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Three Thousand.

Rav Hamnunah said, "What is it that is written (1 Kings iv. 32), 'And he spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five'?" It is intended to teach that Solomon uttered three thousand proverbs upon each and every word of the law, and for every word of the Scribes he assigned a thousand and five reasons.

Eiruvin, fol. 21, col. 2.

When Rabbi Eliezer was sick he was visited by Rabbi Akiva and his party. . . . "Wherefore have ye come?" he asked. "To learn the law," was the reply. "And why did you not come sooner?" "Because we had

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no leisure," said they. "I shall be much surprised," said he, "if you die a natural death." Then turning to Rabbi Akiva he said, "Thy death shall be the worst of all." Then folding his arms upon his breast, he exclaimed: "Woe unto my two arms! for they are like two scrolls of the law rolled up, so that their contents are hidden. Had they waited upon me, they might have added much to their knowledge of the law, but now that knowledge will perish with me. I have in my time learned much and taught much, and yet I have no more diminished the knowledge of my Rabbis by what I have derived from them than the waters of the sea are reduced by a dog lapping them. Over and above this I expounded three hundred," some allege he said three thousand, "Halachahs with reference to the growing of Egyptian cucumbers, and yet no one except Akiva ben Yoseph has ever proposed a single question to me respecting them. He and I were walking along the road one day when he asked me to instruct him regarding the cultivation of Egyptian cucumbers. I made but one remark, when the entire field became full of them. Then at his request I made a remark about cutting them, when lo! they all collected themselves together in one spot." Thus Rabbi Eliezer kept on talking, when all of a sudden he fell back and expired.

Sanhedrin, fol. 68, col. 1.

The last words of this eminent Rabbi derive a tragic interest from the fact that he died while under sentence of excommunication.

Three thousand Halachoth were forgotten at the time of mourning for Moses, and among them the Halachah respecting an animal intended for a sin-offering the owner of which died before sacrificing it.

Temurah, fol. 16, col. 1.

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