THE SALE OF YISRAEL
(R. Aba): "The king said to Haman 'the money is given to you; do to the people as is good in your eyes". This is like two men; Ploni had a mound, and Almoni had a ditch.
Almoni: If only I could buy that mound (to fill in my ditch)!
Ploni: If only I could buy that ditch (to get rid of my mound)!
When they met, Almoni asked to buy the mound. Ploni said 'if only you would take it (for free)!'
(R. Aba bar Kahana): "The king took off his ring" - this was greater than the 55 Nevi'im that prophecized to Yisrael, for the Nevi'im did not succeed to make Yisrael do Teshuvah, whereas the removal of the ring made Yisrael do Teshuvah.
(Beraisa): Fourty-eight male and seven female Nevi'im prophecized to Yisrael; they did not detract nor add to the Torah, except for Keri'as ha'Megilah.
Question: What was their source?
Answer (R. Chiya bar Avin): We sing Shirah (Hallel) for going from slavery to freedom (on Pesach), all the more so for going from death to life!
Question: If so, we should also say Hallel (on Purim)!
Answer #1: We do not say Hallel on a miracle in Chutz la'Aretz.
Question: Yetzi'as Miztrayim was in Chutz la'Aretz, and we say Shirah!
Answer (Beraisa): Before we entered Eretz Yisrael, all lands were fit to say Shirah (for a miracle done there). After we entered Eretz Yisrael, they were disqualified from Shirah.
Answer #2 (Rav Nachman): Keri'as ha'Megilah is like Hallel.
Answer #3 (Rava): Hallel begins with "Halelu Avdei Hash-m... " This is fitting for Yetzi'as Miztrayim, for we ceased to be slaves of Paro. Regarding Purim we did not become (exclusively) Avdei Hash-m; we remained subjects of Achashverosh!
Question: The Beraisa refutes both Rava and Rav Nachman. After we entered Eretz Yisrael, other lands were disqualified from Shirah!
Answer: Once we were exiled, they became Kosher again to say Shirah.
THE FIFTY-FIVE NEVI'IM
Question: There were more Nevi'im! "There was a man from Ramasayim Tzufim" - one of Ma'atayim (200) Tzufim (seers) who prophecized to Yisrael!
Answer: There were many more; a Beraisa teaches that there were 1,200,000 Nevi'im. A prophecy thatwas needed for all generations was written (this applies to only 55 Nevi'im), one that was not needed for generations was not written.
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Ramasayim refers to two Ramos (hills) that are Tzofos (see) each other.
(R. Chanin): It teaches that Elkanah descended from people who stand at the height of the world, i.e. Benei Korach - "U'Venei Korach Lo Mesu";
(Beraisa - Rebbi): A loft was made for them in Gehinom, and they stood upon it.
THE SEVEN FEMALE PROPHETS
There were seven Neviyos - Sarah, Miryam, Devorah, Chanah, Avigayil, Chuldah and Esther.
We learn about Sarah from "The father of Milkah and Yiskah";
(R. Yitzchak): This is Sarah. She is called Yiskah because she was Sochah (saw) with Ru'ach haKodesh - "Everything that she will say to you, listen to (the Ru'ach ha'Kodesh in) her voice."
Also, she is called Yiskah because everyone was Socheh (gazed at) her beauty.
Regarding Miryam it says "Miryam ha'Nevi'yah Achos Aharon."
Question: Is she the sister of Aharon and not the sister of Moshe?!
Answer (Rav): She prophecized when she was only the sister of Aharon (before Moshe was born), and said 'my mother will have a child who will save Yisrael.'
When Moshe was born, the house filled with light. Her father kissed her on her head, and said 'my daughter, your prophecy has been fulfilled!'
When Moshe was thrown in the river, her father hit her on the head, and said to her, my daughter, what happened to your prophecy?!
"His sister stood from afar, to know" - to know what will be the end of her prophecy.
Regarding Devorah it says "Devorah Ishah Neviyah".
"Eshes Lapidos" - her husband used to make Pesilos (wicks) for the Mikdash.
Question: Why did she used to sit "under a palm tree"?
Answer (R. Shimon ben Avshalom): This was so she should not be secluded with a man. Alternatively, just like a palm tree has only one Lev (spine), so Yisrael in that generation had only one Lev (heart) to their Father in Heaven.
We learn about Chanah from "And Chanah prayed... my horn is raised in Hash-m" - my horn is raised, but not my flask;
David and Shlomo were anointed with a horn (of oil), and their kingships lasted; Sha'ul and Yehu were anointed with flasks, and their kingships did not last.
(Rav Yehudah bar Menasheh): "Ein Kadosh ka'Shem Ki Ein Biltecha (besides You) - we read this Livlosecha (nothing endures longer than You).
Hash-m's ways are unlike the ways of people. The works of people outlive them, but Hash-m outlives His works.
"Ein Tzur (rock) kei'Lokeinu" - there is no Tzayar (artist) like Hash-m. A person draws a picture on a wall, and cannot put in it breath, a soul, innards or intestines. Hash-m draws a form within a form (a fetus in a mother), and puts in it breath, a soul, innards and intestines.
