The SenateThe original Senate of Rome may have been more like the seventy men of Moses and Christ. They were established in 7
53 BC as approximately 100 elders of prominent families and survived the overthrow of the Tarquinian kings in 509 BC, the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC, the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, and even the barbarian rule of Rome from the 5th, through the 7th century but it did not remain the same.
The word Senate derived from the Latin word senex, which meant nothing more than "old man" and was merely an "assembly of elders" as the tribes of the Latins formed a viable community and nation. The family of Romans was considered a sovereign social unit called a gens or "clan". The eldest father of a clan was the patriarch, called a pater which is the Latin word for "father". The gens gathered in hearths and the leading patriarch of the gentes gathered in voluntary council to form a representative body for the gentium or nation. At that time the family was still sovereign but with the election of the first Tarquinian king or rex was vested with some sovereign power of the Pater Familias known as the Imperium.
Israel was warned in 1 Samuel 8 of the dangers of the same process of vesting rights and responsibility in others which God has designed to remain with everyman. Romulus chose 100 senators called the patres minorum gentium. Seven kings later many of them were executed by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus which spawned a civil war which ended the Tarquinian rule in 509 BC Rome. Lucius Junius Brutus and Publius Valerius Publicola chose 300 "Conscripti Patri" to hold the executive power which had been vested in the fathers of each family by nature and nature's God. They would eventually increase their numbers to 500 and act as an electoral college choosing new emperors.
The Senate was chosen from a pool of elders who acted as "magistrates" because of their power to hear disputes of law like an appeals court. That Roman Senate was usually composed of wealthy "old men" because it was unpaid position and eventually the Emperor appointed new senators for life but required that their net worth was equal to at least a million sesterces.
Over time the decrees of the Senate, called senatus consulta, evolved from what was only "advice" which held "no hold legal force" into a binding system of law (Lex, legis) which regulated the lives of the people. The power and authority of natural fathers was legally consolidated in the Pater Patriae and eventually the Patronus of Rome. These were the Fathers of the earth Jesus warned us not to pray to or call upon. He came to return every man to his family by restoring the rights of the elders or natural fathers of each family.
Do not be seduced into thinking that an elder is an office of authority or that you are to exercise authority over one another through that office whch should only be contained within the family. Christ clearly called out men to be the clergy of the kingdom as servants to the people which may be called the laity. Together they make a peculiar people.
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- a silver coin or, later, bronze coin of ancient Rome worth a quarter of a denarius, equal to 2½ asses: introduced in the 3rd century b.c.
- Leviticus 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.