1א׳
1 א

דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. גְּזֵלוֹת וַחֲבָלוֹת, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. נֶזֶק וַחֲצִי נֶזֶק, תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶפֶל וְתַשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הָאוֹנֵס וְהַמְפַתֶּה וְהַמּוֹצִיא שֵׁם רַע, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, מוֹצִיא שֵׁם רַע, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֶּשׁ בּוֹ דִינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת:

Monetary cases [are judged] by three [judges]. [Cases of] theft and personal injury [are judged] by three [judges]. [Suits for] damages or half-damages, [crimes for which one would] pay double, or pay quadruple or quintuple, [are judged] by three [judges]. [Cases of] rape, seduction, and slander [are judged] by three [judges]- these are the words of Rabbi Meir. But the Sages say, [a case of] slander [is judged] by twenty-three [judges], because this is a capital case.

2 ב

מַכּוֹת, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אָמְרוּ, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. עִבּוּר הַחֹדֶשׁ, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. עִבּוּר הַשָּׁנָה, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה מַתְחִילִין, וּבַחֲמִשָּׁה נוֹשְׂאִין וְנוֹתְנִין, וְגוֹמְרִין בְּשִׁבְעָה. וְאִם גָּמְרוּ בִשְׁלֹשָׁה, מְעֻבֶּרֶת:

[Cases regarding transgressions punishable by] lashing, by three. In the name of Rabbi Yishmael it was said, by twenty-three. Intercalating the month by three; intercalating the year, by three, these are the words of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says, They begin with three, deliberate with five, and finish with seven. But if they finish with three, [the year] has been intercalated.

3 ג

סְמִיכַת זְקֵנִים וַעֲרִיפַת עֶגְלָה, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן. וְרַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, בַּחֲמִשָּׁה. הַחֲלִיצָה וְהַמֵּאוּנִין, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. נֶטַע רְבָעִי וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁאֵין דָּמָיו יְדוּעִין, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הַהֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הָעֲרָכִין הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין, בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אֶחָד מֵהֶן כֹּהֵן. וְהַקַּרְקָעוֹת, תִּשְׁעָה וְכֹהֵן. וְאָדָם, כַּיּוֹצֵא בָהֶן:

The laying of the hands by the elders, and the breaking of the neck of the calf [are performed] by three [judges], these are the words of Rabbi Shimon. But Rabbi Yehudah says, by five. Chalitzah (declination of levirate marriage) and mi'un (rejection of youth betrothal), by three. Fourth year produce or the second tithe with unknown value, by three. [Redemption of] dedications [for the Temple], by three. Valuations of chattel, by three. Rabbi Yehudah says: one [of the judges] must be a priest. [Redemption of] real estate, by nine and a priest. Similarly with [redemption of the value of] a man.

4 ד

דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. הָרוֹבֵעַ וְהַנִּרְבָּע, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה, שֶׁנֶאֱמַר (ויקרא כ) וְהָרַגְתָּ אֶת הָאִשָּׁה וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה, וְאוֹמֵר (שם) וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה תַּהֲרֹגוּ. שׁוֹר הַנִּסְקָל, בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא) הַשּׁוֹר יִסָּקֵל וְגַם בְּעָלָיו יוּמָת, כְּמִיתַת בְּעָלִים כָּךְ מִיתַת הַשּׁוֹר. הַזְּאֵב וְהָאֲרִי, הַדֹּב וְהַנָּמֵר וְהַבַּרְדְּלָס וְהַנָּחָשׁ, מִיתָתָן בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, כָּל הַקּוֹדֵם לְהָרְגָן, זָכָה. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, מִיתָתָן בְּעֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה:

Capital cases, by twenty-three. Bestiality, by twenty-three, as it says (Leviticus 20:16) "and you shall kill the woman and the beast," and it says, (Leviticus 20:15) "and you shall kill the beast." An ox to be stoned, by twenty-three, as it is written (Exodus 21:29) "the ox shall be stoned and its owner shall also be put to death," as is the death of the owner, so is the death of the ox. The wolf and the lion, the bear and the tiger, the leopard and the snake, are put to death by twenty-three. Rabbi Eli'ezer says: Whoever is the first to kill [the animal] has performed a meritorious deed. Rabbi Akiva says: they are put to death by twenty-three.

