Go and assemble the Elders of Israelלֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
16.’ Go and assemble the Elders of Israel, and say to them, Hashem, the G-d of your Fathers, the G-d of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, I have surely redeemed you, and (because of) what is being done to you in Egypt-לֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת הֶעָשׂוּי לָכֶם בְּמִצְרָיִם (6741=18).
The verse can be divided so:
· Go and assemble the Elders of Israel and say to them –לֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם (2429=17=8).
· Hashem, the G-d of your Fathers, the G-d of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר (2923+10 words=2933=17=8);
· I have surely redeemed you- פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם(1799=26=8 counting final Mem as 600);
· And (because) of what is being done to you in Egypt- וְאֶת הֶעָשׂוּי לָכֶם בְּמִצְרָיִם (1270= 10 =1 or + 4 words=14=8 or 2390=14=8 or + 4 words=18counting final Mems as 600).
Rashi comments here that the Elders were those people whose task it was to sit in sessions (of court). As our Sages teach us that from the days of our Father Abraham such sessions did not cease even in the slavery of Egypt (Yoma 28.b):
מימיהן של אבותינו לא פרשה ישיבה מהם היו במצרים ישיבה עמהם שנאמר לך ואספת את זקני ישראל.
How many Elders of Israel- זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל were there?
In the Sanhedrin at the time of the Temple there were 71 Judges (71=8). This we can assume that here there were 71 "Elders of Israel"- זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.
The proof of the fact that there were 71 Elders is found in the gematria:
Elders of Israel