[11a - 50 lines; 11b - 55 lines]

1)[line 10]"ארי נוהם ודוב שוקק""ARI NOHEM V'DOV SHOKEK"- "[As] a roaring lion, and a growling bear, [so is a wicked ruler over a destitute people.]" (Mishlei 28:15)

2)[line 11]"עלה אריה מסבכו""ALAH ARYEH MI'SUBCHO" - "The lion has left the thicket (where he lay in ambush), [the destroyer of nations has traveled, he has left his place, to lay waste your land to render it desolate without inhabitants.]" (Yirmeyahu 4:7) (THE NAVI'S FINAL WARNING TO DO TESHUVAH)

The Navi is issuing Yisrael a warning at this final hour to do Teshuvah now before it is too late, for Nevuchadnetzar (who is compared to a lion) has left the thicket where he waits in ambush, and he is now about to destroy all the nations in the region, but particularly he has set his sight against Klal Yisrael, who have aroused HaSh-m's anger.

3)[line 12]"וארו חיוא אחרי תנינה דמיה לדב""VA'ARU CHEIVAH OCHRI TINYANA DAMYA LE'DOV" - "And behold another wild beast, second to it (the lion), resembling a bear, [standing to one side, with three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and so they said to it, 'You will eat a lot of meat'.]" (Daniel 7:5) (PERSIA IN DANIEL'S DREAM)

The second beast in Daniel's dream represented Persia, who is compared to a bear (according to Rashi on the verse, "Dov" means "wolf"), as the Gemara explains. It is for the same reason that the verse concludes with the metaphor of eating a lot of meat (since the Gemara remarks that the Persians ate and drank like bears). The bear stood beside the lion, the Metzudas David explains, to represented the year that it took for Koresh, king of Persia, to assume the throne, which hitherto had been held by his father-in-law, Daryavesh, king of Medes. The three ribs represented the three kings who were destined to rule over Persia - Koresh, Achashverosh, and Daryavesh (under whose auspices the Beis ha'Mikdash was rebuilt). The large quantity of meat that the bear would eat referred either to the total annihilation of Bavel, as described by Yirmeyahu (Malbim) or to the vast treasures which the kings of Persia discovered (Metzudas David).

4)[line 13]ומסורבלין בשר כדובMESURBALIN BASAR K'DOV- cloaked with flesh like a bear

5)[line 14]"בעצלתים ימך המקרה""BA'ATZALTAYIM YIMACH HA'MEKAREH"- "By slothfulness the ceiling sags; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks." (Koheles 10:18) - The Gemara interprets this verse as, "Because of the laziness of Bnei Yisrael with regard to Torah-learning, HaSh-m, kiv'Yachol, becomes as if He is poor, unable to protect them."

6)[line 16]"ואם מך הוא מערכך""V'IM MACH HU ME'ERKECHA"- "But if he is poorer than your estimation, [then he shall present himself before the Kohen, and the Kohen shall value him; according to the ability of him who vowed shall the Kohen value him.]" (Vayikra 27:8)

7)[line 16]"המקרה במים עליותיו""HA'MEKAREH VA'MAYIM ALIYOSAV"- "Who lays the beams of His chambers in the waters; [Who makes the clouds His chariot; Who walks upon the wings of the wind." (Tehilim 104:3)

8)[line 17]"שיר המעלות לדוד לולי ה' שהיה לנו יאמר נא ישראל. לולי ה' שהיה לנו בקום עלינו אדם""SHIR HA'MA'ALOS L'DAVID. LULEI HASH-M SHE'HAYAH LANU YOMAR NA YISRAEL. LULEI HASH-M SHE'HAYAH LANU B'KUM ALEINU ADAM."- " Shir ha'Ma'alos of David. If HaSh-m had not been with us, let Yisrael now say: If HaSh-m had not been with us when a man arose against us, then they would have swallowed us alive."(Tehilim 124:1-2)

