ת"ל סקל יסקל: The verse states: “He shall be stoned [sakol yissakel ],” with the doubled verb form indicating that the halakha applies in all places and at all times.
ואם לאו עד השני נוטל את האבן: נוטל והתניא רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר אבן היתה שם משוי שני בני אדם נוטלה ונותנה על לבו אם מת בה יצא וליטעמיך תיקשי לך היא גופא משוי שני בני אדם נוטלה ונותנה על לבו § The mishna teaches that if the condemned party does not die from his fall, the second witness takes the stone that had been prepared for this task and casts it on his chest. The Gemara asks: Does the witness take the stone by himself? But isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: A stone was there with a weight that could be lifted only by two men. The witness takes it and places, i.e., casts, it on the condemned party’s chest. If he dies with the casting of this stone, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. This indicates that one individual could not lift the stone by himself. The Gemara answers: And according to your reasoning, the baraita itself should pose a difficulty for you, as it first states that the stone was of a weight that could be lifted only by two men, and then it says that the witness takes it and places it on the condemned party’s chest, apparently acting alone.
אלא דמדלי לה בהדי חבריה ושדי לה איהו כי היכי דתיתי מרזיא: Rather, both the mishna and the baraita should be explained as follows: The second witness lifts the stone together with the other witness, but then the second witness alone casts it so that it should fall with force upon the condemned party’s chest, as two people working together cannot aim their throw with precision.
ואם לאו רגימתו כו': והתניא מעולם לא שנה בה אדם מי קאמינא דעביד דאי מיצריך קאמינא The mishna teaches: And if the condemned party does not die with the first stone, then his stoning is completed by all of the Jewish people. The Gemara raises a difficulty: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Never did a person repeat the stoning, as the condemned party always died with the first stone cast upon him? The Gemara answers: Did we say that they acted so? Rather, we said that if the condemned party did not die with the casting of the first stone and it was necessary to try again, the stoning is completed by all of the people who assembled for the execution.
אמר מר אבן היתה כו' והתניא אחת אבן שנסקל בה ואחת עץ שנתלה עליו ואחד סייף שנהרג בו ואחד סודר שנחנק בו כולן נקברין עמו לא צריכא דמתקני ומייתי אחריני חלופייהו The Master said in the baraita that a stone was there, indicating that a special stone was kept in the place of stoning and used time and time again for this purpose. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: The stone with which the condemned party was stoned and the tree on which his corpse was hung, or the sword with which he was killed, or the cloth with which he was strangled, all of them are buried together with him? If so, the same stone could not have been used for every execution. The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary to teach that after the stones were buried with the transgressor, they would prepare other stones and bring them to the place of stoning in their place.
נקברין עמו והתניא אין נקברין עמו אמר רב פפא מאי עמו עמו בתפיסתו The baraita teaches that all of the items used in the execution are buried together with the transgressor. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in another baraita that they are not buried together with the transgressor? Rav Pappa said: What does the baraita mean when it says that these items are buried together with him? They are not actually buried together with him in the same grave; rather, they are buried within his grasp, i.e., in the area surrounding his grave.
אמר שמואל נקטעה יד העדים פטור מאי טעמא דבעינא (דברים יז, ז) יד העדים תהיה בו בראשונה וליכא § Shmuel says: If the witnesses’ hands were severed after the transgressor was sentenced to be stoned, so that they can no longer stone him themselves, the transgressor is exempt from punishment and is not executed. What is the reason for this? This is because I need to fulfill what is stated in the verse: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death” (Deuteronomy 17:7), and here this is not possible.
אלא מעתה עדים גידמין דמעיקרא הכי נמי דפסילי שאני התם דאמר קרא יד העדים שהיתה כבר The Gemara asks: If that is so, that the witnesses themselves must stone the transgressor or else the sentence is not carried out, if the witnesses lacked hands from the outset, when they offered their testimony, are they also disqualified? The Gemara answers: There it is different, as the verse states: “The hand of the witnesses,” indicating that the hands that were there already when the witnesses gave their testimony must throw the first stone when the transgressor is executed. If the witnesses already lacked hands at the time of their testimony, others can throw the first stone.
