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Who knows three hundred?

?שלוש מאות - מי יודע

In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 300.

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Check out for the previous two hundred ninety-nine entries in this ongoing series.

Please include sources for your information wherever possible, as with all other answers on this site.

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Are we shooting for 300 answers? –  msh210 May 8 '12 at 6:22
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@msh210 Shoot for the stars, and we might hit the Moon. –  Isaac Moses May 8 '12 at 14:27
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Here's an interesting resource about 300; see the section * המספר שלוש מאות* and footnote #26. –  Fred May 8 '12 at 18:00
    
I figured someone would've posted by now on the significance of the letter shin. –  Fred May 9 '12 at 22:08
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17 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted
  • 300 cups of chemicals must be poured over a persons head before the skull softens enough to permit brain surgery! (Kesubos 77b)

  • R' Eliezer knew 300 laws about planting cucumbers through magic, and 300 laws about a specific form of tzaraas, that no one (except R' Akiva) ever asked him about. (Sanhedrin 68a)

  • R' Meir had 300 parables involving foxes (Sanhedrin 38b)

  • R' Yehudah ben Bava was pierced with 300 hundred spears after giving smicha to 5 students. (Avoda Zara 8b)

  • "Rava said: Nebuchadnezzar sent Nebuzaradan three hundred mules laden with iron axes that could break iron, but they were all shattered on a single gate of Jerusalem" (Sanhedrin 96b)

  • Iyov's (Job's) three friends each lived 300 parasangs from each other (Bava Basra 16b)

  • Rabbah said: Seafarers told me: There is a distance of three hundred parasangs between one wave and the other, and the height of the wave is [also] three hundred parasangs (Bava Basra 73a)

  • Beruriah (R' Meir's wife) studied 300 laws from 300 teachers every day. (Pesachim 62b)


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I think what you're trying to say is that 300 is our go-to number for large estimations. –  Hahu Gavra May 8 '12 at 15:46
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@HahuGavra Could be. "Hey Rabbi! I'm going to go do some brain surgery! How many cups do I have to pour again?" "Eh, about 300, give or take" "Great, thanks!" –  HodofHod May 8 '12 at 15:55
    
Thanks for the links @ه ه –  HodofHod May 9 '12 at 3:41
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With so many good, well-sourced answers, I'm checkmarking the top-voted post from the person who contributed the most. –  Isaac Moses May 22 '12 at 18:34
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  • Mesushelach was 300 years old when his father Chanoch passed away Bereishis 5

  • Yosef gave Binyamin 300 silver shekels after revealing his identity Bereishis 45

  • Hashem made Gideon and his 300 men victorious over the Midianites Judges 7

  • 300 Foxes that Shimshon used to burn the Plishtim's wheat Judges 15

  • King Solomon had 300 pilagshim (concubines) 1 Kings 11

  • יָשָׁבְעָם בֶּן-חַכְמוֹנִי and אַבְשַׁי אֲחִי-יוֹאָב both killed 300 men. 1 Chronicles 11

  • King Solomon made 300 golden shields, each made with 300 shekels of gold (a year?) 2 Chronicles 9

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Mesheces Chullin 90b lists three things that Chachimim exaggerated in:

  • The Ash Heap - 300 kor (see Tamid 2:2)
  • The Golden Vine - 300 Chohanim to carry it (see Middot 3:8)
  • The Paroches - 300 to immerse it (see Shekalim 8:5)
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Double AA once again thanks for editing. –  sam May 8 '12 at 6:25
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Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/16081. –  msh210 May 8 '12 at 6:26
    
@sam No problem. Good find! –  Double AA May 8 '12 at 6:27
    
@Double AA I am assuming you used mesores hashas for the references,if not I am impressed.Even if you did, still impressed with your editing,lol. –  sam May 8 '12 at 6:31
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Doeg and Ahitophel taught 300 halachot about a 'tower which flies in the air'. (Chagiga 15b)

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300 enemies of the Jews were killed by the Jews of Shushan on the extra battle day Esther had requested from Achashveirosh (Esther 9:15).

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300 dinar (=three mane) was the weight of the "extra" k'tores the kohen gadol took from on Yom Kipur. (K'risos 6:1.)

