Jump to: ISBEWebster'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekHebrewLibrarySubtopicsTermsResources
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) One who makes or enacts a law or system of laws; a legislator.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

lo'-giv-er (mechoqeq; nomothetes): There are two words, one Hebrew and one Greek, which are translated "lawgiver." The former occurs 7 times in the Old Testament, and in the King James Version in every case except Judges 5:14 is thus translated. In the Revised Version (British and American) it bears the translation "lawgiver" but twice (Deuteronomy 33:21 Isaiah 33:22), though in the other passages (Genesis 49:10 Numbers 21:18 Judges 5:14 Psalm 60:7; Psalm 108:8) this meaning is retained in the margin. The Greek word occurs in the New Testament but once (James 4:12), where it has a meaning that is almost the exact equivalent of the Hebrew word in Isaiah 33:22. In both passages God is declared to be the "lawgiver," and in the New Testament passage is so called because He has the power to rule and judge, to save and destroy. Man is denied the authority to judge because he is not the lawgiver. God is the lawgiver, and therefore possesses the right to pronounce judgment (compare Isaiah, supra). The word, however, implies more than mere legislative function; it also connotes the idea of ruling. Isaiah makes this very plain, since he adds to the statement that God is our judge and lawgiver the further declaration that He is also king. This meaning adheres in the very history of the word. It is based upon the monarchical conception in which the legislative, judicial and administrative functions are all vested in one person. In James the two terms "lawgiver and judge" express the idea of God's absolute sovereignty. The verb nomothetein occurs in Hebrews 7:11; Hebrews 8:6, but it does not extend beyond the meaning "to enact laws."

The Hebrew word is restricted to poetic passages, and except in Isaiah 33:22 is applied to a tribal or kingly ruler. Moses is pre-eminently the lawgiver in Jewish and Christian circles, but it should be noted that in the Scriptures of neither is he given this title. The primary meaning of the verb from which mechoqeq is derived is "to cut," "to carve," and a derived meaning is "to ordain." The meaning of the participle mechoqeq is based upon this last. It means

(1) the symbol which expresses the lawmaker's authority, that is, the commander's staff; and

(2) the person who possesses the authority (Deuteronomy 33:21).

It has the first of these meanings in Numbers 21:18 Psalm 60:7; Psalm 108:8, and probably in Genesis 49:10, though here it may have the second meaning. The parallelism, however, seems to require an impersonal object to correspond to scepter, and so the reading of the text (The Revised Version) is to be preferred to that of the margin (Skinner, at the place). In Deuteronomy 33:21 Judges 5:14 Isaiah 33:22, it means the person who wielded the symbol of authority, that is the prescriber of laws. In a primitive community this would be a military commander. In Genesis 49:10 the "ruler's staff" is the symbol of kingly authority (Driver), and this verse consequently implies the supremacy of Judah which came in with the Davidic kingdom. This word contains no reference to the Messiah. In Numbers 21:18 there is an allusion to the custom of formally and symbolically opening fountains under the superintendence and at the instruction of the leader of the tribe. Such a custom seems to have been in vogue till comparatively modern times. Gray cites Budde in the New World for March, 1895, and Muir's Mohamet and Islam, 343 f. In Judges 5:14 the word means "military commander," as the context shows. This is the meaning also in Deuteronomy 33:21, where it is affirmed that Gad obtained a position worthy of its warlike character. Targum, Vulgate, Peshitta, and some moderns have seen here a reference to the grave of Moses, but Nebo was in Reuben and not in Gad.

W. C. Morro

3550. nomothetes -- a lawgiver
... a lawgiver. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: nomothetes Phonetic
Spelling: (nom-oth-et'-ace) Short Definition: a law-giver, legislator Definition ...
// - 6k

3475. Mouses -- Moses, a leader of Isr.
... Moses. Or Moses (mo-sace'), or Mouses (mo-oo-sace') of Hebrew origin; (Mosheh) Moseus,
Moses, or Mouses (ie Mosheh), the Hebrew lawgiver -- Moses. ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
4872. Mosheh -- a great Isr. leader, prophet and lawgiver
... 4871, 4872. Mosheh. 4873 . a great Isr. leader, prophet and lawgiver.
Transliteration: Mosheh Phonetic Spelling: (mo-sheh') Short Definition: Moses. ...
/hebrew/4872.htm - 6k