מיתיבי כל מקום שיעידוהו שנים ויאמרו מעידין אנו באיש פלוני שנגמר דינו בב"ד פלוני ופלוני ופלוני עדיו הרי זה יהרג תרגמא שמואל בהן הן עדיו The Gemara raises an objection to the opinion of Shmuel from what is taught in a mishna (Makkot 7a): In any place where two witnesses testify before a court and say: We testify about so-and-so that his death sentence was issued in such and such a court, and so-and-so and so-and-so were his witnesses, he is executed, and there is no need to retry him. This seems to indicate that the transgressor is put to death even if the witnesses are not there to throw the first stone. The Gemara explains: Shmuel interpreted the mishna as referring to a case where the witnesses who testify about the transgressor’s conviction in a different court are the same witnesses who had testified against him at his original trial, and they are present to throw the first stone.
ומי בעינן קרא כדכתיב והתניא (במדבר לה, כא) מות יומת המכה רוצח הוא אין לי אלא במיתה הכתובה בו מנין שאם אי אתה יכול להמיתו במיתה הכתובה בו שאתה ממיתו בכל מיתה שאתה יכול להמיתו ת"ל מות יומת המכה מכל מקום The Gemara raises another difficulty against the opinion of Shmuel: But do we really need to fulfill what is stated in the verse exactly as it is written? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: The verse with regard to a murderer states: “He that smote him shall be put to death, for he is a murderer” (Numbers 35:21)? I have derived only that the murderer is put to death with the mode of execution written concerning him, i.e., decapitation. From where do I derive that if you cannot put him to death with the mode of execution written concerning him, e.g., if he is escaping from the court, you can put him to death with any mode of execution with which you can put him to death? The verse states: “He that smote him shall be put to death [mot yumat],” where the doubled verb teaches that he is put to death in any case, by any mode of execution. Here too, the condemned party should be executed even if the witnesses cannot cast the first stone.
שאני התם דאמר קרא מות יומת The Gemara answers: There, concerning a murderer, it is different, as the verse explicitly states: “He that smote him shall be put to death,” which serves to include all modes of execution.
וליגמר מיניה משום דהוה רוצח וגואל הדם שני כתובין הבאין כאחד וכל שני כתובין הבאין כאחד אין מלמדין The Gemara asks: But why not learn from this halakha a principle that can be applied in all cases of capital punishment? The Gemara responds: This case does not prove a principle, because the halakhot of the murderer and of the blood redeemer, i.e., a relative of one who was killed who takes it upon himself to redeem his relative’s death, are two verses that come as one, and the rule is that two verses that come as one do not teach a principle. In other words, if a halakha is stated in the Torah with regard to two individual cases, the halakha is understood to apply only to those cases. Had the halakha applied to all other relevant cases as well, it would not have been necessary for the Torah to teach it twice. The fact that two cases are mentioned indicates that they are the exceptions rather than the rule.
רוצח הא דאמרן גואל הדם מאי היא דתניא (במדבר לה, כא) גואל הדם ימית את הרוצח מצוה בגואל הדם ומניין שאם אין לו גואל שב"ד מעמידין לו גואל שנאמר (במדבר לה, יט) בפגעו בו מכל מקום The Gemara explains: The halakha that capital punishment need not necessarily be imposed in accordance with the Torah’s specific instructions is taught with regard to two cases, that of the murderer and that of the blood redeemer. The case of a murderer is this halakha that we said. With regard to the case of a blood redeemer, what is it? As it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “The blood redeemer shall slay the murderer when he meets him” (Numbers 35:21). This mitzva of redeeming the death caused by an unintentional killer falls on the blood redeemer, a relative of the victim. And from where is it derived that if the victim has no blood redeemer the court appoints a blood redeemer for him? As it is stated: “When he meets him,” which teaches that in any case he shall slay the murderer, whether he is a relative or a court-appointed blood redeemer.
