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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Eleazar b. Mattai (Matthias)

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Tanna of the third and fourth generations (second century) contemporary of Hananiah b. Ḥ akinai, Ben ' Azzai, and Simon of Teman (Tosef., Ber. 4:18). It is stated that, together with Ḥ alafta and Hananiah, he examined the stones which, by order of Joshua, the Israelites brought up from the Jordan and pitched in Gilgal (Joshua 4 ), and approximated their weight (Tosef., Soṭ ah, 8:6). Eleazar was a disciple of R. Tarphon (Tosef., Ber. l.c. compare Mek., Beshallaḥ , 5), and is met with in scholastic disputations with Judah b. ' Illai and Simon b. Yoḥ ai (Tosef., Pes. 6:2 Pes. 79b et seq. ). According to one report, he and Hananiah were "the disciples" present at the dispute between R. Meï r and the rabbis (Yer. Ma' as. Sh. 2:53d) according to another, they were among the four expert linguists of the Jamnian Sanhedrin (Yer. Shek. 5:48d compare Sanh. 17b). From the Scriptural dictum (Leviticus 5:1 ), "If a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing," he argues that one is subject to hear the voice of swearing because of his having sinned. Accordingly, he teaches, "Whoso witnesses a transgression was doomed to see it and whoso witnesses a good deed has deserved to see it" (Tosef., Shebu. 3:4). He is mentioned once in the Mishnah (Yeb. 10:3), and several times in baraitot, in connection with halakic controversies.

Bibliography : Brü ll, Mebo ha-Mishnah , 1:141 Frankel, Darke ha-Mishnah , p. 133 Weiss, Dor , 2:123.S. S. S. M.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Eleazar b. Mattai (Matthias)'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
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