1א׳
1 א

כֵּיצַד הָעֵדִים נַעֲשִׂים זוֹמְמִין, מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁהוּא בֶן גְּרוּשָׁה אוֹ בֶן חֲלוּצָה, אֵין אוֹמְרִים יֵעָשֶׂה זֶה בֶן גְּרוּשָׁה אוֹ בֶן חֲלוּצָה תַחְתָּיו, אֶלָּא לוֹקֶה אַרְבָּעִים. מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לִגְלוֹת, אֵין אוֹמְרִים יִגְלֶה זֶה תַחְתָּיו, אֶלָּא לוֹקֶה אַרְבָּעִים. מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁגֵּרַשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא נָתַן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ, וַהֲלֹא בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין לְמָחָר סוֹפוֹ לִתֵּן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ, אוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה אָדָם רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ שֶׁל זוֹ, שֶׁאִם נִתְאַלְמְנָה אוֹ נִתְגָּרְשָׁה, וְאִם מֵתָה יִירָשֶׁנָּה בַעְלָהּ. מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֶלֶף זוּז עַל מְנָת לִתְּנָן לוֹ מִכָּאן וְעַד שְׁלשִׁים יוֹם, וְהוּא אוֹמֵר מִכָּאן וְעַד עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים, אוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה אָדָם רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן וְיִהְיוּ בְיָדוֹ אֶלֶף זוּז, בֵּין נוֹתְנָן מִכָּאן וְעַד שְׁלשִׁים יוֹם, בֵּין נוֹתְנָן מִכָּאן וְעַד עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים:

How do witnesses become [given the punishment due to] zomemin [scheming witnesses]? [If witnesses said,] "We testify that such and such man [who was thought to be Kohen] is the son of a divorced woman" or "the son of a chalutzah [a women to whom levirate marriage has been declined]," we do not say that [as punishment, each scheming witness] is designated as the son of a divorced woman or the son of a chalutzah in their place [the falsely accused]. Rather, [each scheming witness] is given forty lashes. [If witnesses said,] "We testify that such and such man is liable to be exiled [to an Ir Miklat, City of Refuge, for accidentally killing somebody]," we do not say that [each scheming witness] should be exiled in their place [the falsely accused]. Rather, [each scheming witness] is given forty lashes. [If witnesses said,] "We testify that such and such man divorced his wife and has not given her her Ketubah [the sum promised in the event of death or divorce]"; since in either way, he [the accused], will eventually give her, her Ketubah [because he will die or they will get divorced], we [therefore] assess how much a man would pay for this woman's Ketubah, given the chance that were she widowed or divorced [she would receive the money], whereas if she dies [before her husband] he inherits her [property, including the sum of the Ketubah]. [If witnesses said,] "We testify that such and such a man owes his fellow one thousand zuz [specific unit of weight] to be repaid within thirty days," and he [the accused] says [he must repay his loan] within ten years, we assess how much one would be willing to pay to have in his hand one thousand zuz, [evaluating the difference] between [that quantity when the loan] is to be repaid within thirty days and [that quantity when the loan] is to be repaid within ten years.

2 ב

מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁחַיָּב לַחֲבֵרוֹ מָאתַיִם זוּז, וְנִמְצְאוּ זוֹמְמִין, לוֹקִין וּמְשַׁלְּמִין, שֶׁלֹּא הַשֵּׁם הַמְבִיאוֹ לִידֵי מַכּוֹת, מְבִיאוֹ לִידֵי תַשְׁלוּמִין, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, כָּל הַמְשַׁלֵּם אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:

[Witnesses who say,] "We testify that such and such a man owes his fellow two hundred zuz" and are found to be zomemin, receive lashes and must pay [the amount they testified about], for the Biblical verse that brings upon them [the witnesses] lashes does brings upon them [the requirement to make] restitution. [This is]the view of Rabbi Meir. And the Sages say, whoever makes restitution does not receive lashes.

