[b-hebrew] To Harold: Tanach book order - different in Christian Bibles

Yonah Mishael yonahmishael at gmail.com
Sat Sep 2 22:20:19 EDT 2006

I'm always curious when I hear Christians disagree with the rulings of
the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees in general. It doesn't seem to be in
agreement with what their scriptures say. One verse that is key to how
Christians should understand the rabbis (in my opinion) is this:

"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you
must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what
they do, for they do not practice what they preach." (Matthew 23:2-3,

What is the seat of Moses? The 70 elders were appointed by Moses to
handle questions of ritual and justice. The authority given to these
70 passed down to the Sanhedrin, and also to the rabbis (this accounts
for the variation in appointments seen in Exodus 18:

"But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God,
trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials
over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens." (Exodus 18:21, NIV)

Why down to tens? Because a congregation exists when you have ten
people, a minyan. Thus, there were to be those who make decisions and
have authority only over their congregation (a rabbi), and also those
who had authority to be binding over the whole nation (the Sanhedrin).

This is completely biblical. Why would you think that the Sanhedrin
did not exist (I'm not saying by name) since the time of Moses to the
time of the Second Temple?


On 9/1/06, Shoshanna Walker <rosewalk at concentric.net> wrote:
> OK now I'm going to answer this email and then take a rest til after
> Shabbat, because I can feel myself getting real angry.
> Moshe appointed a group of 70 men (and sit as its head), whose
> qualifications, and purpose and authority are outlined in the Torah
> BECAUSE G-D COMMANDED HIM TO!  It doesn't matter WHY G-d commanded
> this, it doesn't diminish the fact that Moshe did it, it doesn't
> diminish the authority of the Sanhedrin, it doesn't change its
> purpose, and just because you or Peter don't know what the sources
> are for the fact that the Sanhedrin existed until the last one in
> Tverya, as I posted, doesn't mean that it didn't exist.
> And now you are not playing fair.  I asked who would verify that a
> prophet really did speak in the name of G-d or not if not Sanhedrin,
> you said the people would take it to the court system, then when we
> agreed that the (Great) Sanhedrin was the supreme court, now you say
> you don't have proof that there was one and that it endured until it
> was disbanded in Tverya.
> I don't even understand what the reluctance is, to believe that a
> prophet had to be verified, and that there was a body authorized by
> the Torah, to do it, and also, that the Talmud recorded actual events
> and actual facts and actual people, and actual rulings, and also,
> that it was known and written down so we would know, who presided
> over the various Sanhedrins, and where they met.
> Oh, and also - there was a smaller Sanhedrin - each city could have
> one - 23 people.
> Oh, and also by the way, kings were not the final authority.  A king
> also had to submit to the authority of G-d, as adjudicated by the
> Sanhedrin - or whatever it was called before it got that name - which
> ordained him in the first place.
> Shabbat Shalom - all I can say is thank G-d for Shabbat.
> Shoshanna
> >So was the Sanhedrin not the Supreme court?  Presided over by judges
> >and wise men and even sometimes prophets?
> >
> >
> HH: Yes, in its time, the Sanhedrin functioned as the supreme court.
> Peter has already mentioned that there is no indication of a Sanhedrin
> through the historical books. We cannot just assume it existed. Moses
> appointed elders to assist him because he felt overwhelmed:
> Num. 11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is
> too heavy for me.
> Num. 11:15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of
> hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my
> wretchedness.
> Num. 11:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of
> the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people,
> and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the
> congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
> Num. 11:17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will
> take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and
> they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it
> not thyself alone.
> HH: This was not necessarily an enduring institution. God did not
> necessarily put His Spirit on any others later. These men were to help
> Moses. Of course the tribal elders were always important. They appear
> often in the historical narratives. The governmental structure in Israel
> changed drastically quite a number of times. There is no hint of a
> Sanhedrin during the period of the Judges, unless you want to identify
> the elders of the assembly with the Sanhedrin:
> Judg. 21:16 And the elders of the assembly said, ìWith the women of
> Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left?
> HH: These seem to be the tribal elders gathered in a crisis. Later there
> are kings, who appoint people to chief offices. The king himself becomes
> the last court of appeal. Still there are tribal elders, but we do not
> see them functioning as a Sanhedrin.
> HH: The main point is that Scripture says nothing about anybody
> qualifying prophets, who obtained their authority directly from God.
> They usually spoke to criticize authority and so had to be outside the
> authority structure to some degree, not completely dependent on it.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard
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Yonah Mishael ben Avraham
Joplin, MO
yonahmishael at gmail.com

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