9)[line 18]"ברבות צדיקים ישמח העם ובמשל רשע יאנח עם""BI'REVOS TZADIKIM YISMACH HA'AM, UVI'MESHOL RASHA YE'ENACH AM"- "When Tzadikim rule, the people are happy, but when a Rasha rules, the people groan." (Mishlei 29:3)

10)[line 20]"כי מי גוי גדול אשר לו אלקים קרבים אליו כה' אלקינו בכל קראנו אליו""KI MI GOY GADOL ASHER LO ELOHIM KEROVIM ELAV KA'HASH-M ELOKEINU B'CHOL KOR'EINU ELAV"- "For which great nation that has a god so close to it, like HaSh-m our G-d, whenever we call out to Him." (Devarim 4:7) - The Maharsha explains that this vere is really in answer to Haman's argument that HaSh-m has already rejected Yisrael and has distanced Himself from them. It is to counter that argument that Rav Masna would begin his expounding of the Megilah with this verse.

11)[line 21]"או הנסה אלהים וגו'""O HA'NISAH ELOHIM..." - "Or did any god ever perform such miracles, [to come and extricate one nation from the midst of another with challenges, with signs, and with wonders, and with greatly awesome deeds, such as everything that HaSh-m did in Egypt before your eyes.]" (Devarim 4:34) (MEASURE FOR MEASURE)

The theme of this verse, explains the Torah Temimah, lies in its conclusion. It teaches us that just as HaSh-m turned the tables on the Egyptians and drowned them in the Yam Suf, causing them to suffer the same fate that they had sought for Klal Yisrael, so too did the Persians find the tables turned against them when they were killed on the very day and in the very way that they had planned to kill Yisrael. That explains why Rav Ashi chose to introduce his expounding of the Megilah with this verse.

12)[line 22]"והתמכרתם שם לאיביך לעבדים ולשפחות וגו'""... V''HISMAKARTEM SHAM L'OYEVECHA LA'AVADIM VELI'SHEFACHOS..." - "[HaSh-m will return you to Egypt in ships, on the road of which I said to you, 'You shall never again see it,'] and there you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as slaves and maidservants [but there will be no buyer.]" (Devarim 28:68) (USELESS AND WORTHLESS)

(a)Rav would begin his expounding of the Megilah with this verse. Nothing can be more degrading for an entire nation than to be deemed totally dispensable, considered useless and worthless, simply because they have been doomed to die. Rashi explains that Haman had issued a decree that nobody was permitted to purchase a Jewish slave. The verse expresses the feeling of total helplessness and despair by using the expression, "Vayehi," which denotes, "Vai v'Hai," an articulation of great despair.

(b)The Torah Temimah explains the connection between this verse and the events of Purim by quoting another vese in Esther (7:4). Esther said to Achashverosh, "And if we had been sold as slaves and maidservants, I would have been silent, for the oppressor cares nothing for the damage to the king."

13)[line 29]ובן גילוBEN GILO- of the same character (born at the same hour, under the same cosmic influences)

14)[line 32]כשולי קדרהSHULEI KEDEIRAH- the [blackened] underside of a pot

15)[line 42]"מתפסח ועד עזה""... MI'TIFSACH V'AD AZAH"- "[For he had dominion over all of the region beyond the [Euphrates] River,] from Tifsach to Azah, [over all the kings of the region beyond the [Euphrates] River; and he had peace on all sides around him.]" (Melachim I 5:4)

16)[line 46]מלכו בכיפהMALCHU V'CHIPAH- ruled over the whole known world

11b----------------------------------------11b

17)[line 2]לא סליק מלכותיהLO SALIK MALCHUSEI- (lit. his kingdom did not finish) he lost the throne before the end of his life

18)[line 2]מלך והדיוטMELECH V'HEDYOT- Shlomo was a king and them became a commoner

