judge

judge

A person who has the authority to settle disputes and restore justice. In the early period of Israelite history those who acted in this official capacity were the heads of families or the elders of the tribe. With the coming of the monarchy, judges included the king as supreme authority in the land, leading citizens and professional magistrates delegated by him, and priests in matters strictly religious or in special cases. OT tradition associates the institution of the office of judge with Moses. Judges in Israel ruled with the authority delegated to them by Yahweh, “the Judge of all the earth” (Gen 18:25). Those selected to be judges were to be capable and God-fearing persons who were trustworthy and incorruptible (Exod 18:21). Codes for the conduct of judges stress the importance of absolute fairness and impartial judgment (Exod 23:1-3; Exod 6-9:1; Lev 19:15-16; Lev 19:35-36, Deut 16:19-20; Deut 17:8-13). In a special sense, the title “judge” is also applied to heroic persons who delivered the Israelites from their oppressors during the turbulent times of the settlement into the land of Canaan (Deborah, Gideon, Samson, et al.). These persons are sometimes called the “major judges.”

Gen 18:25

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Exod 18:21

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Exod 23:1-3

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Exod 6-9:1

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Lev 19:15-16

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Lev 19:35-36

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Deut 16:19-20

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Deut 17:8-13

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