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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 10, Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 11, Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 12

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Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 10

1

A gentile who inadvertently violates one of his commandments is exempt from all punishment with the exception of a person who kills inadvertently. In such an instance, the redeemer of the blood is not executed for slaying the killer, nor may the latter seek asylum in a city of refuge. However, the court will not execute him.

When does the above apply? When he inadvertently violates a command without sinful intention; for example, a person who engages in relations with his colleague's wife under the impression that she is his own wife or unmarried.

If, however, one knew that she was his colleague's wife, but did not know that she was forbidden to him or it occurred to him that this act was permitted or one killed without knowing that it is forbidden to kill, he is considered close to having sinned intentionally and is executed. This is not considered as an inadvertent violation. For he should have learned the obligations incumbent upon him and did not.

א

בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁשָּׁגַג בְּאַחַת מִמִּצְוֹתָיו פָּטוּר מִכְּלוּם. חוּץ מֵרוֹצֵחַ בִּשְׁגָגָה שֶׁאִם הֲרָגוֹ גּוֹאֵל הַדָּם אֵינוֹ נֶהֱרָג עָלָיו. וְאֵין לוֹ עִיר מִקְלָט. אֲבָל בָּתֵּי דִּינֵיהֶן אֵין מְמִיתִין אוֹתוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשָׁגַג בְּאַחַת מִמִּצְוֹת וְעָבַר בְּלֹא כַּוָּנָה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁבָּעַל אֵשֶׁת חֲבֵרוֹ וְדִמָּה שֶׁהִיא אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ פְּנוּיָה. אֲבָל אִם יָדַע שֶׁהִיא אֵשֶׁת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא יָדַע שֶׁהִיא אֲסוּרָה עָלָיו. אֶלָּא עָלָה עַל לִבּוֹ שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה מֻתָּר לוֹ. וְכֵן אִם הָרַג וְהוּא לֹא יָדַע שֶׁאָסוּר לַהֲרֹג. הֲרֵי זֶה קָרוֹב לְמֵזִיד וְנֶהֱרָג. וְלֹא תֵּחָשֵׁב זוֹ לָהֶם שְׁגָגָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ לִלְמֹד וְלֹא לָמַד:

2

A gentile who is forced by another person to violate one of his commandments is permitted to transgress. Even if he is forced to worship false gods, he may worship them. For gentiles are not commanded to sanctify God's name.

A gentile minor, deaf-mute, or fool is never given punishment for they are not bound by any commandments.

ב

בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁאֲנָסוֹ אַנָּס לַעֲבֹר עַל אַחַת מִמִּצְוֹתָיו. מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲבֹר. אֲפִלּוּ נֶאֱנַס לַעֲבֹד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה עוֹבֵד. לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן מְצֻוִּין עַל קִדּוּשׁ הַשֵּׁם. וּלְעוֹלָם אֵין עוֹנְשִׁין מֵהֶן לֹא קָטָן וְלֹא חֵרֵשׁ וְלֹא שׁוֹטֶה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן בְּנֵי מִצְוֹת:

3

A gentile who converted, was circumcised, and immersed in the mikveh, and, afterwards, decided to forsake God and revert to his previous status as a resident alien is not granted permission to do so. Rather, he must remain as an Israelite in all matters or be executed.

If he was a minor and immersed by the court, he may repudiate his conversion when he attains majority and assume the status of a resident alien alone. However, if he does not object as soon as he attains majority, he is no longer given the opportunity to object and his status is that of a righteous convert.

Therefore, if a Jew has relations with a girl below the age of majority who was immersed in the mikveh by a court, the money due her as payment of her ketubah or as a fine for raping her or seducing her is placed in the custody of the court until she attains majority and does not repudiate her conversion. This step is taken lest she take the money, attain majority, and then, repudiate her conversion. Thus, she would derive benefit as a gentile from monies to which she is only entitled according to Jewish law.

ג

בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר וּמָל וְטָבַל וְאַחַר כָּךְ רָצָה לַחְזֹר מֵאַחֲרֵי ה' וְלִהְיוֹת גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב בִּלְבַד כְּשֶׁהָיָה מִקֹּדֶם. אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. אֶלָּא יִהְיֶה כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל דָּבָר אוֹ יֵהָרֵג. וְאִם הָיָה קָטָן כְּשֶׁהִטְבִּילוּהוּ בֵּית דִּין. יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיַּגְדִּיל וְיִהְיֶה גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב בִּלְבַד. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁלֹּא מִחָה בִּשְׁעָתוֹ שׁוּב אֵינוֹ מוֹחֶה אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הוּא גֵּר צֶדֶק. לְפִיכָךְ אִם בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל קְטַנָּה שֶׁהִטְבִּילוּהָ בֵּית דִּין. כֶּסֶף כְּתֻבָּתָהּ אוֹ קְנָס אוֹנֵס אוֹ מְפַתֶּה יִהְיֶה הַכּל תַּחַת יַד בֵּית דִּין עַד שֶׁתַּגְדִּיל וְלֹא תִּמְחֶה בַּגֵּרוּת. שֶׁמָּא תִּטּל וְתַגְדִּיל וְתִמְחֶה וְנִמְצֵאת זוֹ אוֹכֶלֶת בְּגֵיוּתָהּ מָעוֹת שֶׁאֵין לָהּ זְכוּת בָּהֶן אֶלָּא בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:

4

A gentile who converts after cursing God's name, worshipping false gods, engaging in relations with a colleague's wife, or killing a fellow gentile is exempt from punishment.

