Abstracts

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

J. Friend, "Do not testify according to the majority", BM 26 (1981), 129-136 (Heb.). - After surveying the gamut of Jewish exegesis of Ex. 23:2, the author suggests that the consonants rb be vocalised rob ("majority") and that the pause be shifted to the next word. The three parallel sections of the verse would then form a progression: "Do not go after the numerous to do evil, do not incline to testify according to the majority, and do not decide according to the numerous.". The warning to preserve justice and truth is thus issued to (potential) wrongdoers, witnesses and judges, in accord with the context of general admonition in which the precept is found. (B.S.J.)

M. Lahav, "Jehoshaphat's Judicial Reform", in Yaacov Gil Jubilee volume, ed. Y. Hocherman et al (Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 1979), 141-148. - The author discusses the judicial reforms instituted by Jehoshaphat as described in 2 Chron. 19:4-11: the appointment of local judges, the establishment of a centralized court system with a High Court and the demand for absolute justice. Analysis of biblical material and an Egyptian parallel leads to the conclusion that this reform is the first of its type in ancient Israel which may be deemed historically factual. Accounts of earlier judicial measures taken by David and Moses are not historically trustworthy; they are rather literary reflections of the idea of the king as a wise judge. (B.S.J.)

E. T. Mullen, "The 'Minor Judges': Some Literary and Historical Considerations", CBQ 44 (1982), 185-201. - For the deuteronomistic writers of Judges, the Shofet was designated by Yahweh to deliver his people. The title "Judge" was chosen on theological grounds to act as an indictment of Israel's unfaithfulness to the deuteronomic law and as testimony to Yahweh's mercy. The different literary presentation of the "major" and "minor" judges (Judg. 10:1-5; 12:7-15) indicates a difference in literary purpose rather than office. There is no evidence to indicate any judicial activity on the part of these figures, with the possible exception of Deborah (Judg. 4:4). The story of Jephthah indicates that the offices of "deliverer" and "judge" were identical. (K.W.W.)

 

 

 

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