The highest judicial tribunal among the Jews. It consisted of seventy-two persons besides the High Priest. It is supposed to have originated with Moses, who instituted a Council of Seventy on occasion of a rebellion of the Israelites in the wilderness. The room in which the Sanhedrim met was a rotunda, half of which was built without the Temple and half within, the latter part being that in which the judges sat. The Nasi, or Prince, who was generally the High Priest, sat on a throne at the end of the hall; his Deputy, called Ab-beth-din, at his right hand; and the Sub-deputy, or Chacan, at his left; the other senators being ranged in order on each side. Most of the members of this Council were Priests or Levites, though men in private stations of life were not excluded.

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