3 ג

מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מַלְקוּת אַרְבָּעִים, וְנִמְצְאוּ זוֹמְמִין, לוֹקִין שְׁמֹנִים, מִשּׁוּם לֹא תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר (שמות כ), וּמִשּׁוּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר זָמַם (דברים יט), דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֵינָן לוֹקִין אֶלָּא אַרְבָּעִים. מְשַׁלְּשִׁין בְּמָמוֹן וְאֵין מְשַׁלְּשִׁין בְּמַכּוֹת. כֵּיצַד, הֱעִידוּהוּ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לַחֲבֵרוֹ מָאתַיִם זוּז, וְנִמְצְאוּ זוֹמְמִין, מְשַׁלְּשִׁין בֵּינֵיהֶם. אֲבָל אִם הֱעִידוּהוּ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מַלְקוּת אַרְבָּעִים, וְנִמְצְאוּ זוֹמְמִין, כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד לוֹקֶה אַרְבָּעִים:

[Witnesses who say,] "We testify that such and such a man is liable [for a prohibition incurred] forty lashes" and are found to be zomemin, receive eighty lashes, [forty] on account of [the verse,] "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," (Exodus 20:12), and [forty] on account of "Then shall you do unto him, as he had purposed to do." (Deuteronomy 19:19) [This is] the view of Rabbi Meir. And the Sages say, they only receive forty lashes. Monetary [compensation] may be divided up, but lashes cannot be divided up. How so? If they testified that one owed his fellow two hundred zuz and were found to be zomemin, they may divide between themselves [the sum they owe to the one they conspired against]. But if they testified that he was liable [for a prohibition incurring] forty lashes and were found to be zomemin, each one of them incurres forty lashes.

4 ד

אֵין הָעֵדִים נַעֲשִׂים זוֹמְמִין עַד שֶׁיָּזוֹמוּ אֶת עַצְמָן. כֵּיצַד, אָמְרוּ מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַנֶּפֶשׁ, אָמְרוּ לָהֶן הֵיאַךְ אַתֶּם מְעִידִין, שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶהֱרָג זֶה אוֹ הַהוֹרֵג הָיָה עִמָּנוּ אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי, אֵין אֵלּוּ זוֹמְמִין. אֲבָל אָמְרוּ לָהֶם הֵיאַךְ אַתֶּם מְעִידִין, שֶׁהֲרֵי אַתֶּם הֱיִיתֶם עִמָּנוּ אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם בְּמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ זוֹמְמִין, וְנֶהֱרָגִין עַל פִּיהֶם:

Witnesses are not considered zomemin until they themselves are incriminated How so? [If the first pair of witnesses] said, "We testify that such and such a man killed another person," and [another pair of witnesses] say to them, "How can you testify [to this matter], for the one killed or the one [accused of] killing was with us on that day at such-and-such a place",[the witnesses of the first pair] are not considered zomemin. But if [the second pair of witnesses] said, "How can you testify [to this matter], for you were with us on that day at such-and-such a place"—[the witnesses of the first pair] are considered zomemin, and are executed on account of their testimony [the second pair of witnesses' testimony].

5 ה

בָּאוּ אֲחֵרִים וְהִזִּימוּם, בָּאוּ אֲחֵרִים וְהִזִּימוּם, אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה, כֻּלָּם יֵהָרֵגוּ. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אִסְטָסִית הִיא זוֹ, וְאֵינָהּ נֶהֱרֶגֶת אֶלָּא כַת הָרִאשׁוֹנָה בִלְבָד:

If others [i.e. another pair of witnesses] come and are proven [a prior pair] to be zomemin, and [still] others come and prove them to be zomemin, even [if this occurs] one hundred [times], all of them are executed. Rabbi Yehudah says, this is a conspiracy, and only the first group [of witnesses] is executed.

6 ו

אֵין הָעֵדִים זוֹמְמִין נֶהֱרָגִין, עַד שֶׁיִּגָּמֵר הַדִּין, שֶׁהֲרֵי הַצְּדוֹקִין אוֹמְרִים, עַד שֶׁיֵּהָרֵג, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר נֶפֶשׁ תַּחַת נָפֶשׁ. אָמְרוּ לָהֶם חֲכָמִים, וַהֲלֹא כְבָר נֶאֱמַר (דברים יט) וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר זָמַם לַעֲשׂוֹת לְאָחִיו, וַהֲרֵי אָחִיו קַיָּם. וְאִם כֵּן לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר נֶפֶשׁ תַּחַת נָפֶשׁ, יָכוֹל מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ עֵדוּתָן יֵהָרֵגוּ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר, נֶפֶשׁ תַּחַת נָפֶשׁ, הָא אֵינָן נֶהֱרָגִין עַד שֶׁיִּגָּמֵר הַדִּין:

