Punishment of a Refractory Son. - The laws upon this point aim not only at the defence, but also at the limitation, of parental authority. If any one's son was unmanageable and refractory, not hearkening to the voice of his parents, even when they chastised him, his father and mother were to take him and lead him out to the elders of the town into the gate of the place. The elders are not regarded here as judges in the strict sense of the word, but as magistrates, who had to uphold the parental authority, and administer the local police. The gate of the town was the forum, where the public affairs of the place were discussed (cf. Deu 22:15; Deu 25:7); as it is in the present day in Syria (Seetzen, R. ii. p. 88), and among the Moors (Höst, Nachrichten v. Marokkos, p. 239).