Mishpāṭ, Hebrew Strong's #4941, is used 421 times in the Old Testament. It is translated most often as judgment (296), manner (38), right (18), cause (12), ordinance (11), lawful (7) and determination (1). It is translated as determination in the following verse:
Disciple's Study Bible, 1988 by Holman Bible PublishersZephaniah 3:8 - Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
The Great Doctrines of the Bible, William Evans, 1912God's sovereignty is more than sheet power or absolute authority. It is His capability of achieving His purposes in ways that do not violate the very conditions of life that He has created. God has given to each person the right of self-determination, or free will, which God does not violate. God did not force Rebekah or Rebekah's family into accepting Abraham's proposal that Rebekah become the wife of Isaac. God's sovereignty worked in gentle, persuasive ways to win a positive response based on faith and personal acceptance, a free choice on the part of Rebekah and her family, but a response that leaves us in awe at the power of the sovereign grace of God.
Systematic Theology. Hodge, Charles, 1871Personality exists where there is intelligence, mind, will, reason, individuality, self-consciousness, and self-determination. There must be not mere consciousness—for the beast has that—but self-consciousness. Nor is personality determination—for the beast has this, too, even though this determination be the result of influences from without—but self-determination, the power by which man from an act of his own free will determines his acts from within.
Systematic Theology. Hodge, Charles, 1871§ 9. The Will of God
A. The Meaning of the Term
If God is a spirit He must possess all the essential attributes of a spirit. Those attributes, according to the classification adopted by the older philosophers and theologians, fall under the heads of intelligence and will. To the former, are referred knowledge and wisdom; to the latter, the power of self-determination, efficiency (in the case of God, omnipotence), and all moral attributes. In this wide sense of the word, the will of God includes:
(1.) The will in the narrow sense of the word.
(2.) His power.
(3.) His love and all his moral perfections. In our day, generally but not always, the word "will" is limited to the faculty of self-determination.
And even the older theologians in treating of the will of God treat only of his decrees or purposes. In their definitions, however, they take the word in its wide sense. Thus Calovius says, "Voluntas Dei est, qua Deus tendit in bonum ab intellectu cognitum." And Quenstedt defines it as "ipsa Dei essentia cum connotatione inclinations ad bonum concepta." Turrettin says, the object of the intellect is the true; the object of the will, the good. Hence it is said, that God wills Himself necessarily, and all things out of Himself freely. Although the word seems to be taken in different senses in the same sentence, God’s willing Himself means that He takes complacency in his own infinite excellence; his willing things out of Himself, means his purpose that they should exist. Although the theologians start with the wide definition of the word, yet in the prosecution of the subject they regard the will as simply the faculty of self-determination, and the determinations themselves. That is, the power to will, and volitions or purposes. It is altogether better to confine the word to this its proper meaning, and not make it include all the forms of feeling involving approbation or delight.
God then as a spirit is a voluntary agent. We are authorized to ascribe to Him the power of self-determination. This the Bible everywhere does. From the beginning to the end, it speaks of the will of God, of his decrees, purposes, counsels, and commands. The will is not only an essential attribute of our spiritual being, but it is the necessary condition of our personality. Without the power of rational self-determination we should be as much a mere force as electricity, or magnetism, or the principle of vegetable life. It is, therefore, to degrade God below the sphere of being which we ourselves occupy, as rational creatures, to deny to Him the power of self-determination; of acting or not acting, according to his own good pleasure.
Webster’s 1828Self-determination and Self-determination of the Will
Sixthly, Another source of confusion is not discriminating between self-determination and self-determination of the will. Those who use the latter expression, say they intend to deny that the will is determined by the antecedent state of the mind, and to affirm that it has a self-determining power, independent of anything preëxisting or coexisting. They say that those who teach that when the state of the mind is the same, the volition will inevitably be the same, teach necessity and fatalism, and reduce the will to a machine.
"I know," says Reid, "nothing more that can be desired to establish fatalism throughout the universe. When it is proved that, through all nature, the same consequences invariably result from the same circumstances, the doctrine of liberty must be given up."
The opposite doctrine is, that the will is "self-moved; it makes its nisus of itself, and of itself it forbears to make it, and within the sphere of its activity, and in relation to its objects, it has the power of selecting, by a mere arbitrary act, any particular object. It is a cause all whose acts, as well as any particular act, considered as phenomena demanding a cause, are accounted for in itself alone."
Thus, if it be asked why the will decides one way rather than another, the reason is to be sought in its self-determining power. It can by an arbitrary act, choose or not choose, choose one way or another, without a motive or with a motive, for or against any or all influences brought to bear upon it. But when these writers come to prove their case, it turns out that this is not at all what they mean. It is not the self-determining power of the will, but the self-determining power of the agent that they are contending for. Reid says that all that is involved in free agency is that man is an agent, the author of his own acts, or that we are "efficient causes in our deliberate and voluntary actions." "To say that man is a free agent, is no more than to say that, in some instances, he is truly an agent and a cause, and is not merely acted upon as a passive instrument." Dr. Samuel Clarke, in his controversy with Leibnitz, says, "the power of self-motion or action, which, in all animate agents, is spontaneity, is, in moral or rational agents, what we properly call liberty."