Witnesses [found to be] zomemin are only executed after judgment has been rendered [i.e. after the verdict has been pronounced]. [This was done in opposition to the Sadducees], for the Sadducees say, [they are only executed] after the [falsely accused] has [already] been executed, for the verse says, "a life for a life." (Deuteronomy 19:21) The Sages, [however countered and] said to them [the Sadducees], has not[the verse] already declared " Then shall you do unto him, as he had purposed to do unto his brother," (Deuteronomy 19:19) and his brother is still alive [after the verdict is pronounced, but before the falsely accused is executed]. If so, why does [the verse] say "a life for a life"? It would have been possible [to maintain] that they are [liable for] executed the moment their testimony has been accepted; [but] the verse says "a life for a life," [from which we infer] that they are not killed until the judgment is rendered.

7 ז

עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם עֵדִים אוֹ שְׁלשָׁה עֵדִים יוּמַת הַמֵּת (שם יז), אִם מִתְקַיֶּמֶת הָעֵדוּת בִּשְׁנַיִם, לָמָּה פָרַט הַכָּתוּב בִּשְׁלשָׁה, אֶלָּא לְהַקִּישׁ שְׁלשָׁה לִשְׁנַיִם, מַה שְּׁלשָׁה מַזִּימִין אֶת הַשְּׁנַיִם, אַף הַשְּׁנַיִם יָזוֹמּוֹ אֶת הַשְּׁלשָׁה. וּמִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר, עֵדִים. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, מַה שְּׁנַיִם אֵינָן נֶהֱרָגִין עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם זוֹמְמִין, אַף שְׁלשָׁה אֵינָן נֶהֱרָגִין עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שְׁלָשְׁתָּן זוֹמְמִין. וּמִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר, עֵדִים. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, לֹא בָא הַשְּׁלִישִׁי אֶלָּא לְהַחְמִיר עָלָיו וְלַעֲשׂוֹת דִּינוֹ כַיּוֹצֵא בָאֵלּוּ. וְאִם כֵּן עָנַשׁ הַכָּתוּב לַנִּטְפָּל לְעוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרָה כְעוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרָה, עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה יְשַׁלֵּם שָׂכָר לַנִּטְפָּל לְעוֹשֵׂי מִצְוָה כְעוֹשֵׂי מִצְוָה:

"By the testimony of two or three witnesses [the perpetrator] shall surely be put to death." (Deuteronomy 17:6) If two witnesses [suffice to] establish testimony, why did the verse specify three witnesses? The Torah is making a correlation between three witnesses and two witnesses. Just as a group of three witnesses can make a group of two witnesses zomemin, so too a group of two witnesses can make a group of three witnesses zomemin. And from where do we know that a group of two witnesses can make a group of one hundred witnesses zomemin? The verse says [uses the termonolgy] "witnesses". Rabbi Shimon says: Just as two witnesses are not killed until both of them become zomemin so too three witnesses are not killed until all three of them are zomemin. And from where do we know that this is the case even for one hundred witnesses? The verse says [uses the termonolgy] "witnesses". Rabbi Akiva says: The third witness did not come [is not specified] to teach us to treat him more leniently but rather to make it more strict on him and to make his punishment like that of the others. That being so, that the Torah punishes those who assist transgressors like the actual transgressor, all the more so, those who assist in the performance of mitzvoth will be rewarded like those who actually perform the mitzvoth.

8 ח

מַה שְּׁנַיִם נִמְצָא אַחַד מֵהֶן קָרוֹב אוֹ פָסוּל עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה, אַף שְׁלשָׁה נִמְצָא אֶחָד מֵהֶן קָרוֹב אוֹ פָסוּל, עֵדוּתָן בְּטֵלָה. מִנַּיִן אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר, עֵדִים. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, בַּמֶּה דְבָרִים אֲמוּרִים, בְּדִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת. אֲבָל בְּדִינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, תִּתְקַיֵּם הָעֵדוּת בַּשְּׁאָר. רַבִּי אוֹמֵר, אֶחָד דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת וְאֶחָד דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת. בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִתְרוּ בָהֶן, אֲבָל בִּזְמַן שֶׁלֹּא הִתְרוּ בָהֶן, מַה יַּעֲשׂוּ שְׁנֵי אַחִין שֶׁרָאוּ בְאֶחָד שֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַנָּפֶשׁ:

