[b-hebrew] PS Re: oral Torah

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Fri Jun 23 10:28:22 EDT 2006

OK they were "elders" (Numbers 11:16), "judges and officers" 
(Deuteronomy 16:18).  Exodus 18:21 describes the moral character that 
was required, and so does Deuteronomy 1:13.  The Torah gives them 
their authority in Deuteronomy 17:11,  In Deuteronomy 17:8, the Torah 
says (when there will be the Temple) to go to the Priests, the 
Levites and the Judge to ask them to judge in difficult matters.  The 
Sanhedrin had more authority and power if it convened in the "place 
which G-d shall choose" (ie, the Chamber of Cut Stone in the Temple), 
than if it convened elsewhere  (Deuteronomy 17:10)

One of the functions of the Sanhedrin was to test a man claiming to 
be a prophet and if he passed the test, he was proclaimed prophet by 
the Sanhedrin, that was the only body that was allowed to do this. 
Israel was commanded to choose a king in Deuteronomy 17: 14, 15 - 
that G-d shall choose, meaning that he must be chosen with the 
concurrence of both a prophet and the Sanhedrin.


G-d told Moshe to choose 70 men, who, together with him would be the 
first Sanhedrin, and told Israel that they had authority.  I don't 
remember by heart the description of their requirements, but they 
certainly had to be "wise men" and versed in Torah law.


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