The Trial of Jesus King of Israel

Posted: April 16, 2011 in Book excerpts- Generations of Antichrist; An Argument for the Sake of Heaven
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The Trial of Jesus King of Israel

The import of the trial of Jesus and its ramifications are necessary to show a progressive history developing into the time of the Tannaim. It must be notated that the Tanna were not Pharisees even though they inherited their work. They were much more powerful and decided the destiny of their people.

Luke 13:31KJV The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

Mark 10:33  Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: MT16:21

As recorded in the Gospels Jesus is warned by Pharisees of the building plot to kill him. The Gospels point to Herod and the High Priest in collaboration on this point. As shown earlier the intermarriage relationships would have made this an obvious effort.

With his entry into Jerusalem[1] seated on the ass His messianic claim would be unmistakable. The cry of “Hosanna” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” are how Israel even today will welcome her King and Messiah.[2] The Herod/Boethusian faction was already started. Herod would not have a simple Davidic usurp what would rightfully be theirs. Careful cultivation can be checked against the Herodian marriages up to this point to produce a Herodian/Davidic/Priest-King.

Mathew21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Jesus actions are that of a High Priest/Prophet zealous to uphold the Name in contrast to the Sadducee, who as shown earlier was more interested in the Temple income than the Temple Service. This opened up an opportunity for the Sadducee to arrest the Netzer (King/Prophet) who was acting as Priest. It must be remembered that the High Priest of that day served at the pleasure of who had the throne. If this “rustic” Netzer succeeded the precedent could be there to cut into income, credibility, and force a reassignment of the position to a different family. The other consideration was the Romans who would not have any patience with a challenge to Caesars rule. The High Priest owned the markets at the Temple; the income generation with the local population was large. The income generation with pilgrims was enormous.

After he was in the custody of the High Priest[3]the illegal trial took place. What was the apparent illegality? If the Trial Sanhedrin could try a capital crime in the middle of the night, without all necessary members which would include Pharisees, outside of the chamber of hewn stone, compel self incrimination and false witness, and abuse the accused legally the trial would still be illegal. Why?

“…in a Deuteronomy Rabbah Passage, which has strong echoes in ySanhedrin: Our Rabbis have taught us: Why may not a king be judged? R. Jeramiah said: Because of King David it is written, ‘Let my judgment come forth from Thy presence (Ps 17.2)Hence no human being may judge the king, only God…”[4](Sanhedrin 2.1-2 The high priest may judge and be judged, testify and be testified against, perform halizah, and have halizah performed to his wife…The king may neither judge nor be judged[5], testify nor be testified against, perform halizah nor have halizah performed to his wife…”)[6]

The precedents for the “Laws of the Kings” can be traced clearly to Saul 1st King of Israel. The King can not be tried. The King cannot be witnessed against. The last straw for the Priests was His actions in the Temple. This was clearly the jurisdiction of a High Priest alone. A priest or High Priest can be tried and can be witnessed against.

Sanhedrin 43a there is a tradition (in a Barraitha): They hanged Yeshu (a) on the Sabbath of the Passover. But for forty days before that a herald went in front of him (crying), “Yeshu (a) is to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and seduced Israel and lead them away from God. Anyone who can provide evidence on his behalf should come forward to defend him.” When, however, nothing favorable about him was found, he was hanged on the Sabbath of the Passover.
Ulla (an Amorim) commented: “Do you think that he belongs among those for whom redeeming evidence is sought? Rather, he was a seducer [of whom] the All-merciful has said: ‘Show them no pity… and do not shield them.’ (Deut 13.8b NRSV) In Yeshu (a)’s case, however, an exception was made because he was close to those who held [political/religious] authority[7].”

R. Zemach in his Aruch, under letter “hey” explains that “hamesaper komi” is one who talks in the language of royalty, using curses. They did not permit the house of Rabban Gamliel to talk in that language if not out of respect for the kingship. This does not seem correct for there in the gemara it says that they permitted Rabban Gamliel to speak about Greek wisdom because they were close to the royalty, and it does not mention “komi,” except by Avtolmos b. Reuben, when it is dealing with the ways of the Emorites, as it says”[8]

The import of the phrase “close to the royalty” is that it is the same phrase used in the preceding paragraph.. The only argument is whether the house of Hillel was considered at that moment to be royal claimants or princes. They became recognized as being in line claimants after the first war. [9]

 

There was no one who could legally testify for or against Him. The Pharisees would have found the precedent mind boggling. The Priesthood had made a direct assault against the King (son of David). It went against the halachot, the rule of the Sanhedrin, the very concept of Messiah.

