Special Themed Tour – In Search of the Sanhedrin
The Book of Deuteronomy states that in cases of legal issues that are not solved in the municipal court, one should appeal to a higher court – “If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults—take them to the place the LORD your God will choose. 9Go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.” (Deut. 17:8-9).
Such a higher court is not documented in the Old Testament, but in the Second Temple to Talmudic Periods (5th century BCE to 5th Century CE), it was called “Sanhedrin“. it consisted of a lower court, made of 23 members, and a higher court, consisting 71 members. The head of the higher court was a Nassi. In the time of the temple it was occasionally the high priest, and at times it was the king. During the period of the Temple, the higher court could only assemble in the “Hall of hewn stones,” which was in the temple. After the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, the Sanhedrin was resumed. It first operated in Yavne, and later in Usha, Sheferam, Beth-Shearim, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. The Sanhedrin was disbanded around 425 CE by the Byzantine Christian Authorities, and never resumed.