The Gemara in Makkot 6b says that a transgressor in capital cases is never executed unless his two witnesses were the ones who forewarned him, because the Torah says: "At the mouth [Al pi] of two witnesses… [he who is to be executed shall die]" [Deuteronomy 17:6]

So, if the defendant is forewarned before his crime by people other than the witnesses to the crime, he cannot be convicted?


Rambam Edus 4, 1:

היה זה המתרה בו רואה העדים והעדים רואין אותו אף על פי שאין רואין זה את זה המתרה מצרפן היו

If a person who administered the warning sees [each one of] the witnesses and the witnesses see him [but the witnesses don't see each other], because of the [other] person administering the warning, their testimony is combined even though they [the witnesses] do not see each other.

We can clearly see that another person can warn the transgressor as long as he's seen to the witnesses.

I remind you that the act should follow the warning immediately, otherwise the warning expires.


This is a Machloket Tannaim between Rabbi Yose bar Chalafta and the Sages. Rabbi Yose says the witnesses need to also be the ones who give warning (that is the passage you quote), while the Sages say that it is unnecessary.

As Rava says in the Gemara (same page) "Even the victim , or even a demon (i.e. a voice which no one knows the source of) can give warning." So it is clear that according to the Sages, there are no requirements on the identity of the entity giving the warning.

The only requirements are on the warning itself:

  1. That the accused was told that his/her action was forbidden by the Torah and which prohibition forbade it.

  2. That the accused was told what what the punishment for that action was (Rabbi Yehuda requires the kind of capital punishment to be stated as well, not just that it is chayav mitah).

  3. That the accused accepted the warning explicitly (accepting that the action they were taking violated that particular prohibition, and that they could be punished for it in the specific way mentioned).

  4. That the accused immediately did the forbidden act after accepting the warning.

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