|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A public civil officer invested with authority. The Hebrew shophetim, or judges, were magistrates having authority in the land (Deuteronomy 1:16, 17). In Judges 18:7 the word "magistrate" (A.V.) is rendered in the Revised Version "possessing authority", i.e., having power to do them harm by invasion. In the time of Ezra (9:2) and Nehemiah (2:16; 4:14; 13:11) the Jewish magistrates were called seganim, properly meaning "nobles." In the New Testament the Greek word archon, rendered "magistrate" (Luke 12:58; Titus 3:1), means one first in power, and hence a prince, as in Matthew 20:25, 1 Corinthians 2:6, 8. This term is used of the Messiah, "Prince of the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1:5). In Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38, the Greek term strategos, rendered "magistrate," properly signifies the leader of an army, a general, one having military authority. The strategoi were the duumviri, the two praetors appointed to preside over the administration of justice in the colonies of the Romans. They were attended by the sergeants (properly lictors or "rod bearers").
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) A person clothed with power as a public civil officer; a public civil officer invested with the executive government, or some branch of it.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
maj'-is-trat (shephaT, corresponding to shaphaT, "to judge," "to pronounce sentence" (Judges 18:7)): Among the ancients, the terms corresponding to our "magistrate" had a much wider signification. "Magistrates and judges" (shopheTim we-dhayyanim) should be translated "judges and rulers" (Ezra 7:25). ceghanim "rulers" or "nobles," were Babylonian magistrates or prefects of provinces (Jeremiah 51:23, 28, 57 Ezekiel 23:6). In the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Jewish magistrates bore the same title (Ezra 9:2 Nehemiah 2:16; Nehemiah 4:14; Nehemiah 13:11). The Greek archon, "magistrate" (Luke 12:58 Titus 3:1 the King James Version), signifies the chief in power (1 Corinthians 2:6, 8) and "ruler" (Acts 4:26 Romans 13:3).
The Messiah is designated as the "prince (archon) of the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1:5 the King James Version), and by the same term Moses is designated the judge and leader of the Hebrews (Acts 7:27, 35). The wide application of this term is manifest from the fact that it is used of magistrates of any kind, e.g. the high priest (Acts 23:5); civil judges (Luke 12:58 Acts 16:19); ruler of the synagogue (Luke 8:41 Matthew 9:18, 23 Mark 5:22); persons of standing and authority among the Pharisees and other sects that appear in the Sanhedrin (Luke 14:1 John 3:1 Acts 3:17). The term also designates Satan, the prince or chief of the fallen angels (Matthew 9:34 Ephesians 2:2).
In the New Testament we also find strategos, employed to designate the Roman praetors or magistrates of Philippi, a Roman colony (Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38). A collective term for those clothed with power (Eng. "the powers"), exousiai, is found in Luke 12:11 the King James Version; Romans 13:2, 3 Titus 3:1. The "higher powers" (Romans 13:1) are all those who are placed in positions of civil authority from the emperor down.
In early Hebrew history, the magisterial office was limited to the hereditary chiefs, but Moses made the judicial office elective. In his time the "heads of families" were 59 in number, and these, together with the 12 princes of the tribes, composed the Sanhedrin or Council of 71. Some of the scribes were entrusted with the business of keeping the genealogies and in this capacity were also regarded as magistrates.
Frank E. Hirsch
Magistrate (9 Occurrences)
Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the ancients, 'Thou shalt not commit murder', and whoever commits murder will be answerable to the magistrate. (WEY)
Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that every one who becomes angry with his brother shall be answerable to the magistrate; that whoever says to his brother 'Raca,' shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and that whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the Gehenna of Fire. (WEY)
Matthew 5:25 Come to terms without delay with your opponent while you are yet with him on the way to the court; for fear he should obtain judgement from the magistrate against you, and the magistrate should give you in custody to the officer and you be thrown into prison. (WEY)
Luke 12:58 For when you are going with your adversary before the magistrate, try diligently on the way to be released from him, lest perhaps he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 4:1 And as they are speaking unto the people, there came to them the priests, and the magistrate of the temple, and the Sadducees -- (YLT)
Acts 5:24 And as the priest, and the magistrate of the temple, and the chief priests, heard these words, they were doubting concerning them to what this would come; (YLT)
Acts 5:26 then the magistrate having gone away with officers, brought them without violence, for they were fearing the people, lest they should be stoned; (YLT)
Acts 7:27 "But the man who was doing the wrong resented his interference, and asked, "'Who appointed you magistrate and judge over us? (WEY)
Acts 7:35 "The Moses whom they rejected, asking him, 'Who appointed you magistrate and judge?' --that same Moses we find God sending as a magistrate and a deliverer by the help of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. (WEY)