19)[line 6]"וישב שלמה על כסא ה""VA'YESHEV SHLOMO AL KISEI HASH-M" - "And Shlomo sat on the throne of HaSh-m [in place of David his father, and he was successful. And all of Yisrael listened to him." (Divrei ha'Yamim I 29:23) (SHLOMO HA'MELECH ASCENDS THE 'THRONE OF HASH-M')

(a)Shlomo's appointment to the throne (despite Adoniyahu's recent rebellion) had the backing of all segments of Klal Yisrael. David's timely intervention, apparently prompted by Nasan ha'Navi and Bas Sheva, was entirely successful in quelling the rebellion. Thus began one of the most successful reigns in history, as the verse goes on to explain.

(b)Commenting on the phrase "the throne of HaSh-m," Rashi cites a Midrash which explains that His throne is compared to the full moon (which shines brighter at mid-month than on all other nights of the month). He elaborates by citing the fourteen generations that preceded Shlomo (Avraham, Yitzchak, Yakov, Yehudah, Peretz, Chetzron, Ram, Avinadav, Nachshon, Salmon, Bo'az, Oved, Yishai, David, during which time the kingdom of Yisrael flourished and grew. This is why the verse in Tehilim compares the throne of David to the sun. In contrast, during the reign of the fifteen kings from Shlomo to Tzidkiyahu, the kingdom of Yisrael continued to wane until the time of the Churban Beis ha'Mikdash, when Nevuchadnetzar blinded Tzidkiyahu's eyes, symbolic of the disappearance of the moon (to which Malchus Yisrael is compared, as is clearly indicated in the Kidush Levanah prayer) at the end of the month.

(c)The above is all the more remarkable when we consider that Shlomo was only twelve years old when he became king.

20)[line 7]"מי בכל אלהי הארצות האלה אשר הצילו את ארצם מידי""MI B'CHOL ELOHEI HA'ARATZOS HA'ELEH ASHER HITZILU ES ARTZAM MI'YADI" - "Who from among all the gods of these lands was able to save their country from my hand, [that HaSh-m will save Yerushalayim from my hand.]" (Yeshayah 36:20) (RAVSHAKEH'S BLASPHEMY)

(a)Having reminded Chizkiyahu's emissaries that Sancheriv had captured all of the cities of the known world (Chamas, Arpad, Sefarvayim, and Shomron), and that their gods were helpless against his vast army, Ravshakeh (Sancheriv's apostate Jewish general) went on to mock Chizkiyahu and his G-d. He assured them that all of His promises were worthless, because their G-d (kiv'Yachol) was no different than the others, and that Yerushalayim would fall just as all the other cities had fallen.

(b)In fact, says the Midrash, were it not for Sancheriv's vanity, Yerushalayim might have fallen to him, too. It was due to his own over-inflated ego that he missed the opportunity to realize his much-coveted dream and join the ranks of the few kings who ruled over the entire world. A short while later, nothing of Sancheriv's vast army remained but corpses, Yerushalayim survived, and Sancheriv returned home in disgrace.

21)[line 11]שלמכון יסגאSHELAMCHON YISGEI- your peace shall increase (a salutation)

22)[line 13]לאחשדרפניאL'ACHASHDARPENAYA- to the satraps

23)[line 14]"כה אמר כרש מלך פרס כל ממלכות הארץ נתן לי ה'""KO AMAR KORESH MELECH PARAS, 'KOL MAMLECHOS HA'ARETZ NASAN LI HASH-M" - "[And it was in the first year of Koresh... when the time referred to by the word of HaSh-m to Yirmeyahu (i.e. the termination of the seventy years of exile) came to an end, HaSh-m aroused the spirit of Koresh, king of Persia, who issued a public announcement throughout his kingdom, also in writing, saying:] So says Koresh, king of Persia: 'HaSh-m, G-d of the Heaven, has given me all the nations of the earth,[ and He commanded me to build Him a house in Yerushalayim that was in Yehudah.]" (Ezra 1:1) (KORESH KING OF PERSIA AND THE RETURN OF THE EXILES)

(a)This verse describes the beginning of the major return from Galus Bavel, together with Zerubavel, as is described in Chapter 2. Together with other leaders, including Mordechai, they set out to build the second Beis ha'Mikdash.

