In Hebrew and several other Semitic languages, shofet (plural shoftim) literally means "Judge", from the verb "Š-P-T", "to pass judgment". The Semitic languages are a Language family whose living representatives are spoken by more than 467 million people across much of the Middle East, Cognate titles exist in other Semitic cultures, notably Phoenicia.
In ancient Israel, the shoftim were chieftains who united various Israelite tribes in time of mutual danger to defeat foreign enemies. Biblical judges ( Hebrew: shoftim שופטים were leaders of the Israelites, which included the judicial and military roles For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. A traditional tribal chief is the leader of a Tribe, or the head of a tribal form of self-government See also History of ancient Israel and Judah According to the Bible, the Israelites were the dominant group living in the Land of Israel. See Book of Judges for more details. Book of Judges ( Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew.
In the various independent city states constituting Phoenicia proper (coasts of present Lebanon and Syria) and its "Punic" Mediterranean colonies a shofet (in Punic, suffet or suffete) was a non-royal magistrate granted control over a city-state, sometimes functioning much in the same way as a Roman dictator. Phoenicia ( Phoenician: Phoenician nunsvg|12px|נ]]Phoenician nun The Punic language is an extinct Semitic language formerly spoken in the Mediterranean region of North Africa and several Mediterranean islands, by people of The Roman Republic was the phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a Republican form of government a period which began with the overthrow of the A dictator is an Authoritarian ruler (eg Absolutist or autocratic) who assumes sole and absolute power without hereditary ascension such as an Absolute
Following the overthrow of its monarchy in the 400s BC, Carthage, a former colony but the only Phoenician state that had kept full control over its own colonies and thus build up the only 'empire' (but republican and depending on mercenaries) able to threaten Rome's hegemony, was ruled by a number of aristocratic councils presided over colleagially by two suffetes, who served in similar capacity to Roman consuls. Carthage (Καρχηδών Karkhēdōn, Carthago from the Phoenician קרת חדשת phn-Latn Qart-ḥadašt meaning new town) refers Consul (abbrev cos; Latin plural consules) was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire