Deuteronomy 1:9-17 – Other Leaders


Deuteronomy 1:9-17


As the people multiplied, Moses was no longer able to settle all disputes. So Moses set up a system of judges who were to judge the people with equity and justice.


God multiplied the Israelites, and they became like the stars of heaven in number. Moses was no longer able to provide resolution to all the issues that the Israelites faced. As a result, he appointed judges. These judges were appointed from the leaders of tribes, and sub-tribal groups. They already had leadership experience and were “wise and knowing” men. 

Still, the judges’ prior experience of leadership was not sufficient for Moses to simply turn them loose. Instead, Moses charged them to specifically avoid corruption.  The judges were to decide cases righteously, both between Israelites, and between foreigners and Israelites (Deuteronomy 1:16). The judges were to show no partiality and to treat the powerful and the lowly equitably. 

If any case was too difficult for the judges, they should still bring it to Moses, who would help decide a righteous and fair outcome. The insistence that judges, officers, and all religious and civil leaders should abstain from corruption is a repeated feature of Deuteronomy.