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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure:3 Resh Lakish said: [It means] for him who leaves undone even a single statute.4 R. Johanan said to him: It is not pleasing to their Master5 that you say thus to them. But [say], who has not studied even a single statute.6
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die,' but the third shall be left therein.7 Resh Lakish said: [This means] a third of the descendants of Shem.8 Said R. Johanan to him: Their Master is not pleased that you say so of them. But [say thus:] a third even of all the descendants of Noah.
For I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family.9 Resh Lakish said: This is meant literally.10 Said R. Johanan unto him: Their Master is not pleased that you say so of them.11 But [say thus:] 'one of a city' [means that his virtues] shall benefit an entire city;12 and 'two of a family' will benefit the entire family.13 R. Kahana sat before Rab and stated: This is meant literally. Rab said to him: Their Master is not pleased that you say so of them. But [say thus:] 'one of a city' — shall benefit an entire city, and 'two of a family' — will benefit the entire family. He [Rab] then observed him dress his hair [instead of paying attention to his studies] and come and sit before Rab. Said he to him, And it shall not be found in the land of the living.14 He exclaimed, 'You curse me!'15 He replied, 'I but cite a verse, [which teaches,] The Torah shall not be found in one who attends to his own wants whilst studying it.'16
It has been taught: R. Simai said: It says, And I will take you to me for a people,'17 and it is also said, And I will bring you in [unto the land etc.].18 Their exodus from Egypt is thus likened to their entry into the [promised] land: just as at their entry into the [promised] land there were but two out of six hundred thousand,19 so at their exodus from Egypt there were but two out of six hundred thousand.20 Raba said: It shall be even so in the days of the Messiah, for it is said, And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the days when she came up out of the land of Egypt.21
It has been taught: R. Eleazar son of R. Jose said: I once visited Alexandria of Egypt and found an old man there, who said to me, 'Come, and I will shew thee what my ancestors did to thine: some of them they drowned in the sea, some they slew by the sword, and some they crushed in the buildings.'22 And for this Moses was punished,23 as it is said, For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people,' neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.24 Thereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, 'Alas for those who are gone and no more to be found! For how many times did I reveal Myself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the name of El Shaddai,25 and they did not question my character,26 nor say to Me, What is Thy name? I said to Abraham, Arise, walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it,' for I will give it unto thee:27 yet when he sought a place to bury Sarah, he did not find one, but had to purchase it for four hundred silver shekels; and still he did not question My character. I said to Isaac, Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee:28 yet his servants sought water to drink, and did not find it without its being disputed, as it is said, And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen saying, The water is our's;29 still he did not question My character. I said to Jacob, The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed:30 yet he sought a place to pitch his tent and did not find one until he purchased it for an hundred kesitah;31 nevertheless he did not question My character; nor did they say to me, What is Thy name?32 And now thou sayest to Me, Neither hast thou delivered thy people at all. [Therefore] Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh:33 thou shalt behold the war against Pharaoh, but not the war against the thirty one kings.'34
And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.35 What did Moses see?36 — R. Hanina b. Gamala37 said: He saw long-suffering [as one of His attributes].38 The Rabbis say: He saw [His attribute of] truth.38 It has been taught in agreement with the one who holds that 'he saw long-suffering,' viz.,39 When Moses ascended on high, he found the Holy One, blessed be He, sitting and writing 'long-suffering'. Said he to Him, 'Sovereign of the Universe! Long-suffering to the righteous?' He replied, 'Even' to the wicked.' He urged, 'Let the wicked perish!' 'See now what thou desirest,' was His answer.40 'When Israel sinned,' He said to him, 'didst thou not urge Me, [Let Thy] long-suffering be for the righteous [only]?'
Sanhedrin 111b'Sovereign of the Universe!' said he, 'but didst Thou not assure me, Even to the wicked!' Hence it is written, And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying.1
R. Hagga was walking up the steps of Rabbah b. Shila's college, when he heard a child recite, Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thy house; O Lord, [thou art] for the length of days.2 And in proximity thereto is stated, A prayer of Moses etc.3 This proves, said he, that he saw [that God is] long-suffering.4
R. Eleazar said in R. Hanina's name: The Lord shall be a crown upon the head of every righteous man, as it is written, In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory [zebi], and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people etc.5 What is meant by for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty? — To those who obey His will and hope for His salvation.6 I might think, this applies to all; therefore Scripture states, unto the residue of his people, [meaning] unto those who make themselves as a remnant.7 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.8 'And for a spirit of judgment' — this means, to him who rules over his inclinations;9 'and to him that sitteth in judgment': i.e., to him that renders an honest judgment according to the truth thereof;10 'and for strength' — viz., to him that prevails against his evil inclinations;11 'that turn the battle' — to those who engage in the battle of the Torah;12 'to the gate' — to those who repair morning and evening to the synagogue and house of study. But the Attribute of Judgment protested before the Holy One, blessed be He:13 'Sovereign of the Universe! Wherein do these differ from those?'14 — He replied, 'But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way … paku peliliyah they stumble in judgement.'15 Now pukah [the root idea of paku] can only mean the Gehenna, as it is said, That this shall be no grief unto thee;16 and peliliyah can only refer to the judges, as it is said, and he shall pay as the judges determine.17
MISHNAH. THE INHABITANTS OF A SEDUCED CITY HAVE NO PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME, AS IT IS WRITTEN, CERTAIN MEN, THE CHILDREN OF BELIAL, ARE GONE OUT FROM AMONG YOU, AND HAVE WITHDRAWN THE INHABITANTS OF THEIR CITY.18 THEY ARE NOT EXECUTED UNLESS THE SEDUCERS ARE OF THAT CITY AND THAT TRIBE, AND THE MAJORITY THEREOF ARE SEDUCED, AND THE SEDUCERS ARE MEN. IF WOMEN OR MINORS SEDUCED IT, IF A MINORITY WERE SEDUCED, OR IF THE SEDUCERS WERE FROM WITHOUT THE CITY, THEY19 ARE TREATED AS INDIVIDUALS, AND TWO WITNESSES AND A FORMAL WARNING ARE NECESSARY FOR EACH [OFFENDER]. IN THIS [THE PENALTY OF] INDIVIDUALS IS SEVERER THAN [THAT OF] A MULTITUDE, FOR INDIVIDUALS ARE STONED, THEREFORE THEIR PROPERTY IS SAVED; BUT MULTITUDES ARE DECAPITATED; HENCE THEIR POSSESSIONS ARE DESTROYED.