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Some more from Tanach:

  • The King of Assyria demanded 300 kikar of silver from Chizkiyahu as a tribute (2 Melachim 18:14).
  • Shechanyah ben Yachaziel brought 300 men up from Bavel to Israel in the time of Ezra (Ezra 8:5).
  • Asa's army fought against Zerach HaCushi, who had a million infantrymen and 300 chariots (2 Divrei HaYamim 14:8).
  • The year that Yoshiayhu reinstated observance of the korban Pesach, the Temple administrators allotted the kohanim 300 cattle for the associated shalmei chagiga (2 Divrei HaYamim 35:8).
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300 years passed from when the Jews conquered the (former Moabite and Ammonite) territories on the east side of the Jordan, until the king of Ammon demanded them back. (Judg. 11:26)

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300 Amot^2 is the surface area of the Floor of the Kodesh + Kodhesh Kedashim in the Mishkan. & 3000 Amot^3 is the volume.

300 amot is also the length of the perimeter of the courtyard of the Mishkan.

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There are a number of instances where Chazal mention 300 barrels of oil or wine:

  • When measuring and transferring liquids to customers in the marketplace, a residual amount remains in the merchant's utensils. With many customers, this can add up to a large volume. Over the course of Chol HaMoed, Abba Shaul ben Batnis accumulated 300 barrels of residual wine, and his colleagues accumulated 300 barrels of residual oil, which they donated for the public welfare (Beitzah 29a).
  • Chananya ben Chizkiyah went into an attic and was given 300 barrels of lamp oil. He stayed there until he resolved the seeming discrepancies between the Torah and Sefer Yechezkel (particularly the mystical passage of ma'aseh merkavah). As a result of his toil, the Rabbis were satisfied that there was no need to exclude Sefer Yechezkel from the canon of Tanach (Chagigah 13a; Menachos 45a; Shabbos 13b).
  • R' Zachai was not always a person of means, but he was always careful to recite kiddush on wine. Once, when he could not afford to buy any wine for Shabbos, his elderly mother sold her kerchief so she could buy him wine. The merit of this mitzvah seems to have changed their fortunes; when she died, she bequeathed him 300 barrels of wine, and when he died he left his children 3,000 barrels of wine (Megillah 27b).
  • Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi had stomach pains that he cured by drinking 70 year old cider obtained from a non-Jew who owned 300 barrels of it (there was no problem of yayin nesech because wine was presumably not mixed in with the cider). Afterwards, Rabbi gratefully remarked: ברוך המקום שמסר עולמו לשומרים (Avodah Zarah 40b).
  • Yochanan ben Narbai was a celebrated eater. When he came to the Beis HaMikdash, the azarah cried out: "Raise up your head, O' gates, and let Yochanan ben Narbai student of Pinkai enter and fill his belly with kodshei shamayim!" (The kohanim had to consume a certain quantity of kodshim at the Beis HaMikdash, and that was not always an easy task. The S'fas Emes writes that the azarah praised him because his eating was l'shem shamayim rather than gluttonous). It was said about Yochanan ben Narbai that he would eat 300 calves, drink 300 barrels of wine, and eat 40 seah of pigeons for dessert, although this probably means that his entire household combined consumed that much in one meal (Pesachim 57a). After all, he had many kohanim in his household (Rashi, ibid., sv. Shalosh mei'os).
  • Rabba bar bar Chana recounted: "One time, we were traveling by ship, and we saw a giant fish with a type of parasite (kilbis) in its nostrils. The sea cast the fish ashore, and it destroyed sixty towns, provided fresh fish meat for another sixty towns, provided salted fish meat for yet another sixty towns, and 300 barrels of oil were filled from just one of its eyes. When we returned twelve months later, we saw that they were crafting beams from its skeleton, and they began to rebuild those destroyed towns." (Bava Basra 73b)
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Nice work! |||| –  Double AA May 9 '12 at 18:49
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+1. About Yochanan ben Narbai, though: doesn't צווחה העזרהmean that "the azarah [of the Beis Hamikdash] cried out," rather than referring to Ezra? –  Alex May 9 '12 at 23:48
    
@Alex, yikes! Yes it means the azarah. (The mention of Chofni and Pinchas should have given that away pretty clearly). I'll fix it right away; thank you for catching that! –  Fred May 10 '12 at 1:33
    
@Alex ...also the fact that Ezra is spelled with an aleph at the end, and the fact that the term "ha'azarah" is used (twice) like you pointed out. :( –  Fred May 10 '12 at 2:03
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300 is the LENgth of NOah's ARK (in cubits, see Gen 6:15).