א"ל מר קשישא בריה דרב חסדא לרב אשי ומי לא בעינן קרא כדכתיב והתנן היה אחד מהן גידם או אילם או חיגר או סומא או חרש אינו נעשה בן סורר ומורה Mar Kashisha, son of Rav Ḥisda, said to Rav Ashi: And do we not need to fulfill what is stated in the verse exactly as it is written? But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Sanhedrin 71a) with regard to a stubborn and rebellious son: If one of the boy’s parents is with-out a hand, or is mute, or lame, or blind, or deaf, the boy is not rendered a stubborn and rebellious son?
שנאמר (דברים כא, יט) ותפשו בו ולא גידמין (דברים כא, יט) והוציאו אותו ולא חיגרין (דברים כא, ז) ואמרו ולא אילמין (דברים כא, כ) בננו זה ולא סומין (דברים כא, כ) איננו שומע בקולנו ולא חרשין This halakha is derived as it is stated: “Then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him, and bring him out to the elders of his city and to the gate of his place” (Deuteronomy 21:19). This serves to teach: His father and mother “lay hold of him,” but not those without a hand who cannot grab him; “and bring him out,” but not those who are lame and cannot take him out. And it is stated: “And they shall say to the elders of his city: This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he does not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard” (Deuteronomy 21:20). This verse serves to teach: “And they shall say,” but not mute people; “this our son,” but not the blind, who cannot point to the boy; “he does not obey our voice,” but not the deaf.
מאי טעמא לאו משום דבעינן קרא כדכתיב לא שאני התם דכוליה קרא יתירא הוא What is the reason that in all these cases the boy is not rendered a stubborn and rebellious son? Is it not because we need to fulfill what is stated in the verse exactly as it is written, and this principle should hold true with regard to other verses as well? The Gemara rejects this explanation: No, there, in the case of the stubborn and rebellious son, it is different, as the entire verse is superfluous. Therefore, all of the conditions inferred from the verse must be precisely met or else the boy cannot be rendered a stubborn and rebellious son. One cannot apply this principle to other verses.
ת"ש אין לה רחוב אין נעשית עיר הנדחת דברי רבי ישמעאל ר' עקיבא אומר אין לה רחוב עושין לה רחוב The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from what is taught in a baraita with regard to an idolatrous city, the majority of whose inhabitants engaged in idol worship, about which the verse states: “And you shall gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the open place of the city, and shall burn with fire both the city and the entire plunder taken in it” (Deuteronomy 13:17): If the city does not have an open place, it is not rendered an idolatrous city; this is the statement of Rabbi Yishmael. Rabbi Akiva says: If it does not have an open place, they make an open place for it.
עד כאן לא פליגי אלא דמר סבר רחובה דמעיקרא בעינן ומר סבר רחובה דהשתא נמי כדמעיקרא דמי אבל דכ"ע בעינן קרא כדכתיב The Gemara explains: Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva disagree only with regard to this detail, that one Sage, Rabbi Yishmael, holds that we need an open place that existed from the outset when the idolatry was committed, while the other Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds that an open place that exists now is like an open place that existed from the outset. But everyone agrees that we need to fulfill what is stated in the verse exactly as it is written.
תנאי היא דתנן אין לו בהן יד בהן רגל אזן ימנית אין לו טהרה עולמית רבי אליעזר אומר נותן על מקומו ויוצא רבי שמעון אומר נותן על שמאלו ויוצא: The Gemara answers: This issue is the subject of a dispute between tanna’im. As we learned in a mishna (Nega’im 14:9) concerning the purification process of a leper, during the course of which blood and oil must be applied to his right thumb, right big toe, and right ear: If the leper has no right thumb, right big toe, or right ear, he can never attain ritual purity, as he cannot fulfill the conditions of the verse. Rabbi Eliezer says: In such a case, the priest may apply the blood and oil to the place where the missing finger, toe, or ear should have been, and the leper has thereby fulfilled his obligation. Rabbi Shimon says: The priest may apply it to his left thumb, left big toe, or left ear, and the leper has thereby fulfilled his obligation. The first tanna apparently holds that the Torah’s instructions must be fulfilled exactly as they are written, while Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Shimon disagree and say that when this is impossible, they are dispensable.
