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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Horayoth

Folio 11a

only must not [be contended with them] but annoying them was well permitted; in the case, however, of the younger daughter, who called her son Ben-ammi,1  He told him, Harass them not, nor contend with them2  at all, even annoying them was not permitted.

R. Hiyya b. Abin said in the name of R. Joshua b. Korha: One should always perform a good deed3  as early as possible, for as a reward for the one night by which she4  anticipated the younger5  the elder5  gained the privilege of royal status [in Israel]6  four generations earlier.7

Our Rabbis taught: Of the common people8  excludes an anointed High Priest;9  'of the common people' excludes a ruler.9  Have not these been once excluded, the anointed High Priest having been subjected to the offering10  of a bullock and the ruler to that10  of a he goat? — Since it might have been assumed that an anointed High Priest brings a bullock only where ignorance of the law was accompanied by error in action but where there was error in action alone he brings a lamb or a she-goat,11  hence it was expressly stated, 'of the common people,' to exclude an anointed High Priest,12  'of the common people', to exclude a ruler.

This reply satisfactorily explains the case of the anointed High Priest, but as regards that of the ruler, he, surely, does bring [his particular] offering even where there was only error in action!13  — R. Zebid replied in the name of Raba: Here it is a case14  where he ate, for instance, suet of the size of an olive15  while he was still a commoner, then he was appointed to rulership and then his transgression came to his knowledge;16  it might have been assumed that he must bring a lamb or a she goat,17  hence it was stated [that the law was not so].18

This explanation is quite satisfactory according to R. Simeon who is guided by19  [the time the sin was brought to his] knowledge;20  what, however, can be said according to the Rabbis who are guided by [the time] the sin was committed?21  — But, said R. Zebid in the name of Raba, here it is a case14  where he ate, for instance, suet of the size of half an olive while he was a commoner and then he was appointed to rulership and finished it,22  and after that his transgression came to his knowledge; since it might have been assumed that these23  are combined24  and he must bring an offering of a lamb or a she goat, hence it was stated [that the law was not so].25

Raba enquired of R. Nahman: Does rulership constitute a break? How is this to be understood? Where a man, for instance, ate suet of the size of half an olive while he was commoner, then he was appointed to rulership, and when he relinquished office he finished it;22  are [the two halves] in the previous case26  not combined merely because he ate the one half when he was a commoner and the other when he was ruler, but in this case,27  since he ate both halves28  when he was a commoner, the two are combined, or is there perhaps no difference? — This may be solved from the following: For 'Ulla said in the name of R. Johanan: If a man having eaten suet had set aside a sacrifice,29  and then changed his faith and subsequently retracted, his offering, since it had been suspended,30  must remain so for ever.31  How now! An apostate is not a person qualified to bring a sacrifice, but this ruler is, surely, one who is well qualified to bring a sacrifice.


R. Zera enquired of R. Shesheth: What is the law if, while a commoner, [the ruler]32  ate something concerning which there is doubt as to whether it was not suet,33  and having been appointed to rulership the doubt came to his knowledge?34  According to the Rabbis who are guided by the time the sin was committed35  there can be no question that he must bring an asham talui; the question, however, arises according to R. Simeon; does the change36  affect a case of doubt as it does one of certainty37  or does it, perhaps, affect a case of certainty only, because the ruler has to bring a different sacrifice,38  but here, since his sacrifice does not change,39  it might be said that he must bring an asham talui? — This remains undecided.40

Our Rabbis taught: Of the common people41  excludes an apostate.42  R. Simeon b. Jose said in the name of R. Simeon: [And doeth through] error [any of all the things] which [the Lord his God hath commanded] not to be done, and is guilty43  implies that only he who repents when he becomes conscious of his sin brings a sacrifice for his error, but he who does not repent on becoming conscious of his sin does not bring a sacrifice for his error. What practical difference is there between them?44  — R. Hamnuna replied: The difference between them lies in the case of one who, being an apostate in respect of the eating of suet, brings a sacrifice for eating blood; the Masters hold that since he is an apostate in respect of the eating of suet he is also regarded as an apostate in respect of the eating of the blood,45  while the Master holds that in respect of blood, at least, he repents when he becomes conscious of his sin.46

