Who knows one hundred three?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • *Go on to the next number.

5 Answers 5


Yeravam (the first king of the Ten Tribes, a brilliant Torah scholar but a wicked person) knew how to explain each concept in the Book of Vayikra in 103 different ways.

(Appropriately enough, this statement appears in the Gemara Sanhedrin on page 103 b.)

  • That's a slam dunk, Alex!
    – Dave
    Oct 13, 2010 at 21:18
  • 1
    Checkmark for slam dunk. "Shelosha umeya - peirushei malka."
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 14, 2010 at 20:12

The last two dynasties that governed Israel prior to the Second Temple's destruction maintained their rule for 103 years (Avodah Zara 9a): The Chashmonaim from 140 BCE to 36 BCE, and the Herodians from 36 BCE to 68 CE.

  • Honorable mention for being an honorable mench. Your answer's pretty good, too.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 14, 2010 at 20:12

Off to the west of the main Altar's ramp stood a silver table upon which the Kohanim would set out the ninety-three vessels used in the daily service. These ninety-three vessels were actually three sets of thirty-one vessels, since the Temple kept on hand two backup copies of each of its vessels in case one should become tamei or otherwise unusable. The following is a list of the thirty-one vessels (as recorded in the sefer Ezras Kohanim):

  1. Issaron measuring cup (for dry goods)
  2. Half-issaron measuring cup (for dry goods)
  3. Half-hin measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  4. Third-hin measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  5. Quarter-hin measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  6. Lug measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  7. Half-lug measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  8. Quarter-lug measuring cup (for liquid goods)
  9. Slaughtering knife
  10. Meat knife
  11. Knife for trimming fat
  12. Cleaver
  13. Mizrak, a cone-shaped vessel for receiving the blood of sacrifices
  14. Golden cup used to water the lamb for the Tamid-offering prior to its slaughter
  15. Teni, a golden basket used to collect ashes from the Golden Altar
  16. Kuz, a cup to collect unused oil from the Menorah
  17. Bezach, a large, golden spoon used to bring innards to the Altar
  18. Golden spoon of the Incense
  19. Cover for the Incense spoon
  20. Bezach for the Incense
  21. Silver machatah, a shovel used in the Incense service to collect coals from the Outer Altar
  22. Golden machatah, a shovel to carry the coals (transferred from the silver shovel) into the Sanctuary
  23. Pesachter, a large, multipurpose container
  24. Magrephah, a shovel-like vessel designed to make a loud clatter when dropped
  25. Bowl for mixing Minchah-offerings
  26. Bowl to hold the oil for Minchah-offerings
  27. Machavas, frying pan for certain Minchah-offerings
  28. Marcheshes, pot for certain Minchah-offerings
  29. Mazleig, tool for adjusting the wicks of the Menorah
  30. Machatah, tool for cleaning the lamps of the Menorah
  31. Alas, a ladle for transferring liquids”

See The Original Second Temple by Yoav Elan.

In addition to these 93 utensils were ten vessels:

  • The Menorahchesed;

  • The Table – gevurah;

  • The Altar - tiferet with its connection to malchut;

  • The Basin and Jug or Laver - netzach and hod;

  • The Ark – bina;

  • The Curtain – chochmah;

  • The cherubs on the Ark – keter; &

  • All in its Weight/shekelmalchut.

See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXI, Vayakhel-Pekudei.

Thus it would appear that there is a total of 103 vessels and utensils in the Temple.


David said one hundred and three chapters, and he did not say Halleluya in any of them until he saw the downfall of the wicked. (Berachos 9b)


Mincha = 103

Avimelech = 103

Nechama = 103

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