Judges through Poets- 5b- Kingship in Samuel

A common theme in 1 Samuel: the establishment of Kingship under Saul found in 1 Sam 8-12.

The idea of kingship
Gen 1:26 – Adam is ordained as a ruler
Adam was prophet, priest and king in the garden.

Prophet = He spoke the word of God
Priest = Mediator between God and creation
King = He ruled the creation

God is King of all and man was created in His image giving rulership over creation.

The concept of kingship: Genesis 17:16, 35:11, 49:10

Requirements for kingship from Duet 17:14-20
V15 He must be a Hebrews
V16 He must not be greedy

God wants Israel to have a theocratic monarchy where God is at the centre of the Kingship.

The book of Judges gives a picture for what life is like with a monarchy. Everyman became his own King. The book of Judges prepared the people for a King by showing them their need.

1 Samuel 8
What’s the problem in 1 Samuel 8 when the people want a King?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong in the request. The evil was contained in the motives and underlying attitudes.
V19-20 ‘Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.’

The people were insecure and wanted a ruler for battle. The people wanted to be like other nations. They did not want to be set apart for God.

Characteristics of ancient near-eastern Kingship (1 Sam 8:11-18):
11 And he said, “This will be the behaviour of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. 16 And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.’

A human monarchy is described not a theocratic kingship.

2 Sam 7:12-16
12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.[a] Your throne shall be established forever.’

V16 = an eternal kingship. This is not a normal human king but God as a King. See also Isaiah 9:6-7.


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