R. Jeremiah b. Abba said: Four classes will not receive the presence of the Shechinah: the class of scoffers, the class of flatterers, the class of liars, and, the class of slanderers. The class of scoffers, as it is written: He stretched out His hand against scorners.5 The class of flatterers, as it is written: For a flatterer shall not come before Him.6 The class of liars, as it is written: He that speaketh falsehood shall not be established before Mine eyes.7 The class of slanderers, as it is written: For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; evil shall not sojourn with Thee8 — i.e., Thou art righteous, O Lord, evil may not sojourn in Thy habitation.
MISHNAH. AT THE TIME WHEN THE ANOINTED FOR BATTLE9 ADDRESSES THE PEOPLE HE SPEAKS IN THE HOLY TONGUE, AS IT IS SAID, AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN YE DRAW NIGH UNTO THE BATTLE, THAT THE PRIEST SHALL APPROACH10 — I.E., THE ANOINTED FOR BATTLE; AND SPEAK UNTO THE PEOPLE — I.E., IN THE HOLY TONGUE; AND SHALL SAY UNTO THEM, HEAR, O ISRAEL, [YE DRAW NIGH THIS DAY UNTO BATTLE AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES]11 — 'AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES' BUT NOT AGAINST YOUR BRETHREN, NOT JUDAH AGAINST SIMEON NOR SIMEON AGAINST BENJAMIN, SO THAT IF YOU12 FALL INTO THEIR HAND THEY SHALL HAVE MERCY UPON YOU, AS IT IS SAID, AND THE MEN WHICH HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED BY NAME ROSE UP, AND TOOK THE CAPTIVES, AND WITH THE SPOIL CLOTHED ALL THAT WERE NAKED AMONG THEM, AND ARRAYED THEM, AND SHOD THEM, AND GAVE THEM TO EAT AND TO DRINK, AND ANOINTED THEM, AND CARRIED ALL THE FEEBLE OF THEM UPON ASSES, AND BROUGHT THEM TO JERICHO, THE CITY OF PALM TREES, UNTO THEIR BRETHREN; THEN THEY RETURNED TO SAMARIA ETC.13 AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES DO YOU MARCH, SO THAT IF YOU FALL INTO THEIR HAND THEY WILL HAVE NO MERCY UPON YOU. LET NOT YOUR HEART FAINT; FEAR NOT NOR TREMBLE ETC.14 — 'LET NOT YOUR HEART FAINT' AT THE NEIGHING OF THE HORSES AND THE BRANDISHING OF SWORDS; 'FEAR NOT' BECAUSE OF THE CRASH OF SHIELDS AND THE TRAMP OF THE SOLDIERS' FOOTWEAR; — 'NOR TREMBLE' AT THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS; 'NEITHER BE YE AFFRIGHTED' AT THE SOUND OF BATTLE-CRIES. FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU15 THEY COME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT YOU COME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF THE ALL-PRESENT. THE PHILISTINES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF GOLIATH; BUT WHAT WAS HIS FATE? IN THE END HE FELL BY THE SWORD AND THEY FELL WITH HIM. THE AMMONITES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF SHOBACH;16 BUT WHAT WAS HIS FATE? IN THE END HE FELL BY THE SWORD AND THEY FELL WITH HIM. BUT WITH YOU IT IS OTHERWISE; 'FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU TO FIGHT WITH YOU ETC.' [THIS ALLUDES TO] THE CAMP OF THE ARK.17
GEMARA. How does [the author of the Mishnah] prove his point?18 — He proves it thus: It is stated in this connection 'and speak', and elsewhere it states: Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice;19 as in the latter passage it was in the holy tongue, so also in the former it was in the holy tongue.
Our Rabbis taught: The priest shall approach and speak unto the people.20 It is possible to think that any priest who so desires [may address them]; therefore there is a text to state, And the officers shall speak21 — as the officers must have been appointed so must the priest have been appointed [for the purpose]. But I might say that it is the High Priest [who addresses them]! — It is analogous to the case of an officer; as an officer has a superior appointed over him,22 so also the priest [who addresses the people] has a superior appointed over him.23 But the High Priest likewise [has a superior over him]. viz., the king! — He is referring to his service.24 But I might say that it is the deputy High Priest [who addresses them]!25 — The deputy High Priest is not considered appointed; as it has been taught: R. Hanina, the deputy of the priests,26 said: For what is the priests' deputy appointed? If any disqualification should occur to the High Priest, he enters and functions in his stead.27
'And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel'. Why must he just [open with the words] 'Hear, O Israel'? — R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, Even if you only fulfilled morning and evening the commandment to recite the Shema',28 you will not be delivered into [the enemy's] hand.