But, surely, Raba stated that all agreed that an apostate in respect of the eating of suet is not regarded as an apostate in respect of the blood! — But here they44  differ in regard to one who eats carrion47  to satisfy his appetite,48  and suet was mistaken by him for permitted fat and he ate it;49  the Masters are of the opinion that, as he would have eaten it to satisfy his appetite even wilfully,50  he is treated as an apostate,45  while the Master is of the opinion that, as he does not eat forbidden food when he can obtain permitted food, he is not regarded as an apostate.51


Our Rabbis taught: He who eats suet is considered an apostate; and who is an apostate?52  He who eats meat that is nebelah or trefa;53  loathsome creatures or reptiles; or he who drinks wine of libation.54  R. Jose son of55  R. Judah said: Also he who wears a garment made of wool and linen mingled together.56

The Master said: 'He who eats suet is considered an apostate; and who is an apostate? He who eats the meat that is nebelah or trefa.' What does this mean?57  — Rabbah b. Bar Dana replied in the name of R. Johanan: It is this that was meant: If a man eats suet merely in order to satisfy his appetite he is considered an apostate, but if in defiance of the law he is considered a Sadducee.58  And which apostate, in the absence of declared motive, is to be regarded a Sadducee? He who59  eats the meat of animals that is nebelah or trefa, loathsome creatures or reptiles, or he who drinks wine of libation.60

'R. Jose son of R. Judah said: Also he who wears a garment made of wool and linen mingled together.' What is the practical difference between them?61  — The difference between them is the case of a mingled texture forbidden only Rabbinically; the Masters hold the opinion that only when something is Biblically forbidden is he [who disregards it] to be deemed an apostate but if it is only Rabbinically forbidden one is not to be deemed an apostate; while the Master is of the opinion that in respect of a mingled texture, since its prohibition is well known, one is deemed an apostate [if he disregards it] even though the prohibition is only Rabbinical.

[Concerning this law] there is a dispute between R. Aha and Rabina. One maintains [that he who eats forbidden food] in order to satisfy his appetite is deemed an apostate, but if in defiance of the law he is deemed to be a Sadducee; and the other maintains that even in defiance of the law he is deemed an apostate; but who is a Sadducee? He who worships idols.

An objection was raised: 'If he ate one flea or one gnat he is considered an apostate;' in this case, surely, he acted in defiance of the law62  and yet he is called an apostate! — There it is a case where he said, 'I would like to feel the taste of forbidden food.'63

WHO IS MEANT BY RULER? A KING etc. Our Rabbis taught: A ruler64  might signify the ruler of a tribe, like Nahshon the son of Amminadab, hence it was stated, Of all the things which the Lord his God hath commanded,65  and further on it stated, That he may learn to fear the Lord his God,66

