Levites and Official Duties (24 December, 2014, 2 Tevet, 5775)
Concerning Levites and official appointments in administration,
in principle Cohens and Levites are not much different from any other group.
Different Tasks. Each Tribe has its own peculiar mission to fulfill
Druids and Israel.
A Comparison of the Sages of Judah with those of the West
Appointees were from all of the Tribes.
21 You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.
It was preferred that local judges be appointed from those they were to administer.
Cohens and Levites were spread throughout all of the Tribes. They were supported, at least partly, by the community. In exchange they had an obligation to teach, direct, oversee, and help administer members of their neighborhood.
Appointment however was by merit. It was expected of the Levites that they would maintain themselves at a moral level that would benefit the community.
The Sanhedrin was the Chief Court and the prototype for all other administrative bodies. An effort was to be made that at least some of members of the Sanhedrin be Cohens. So too, only Cohens, Levites, and Israelites of high social status were allowed to judge capital cases (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4).
In explanation of this principle the verse Deuteronomy 17:9 was quoted:
9 where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case.
The Commentary Daat Mikra (Yehudah Kiel on Sefer Yehoshua, Foreword) in examining the distribution of Levitical settlements suggested that Levites also performed garrison and administrative duties in border areas and newly conquered regions.
Levi. The Companion of God and his Tribe
The Levites were exempt from General Military Service. On the other hand they did perform some police tasks.
Levi the Copper.
Levites as Policemen?