Mishnah Sanhedrin
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:

Cases concerning property [are decided] by three. Cases concerning robbery or personal injury, by three. Claims for full damages or half-damages, twofold restitution, or fourfold or fivefold restitution, by three. Claims against a rapist, a seducer and one who defames [a virgin are decided] by three, according to Rabbi Meir. The Sages say: “One who defames [a virgin is decided] by twenty-three, for there may arise from it 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 concerning offenses punishable by] beating [are decided] by three. In the name of Rabbi Yishmael they said twenty-three. The intercalation of the month and intercalation of the year [are decided] by three, according to Rabbi Meir. Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel says: “The matter is begun by three, discussed by five, and decided upon by seven. But if they decided upon it with three, the intercalation is valid.”

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 on of the elders’ hands and the breaking of the heifer’s neck [are decided upon] by three, according to Rabbi Shimon. But Rabbi Judah says: “By five.” The rites of halitzah and “refusal” [are performed] before three. The fruit of fourth year plantings and Second Tithes whose value is not known [are redeemed] before three. Things dedicated to the Temple [are redeemed] before three. Vows of evaluation to be redeemed with movable property, [are evaluated] before three. Rabbi Judah says: “One must be a priest.” [Vows of evaluation], [to be redeemed] with land [are evaluated] before nine and a priest. And similarly [for the evaluation] 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:

Cases concerning offenses punishable by death [are decided] by twenty three. A beast that has sexual relations with a woman or with a man is [judged] by twenty three, as it says, “You shall execute the woman and the beast” (Lev. 20:16) and it says, “You shall execute the beast”. The ox that is stoned [is judged] by twenty three., as it says, “The ox shall be stoned and also its owner shall be put to death” (Exodus 21:29), as is the death of the owner, so too is the death of the ox. The wolf, the lion, the bear, the leopard, the panther, or serpent [that have killed a human being] their death is [adjudicated] by twenty three. Rabbi Eliezer says: “Anyone who kills them before they come to court merits.” But Rabbi Akiva says: “Their death must be [adjudicated] 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:

A tribe, a false prophet, or the high priest may not be tried save by the court of seventy-one; They may not send forth the people to wage a battle of free choice save by the decision of the court of one and seventy; They may not add to the City [of Jerusalem], or the Courts of the Temple save by the decision of the court of seventy-one; They may not set up sanhedrins for the several tribes save by the decision of the court of one and seventy. And they may not proclaim [any city to be] an Apostate City (ir ha-niddahat) (Deut. 13:13–19] save by the decision of one and seventy. No city on the frontier may be proclaimed an Apostate City, nor three together, but 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 greater Sanhedrin was made up of seventy one and the little Sanhedrin of twenty three.From where do we learn that the greater Sanhedrin should be made up of seventy one? As it says, “Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel” (Num. 11:16), and when Moses is added to them there is seventy one. Rabbi Judah says: “Seventy.” From where do we learn that the little Sanhedrin should be made up of twenty three? As it says, “The assembly shall judge”, “The assembly shall deliver” (Num. 35:24-25), an assembly that judges and an assembly that delivers, thus we have twenty. And from where do we know that an assembly has ten? As it says, “How long shall I bear this evil congregation?” (Num. 14:27) [which refers to the twelve spies] but Joshua and Caleb were not included. And from where do we learn that we should bring three others [to the twenty]? By inference from what it says, “You shall not follow after the many to do evil” (Ex. 23:2), I conclude that I must be with them to do well. Then why does it say, “[To follow] after the many to change judgment” (Ex. 23:2). [It means that] your verdict of condemnation should not be like your verdict of acquittal, for your verdict of acquittal is reached by the decision of a majority of one, but your verdict of condemnation must be reached by the decision of a majority of two. The court must not be divisible equally, therefore they add to them one more; thus they are twenty three. And how many should there be in a city that it may be fit to have a Sanhedrin? A hundred and twenty. Rabbi Nehemiah says: “Two hundred and thirty, so that [the Sanhedrin of twenty three] should correspond with them that are chiefs of [at least] groups of ten.