Chapter 5ה׳
1 א

הַמֵּסִית אֶחָד מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל בֵּין אִישׁ בֵּין אִשָּׁה הֲרֵי זֶה נִסְקָל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא עָבַד הַמֵּסִית וְלֹא הַמּוּסָת עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוֹרָהוּ לַעֲבֹד. בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הַמֵּסִית הֶדְיוֹט בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה נָבִיא בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה הַמּוּסָת יָחִיד אִישׁ אוֹ אִשָּׁה אוֹ יְחִידִים מִיתָתוֹ בִּסְקִילָה:

He who entices a single person in Israel, whether man or woman, is stoned, although neither the enticer nor enticed worshiped idolatry, for he taught him to worship; and regardless of whether the seducer was a layman or whether he was a prophet, whether the enticed was an individual, man or woman, or whether there were several individuals, his punishment is death by stoning.1Ibid. 66a; Ibid. 89a; Ibid. 61a. C.

2 ב

הַמֵּסִית אֶת רֹב אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר הֲרֵי זֶה מַדִּיחַ וְאֵינוֹ נִקְרָא מֵסִית. הָיָה זֶה שֶׁהִדִּיחַ רֹב הָעִיר נָבִיא מִיתָתוֹ בִּסְקִילָה וְהַנִּדָּחִים הֲרֵי הֵן כִּיחִידִים וְאֵינָם כְּאַנְשֵׁי עִיר הַנִּדַּחַת עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַמַּדִּיחִים שְׁנַיִם. וְאֶחָד הָאוֹמֵר אָמְרָה לִי עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים עִבְדוּהָ. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר אָמַר לִי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עִבְדוּ עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים הֲרֵי זֶה נָבִיא שֶׁהִדִּיחַ. וְאִם הֻדְּחוּ אַחֲרָיו רֹב הָעִיר נִסְקָל. הַמֵּסִית שֶׁהֵסִית בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן רַבִּים בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן יָחִיד הֲרֵי זֶה נִסְקָל. כֵּיצַד. הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֶעֱבֹד כּוֹכָבִים אֵלֵךְ וְאֶעֱבֹד נֵלֵךְ וְנַעֲבֹד בַּעֲבוֹדָה פְּלוֹנִית שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ אוֹתָהּ עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים לְהֵעָבֵד בָּהּ. אֶזְבַּח אֵלֵךְ וְאֶזְבַּח נֵלֵךְ וְנִזְבַּח. אֲקַטֵּר אֵלֵךְ וַאֲקַטֵר נֵלֵךְ וּנְקַטֵּר. אֲנַסֵּךְ אֵלֵךְ וַאֲנַסֵּךְ נֵלֵךְ וּנְנַסֵּךְ. אֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֵלֵךְ וְאֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה נֵלֵךְ וְנִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה הֲרֵי זֶה מֵסִית. הֵסִית לִשְׁנַיִם הֲרֵי הֵן עֵדָיו וְהֵן מְבִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לְבֵית דִּין וּמְעִידִין עָלָיו שֶׁכָּךְ אָמַר לָהֶן וְסוֹקְלִין אוֹתוֹ:

One who entices a majority of the people of a city, is not called enticer but seducer. If such one who seduced a majority of the city be a prophet, his punishment is death by stoning, but the seduced are not judged as are the people of a seduced city, unless a minimum of two will commit the seduction. Regardless of whether a prophet said: "The idol charged me to serve it", or whether he said: "The Holy One, blessed be He! charged me to worship idolatry", behold him, he is a seductive prophet, and if a majority of the city be seduced by him, he shall be stoned. The enticer, whether he entices by employing plural or singular language, is stoned. For instance? One who says to his friend: "Come, I will worship, Come, I will go and officiate at the worshiping; let us both go and worship by performing a certain service by which that particular branch of idolatry is worshiped; stand by, I will sacrifice; follow me, I will go and sacrifice; let us both go and sacrifice; stand by I will burn incense; follow me, I will go and burn incense, let us both go and burn incense; stand by I will compound a drink-offering; follow me, I will go and compound a drink-offering; let us go and compound a drink-offering; behold, I will bow down; follow me, I will go and bow down; let us go and bow down", behold him, he is an enticer. If he enticed two, both of them are witnesses against him, who bring him before the tribunal and testify that such was his statement to them, and he is stoned.2Sanhedrin, 67a. C.