4873. Mosheh -- a great Isr. leader, prophet and lawgiver
... 4872, 4873. Mosheh. 4874 . a great Isr. leader, prophet and lawgiver.
Transliteration: Mosheh Phonetic Spelling: (mo-sheh') Short Definition: Moses. ...
/hebrew/4873.htm - 6k

2710. chaqaq -- to cut in, inscribe, decree
... to cut in, inscribe, decree NASB Word Usage carve (1), commanders (2), decree (1),
decreed (1), enact (1), inscribe (2), inscribed (3), lawgiver (1), marked (1 ...
/hebrew/2710.htm - 6k


Judge, Lawgiver, King
... JUDGE, LAWGIVER, KING. 'For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our King; He will save us.'"Isaiah 33:22. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture h/judge lawgiver king.htm

On the Epistle to the Galatians the Abolition of the Ordinances of ...
... Mosaic Law No Proof of Another God. The Divine Lawgiver, the Creator Himself,
Was the Abrogator. The Apostle's Doctrine in the First ...
/.../tertullian/the five books against marcion/chapter ii on the epistle to.htm

Whether He who is under a Law May Act Beside the Letter of the Law ...
... judgment not on them, but according to them." But if anyone disregard the letter
of the law, saying that he observes the intention of the lawgiver, he seems to ...
// theologica/whether he who is under.htm

Whether the Precepts of the Decalogue are Dispensable?
... precepts admit of dispensation, when there occurs a particular case in which, if
the letter of the law be observed, the intention of the lawgiver is frustrated ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the precepts of the 4.htm

Whether we Should Always Judge According to the Written Law?
... Objection 3: Further, a law is written in order that the lawgiver's intention
may be made clear. But it happens sometimes that even ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether we should always judge.htm

Whether the Mode of virtue Falls under the Precept of the Law?
... Objection 2: Further, that which belongs to the intention of the lawgiver
comes chiefly under the precept. But the intention of ...
/...// theologica/whether the mode of virtue.htm

The Preface to the Commandments
... speaking to them. Observe: (1) The lawgiver. God spake.' There are two things
requisite in a lawgiver. [1] Wisdom. Laws are founded ...
// ten commandments/1 3 the preface to the.htm

The Antiquity of Moses Proved by Greek Writers.
... I will begin, then, with our first prophet and lawgiver, Moses; first explaining
the times in which he lived, on authorities which among you are worthy of all ...
/.../justins hortatory address to the greeks/chapter ix the antiquity of moses.htm

Through the Red Sea
... The Lawgiver had passed from among them, and those that followed him with their
eyes saw that he was moving toward the sea, seemingly at the very limit of the ...
// yoke/chapter xlv through the red.htm

Christ Predicted by Moses.
... Moses then, who was the first of the prophets, spoke in these very words: "The sceptre
shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until ...
/.../justin/the first apology of justin/chapter xxxii christ predicted by moses.htm

Lawgiver (7 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) One who makes or enacts a law or system of laws;
a legislator. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. LAWGIVER. ...
/l/lawgiver.htm - 13k

Lawgiver's (1 Occurrence)
... Multi-Version Concordance Lawgiver's (1 Occurrence). Deuteronomy 33:21 He provided
the first part for himself, for there was the lawgiver's portion reserved. ...
/l/lawgiver's.htm - 6k

Sceptre (20 Occurrences)
... Another word, mechoqeq, literally, "prescribing" (person or thing), formerly translated
uniformly "lawgiver," is now generally taken, on the basis of ...
/s/sceptre.htm - 17k

Governor (78 Occurrences)
... There is consequently much confusion in the use of titles such as "deputy,"
"duke," "judge," "lawgiver," "overseer" "prince" "ruler" etc. ...
/g/governor.htm - 48k

... to the Essenes is his early work, Quod Omnis Probus Liber, "that every good man
is free." This treatise is intended for a Gentile audience-the "Lawgiver of the ...
/e/essenes.htm - 38k

