Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tens and Hundreds (3) - Role of the Ten

The Ten has several important functions.

1. Defence – the Ten share responsibility for protecting their community.

  • They will watch out for each other and check on intruders. If someone dodgy comes close to any of their homes, some of the Ten will check them out.

  • If someone attacks any member of the Ten, the others will come to their assistance.

  • If a large army comes against the wider society, the men in the Ten will join together with other Tens to defend their society.

Modern people tend to look to their government for protection from evil. This is a false hope. Governments continually fail to protect their people from home. Protection does not come from the top. Sound defence and protection must begin at the lowest level of society in the Ten.

2. Justice – most legal disputes will be resolved within the Ten.
  • If one member of the Ten steals from another member, the men of the Ten will sort out the problem. They will ensure that the thief makes proper restitution. The thief will accept the authority of the Ten, because he would lose his protection, if he rejected it.

  • If a member of the Ten is accused of stealing by someone from the wider community, the Ten will act in his defence. If the case is proven, they will ensure that the thief makes restitution to protect the good name of the Ten.

  • If the thief cannot afford to make made restitution, the Ten will make restitution on the thief’s behalf. They will make arrangements for the thief to repay what they have lent over time. They will also keep an eye on the thief to ensure that he does not steal again. If he persists in stealing, he might lose his place in the Ten and have to leave the community. No other Ten would want him, so he might end up as an outlaw. The threat of this sanction should be enough to make most thieves shape up and change their behaviour.

  • If someone from outside the Ten steals from someone within in it, the Ten will take up the cause on their behalf. They will assist with tracking down the thief and ensuring that restitution is made.

  • Judges will learn their role and prove their credibility in their Ten.

3. Welfare – the Ten will provide support for members who fall into poverty.
  • A member of the Ten would make an interest free loan to another member of the Ten who is in financial trouble (Deut 23:19-20).

  • If a person is forced to sell their land, a senior member of the Ten will buy their land and hold it in trust until they next Jubilee.

    The land must not be sold permanently... you must provide for the redemption of the land. If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold (Lev 25:24,25).
  • If a person commits a crime and cannot afford to pay the required restitution, a member of the Ten will pay on his behalf. The criminal will be bonded to work for the member of the Ten until the debt has been repaid (Ex 22:3).

  • Some members of the Ten may provide employment for others who have a need.

  • The leaders of the Ten will teach financial management to those who are struggling.

4. Education – the Ten will assist families to educate their children.
  • Adults will pass their skills and knowledge on to all the children and young people in the Ten.

Participation in a Ten is voluntary for adults. If they do not like their Ten, they could move and join another. Children will nothave not choice.

Libertarians often assume that defence, education, welfare and justice will be provided by entrepreneurial businesses or insurance companies. Businesses can provide a service to support local communities, but if business is the only source of justice and defence, there is nothing to stop businesses from dominating people and morphing into a pseudo state. In Moses day, justice, defence, education and welfare were mostly managed in the local community by the Ten. Tens were the important and essential foundation for a just and caring society.

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