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When Moses goes up the mountain to meet the Lord he is instructed to bring along seventy elders.

Exodus 24:1 (KJV)

1 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

Again in Numbers 11 when the Israelites complain about meat Moses is instructed to select seventy elders to assist him

Numbers 11:16 (KJV)

16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

Are these two bodies of seventy elders different or the same?

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  1. Exodus 24 does not tell us how these 70 were selected.
  2. Numbers tells us that they were already selected and known as leaders and officials among the peoples
  3. In exodus 18 there is a mention of leaders and officials being chosen to help Moses resolve disputes among people 4.I believe these are the same 70 people
  4. The Israelites had a council/court of 70 elders when they came into Cannan to execute the judicial word.
  5. I believe the Sanhedrin also has 70 elders.

Exodus 24:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”

Numbers 11:16 The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.

Exodus 18:21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” 24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

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