In contrast, if he converted after killing a Jew or having relations with a Jew's wife, he is liable. He is decapitated for killing the Jew and strangled to death for engaging in relations with a Jew's wife. He is given the latter punishment because the laws governing him have changed.

ד

בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁבֵּרֵךְ אֶת הַשֵּׁם אוֹ שֶׁעָבַד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה אוֹ שֶׁבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהָרַג חֲבֵרוֹ וְנִתְגַּיֵּר. פָּטוּר. הָרַג בֶּן יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ שֶׁבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנִתְגַּיֵּר חַיָּב וְהוֹרְגִין אוֹתוֹ עַל בֶּן יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְחוֹנְקִין אוֹתוֹ עַל אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבָּעַל שֶׁהֲרֵי נִשְׁתַּנָּה דִּינוֹ:

5

It has already been explained that gentiles are always executed by decapitation except in cases when one engages in relations with the wife of a Jew or a consecrated maiden. In the latter instance, he is stoned to death.

If he engaged in relations with a Jew's wife after they married, but before they ever engaged in relations, he is executed by strangulation.

ה

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל מִיתַת בְּנֵי נֹחַ בְּסַיִף. אֶלָּא אִם בָּעַל אֵשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָסָה יִסָּקֵל. וְאִם בְּעָלָהּ אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַחֻפָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּבָּעֵל יֵחָנֵק:

6

According to the Oral Tradition, gentiles are forbidden to cross-breed animals and graft different species of trees together. However, they are not executed for violating this prohibition.

A gentile who gave a Jew a blow is liable to die for causing even the most minimal damage. Nevertheless, he is not executed.

ו

מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה שֶׁבְּנֵי נֹחַ אֲסוּרִין בְּהַרְבָּעַת בְּהֵמָה וּבְהַרְכָּבַת אִילָן בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין נֶהֱרָגִין עֲלֵיהֶן. וְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהִכָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲפִלּוּ חָבַל בּוֹ כָּל שֶׁהוּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מִיתָה אֵינוֹ נֶהֱרָג:

7

Only Abraham and his descendants were commanded regarding circumcision as Genesis 17:9-10 states: 'Keep My covenant, you and your offspring... circumcise every male.'

The descendants of Ishmael are excluded as implied by Genesis 21:12: 'It is through Isaac, that your offspring will be called.' Esau's descendants are also excluded, for Isaac told Jacob Genesis 28:4: 'May God grant Abraham's blessing to you and your descendants,' implying that only he is the true offspring of Abraham who maintains his faith and his upright behavior. Thus, they alone are obligated in circumcision.

ז

הַמִּילָה נִצְטַוָּה בָּהּ אַבְרָהָם וְזַרְעוֹ בִּלְבַד. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יז, ט) "אַתָּה וְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ". יָצָא זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל יִשְׁמָעֵאל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית כא, יב) "כִּי בְיִצְחָק יִקָּרֵא לְךָ זָרַע". וְיָצָא עֵשָׂו שֶׁהֲרֵי יִצְחָק אָמַר לְיַעֲקֹב (בראשית כח, ד) "וְיִתֶּן לְךָ אֶת בִּרְכַּת אַבְרָהָם לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ". מִכְלַל שֶׁהוּא לְבַדּוֹ זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּדָתוֹ וּבְדַרְכּוֹ הַיְשָׁרָה. וְהֵם הַמְחֻיָּבִין בְּמִילָה:

8

Our Sages related that the descendants of Keturah who are the offspring of Abraham that came after Isaac and Ishmael are also obligated in circumcision. Since, at present, the descendants of Ishmael have become intermingled with the descendants of Keturah, they are all obligated to be circumcised on the eighth day. However, they are not executed for failure to perform this mitzvah.

ח

אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁבְּנֵי קְטוּרָה שֶׁהֵם זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם שֶׁבָּא אַחַר יִשְׁמָעֵאל וְיִצְחָק חַיָּבִין בְּמִילָה. וְהוֹאִיל וְנִתְעָרְבוּ הַיּוֹם בְּנֵי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בִּבְנֵי קְטוּרָה יִתְחַיְּבוּ הַכּל בְּמִילָה בַּשְּׁמִינִי. וְאֵין נֶהֱרָגִין עָלֶיהָ:

9

A gentile who studies the Torah is obligated to die. They should only be involved in the study of their seven mitzvot.

Similarly, a gentile who rests, even on a weekday, observing that day as a Sabbath, is obligated to die. Needless to say, he is obligated for that punishment if he creates a festival for himself.

The general principle governing these matters is: They are not to be allowed to originate a new religion or create mitzvot for themselves based on their own decisions. They may either become righteous converts and accept all the mitzvot or retain their statutes without adding or detracting from them.

If a gentile studies the Torah, makes a Sabbath, or creates a religious practice, a Jewish court should beat him, punish him, and inform him that he is obligated to die. However, he is not to be executed.

