1. Question: Why does the borrower have to pay $200 and not $100 or $300 in the following case?
A. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 30:3) brings a case of Reuvain who claims Shimon owes him $1500. He has five witnesses, one says he borrowed $100 another said $200, another said $300, another says $400 and the last one said he borrowed $500. If they all claim the loan took place on the same day but with different amounts Shimon only owes $200 because if you are trying to extract money from someone you have to bring proof. (Hamotzi mechavero alav hara’aya.)
B. The Sm”a (17) says the number $200 is based on the fact that there are two witnesses who said he owes no more than $200 even though there are 3 witnesses that say he owes at least $300.
C. There is a rule in Shas that two witnesses and even 100 witnesses are all the same, meaning more witnesses on one side does not create a majority to beat out witnesses on the other side if there are at least 2.
D. There is a logic in Shas that within $200 is $100. (Bichlal masayim manah.)
Answer: They certainly don’t pay no more than 200 because the 3 witnesses who say he should pay more are no better than the ones who say they owe the most 200 and they also admit he at least owes $200. Shimon won’t only owe $100 because the one who says he borrowed $100 could add up and combine with the other to $200, though not more than that because the $200 witness only said he owes no more than $200.