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COURT. On Jethro’s advice Moses instituted a system of jurisprudence for the Israelites. He appointed judges over tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands; Moses himself had the final decision in “difficult cases” (Exod.18.25-Exod.18.26). The office of judge was an elective one (Deut.1.13). Eventually judges were usually chosen from among the Levites, though this was not necessary. They were held in very high regard. In time the profession of law developed among the Hebrews, its members being called “lawyers,” “scribes,” or “doctors of the law” (Luke.2.46 kjv). These men studied and interpreted the law, decided questions of the law, and taught Hebrew boys the law. Technical knowledge of the law was not a prerequisite to become a judge. Under the Romans the supreme legislative and judicial body was the Sanhedrin. Its judgment was final except in cases involving capital punishment, when the consent of the procurator had to be secured. The Sanhedrin met in Jerusalem.

COURT. See Architecture; Jerusalem Temple.

See also

  • House