Sanhedrin 60a

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Sanhedrin 60a

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live;[1] and this is followed by, Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death:[2] thus, all who are included in the second prohibition are included in the first.[3]
(שמות כב) מכשפה לא תחיה וכתיב (שמות כב) כל שוכב עם בהמה מות יומת כל שישנו בכלל כל שוכב עם בהמה ישנו בכלל מכשפה לא תחיה:
'R. Eleazar said; They were also enjoined against the forbidden mixtures.' Whence do we derive this? — Samuel replied: Because Scripture saith, My statutes ye shall keep,[4] implying the statutes which I have already decreed:[5] viz., Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed.[6] This teaches: just as in the case of animal life, the prohibition is against hybridization, so in plant life, the injunction is against grafting;[7] and just as the former holds good both within the land [sc. Palestine] and without,[8] so the latter holds good both within and without Palestine. But if so, does the verse, Ye shall therefore keep my statutes[9] also imply the statutes which I imposed long ago?[10] — There the verse reads, Ye shall therefore keep my statutes which I [now] command you: but here it reads, My statutes ye shall keep, implying the statutes decreed from of old shall ye keep.[11]
ר"א אומר אף על הכלאים: מנה"מ אמר שמואל דאמר קרא (ויקרא יט) את חקתי תשמרו חוקים שחקקתי לך כבר (ויקרא יט) בהמתך לא תרביע כלאים ושדך לא תזרע כלאים מה בהמתך בהרבעה אף שדך בהרכבה מה בהמתך בין בארץ בין בחוצה לארץ אף שדך בין בארץ בין בחוצה לארץ אלא מעתה (ויקרא יח) ושמרתם את חקתי ואת משפטי חקים שחקקתי לך כבר התם ושמרתם את חקותי דהשתא הכא את חקותי תשמרו חקים דמעיקרא תשמרו:

See Also


  1. Ex. XXII, 17.
  2. Ibid. 18.
  3. Therefore, since the Noachides were forbidden bestiality, they were also forbidden sorcery.
  4. Lev. XIX, 19.
  5. Since other precepts are not introduced by this formula, we interpret it thus.
  6. Hence these were pre-Sinaitic, i.e., given to the sons of Noah.
  7. For the first is a law against crossing two actual animals to produce a hybrid. So the second must refer to the grafting of one tree upon another of a different kind, but not to the sowing of different seeds together, which are trees in posse but not in esse.
  8. It is a general principle that any obligation imposed upon man and not dependent upon the soil is binding outside Palestine too.
  9. Ibid. XVIII, 26.
  10. That verse refers to God's statutes in general, and if Samuel's interpretation is correct, it follows that all the statutes of the Torah were given to the Noachides.
  11. The answer is based on the fact that in Lev. XIX, 19 'statutes' comes first in the verse, implying that they were already in existence, whilst in XVIII, 26 'Ye shall keep' is first, teaching that the statutes which follow were only then imposed.