5 ה

אֵין דָּנִין לֹא אֶת הַשֵּׁבֶט וְלֹא אֶת נְבִיא הַשֶּׁקֶר וְלֹא אֶת כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. וְאֵין מוֹצִיאִין לְמִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. אֵין מוֹסִיפִין עַל הָעִיר וְעַל הָעֲזָרוֹת, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. אֵין עוֹשִׂין סַנְהֶדְרִיּוֹת לַשְּׁבָטִים, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. אֵין עוֹשִׂין עִיר הַנִּדַּחַת, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין עִיר הַנִּדַּחַת בַּסְּפָר, וְלֹא שְׁלֹשָׁה, אֲבָל עוֹשִׂין אַחַת אוֹ שְׁתָּיִם:

They may not judge a tribe, or a false prophet, or a high priest, except by a court of seventy-one. They may not [declare] an optional war, except by a court of seventy-one. They may not add [annex] to the city [Jerusalem] or [Temple] Courtyards, except by a court of seventy-one. They may not make a Sanhedrin for [individual] tribes, except by a court of seventy-one. They may not proclaim a wayward city [a city whose inhabitants are mostly idolatrous Jews], except by a court of seventy-one. They may not make a wayward city on the border, nor may they [make] three wayward cities, only one or two.

6 ו

סַנְהֶדְרִי גְדוֹלָה הָיְתָה שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד, וּקְטַנָּה שֶׁל עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. וּמִנַּיִן לַגְּדוֹלָה שֶׁהִיא שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יא) אֶסְפָה לִּי שִׁבְעִים אִישׁ מִזִּקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמֹשֶׁה עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן, הֲרֵי שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, שִׁבְעִים. וּמִנַּיִן לַקְּטַנָּה שֶׁהִיא שֶׁל עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם לה) וְשָׁפְטוּ הָעֵדָה וְגוֹ' וְהִצִּילוּ הָעֵדָה, עֵדָה שׁוֹפֶטֶת וְעֵדָה מַצֶּלֶת, הֲרֵי כָאן עֶשְׂרִים. וּמִנַּיִן לָעֵדָה שֶׁהִיא עֲשָׂרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם יד) עַד מָתַי לָעֵדָה הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת, יָצְאוּ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָלֵב. וּמִנַּיִן לְהָבִיא עוֹד שְׁלֹשָׁה, מִמַּשְׁמַע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג) לֹא תִהְיֶה אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְרָעֹת, שׁוֹמֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁאֶהְיֶה עִמָּהֶם לְטוֹבָה, אִם כֵּן לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר (שם) אַחֲרֵי רַבִּים לְהַטֹּת, לֹא כְהַטָּיָתְךָ לְטוֹבָה הַטָּיָתְךָ לְרָעָה. הַטָּיָתְךָ לְטוֹבָה עַל פִּי אֶחָד, הַטָּיָתְךָ לְרָעָה עַל פִּי שְׁנַיִם, וְאֵין בֵּית דִּין שָׁקוּל, מוֹסִיפִין עֲלֵיהֶם עוֹד אֶחָד, הֲרֵי כָאן עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה. וְכַמָּה יְהֵא בְעִיר וּתְהֵא רְאוּיָה לְסַנְהֶדְרִין, מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים. רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה אוֹמֵר, מָאתַיִם וּשְׁלשִׁים, כְּנֶגֶד שָׂרֵי עֲשָׂרוֹת:

The great 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.][was comprised of] seventy-one [judges], and a small [Sanhedrin] twenty-three [judges]. From where [do we derive] that the great [Sanhedrin] [comprises] seventy-one [judges]? As it says, (Numbers 11:16) "gather for me seventy men from the elders of Israel," and Moses [set] over them, behold, [the number of judges adds to] seventy-one. Rabbi Yehudah says: seventy. And from where [do we derive] that a small [Sanhedrin] [comprises] twenty-three [judges]? As it says, (Numbers 35:24-25) "the assembly shall judge... the assembly shall deliver." The assembly judges and the assembly delivers- behold [the number of judges adds to] twenty. From where [do we derive] that the assembly is ten? As it says, (Numbers 14:27) "Until when shall I bear this wicked assembly." This excludes Joshua and Caleb. And from where [do we derive that we] add three more? This is implied by the [verse], as it says, (Exodus 23:2) "Do not follow the many to do evil." Should I learn to follow them to do good? If so, why does it say (Exodus 23:2) "Following the many to distort [justice]" - your following to do good is not like your following to do evil. Following to do good [i.e. acquittal] is by one, following to do evil [i.e. conviction] is by two. Since a court cannot [contain an] even [number of members], we add [to the number of judges] one more- behold this is twenty-three. And how many [inhabitants] must a city have before it may have a Sanhedrin? One hundred and twenty. Rabbi Nechemiah says, two hundred and thirty, [each judge] corresponding to a chief of a group of ten.