Sanhedrim (accurately, sanhedrin, a Heb. word formed from the Gr.Sanhedrim 1400279 , assembly), the supreme council of the Jews in later times. Traditionally its origin is traced to the 70 elders appointed by Moses, but its Greek name and the absence of earlier historic mention point to a time after the Macedonian supremacy. Its full development was under the earlier Asmoneans; and Herod, when procurator of Galilee, was summoned before the sanhedrim, charged with usurping its authority in sentencing men to death. Its members were chosen from the chief priests, elders, and scholars; and the tradition is that there were 70 besides the nasi or president. There was a vice president, who was called "father of the council." The usual meeting place was a hall called lishkath haggazith (hewn-stone chamber) within the temple enclosure. Before it Jesus was arraigned as a false prophet, and Peter, John, Stephen, and Paul as false teachers. Its power was nearly destroyed by Herod the Great, who put to death almost all its members.

The Talmud also mentions a lesser sanhedrim of 23 members in every city of Palestine in which there were as many as 120 families.