Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tens and Hundreds (4) - Role of the Hundred

The Hundred derives its functions and authority from the Ten. Hundreds can only act, if the leaders of a Ten gives permission. The Hundred can be used for four main purposes.

1. Defence – sometimes several Tens will come together to deal with an external threat to their society.

  • If an enemy army threatens to invade the country, the first Ten confronted would be easily overcome, if they resisted on their own.

  • The leaders of the first Ten to see the coming threat would send messages to other Tens asking for help (Judges 6:35).

  • Men from a number of Tens might come together in response to the call and form a Hundred to resist the invader. The members of each Ten would serve together. The leaders of the various Tens would appoint several officers to lead the Hundred (Judges 11:5).

  • Participation in the Hundred would be voluntary. The Hundred would be held together by the relationships between the leaders of the Tens and their willingness to work together for a common cause.

  • If a person chosen as leader of the Hundred proved to be foolish, unwise, harsh or arrogant, a number of Tens might withdraw their support and re-form as a Fifty.

  • If the enemy was particularly strong, several Hundreds might join together voluntarily to for a Thousand. Leaderships would rise in the same way as for the Hundreds.

  • In a really serious situation, all the Thousand in the nation might come together to repel a serious enemy. The leaders of the thousand would choose a military commander to lead them.

  • Authority emerges as groups of people submitting to trusted leaders, not through leaders seizing power and demanding obedience.

2. Welfare – Financial support might flow from one Ten to another.
  • Tens that are more wealthy might agree to help another Ten that is in financial trouble.

  • Good relationships between leaders would be important for making people aware of needs and ensuring help went to the right place.

3. Justice – The relationships between the Tens that made up a Hundred will be important for resolving issues of justice.
  • If someone from outside a Ten steals from someone within in it, the other Tens within their Hundred will take up the cause and assist with tracking down the thief. The leaders of the Hundred will ensure that restitution is made to foster the unity of their community.

4. Marriage – A young man will generally need to go outside his Ten to find a wife. He will have a better chance of finding a wife in one of the neighbouring Hundreds.
  • The leaders of the respective Tens will be able to advise the leaders of the other about the character of the prospective marriage partner.

  • The leadership of the two tens will have good relationships with each other. They will be able to organise the transfer of the dowry without risk of loss for either party.

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