And the LORD said unto Moses,
Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you.
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George Leo Haydock
Seventy men. This was the first institution of the council or senate, called the Sanhedrim, consisting of seventy, or seventy-two senators or counselors. (Challoner)
Calmet calls this in question. (Dissert. on the Police) Moses chose these senators from among the officers, whom he had before set over the people, (Exodus xviii.) or from those who had superintended their affairs in Egypt, according to the Rabbins, (Exodus iii. 14,) who say that the traditions explaining the law were entrusted to them. (Jar chi)
Ancients; a title of authority in the East. See Genesis l. 7. It was not so necessary that they should be far advanced in year, as that they should be men of prudence and of consummate virtue. These qualifications received a great increase, when they were filled with the spirit of God. (Calmet)
They were thus authorized to decide controversies peremptorily, and to consult God, like Moses, being endued also with a prophetic spirit. (Menochius)