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Fits the beat :) –  Double AA May 8 '12 at 5:38
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I was wondering what "LENNOARK" was supposed to be a hint to. :) –  Isaac Moses May 8 '12 at 13:48
    
@DoubleAA how do you link to a verse? –  Baal Shemot Tovot May 9 '12 at 18:12
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@Vram put #15 at the end of the link like http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0106.htm#15. –  Double AA May 9 '12 at 18:13
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@ShmuelBrin Vechein Lemar! –  Double AA May 9 '12 at 18:40
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All wheat used in Meal Offerings in the Temple was first beat 300 times to remove the shells, ensuring that only the highest quality flour be offered in the Temple. (Mishna Menachot 6:5, Rambam Issurei Mizbeach 7:5)

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300 is the At-Bash gematria of the Tetragramaton, and is represented as the letter Shin on the Tefilin Shel Rosh.

http://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/10304/702

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Koheles Raba to 1:13 (and, with slight wording changes, to 3:10):

אמר ר׳ יודן בשם ר׳ איבו אין אדם יוצא מן העולם וחצי תאותו בידו אלא אן אית ליה מאה בעי למעבד יתהון תרתין מאוון ואן אית ליה תרתי מאוון בעי למעבד יתהון ארבעה מאה

Rabbi Yudan said in the name of Rabbi Ivo[?]: No man leaves this world with half his desires in hand. Rather, if he has one hundred, he wishes to make them two hundred; and if he has two hundred, he wishes to make them four hundred.

It stops there, at four hundred, so if we take it at its word then someone with one hundred whose desires are actually fulfilled will get precisely three hundred more!

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Does this answer deserve a Purim Torah disclaimer? –  Fred May 8 '12 at 22:05
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Perhaps so. I guess I'm a little giddy from the graduation. See also judaism.stackexchange.com/a/16192. –  msh210 May 8 '12 at 23:13
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All kinds of Jewish rabbis think it is a mitzva to vote, and we know that this civic duty can't be fulfilled unless one has voted 300 times.

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300 children were found hanged by the enemy on one branch. (Artscroll Eichah, pg. 46, note on 5:13, "UNe'arim Ba'Etz Kashalu", citing Rav Yehoshua' Ben Levi in an unspecified Midrash)

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300 is a good number! i automatically think of some lesser know Ssadiqim.

Hhanukh : "after he became the father of Mthushalahh, Hhanukh walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether,Hhanukh lived a total of 365 years. Hhanukh walked faithfully with G-d; then he was no more, because G-d took him away." Breshith 5:22-24

Gide3on : "There HaShem told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 300 of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. HaShem said to Gide3on, “With the 300 men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gide3on sent the rest of the men of Yisra'el to their tents but kept 300, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others." Shofttim 7:5-8

" וַיִּתְקְעוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת הָרָאשִׁים בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת, וַיִּשְׁבְּרוּ הַכַּדִּים, וַיַּחֲזִיקוּ בְיַד-שְׂמֹאולָם בַּלַּפִּדִים, וּבְיַד-יְמִינָם הַשּׁוֹפָרוֹת לִתְקוֹעַ; וַיִּקְרְאוּ, חֶרֶב לַיהוָה וּלְגִדְעוֹן" Shofttim 7:20

'avishay: "And 'avishay, the brother of Yo'av, the son of Sseru'ah, was chief of the three. And he lifted up his spear against 300 and slew them, and had a name among the three."2 Shmu'el 23:18

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All three of these answers are already included in a previous answer, though. –  HodofHod Jul 27 '12 at 2:57
    
Oh i didnt see that, I uped yours ! Shabboth Shalom –  Qoheleth Jul 27 '12 at 21:13
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Shabbat Shalom! :D –  HodofHod Jul 27 '12 at 21:34
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