The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, , at sacred-texts.com
1. Judgments in money and judgments in souls must be equally inquired into and investigated; as is said, "Ye shall have one manner of law." 1 "What is the difference between judgments in money and judgments in souls?" "Judgments in money (require) three judges, judgments in souls twenty-three. Judgments in money open the case either for clearing or proving indebted, but judgments of souls open the case for clearing, and the case is not opened for condemning. Judgments in money are balanced by one judge either for clearing or proving indebted; but judgments in souls are balanced by one for clearing and by two for condemning. Judgments in money may be reversed either for clearing or proving indebted; but judgments in souls may be reversed for clearing, but must not be reversed for condemnation. All may express an opinion on judgments in money for clearing or proving indebted. All may express an opinion on judgments in souls for clearing, but all must not express an opinion for condemnation. He who has expressed an opinion on judgments in money for proving indebted, may express an opinion for clearing, and he who has expressed an opinion for clearing, may express an opinion for proving indebted. He who has expressed an opinion on judgments in souls for condemnation may express an opinion for clearing, but he who has expressed an opinion for clearing must not reverse it to express an opinion for condemnation. Judgments
in money are conducted by day and settled by night. Judgments in souls are conducted by day and settled by day. Judgments in money are settled on the same day, either for clearing or proving indebted. Judgments in souls are finished on the same day for clearing, and on the day after it for condemnationwherefore there can be no judgments on Friday or on the eve of a festival." 1
2. Judgments in legal uncleanness and legal cleansings begin with the Supreme (judge). Judgments in souls begin with a judge at his side. All are eligible to pronounce judgments in money matters, but all are not eligible to pronounce judgments in soulsonly priests, Levites, and Israelites who can intermarry into the priesthood.
3. The Sanhedrin was like half a round threshing-floor, in order that the members might observe each other. And two scribes of the judges stood before them,one on the right and one on the left. And they wrote the sentence of acquittal, and the sentence of condemnation. R. Judah said, "three; one scribe wrote the sentence of acquittal, and one wrote the sentence of condemnation; and the third wrote both the sentence of acquittal and the sentence of condemnation."
4. And three rows of the disciples of the wise sat before them. And each one knew his place. When it was necessary to appoint a judge, they appointed one from the first row. One from the second row came instead of him into the first, and one from the third row came instead of him into the second, and they selected another from the congregation, and they seated him in the third row, and he did not sit in the place of his predecessor, but he sat in a place suitable for himself.
5. "How did the judges intimidate witnesses in the testimony for souls?" "They introduced them, and intimidated them." "Perhaps you are speaking from guess? or from hearsay? witness from witness? or from a trustworthy man we heard it?" Or perhaps "you don't know that at the last we shall proceed to inquire into your own character and
investigate it." "Have a knowledge that the judgments of money are not as judgments of souls. In judgments for money, when the man pays the money he has atoned. In judgments for souls his blood and the blood of his posterity are suspended till the end of the world." So we find it with Cain when he slew his brother. It is said of him, 1 "the voice of thy brother's bloods crieth." He does not say thy brother's blood, but bloods of thy brother, his blood and the blood of his posterity. Another thing is also meant, that thy brother's bloods are spattered on wood, and on stones. Therefore man is created single, to teach thee that every one who destroys one soul from Israel, to him is the verse applicable, as if he destroys a full world. And every one who supports one soul in Israel, to him is the verse applicable, as if he supports the full world. And it is also said, for the peace of creation, that no man may justly say to his companion, my father is greater than thine. And that the Epicureans should not say, that there are more Creators in the heavens, and it is also said, to show forth the greatness of the Holy One, blessed be He! When man stamps many coins with one stamp, all are alike. But the King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He! stamped every man with the stamp of the first Adam, and no one of them is like his companion; therefore every one is bound to say, "for my sake was the world created." But, perhaps, the witnesses will say "what is this trouble to us?" But is it not already said, "And is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it"? 2 But perhaps the witnesses will say, "what is it to us, to be guilty of this man's blood?" But is it not already said, "When the wicked perish, there is shouting"? 3
183:1 Lev. xxiv. 22.
184:1 This rule was violated in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew xxvi. xxvii.; Mark xiv.; Luke xxii. xxiii.; John xix.
185:1 Gen. iv. 10.
185:2 Lev. v. 1.
185:3 Prov. xi. 10.