Sense:to govern <=> judge
v. — to govern, understood in terms of the ruler’s role of judging his people.
No such passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged (שׁפט) Israel, even during all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah; …
2 Ki 23:22 (NRSV)
It has been recognized for some time in biblical scholarship that “judge” may not be the best way to refer to those leaders in Israel between the conquest and beginning of the monarchy because it is not explicitly stated that many of them judged in any kind of legal sense. In fact, the New Jewish Publication Society Version (NJPS) often translates occurrences of words related to שׁפטas “chieftains” and “rule,” for nominal and verbal uses, respectively: “No the passover sacrifice had not been offered in that manner in the days of the chieftains who ruled Israel …” 2 Kings 23:22. The one difficulty is in cases of leaders like Deborah of whom it is said that the people go to her “for judgment” (Judges 4:5). The Bible Sense Lexicon helps to make the meaning of שׁפטclear in these cases by maintaining the connection between “judge” and “govern” in the label and definition for the sense. Thus, when readers come across texts where translations like the NJPS and NRSV are split, they will be able to have some insight into why this occurs.
Learn more about the Bible Sense Lexicon.