The mishna in Sanhedrin 90a lists Gehazi as one of the 4 commoners who have no share in the world to come. I have seen different reasons for this none of which I fully understand.

  1. He mocked the words of the sages - artscroll says this, not sure when he did this but its not included as one of the reasons why someone would lose their olam haba in the mishna

  2. he denied the resurrection - this is quite possible according to the midrashim that say he spoke (disparagingly) on his way to revive the shunamite woman's son. But later on he extols his master's ability to resurrect that same child to the king. So even if he may have doubted in the past he clearly no longer does.

  3. He pronounced the name of God - this is my own interpretation which I haven't seen elsewhere. The mishna lists that as one of the reasons to forfeit olam haba [according to one opinion] and Gehazi seems to have done something very similar to make Yerovam's calf speak (see Sotah 47a)

  4. He didn't repent for causing others to sin - found in otzar aggados - similarly not listed in the mishna.

I'm looking for a clear-cut reason why Gehazi has no share in the world to come.

2 Answers 2


the relevant discussion is in Sotah 47a (quoting from std english translation):

R. Johanan said: He (Elisha) went to induce Gehazi to repent but he refused. He said to him, ‘Repent’; but he replied: ‘Thus have I received from thee that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence’. What had he done?

  • Some say: He applied a loadstone to the idolatrous image of Jeroboam and suspended it between heaven and earth.
  • Others say: He engraved upon it the Name [of God] so that it used to exclaim, ‘I [am the Lord thy God]’ and ‘Thou shalt have no [other God beside me]’
  • Still others say: He drove the Rabbis from before him, as it is written: And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell before thee is too strait for us — hence, up to then it had not been too strait.

It seems like he was prvented from doing teshuva for some sort of chillul Hashem which does not allow him to get his share in the World to Come. I did see in lectures by Rav Moshe Wolfson that there are chassidic sources which disclose that at the end of days, Elisha will take back the curse and Gehazi will repent.

  • Since that Gemara is cited by the OP, maybe you should make clear that, while he was not stripped of 'Olam HaBa for the crimes listed, he was prevented from doing Teshuvah because of them, and since he could not do Teshuvah for his public Hillul HaShem as mentioned by Shalom, he could not receive 'Olam HaBa (or something).
    – Seth J
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 20:46
  • @SethJ is that ok?
    – gt6989b
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 20:48
  • I think so. I don't know if everyone else will agree, but +1 from me.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 20:51
  • none of the sources you quote indicate that these events were deemed a chillul hashem. Regarding the line from Rav Wolfson the gemarah itself in Sanhedrin 104b->105a indicates that gechazi does in fact have a chelek in olam haba Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 1:04

He tried to ruin a prophet's -- and therefore G-d's -- reputation by cashing in on it. (II Kings 5:20). That's a huge, huge disgrace to the name of G-d.

  • 1
    Touche. Is it listed in the Mishnah? Or is it written anywhere explicitly regarding his loss of 'Olam HaBa?
    – Seth J
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:28
  • (And did he try to ruin the prophet's reputation, or would that have been the foreseeable outcome of his scheme?)
    – Seth J
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:29
  • seth, exactly my thoughts
    – pokemon
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:31
  • @SethJ the curse that Elisha puts on him is what took away his Olam haBa, and the curse was put because of the incident that Shalom mentioned...
    – gt6989b
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:39
  • 1
    @gt6989b, well, the question seems to be just that - was it the curse that stripped him of his 'Olam HaBa? Is that attested to anywhere explicitly?
    – Seth J
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 15:47

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