A baraita quoted in the Talmud (Berachot 58a) tells us that Ben Zoma, contemplating a very large crowd of Jews in Jerusalem, blessed God for the fact that He "created all these to serve me."1 He went on to explain that unlike the original human (Adam), who had to produce all of his needs (e.g. food and clothing) entirely by himself, "I wake up and find all of these prepared for me. All nations diligently come to the entrance of my home, and I wake up and find all of these before me." In other words, he has access to a multitude of goods that he didn't produce himself.
Rashi explains "all nations diligently come to the entrance of my home" to mean "He was rich, so they all came to him for trade."2
I find this report that Ben Zoma was rich interesting both internally and with respect to another source. Internally, I wonder why it was necessary to say that Ben Zoma, personally, was rich, since one did not have to be personally rich, even 2000 years ago, to have much more access to trade goods than the original human did.3
But also, we know that Ben Zoma had his own definition for rich, as seen in the Mishna - Avot 4:1:
אֵיזֶהוּ עָשִׁיר, הַשָּׂמֵחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קכח) יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ כִּי תֹאכֵל אַשְׁרֶיךָ וְטוֹב לָךְ. אַשְׁרֶיךָ, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה. וְטוֹב לָךְ, לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.
Who is the rich one? He who is happy with his lot, as it says, "When you eat [from] the work of your hands, you will be happy, and it will be well with you" (Psalms 128:2). "You will be happy" in this world, and "it will be well with you" in the world to come.4
This makes me wonder whether it's possible that when Rashi said that Ben Zoma was rich, he meant "rich" in Ben Zoma's sense - happy with his lot. Of course, it's not obvious how being "rich," by this definition, would result, as Rashi says, in access to trade. However, the context there is Ben Zoma expressing a particular kind of happiness with his lot.
Further complicating matters, the verse Ben Zoma quotes in Avot speaks of the virtue of consuming "the work of your hands," while in Berachot, Ben Zoma was expressing particular happiness at not having to depend on the work of his own hands, as the original human had.
As I've demonstrated, there seems to be a significant amount of conceptual overlap, and possibly conflict, between these two sources. Do any commentaries explore this interaction?
1. Talmud translations from the William Davidson Talmud, via Sefaria. I elided their inserted elucidations for this context.
2. My translation.
3. Hat-tip to Prof. Russell Roberts for instigating the discussion by citing Berachot, and then raising this question on Twitter.
4. Sefaria community translation.