1. A. "Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart" (Gen. 21:28):

B. Said the Holy One, blessed be he, to him, "You have given him seven ewe lambs. By your life I shall postpone the joy of your descendants for seven generations.

C. "You have given him seven ewe lambs. By your life matching them his descendants [the Philistines] will kill seven righteous men among your descendants, and these are they: Hofni, Phineas, Samson, Saul and his three sons.

D. "You have given him seven ewe lambs. By your life, matching them the seven sanctuaries of your descendants will be destroyed, namely, the tent of meeting, the altars at Gilgal, Nob, Gibeon, Shiloh, and the two eternal houses of the sanctuary.

E. "You have given him seven ewe lambs. [By your life, matching them] my ark will spend seven months in the fields of the Philistines."

2. A. R. Jeremiah in the name of R. Samuel bar R. Isaac: "If the mere chicken of one of them had been lost, would he not have gone looking for it by knocking on doors, so as to get it back, but my ark spent seven months in the field and you pay not mind to it. I on my own will take care of it: His right hand and his holy arm have wrought salvation for him' (Ps. 98:1).

B. "That is in line with this verse: 'And the kine took the straight way'

(1 Sam. 6:12). They went straight forward, turning their faces to the ark and [since the word for 'straight forward' contains the consonants for the word for 'song'] singing."

C. And what song did they sing?

D. R. Meir said, " 'The song of the sea. Here it is said, 'They went along . . . lowing as they went' (1 Sam. 6:12), and in that connection: 'For he is highly exalted' (Ex. 15:1). [The word for lowing' and the word for 'exalted' share the same consonants.]"

E. R. Yohanan said, " 'O sing to the Lord a new song' (Ps. 98:1)."

F. R. Eleazar said, " 'O Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name' (Ps. 105:1)."

G. Rabbis said, " 'The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice' (Ps. 97:1)."

H. R. Jeremiah said, "The three: 'O sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the earth' (Ps. 96:1). 'The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble' (Ps. 99:1)."

I. Elijah taught, "[Freedman:] 'Rise, rise, you acacia, soar, soar, in your abundant glory, beautiful in your gold embroidery, extolled in the innermost shrine of the sanctuary, encased between the two cherubim.'"

J. Said R. Samuel bar. R. Isaac, "How much did [Moses,] son of Amram labor so as to teach the art of song to the Levites. But you beasts are able to sing such a song on your own, without instruction. All power to you!"

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