The rudimentary form of government which prevailed amongst the Hebrews in primitive times grew out of family life. As the father is head of the household, so the chiefs of the principal families ruled the clan and the tribe, their authority being ill-defined, and, like that of an Arab sheik, depending on the consent of the governed. In our earliest documents the 'elders of Israel' are the men of position and influence, who represent the community in both religious and civil affairs (Ex 3:16,18; 12:11; 17:5 f., Ex 18:12; 19:7; Nu 11:16; De 5:23; 27:1; 31:28): the 'elders' of Ex 24:1 are the 'nobles' of Ex 24:11. Josephus sums up correctly when he makes Moses declare: 'Aristocracy
"Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt.
They will listen to what you say. Then you, along with the elders of Israel, must go to the king of Egypt and say to him: The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go on a three-day trip into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.
Here is how you must eat it: dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord's Passover.
The Lord answered Moses, "Go on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Take the rod you struck the Nile with in your hand and go.
Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses' father-in-law in God's presence.
After Moses came back, He summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him.
Then He said to Moses, "Go up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel's elders, and bow in worship at a distance.
God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
The Lord answered Moses, "Bring Me 70 men from Israel known to you as elders and officers of the people. Take them to the tent of meeting and have them stand there with you.
So the Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "This horde will devour everything around us like an ox eats up the green plants in the field." Since Balak son of Zippor was Moab's king at that time,
All of you approached me with your tribal leaders and elders when you heard the voice from the darkness and while the mountain was blazing with fire.
"Appoint judges and officials for your tribes in all your towns the Lord your God is giving you. They are to judge the people with righteous judgment.
the elders of his city must send [for him], take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood and he will die.
your elders and judges must come out and measure [the distance] from the victim to the nearby cities.
the young woman's father and mother will take the evidence of her virginity and bring [it] to the city elders at the gate.
But if the man doesn't want to marry his sister-in-law, she must go to the elders at the [city] gate and say, 'My brother-in-law refuses to preserve his brother's name in Israel. He isn't willing to perform the duty of a brother-in-law for me.'
Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, "Keep every command I am giving you today.
Assemble all your tribal elders and officers before me, so that I may speak these words directly to them and call heaven and earth as witnesses against them.
So our elders and all the inhabitants of our land told us, 'Take provisions with you for the journey; go and meet them and say, "We are your servants. Please make a treaty with us." '
He captured a youth from the men of Succoth and interrogated him. The youth wrote down for him the [names of the] 77 princes and elders of Succoth.
Then Boaz took 10 men of the city's elders and said, "Sit here." And they sat down.
Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses today that I am buying from Naomi everything that belonged to Elimelech, Chilion, and Mahlon.
When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by the Philistines? Let's bring the ark of the Lord's covenant from Shiloh. Then it will go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies."
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah.
Then we'll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles."
Saul said, "I have sinned. Please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Come back with me so I can bow and worship the Lord your God."
At that time Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, all the tribal heads and the ancestral leaders of the Israelites before him at Jerusalem in order to bring the ark of the Lord's covenant from Zion, the city of David.
Then the king of Israel called for all the elders of the land and said, "Think it over and you will see that this one is only looking for trouble, for he demanded my wives, my children, my silver, and my gold, and I didn't turn him down."
Since Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab's sons, saying:
So the king sent [messengers], and they gathered to him all the elders of Jerusalem and Judah.
So we questioned the elders and asked, "Who gave you the order to rebuild this temple and finish this structure?"
Leave the construction of this house of God alone. Let the governor and elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its [original] site.
Whoever did not come within three days would forfeit all his possessions, according to the decision of the leaders and elders, and would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles.
Let our leaders represent the entire assembly. Then let all those in our towns who have married foreign women come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each town, in order to avert the fierce anger of our God concerning this matter."
binding his officials at will and instructing his elders.
Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders.
Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among the elders of the land.
Righteousness and faithfulness will be a belt around His waist.
This is the text of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exiles, the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon.
In the sixth year, in the sixth [month], on the fifth [day] of the month, I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting in front of me, and there the hand of the Lord God came down on me.
Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.
In the seventh year, in the fifth [month], on the tenth [day] of the month, some of Israel's elders came to consult the Lord, and they sat down in front of me.
The elders of Gebal and its wise men were within you, repairing your leaks. All the ships of the sea and their sailors came to you to barter for your goods.
Announce a sacred fast; proclaim an assembly! Gather the elders and all the residents of the land at the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.
Gather the people; sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his bedroom, and the bride her honeymoon chamber.