In connection with Achitofel, the gemara diverts to the story of David and Batsheva is analyzed – why was David tested in this way and why did he fail the test? What was the reaction of those around him? And how did he get forgiveness from God? How in the end was it made obvious to others that he received forgiveness? For what reason did Geichazi not get a portion in the World to Come? Elisha is also criticized for how he dealt with Geichazi.
The gemara continues to analyze Bilam’s words about the Jewish people and then how he advises Balak to entice them with women in order to get them killed, when he realizes that cursing them is impossible. The next charachter mentioned in the mishna is Doeg HaEdomi. His character is discussed. According to the gemara, he was a great Torah scholar as well. The rabbis then need to explain what was wrong about his Torah he learned that enabled him to speak lashon hara about David and kill the inhabitants of Nov.
Some say that all 7 people mentioned in the mishna do receive a portion in the World to Come. A verse is brought that is explained in a way that the Jews in the time leading up to the destruction thought that they had a winning answer to counter God and his prophets when they told the people to repent. Three explanations of what was this “winning answer” is brought. And in two of them, the weakness in their answer is explained. The gemara now moves on to discuss Bilam as he is mentioned in the list of those who have no portion in the world to come. What did he do wrong? How did he succeed in convincing God to let him go? Why did he get his own donkey ready instead of letting his servants do it? What was the nature of the conversation he had with his donkey? How did he think he would succeed in cursing the Jewish people? And finally, did he really not succeed in cursing them?
Why didn’t Menashe have a portion in the World to Come? Some think that Menashe did get a potrtion in the World to Come because according to Chronicles, he repented. Why are other bad kings not on this list of those who have no portion in the World to Come? Some think that they are on the list or do not know why they aren’t. Descriptions are brought about some of the bad kings and how they led things downhill until the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.
Details of Yeravam and Achav are brought to explain why they have no portion in the World to Come. Despite the fact that they did terrible things, the rabbis also highlight that they did good things in their lives, particularly as it related to talmud torah or talmidei chachamim.
What verses in ben Sira are we permitted to learn? Can one sing verses from Shir HaShirim in a tune other than the taamei hamikra? What about from other books? What is “someone who uses incantations” that according to the mishna will not get a part in the world to come? Are there ways to do this that are permitted? Is calling to demons allowed? Some stories are told about the rabbis visiting Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurkanus while he was sick and the conversations that took place relating to suffering. Yeravam is mentioned in the mishna as one who has no portion in the world to come. What did he do wrong? What is the meaning of his name?
What is the definition of an Apikoris? What is the definition of one who disgraces the Torah? What is the definition of “external literature” that if one reads it, one does not get a portion in the world to come, according to Rabbi Akiva?
How long will the time of the mashiach be? What type of people will not have a part in olam haba?
Will the Mashiach come because the people have returned to God or will it come regardless of that? Will it come either for a generation of people who are all good or are all bad? What are signs of events that will precede the coming of that mashiach? Some rabbis say they know the mashiach will come but they prefer not to see him as they are worried that their sins will; cause them to be destroyed in the “chevlei mashiach.”
The story of Sancherib’s death is described. How did Avraham beat te four kings? Why do evil people live good lives? An example is brought from Nechuchadnetzer. A story is told of Nevuzaradin, the army officer of the Babylonians, who got to the temple and saw the blood of Zecharia boiling. As a result he kills many Jews until he eventually decides to convert to Judasim. How did Nevuchadnetzer decide to go conquer Jerusalem? He was encouraged by Israel’s neighbor’s Amon and Moab who gave him inside information.