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

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Wed Aug 15 00:25:30 EDT 2007

No, you're not agreeing with me - but with G-d who told us what He 
wants, in the Torah.

And, the reason that  Samuel responded to our request for a king with 
disappointment and anger, is because we requested a king only " so 
that we could be like all the surrounding nations" - instead of 
asking for a righteous king who would lead us, inspire us and set an 
example of selfless and wholehearted service to G-d, we asked only to 
imitate other nations - THAT is why Samuel got angry.


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/)

************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
b-hebrew mailing list
b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list