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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin
MISHNAH. HE WHO INCURS TWO DEATH PENALTIES IMPOSED BY BETH DIN IS EXECUTED BY THE SEVERER. IF HE COMMITTED ONE SIN FOR WHICH A TWOFOLD DEATH PENALTY IS INCURRED, HE IS EXECUTED BY THE SEVERER. R. JOSE SAID: HE IS JUDGED ACCORDING TO THE FIRST INTERDICT WHICH LAY UPON HIM.4
GEMARA. Is it not obvious [that he is executed by the severer]: shall he then profit [by his additional crime]? Raba answered: The circumstances are these: First he committed the lighter offence, for which he was sentenced; then the more serious one. I might think, since he was already under sentence for the lighter offence, he is as a dead man [and cannot be further sentenced] — We are therefore taught otherwise.
The father5 of R. Joseph b. Hama inquired of Rabbah b. Nathan: Whence do we know this law stated by the Rabbis viz., ONE WHO INCURS TWO DEATH PENALTIES PASSED BY BETH DIN IS EXECUTED BY THE SEVERER? — [He answered:] From the verse, If he [sc. the righteous man] beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, … [who] hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife.6 Now, 'If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, — this [murder] is punished by decapitation; 'and defiled his neighbour's wife', — this is adultery, punished by strangulation; 'and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols',7 refers to idolatry, for which stoning is incurred. And it is written, He shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him,8 which indicates stoning.9 R. Nahman b. Isaac objected: May it not refer to a series of offences all punishable by stoning? Thus: 'If he beget a sort a robber, a shedder of blood', refers to a wayward and rebellious son,10 who is stoned; 'and defiled his neighbour's wife', to a betrothed maiden, whose ravisher too is stoned; 'and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols', to idolatry, for which stoning is likewise incurred? — If so, what does Ezekiel teach us?11 But perhaps he was merely revising the Torah?12 — Then he should have revised it [all] just as Moses had revised it.13
R. Aha b. Hanina gave the following exposition: What is meant by, [But if a man be just and do that which is lawful and right, etc.] and hath not eaten upon the mountains?14 I.e., he did not eat through his forbears' merit;15 neither hath he lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, that he did not walk with haughty mien; neither hath defiled his neighbor's wife, indicating that he did not [competitively] enter his neighbour's profession; neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, meaning that he did not benefit from the charity fund.16 And it is written, He is just, he shall surely live.17 When R. Gamaliel read this verse he wept, saying, 'Only he who does all these things shall live, but not merely one of them!' Thereupon R. Akiba said to him, 'If so, Defile not yourselves in all these things.18 is the prohibition against all [combined] only, but not against one?' [Surely not!] But it means, in one of these things; so here too, for doing one of these things [shall he live].
IF HE COMMITTED ONE SIN FOR WHICH A TWOFOLD DEATH PENALTY IS INCURRED, etc.
It has been taught: When did R. Jose rule, HE IS JUDGED ACCORDING TO THE FIRST INTERDICT WHICH LAY UPON HIM? E.g., if a woman was first interdicted as a mother-in-law19 and then became a married women, he is judged [for incest with her] as for his mother-in-law only. If she was first forbidden to him as a married woman and then became his mother-in-law, he is punished for a married woman.20 R. Adda b. Ahaba said to Raba: 'If she was first his mother-in-law and then became a married woman, he is judged as for his mother-in-law only'; but should he also not be punished for the interdict attaching to her as a married woman? For R. Abbahu said: R. Jose agrees in regard to a more extensive prohibition [that it becomes operative where a prohibition already exists].21
Sanhedrin 81b— He replied: 'Adda, my son, will you execute him twice!'1
MISHNAH. HE WHO WAS TWICE FLAGELLATED [FOR TWO TRANSGRESSIONS, AND THEN SINNED AGAIN,] IS PLACED BY BETH DIN IN A CELL AND FED WITH BARLEY BREAD, UNTIL HIS STOMACH BURSTS.
GEMARA. Because he has been twice flagellated Beth din places him in a cell?2 — R. Jeremiah answered in the name of Resh Lakish: The reference is to flagellation for an offence punishable by extinction,3 so that he is already liable to death [at the hand of God], but the time of his death has not yet come: since, however, he abandoned himself [to sin, by transgressing a third time], we hasten his death. R. Jacob said to R. Jeremiah b. Tahlifa: 'Come, I will interpret it to you. This treats of flagellation for one sin involving extinction [which was twice repeated]: but [if he committed]two or three different sins each involving extinction, It may merely be his desire to experience sin, and not a complete abandonment thereto.'4
ONE WHO WAS TWICE FLAGELLATED.
