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Did HaShem Tell Moses to Institute Teachers Over Israel?

When formulating an opinion on this, here are a few proof-texts to consider. Any other texts from the Tanach, the Greek Testament, or other texts that offer an explanation or clarification on the development of the Oral Law, the teaching leadership of Israel, in all time periods, including modern, are welcome from commenters. :

Exodus 3:15-16

“G-d said to further to Moses…’Go and gather the elders of Israel and say to them….'”

Exodus 18:24

24:”Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law, and did everything that he had said. 25: Moses chose men of accomplishment from among all Israel and appointed them heads of the people, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens. 26: They judged the people at all times; the difficult thing they would bring to Moses and the minor thing they themselves would judge.”

Exodus 24:1

“To Moses He said, ‘Go up to HaShem, you, Aaron, Nadav and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall prostrate yourselves from a distance.'”

Exodus 24:9

“Moses, Aaron, Nadav and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel ascended. They saw the G-d of Israel, and under His feet was the likeness of sapphire brickwork; and it was the essence of the heaven in purity. Against the great men of the Children of Israel, He did not stretch out His hand — they gazed at G-d, yet they ate and drank.”

Numbers 11:16

“HaShem said to Moses, ‘Gather to Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and its officers; take them to the Tent of Meeting and have them stand there with you. 17: I will descend and speak with you there, and I will increase some of the spirit that is upon you and place it up on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, and you shall not bear alone.'”

Deuteronomy 16:18

“Judges and Officers shall you appoint in all your cities — which HaShem your God, gives you – for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.”

In my opinion, these cited verses demonstrate clearly that God did indeed tell Moses to institute teachers over the people. Furthermore, it is worth noting that Israelite jurisprudence differed from American jurisprudence in that the judges held authority over all areas of Israelite life; religious, moral, legal and personal. These areas of life are not compartmentalized so neatly in the Hebrew worldview, as in Western thinking.


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