(דברי הימים א כז, לד) ואחרי אחיתופל בניהו בן יהוידע ואביתר ושר צבא למלך יואב אחיתופל זה יועץ וכן הוא אומר (שמואל ב טז, כג) ועצת אחיתופל אשר יעץ וגו' ובניהו בן יהוידע זו סנהדרין אביתר אלו אורים ותומים It is: And after Ahithophel was Benaiah, son of Jehoiada; and Ebiathar; and the general of the king’s army, Yoav (see I Chronicles 27:34). The individuals named in this verse correspond to the roles in the aggada as follows: Ahithophel is the advisor whose counsel they sought first with regard to going to war, and so it says: “Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, was like that of a man who inquires of the word of God; so was the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom” (II Samuel 16:23). And Benaiah, son of Jehoiada corresponds to the Sanhedrin, since he was the head of the Sanhedrin, and Ebiathar corresponds to the Urim VeTummim, as Ebiathar, son of Ahimelech the priest would oversee inquiries directed to the Urim VeTummim (see I Samuel 23:9).
וכן הוא אומר (דברי הימים א יח, יז) ובניהו בן יהוידע על הכרתי ועל הפלתי ולמה נקרא שמן כרתי ופלתי כרתי שכורתין דבריהן ופלתי שמופלאין מעשיהן ואחר כך שר הצבא למלך יואב And so it says with regard to the position of Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, as head of the Sanhedrin: “And Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was over the Kereti and over the Peleti” (II Samuel 20:23). And why was the Sanhedrin called Kereti and Peleti? It was called Kereti because they were decisive [shekoretin] in their pronouncements. It was called Peleti because their actions and wisdom were wondrous [shemufla’in], as Peleti and mufla’in share the same root. According to the order of the verse, upon being instructed by King David to go to war, the Sages first consulted with Ahithophel, then with the Sanhedrin, and then they would ask the Urim VeTummim; and only thereafter was the general of the king’s army, Yoav, given the command to ready the army for battle.
א"ר יצחק בריה דרב אדא ואמרי לה א"ר יצחק בר אבודימי מאי קרא (תהלים נז, ט) עורה כבודי עורה הנבל וכנור אעירה שחר: Rabbi Yitzḥak, son of Rav Adda, and some say Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Avudimi, said: What is the verse from which it is derived that David’s lyre would awaken him at midnight? “Awake, my glory; awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn” (Psalms 57:9). This means that the self-playing lyre has already awoken, and now I must engage in Torah study until dawn.
ואין מוסיפין על העיר: מנהני מילי אמר רב שימי בר חייא אמר קרא (שמות כה, ט) ככל אשר אני מראה אותך את תבנית המשכן וכן תעשו לדורות הבאין § The mishna teaches: They may extend the city of Jerusalem or the courtyards of the Temple only on the basis of a court of seventy-one judges. The Gemara asks: From where is this matter derived? Rav Shimi bar Ḥiyya says: The verse states: “According to all that I show you, the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all its vessels, and so shall you do” (Exodus 25:9). “And so shall you do” means for future generations; just as the Tabernacle was fashioned in all of its details according to Moses’ instructions, so too later, the Temple is fashioned according to the instructions of the Great Sanhedrin, whose members stand in place of Moses.
מתיב רבא כל הכלים שעשה משה משיחתן מקדשן מיכן ואילך עבודתן מחנכתן ואמאי נימא וכן תעשו לדורות הבאין Rava raises an objection from a baraita: With regard to all of the utensils that Moses fashioned, their anointment with the sacred oil is what consecrates them, rendering them fit for service in the Tabernacle. From that point forward, i.e., in future generations, there is no need for anointment, but rather their service in and of itself dedicates them, meaning that when they are used for the first time in sacred service they become consecrated. Rava explains the objection: And why is this so? Let us say instead that since the verse states: “And so shall you do,” this teaches that it must be done for future generations as in the Tabernacle, and therefore anointment with sacred oil should be required in the Temple as in the Tabernacle.
שאני התם דאמר קרא (במדבר ז, א) וימשחם ויקדש אותם אותם במשיחה ולא לדורות במשיחה The Gemara answers: It is different there, as the verse states: “And it came to pass on the day that Moses completed erecting the Tabernacle that he anointed it and sanctified it and all its vessels, and the altar and all its vessels, and he anointed them and he sanctified them” (Numbers 7:1). The verse emphasizes that he sanctified “them,” and from this it is inferred that only those utensils need sanctification by anointment, but for future generations there is not a requirement of sanctification by anointment.
