From this link
(compiled by Greg Killian
The Thirty-two Rules of
Eliezer B. Jose
Rules laid down by R. Eliezer b. Jose Ha-Gelili for haggadic
exegesis, many of them being applied also to halakic interpretation.
1. Ribbuy (extension): The particles “et”, “gam”, and
“af”, which are superfluous indicate that something which is not explicitly
stated must be regarded as included in the passage uinder consideration, or
that some teaching is implied thereby.
2. Mi’ut (limitation): The particles “ak”, “rak”, and
“min”, indicate that something implied by the concept under consideration must
be excluded in a specific case.
3. Ribbuy ahar ribbuy (extension after extension):
When one extension follows another it indicates that more must be regarded as
4. Mi’ut ahar mi’ut (limitation after limitation): A
double limitation indicates that more is to be omitted.
5. Kal va-chomer meforash:
“Argumentum a minori ad majus”, or vice versa, and expressly so characterized
in the text.
6. Kal va-chomer satum:
“Argumentum a minori ad majus” or vice versa, but only implied, not explicitly
declared to be one in the text. This and the preceeding rule are contained in
the Rules of Hillel number 1.
7. Gezerah shawah: Argument from analagy.
Biblical passages containing synonyms or homonyms are subject, however much
they differ in other respects, to identical definitions and applications.
8. Binyan ab
mi-katub ehad: Application of a
provision found in one passage only to passages which are related to the first
in content but do not contain the provision in question.
9. Derek Kezarah: Abbreviation is sometimes used in
the text when the subject of discussion is self-explanatory.
10. Dabar shehu shanuy (repeated expression):
Repitition implies a special meaning.
11. Siddur she-nehlak: Where in the text a clause or
sentence not logically divisible is divided by the punctuation, the proper
order and the division of the verses must be restored according to the logical
12. Anything introduced as a
comparison to illustrate and explain something else itself receives in this way
a better explanation and elucidation.
13. When the general is
followed by the particular, the latter is specific to the former and merely
defines it more exactly. (compare with Hillel #5)
14. Something important is
compared with something unimportant to elucidate it and render it more readily
15. When two Biblical passages contradict each
other the contradiction in question must be solved by reference to a third
16. Dabar meyuhad bi-mekomo:
An expression which occurs in only one passage can be explained only by the
context. This must have been the original meaning of the rule, although another
explanation is given in the examples cited in the baraita.
17. A point which is not clearly
explained in the main passage may be better elucidated in another passage.
18. A statement with regard to
a part may imply the whole.
19. A statement concerning one
thing may hold good with regard to another as well.
20. A statement concerning one
thing may apply only to something else.
21. If one object is compared
to two other objects the best part of both the latter forms the tertium quid of
22. A passage may be
supplemented and explained by a parallel passage.
23. A passage serves to
elucidate and supplement its parallel passage.
24. When the specific implied
in the general is especially excepted from the general, it serves to emphasize
some property characterizing the specific.
25. The specific implied in
the general is frequently excepted from the general to elucidate some other
specific property, and to develop some special teaching concerning it.
26. Mashal (parable).
27. Mi-ma’al: Interpretation
through the preceding.
28. Mi-neged: Interpretation
through the opposite.
29. Gematria: Interpretation
according to the numerical value of the letters.
30. Notarikon: Interpretation
by dividing a word into two or more parts.
31. Postposition of the
precedent. Many phraes which follow must be regarded as properly preceding, and
must be interpreted accordingly in exegesis.
32. May portions of the Bible
refer to an earlier period than to the sections which precede them, and vice
These thirty-two rules are united in
the so-called Baraita of R. Eliezer b. Jose HaGelili. In the introduction to
the Midrash ha-Gadole, where this baraita is given, it contains thirty-three
rules. Rule 29 being divided into three, and rule 27 being omitted.