ט

עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁעָסַק בַּתּוֹרָה חַיָּב מִיתָה. לֹא יַעֲסֹק אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁבַע מִצְוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן בִּלְבַד. וְכֵן עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁשָּׁבַת אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם מִימוֹת הַחל אִם עֲשָׂאָהוּ לְעַצְמוֹ כְּמוֹ שַׁבָּת חַיָּב מִיתָה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם עָשָׂה מוֹעֵד לְעַצְמוֹ. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר אֵין מְנִיחִין אוֹתָן לְחַדֵּשׁ דָּת וְלַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוֹת לְעַצְמָן מִדַּעְתָּן. אֶלָּא אוֹ יִהְיֶה גֵּר צֶדֶק וִיקַבֵּל כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת. אוֹ יַעֲמֹד בְּתוֹרָתוֹ וְלֹא יוֹסִיף וְלֹא יִגְרַע. וְאִם עָסַק בַּתּוֹרָה אוֹ שָׁבַת אוֹ חִדֵּשׁ דָּבָר. מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ וְעוֹנְשִׁין אוֹתוֹ וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מִיתָה עַל זֶה. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ נֶהֱרָג:

10

We should not prevent a gentile who desires to perform one of the Torah's mitzvot in order to receive reward from doing so, provided he performs it as required. If he brings an animal to be sacrificed as a burnt offering, we should receive it.

If a gentile who observes the seven mitzvot gives charity, we should accept it from him. It appears to me that it should be given to the Jewish poor for the gentile may derive his sustenance from the Jews and they are commanded to support him if necessary. In contrast, if an idolater gives charity, we should accept it from him and give it to the gentile poor.

י

בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁרָצָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוָה מִשְּׁאָר מִצְוֹת הַתּוֹרָה כְּדֵי לְקַבֵּל שָׂכָר. אֵין מוֹנְעִין אוֹתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ כְּהִלְכָתָהּ. וְאִם הֵבִיא עוֹלָה מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ. נָתַן צְדָקָה מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין אוֹתָהּ לַעֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל. הוֹאִיל וְהוּא נִזּוֹן מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וּמִצְוָה עֲלֵיהֶם לְהַחְיוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנָּתַן צְדָקָה מְקַבְּלִין מִמֶּנּוּ וְנוֹתְנִין אוֹתָהּ לַעֲנִיֵּי עַכּוּ''ם:

11

The Jewish court is obligated to appoint judges for these resident aliens to judge them according to these statutes so that the world will not become decadent.

If the court sees fit to appoint the judges from the resident aliens themselves, they may. If it sees fit to appoint them from among the Jews, they may.

יא

חַיָּבִין בֵּית דִּין שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת שׁוֹפְטִים לְאֵלּוּ הַגֵּרִים הַתּוֹשָׁבִים לָדוּן לָהֶן עַל פִּי מִשְׁפָּטִים אֵלּוּ. כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׁחֵת הָעוֹלָם. אִם רָאוּ בֵּית דִּין שֶׁיַּעֲמִידוּ שׁוֹפְטֵיהֶם מֵהֶן מַעֲמִידִין. וְאִם רָאוּ שֶׁיַּעֲמִידוּ לָהֶן מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מַעֲמִידִין:

12

Should two idolaters come before you to have their dispute judged according to Jewish law. If they both desire to be judged according to Torah law, they should be judged accordingly. If one desires to be judged according to Torah law and the other does not, they are only forced to be judged according to their own laws.

If there is a dispute between a Jew and an idolater: If the Jew will fare better according to their laws, they are judged according to their laws. When the judgement is rendered, the judges explain: 'Your law obligates this judgement.' If the Jew will fare better according to our laws, they are judged according to Torah law. When the judgement is rendered, the judges explain: 'Our law obligates this judgement.' It appears to me that this approach is not followed in regard to a resident alien. Rather, he is always judged according to their laws.

Similarly, it appears to me that in regard to respect and honor and also, in regard to charity, a resident alien is to be treated as a Jew for behold, we are commanded to sustain them as Deuteronomy 14:21 states: 'You may not eat any animal that has not been properly slaughtered... give it to the resident alien in your gates that he may eat it.' Though our Sages counseled against repeating a greeting to them, that statement applies to idolaters and not resident aliens.

However, our Sages commanded us to visit the gentiles when ill, to bury their dead in addition to the Jewish dead, and support their poor in addition to the Jewish poor for the sake of peace. Behold, Psalms 145:9 states: 'God is good to all and His mercies extend over all His works' and Proverbs 3:17 states: 'The Torah's ways are pleasant ways and all its paths are peace.'

יב

שְׁנֵי עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁבָּאוּ לְפָנֶיךָ לָדוּן בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָצוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן לָדוּן דִּין תּוֹרָה דָּנִין. הָאֶחָד רוֹצֶה וְהָאֶחָד אֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה אֵין כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לָדוּן אֶלָּא בְּדִינֵיהֶן. הָיָה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַכּוּ''ם אִם יֵשׁ זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵיהֶן דָּנִין לוֹ בְּדִינֵיהֶם. וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ כָּךְ דִּינֵיכֶם. וְאִם יֵשׁ זְכוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּדִינֵינוּ דָּנִין לוֹ דִּין תּוֹרָה וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ כָּךְ דִּינֵינוּ. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין כֵּן לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב אֶלָּא לְעוֹלָם דָּנִין לוֹ בְּדִינֵיהֶם. וְכֵן יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין עִם גֵּרֵי תּוֹשָׁב בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶרֶץ וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁהֲרֵי אָנוּ מְצֻוִּין לְהַחֲיוֹתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד, כא) "לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ". וְזֶה שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין כּוֹפְלִין לָהֶן שָׁלוֹם בְּעַכּוּ''ם לֹא בְּגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. אֲפִלּוּ הָעַכּוּ''ם צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים לְבַקֵּר חוֹלֵיהֶם וְלִקְבֹּר מֵתֵיהֶם עִם מֵתֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְפַרְנֵס עֲנִיֵּיהֶם בִּכְלַל עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (תהילים קמה, ט) "טוֹב ה' לַכּל וְרַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו". וְנֶאֱמַר (משלי ג, יז) "דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נֹעַם וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם":

Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 11

1

In the future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel.

