1 occurrence in 1 dictionary

Reference: Law


1. That the 'law was given by Moses' (Joh 1:17) represents the unanimous belief both of the early Christians and of the Chosen Nation. He was their first as well as their greatest law-giver; and in this matter religious tradition is supported by all the historical probabilities of the case. The Exodus and the subsequent wanderings constitute the formative epoch of Israel's career: it was the period of combination and adjustment between the various tribes towards effecting a national unity. Such periods necessitate social experiments, for no society can hold together without some basis of permanent security; no nation could be welded together, least of all a nation in ancient times, without some strong sense of corporate responsibilities and corporate religion. It therefore naturally devolved upon Moses to establish a central authority for the administration of justice, which should be universally accessible and universally recognized. There was only one method by which any such universal recognition could be attained; and that was by placing the legal and judicial system upon the basis of an appeal to that religion, which had already been successful in rousing the twelve tribes to a sense of their unity, and which, moreover, was the one force which could and did effectually prevent the disintegration of the heterogeneous elements of which the nation was composed.

2. We see the beginning and character of these legislative functions in Ex 18:16, where Moses explains how 'the people come unto me to inquire of God: when they have a matter they come unto me; and I judge between a man and his neighbour, and make them know the statutes of God, and his laws (t

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