן מָה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר לֹא נִשְׁמַע בַּבַּיִת בְּהִבָּנֹתוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מְתַקֵּין מִבַּחוּץ וּמַכְנִיס מִבִּפְנִים אָמַר רַבִּי נִרְאִין דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בְּאַבְנֵי מִקְדָּשׁ וְדִבְרֵי רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה בְּאַבְנֵי בֵיתוֹ Rabbi Neḥemya said to him: And is it possible to say so? But isn’t it already stated: “All these were costly stones, according to the measures of hewn stones, sawed with saws” (II Kings 7:9), which indicates that saws, which are iron implements, were used to shape the stones? If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “And hammer, ax, and any tool of iron were not heard in the house when it was being built” (I Kings 6:7)? It means that he would prepare the stones outside the Temple Mount using tools, and bring them inside already cut, so that no iron tools were used inside the Temple itself. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: The statement of Rabbi Yehuda that no iron tools were used appears to be correct with regard to the Temple stones, and the statement of Rabbi Neḥemya that tools were used appears to be correct with regard to the stones of the king’s own house.
וְרַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה שָׁמִיר לְמַאי אֲתָא מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ לְכִדְתַנְיָא אֲבָנִים הַלָּלוּ אֵין כּוֹתְבִין אוֹתָן בִּדְיוֹ מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר פִּתּוּחֵי חוֹתָם וְאֵין מְסָרְטִין עֲלֵיהֶם בְּאִיזְמֵל מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּמִלּוּאֹתָם The Gemara poses a question: And according to Rabbi Neḥemya, who maintains that they used iron tools even in the cutting of the stones for the Temple, for what purpose did the shamir come? The Gemara answers: It was necessary for that which is taught in a baraita: These stones in the breastplate and ephod, upon which were inscribed the names of the tribes, they may not be written on with ink, because it is stated: “Like the engravings of a signet” (Exodus 28:21), which means the names must be engraved onto the stones. And they may not be scratched on with a scalpel [izemel], because it is stated: “In their full settings” (Exodus 28:20), indicating that the stones must be complete and not missing any of their mass.
אֶלָּא כּוֹתֵב עֲלֵיהֶם בִּדְיוֹ וּמַרְאֶה לָהֶן שָׁמִיר מִבַּחוּץ וְהֵן נִבְקָעוֹת מֵאֲלֵיהֶן כִּתְאֵינָה זוֹ שֶׁנִּבְקַעַת בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וְאֵינָהּ חֲסֵירָה כְּלוּם וּכְבִקְעָה זוֹ שֶׁנִּבְקַעַת בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים וְאֵינָהּ חֲסֵירָה כְּלוּם The baraita continues: Rather, one writes the letters on them in ink, and shows them, i.e., he places the shamir close to the ink markings from outside, without having it touch the stones, and they split open along the lines of the ink of their own accord, like this fig that splits in the summer without losing anything of its mass, and like this field in a valley that cracks in the rainy season without losing anything of its mass. The shamir was used in this way for these engravings.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן שָׁמִיר זֶה בְּרִיָּיתוֹ כִּשְׂעוֹרָה וּמִשֵּׁשֶׁת יְמֵי בְּרֵאשִׁית נִבְרָא וְאֵין כׇּל דָּבָר קָשֶׁה יָכוֹל לַעֲמוֹד בְּפָנָיו בַּמֶּה מְשַׁמְּרִין אוֹתוֹ כּוֹרְכִין אוֹתוֹ בִּסְפוֹגִין שֶׁל צֶמֶר וּמַנִּיחִין אוֹתוֹ בְּאִיטְנִי שֶׁל אֲבָר מְלֵיאָה סוּבֵּי שְׂעוֹרִין The Sages taught: This shamir, its size is that of a barleycorn, and it was created in the six days of creation, and nothing hard can withstand it. In what is it kept, so that it will not break everything in the vicinity? They wrap it in tufts [sefogin] of wool and place it in a leaden vessel [itenei], full of barley bran, which is soft and will not be broken by the shamir.
אָמַר רַבִּי אַמֵּי מִשֶּׁחָרַב מִקְדָּשׁ רִאשׁוֹן בָּטְלָה שִׁירָא פְּרַנְדָּא וּזְכוּכִית לְבָנָה תַּנְיָא נָמֵי הָכִי מִשֶּׁחָרַב מִקְדָּשׁ רִאשׁוֹן בָּטְלָה שִׁירָא פְּרַנְדָּא וּזְכוּכִית לְבָנָה וְרֶכֶב בַּרְזֶל וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים אַף יַיִן קָרוּשׁ הַבָּא מִשְּׂנִיר הַדּוֹמֶה כְּעִיגּוּלֵי דְבֵילָה § Rabbi Ami says: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed, shiny [peranda] silk [shira] and white glass ceased to exist. This is also taught in a baraita: From the time when the First Temple was destroyed, shiny silk, white glass, and iron chariots ceased; and some say that even congealed wine that comes from Senir, the Hermon, which is similar to round fig cakes after it congeals, ceased to exist as well.