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. I.e., 'son of my people', thus displaying some modesty.
  2. Ibid. v. 19.
  3. Lit., 'to a matter of commandment'.
  4. Lit., 'the elder',
  5. Daughter of Lot.
  6. So in Naz. 23b.
  7. From the elder daughter descended Ruth the ancestress of Obed, Jesse, David and Solomon (v. Ruth IV, 21f), while from the younger descended Naamah the mother of Rehoboam (v. I Kings XIV, 31) the first King of Judah.
  8. Lev. IV, 27.
  9. Whose sin offering is not to be that of a goat or a lamb as prescribed in that section for laymen.
  10. Lit., 'to be judged'.
  11. As a layman.
  12. Who is not to bring a sin offering for error in action alone.
  13. What, then, does the text exclude?
  14. Lit., 'in what are we engaged'?
  15. The minimum quantity for which an offering is due.
  16. Lit., 'and afterwards it was known to him'.
  17. His sin having been committed while he was still one of the common people.
  18. His appointment to office exempts him from the offering of the commoner.
  19. Lit., goes after'.
  20. I.e., the nature of the offering is determined by the status of the sinner at the time he becomes aware of his sin: not by that in which he was at the time of its commission, v. supra 10a.
  21. The ruler, surely, having been a commoner at the time of the commission of the sin would have to bring the offering of the layman.
  22. Eating suet of the size of another half an olive and thus completing the prescribed minimum (v. supra p. note 2).
  23. The two halves.
  24. To form together the prescribed minimum.
  25. The two halves are not to be combined.
  26. Lit., 'there'.
  27. Lit., 'here'.
  28. Lit., 'this and this'.
  29. An offering for his sin.
  30. During the period of his apostasy when no offering would be accepted at his hands.
  31. Lit., 'shall be suspended'.
  32. The same question applies mutatis mutandis to a High Priest.
  33. He being unaware of the doubtful nature of the food.
  34. Has he to bring an asham talui (v. Glos.)?
  35. V. supra, p. 77 notes 6-8.
  36. Of the personal status of the sinner.
  37. As in the case of certain sin he is entitled to exemption from the offering prescribed for a commoner on attaining to rulership, so should he be exempt in the case of doubtful sin.
  38. As commoner he had to bring a she goat or a lamb; as ruler he has to bring a he goat.
  39. Both ruler and commoner having to bring the same kind of offering for a doubtful sin.
  40. V. Glos. s.v. teko.
  41. Lev. IV, 27; emphasis on of, i.e., some of and not all.
  42. From whom no sacrifice is accepted.
  43. Lev. IV, 22.
  44. The Rabbis and R. Simeon.
  45. Hence no sacrifice whatsoever may be accepted from him.
  46. If, then, he brings a sacrifice as an atonement for having eaten blood it is to be accepted.
  47. [H], the meat of an animal that has not been ritually slaughtered.
  48. I.e., not just in defiance of the law.
  49. Believing that he was eating permitted food; and when he discovered his error he desired to bring a sin offering.
  50. Even if he had known it to be suet.
  51. And his sacrifice must be accepted.
  52. The meaning of the question is explained infra.
  53. V. Glos.
  54. [H] wine that is known, or suspected, to have been consecrated to an idol.
  55. Cur. edd. omit.
  56. [H], V. Lev. XIX, 19.
  57. First a definition of apostate is given and then it is asked what is an apostate!
  58. [Read with MS.M., Min, a general term for sectarian, heretic, not necessarily a Jewish Christian; v. A. Z. (Sonc. ed.) p. 14, n. 2.]
  59. Lit., 'be saying'.
  60. [These are supposed to be unfit for human consumption, trefa denoting here meat of an animal afflicted with a disease which renders it unwholesome for food even as carrion and other loathsome creatures and reptiles. As to wine of libation, it is the gravity of the prohibition which branded the offender as an apostate; v. Tosaf. Asheri.]
  61. The Rabbis (first Tanna), and R. Jose.
  62. Since no man would eat such unwholesome things to satisfy his appetite.
  63. And no defiance was intended.
  64. Lev. IV, 22.
  65. Lev. IV, 22.
  66. Deut. XVII, 29.
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Horayoth 11b

as further on the reference is to him1  who has none above him save the Lord his God so in the case of the ruler the reference is to him above whom there is none save the Lord his God.

Rabbi enquired of R. Hiyya: 'Is one like myself to bring a hegoat?'2  'You have your rival in Babylon,'3  the other replied. 'The Kings of Israel and the Kings of the House of David,' the first objected, 'bring sacrifices independently of one another!' 'There,' the other replied, 'they were not subordinate to one another, here,4  however, we are subordinate to them.'5

R. Safra taught thus: Rabbi enquired of R. Hiyya, 'Is one like myself to bring a he-goat?'2  'There,'6  the other replied, 'is the scepter; here4  only the law giver;' as it was taught. The scepter shall not depart from Judah7  refers to the exilarch in Babylon who rules Israel with the scepter; nor the ruler's staff from between his feet7  refers to the grandchildren of Hillel8  who teach the Torah to Israel in public.9


GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: The anointing oil which Moses prepared in the wilderness23  was used for the boiling of24  the roots;25  these are the words of R. Judah. R. Jose said: Surely it did not suffice even for the dabbing of the roots!26  But the roots were soaked in water and over its surface the oil was poured, which thus absorbed the scent and retained it. Said R. Judah to him: Did, then, only one miracle happen with the anointing oil? Surely, it was originally only twelve logs and with it was anointed the Tabernacle and its furniture, Aaron and his sons, throughout the seven days of consecration, and all of it still remained intact for the time to come, as it is said, This shall be a holy anointing oil unto Me throughout your generation.27

Another [Baraitha] taught: And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein,28  R. Judah said: With the anointing oil which Moses prepared in the wilderness there occurred many miracles from the beginning to the end. Originally it only measured twelve logs. Now, consider how much the pot absorbed, how much the roots absorbed, and how much the fire burned, and yet it sufficed for the anointing of29  the Tabernacle and its furniture, and Aaron and his sons, throughout the seven days of consecration; and High Priests and kings also were anointed with it. And even a High Priest who was the son of a High Priest must be anointed,30  but a king who was the son of a king need not be anointed. And if it be asked: Why was Solomon anointed?31  It was due, [it may be replied], to the dispute of Adonijah; and so was Joash anointed on account of the claims of Athaliah, and Jehoahaz on account of Jehoiakim who was older than he by two years; and that oil remains for the time to come, as it is said, This shall be a holy anointing oil unto Me throughout your generations,32  the numerical value of Zeh33  is twelve — logs.

The Master said, 'And even a High Priest who is the son of a High Priest must be anointed.' Whence is this deduced? — [From the Scriptures] wherein it is written, And the anointed priest that shall be in his stead from among his sons;34  Scripture should have stated, 'And the priest that shall be in his stead35  from among his sons,' why, then, the anointed? Consequently it must have been intended to imply36  that even the son37  of a High Priest succeeds to his father's office only if he was anointed: otherwise38  he does not.

The Master said, 'But a king who is the son of a king need not be anointed.' Whence is this deduced? R. Aha b. Jacob replied: [From Scripture] wherein it is written, To the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom [he and his children] etc.39  which implies that the kingship is an inheritance.40

Whence is it deduced that in cases of dispute anointing is required, and that the king is not entitled to transmit the kingship as he desires? — R. Papa replied: Scripture stated, He and his children in the midst of Israel,41  only when there is peace in Israel may the text, He and his children, be applied to him even though no anointing had taken place.

A Tanna taught: Jehu the son of Nimshi also was anointed only on account of the dispute of Joram. This surely could have been deduced from the fact that he was the first of a dynasty! — There is a lacuna in the text and the following should be inserted: 'The kings of the House of David were anointed: the kings of Israel were not anointed.'42  Whence is this deduced? — Raba replied: Scripture stated, Arise, anoint him; for this is he, etc.,43  only he requires anointing but no other [who is not of the Davidic dynasty] requires anointing.

The Master said, 'Jehu the son of Nimshi also was anointed only on account of the dispute of Joram.' Is it permissible to make inappropriate use44  of the sacred oil on account of the dispute of Joram the son of Ahab? — As R. Papa said elsewhere45  that the anointing was performed with pure balsam,46  so here also it was performed with pure balsam.

'And Jehoahaz on account of Jehoiakim who was older than he by two years.' But was he older than he? Surely it is written, And the sons of Josiah: the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum,47  and R. Johanan said that Shallum is identical with Zedekiah, and Johanan with Jehoahaz! — Jehoiakim was in fact older, but the meaning of firstborn48  is 'first in succession to the kingship.' Do, however, younger sons succeed to kingship before the older ones? Surely, it is written, But the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn!49  — Jehoram was worthily filling the place of his ancestors;50  Jehoiakim was not worthily filling the place of his ancestors.

