Tractate Sanhedrin, Herbert Danby tr. , at sacred-texts.com
M. IV. 5a. How were witnesses admonished in capital cases? They were brought in, and admonished to the effect that "what you say may be merely your own opinion, or hearsay, or secondhand, or derived from a trustworthy person. Perhaps you do not know that we intend to question you by examination and inquiry. Know, moreover, that capital cases are not like non-capital cases: in non-capital cases a man may pay money and so make expiation; but in capital cases the blood of the accused and of his posterity may cling to him (the witness) to the end of the world. For so we find it in the case of Cain, who slew his brother, as it is written: THE VOICE OF THE BLOODS OF THY BROTHER CRIES TO ME FROM THE GROUND 1;--not the blood of thy brother, but the bloods of thy brother--his blood and that of his posterity."
Another explanation: BLOODS OF THY BROTHER;--because his blood was scattered over the trees and stones.
M.IV. 5 b. For this reason man was created one and alone in the world: to teach that whosoever destroys a single soul is regarded as though he destroyed a complete world, and whosoever saves a single soul is regarded as though he saved a complete world; and for the sake of peace among created beings that one man should not say to another, "My father was greater than thine," and that heretics should not say, "There are many ruling powers in heaven "; also to proclaim the greatness of the King of kings of kings, blessed be He! for mankind stamps a hundred coins with one seal, and they are all alike, but the King of kings of kings, blessed be He! has stamped every man with the seal of the first Adam, and not one of
M.them is like his fellow. 1 So every single person is forced to say, The world was created for my sake.
Another explanation: Why was he created one and alone? That families might not quarrel: since even now, when all men are come from the same stock, they quarrel, how much more would they do so if they had come from different stocks!
Another explanation: Why was man created one and alone? Because of thieves and robbers: since even now, when all men are come from the one stock, they rob and steal, how much more would they do so if they had cone from different stocks?
5. Another explanation: Why was he created one and alone? To declare the greatness of the King of kings of kings, blessed be He! who with one seal fashioned every one in the whole world, yet from the one seal go forth many impressions, as it is written: IT IS CHANGED AS CLAY UNDER THE SEAL, AND ALL THINGS STAND FORTH AS IN A GARMENT. 2
6. Why are faces unlike each other? Because of impostors--that none should break into his neighbour's field, or go in unto his neighbour's wife: AND FROM THE WICKED THEIR LIGHT IS WITHHOLDEN, AND THE HIGH ARM IS BROKEN. 3 R. Meir says: The Almighty varied the fashion of the face, knowledge and voice; the fashion of the face and
7. Man was created last (in the order of creation). And why was he created last? Lest the heretics 1 should say: We (mankind) were partners with God in his work.
8. Another explanation: Why was man created last? That if his mind become too proud it may be said to him: "The mosquito preceded thee in the order of creation."
Another explanation: That he should at once be subject to the laws of the world.
9. Another explanation: That he might enter the banquet at once. They propounded a parable: To what can it be compared? It is like a king who built a palace and dedicated it, and prepared a banquet and invited the guests; and so it is written: THE WISEST OF WOMEN HATH BUILDED HER HOUSE, 2--that is the King of kings of kings, blessed be He! who created his world in seven days by "wisdom "; SHE HATH HEWN OUT HER SEVEN PILLARS--these are the seven days of creation; SHE HATH KILLED HER BEASTS AND MINGLED HER WINE--these are the seas and rivers and pastures and other needs of the world; SHE HATH SENT FORTH HER MAIDENS, SHE CRIETH UPON THE HIGH PLACES OF THE CITY, WHO IS SIMPLE LET HIM TURN IN HITHER, AND HE WHO IS VOID OF UNDERSTANDING, etc.--these are mankind and the beasts.
IV. 5c. Perhaps you say: "Why do we take this trouble of bearing witness? " But has it not been written: HE BEING A WITNESS, WHETHER FIE HATH SEEN OR KNOWN, IF HE DO NOT UTTER IT, THEN SHALL HE BEAR HIS INIQUITY? 3 Or perhaps
M.you say: "Why are we responsible for this man's blood?" But has it not been written: WHEN THE WICKED PERISH THERE IS REJOICING? 1
78:1 Gen. 4. 10.
80:1 Meaning that man was created in one exemplar, in the shape of Adam: and that he must be regarded as representative of the whole of the human race.
80:2 Job 38. 14.
80:3 Job 38. 15.
81:1 Minim, lit. "sects." Jewish Christians are probably referred to.
81:2 Prov. 9. 1. Cf. Prov. 14. 1.
81:3 Lev. 5. 1.
82:1 Prov. 11. 10.