Again, he says, "the true definition of liberty is the power to act." Now, as all the advocates of the doctrine of moral certainty admit self-determination of the agent, and deny the self-determining power of the will, the greatest confusion must follow from confounding these two things; and, besides this, undue advantage is thereby secured for the doctrine of the self-determining power of the will, by arguments which prove only self-determination, which every man admits. On the other hand unfair prejudice is created against the truth by representing it as denying the power of self-determination, when it only denies the self-determining power of the will. Thus President Edwards is constantly represented as denying that volitions are self-determinations, or that the mind is the efficient cause of its own acts, or that man is an agent, because he wrote against the self-determining power of the will as taught by Clarke and Whitby. These two things ought not to be confounded, because they are really distinct. When we say that an agent is self-determined, we say two things.
(1.) That he is the author or efficient cause of his own act.
(2.) That the grounds or reasons of his determination are within himself.
He is determined by what constitutes him at the moment a particular individual, his feelings, principles, character, dispositions; and not by any ab extra or coercive influence. But when we say that the will is self-determined, we separate it from the other constituents of the man, as an independent power, and on the one hand, deny that it is determined by anything in the man; and on the other, affirm that it determines itself by an inherent self-moving, arbitrary power. In this case the volition ceases to be a decision of the agent, for it may be contrary to that agent’s whole character, principles, inclinations, feelings, convictions, or whatever else makes him what he is.
1. The act of determining or deciding.
2. Decision of a question in the mind; firm resolution; settled purpose; as, they have acquainted me with their determination
3. Judicial decision; the ending of a controversy or suit by the judgment of a court. Justice is promoted by a speedy determination of causes, civil and criminal.
4. Absolute direction to a certain end.
Remissness can by no means consist with a constant determination of the will to the greatest apparent good.
5. An ending; a putting an end to; as the determination of a will.
DETERMINATION. The end, the conclusion, of a right or authority; as, the determination of a lease. 1 Com. Dig. Estates by Grant, G 10, 11, and 12.. The determination of an authority is the end of the authority given; the end of the return day of a writ determines the authority of the sheriff; the death of the principal determines the authority of a mere attorney. By determination is also understood the decision or judgment of a court of justice.
INTENTION. A design, resolve, or determination of the mind.
The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, 1895
Black’s Law Dictionary, 1st edition, 1891
Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1910
WEX Legal Dictionary
Self determination (international law)
Self-determination denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order. Self-determination is a core principle of international law, arising from customary international law, but also recognized as a general principle of law, and enshrined in a number of international treaties. For instance, self-determination is protected in the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a right of “all peoples.”
The scope and purpose of the principle of self-determination has evolved significantly in the 20th century. In the early 1900’s, international support grew for the right of all people to self-determination. This led to successful secessionist movements during and after WWI, WWII and laid the groundwork for decolonization in the 1960s.
Contemporary notions of self-determination usually distinguish between “internal” and “external” self-determination, suggesting that "self-determination" exists on a spectrum. Internal self-determination may refer to various political and social rights; by contrast, external self-determination refers to full legal independence/secession for the given 'people' from the larger politico-legal state.
Understanding Self-Determination: The Basics, Karen Parker
QuotesDEFINITION OF SELF-DETERMINATION
The right to self-determination, a fundamental principle of human rights law,(1) is an individual and collective right to "freely determine . . . political status and [to] freely pursue . . . economic, social and cultural development." (2) The principle of self-determination is generally linked to the de-colonization process that took place after the promulgation of the United Nations Charter of 1945. (3) Of course, the obligation to respect the principle of self-determination is a prominent feature of the Charter, appearing, inter alia, in both Preamble to the Charter and in Article 1.
The International Court of Justice refers to the right to self-determination as a right held by people rather than a right held by governments alone. (4) The two important United Nations studies on the right to self-determination set out factors of a people that give rise to possession of right to self-determination: a history of independence or self-rule in an identifiable territory, a distinct culture, and a will and capability to regain self-governance.(5) The right to self-determination is indisputably a norm of jus cogens. (6) Jus cogens norms are the highest rules of international law and they must be strictly obeyed at all times. Both the International Court of Justice and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States have ruled on cases in a way that supports the view that the principle of self-determination also has the legal status of erga omnes.(7) The term "erga omnes" means "flowing to all." Accordingly, ergas omnes obligations of a State are owed to the international community as a whole: when a principle achieves the status of erga omnes the rest of the international community is under a mandatory duty to respect it in all circumstances in their relations with each other.
Unfortunately, when we review situations invoking the principle of self-determination, we encounter what we must call the politics of avoidance: the principle of self-determination has been reduced to a weapon of political rhetoric. The international community, therefore, has abandoned people who have the claim to the principle of self-determination. We must insist that the international community address those situations invoking the right to self-determination in the proper, legal way.
Woodrow Wilson, speech on 11 February 1918:
"National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action. . . . "
John Adams, Letter to John Taylor 16 April 1814:
"Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses it, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil. "
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Madison in August 1799:
"[We should be] determined... to sever ourselves from the union we so much value rather than give up the rights of self-government... in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness."