The Appointment of Leaders
9 At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”
14 You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”
15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials. 16 And I charged your judges at that time: Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien. 17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it. 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.
Deuteronomy 1:9-18 (NIV)