IIRC the decree of dying in the desert was limited for those aged 20-60 at the Exodus. Of those who were 60 at that time and 100 at the entering of the Land, did they all die in the decree, or did some of them live to enter the Land?

This relates to the discussion in B"B 122.

  • AFAICT, Joshua and Caleb were the only two people to cross into the Land after the 40 years in the desert, and they were both less than 100 years old at the time. After the initial conquering of the Land, Caleb says he's 85 and was 40 when sent to spy the Land(Joshua 14), so he was definitely less than 100. Joshua died at 110 after 28 years of leading the people after Moses died(per Chabad, probably from Seder Olam), so he also was less than 100. Others? Maybe there's a later tradition of some.
    – Gary
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 22:23
  • ...but probably not. The decree from Heaven was pretty straightforward, and there probably would have been Torah mention of other exceptions.
    – Gary
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 22:33
  • How.would we know? Both censuses excluded those above the age of 60 Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 0:06
  • 1
    @JoshK - And women, and men not fit for the army, and below the age of twenty. The decree says military-fit twenty and upward, who were counted, leaving room for exceptions. It also says the entire congregation who gathered against Him, also leaving room for exceptions, but the Rashi to it says the entire congregation did gather against Him. That's why I later wrote "probably not".
    – Gary
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 0:24
  • 2
    @DannySchoemann see the answer below.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


The Gemara Bava Basra 121b states explicitely that Machir and Yair (as well as Achiya hashiloni who met Amram but he was anyway a Levi) entered Israel who saw Yaakov and were well over 60 at the time of the decree on the Meraglim.

תניא יאיר בן מנשה ומכיר בן מנשה נולדו בימי יעקב ולא מתו עד שנכנסו ישראל לארץ שנאמר (יהושע ז, ה) ויכו מהם אנשי העי כשלשים וששה איש ותניא שלשים וששה ממש דברי ר' יהודה אמר לו רבי נחמיה וכי נאמר שלשים וששה והלא לא נאמר אלא כשלשים וששה אלא זה יאיר בן מנשה ששקול כרובה של סנהדרין אלא אמר רב אחא בר יעקב לא נגזרה גזירה לא על פחות מבן עשרים ולא על יתר מבן ששים לא על פחות מבן עשרים דכתיב מבן עשרים שנה ומעלה ולא על יתר מבן ששים גמר ומעלה (ויקרא כז, ז) ומעלה מערכין
Yair and Machir were born when Yaakov was alive and they entered the Land of Israel as it staes:"The people of Ai struck down like thirty six men" Rabbi Yehuda interpets literally but Rabbi Nechemia told him it says like 36 men not literally, rather this is Yair son of Menashe who was the value of the majority of the Sanhedrin (comprised of 71 men). So Rav Achai Bar Yaakov said that men over 60 were not included in the death of that generation as derived from a gezeira Shava (common word used for deriving common laws between 2 passages) of the word "Vamaala" written here and in the Parsha of Arachin.

  • Thanks for the ref. Your last sentence had me puzzled until I read 121b on halakhah.com. It would be clearer to us relatively uneducated(but trying!) folks if you could explain it a bit in English more explicitly, with the "one like 60 is like one under 20" part and the derivation fm "and upward" for the valuation in Leviticus 27:7.
    – Gary
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 11:48

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