'Let not your heart faint; fear not' etc. Our Rabbis taught: He addresses them twice: once on the boundary29 and once on the battle-field. What does he say on the boundary?
Sotah 42b'Hear the words of the war-regulations and return home'.1 What does he say to them on the battle-field? 'Let not your heart faint; fear not, nor tremble, neither be ye affrighted'. [These four expressions] correspond to the four means adopted by the nations of the world [to terrorise the enemy]: they crash [their shields], sound [trumpets], shout [battle-cries] and trample [with their horses].
THE PHILISTINES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF GOLIATH etc. Goliath [was so named], said R. Johanan, because he stood with affrontery [gilluy panim] before the Holy One, blessed be He; as it is said: Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.2 The word 'man' signifies none other than the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is said: The Lord is a man of war.3 The Holy One, blessed be He, declared: Behold, I will bring about his downfall through the hand of a son of man; as it is said: David was the son of that man of Ephrath.4
R. Johanan said in the name of R. Meir: In three places did his mouth trap that wicked man:5 first, 'Choose you a man for you, and let him come dawn to me';2 second, 'If he be able to fight with me, and kill me etc.,'6 and third, 'Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?'7 David likewise replied to him, Thou contest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin;8 and he continued, But, I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which thou hast defied.8
And the Philistine drew near morning and evening.9 R. Johanan said: To make them omit the recital of the Shema' morning and evening.
And there went out a champion [benayim] out of the camp of the Philistines etc.11 What means 'benayim'? — Rab said: That he was built up [mebunneh] without any blemish. Samuel said: He was the middle one [benoni] of his brothers.12 In the School of R. Shila they explained: He was made like a building [binyan]. R. Johanan said: He was the son of a hundred fathers and one mother [ben nane].13 'Named Goliath of Gath' — R. Joseph learnt: [He is so described] because all men pressed his mother like a wine-press [gath].
The text has ma'aroth14 but we read the word as ma'arkoth! R. Joseph learnt: Because all had intercourse [he'eru] with his mother. The text has Harafah and also Orpah!15 — Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]. One said that her name was Harafah and why was she called Orpah? Because all had intercourse with her from the rear 'orfin] — The other said: Her name was Orpah; and why was she called Harafah? Because all ground her like a bruised corn [harifoth]. Thus it states: And the woman took and spread the covering over the well's mouth and strewed harifoth [bruised corn] thereon.16 If you like, I can derive [the meaning of harifoth] from this verse: Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar with a pestle among harifoth [bruised corn].17
These four were born to Harafah in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.18 Who were they? — R. Hisda said: Saph, Madon, Goliath and Ishbi-benob.19 'And they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants', as it is written: And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her.20 R. Isaac said: The Holy One, blessed be He, spake, May the sons of the one who kissed21 come and fall by the hand of the sons of the one who clave.
Raba expounded: As a reward for the four tears which Orpah dropped upon her mother-in-law, she merited that four mighty warriors should issue from her; as it is said: And they lifted up their voice and wept again.22
The text further has hez [the arrow] of his spear but we read 'ez [the staff] of his spear!23 — R. Eleazar said: [It indicates that] we have not reached half [hazi] the praise of that wicked man.24 Hence [it is learnt] that it is forbidden to recount the praise of the wicked. Then [Scripture] should not have begun to recount it at all! — [The object] is to proclaim the praise of David [who conquered such a giant].
THE AMMONITES CAME [RELYING] UPON THE MIGHT OF SHOBACH etc. [The name] is written Shobach and also Shofach!25 — Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]. One said that his name was Shofach; and why was he called Shobach? Because he was made like a dove-cote [shobak].26 The other said that his name was Shobach; and why was he called Shofach? Because whoever beheld him was [through terror] poured out [nishpak] before him like a ewer.
Their quiver ['ashpah] is an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.27 Rab and Samuel [differ in their interpretation]; another version is, R. Ammi and R. Assi [differ in their interpretation]. One said: At the time when they shot an arrow they made heaps upon heaps [ashpatoth] of slain; and should you say that this was only because they were only skilled in fighting, there is a text to state, They are all mighty men.28 The other said: At the time when they relieved themselves they made heaps and heaps of excrement; and should you say that this was due to disorder of the bowels, there is a text to state, They are all mighty men.29 R. Mari said: Infer from this that whoever has excessive excrement suffers from disorder of the bowels. What is the practical purpose of this? — He should take steps [to cure himself].
Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop [yashhennah].30 — R. Ammi and R. Assi [differ in their interpretation]. One said, [The last word means], let him dismiss it [yissehennah] from his mind; the other said, [it means], let him talk of it [yesihenah] with others.
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