Then, in his days, the observance of all the statutes will return to their previous state. We will offer sacrifices, observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to all their particulars as described by the Torah.

Anyone who does not believe in him or does not await his coming, denies not only the statements of the other prophets, but those of the Torah and Moses, our teacher. The Torah testified to his coming, as Deuteronomy 30:3-5 states:

God will bring back your captivity and have mercy upon you. He will again gather you from among the nations... Even if your Diaspora is at the ends of the heavens, God will gather you up from there... and bring you to the land....

These explicit words of the Torah include all the statements made by all the prophets.

Reference to Mashiach is also made in the portion of Bilaam who prophesies about two anointed kings: the first anointed king, David, who saved Israel from her oppressors; and the final anointed king who will arise from his descendants and save Israel in the end of days. That passage Numbers 24:17-18 relates:

'I see it, but not now' - This refers to David;

'I perceive it, but not in the near future;" - This refers to the Messianic king;

'A star shall go forth from Jacob' - This refers to David;

'and a staff shall arise in Israel' - This refers to the Messianic king;

'crushing all of Moab's princes' - This refers to David as II Samuel 8:2 relates: 'He smote Moab and measured them with a line;'

'decimating all of Seth's descendants' - This refers to the Messianic king about whom Zechariah 9:10 prophesies: 'He will rule from sea to sea.'

'Edom will be demolished' - This refers to David as II Samuel 8:6 states 'Edom became the servants of David;'

'Seir will be destroyed' - this refers to the Messianic king as Ovadiah 1:21 prophesies: 'Saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau....'

א

הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ עָתִיד לַעֲמֹד וּלְהַחְזִיר מַלכוּת דָּוִד לְיָשְׁנָהּ לַמֶּמְשָׁלָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה. וּבוֹנֶה הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וּמְקַבֵּץ נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְחוֹזְרִין כָּל הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים בְּיָמָיו כְּשֶׁהָיוּ מִקֹּדֶם. מַקְרִיבִין קָרְבָּנוֹת. וְעוֹשִׂין שְׁמִטִּין וְיוֹבְלוֹת כְּכָל מִצְוָתָן הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכָל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַאֲמִין בּוֹ. אוֹ מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחַכֶּה לְבִיאָתוֹ. לֹא בִּשְׁאָר נְבִיאִים בִּלְבַד הוּא כּוֹפֵר. אֶלָּא בַּתּוֹרָה וּבְמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הֵעִידָה עָלָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ל, ג) "וְשָׁב ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת שְׁבוּתְךָ וְרִחֲמֶךָ וְשָׁב וְקִבֶּצְךָ" וְגוֹ' (דברים ל, ד) "אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם" וְגוֹ' (דברים ל, ה) "וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ ה'". וְאֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים הַמְפֹרָשִׁים בַּתּוֹרָה הֵם כּוֹלְלִים כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁנֶּאֶמְרוּ עַל יְדֵי כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים. אַף בְּפָרָשַׁת בִּלְעָם נֶאֱמַר וְשָׁם נִבֵּא בִּשְׁנֵי הַמְּשִׁיחִים. בַּמָּשִׁיחַ הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהוּא דָּוִד שֶׁהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד צָרֵיהֶם. וּבַמָּשִׁיחַ הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁעוֹמֵד מִבָּנָיו שֶׁמּוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל [בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה]. וְשָׁם הוּא אוֹמֵר (במדבר כד, יז) "אֶרְאֶנּוּ וְלֹא עַתָּה" זֶה דָּוִד. (במדבר כד, יז) "אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְלֹא קָרוֹב" זֶה מֶלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. (במדבר כד, יז) "דָּרַךְ כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקֹב" זֶה דָּוִד. (במדבר כד, יז) "וְקָם שֵׁבֶט מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל" זֶה מֶלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. (במדבר כד, יז) "וּמָחַץ פַּאֲתֵי מוֹאָב" זֶה דָּוִד. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (שמואל ב ח, ב) "וַיַּךְ אֶת מוֹאָב וַיְמַדְּדֵם בַּחֶבֶל" (במדבר כד, יז) "וְקַרְקַר כָּל בְּנֵי שֵׁת" זֶה הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ (זכריה ט, י) "וּמָשְׁלוֹ מִיָּם עַד יָם". (במדבר כד, יח) "וְהָיָה אֱדוֹם יְרֵשָׁה" זֶה דָּוִד. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב ח, יד) "וַתְּהִי אֱדוֹם לְדָוִד לַעֲבָדִים" וְגוֹ'. (במדבר כד, יח) "וְהָיָה יְרֵשָׁה" וְגוֹ' זֶה הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (עובדיה א, כא) "וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן" וְגוֹ':

2

Similarly, with regard to the cities of refuge, Deuteronomy 19:8-9 states: 'When God will expand your borders... you must add three more cities.' This command was never fulfilled. Surely, God did not give this command in vain.

There is no need to cite proofs from the works of the prophets for all their books are filled with mention of this matter.

