How did they learn from the verses in the Torah who gets what punishment (in cases where it wasn’t stated explicitly)? How did they perform killing by the sword? Killing by strangulation?
Rabib Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva debate various isseus regarding the daughter of a kohen getting strangulation. The derivations for each of their opinions are brought. How was the death penalty of burning performed? From where is it derived?
A braita ןs quoted in which a range of possibilities are suggested regarding the verse about the daughter of a kohen who gets burned for disgracing her father. After each suggestion the braita concludes with what the verse is actually referring to. The gemara questions each of the suggestions and explains the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer which is hard to understand.
The gemara brings proofs for the two different opinions regarding the order of severity of the four death penalties of the court. Each death penalty had something unique about it and the gemara compares each one to the other, proving why one is considered more or less severe than the other.
When King Solomon had Yoav ben Tzruya executed, on what basis did he kill him? Even though the gemara shows he was worthy of the death he received, in the end the gemara brings sources that he also had redeeming qualities. What is the order of the 4 death penalties – which is more severe? Less severe? In general when mishnayot sets the order of events or items, is it intentional or not?
Are eulogies for the deceased or for the deceased’s relatives? Does one receive atonement upon getting punished by death by the court? If so, at what stage is the atonement affected?
Those who were stoned were also hung – does this include all or only some of those who were stoned? How did the hanging process work? Were women also hung? Many of these laws are derived from 2 verses in Devarim regarding the death penalty. The dead body must be buried by nightfall. It is further derived from this verse that anyone who has a relative who dies must bury them by nightfall, unless there is an important reason to delay that would relate to respect for the dead.
If after the person is convicted, the witnesses claim that they were lying, we do not accept their testimony and the person is killed. Likewise, if the convicted person himself makes it clear that he/she is innocent, they are still sent to be killed as there is reason to believe that they are not telling the truth and therefore the court’s original ruling stands. How was the stoning ceremony done? A man is stripped of his clothing but was the woman also? This is a subject of debate and seems to contradict a similar argument by the same rabbis regarding the Sotah. One who is stoned is thrown from a building by one of the witnesses and then a rock is thrown on him by another. Where is this derived from? In all of these laws, there is an underlying concept that one should choose the quickest method of death.
The one who is taken out to be stoned is asked to confess. The importance of confession is learned from Achan. The story of Achan is analyzed and verses are extrapolated to teach various halachot as well as moral messages. To what extent are the Jewish people responsible for others? Can children be killed for the sins of their parents? Is it OK for Yehoshua to complain to God when 36 people were killed in the battle of Ai? Are angels allowed to complain to God? What role do angels play in our prayers? Are we allowed to pray to angels?
Once convicted of stoning, there were a number of processes instituted in order to allow for a chance that new evidence may be brought forward to acquit. A whole section of the gemara about Yeshu the Nazarene was censored and does not appear in the standard printed edition of the gemara. The missing text can be found on the attached sheet.