1:16 I furthermore admonished your judges at that time that they 1 should pay attention to issues among your fellow citizens 2 and judge fairly, 3 whether between one citizen and another 4 or a citizen and a resident foreigner. 5 1:17 They 6 must not discriminate in judgment, but hear the lowly 7 and the great alike. Nor should they be intimidated by human beings, for judgment belongs to God. If the matter being adjudicated is too difficult for them, they should bring it before me for a hearing.
17:8 If a matter is too difficult for you to judge – bloodshed, 8 legal claim, 9 or assault 10 – matters of controversy in your villages 11 – you must leave there and go up to the place the Lord your God chooses. 12
2 tn Heb “brothers.” The term “brothers” could, in English, be understood to refer to siblings, so “fellow citizens” has been used in the translation.
3 tn The Hebrew word צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “fairly”) carries the basic idea of conformity to a norm of expected behavior or character, one established by God himself. Fair judgment adheres strictly to that norm or standard (see D. Reimer, NIDOTTE 3:750).
4 tn Heb “between a man and his brother.”
5 tn Heb “his stranger” or “his sojourner”; NAB, NIV “an alien”; NRSV “resident alien.” The Hebrew word גֵּר (ger) commonly means “foreigner.”
6 tn Heb “you,” and throughout the verse (cf. NASB, NRSV).
7 tn Heb “the small,” but referring to social status, not physical stature.
8 tn Heb “between blood and blood.”
9 tn Heb “between claim and claim.”
10 tn Heb “between blow and blow.”
11 tn Heb “gates.”
12 tc Several Greek recensions add “to place his name there,” thus completing the usual formula to describe the central sanctuary (cf. Deut 12:5, 11, 14, 18; 16:6). However, the context suggests that the local Levitical towns, and not the central sanctuary, are in mind.