ב

אַף בְּעָרֵי מִקְלָט הוּא אוֹמֵר (דברים יט, ח) "אִם יַרְחִיב ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת גְּבֻלְךָ" (דברים יט, ט) "וְיָסַפְתָּ לְךָ עוֹד שָׁלֹשׁ עָרִים" וְגוֹ'. וּמֵעוֹלָם לֹא הָיָה דָּבָר זֶה. וְלֹא צִוָּה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְתֹהוּ. אֲבָל בְּדִבְרֵי הַנְּבִיאִים אֵין הַדָּבָר צָרִיךְ רְאָיָה שֶׁכָּל הַסְּפָרִים מְלֵאִים בְּדָבָר זֶה:

3

One should not presume that the Messianic king must work miracles and wonders, bring about new phenomena in the world, resurrect the dead, or perform other similar deeds. This is definitely not true.

Proof can be brought from the fact that Rabbi Akiva, one of the greater Sages of the Mishnah, was one of the supporters of King Bar Kozibah and would describe him as the Messianic king. He and all the Sages of his generation considered him to be the Messianic king until he was killed because of sins. Once he was killed, they realized that he was not the Mashiach. The Sages did not ask him for any signs or wonders.

The main thrust of the matter is: This Torah, its statutes and its laws, are everlasting. We may not add to them or detract from them.

ג

וְאַל יַעֲלֶה עַל דַּעְתְּךָ שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ צָרִיךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתוֹת וּמוֹפְתִים וּמְחַדֵּשׁ דְּבָרִים בָּעוֹלָם אוֹ מְחַיֶּה מֵתִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ [ב.] אֵין הַדָּבָר כָּךְ. שֶׁהֲרֵי רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא חָכָם גָּדוֹל מֵחַכְמֵי מִשְׁנָה הָיָה. וְהוּא הָיָה נוֹשֵׂא כֵּלָיו שֶׁל בֶּן כּוֹזִיבָא הַמֶּלֶךְ. וְהוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר עָלָיו שֶׁהוּא הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. וְדִמָּה הוּא וְכָל חַכְמֵי דּוֹרוֹ שֶׁהוּא הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. עַד שֶׁנֶּהֱרַג בַּעֲוֹנוֹת. כֵּיוָן שֶׁנֶּהֱרַג נוֹדַע לָהֶם שֶׁאֵינוֹ. וְלֹא שָׁאֲלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ חֲכָמִים לֹא אוֹת וְלֹא מוֹפֵת. וְעִקַּר הַדְּבָרִים כָּכָה הֵן. שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת חֻקֶּיהָ וּמִשְׁפָּטֶיהָ לְעוֹלָם וּלְעוֹלְמֵי עוֹלָמִים. וְאֵין מוֹסִיפִין עֲלֵיהֶן וְלֹא גּוֹרְעִין מֵהֶן:

4

If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him Mashiach.

If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach.

He will then improve the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'

If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died. God caused him to arise only to test the many, as Daniel 11:35 states: 'And some of the wise men will stumble, to try them, to refine, and to clarify until the appointed time, because the set time is in the future.'

Jesus of Nazareth who aspired to be the Mashiach and was executed by the court was also alluded to in Daniel's prophecies, as ibid. 11:14 states: 'The vulgar among your people shall exalt themselves in an attempt to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble.'

Can there be a greater stumbling block than Christianity? All the prophets spoke of Mashiach as the redeemer of Israel and their savior who would gather their dispersed and strengthen their observance of the mitzvot. In contrast, Christianity caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humbled, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord.

Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts, our thoughts. Ultimately, all the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite who arose after him will only serve to prepare the way for Mashiach's coming and the improvement of the entire world, motivating the nations to serve God together as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'

How will this come about? The entire world has already become filled with the mention of Mashiach, Torah, and mitzvot. These matters have been spread to the furthermost islands to many stubborn-hearted nations. They discuss these matters and the mitzvot of the Torah, saying: 'These mitzvot were true, but were already negated in the present age and are not applicable for all time.'

Others say: 'Implied in the mitzvot are hidden concepts that can not be understood simply. The Mashiach has already come and revealed those hidden truths.'

When the true Messianic king will arise and prove successful, his position becoming exalted and uplifted, they will all return and realize that their ancestors endowed them with a false heritage and their prophets and ancestors caused them to err.

ד

וְאִם יַעֲמֹד מֶלֶךְ מִבֵּית דָּוִד הוֹגֶה בַּתּוֹרָה וְעוֹסֵק בְּמִצְוֹת כְּדָוִד אָבִיו. כְּפִי תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב וְשֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. וְיָכֹף כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵילֵךְ בָּהּ וּלְחַזֵּק בִּדְקָהּ. וְיִלָּחֵם מִלְחֲמוֹת ה'. הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁהוּא מָשִׁיחַ. (אִם עָשָׂה וְהִצְלִיחַ וּבָנָה מִקְדָּשׁ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְקִבֵּץ נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי זֶה מָשִׁיחַ בְּוַדַּאי. וִיתַקֵּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ לַעֲבֹד אֶת ה' בְּיַחַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּי אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם ה' וּלְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד):

וְאִם לֹא הִצְלִיחַ עַד כֹּה, אוֹ נֶהֱרָג, בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ זֶה שֶׁהִבְטִיחָה עָלָיו תּוֹרָה, וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּכָל מַלְכֵי בֵּית דָּוִד הַשְּׁלֵמִים הַכְּשֵׁרִים שֶׁמֵּתוּ. וְלֹא הֶעֱמִידוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶלָּא לְנַסּוֹת בּוֹ רַבִּים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וּמִן הַמַּשְׂכִּילִים יִכָּשְׁלוּ לִצְרוֹף בָּהֶן וּלְבָרֵר וְלַלְבֵּן עַד עֵת קֵץ כִּי עוֹד לַמּוֹעֵד".

