Lawgiver




In the NT, God is described as the only “lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12). Likewise, the fourth gospel describes Moses as the giver of the law, God’s instrument and agent (John 1:17; 7:19). The same function of delivering the law of God to men was ascribed by Stephen to the intermediate agency of angels, describing the Jews as those “who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it” (Acts 7:53). Paul echoed the thought that the law was given through angels, “and it was ordained by angels through an intermediary” (Gal 3:19). The Epistle to the Hebrews contrasts the role of angels as mediators of the old revelation of law with Christ, the mediator of the new revelation (Heb 1:6-14).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


The Hebrew word is restricted to poetic passages, and except in Isa 33:22 is applied to a tribal or kingly ruler. Moses is pre-eminently the lawgiver in Jewish and Christian circles, but it should be noted that in the Scriptures of neither is he given this title. The primary meaning of the verb from which mechoqeq is derived is "to cut," "to carve," and a derived meaning is "to ordain." The meaning of the participle mechoqeq is based upon this last. It means

(1) the symbol which expresses the lawmaker’s authority, that is, the commander’s staff; and

(2) the person who possesses the authority (De 33:21).