2 Timothy 3:8

New Testament

6 For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. 7 Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people—who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith—also oppose the truth. 9 But they will not go much further, for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres.

Menachot 85a

Babylonian Talmud

§ The mishna states: And all meal offerings come only from the optimal produce. One of the places the mishna mentions as having good-quality produce is Aforayim. The superior quality of its produce was so well known that Aforayim was used as an example in colloquial aphorisms. In Moses and Aaron’s first meeting with Pharaoh, Aaron cast his staff to the ground, whereupon it turned into a serpent. Pharaoh’s necromancers then duplicated the feat using their incantations, only to then be confounded when Aaron’s staff swallowed up all of theirs (see Exodus 7:10–12). The Gemara relates the conversation that took place: Pharaoh’s two leading necromancers, Yoḥana and Mamre, said to Moses: Are you are bringing straw to Afarayim? Performing necromancy in Egypt, the world leader in sorcery, is like bringing straw to Afarayim, which is rich in the finest grains. Moses said to them: It is as people say: To a city rich in herbs, take herbs. If you want to guarantee that people will appreciate your merchandise, bring it to a place where they are familiar with it.

 Notes and References

"... Eusebius' Evangelical Preparation cites a testimony from Numenius; also, Jannes was mentioned by Pliny the Elder and Apuleius. Pliny, it may be noted, knew Jannes as a Jewish sorcerer, a point that will later prove to be of some interest, but it was mainly the rabbinical literature that provided a wealth of source material. "Tanquam aura inter stercora", exclaimed Johannes Drusius (1550-1616), when he found references to stories about them in Nathan ben Yehiel's Aruch; Drusius became aware of information in, e.g., Tanchuma Yelamdenu; the Targum attributed to Jonathan; and the Babylonian Talmud (namely, b. Menachot 85a) ..."

Tromp Johannes "Jannes and Jambres (2 Timothy 3,8-9)" in Graupner, Axel, and Michael Wolter (ed.) Moses in Biblical and Extra-Biblical Traditions (pp. 211-226) De Gruyter, 2007

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