The purpose of this page is to show, with Scriptural references, mankind's inability to properly govern himself and his need to follow YHWH's Torah.
People involved in Israel's Governance before the Babylonian Exile
"Num 11:16, "And YHWH said to Moses, Gather to Me 70 men from [the] elders of Israel whom you know to be elders of the people and its officers. And bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them stand there with you." Num 11:17, "And I will come down and I will speak with you there. And I will take of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put [it] upon them, and they shall bear [the] burden of the people with you. Thus you shall not bear [the burden] yourself alone."
No further qualifications are given concerning the selection of these 70 men from among those who were already elders. There was no tribal restriction, there was no requirement of a knowledge of the law, and there was no requirement of faith. There is never any indication in the Tanak that these elders met together as one body to discuss matters among themselves, or that they had a unified label such as a court or Sanhedrin.
In Ex 18:13-27 Moses' father-in-law gave him advice to build a pyramid organizational structure of judges, so that only the very difficult cases would filter their way up the pyramid to him. This advice did not involve previously recognized elders with leadership experience. If this advice would have succeeded, there would have been no need for the subsequent complaint by Moses in Num 11:1-15, which led to the appointment of the 70 men who were already elders."
Treatise on the Biblical Calendar, second edition (abbreviated TBC2) by Herb Solinsky pg 59 par a-c
The Mishnah and the Great Sanhedrin
"The Mishnah (c. 200 CE) teaches that the 70 men with Moses constituted the greater Sanhedrin where it quotes from Num 11:16 discussed above. On page 383 of Danby's translation of the Mishnah, in Sanhedrin 1.6, we find (with Danby's additions in square brackets), "The greater Sanhedrin was made up of one and seventy [judges] and the lesser [Sanhedrin] of three and twenty. Whence do we learn that the greater Sanhedrin should be made up of one and seventy? It is written, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, and Moses added to them makes one and seventy." Although Num 35:24 mentions "the congregation shall judge", the Tanak never defines the congregation in this sense as the 70 (or 71) elders. It may refer to any court that represents the people in any area of Israel through history. The Mishnah interprets Num 11:16 as the first great Sanhedrin in a succession through history in order to justify a major leadership role for a body of men who are not necessarily Levites.
Deut 17:8-13 mentions the need to judge legal cases of dispute, and those who do the judging are referred to as priests, Levites, and judges in verse 9. The word elder is not used here, thus negating the Mishnaic supposition that a collective of 70 elders was to continuously constitute a greater Sanhedrin. If this Mishnaic interpretation were true, there would be some clear evidence of it in the Tanak, which is often occupied with political conflict. On page 382 of Danby's translation in Sanhedrin 1.2, authority to render calendric decisions is claimed for a small committee within the Sanhedrin, and there is no tribal requirement for this committee. It appears that the Mishnah is attempting to invent an entity that controls the calendar apart from the priesthood. As stated above, this Mishnaic concept is contradicted by Ps 133.
Positive evidence that calendric unity was only to be achieved through the authority of the Aaronic priesthood does exist in Ps 133. In that psalm the unity of the brethren was to be achieved through the anointing oil upon Aaron's beard, which symbolizes the bestowing of authority upon that priesthood to bring about unity. This authority would be contradicted by some body of non-priests who would attempt to direct priests concerning the appropriate time to blow the two silver trumpets and declare which month is the first."
Treatise on the Biblical Calendar, second edition (abbreviated TBC2) by Herb Solinsky pg 60 par a - pg 61
5 'And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.'
4 'And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.' (KJV)
14 'So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.'
2 'And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD,...'
4 'And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea:'
21 'How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.'
Isaiah is not speaking well of Jerusalem.
23 'Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. '
Isaiah is not speaking well of ANY of the princes.
12 'As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.'
derech - (way); (H) - Way, or road, or path
16 'For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.' (KJV)
27 'Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.'
I think YHWH is talking about Adam here.
23 'I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth inrighteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.'
7 'Theirfeet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.'
8 'The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.'
9 'Thereforeis judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.'
10 'Thereforeis judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.'
11 'We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.'
12 'For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;'
13 'In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.'
14 'And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.'
15 'Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.'
31 'The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?'
13 'For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.'
23 'O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.'
9 'And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. '
14 'Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.'
11 'For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. '
13 'And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.'
Ba'al worship AND the prophets caused the people to err.
14 'I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. '
'And they strengthen the hands of the evil ones. so that no one turns back from his evil.'
16 'Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.'
Don't listen to false prophets.
17 'They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. '
21 'I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.'
25 'I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.'
31 'Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. '
32 'Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. '
36 'And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. '
8 'Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.'
Doesn't sound like they took the news very well.
11 'Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.'
Sounds like today. They put you to death if you tell them they are in error.
9 'Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:'
Don't listen to the people speaking against the word of YHWH.
10 'For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.'
Don't listen to the false prophets.
14 'Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.'
Don't listen to the false prophets.
15 'For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.'
Don't listen to the false prophets.
16 'Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you. '
Don't listen to the false prophets.
8 'For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.'
9 'For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.'
24 'Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. '
4 'Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.'
They want to kill the messenger.
This is just like today.
They weren't seeking the welfare of the people but rather to go ahead to wage war.
4 'So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.'
7 'So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.'
15 'Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying,'
16 'As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.'
3 'Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!'
6 'They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.'
8 'Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.'
10 'Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:'
8 'In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.' (KJV)
9 'Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.' (KJV)
18 'Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.'
YHWH has to tell the princes not to oppress the people.
3 'Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.'
4 'Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.'
5 'Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.'
8 'O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.'
3 'They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.'
10 'For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.'
This entire chapter is pertinent to this theme.
The chapter also addresses the government and 'HIS people' differently.
9 'Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.'
12 'For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.'
9 'Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:'
'Execute true right-ruling, show kindness and compassion everyone to his brother.'
10 'And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.'
'Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the stranger or the poor. And do not plot evil in your hearts against one another.'
11 'But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.'
12 'Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.'
13 'Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:'
7 'Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?'
2 'The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,'
3 'Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.'
12 'He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.' (KJV)
6 'We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.'
8 'It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.'
9 'It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.'
12 'There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.'
2 'All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.'
4 'The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.'
4 'Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.'
7 'When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.'
25 'There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.'
26 'Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.'
34 'Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.'
6 'Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.'
7 'Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'
8 'For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.'
9 'And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.'
13 'Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.'
43 'But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:'
44 'And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.'
45 'For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.'
56 'Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?'
57 'Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?'
13 'No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.'
15 'And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.'
19 'And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.'
20 'For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.'
21 'But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.'
7 'The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.'
29 'For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.'
30 'Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.'
11 'For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.'Isaiah 45:23
9 'But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.'
21 'For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.'
10 'And ye are complete in him,which is the head of all principality and power:'
1 'This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.'
2 'For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,'
3 'Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,'
4 'Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;'
5 'Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.'
6 'For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,'
7 'Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.'
1 'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.'
19 'And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. '