17:8 For thee - He speaks to the inferior magistrates, who were erected in several cities. If thou hast not skill to determine, between blood and blood - That is, in capital causes. Between plea and plea - In civil causes, about words or estates. Between stroke and stroke - In criminal causes, concerning blows, or wounds inflicted by one man upon another. Matters of controversy - That is, such things being doubtful, and the magistrates divided in their opinions about it. Chuse - Namely to set up his tabernacle, or temple there; because there was the abode, both of their sanhedrim, which was constituted of priests and civil magistrates, and of the high - priests, who were to consult God by Urim, in matters which could not be decided otherwise.
17:8-13 Courts of judgment were to be set up in every city. Though their judgment had not the Divine authority of an oracle, it was the judgment of wise, prudent, experienced men, and had the advantage of a Divine promise.