ואימא אותם במשיחה ולדורות אי במשיחה אי בעבודה אמר רב פפא אמר קרא (במדבר ד, יב) אשר ישרתו בם בקודש הכתוב תלאן בשירות The Gemara asks: And say instead: Those vessels require sanctification specifically by anointment, but for future generations it could be done either by anointment or by service. Rav Pappa says: The verse states with regard to this: “And they shall take all service vessels with which they shall serve in the sanctuary” (Numbers 4:12). The verse renders it dependent upon service, meaning that the service is what sanctifies them.
אלא אותם למה לי אי לאו אותם הוה אמינא לדורות במשיחה ובעבודה דהא כתיב וכן תעשו כתב רחמנא אותם אותם במשיחה ולא לדורות במשיחה: The Gemara asks: But if so, why do I need the extra word “them”? This emphasis seems superfluous. The Gemara answers: Had the verse not added the word “them,” I would say: For future generations the sanctification is accomplished by anointment and by service together, as it is written: “And so shall you do.” Therefore, the Merciful One writes “them,” to teach: They alone are consecrated by anointment, but for future generations the vessels are not consecrated by anointment.
ואין עושין סנהדראות כו': מנא לן כדאשכחן במשה דאוקי סנהדראות ומשה במקום שבעים וחד קאי § The mishna teaches that they may appoint a lesser Sanhedrin for the tribes only on the basis of a court of seventy-one judges. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this matter? The Gemara answers: It is as we find with regard to Moses, who established lesser courts for all of the people (see Exodus 18:25–26), and Moses stands in place of the seventy-one judges on the Great Sanhedrin. Consequently, a lesser Sanhedrin that stands at the head of a tribe is appointed by the Great Sanhedrin.
תנו רבנן מניין שמעמידין שופטים לישראל תלמוד לומר (דברים טז, יח) שופטים תתן שוטרים לישראל מניין תלמוד לומר שוטרים תתן שופטים לכל שבט ושבט מניין תלמוד לומר שופטים לשבטיך שוטרים לכל שבט ושבט מניין ת"ל שוטרים לשבטיך The Sages taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that society must establish judges for the Jewish people? The verse states: “You shall place judges and officers over you in all of your gates that the Lord your God gives you for your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment” (Deuteronomy 16:18). From where is it derived that society must also establish officers for the Jewish people? The same verse states: “You shall place judges and officers.” From where is it derived that society must also establish judges not only for the entire Jewish people but also for each and every tribe? The verse states: “You shall place judges and officers…for your tribes.” From where is it derived that society must also establish officers for each and every tribe? The same verse states: “You shall place judges and officers…for your tribes.”
שופטים לכל עיר ועיר מניין ת"ל שופטים לשעריך שוטרים לכל עיר ועיר מניין ת"ל שוטרים לשעריך רבי יהודה אומר אחד ממונה על כולן שנאמר תתן לך רשב"ג אומר לשבטיך ושפטו מצוה בשבט לדון את שבטו: From where is it derived that society must also establish judges for each and every city? The verse states: You shall place judges and officers…for your gates, as the gate of the city is the seat of the elders of the city and its judges. From where is it derived that society must also establish officers for each and every city? The verse states: You shall place Judges and officers…for your gates. Rabbi Yehuda says: You must also have one court appointed over all of them, as it is stated: “You shall place over you,” meaning that there must be a single institution that is responsible for all of these appointments. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Another halakha is derived from the verse: “For your tribes, and they shall judge.” This teaches that it is a mitzva for a tribe to judge the sinners from within its tribe, and not to delegate the responsibility to other tribes.
ואין עושין עיר הנדחת: מנה"מ אמר ר' חייא בר יוסף אמר רבי אושעיא דאמר קרא (דברים יז, ה) והוצאת את האיש ההוא או את האשה ההיא איש ואשה אתה מוציא לשעריך ואי אתה מוציא כל העיר כולה לשעריך: § The mishna states that a city may be designated as an idolatrous city only in accordance with the ruling of the Great Sanhedrin, consisting of seventy-one judges. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived? Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Yosef says that Rabbi Oshaya says: As the verse states with regard to one who engages in idol worship: “And you shall take out that man or that woman who did that evil thing to your gates” (Deuteronomy 17:5), and it is inferred: You take out a man or a woman to your gates for the lesser Sanhedrin to judge them, but you do not take out the entire city to your gates; rather, they are to be judged by the Great Sanhedrin.
