The significance of this passage is related to the meaning of Jehoshaphat’s name which means YHWH judges. Verse 5-7 describe the appointment of judges in each city of Judah. The judges should remember that they should not take bribes because they were YHWH’s men, and God does not take bribes. Verses 8-11 describes the creation of a high court in Jerusalem for hard cases. The judges there are told to warn plaintiffs – what about? The parallels suggest the judges are to warn them against trying to influence the impartiality of the court.
A. (5) And He set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,
B .(6) And said to the judges,
C. i.. Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
ii.. (7) Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you;
i’. take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
A’. (8) Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem.
B’. (9) And he charged them, saying,
C’. i. Thus shall ye do
ii. in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
i’. (10) And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass.
11. And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously (take courage and do) , and the LORD shall be with the good.