24)[line 18]"בימים ההם כשבת המלך... בשנת שלוש למלכו""BA'YAMIM HA'HEM, K'SHEVES HA'MELECH... BI'SHENAS SHALOSH L'MALCHO" - "In those days, when King Achashverosh sat [on the throne of his kingdom which was in Shushan the capital,] in the third year of his reign [he made a feast for all his officials and provinces being present... the drinks were served in golden vessels of diverse form and royal wine in abundance in accordance with the king's wealth....]" (Esther 1:2-3, 7) (THE MISCALCULATION OF THE PERSIAN KINGS)

(a)Achashverosh presumed that the earlier king, Beltshatzar, had erred by using the captured holy vessels of the Beis ha'Mikdash when he had thought that the seventy years of Galus began when the kingdom of Bavel came to power (at the beginning of Nevuchadnetzar's reign). He took out the vessels in the second year of his reign, after seventy years had passed since the beginning of the reign of Bavel and the Jewish people were still in Galus. He figured that if they had not been redeemed by then, they would not be redeemed at all since HaSh-m had clearly lost His power (kiv'Yachol). Yisrael would remain in Galus, and HaSh-m would be unable to punish him for abusing the holy vessels.

(b)Achashverosh knew better, supposedly. He "knew" that the seventy years of Galus began not when the kingdom of Bavel came to power, but when Yechonyah was sent into exile eight years later. When those additional eight years had passed, in the third year of his reign, and the Jewish people had not yet been redeemed, Achashverosh took out the holy vessels and used them, following in the footsteps of Beltshatzar.

(c)However, Achashverosh erred, too. The seventy years of Galus began not with the exile of Yechonyah as Achashverosh assumed, but eleven years later with the Churban of the Beis ha'Mikdash and the exile of Tzidkiyahu. Hence, it would end only in the second year of Koresh. In any event, both kings erred by a year even according to their own reckoning, since some of the above years overlapped, in which case the seventy-year period ended later than they both thought, as the Gemara explains.

(d)This is not to say that the prophecy of Yirmeyahu that refers to seventy years from Bavel's conquest of Yisrael did not take effect. As the Metzudas David points out, it was in the first year of the reign of Koresh I that they were allowed to return to Eretz Yisrael, and the first stage of the redemption began at that moment. Indeed, this formed the basis of Daniel's mistake, as the Gemara explains on 12a.

(e)See our online Chart for Megilah Daf 5.

25)[line 21]"כי לפי מלאת לבבל שבעים שנה אפקד אתכם""KI LEFI MELOS L'BAVEL SHIV'IM SHANAH EFKOD ESCHEM" - "Because when seventy years of Bavel are completed I will remember you [and I will establish for you My good word, to return you to this place.]" (Yirmeyahu 29:10)

See above, entry #24a.

26)[line 22]"למלאות לחרבות ירושלם שבעים שנה""L'MAL'OS L'CHARVOS YERUSHALAYIM SHIV'IM SHANAH" - "[In the first year of his (Daryavesh's) reign, I, Daniel, studied the scrolls, the number of years that the word of HaSh-m came to Yirmeyahu ha'Navi,] seventy years after the destruction of Yerushalayim." (Daniel 9:2)

See above, entry #24a.