אַף יֵשׁוּעַ הַנּוֹצְרִי שֶׁדִּימָה שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מָשִׁיחַ, וְנֶהֱרָג בְּבֵית דִּין, כְּבָר נִתְנַבֵּא בּוֹ דָּנִיֵּאל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וּבְנֵי פָּרִיצֵי עַמְּךָ יִנַּשְּׂאוּ לְהַעֲמִיד חָזוֹן וְנִכְשָׁלוּ" (דניאל יא, יד). וְכִי יֵשׁ מִכְשׁוֹל גָּדוֹל מִזֶּה, שֶׁכָּל הַנְּבִיאִים דִּבְּרוּ שֶׁהַמָּשִׁיחַ גּוֹאֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמוֹשִׁיעָם, וּמְקַבֵּץ נִדְחֵיהֶם וּמְחַזֵּק מִצְוָתָן, וְזֶה גָּרַם לְאַבֵּד יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּחֶרֶב, וּלְפַזֵּר שְׁאֵרִיתָם וּלְהַשְׁפִּילָם, וּלְהַחֲלִיף הַתּוֹרָה, וּלְהַטְעוֹת רוֹב הָעוֹלָם לַעֲבֹד אֱלוֹהַּ מִבַּלְעֲדֵי ה'.

אֲבָל מַחְשְׁבוֹת בּוֹרֵא עוֹלָם אֵין כּוֹחַ בָּאָדָם לְהַשִּׂיגָם, כִּי לֹא דְּרָכֵינוּ דְּרָכָיו וְלֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵינוּ מַחְשְׁבוֹתָיו. וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁל יֵשׁוּעַ הַנּוֹצְרִי, וְשֶׁל זֶה הַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִי שֶׁעָמַד אַחֲרָיו, אֵינָן אֶלָּא לְיַשֵּׁר דֶּרֶךְ לַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ, וּלְתַקֵּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוּ לַעֲבֹד אֶת ה' בְּיַחַד: שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "כִּי אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻּלָּם בְּשֵׁם ה' וּלְעוֹבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד" (ראה צפניה ג, ט).

כֵּיצַד: כְּבָר נִתְמַלֵּא הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי הַמָּשִׁיחַ, וּמִדִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה וּמִדִּבְרֵי הַמִּצְווֹת, וּפָשְׁטוּ דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בְּאִיִּים רְחוֹקִים, וּבְעַמִּים רַבִּים עַרְלֵי לֵב; וְהֵם נוֹשְׂאִים וְנוֹתְנִים בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ וּבְמִצְווֹת הַתּוֹרָה, אֵלּוּ אוֹמְרִים מִצְווֹת אֵלּוּ אֱמֶת הָיוּ, וּכְבָר בָּטְלוּ בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה, וְלֹא הָיוּ נוֹהֲגוֹת לְדוֹרוֹת. וְאֵלּוּ אוֹמְרִים דְּבָרִים נִסְתָּרוֹת יֵשׁ בָּהֶם, וְאֵינָן כִּפְשׁוּטָן, וּכְבָר בָּא מָשִׁיחַ, וְגִלָּה נִסְתְּרֵיהֶם.

וּכְשֶׁיַּעֲמוֹד הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ בֶּאֱמֶת, וְיַצְלִיחַ וְיָרוּם וְיִינָשֵׂא, מִיַּד הֵם כּוּלָן חוֹזְרִין וְיוֹדְעִים שֶׁשֶּׁקֶר נָחֲלוּ אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם, וְשֶׁנְּבִיאֵיהֶם וַאֲבוֹתֵיהֶם הִטְעוּם.

Melachim uMilchamot - Chapter 12

1

Do not presume that in the Messianic age any facet of the world's nature will change or there will be innovations in the work of creation. Rather, the world will continue according to its pattern.

Although Isaiah 11:6 states: 'The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the young goat,' these words are a metaphor and a parable. The interpretation of the prophecy is as follows: Israel will dwell securely together with the wicked gentiles who are likened to a wolf and a leopard, as in the prophecy Jeremiah 5:6: 'A wolf from the wilderness shall spoil them and a leopard will stalk their cities.' They will all return to the true faith and no longer steal or destroy. Rather, they will eat permitted food at peace with Israel as Isaiah 11:7 states: 'The lion will eat straw like an ox.'

Similarly, other Messianic prophecies of this nature are metaphors. In the Messianic era, everyone will realize which matters were implied by these metaphors and which allusions they contained.

