Greetings! In my last post I elaborated on the first portion of the Biblical law founded in the old testament. Under the subsection of the civil law we have the priest, judges, and officers. There are also royal powers in this section who partake in enforcing the civil laws of The Highest God. Although most people do not consider learning about the old testament laws, they are necessary. I assure you that after knowing these minute details of the Biblical law, the entire Bible will make ten times more sense and there will be no excuse to confuse it with any other teachings or false doctrines. In this article I will discuss the role the king played in biblical culture.
Kings of the Biblical culture were highly religious individuals, intelligent, rich, charming, and political. This was a civil law executor that dealt more with the political, wealth and economic affairs with other nations. They were the barriers between an evil nation and their own. Keeping the peace and supporting the economy through the Biblical law was their main objective. Kings had to come through the tribe of Judah, and the line of David. Prophets or priests were the only ones who could appoint a king.
Unfortunately, most biblical kings were not like this. Aside from king David, the rest of the kingship failed at ruling as a righteous king while dealing with foreign affairs. In most cases the foreign nations ended up ruling over Israel because of their negligence. However, instead of talking about how terrible the kings of Israel were, let’s talk about how king Saul and David were in their position as the civil law enforcers.
The Establishment Of The Kings.
At first Israel didn’t have a king, they had priests, judges and officers. However as the Israelite population grew and their judges did not enforce their Godly laws, the people asked for a king. The prophet Samuel was asked to ordain a king for Israel, though he didn’t want to (1 Samuel 8:1-7). He inquired The highest God if they were allowed to establish a king. Fortunately Israel got what they wanted on a few conditions. (1 Samuel 8:10-22)
10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 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.
21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
As we can see from the scripture above a king in Israel was ordained to have a tenth part of all the possessions of the common people. He could have a maid and menservants, and money. He was expected to be a supreme judge, a war general and head of the priest. Although the king was expected to govern everything in Israel he had to be anointed by a priest or prophet to execute this office.
Israels First King
The Most High God caused Samuel to anoint Saul, an extremely tall and strong Benjamite warrior to be king (1 Samuel 10:1). At first everyone loved Saul. He destroyed their adversary Ammonites in war and saved his people. Even though The Most High God anointed Saul king over Israel, they weren’t actually supposed to have one. As Samuel described it as a great sin The Most High God displayed his anger towards their decision (1 Samuel 12: 15-19). Therefore Israel really didn’t need a king to rule over them, they only needed priests who were close to The Highest God by divine selection.
About three years after his ascension to the throne, Saul did a terrible thing. He disobeyed Samuels and The Highest God’s command to offer a covenant offering before their battle with the Philistines. Saul forced himself to sacrifice the animal offering without Samuel. Needless to say, Samuel was angry and ridiculed Saul bitterly. From this point on Saul lost the honor of kingship for the tribe of Benjamin forever (1 Samuel 14). Not to mention that he was a terrible dad and tried to have his son Johnathan executed.
Denouncement of A King
Saul continued to disobey the orders of The Highest God. Therefore he decided to anoint a new king. (1 Samuel 15:10-11) Saul transgression was threefold. He first forsaken the covenant offering, then tried to kill his son, and lastly disobeyed divine military orders. Unfortunately The Highest God rejected Saul
1 Samuel 15: 23-24 “ 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.”
New Righteous King.
Now The Highest God found one of the sons of Jesse suitable to be king. Samuel was sent to anoint David in secret, to protect him from Saul’s vengeance (1 Samuel 16: 11-15). Finally David is anointed as king, yet he was not announced king. Saul still held the position as king because David was too young at the time. Also, Saul was already king and had to die first. David ended up serving Saul as a warrior for many years until he succeeded the throne. During that time he trained for combat, fought wars and even married one of Saul’s daughters.
As we can see from scripture that a king of Israel was expected to be holy, respecting the judgment of the judges, follow the insight of the priest and mediate alliances or wars with other nations. The most High God also spoke to the kings on behalf of such issues. Only the high priest or a prophet can denounce a king like we see here with Samuel’s role in choosing the kings. Not to mention that throughout the bible, the king had at least a priest and a scribe in his close quarters. The priest made sure that the king followed The Highest Gods command and the scribe wrote letters to other nations, helped make decrees, interpreted other languages and documented information for the king: Ezra 7:10-13.
Lets not forget that just because David was more suitable than Saul, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have terrible ruling moments. He caused a man to die from war just so that he could marry his wife, Bathsheba. However David never continued to disobey like Saul did.
Though the kingship is the last of the civil law enforcement authorities it is one of the most important. Know that our savior Christ is praised as a king and a priest from the line of David Acts 13: 22-23. All this information formed the foundation for a newer kingship for the Isrealite and the world. In my next article I will explain Christ’s unique kingship and how it replaces the old government set up. In conclusion of the matter the priest, judges, offices and kings are all ordained biblical law executioners from The Highest god. This type of government is not like any other aside from a monarchy.