אין עושין עיר הנדחת בספר: מ"ט (דברים יג, ו) מקרבך אמר רחמנא ולא מן הספר: § The mishna teaches that the court may not designate a city as an idolatrous city if it is on the frontier. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this? The Gemara answers: The verse states: “Certain worthless people have gone out from your midst and have led astray the inhabitants of their city” (Deuteronomy 13:14). The Merciful One states that this halakha applies when they come from your midst, meaning from within your country, but not from the frontier.
ולא שלש (ערי הנדחת): דכתיב אחת אבל עושין אחת או שתים דכתיב (דברים יג, יג) עריך תנו רבנן אחת אחת ולא שלש אתה אומר אחת ולא שלש או אינו אלא אחת ולא שתים כשהוא אומר עריך הרי שתים אמור הא מה אני מקיים אחת אחת ולא שלש § The mishna teaches: And three adjoining cities may not be designated as idolatrous cities. The source for this ruling is as it is written: “If you shall hear concerning one of your cities that the Lord your God has given you” (Deuteronomy 13:13), and not three cities. The mishna continues: But the court may designate one city, or two adjoining cities as idolatrous cities. The source for this is as it is written: “Your cities,” in the plural. The Sages taught in a baraita: The verse states: “One,” from which it is inferred: One, but not three. Do you say that the meaning is one, but not three, or rather, is this not the meaning of the verse, that it is one, but not two? The baraita explains that this cannot be. When the verse states: “Your cities,” two are stated. How do I realize the meaning of: “One”? One, but not three.
זימנין אמר רב בב"ד אחד הוא דאין עושין הא בשנים ושלשה בתי דינין עושין וזימנין אמר רב אפילו בשנים ושלשה בתי דינין לעולם אין עושין מ"ט דרב משום קרחה אמר ר"ל לא שנו אלא במקום אחד אבל בשנים ושלשה מקומות עושין רבי יוחנן אמר אין עושין משום קרחה At times Rav said: It is in one court that they may not designate more than two adjoining cities as idolatrous cities, but in two or three courts they may designate them. And at times Rav said: Even in two or three courts they may never designate them. What is the reasoning of Rav? It is due to desolation, to ensure there will not be large swaths of uninhabited land in Eretz Yisrael. Reish Lakish says: They taught only that the court may not designate three adjoining cities as idolatrous cities in one region, but in two or three regions they may designate them. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: They may not designate them, due to desolation.
תניא כוותיה דר"י אין עושין שלש עיירות מנודחות בארץ ישראל אבל עושין אותם שתים כגון אחת ביהודה ואחת בגליל אבל שתים ביהודה ושתים בגליל אין עושין וסמוכה לספר אפילו אחת אין עושין מאי טעמא שמא ישמעו נכרים ויחריבו את ארץ ישראל The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 14:1) in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan: The court may not designate three adjoining cities as idolatrous cities in Eretz Yisrael, but they may designate two, such as one in Judea and one in the Galilee. But they may not designate two in Judea or two in the Galilee. And if the city is near the frontier, they may not designate even one. What is the reason for this? Perhaps the gentiles will hear that there is a city on the border that is desolate, and they will seize the opportunity to invade and destroy Eretz Yisrael.
ותיפוק לי דמקרבך אמר רחמנא ולא מן הספר רבי שמעון היא דדריש טעמא דקרא: The Gemara asks: But let him derive this halakha from the fact that the Merciful One states: “From your midst,” from which it is inferred: But not from the frontier. The Gemara answers: This baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, as he interprets the reason for the mitzva in the verse and draws halakhic conclusions based on that interpretation.
סנהדרי גדולה היתה: מ"ט דרבנן דאמרי ומשה על גביהן אמר קרא (במדבר יא, טז) והתיצבו שם § The mishna teaches that the Great Sanhedrin was composed of seventy-one judges, and that Rabbi Yehuda holds that it was composed of only seventy, as Moses gathered seventy men of the Elders of the Jewish people, and according to Rabbi Yehuda, Moses himself was not counted as part of the group. The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of the Rabbis, who say that when Moses gathered seventy men, he was at the head of the court and is therefore counted among them? The verse states: “And the Lord said to Moses: Gather Me seventy men from the Elders of Israel, whom you know to be the Elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the Tent of Meeting and they shall stand there