3 ג

וְאֵין הַמֵּסִית צָרִיךְ הַתְרָאָה. אָמַר לְאֶחָד הוּא אוֹמֵר יֵשׁ לִי חֲבֵרִים רוֹצִים בְּכָךְ וּמַעֲרִים עָלָיו עַד שֶׁיָּסִית בִּפְנֵי שְׁנַיִם כְּדֵי לְהָרְגוֹ. אִם לֹא רָצָה הַמֵּסִית לְהָסִית לִשְׁנַיִם מִצְוָה לְהַכְמִין לוֹ. כָּל חַיָּבֵי מִיתוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה אֵין מַכְמִינִין עֲלֵיהֶן חוּץ מִזֶּה. כֵּיצַד מַכְמִינִין לוֹ. הַמּוּסָת מֵבִיא שְׁנַיִם וּמַעֲמִידָן בְּמָקוֹם אָפֵל כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְאוּ הַמֵּסִית וְיִשְׁמְעוּ דְּבָרָיו וְלֹא יִרְאֶה אוֹתָם, וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לַמֵּסִית אֱמֹר מַה שֶּׁאָמַרְתָּ לִי בְּיִחוּד, וְהוּא אוֹמֵר לוֹ, וְהַמּוּסָת מְשִׁיבוֹ הֵיאַךְ נַנִּיחַ אֶת אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וְנֵלֵךְ וְנַעֲבֹד אֶת הָעֵצִים וְאֶת הָאֲבָנִים. אִם חָזַר בּוֹ אוֹ שָׁתַק פָּטוּר. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ כָּךְ הִיא חוֹבָתֵנוּ וְכָךְ יָפֶה לָנוּ, הָעוֹמְדִים שָׁם בְּרָחוֹק מְבִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לְבֵית דִּין וְסוֹקְלִים אוֹתוֹ:

There is no legal requirement to give the enticer a warning. If an enticer speaks to one, that one should say to him; "I have friends who desire it", and in this way maneuver to have him entice two, so that they may testify against him, and have the sentence of death imposed upon him. If the enticer refuses to entice two at a time, it is mandatory to spy on him. Against none of those who might be envolved in crimes punishable by death is spying permitted, save against this one. How is the spying conducted against him? The enticee brings two witnesses, whom he hides in a dark place, so that they can see the enticer and hear his words, but he can not see them, and he says to the enticer: "Now, tell me what you already told me privately before"; if the seducer repeats it, the seducee replies to him, saying: "How can we abandon our God in heaven, and go and worship wood and stone?" If the seducer did repent, or remained silent, he is guiltless; but if he replies to him, saying: "Such is our duty, and so it is becoming for us do", the two witnesses who stand from afar bring him before a tribunal and the pretence of stoning is pronounced against him.3Ibid. C.

4 ד

מִצְוָה בְּיַד הַמּוּסָת לְהָרְגוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג י) "יָדְךָ תִּהְיֶה בּוֹ בָרִאשׁוֹנָה לַהֲמִיתוֹ" וְגוֹ'. וְאָסוּר לַמּוּסָת לֶאֱהֹב אֶת הַמֵּסִית שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג ט) "לֹא תֹאבֶה לוֹ". וּלְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּשׂוֹנֵא (שמות כג ה) "עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב עִמּוֹ" יָכוֹל אַתָּה עוֹזֵב לָזֶה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר (דברים יג ט) "וְלֹא תִשְׁמַע אֵלָיו". וּלְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט טז) "וְלֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל דַּם רֵעֶךָ" יָכוֹל אִי אַתָּה עוֹמֵד עַל דָּמוֹ שֶׁל זֶה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר (דברים יג ט) "וְלֹא תָחוֹס עֵינְךָ". וְאָסוּר לַמּוּסָת לְלַמֵּד עָלָיו זְכוּת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג ט) "וְלֹא תַחְמל". וְאִם יָדַע לוֹ חוֹבָה אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לִשְׁתֹּק מִמֶּנָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג ט) "וְלֹא תְכַסֶּה עָלָיו". וְאַזְהָרָה לְהֶדְיוֹט הַמֵּסִית מִנַּיִן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג יב) "וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁמְעוּ וְיִרָאוּ":

It is mandatory that the hand of the seducee shall slay him, even as it is said: "Thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death" (Deut. 13.10). The seducee shall not be-friend the seducer, as it is said: "Thou shalt not consent unto him". Moreover, think not because it is said of thine enemy, "Thou shalt surely release it with him" (Ex. 23.5.) thou shalt also aid this one, remember to learn another saying: "Nor hearken unto him" (Deut. 13.10.); think not because it is said: "Neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor" (Lev. 19.16.), thou shalt also not stand idly by the blood of this one, remember to learn another saying: "Neither shall thine eye pity him" (Deut. 13. 9.). The seducee is forbidden to state aught in his favor, as it is said: "Neither shalt thou spare" (Ibid.). If he knew aught about his guilt, he is not permitted to be silent about it, as it is said: "Neither shalt thou conceal him" (Ibid.). Whence do we deduct the prohibitive against a layman who is an enticer? From what it is said: "And all Israel shall hear, and fear" (Ibid. 13.12.)4Sifre Deut. 13; Sanhedrin, 63b. C.