The Pharisees were excluded from the trial. The proof of this is the unanimous vote needed for conviction. No Pharisee could stand so bald-faced against the Halacha and tradition. If Nicodemus (Nicodemion ben Gurion) or Joseph of Arimathea had been present the unanimous vote needed would not have been possible. Only one dissent was needed for acquittal.

The preceding account from Sanhedrin 43a has been read only through polemic. This is one of the earlier writings of the Tannaim which is after 70 Ce. The bottom comments are from Amorim which are even later. The importance of the early Tannaim will be covered in the appropriate chapter later. The writing itself reflects the Pharisee memory of the Sadducee trial of Jesus. The Pharisee had already effectively run the Priesthood out of the Beit Din Sanhedrin where the Halochot was deduced and written.   If taken at face value against the Gospel accounts it relates the witness against Sadducee impropriety. The halachic relationship between the Sanhedrin and the King has been discussed in enough detail.  

The five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah are non-answers Jesus gave the High Priest. If the answers are taken at face value or for the sake of the early Sages, as characteristics of the conversation, they then become clearer and in agreement with the Gospel accounts.

Our Rabbis taught: [Yahshua] had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. When Matthai was brought [before the court] he said to them [the judges], Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, Matthai [when] shall I come and appear before God [Psalm 42:3, an “Instructive” Psalm]? Thereupon they retorted: Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, When Matthai [when] shall [he] die and his name perish [Psalm 41:5]. When Nakai was brought in he said to them: Shall Nakai be executed? It is not written, Naki [the innocent] and the righteous slay thou not [Exodus 23:7]? Yes, was the answer, Nakai shall be executed, since it is written, In secret places does Naki [the innocent] slay [Psalm 10:8]. When Nezer was brought in, he said: Shall Nezer be executed? Is it not written, And Nezer [a twig] shall grow forth out of his roots [Isaiah 11:1]. Yes, they said, Nezer shall be executed, since it is written, But thou art cast forth away from the grave like Nezer [an abhorred offshoot] [Isaiah 14:19]. When Buni was brought in, he said: Shall Buni be executed? Is it not written, Beni [my son], my first born [Exodus 4:22]? Yes, they said, Buni shall be executed, since it is written, Behold I will slay Bine-ka [thy son] thy first born [Exodus 4:23]. And when Todah was brought in, he said to them: Shall Todah be executed? Is it not written, A psalm for Todah [thanksgiving] [Psalm 100:1]? Yes, they answered, Todah shall be executed, since it is written, whoso offereth the sacrifice of Todah [thanksgiving] honoureth me [Psalm 50:23] [Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a]. [10]

Matthai – My judge is God (I am the King) or where is my Righteous Judge. Only God may Judge the king. This can be shown in a later trial of Eliezer b Hyrcannus the priest who was put under the ban for being a Netzerim. His only answer or non-answer to the judge was “I will trust my Righteous Judge” showing his lineage also as Davidic.

Nakai – Innocent in heart and hand

Nezer-Netzer Priest/King Shoot of David

Buni- I am the First-Born

Todah- Thanksgiving to God

Luke 22:66  And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,67  Art thou the Christ? Tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:68  And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.69  Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.70  Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God[11]? And he said unto them, ye say that I am.71 And they said, what need we any further witness? For we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

Had He answered any other way it would have been a denial of His lineage and right.

“According to the Sadducees punishment [d Decreed in Deut. Xix. 21] Against false witnesses was only to be executed if the innocent person, condemned on their testimony, had actually suffered punishment, while the Pharisees held that this was to be done if the sentence had been actually pronounced, although not carried out.[e Makk. I 6].”[12]  The strategic use of perjury can legitimately be shown by the Sadducee. In the section describing them it would be how they gave their social practices a veneer of legitimacy.  The perjurer would not be liable if his testimony did not result directly in a verdict.

The Trial Sanhedrin at this time did have the authority of capital punishment,[13] however not the authority to pronounce it on a King. The limits of a trial Sanhedrin were painfully obvious. They could not convict a King. Herod the Tetrarch (quartermaster) could not convict a King that committed no sedition or crime. They could not convict based on good works that were recorded in the Gospels and the Talmud such as healing the sick or teaching Torah, or righteousness in the Temple.

Luke 23:1  And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.2  And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.3  And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

Herod could not, the Temple could not but Rome could and would. The oracles and prophesies were common knowledge in Rome. There could be no challenge to Caesar. There had to be peace in Palestine.  If this Gospel account is read within its Semitic framework, Jesus is giving the only answers a Jewish King could. Pilate’s concern would be centered on whether he was a seditious ringleader or not. Roman persecution of the sons of David had not yet begun. When he brings out Jesus bar Abbas, speculatively it is for the contrast, to gage the mood of the people and Priests. BarAbbas, grandson of Judas of Gamala[14] and a Zealot Siccari leader (inferred through the charges against him), a Netzerim by lineage, was imprisoned for murder and sedition.