THOU SHALT SURELY SMITE THE INHABITANTS OF THAT CITY WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD.20 A COMPANY OF ASS-DRIVERS OR CAMEL-DRIVERS PASSING FROM PLACE TO PLACE SAVES IT.21 DESTROYING IT UTTERLY, AND ALL THAT IS THEREIN, AND THE CATTLE THEREOF: FROM THIS IT WAS DEDUCED THAT THE PROPERTY OF THE RIGHTEOUS, WHICH IS WITHIN [THE CITY] IS DESTROYED, BUT THAT WHICH IS WITHOUT IS SAVED, WHILST THAT OF THE WICKED, WHETHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT, IS DESTROYED.22 AND THOU SHALT GATHER ALL THE SPOIL THEREOF IN TO THE MIDST OF THE PUBLIC SQUARE THEREOF ETC.23 IF IT HAD NO PUBLIC SQUARE, ONE IS MADE FOR IT; IF IT WAS [SITUATED] WITHOUT [THE TOWN], IT IS BROUGHT WITHIN IT,24 AS IT IS SAID, AND THOU SHALT BURN WITH FIRE THE CITY, AND ALL THE SPOIL THEREOF EVERY WHIT, FOR THE LORD THY GOD.25
THE SPOIL THEREOF' IMPLIES, BUT NOT THE SPOIL OF HEAVEN. HENCE IT WAS RULED, THE HOLY OBJECTS THEREIN26 MUST BE REDEEMED; THE TERUMOTH27 ALLOWED TO ROT; AND THE SECOND TITHE28 AND THE SACRED WRITINGS HIDDEN.29 A WHOLE-OFFERING FOR THE LORD THY GOD:30 R. SIMEON SAID: THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, DECLARED, IF YE EXECUTE JUDGMENT UPON THE SEDUCED CITY, I WILL ASCRIBE MERIT TO YOU AS THOUGH YE HAD SACRIFICED TO ME A WHOLE OFFERING. AND IT SHALL BE A HEAP FOR EVER:31 [HENCE] IT MAY NOT BE CONVERTED INTO GARDENS AND ORCHARDS: THIS IS THE VIEW OF R. JOSE THE GALILEAN. R. AKIBA MAINTAINED: IT SHALL NOT BE BUILT AGAIN [IMPLIES] THAT IT MAY NOT BE REBUILT AS IT WAS, BUT MAY BE CONVERTED INTO GARDENS AND ORCHARDS. AND THERE SHALL CLEAVE NOUGHT OF THE CURSED THING TO THINE HAND: [THAT THE LORD MAY TURN FROM THE FIERCENESS OF HIS WRATH, AND SHEW THEE MERCY]:32 AS LONG AS THE WICKED EXIST IN THE WORLD, THERE IS FIERCE ANGER IN THE WORLD; WHEN THE WICKED PERISH FROM THE WORLD, FIERCE ANGER DISAPPEARS FROM THE WORLD.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: [If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities… saying,] they have gone out: [this implies,] they, but not their agents.33 Men: the plural cannot mean less than two.34 Another explanation: men, [implies] but not women; men, but not minors. The children of Belial denotes children who have thrown off the Yoke of Heaven from their necks.35 From among you, but not from a border town.36 The inhabitants of their city — but not the inhabitants of a different city. Saying, [teaches that] witnesses and a formal warning are necessary for each offender.
It has been stated: R. Johanan maintained: One city might be divided among two tribes.37 Resh Lakish said: One city might not be divided among two tribes.38 R. Johanan asked Resh Lakish: UNLESS THE SEDUCERS ARE OF THAT CITY AND OF THAT TRIBE — surely it means, though the seducers be of that city, yet only if they belong to that tribe too does the law apply, but not otherwise; which proves that a city might be divided among two tribes? — No: such a case is possible if it [a portion of the town] came to them [the seducers] through inheritance,39 or was gifted to them. He [further] objected: nine cities, out of these two tribes.40 Surely it means four and a half from each, thus proving that a city might be divided among two tribes. — No: four from one and five from the other. If so, these should be specified.41
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