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Deuteronomy 1:13-17

Context
1:13 Select wise and practical 1  men, those known among your tribes, whom I may appoint as your leaders.” 1:14 You replied to me that what I had said to you was good. 1:15 So I chose 2  as your tribal leaders wise and well-known men, placing them over you as administrators of groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, and also as other tribal officials. 1:16 I furthermore admonished your judges at that time that they 3  should pay attention to issues among your fellow citizens 4  and judge fairly, 5  whether between one citizen and another 6  or a citizen and a resident foreigner. 7  1:17 They 8  must not discriminate in judgment, but hear the lowly 9  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.

1 tn The Hebrew verb נְבֹנִים (nÿvonim, from בִּין [bin]) is a Niphal referring to skill or intelligence (see T. Fretheim, NIDOTTE 1:652-53).

2 tn Or “selected”; Heb “took.”

3 tn Or “you.” A number of English versions treat the remainder of this verse and v. 17 as direct discourse rather than indirect discourse (cf. KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

4 tn Heb “brothers.” The term “brothers” could, in English, be understood to refer to siblings, so “fellow citizens” has been used in the translation.

5 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).

6 tn Heb “between a man and his brother.”

7 tn Heb “his stranger” or “his sojourner”; NAB, NIV “an alien”; NRSV “resident alien.” The Hebrew word גֵּר (ger) commonly means “foreigner.”

8 tn Heb “you,” and throughout the verse (cf. NASB, NRSV).

9 tn Heb “the small,” but referring to social status, not physical stature.



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