Originally posted by whodey
“And you shall discern from among the entire people men of accomplishment, God-fearing people, men of truth, people who despise money and you shall appoint them leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens. so they shall judge the people at all times.” (Exodus 18:21)
Just off the top of my head I would have to say...Yes.
And going a bit deeper into my head, I would have to say it would not be a simple matter to put such a governing body into place... it couldn't happen overnight. For one thing, finding and identifying such men would be highly problematic unless you already had men who already exhibit the same virtues and attributes they were looking for in leaders. But I believe that's a given, so other than a nagging feeling to say it I'm not entirely sure why it needed to be said... intuition maybe? pfttt... I don't know.
Going in deeper still... Wo! I can't believe I actually saved all of this junk from when I was an atheist/agnostic! There's a lot of cool looking stuff in here! And over here, here is something I completely forgot about... but I'm too easily distracted, so I'll just have to save this for some other message... or thread...
Anyway... it would take more than a few friends who could vouch for you as a leader, but in an active and vibrant community where people are constantly having to deal with one another I think finding enough such honorable men shouldn't be too difficult. With everyone living so close together and getting into each others business you would be hard pressed to find shut-ins or lonely hermits... in the sort of group Moses had to deal with secrets would be difficult to keep. And reputations would have already been established and recognized because it was a very tightly knit community. So realistically, I think the sort of governing groups you described (compared to nowadays) could have been put together in a relatively short amount of time. And as long as there was some reliable degree of accountability I don't believe it would have taken long to winnow out the occasional scoundrel... in any new enterprise a few bad apples almost always manage to slip pass security measures. So if I had to guess (and I do) I would say it would have only taken a few weeks to get something like this established and working. Moses needed a breather, and the people needed to have way of taking care of problems and grievances, so I think everyone was pretty much motivated into making this happen.
This is off topic, but I'm reminded of something else I've wondered about... I think any group of people living from one generation to the next under unusually harsh conditions (such as slavery) would necessarily have to become physically and mentally stronger. Jacobs brood was already a hardy group of people before arriving in Egypt, but can you imagine the sort of natural selection of genetic information that would have taken place during a few hundred years of harsh back breaking work and mistreatment? The down side of slavery is obvious so I don't need to go into that, but I'm fairly certain the end result (after a few hundred years) would be a much hardier group of people coming out of Egypt than before going in.