Judgment rendered by one(s) in authority. (2 Sam. 8:15; 1 Ki. 3:16-28; 10:9; 2 Ki. 25:6; 2 Chron. 19:8-10) Jehovah God, as Judge, Statute-giver and King (Isa. 33:22) gave to the nation of Israel an extensive code of laws. His decisions on matters of law furnished guidelines for deciding matters involving individuals and the nation’s internal and external affairs.—See COURT, JUDICIAL; LAW; LEGAL CASE.
Many of these judicial decisions were given to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. (Neh. 9:13) But at times certain situations called for a special judicial decision. For example, when Manassite Zelophehad was survived by daughters only, a question arose as to whether they should receive an inheritance. Jehovah then rendered a decision that covered the case and afterward served as a statute for handling like situations. (Num. 27:1-11; 36:1-12; see also Leviticus 24:10-16.) Similarly, a judicial decision made by David about the distribution of spoils of war set a legal precedent.—1 Sam. 30:23-25.
By designating certain common but extremely harmful acts as capital offenses, the divinely given judicial decisions stood out as unique among the laws of contemporary nations. Surrounding peoples engaged in bestiality, sodomy, incest and other degraded practices that were injurious to mental, physical and spiritual well-being. (Lev. 18:6-30; 20:10-23) Therefore, Jehovah’s judicial decisions, if obeyed, would have elevated the nation of Israel. With Jehovah’s blessing, Israel’s strict adherence to his commands would have resulted in observable benefits, causing other nations to say: “This great nation is undoubtedly a wise and understanding people.” (Deut. 4:4-6) Since these were really a blessing to Israel (Lev. 25:18, 19; Deut. 4:1; 7:12-15; 30:16), it is not surprising that the psalmist prayed that he might be taught Jehovah’s judicial decisions. (Ps. 119:108) He so much appreciated them that he praised Jehovah for his judicial decisions seven times a day (Ps. 119:164), even getting up at midnight to thank God for them.—Ps. 119:62.
However, although good, righteous and holy, the judicial decisions of the Law merely served as a tutor leading to Christ and were replaced by the new covenant. (Rom. 7:12; Gal. 3:24; Heb. 8:7-13) So it is to be expected that obedience to the commands or judicial decisions associated with the new covenant would result in far grander blessings than those natural Israel experienced under the Law.—John 13:34, 35; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Pet. 1:14, 15, 22, 23; 2:9, 10; 1 John 5:3.