|Travelling from Acon to Achzib, on the right hand of the way, eastwardly, it is clean, from the notion of heathen land, and is bound to tithes, and to the law of the seventh year, until you are certified that it is free. On the left hand of the way, westward, it is unclean, under the notion of Gentile land; and it is free from tithes, and from the law concerning the seventh year, till you are certified it is bound to those things, even until you come to Achzib.| The Gemara hath these words: but the text, on which is this commentary, is this: |The three countries| (namely, Judea, Galilee, and Perea) |are bound to the law of the seventh year: whatsoever they possessed, who came up out of Babylon, from the land of Israel unto Chezib (the Jerusalem Misna read Ghezib), is not fed nor tilled: but whatsoever they possessed, who came up out of Egypt, from Chezib to the river, and to Amanah, is fed, but not tilled: from the river and from Amanah, inwards, is fed and tilled.|
Of Amanah we shall speak by and by. |The river (saith R. Solomon upon the place) is the river of Egypt.| -- |And Chezib (saith Rambam) is the name of a place, which divided between the land of Israel, which they possessed that came up out of Babylon, and that land which they possessed that came up out of Egypt. Now that land, which they possessed that came up out of Egypt, as to the Demai| (or doubt of tithing), |is, as it were, without the land.| Hence is that in the text, on which he makes this comment, |From Chezib, and beyond, is free from the Demai.|
The word Chezib, and Achzib, at last passed into Ecdippa, according to the manner of the Syrian dialect; to which it is common to change zain of the Hebrews into daleth.
|Climax (or the ladder) of the Tyrians,| in the Talmudists is, 'The ladder of Tyre.' |Before they came to Climax of the Tyrians, they forgot all.| -- The discourse is, in the place cited, about some Romans sent to Rabban Gamaliel, to inquire of the Jewish law.
Of him also is this story, and of the same place: |When he went sometime out of Chezib, one came to him, to ask him of a certain vow of his. He said to him, who went with him, Tell him, that we have drunk an Italian quart of wine. He saith to him, Well. He saith to him that asked, Go with us, until our wine be allayed. When they came to the ladder of the Tyrians, Rabban Gamaliel came down, and veils himself, and, sitting, resolved his vow. From this example we learn these things, that a quart of wine makes one drunk, that the way allays wine,| &c.
Let this be marked by the way, that it is said |A quart of wine makes drunk|: and let it be compared with what R. Chaia saith, |Four pots (to be drunk by every one in their sacred feasts) contain an Italian quart of wine|: and judge how soberly they carried it in those feasts, if they mingled not much water with their wine.