Deuteronomy (1 Occurrence)
... Their great lawgiver stands before us, vigorous in his hoary age, stern in his
abhorrence of evil, earnest in his zeal for God, but mellowed in all relations ...
/d/deuteronomy.htm - 44k

Judgest (9 Occurrences)
... (ASV DBY WBS). James 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to
destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (KJV ASV DBY WBS). ...
/j/judgest.htm - 9k

Jonathan (109 Occurrences)
... The Rabbins changed this name into Manasseh "to screen the memory of the great lawgiver
from the stain of having so unworthy an apostate among his near ...
/j/jonathan.htm - 59k

Law-givers (2 Occurrences)
Law-givers. Lawgivers, Law-givers. Lawgiver's . Multi-Version Concordance ...
(BBE). Lawgivers, Law-givers. Lawgiver's . Reference Bible.
/l/law-givers.htm - 7k

What is the Moral argument for the existence of God? |

What is the meaning of the term “Shiloh”? Is it a Messianic prophecy? |

Why did God send Jesus? |

Lawgiver: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Lawgiver (7 Occurrences)

James 4:12
Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge another?

Genesis 49:10
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Numbers 21:18
The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah:

Deuteronomy 33:21
He provided the first part for himself, for there was the lawgiver's portion reserved. He came with the heads of the people. He executed the righteousness of Yahweh, His ordinances with Israel."

Psalms 60:7
Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;

Psalms 108:8
Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;

Isaiah 33:22
For Yahweh is our judge. Yahweh is our lawgiver. Yahweh is our king. He will save us.



Related Terms

Lawgiver's (1 Occurrence)

Sceptre (20 Occurrences)

Governor (78 Occurrences)


Deuteronomy (1 Occurrence)

Judgest (9 Occurrences)

Jonathan (109 Occurrences)

Law-givers (2 Occurrences)

Lawfully (2 Occurrences)

Lawgiving (1 Occurrence)

Law-giver (5 Occurrences)

Levite (43 Occurrences)

Leader's (1 Occurrence)

Gershom (16 Occurrences)

Tradition (13 Occurrences)


Turneth (249 Occurrences)

Reserved (28 Occurrences)

Rebuild (36 Occurrences)

Executed (39 Occurrences)

Digged (37 Occurrences)

Provideth (5 Occurrences)

Coney (2 Occurrences)

Commander's (3 Occurrences)

Africa (1 Occurrence)

Scepter (28 Occurrences)

Sin (782 Occurrences)

Provided (68 Occurrences)


Hollowed (2 Occurrences)

Real (26 Occurrences)

Gathering (71 Occurrences)


Manasseh (140 Occurrences)

Proverb (24 Occurrences)

Staffs (47 Occurrences)

Moses (9295 Occurrences)

Priest (500 Occurrences)

Chose (59 Occurrences)

Direction (128 Occurrences)

Year (4027 Occurrences)

Neighbor (123 Occurrences)

Shiloh (34 Occurrences)

Preaching (116 Occurrences)

Jubilee (25 Occurrences)

Ordinances (119 Occurrences)

Destroy (379 Occurrences)

Josiah (51 Occurrences)

Staves (50 Occurrences)

Judgments (146 Occurrences)

Judgement (68 Occurrences)

Decrees (131 Occurrences)

Assembled (186 Occurrences)

Leaders (167 Occurrences)

Law (670 Occurrences)

Sit (216 Occurrences)

Aside (416 Occurrences)

Carried (327 Occurrences)

Justice (212 Occurrences)

Portion (227 Occurrences)

Covered (325 Occurrences)

Prepared (246 Occurrences)

Fellow (166 Occurrences)

Sanctuary (250 Occurrences)

Joshua (211 Occurrences)

Nehelamite (4 Occurrences)

Numbers (136 Occurrences)

Samuel (129 Occurrences)

Psalms (44 Occurrences)

Heads (439 Occurrences)

Judge (297 Occurrences)

James (40 Occurrences)

Preacher (27 Occurrences)

Leviticus (1 Occurrence)

Criticism (1 Occurrence)

Tabeel (2 Occurrences)

Anem (1 Occurrence)

Top of Page
Top of Page