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

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Wed Aug 15 23:15:17 EDT 2007

No, it is a prophecy.

In his farewell address to his people, Moses prophesied:

"When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you 
and inherit it and live in it, and you say, 'Let us appoint over me a 
king like all the nation around me,' [then] you will appoint over 
yourself a king whom the Lord your God shall choose. From among your 
brothers are you to appoint over yourself a king, you may not appoint 
over yourself a foreigner who is not your bother." (Deut. 17:14-15)

It is EVEN prophesied that the people will ask for a king "like all 
the nations around"

Ramban expounds on this, he says that though it IS a commandment, it 
is not written in the form of a command, because:

  "...It is my further opinion that this is also one of his (Moses') 
allusions to FUTURE events, for so it happened when the people asked 
for Saul..."   "...But this is an allusion to what WILL BE, and 
therefore this section is written in an intermediate tense [and not 
in the form of a command], as I have already explained"

"Ki Tavo" = when you WILL come to the land, similar to Devarim 26:1 
(It will be when you enter the Land...) and Devarim 21:10 (When you 
will go out to war...)


>I wonder if we may be straying too much into the area of hermeneutics,
>"confusing application with interpretation."  It seems to me that the passages
>regarding the king in Deuteronomy 17 is one of permissive will. God knows that
>it is not a question of "if, but when" Israel chooses a king. Therefore, God
>gives to Moses the requirements of a king that is NOT like the other nations,
>but one that is based on His holy and righteous character. By the time of I
>Samuel and the people's request (demand?) for a king, God then grants their
>request. I have always taken this as a warning, "Watch what you pray for,
>because you may just get what you prayed for." Israel asked for a king, and
>Israel got Saul. As they say, "The rest is history."

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