Old Testament

The Pentateuch

What was life like for Israelites now?

They were semi-nomadic, meaning that they camped for a while, then moved on. As they grew accustomed to their new lifestyle, disagreements between people popped up here and there. At first, Moses mediated the disagreements himself, but thanks to a suggestion from his father-in-law, he appointed able men from among the Israelites to act as judges. There were two major benefits of this plan. First, Moses did not have to assume the tremendous, tiring responsibility of mediating disagreements for all of those people. Second, by teaching the Israelites God’s statutes and instructions and by giving them say-so in their daily affairs, Moses helped the Israelites develop a personal, vested interest in the welfare of the community.


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