מתני׳ כל הנסקלין נתלין דברי רבי אליעזר וחכ"א אינו נתלה אלא המגדף והעובד ע"ז MISHNA: The corpses of all those who are stoned are hung after their death; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. And the Rabbis say: Only the corpse of the blasphemer, who has cursed God, and the corpse of the idol worshipper are hung.
האיש תולין אותו פניו כלפי העם והאשה פניה כלפי העץ דברי רבי אליעזר וחכ"א האיש נתלה ואין האשה נתלית אמר (להן) רבי אליעזר והלא שמעון בן שטח תלה נשים באשקלון אמרו לו שמונים נשים תלה ואין דנין שנים ביום אחד: The corpse of a man is hung facing the people, but the corpse of a woman, out of modesty, is hung with facing the tree; this is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. And the Rabbis say: the corpse of a man is hung, but the corpse of a woman is not hung. Rabbi Eliezer said to the Rabbis: Did Shimon ben Shataḥ not hang in Ashkelon women who were found guilty of witchcraft, proving that the corpse of a woman who is executed is also hung? They said to him: No proof can be brought from here, as he hanged eighty women on that day, and the halakha is that the same court may not judge even two people charged with capital transgressions on the same day. It is therefore clear that he was not acting in accordance with Torah law, but rather his execution of the eighty women was an extraordinary punishment necessitated by unusually pressing circumstances.
גמ׳ ת"ר (דברים כא, כב) והומת ותלית יכול כל המומתין נתלין ת"ל (דברים כא, כג) כי קללת אלהים תלוי מה מקלל זה שבסקילה אף כל שבסקילה דברי רבי אליעזר GEMARA: The mishna teaches that the corpses of all those who are killed by stoning are hung after their death. The Sages taught in a related baraita: The verse states: “And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you shall hang him on a tree” (Deuteronomy 21:22): One might have thought that the corpses of all those who are put to death are hung. To counter this, the verse states: “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree…for he that is hung is a curse of God” (Deuteronomy 21:23), teaching that just as the blasphemer, who is liable to be punished by stoning, is hung after his death, so too, all those who are liable to be punished by stoning are later hung, but those who are liable to be executed in other ways are not hung after their death. This is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer.
וחכ"א מה מקלל זה שכפר בעיקר אף כל שכפר בעיקר The baraita continues: And the Rabbis say: Just as the blasphemer, who denies the principle of belief in God, is hung after his death, so too, all who deny the principle of belief in God are hung after they die. But others, even if they are liable to be punished by stoning, are not hung after they are put to death.
במאי קא מיפלגי רבנן דרשי כללי ופרטי רבי אליעזר דריש ריבויי ומיעוטי The Gemara clarifies: With regard to what do they disagree? The Rabbis interpret the verses based on the principle of generalizations and details, one of the methods by which the Torah is interpreted. And Rabbi Eliezer interprets them based on the principle of amplifications and restrictions, a different approach to biblical exegesis.
רבנן דרשי כללי ופרטי והומת ותלית כלל כי קללת פרט אי הוו מקרבי להדדי אמרינן אין בכלל אלא מה שבפרט הני אין מידי אחרינא לא How so? The Rabbis expound the verses based on the principle of generalizations and details. The phrase “And he is put to death, and you shall hang him” is a generalization, as no particular offense is specified. The phrase “For he that is hung is a curse of God” is a detail, as a specific transgression is mentioned. Were the generalization and the detail next to each other in the same verse, we would apply the principle of generalizations and details and say that the generalization includes only that which is stated in the detail. Therefore, this transgressor, the blasphemer, yes, his corpse is subject to being hung after he is executed, but the corpse of anyone else is not.