[b-hebrew] PS Re: oral Torah

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jun 23 10:57:14 EDT 2006

Dear Shoshanna,

>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.

HH: Right, I did not mean to take anything away from the position of 
elders or judges.

>  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)

Hh: This is a judicial context in Deuteronomy 17 and certainly implies 
that he proceedings are to occur to the central worship site in Israel.

>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.

HH: That's interesting, and there is truth in it. That's what occurred 
with both Saul and David.

>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.

Hh: Of course, you are right.

Harold Holmyard

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