“About the same time there lived Jesus, a wise man for he was a performer of marvelous feats and a teacher of such men who received the truth with pleasure.  He attracted many Jews and many Greeks.  He was the Christ.  When Pilate sentenced him to even die on the cross, having been urged to do so by the noblest of our citizens; but those who loved him at the first did not give up their affection for him.  And the tribe of the Christians, who are named after him, have not disappeared to this day” Flavius Josephus 17.3.3.  This term “the noblest of our citizens” is already explained by Josephus comprised of the “new aristocracy” of Priests and Sadducees.


[1] KJV Luke 19:41  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

[2] Matthew 21:4  All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,5  Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.6  And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,7  And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.8  And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.9  And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.10  And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?11  And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

[3] Matthew 26:55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.57  And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.58  But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.59  Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;60  But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,61  And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.62  And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?63  But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.Matthew 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.65  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.66  What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.67  Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,68  Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

[4] David Flatto  Its Good to be the King the Monarchs role in the Mishnah’s Political and Legal System pg 7 Hauser Global Law School Working Paper 01/07 pg 5

[5]Jewish Virtual Library -a Division of The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise “A king must not judge,” etc. Said R. Joseph:This is concerning the kings of Israel; but the kings of the house of David are judged and judge. As it is written [Jer. xxi. 12]: “O house of David, thus said the Lord: Exercise justice on every morning.” We see that they did judge; and if they were not to be judged, how could they judge?–as is said above by Resh Lakish. And what is the reason it is prohibited to the kings of Israel? Because an unfortunate thing happened as follows: The slave of King Janai murdered a person; and Simeon b. Cheta’h said to the sages: Notwithstanding that he is the slave of the king, he must be tried. They sent to the king: Your slave has killed a man. And Janai sent his slave to them to be tried. However, they sent to him: You also must appear before the court. As it is written [Ex. xxi. 29]: “Warning has been given to its owner”–which means the owner of the ox must appear at the time the ox is tried. He then came and took a seat. Said Simeon b. Cheta’h: King Janai, arise, so that the witnesses shall testify while you stand; yet not for us do you rise, but for Him who said a word, and the world was created.As it reads [Deut. xix. 17]: “Stand before the Lord.” And the king answered: It must not be as you say, but as the majority of your colleagues shall decide. Simeon then turned to his right, but his colleagues cast their eyes upon the floor without any answer; and the same did his colleagues at his left. Simeon then exclaimed: You are all troubled in mind (disconcerted)! May the One who rules minds take revenge upon you. Gabriel came then and smote them to the floor, that they died. And at that time it was enacted that a king should neither judge nor be judged, neither be a witness nor be witnessed against.

[6] David Flatto  Its Good to be the King the Monarchs role in the Mishnah’s Political and Legal System pg 7 Hauser Global Law School Working Paper 01/07 pg 5

[7] Whenever this phrase is used it is in conjunction with a Nasi, a King or Netzer(Priest/King) as is the case referenced to R, Gamaliel II

[8] Sefer Yohassin pg 55

[9] This is seen in that the families Hillel ruled over the Sanhedrin as Princes, and are not remembered in any of the wars as generals/kings. Simeon b. Gamliel, one of the originators of the Peace Party is shown in the first war with the Romans as the consummate leader (Nasi) of the Sanhedrin.

[10] (11) Immediately the wise men perceived this, they rose up against him, and seized him. (12) They say unto him, What is thy name? He saith unto them, Mathai. They say unto him, How establishest thou this? He saith unto them, When (mathai) shall I come and appear before God? They say unto him, When (mathai) shall he die, and his name perish? (13) Again they say unto him, What is thy name? He saith, Naki. They say unto him, How establishest thou this? He saith, Innocent (n’ki) of hands, and pure of heart. They say unto him, The innocent (nakeh) he will not clear. (14) Again they say unto him, What is thy name? He saith, Buni. They say, How establishest thou this? He saith, My son (b’ni) my firstborn, even Israel. They say, Concerning thee it was said, Behold, I will slay thy son (binchah), even thy firstborn. (15) And they say again, What is thy name? He saith, Netser. They say, How establishest thou this? He saith, A branch (netser) shall spring forth from his roots. They say unto him, Thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch (netser).And in like manner, much more, AS HE STATED IN HIS BEHALF MANY OTHER NAMES. Toldoth Yeshua Chapter 4, verses 11-15

[11] The interpretation of the question is two-fold; the first in Christian theology is obvious. The second had historical and legal ramifications. Traditionally all the regnal sons of David were called “sons of God” KJV 1 Chronicles 28:6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.

[12] Kaufman Koler The Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906

[13] John 18:31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

[14] Davidic Dynasty, David Hughes pg 242

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