[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
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