5 ה

הַמֵּסִית אֲחֵרִים לְעָבְדוֹ וְאָמַר לָהֶם עִבְדוּנִי אִם עֲבָדוּהוּ נִסְקָל וְאִם לֹא עֲבָדוּהוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקִּבְּלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְאָמְרוּ הֵן אֵינוֹ נִסְקָל. אֲבָל אִם הֵסִית לַעֲבוֹדַת אִישׁ אַחֵר אוֹ לִשְׁאָר מִינֵי עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים אִם קִבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ וְאָמַר הֵן נֵלֵךְ וְנַעֲבֹד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא עָבַד שְׁנֵיהֶן נִסְקָלִין הַמֵּסִית וְהַמּוּסָת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג ט) "לֹא תֹאבֶה לוֹ וְלֹא תִשְׁמַע אֵלָיו" הָא אִם שָׁמַע וְאָבָה חַיָּב:

One who entices others to worship him, saying to them: "Worship me", if they did worship him, he is stoned; but if they did not worship him, although they received his request attentively and said, Yes: he is not stoned. But if he enticed them to worship another man, or other kinds of idolatry, if they received his request attentively and said: "Yes, we will go and worship", though no actual worship took place, both the enticer and the enticee are stoned, even as it is said: "Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him" (Ibid. 13.10); thus if he did hearken and consent, he is guilty.5Sanhedrin, 61b. C.

6 ו

נָבִיא הַמִּתְנַבֵּא בְּשֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים כֵּיצַד. זֶה הָאוֹמֵר אָמְרָה לִי עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים פְּלוֹנִית אוֹ כּוֹכָב פְּלוֹנִי שֶׁמִּצְוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת, אֲפִלּוּ כִּוֵּן אֶת הַהֲלָכָה לְטַמֵּא אֶת הַטָּמֵא וּלְטַהֵר אֶת הַטָּהוֹר, אִם הִתְרוּ בּוֹ בִּפְנֵי שְׁנַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה נֶחְנָק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יח כ) "וַאֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר בְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וּמֵת הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא". וְאַזְהָרָה שֶׁלּוֹ מִכְּלָל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג יג) "וְשֵׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לֹא תַזְכִּירוּ":

How is a prophet, prophesying in the name of idolatry, proved to be such? It is he who says: "That idol, or that star told me that it is mandatory to do thus and such, or not to do it," though he chanced to aim properly at the law, to contaminate that which is unclean and to purify that which is clean, if he received a warning before two witnesses, he is put to death by strangulation, even as it is said: "Or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die" (Deut. 18.20). The prohibitive against the practice of such a prophet is derived from what it is said: "And make no mention of the name of other gods" (Ex. 23. 13).6Ibid. 89a. C.

7 ז

וְאָסוּר לַעֲרֹךְ דִּין וּתְשׁוּבָה עִם הַמִּתְנַבֵּא בְּשֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים וְאֵין שׁוֹאֲלִין מִמֶּנּוּ אוֹת וּמוֹפֵת. וְאִם עָשָׂה מֵעַצְמוֹ אֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין עָלָיו וְאֵין מְהַרְהֲרִין בּוֹ. וְכָל הַמְחַשֵּׁב בְּאוֹתוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁמָּא אֱמֶת הֵן עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יג ד) "לֹא תִשְׁמַע אֶל דִּבְרֵי הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא". וְכֵן נְבִיא הַשֶּׁקֶר מִיתָתוֹ בְּחֶנֶק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְנַבֵּא בְּשֵׁם ה' וְלֹא הוֹסִיף וְלֹא גָּרַע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יח כ) "אַךְ הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר יָזִיד לְדַבֵּר דָּבָר בִּשְׁמִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוִּיתִי" (דברים יח כ) "וּמֵת הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא":

It is forbidden to enter into a disputation with one who prophesies in the name of idolatry, and he is not asked to bring a token or perform a miracle. If he does so of his own account, no attention should be paid to him and no afterthought given to it; and whosoever meditates about his tokens, lest they be true, violates a prohibitive commandment, saying: "Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet" (Deut. 13.4). So is the punishment of the false prophet by strangulation, though he be prophesying in the name of God and neither added to or diminished from the Torah, even as it is said: "But the prophet, that shall speak a word presumptuously in My name… that same prophet shall die" (Deut. 18.20)7Ibid. C. The Hebrew text quotes this Verse incorrect. See text in the Torah. G.

