This was the party of the elders, reasonable men experienced and capable in state affairs, who, without sharing any of those conflicting opinions, were able to take a detached view of what was going on at the staff at headquarters and to consider means of escape from this muddle, indecision, intricacy, and weakness.
Here they had their own lands, and some form of local government by elders, and appear to have been prosperous and contented; probably the only demand made on them by the Babylonian government was the payment of taxes.
Next follows (viii.-xi.) a detailed description, in the form of a vision, of the sin of Jerusalem: within the temple-area elders and others are worshipping beastforms, Tammuz and the sun (probably actual cults of the time); men approach to defile the temple and slay the inhabitants of the city (ix.).
The tribe or mal (" mountain") is often composed of several clans (phis-i, phdrea)or baryaks (literally "standards") each under a chief or baryaktar (standard-bearer), who is, strictly speaking, a military leader; there are in each clan a certain number of elders or voivodes (Albanian kru-ye, pl.
PRESBYTERIANISM, a highly organized form of church government in which presbyters or elders occupy a prominent place.