The English word senate originated from the Latin word senatus, a pronoun form of senex, which meant elderly. The term senile originated from the very same word, but was not spoken or intended in the negative manner that it is today by some people - senile simply means aged, or elderly, nothing more. Senior is also derived from the very same word as senator and senile, senex. Some versions of the Bible use "senate" or "senators" to translate the original Hebrew and Greek words for elders. Most civilized societies throughout human history had councils of elders, or senators, "senile" people who governed, or advised those who governed.
God's Servants Brought Before The Senate
The Pharaohs of Egypt had "senators" to advise them:
"Moreover He called for a famine upon the land: He brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph [see Coat Of Many Colors], who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that His word came: the word of The Lord tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom. Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham." (Psalm 105:16-23 KJV)
Israel had senators, elders, who were a political class among and within the Sanhedrin. Unfortunately, for some of them, the senators too did not recognize the Messiah, or His servants, at least at first.
"Now many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor. And more than ever Believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed."
"But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of The Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, "Go and stand in the Temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life."
"And when they heard this, they entered the Temple at daybreak and taught."
"Now the high priest came and those who were with him and called together the council and all the senate of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, and they returned and reported, "We found the prison securely locked and the sentries standing at the doors, but when we opened it we found no one inside." Now when the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were much perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to."
"And some one came and told them, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the Temple and teaching the people." Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people [see Stoning]."
"And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, "We strictly charged you not to teach in this Name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us."
"But Peter and the apostles [see Who Did Peter Have Authority Over?] answered, "We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree [see Cross or Stake?]. God exalted Him at his right hand as Leader and Savior [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?], to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."
"When they heard this they were enraged and wanted to kill them." (Acts 5:12-33 RSV)
Fact Finder: Who was responsible for convincing the Senate of Israel, and others of the Sanhedrin, not to interfere with God's servants after the confrontation described in the verses above?
See A Wise Pharisee