Just as if there were two [witnesses], and one was found to be a close relative or invalid, the entire testimony is invalidated, so too if there are three [witnesses] and one was found to be a close relative or invalid the entire testimony is invalidated. From where do we know [that this applies] even for one hundred [witnesses]? The verse states: "witnesses". Rabbi Yossi said: "What case are we talking about? In capital cases, however in monetary cases the testimony is upheld by the others." Rebbe said: "The law is the same for capital cases and monetary cases." And when is this? In a case when they warned [the perpetrator], however when they did not warn [the perpetrator], what can two brothers do who saw someone kill another person?

9 ט

הָיוּ שְׁנַיִם רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ מֵחַלּוֹן זֶה וּשְׁנַיִם רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ מֵחַלּוֹן זֶה וְאֶחָד מַתְרֶה בוֹ בָּאֶמְצַע, בִּזְמַן שֶׁמִּקְצָתָן רוֹאִין אֵלּוּ אֶת אֵלּוּ, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ עֵדוּת אַחַת. וְאִם לָאו, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ שְׁתֵּי עֵדֻיּוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִמְצֵאת אַחַת מֵהֶן זוֹמֶמֶת, הוּא וָהֵן נֶהֱרָגִין וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה פְּטוּרָה. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, לְעוֹלָם אֵין נֶהֱרָגִין עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ פִּי שְׁנֵי עֵדָיו מַתְרִין בּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז) עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם עֵדִים. דָּבָר אַחֵר, עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם עֵדִים, שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא סַנְהֶדְרִין שׁוֹמַעַת מִפִּי הַתֻּרְגְּמָן:

Should two [witnesses] see [the perpetrator] from one window and two [witnesses] see him from another window and one [witness] warns him, if they [the witnesses] have a partial view of each other they are considered as one set. If not, they are considered as two sets. Therefore if one pair is found to be zomemin [in a capital crime], both they and the accused will be executed, and the other pair is exempt. Rabbi Yossi says: "They are never executed unless warned by two witnesses as it says : 'By the mouth of two witnesses.'" (Deuteronomy 17:6) An alternate interpretation: "By the mouth of two witnesses," [meaning] the court should not hear testimony from the mouth of a translator.

10 י

מִי שֶׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ וּבָרַח וּבָא לִפְנֵי אוֹתוֹ בֵית דִּין, אֵין סוֹתְרִים אֶת דִּינוֹ. כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁיַּעַמְדוּ שְׁנַיִם וְיֹאמְרוּ, מְעִידִין אָנוּ בְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁנִּגְמַר דִּינוֹ בְּבֵית דִּינוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי, וּפְלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי עֵדָיו, הֲרֵי זֶה יֵהָרֵג. סַנְהֶדְרִין נוֹהֶגֶת בָּאָרֶץ וּבְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. סַנְהֶדְרִין הַהוֹרֶגֶת אֶחָד בְּשָׁבוּעַ נִקְרֵאת חָבְלָנִית. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה אוֹמֵר, אֶחָד לְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה. רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן וְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמְרִים, אִלּוּ הָיִינוּ בַסַּנְהֶדְרִין לֹא נֶהֱרַג אָדָם מֵעוֹלָם. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, אַף הֵן מַרְבִּין שׁוֹפְכֵי דָמִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:

If someone whose judgement was final [sentenced to death], and ran away but came back to the same Beit Din, we do not re-evaluate his old judgment. Any time that two witnesses came and say, "We testify that this person had a judgement passed against him in a certain court," so and so were the witnesses, we execute him [the defendant on this testimony]. A Sanhedrin [highest court, charged with deciding cases and appeals that had national significance. It was comprised of 71 scholars who had received the full traditional rabbinical ordination, and its decisions fixed Jewish practice for subsequent generations]that would execute somebody once in seven years would be considered destructive. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah says: "Once in seventy years." Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiva said: "If we were on the Sanhedrin , nobody would have ever been executed." Rabban Shim'on Ben Gamliel said: "They too would have increased violence in Israel."