Twice, though not thrice; shall we say that the Mishnah does not agree with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel? For if it did, does he not maintain, There is no presumption until a thing has happened three times?5 — Rabina said: It may agree even with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: The Mishnah is of the opinion that transgressions afford a basis for presumption.6
An objection was raised: If one committed an offence involving flagellation, the first and second time he is flagellated; on the third occasion he is placed in a cell. Abba Saul said: Even on the third occasion he is flagellated; but on the fourth, he is placed in a cell.7 Now presumably, both agree that flagellation affords a basis for presumption, and they differ on the lines of Rabbi and R. Simeon b. Gamaliel?8 — No. Both agree with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, but they differ on this question: One Master9 holds that transgression affords a basis for presumption, the other Master,10 that only flagellation affords it. But what of the following that has been taught, viz.: If he [the transgressor] was warned [of his liability to flagellation], but remained silent, or warned and nodded his head, — the first and second time he is to be warned, but on the third occasion he is placed in a cell. Abba Saul said: The third time too he is warned, but on the fourth, he is placed in a cell.11 Now there he is not flagellated:12 wherein then do they differ? — Rabina said: They differ as to whether one must be warned of the cell.13
And what was the form of the cell? — Rab Judah said: A chamber of his [the transgressor's] full height. And where is it alluded to?14 — Resh Lakish quoted: Evil shall slay the wicked.15 Resh Lakish also said: What is meant by, For man also knoweth not his time, as the fishes that are taken in an evil trap;16 what is 'an evil trap'? — Resh Lakish said: A hook.17
MISHNAH. ONE WHO COMMITS MURDER WITHOUT WITNESSES IS PLACED IN A CELL AND [FORCIBLY] FED WITH BREAD OF ADVERSITY AND WATER OF AFFLICTION'.18
GEMARA. How do we know [that he committed murder]? — Rab said: On a 'disjoined' evidence.19 Samuel said: Without a warning.20 R. Hisda said in Abimi's name: Through witnesses who were disproved as to the minor circumstances [of the crime], but not on the vital points.21 As we learned: It once happened that Ben Zakkai examined [the witnesses] as to the stalks of the figs.22
AND FED 'BREAD OF ADVERSITY AND WATER OF AFFLICTION'. Why does this Mishnah teach, AND FED WITH BREAD OF ADVERSITY AND WATER OF AFFLICTION', whilst the former teaches, HE IS PLACED BY BETH DIN IN A CELL AND FED WITH BARLEY BREAD UNTIL HIS STOMACH BURSTS? — R. Shesheth answered: In both cases he is fed with 'bread of adversity and water of affliction' for his intestines to shrink [thus blocking the passage], and then he is fed with barley bread until his stomach bursts.
MISHNAH. IF ONE STEALS THE KISWAH,23 OR CURSES BY ENCHANTMENT, OR COHABITS WITH A HEATHEN [LIT. SYRIAN] WOMAN, HE IS PUNISHED BY ZEALOTS.24 IF A PRIEST PERFORMED THE TEMPLE SERVICE WHILST UNCLEAN, HIS BROTHER PRIESTS DO NOT CHARGE HIM THEREWITH AT BETH DIN, BUT THE YOUNG PRIESTS TAKE HIM OUT OF THE TEMPLE COURT AND SPLIT HIS SKULL WITH CLUBS. A LAYMAN WHO PERFORMED THE SERVICE IN THE TEMPLE, R. AKIBA SAID: HE IS STRANGLED; THE SAGES SAY: [HIS DEATH IS] AT THE HANDS OF HEAVEN.
GEMARA. What is kiswah? — Rab Judah answered: The service vessels [of the Temple]; and thus it is said, And the vessels [Kesoth]25 of libation.26 And where is this alluded to?27 That they come not to see how the holy things are stolen,28 lest they [the purloiners] die.29
OR CURSES BY ENCHANTMENT. R. Joseph learned, [He curses thus:] May the charm [the idol] slay its enchanter.30 The Rabbis, others say, Rabbah b. Mari, say: [He curses:] May the charm slay him [his enemy], his Master and his Provider, etc.31
OR COHABITS WITH A HEATHEN WOMAN.
R. Kahana propounded a problem to Rab:
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