8 ח

אֶחָד הַמִּתְנַבֵּא מַה שֶּׁלֹּא שָׁמַע בְּמַרְאֵה הַנְּבוּאָה אוֹ מִי שֶׁשָּׁמַע דִּבְרֵי נָבִיא חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה לוֹ נֶאֱמַר וְהוּא נִתְנַבֵּא בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נְבִיא שֶׁקֶר וּמִיתָתוֹ בְּחֶנֶק:

Whether one prophesies that which he heard not by vision of prophecy, or whether he overheard his fellow-prophet's words and says that they were spoken to him, and he is posing as a prophet therewith, is a false prophet, and his death is by strangulation.8Ibid. C.

9 ט

כָּל הַמּוֹנֵעַ עַצְמוֹ מֵהֲרִיגַת נְבִיא הַשֶּׁקֶר מִפְּנֵי מַעֲלָתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹלֵךְ בְּדַרְכֵי הַנְּבוּאָה הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יח כב) "לֹא תָגוּר מִמֶּנּוּ". וְכֵן הַמּוֹנֵעַ עַצְמוֹ מִלְּלַמֵּד עָלָיו חוֹבָה אוֹ הַפּוֹחֵד וְיָרֵא מִדְּבָרָיו הֲרֵי הוּא בִּכְלַל לֹא תָגוּר מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאֵין דָּנִין נְבִיא הַשֶּׁקֶר אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד:

He who witholds himself from pronouncing a sentence of death against a false prophet, because of the latter's qualities, seeing that he follows the ways of prophecy, violates a prohibitive commandment, saying: "Thou shalt not be afraid of him" (Deut. 18.22); likewise is the one witholding himself from testifying against him, or who is afraid of him and dreads his words, included among those who violate the commandment of, "Thou shalt not be afraid of him. A false prophet is brought to trial only before a tribunal of Seventy-One.9Sifre, Deut. 18; Sanhedrin, 16b. C.

10 י

הַנּוֹדֵר בְּשֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים וְהַנִּשְׁבָּע בָּהּ לוֹקֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג יג) "וְשֵׁם אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לֹא תַזְכִּירוּ". אֶחָד הַנִּשְׁבָּע בָּהּ לְעַצְמוֹ וְאֶחָד הַנִּשְׁבָּע בָּהּ לַעֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים. וְאָסוּר לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ הָעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים בְּיִרְאָתוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ לְהַזְכִּיר שֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁלֹּא דֶּרֶךְ שְׁבוּעָה אָסוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לֹא תַזְכִּירוּ:

He who vows by the name of idolatry, or swears by it, is lashed, even as it is said: "And make no mention of other gods" (Ex. 23.13), whether the oath be for himself or for the idolatry. It is forbidden to give an oath to idolater by that which he fears. Even to mention the name of the different kinds of idolatry is forbidden, though it be not in the manner of an oath, for it is said: "Make no mention" (Ibid.).10Ibid. 63a. C.

11 יא

לֹא יֹאמַר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ שְׁמֹר לִי בַּצַּד עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים פְּלוֹנִית וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ. וְכָל עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים הַכְּתוּבָה בְּכִתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ מֻתָּר לְהַזְכִּיר שְׁמָהּ כְּגוֹן פְּעוֹר וּבֵל וּנְבוֹ וְגָד וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְאָסוּר לִגְרֹם לַאֲחֵרִים שֶׁיִּדְּרוּ וְשֶׁיְּקַיְּמוּ בְּשֵׁם עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים. וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא הַנּוֹדֵר בִּשְׁמָהּ וְהַמְקַיֵּם בִּשְׁמָהּ וְהוּא הַנִּשְׁבָּע בִּשְׁמָהּ:

One man should not say to another: "Wait for me alongside that idol, or like expression. But all forms of idolatry mentioned in Holy Writ one may name, for instance: Peor, Baal, Nebo, Gaad (Fortune) and the like. It is also forbidden to cause others to vow and take oath by the name of idolatry. But none is punished by lashes save he who vows, or sustains himself, that is swears, by its name.12Sanhedrin, 60–63a-b. C.