Pesachim 4a
Ohel Moshe - Masechta Pesachim 4a

Why was the first man immediately declared to be from the tribe of Dan, but the second man needed to be investigated in order to verify that he was from the tribe of Zevulun?

The gemora in Pesachim 4a writes that a certain man used to say “Judge my case”. They said: This proves that he is descended from the tribe of Dan, for it is written “Dan shall judge his people, like one of the tribes of Yisrael” (Bereishis 49:16).

The gemora continues: A certain man used to go about saying “By the seashore I will set up palaces”. An alternative text - “By the seashore thorn-bushes are fir-trees”. They investigated and found that he was descended from Zevulun, for it is written “Zevulun shall dwell by the sea shore” (Bereishis 49:13).

Why in the first case did they immediately declare that he must be from the tribe of Dan without needing to investigate, but in the second case they did not immediately declare that he was from the tribe of Zevulun, but instead investigated and found out that he was from Zevulun?

R. Dovid Feldman, the Rav of a congregation in Leipzig, answers that since it also says that “Asher lived by the seashore” (Shoftim 5:17), they had to investigate whether he came from Asher or Zevulun, and when they investigated “they found that he came from Zevulun”. But an expression of judging is only used in reference to the tribe of Dan, and thus they knew immediately that he came from Dan and so they immediately said “this proves that he comes from Dan”.

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