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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 17:28:53 EDT 2007


On 8/15/07, JBarach at aol.com <JBarach at aol.com> wrote:
> ...
> In that passage, it doesn't sound as if the desire to have a king like  the
> nations around Israel is necessarily a bad thing.  Rather, Israel is  told that
> when they want a king like the nations, they must pick only the king  that
> YHWH chooses, a brother, not a foreigner, and the king must act in a  certain
> way, not multiplying horses or causing the people to return to Egypt to
> multiply horses, not multiplying wives, not multiplying silver and gold, but one  who
> writes out the law, and so forth.
> I've been inclined to think that desiring a king like the nations was the
> problem in 1 Samuel, but as I read Deuteronomy 17, I'm not sure that that
> interpretation will stand.
In 1 Samuel, it was a problem, explicitly stated, it is not an
interpretation. The people rejected YHWH to be their king.

Deuteronomy 17:14.... is an interpretation to claim that a king was
commanded for Israel. Rather, the sentence structure indicates that if
the people demanded a king, that king ought to be a vassal king to
King YHWH, not like the kings of the nations who considered themselves
above the law and independent.

> John
> %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
> 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)
To give a modern example, the original idea that was behind the U.S.
Constitution is that the representative government was to be under the
law. But as the generations went by, the people forgot that lesson,
and they are now trying to be little laws unto themselves, while at
the same time Congress, President and Supreme Court all presume
themselves to be above the law, making ever more violations of the
Constitution while giving lip service to it: they can get away with it
because the people are not holding them to account. We see the same
downward spiral that led to the destruction of Israel being repeated
here in the U.S. Will we end up like ancient Rome with a dictator
(emperor)? We're pretty close to it. I mention this only as a modern
example of the same societal dynamic that happened in pre-monarchial
Israel, not to make a political statement.

Karl W. Randolph.

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