27)[line 30]יהויקיםYEHOYAKIM

The Judean Kings from Chizkiyahu until Tzidkiyahu and the years of their rule:

KING:                Years of rule
-----                -------------
CHIZKIYAHU              29
MENASHE                 55
AMON                     2
YOSHIYAHU               31
YEHOACHAZ                3 months
   ben Yoshiyahu
YEHOYAKIM  (Elyakim)    11
   ben Yoshiyahu
YEHOYACHIN (Yechonyah)   3 months
   ben Yehoyakim
TZIDKIYAHU (Matanyah)   11
   ben Yoshiyahu

(See also our comprehensive Chart at http://dafyomi.co.il/general/info/jewishkings.pdf )

28)[line 42]השתא ודאי תו לא מיפרקיHASHTA VADAI, TU LO MIFREKEI- now for certain, they will never be redeemed

29)[line 44]"ועל מרא שמיא התרוממת ולמאניא די ביתה היתיו קדמיך ואנתה ורברבנך שגלתך ולחנתך חמרא שתין בהון""V'AL MAREI SHEMAYA HISROMAMTA, UL'MANAYA DI VAISEI HAISIV KADAMAYCH V'ANT V'RAVREVANAYCH SHEGELASACH U'LCHENASACH CHAMRA SHASAYIN BEHON"- "You exalted yourself against the L-rd of Heaven, and the utensils of His House were brought before you, [and you, your nobles, your consorts and your concubines drank wine from them]." (Daniel 5:23)

30)[line 44]"ועל מרא שמיא התרוממת ולמאניא די ביתה היתיו קדמיך""V'AL MAREI SHEMAYA HISROMAMTA, UL'MANAYA DI VEISEI HAISI'U KADAMACH" - "You exalted yourself over the Master in Heaven; you brought the vessels of His house before you, [and you, your ministers, your wife and your concubines drank wine in them. You praised gods of silver and gold, copper, metal, wood, and stone that cannot see, cannot hear, and who know nothing; while the G-d Who holds your soul in His hands and Who controls all your ways, you did not honor.]" (Daniel 5:23) (THE WRITING ON THE WALL)

(a)This was Daniel's interpretation of the writing on the wall ("Menei Menei Tekel u'Farsin"). HaSh-m was telling Belshatzar that He found him lacking. Instead of taking a lesson from his father, Nevuchadnetzar, whose arrogance resulted in his downfall, Belshatzar followed in his footsteps.

(b)In keeping with Shlomo ha'Melech's teaching, "Pride precedes a fall," Beltshatzar was killed that very night, and, as Daniel had informed him, Persia and Medes took over the rulership from Bavel.

31)[line 45]"ביה בליליא קטיל בלשאצר מלכא כשדאי""BEI B'LEILYA KETIL BELSHATZAR MALKA CHASDA'I"- "That very night Belshatzar, the Chaldean king, was slain." (Daniel 5:30)

32)[line 50]חשיב ועייל חילופייהוCHASHIV V'AYIL CHILUFAIHU- he figured and added eight years in their place

33)[last line]"באדין בטלת עבידת בית אלקא די בירושלם [והות בטלא עד שנת תרתין למלכות דריוש מלך פרס]""BEDAYIN BETELAS AVIDAS BEIS ELAKA DI B'YERUSHELEM, [VA'HAVAS BATLA AD SHENAS TARTEIN L'MALCHUS DARYAVESH MELECH PARAS.]" - "Then the work of the house of HaSh-m that is in Yerushalayim ceased; [and it remained halted until the second year of the reign of Daryavesh, king of Persia.]" (Ezra 4:24) (THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH IS POSTPONED FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS)

Koresh, king of Persia, had granted Zerubavel permission to rebuild the Beis ha'Mikdash, and it was already well underway. However, the enemies of Yisrael sent a strong letter of protest to Achashverosh (who succeeded Koresh), in which they "reminded" him how, throughout history, Yisrael had subjugated all other kingdoms, and warned him that if they were allowed to rebuild their Holy Temple and were given autonomy in their land, they would rebel against him and overthrow his kingdom. At that point, Achashverosh withdrew his permission and the work remained idle for another eighteen years.

34)[last line]שנים מקוטעות הווSHANIM MEKUTA'OS- incomplete years

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