א

אַל יַעֲלֶה עַל הַלֵּב שֶׁבִּימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ יִבָּטֵל דּבָר מִמִּנְהָגוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם. אוֹ יִהְיֶה שָׁם חִדּוּשׁ בְּמַעֲשֵׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית. אֶלָּא עוֹלָם כְּמִנְהָגוֹ נוֹהֵג. וְזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בִּישַׁעְיָה (ישעיה יא, ו) "וְגָר זְאֵב עִם כֶּבֶשׂ וְנָמֵר עִם גְּדִי יִרְבָּץ" מָשָׁל וְחִידָה. עִנְיַן הַדָּבָר שֶׁיִּהְיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל יוֹשְׁבִין לָבֶטַח עִם רִשְׁעֵי עַכּוּ''ם הַמְשׁוּלִים כִּזְאֵב וְנָמֵר. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה ה, ו) "זְאֵב עֲרָבוֹת יְשָׁדְדֵם וְנָמֵר שֹׁקֵד עַל עָרֵיהֶם". וְיַחְזְרוּ כֻּלָּם לְדַת הָאֱמֶת. וְלֹא יִגְזְלוּ וְלֹא יַשְׁחִיתוּ. אֶלָּא יֹאכְלוּ דָּבָר הַמֻּתָּר בְּנַחַת עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה יא, ז) "וְאַרְיֵה כַּבָּקָר יֹאכַל תֶּבֶן". וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים בְּעִנְיַן הַמָּשִׁיחַ הֵם מְשָׁלִים. וּבִימוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ יִוָּדַע לַכּל לְאֵי זֶה דָּבָר הָיָה מָשָׁל. וּמָה עִנְיָן רָמְזוּ בָּהֶן:

2

Our Sages taught: "There will be no difference between the current age and the Messianic era except the emancipation from our subjugation to the gentile kingdoms."

The simple interpretation of the prophets' words appear to imply that the war of Gog and Magog will take place at the beginning of the Messianic age. Before the war of Gog and Magog, a prophet will arise to inspire Israel to be upright and prepare their hearts, as Malachi 3:22 states: 'Behold, I am sending you Elijah.'

He will not come to declare the pure, impure, or to declare the impure, pure. He will not dispute the lineage of those presumed to be of proper pedigree, nor will he validate the pedigree of those whose lineage is presumed blemished. Rather, he will establish peace within the world as ibid. 3:24 continues: 'He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children."

There are some Sages who say that Elijah's coming will precede the coming of the Mashiach. All these and similar matters cannot be definitely known by man until they occur for these matters are undefined in the prophets' words and even the wise men have no established tradition regarding these matters except their own interpretation of the verses. Therefore, there is a controversy among them regarding these matters.

Regardless of the debate concerning these questions, neither the order of the occurrence of these events or their precise detail are among the fundamental principles of the faith. A person should not occupy himself with the Aggadot and homiletics concerning these and similar matters, nor should he consider them as essentials, for study of them will neither bring fear or love of God.

Similarly, one should not try to determine the appointed time for Mashiach's coming. Our Sages declared: 'May the spirits of those who attempt to determine the time of Mashiach's coming expire!' Rather, one should await and believe in the general conception of the matter as explained.

ב

אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין בֵּין הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ אֶלָּא שִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכֻיּוֹת בִּלְבַד. יֵרָאֶה מִפְּשׁוּטָן שֶׁל דִּבְרֵי הַנְּבִיאִים. שֶׁבִּתְחִלַּת יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ תִּהְיֶה מִלְחֶמֶת גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג. וְשֶׁקֹּדֶם מִלְחֶמֶת גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג יַעֲמֹד נָבִיא לְיַשֵּׁר יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְהָכִין לִבָּם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, כג) "הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שׁלֵחַ לָכֶם אֵת אֵלִיָּה" וְגוֹ'. וְאֵינוֹ בָּא לֹא לְטַמֵּא הַטָּהוֹר. וְלֹא לְטַהֵר הַטָּמֵא. וְלֹא לִפְסל אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁהֵם בְּחֶזְקַת כַּשְׁרוּת. וְלֹא לְהַכְשִׁיר מִי שֶׁהֻחְזְקוּ פְּסוּלִין. אֶלָּא לָשׂוּם שָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, כד) "וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב אָבוֹת עַל בָּנִים". וְיֵשׁ מִן הַחֲכָמִים שֶׁאוֹמְרִים שֶׁקֹּדֶם בִּיאַת הַמָּשִׁיחַ יָבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לֹא יֵדַע אָדָם אֵיךְ יִהְיוּ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ. שֶׁדְּבָרִים סְתוּמִין הֵן אֵצֶל הַנְּבִיאִים. גַּם הַחֲכָמִים אֵין לָהֶם קַבָּלָה בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. אֶלָּא לְפִי הֶכְרֵעַ הַפְּסוּקִים. וּלְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ לָהֶם מַחְלֹקֶת בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. וְעַל כָּל פָּנִים אֵין סִדּוּר הֲוָיַת דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ וְלֹא דִּקְדּוּקֵיהֶן עִקָּר בַּדָּת. וּלְעוֹלָם לֹא יִתְעַסֵּק אָדָם בְּדִבְרֵי הַהַגָּדוֹת. וְלֹא יַאֲרִיךְ בַּמִּדְרָשׁוֹת הָאֲמוּרִים בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְלֹא יְשִׂימֵם עִקָּר. שֶׁאֵין מְבִיאִין לֹא לִידֵי יִרְאָה וְלֹא לִידֵי אַהֲבָה. וְכֵן לֹא יְחַשֵּׁב הַקִּצִּין. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים תִּפַּח רוּחָם שֶׁל מְחַשְּׁבֵי הַקִּצִּים. אֶלָּא יְחַכֶּה וְיַאֲמִין בִּכְלַל הַדָּבָר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

3

During the era of the Messianic king, once his kingdom has been established and all of Israel has gathered around him, the entire nation's line of descent will be established on the basis of his words and the prophetic spirit which will rest upon him, as Malachi 3:3 states: 'He shall sit as a refiner and purifier.'

He will purify the lineage of the Levites first, stating 'He is a priest of defined lineage. He is a Levite of defined lineage.' Those whose lineage he will not recognize will be lowered to the status of Israelites. This is implied by Ezra 2:63: 'The governor said to them: 'They should not eat of the most holy things until a priest arises who will wear the urim vitumim.' From this verse, you can infer that the prophetic spirit will be used to define and notify the pedigree of lineage.

