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Deut. to be done by the Elders of the city. And, xix. 12.
in the Time of the Judges, Boaz appeals Ruth iv. to ten men of the Elders of the city of Beth
lehem Judah. And we read, after the Ezra x. Caprivity, of the Elders of every city. And,
Luke in the Gospel, it is said ; The Elders of Mat . 66.: . the people, and the Chief Priests
, and Scribet, came together. For it is reasonable to bem lieve those who, in the Gospel are called Elders of the People, were only Elders of the City of Jerusalem.
S E C T. V.
Courts of J'U DICATUR ETA There having been Courts of Judicature in every City, besides the Great Council or Sanhedrim of Jerusalem, we shall treat of those first; and leave the other to be discours d of in a Section by it self.
The first Institution of these, was in the Wilderness; when Mofes, by the Ad
vice of Jethro his Father-in-law, chofe 47 xviii. 25. ble men out of all Ifrael; and made them
beads over the people; rulers of thoufand.fi rulers of hundreds ; rulers of fifties; and run lers of tens. These were to judge the peo
?, at all" Seasons, in small matters; but
Judges as, in these Words ; Hear the causes be- Deut. i. veen your brethren, and judge righteously 16, &c. etween every man and his brother, and be stranger that is with him. re mall lot respect persons; in judgment; but you hall bear the small as well as the great. You shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's. And the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
Afterwards, we find an Ordinance for it, from God himself. Judges and officers ib. xvi. Malt thou make thee in all thy gates, which 18. the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout tby tribes : and they shall judge the
people with just judgment. Thou Malt not -; wrest judgment; Thou Malt not respeet s perfons ; neither take a gift: for a gift doth
blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the
And, after the Law had been greatly
former, among other Regulations that he 2 Chron. made, Set judges, in the land, throughout xix.5. all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city:
And said to the judges, Take beed what ye do; for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in judgment
. Wherefore now, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. For there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of perfoms, por taking of gifts.
After their Return from the Captivity, among other Parts of their Confti
tution, the Judges were re-establish'd; as Ifaiah i. Isaiah had prophesied; I will restore tby
judges, as at the first; and thy, counsellors,
as at the beginning. Artaxerxes comEzra vii. mands Ezra, to set magistrates and judges,
which may judge all the people. After ib. x. 14. which we read of the judges of every city,
But it is somewhat uncertain whether these Judges were any other than a Parr, or the whole Body, of the Council of the Elders; the fame Kind of Business being
allign’d in common to boch. Thus it is Deut. said, in the Law; If any man kate his neighxix. II. bour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he
die, and fleeth into one of these cities; (of Refuge.) Then the Elders of his city, Mall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the band of the avenger of blood, that be
may die. Thine eye shall not pity him ; But thou Malt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Ifrael, that it may go
well with thee. Again; If any one be found Deut
. Jain, and it be not known who hath sain &c. him. Then thy Elders and thy Judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is Jain. And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the sain man, the Elders of that city mall take, &c.' So the Elders of the City of Bethlehem, are likewise, the Judges, in the Cause between Boaz and Ruth iv. the next Kinsman of Elimelech." So much !, &c. for the Judges.
The Places where their Courts of Judicature were held, were, generally, one of the Gates of the City. It is said, in the Law. If a man like not to take his
Deut. brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go xxv. 7. up to the gate, unto the Elders. Again; If a man have a rebellious fon, be shall ib. xxi. bring him unto the Elders of his city, and 18.
unto the gate of his place. Again; If a
for such his Difike, the Matter is to be exDeut. amin'd before the Elders of the city in the
gate. So, in the Case of a Man's refusing to marry his Brother's Wife, She is to go up to the gate unto the Elders, and make her Complaint. And the Cause of Boaz beforemention'd was heard in the Gate of the City. So the Pfalmiff, speaking of
those that are bless’d with many Children, cxxvii. 5.
says, They shall not be afbamed, but they Mall Speak with the enemies in the gate. They that are intitled to such a Blessing, every thing else shall prosper with them; they need not to fear. Want of Justice, when they meet their Adversary in the
Court of Judicature. And the Wise Man Prov. fays, Rob not the poor, because be is poor;
neither oppress the affli&ted in the gate. For the LORD will plead their cause, &c. Again, speaking of a good Wife, what a
Credit she is to her Husband, he uses ib. xxxi. these Words; Her husband is known in the
gates, when he fitteth among the Elders of the land.