וְנוֹפֶת צוּפִים מַאי נוֹפֶת צוּפִים אָמַר רַב סוֹלֶת שֶׁצָּפָה עַל גַּבֵּי נָפָה וְדוֹמָה לְעִיסָּה שֶׁנִּילּוֹשָׁה בִּדְבַשׁ וָשֶׁמֶן וְלֵוִי אָמַר שְׁתֵּי כִּכָּרוֹת הַנִּדְבָּקוֹת בַּתַּנּוּר וְתוֹפְחוֹת וּבָאוֹת עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעוֹת זוֹ לָזוֹ וְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי אָמַר זֶה דְּבַשׁ הַבָּא מִן הַצִּיפְיָא מַאי מַשְׁמַע כְּדִמְתַרְגֵּם רַב שֵׁשֶׁת כְּמָא דְּנָתְזָן דַּבְרָיָאתָה וְשָׁיְיטָן בְּרוּמֵי עָלְמָא וּמַתְיָין דּוּבְשָׁא מֵעִישְׂבֵי טוּרָא The mishna taught: And the sweetness of the honeycomb [nofet tzufim] also ceased when the First Temple was destroyed. The Gemara asks: What is nofet tzufim? Rav says: Fine flour that floats up and remains on the top of the sieve [nafa], which is similar in taste to dough kneaded with honey and oil. And Levi says that nofet tzufim is the term for two loaves stuck together in an oven, which keep swelling until they reach each other. And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: This is honey that comes from elevated areas [tzipiyya]. The Gemara explains: From where may it be inferred that this is what nofet tzufim is? As Rav Sheshet would translate the words: “As the bees do” (Deuteronomy 1:44): Like the bees spread out and fly all over the world and bring honey from mountainous plants. Similarly, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi states that honey comes from elevated areas.
תְּנַן הָתָם כׇּל הַנִּצּוֹק טָהוֹר חוּץ מִדְּבַשׁ זִיפִים וְהַצַפִּיחִים מַאי זִיפִים אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן דְּבַשׁ שֶׁמְּזַיְּיפִין בּוֹ וְרֵישׁ לָקִישׁ אָמַר עַל שֵׁם מְקוֹמוֹ כְּדִכְתִיב זִיף וָטֶלֶם וּבְעָלוֹת We learned in a mishna there (Makhshirin 5:9): Anything that is poured remains ritually pure. In other words, even if a liquid is poured into a ritually impure utensil, the stream of the liquid does not defile the contents that remain in the ritually pure utensil from which they were poured, apart from zifim honey and wafer batter. These substances are too viscous to be considered liquids. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of zifim? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Honey of such rare quality that they could falsify [mezayyefin] it, by diluting it with other substances, and it would not be noticed. And Reish Lakish says: It is named after its place, as it is written: “Ziph and Telem and Bealoth” (Joshua 15:24).
כַּיּוֹצֵא בַּדָּבָר אַתָּה אוֹמֵר בְּבוֹא הַזִּיפִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ לְשָׁאוּל הֲלֹא דָוִד וְגוֹ׳ מַאי זִיפִים אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּנֵי אָדָם הַמְזַיְּיפִין דִּבְרֵיהֶם וְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אוֹמֵר עַל שֵׁם מְקוֹמָן כְּדִכְתִיב זִיף וָטֶלֶם וּבְעָלוֹת Similarly, you can say with regard to the verse: “When the zifim came and said to Saul, does not David hide himself with us” (Psalms 54:2). What is the meaning of zifim, mentioned in this verse? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It means people who would falsify [hamzayyefin] their words. And Rabbi Elazar says: They are called after their place, as it is written: “Ziph and Telem and Bealoth.”
וּפָסְקוּ אַנְשֵׁי אֲמָנָה אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אֵלּוּ בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁהֵן מַאֲמִינִין בְּהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא דְּתַנְיָא רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר הַגָּדוֹל אוֹמֵר כָּל מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ פַּת בְּסַלּוֹ וְאוֹמֵר מָה אוֹכַל לְמָחָר אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִקְּטַנֵּי אֲמָנָה § The mishna states that from the time when the Second Temple was destroyed men of faith ceased. Rabbi Yitzḥak says: These are people who believe in the Holy One, Blessed be He, and place their trust in Him in all their ways. As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer the Great says that whoever has bread in his basket to eat today and says: What shall I eat tomorrow, meaning he does not know how he will acquire bread for tomorrow, he is nothing other than from those of little faith. One must trust in God to provide him with his sustenance.
וְהַיְינוּ דְּאָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר מַאי דִּכְתִיב כִּי מִי בַז לְיוֹם קְטַנּוֹת מִי גָּרַם לַצַּדִּיקִים שֶׁיִּתְבַּזְבֵּז שׁוּלְחָנָן לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא קַטְנוּת שֶׁהָיָה בָּהֶן שֶׁלֹּא הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רָבָא אָמַר אֵלּוּ קְטַנֵּי בְּנֵי רִשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל And this is what Rabbi Elazar said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For who plunders the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10)? What caused the table, i.e., the reward, of the righteous to be plundered, meaning wasted, in the future? It was the small-mindedness they possessed. And what is this small-mindedness? That they did not believe in the Holy One, Blessed be He, with a complete faith. Rava said: Who plunders the day of small things? These are the small children of the wicked ones of the Jewish people, who die young,