[b-hebrew] The 'need' for a king?

JBarach at aol.com JBarach at aol.com
Wed Aug 15 00:15:56 EDT 2007

In a message dated 8/14/2007 9:03:38 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
rosewalk at concentric.net writes:

Then  think a little harder, because the "need" for a king was because 
G-d (and  not any human representatives/ 'authors' of the Torah) 
COMMANDED - once we  possessed and settled our Land - that we appoint 
a G-d chosen (ie; with  the concurrence of both a prophet and the 
Sanhedrin) king with certain  qualifications, which are described.

Ie; it was not only permitted, but  it was COMMANDED that at some 
future point, when we were established in  our land that we request a 

Devarim 17: 14,  15

I'd agree with Shoshanna.  Israel was intended to mature through three  
stages: priest - king - prophet.  Israel starts out as a nation of  priests.  As 
Peter Leithart has shown in his doctoral dissertation, The  Priesthood of the 
Plebs, a COHEN is a palace servant.  The "priests" in the  Bible are servants in 
the palace of the Great King, YHWH.  They are his  chefs and cook his food.  
They take care of the house (including the  broader house, the people of 
Israel) and make sure things are clean (= make sure  the people are clean).  They 
make sure the lights are lit and the place  smells good (incense) and there's 
food on the table, and so forth.
The priest's calling is to hear and obey.  Their life is simple,  involving 
little discernment.  They simply have to follow the rules God  established for 
them.  And so it was for Israel during the period leading  up to the time of 
God always intended Israel to have a king, as Deut. 17 makes clear.   But the 
people of Israel grab for it, like Adam grabbing for the Tree of the  
Knowledge of Good and Evil (which knowledge, by the way, is associated in  Scripture 
with kingship and judgment, as Solomon's request for it makes  clear).  So 
their desire for a king is judged by God to be sinful, while He  also goes ahead 
and gives them a king.  
The transition, incidentally, involves the tearing asunder of the Mosaic  
tabernacle, so that the ark ends up eventually in the tabernacle of David while  
the rest of the Mosaic tabernacle is elsewhere.  The Mosaic tabernacle is  
never put back together again, though the elements of it are glorified and  
"reunited" in the Solomonic temple.
Israel then moves into a period of greater maturity, a period not just of  
hearing and obeying, but of discerning and responding.  This is the time,  not 
of law, but of lyric.  It's the time when the psalms are written, the  time of 
poetry and song, and also the time of wisdom.  
But then God moves Israel further along, from a time where the emphasis is  
on kings (and not so much on priests) to a time when the emphasis is on  
prophets.  Eventually, after the exile, there is no king, and there's a  heavy 
emphasis on prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).
Priest, king, prophet is the story of Israel.  I'd say that it's also  the 
story of the human race.  More than that, it corresponds with the faces  of the 
cherubim -- ox (priest), lion (king), and eagle (prophet) -- and with the  
places blood is applied at the anointing of a priest or the restoration of a  
"leper" -- ear (priest: listen and obey), thumb (king: rule, action), toe  
(prophet: travelling to the nations).  But that's getting us into the deep  weird.  
John Barach   (541) 531-2906
Pastor, Reformation Covenant Church (CREC)
706 Beekman Avenue
Medford, OR   97501
_http://barach.us_ (http://barach.us/) 
_http://rccso.com_ (http://rccso.com/) 

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