Sanhedrin, Chapter Seven, Mishnah One



The first mishnah of chapter seven lists the four types of execution that Jewish law prescribed.


Mishnah One

1)                     Four deaths have been entrusted to the court: stoning, burning, slaying [by the sword] and strangulation.

2)                     R. Simeon says: “burning, stoning, strangulation and slaying.”

3)                     That (the previous chapter) is the manner of stoning.



There are four types of death carried out (at least theoretically) according to Jewish law.  Our mishnah contains a dispute with regards to which type of execution is harsher than the others.  The Sages claim that stoning is the harshest, followed by burning, slaying and strangulation.  Rabbi Shimon disagrees.  He holds that burning is the harshest, and slaying the least harsh.

The mishnah notes that the previous chapter described how stoning was to be carried out.  The following two mishnayoth will describe burning, slaying and strangulation.