When he defines the lineage of the Israelites, he will make known their tribal lineage alone, stating: 'He is from this tribe and he is from another tribe.' He will not, by contrast, state concerning a person who is presumed to be of unblemished lineage: 'He is illegitimate or he is of slave lineage.' For the law is once a family has become intermingled with the entire Jewish people, they may remain intermingled.

ג

בִּימֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ. כְּשֶׁתִּתְיַשֵּׁב מַמְלַכְתּוֹ וְיִתְקַבְּצוּ אֵלָיו כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל. יִתְיַחֲסוּ כֻּלָּם עַל פִּיו בְּרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ שֶׁתָּנוּחַ עָלָיו. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, ג) "וְיָשַׁב מְצָרֵף וּמְטַהֵר" וְגוֹ'. וּבְנֵי לֵוִי מְטַהֵר תְּחִלָּה וְאוֹמֵר זֶה מְיֻחָס כֹּהֵן וְזֶה מְיֻחָס לֵוִי. וְדוֹחֶה אֶת שֶׁאֵינָן מְיֻחָסִין לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (עזרא ב, סג) "וַיֹּאמֶר הַתִּרְשָׁתָא לָהֶם" וְגוֹ' (עזרא ב, סג) "עַד עֲמֹד כֹּהֵן לְאוּרִים וּלְתֻמִּים". הִנֵּה לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁבְּרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ מְיַחֲסִין הַמֻּחְזָקִין וּמוֹדִיעִין הַמְיֻחָס. וְאֵינוֹ מְיַחֵס יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא לְשִׁבְטֵיהֶם. שֶׁמּוֹדִיעַ שֶׁזֶּה מִשֵּׁבֶט פְּלוֹנִי וְזֶה מִשֵּׁבֶט פְּלוֹנִי. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר עַל שֶׁהֵן בְּחֶזְקַת כַּשְׁרוּת זֶה מַמְזֵר וְזֶה עֶבֶד. שֶׁהַדִּין הוּא שֶׁמִּשְׁפָּחָה שֶׁנִּטְמְעָה נִטְמְעָה:

4

The Sages and the prophets did not yearn for the Messianic era in order to have dominion over the entire world, to rule over the gentiles, to be exalted by the nations, or to eat, drink, and celebrate. Rather, they desired to be free to involve themselves in Torah and wisdom without any pressures or disturbances, so that they would merit the world to come, as explained in Hilchot Teshuvah.

ד

לֹא נִתְאַוּוּ הַחֲכָמִים וְהַנְּבִיאִים יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ. לֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׁלְטוּ עַל כָּל הָעוֹלָם. וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְדּוּ בָּעַכּוּ''ם. וְלֹא כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּנַשְּׂאוּ אוֹתָם הָעַמִּים. וְלֹא כְּדֵי לֶאֱכל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת וְלִשְׂמֹחַ. אֶלָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ פְּנוּיִין בַּתּוֹרָה וְחָכְמָתָהּ. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה לָהֶם נוֹגֵשׂ וּמְבַטֵּל. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּזְכּוּ לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה:

5

In that era, there will be neither famine or war, envy or competition for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know God.

Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, as Isaiah 11:9 states: 'The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed."

ה

וּבְאוֹתוֹ הַזְּמַן לֹא יִהְיֶה שָׁם לֹא רָעָב וְלֹא מִלְחָמָה. וְלֹא קִנְאָה וְתַחֲרוּת. שֶׁהַטּוֹבָה תִּהְיֶה מֻשְׁפַּעַת הַרְבֵּה. וְכָל הַמַּעֲדַנִּים מְצוּיִין כֶּעָפָר. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה עֵסֶק כָּל הָעוֹלָם אֶלָּא לָדַעַת אֶת ה' בִּלְבַד. וּלְפִיכָךְ יִהְיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲכָמִים גְּדוֹלִים וְיוֹדְעִים דְּבָרִים הַסְּתוּמִים וְיַשִּׂיגוּ דַּעַת בּוֹרְאָם כְּפִי כֹּחַ הָאָדָם. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה יא, ט) "כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת ה' כַּמַּיִם לַיָּם מְכַסִּים":

This completes Hilchot Melachim and the entire text. Blessed be He who spoke and the world came into being as a whole, with all its particulars.

This concludes the fourteenth book, the Book of Judges. It contains five Halachot and eighty one chapters.

HilchotSanhderin - 26 chapters,

Hilchot Edut - 22 chapters,

Hilchot Mamrim - 7 chapters,

Hilchot Evel - 14 chapters,

Hilchot Melachim - 12 chapters.

In the entire text, there are 83 Halachot and 982 chapters. Complete and perfect with praise to God, Creator of the World

נשלמו הלכות מלכים והחבור כולו ברוך שאמר והיה העולם בפרטו ובכללו

נגמר ספר ארבעה עשר והוא ספר שופטים הלכותיו חמש ופרקיו אחד ושמונים
הלכות סנהדרין ששה ועשרים פרקים
הלכות עדות שנים ועשרים פרקים
הלכות ממרים שבעה פרקים
הלכות אבל ארבעה עשר פרקים
הלכות מלכים שנים עשר פרקים
כל הלכות הספר בכללו שלשה ושמונים והפרקים תתקפ"ב
תם ונשלם שבח לאל בורא עולם:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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