We learn about Avigayil from "She was riding on the donkey, and descended in the hidden part of the mountain.
Question: It should say 'she descended from the mountain!'
Answer (Rabah bar Shmuel): She came regarding blood, which comes from hidden (internal) places; she showed Dam Nidah to him (David).
David: Do we inspect blood at night?!
Avigayil: Do we judge capital cases (e.g. to kill Naval) at night?!
David: He rebelled against the king (me), so he need not be judged.
Avigayil: Sha'ul is still alive, and you are not known to be the king.
David: "You spared me today from coming in Damim" connotes two bloods (Nidah and killing Naval. He did not mention the Isur of Eshes Ish! Radvaz (7:29) - perhaps he thought that since Naval was Mored b'Malchus, is wife is permitted. (This is why Sha'ul gave David's wife to Palti ben Layish - Bereishis Rabah 32:1.) He prefers to say that Avigayil was merely Naval's Pilegesh.)
She revealed her thigh, and David went three Parsa'os in its light. (Maharsha - she was three Parsa'os away from David at the time and was unaware of his presence. Iyun Yakov - it was an Aveirah Lishmah, she aroused David's desire in order that he would listen to her and not kill Naval.)
David: Consent to me (to have relations).
Avigayil: "This should not be a pitfall for you" implies that there will be a pitfall, i.e. Bas Sheva. (Tosfos where?- this explains how she dissuaded him also from Dam Nidah after he desired relations with her. Maharsha - first we explained that he himself refrained from seeing Dam Nidah at night, and she dissuaded him from murder. The Gemara then gave an alternative explanation of 'Damim', that he desired relations with her, and she dissuaded him from two capital transgressions, i.e. Eshes Ish and murder.)
When she left him, she said "You will remember your servant (and marry me after Naval dies)".
(Rav Nachman): This is like people say, at the same time that a woman talks, she weaves. Some say, a goose walks lowly, but its eyes look far ahead. (She was punished for desiring another man while her husband was alive, therefore her name is written missing a Yud (Shmuel 2:17:25) - Medrash Shmuel 23:12.)
Regarding Chuldah it says "Chilkiyah went... (to Chuldah ha'Neviyah)".
Question: How could she prophecize in Yirmeyahu's region?
Answer (Rav): She was his relative, so he did not mind.
Question: Why did Yoshiyah abandon Yirmeyahu and ask her?
Answer #1 (R. Shilo): This is because women are merciful.
Answer #2 (R. Yochanan): Yirmeyahu was not there, he had gone to return the 10 Shevatim.
Question: How do we know that they returned?
Answer #1: (Yovel applies only when "Kol Yoshveha" (all the Shevatim) are in Eretz Yisrael.) "The seller will not return to what he sells." If Yovel was Batel, the Navi would not prophecize that it will become Batel! Rather, we must say that Yovel was in force, for Yirmeyahu returned them. Yoshiyahu ben Amon ruled over them;
Question: "... These things that you did on the Mizbe'ach in Beis Kel" - what was Yoshiyahu (Melech Yehudah) doing on the Mizbe'ach in Beis Kel (in Malchus Yehudah)?
Answer: Rather, it teaches that Yoshiyahu ruled over the 10 Shevatim.
Answer #2 (Rav Nachman): We learn from "Gam Yehudah Shas Katzir Lach b'Shuvi Shevus Ami" (there is hope for the 10 Shevatim through Yoshiyahu Melech Yehudah).
We learn about Esther from "Va'Tilbash Esther Malchus";
Question: It should say 'Bigdei Malchus'!
Answer: Rather, Ru'ach ha'Kodesh clothed her. It says here "Va'Tilbash", like it says "V'Ru'ach Lavshah Es Amasai."
(Rav Nachman): Haughtiness (Rashi - importance) does not befit women. There were two such women, and (they acted haughtily even though) their names were loathed (creatures), i.e. a bee and a weasel.
Regarding Devorah it says "She sent and called to Barak" - she did not go herself;
Regarding Chuldah it says "Say to the man" - she didn't say, 'say to the king.'
Rav Nachman: Chuldah descended from Yehoshua.
It says regarding her (husband) "Ben Charchas", and it says about Yehoshua "B'Simnas Cheres."
Question (Beraisa - Rav Eina Sava): Eight Nevi'im Kohanim descended from Rachav the harlot - Neriyah, Baruch, Serayah, Machsiyah, Yirmeyahu, Chilkiyah, Chanma'el and Shalom;
R. Yehudah says, also Chuldah was from Rachav. It says regarding her "Ben Tikvah", like it says regarding Rachav "Tikvas (a thread) Chut ha'Shani". (If so, she was not from Yehoshua!)
Answer (Rav Nachman): Together we will conclude the teaching. She converted, and Yehoshua married her.
Question: Yehoshua did not have children! It says "Nun Beno Yehoshua Beno" (but no further)!
Answer: He had no sons, but he had daughters.