The Master said, 'Shallum is identical with Zedekiah, and Johanan with Jehoahaz.' Were they not, however, enumerated individually, for it is written, the third, the fourth?51  — 'Third' means third of the sons, and 'fourth' means fourth in succession to the kingdom, since Jehoahaz reigned first, then Jehoiakim, then Jekoniah and finally Zedekiah.

Our Rabbis taught: Shallum is identical with Zedekiah. Then why was he called Shallum? Because he was perfect52  in his deeds. Others say: Shallum implies that the kingdom of David came to end53  in his days. And what was his real name? Mattaniah; as it is stated, And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.54  He said to him, 'May God justify55  my judgment against you, should you rebel against me,' as it is said, And he56  brought him under an oath;57  and it is also written, And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God.58

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. The king. The entire section (ibid. XVII, 14-20) deals with the appointment of a king.
  2. The ruler's sin offering (Lev. IV, 23). i.e., does his office of Patriarch in the Palestine community confer upon him the title of 'ruler' over all Israel?
  3. The Babylonian exilarch.
  4. In Palestine.
  5. V. next paragraph.
  6. In Babylon.
  7. Gen. XLIX, 10.
  8. Rabbi was of the line of Palestine Patriarchs and heads of the principal academies, who descended from Hillel.
  9. V. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 16, n. 2.
  10. Referred to in Lev. IV, 3.
  11. V. Ex. XXX, 23ff.
  12. [H] ('having more garments', i.e., more than an ordinary priest) was the title of the High Priests in the days of the Second Temple. In the days of the first Temple when the anointing oil was in use the title was [H] (or [H]) 'the anointed High Priest'
  13. Which is to be brought by the anointed High Priest only. The other brings the same sin offering as an ordinary individual.
  14. V. Lev. IV, 2ff.
  15. If the High Priest is for any reason disqualified for the Temple service, a substitute is appointed in his place. When the disqualification is removed the priest returns to his duties while his substitute retires. The former then becomes the acting, and the latter the retired High Priest.
  16. V. ibid. VI, 13-15.
  17. The acting, and the retired High Priest.
  18. V. Lev. XXI, 13.
  19. V. ibid. 14.
  20. Ibid. 11.
  21. In token of mourning. Ibid. 10.
  22. From the cities of refuge. v. Num. XXXV, 25.
  23. V. Ex. XXX, 23ff.
  24. Lit., 'they were boiling in it'.
  25. Of the spices. V. ibid. 23ff.
  26. Much less for boiling them.
  27. Ex. XXX, 31.
  28. Lev. VIII, 10.
  29. Lit., 'and with it was anointed'.
  30. Otherwise he does not succeed to the office.
  31. V. I Kings, I, 34, 39.
  32. Ex. XXX. 31; emphasis on the last three words.
  33. [H] 'this'.
  34. Lev. VI, 15.
  35. [So MS.M.]
  36. Lit., 'he teaches us'.
  37. Lit., 'from his sons'.
  38. Lit., 'and if not'.
  39. Deut. XVII, 20.
  40. Lit., 'an inheritance to you'.
  41. Deut. XVII, 20.
  42. Yet Jehu was anointed for the reason stated.
  43. I Sam. XVI, 12.
  44. Since the other kings of Israel were not anointed.
  45. Infra 12a.
  46. Not with the holy oil.
  47. I Chron. III, 15.
  48. As applied to Johanan (Jehoahaz).
  49. II Chron. XXI, 3.
  50. In the early days of his kingship he was righteous and just.
  51. I Chron. III, 15.
  52. [H] from the same root as [H].
  53. [H] Cf. previous note.
  54. II Kings XXIV, 17.
  55. [H], a play upon the word [H].
  56. The King of Babylon.
  57. Ezek. XVII, 13. This is the reading of Bomberg Ed. M.T. reads [H] instead of [H]. Cur. edd. enclose in parentheses, [H] which is meaningless in the context.
  58. II Chron. XXXVI, 13.
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