Bible Basics

Ancient Israel's Monarchy: A Journey into Biblical Kingship

November 14, 2023 Jacqueline Williams Adewole Season 1 Episode 25
Ancient Israel's Monarchy: A Journey into Biblical Kingship
Bible Basics
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Bible Basics
Ancient Israel's Monarchy: A Journey into Biblical Kingship
Nov 14, 2023 Season 1 Episode 25
Jacqueline Williams Adewole

Want to unlock the intriguing history of the kings of Israel? Ever wondered about the unique relationship between Israelite kings and Yahweh, Israel's ultimate king? We've got you covered! We traverse the royal roadmap, starting from the biblical texts in Deuteronomy 17, where God lays out the principles future monarchs must follow. We explore the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, peering into the United Kingdom and even the Divided Kingdom. We also trace the ultimate downfall of the northern and southern kingdoms.,  

And if you're interested in a handy reference, don't hesitate to email us at info@bible-basics.org for a detailed chart of the kings of Israel. Buckle up, you're in for an enlightening journey!

Thank you for tuning in!
Bible Basics is now streaming on Youtube. Please subscribe now!

Feel free to contact us at info@bible-basics.org. We would love to hear from you!

Note: All scripture references are from the NIV translation unless otherwise indicated.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Want to unlock the intriguing history of the kings of Israel? Ever wondered about the unique relationship between Israelite kings and Yahweh, Israel's ultimate king? We've got you covered! We traverse the royal roadmap, starting from the biblical texts in Deuteronomy 17, where God lays out the principles future monarchs must follow. We explore the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, peering into the United Kingdom and even the Divided Kingdom. We also trace the ultimate downfall of the northern and southern kingdoms.,  

And if you're interested in a handy reference, don't hesitate to email us at info@bible-basics.org for a detailed chart of the kings of Israel. Buckle up, you're in for an enlightening journey!

Thank you for tuning in!
Bible Basics is now streaming on Youtube. Please subscribe now!

Feel free to contact us at info@bible-basics.org. We would love to hear from you!

Note: All scripture references are from the NIV translation unless otherwise indicated.

Jacqui:

Let's get started. Grab your Bible and turn with me to Deuteronomy 17:14- 17. Feel free to pause this recording while you find it. It reads, "when you enter the land the Lord, your God, is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say Let us set a king over us. Like all the nations around us, be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord, your God, chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you you are not to go back that way again. He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. Here we see God laying out the principles that future monarchs must follow, a sort of royal road map, if you will.

Jacqui:

The key takeaway here is that Israel's kings were going to be different from the other kings in neighboring nations. You see, in the ancient Near East, each culture had its own unique take on kingship. Some even believed their kings to be gods, or at least divine in some way. Now, when it comes to Israel, kingship took on an entirely different form. It was a theocracy where Yahweh was the sole Lord and God. God was the true king of Israel. According to Deuteronomy 17, all authority rested with God and the human king had to submit to God's law and will. The king's role was to administer justice and alignment with God's law. Moreover, there existed a balance of power among Israel's leaders, including judges, priests, prophets and, of course, kings. The king was just one component, ensuring checks and balances on his power.

Jacqui:

Continuing in Deuteronomy 17, the passage lays out limitations for the king. These expectations for Israel's king were in stark contrast to the behavior of neighboring kings in the ancient Near East. Let's examine a few examples. First, the king was not to accumulate horses, preventing reliance or military might, or seeking help from Egypt, where the horses were. Second, the king should refrain from taking many wives. This was to avoid idolatry, limit treaties with other nations and prevent foreign influence. Third, wealth accumulation was also restricted. That was to limit the king's power over other Israelites. And finally, in verses 18-20, the king was made subject to God's law and fully dependent on God. So as we delve deeper into the stories of biblical kings. Remember that Israel's approach to kingship was distinctive in the ancient world. It was grounded in theocracy and the worship of one true God. These guidelines in Deuteronomy 17 set Israel's kings apart from their neighbors. Let's delve into how kingship was put into practice in ancient Israel.

Jacqui:

When Israel first set foot in the Promised Land, they encountered Canaanite city-states ruled by kings and during the time of the judges, Israel experienced periods of subjugation under nations governed by kings. It's worth mentioning that throughout this era, israel didn't have a king of its own. In the Book of Judges, the absence of a king is repeatedly linked to the people's disobedience. Four times in the book we come across the phrase In those days," israel had no king and everyone did as they saw fit. As Israel settled among nations with kings, they requested a king. This was something God had anticipated, as we discussed in Deuteronomy 17. However, 1 Samuel, 8, 19 through 20 revealed a motive that went against the Lord's will. The people said we want a king over us so that we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles. The issue here wasn't having a king, but the reason behind wanting one. The people sought to emulate other nations and believed a human king would bring them great power in battle. God instructed Samuel to warn the people about the consequences of rejecting him and choosing a man for a king. And then God allows them to go through with it.

Jacqui:

Saul was anointed the first king of Israel in response to the people's demand for a king. Like the other nations, his reign of about 40 years was a rollercoaster of successes and tragedies. Saul grappled with obedience to God, which ultimately led to his downfall and paved the way for King David. David was anointed as the next king of Israel and reigned 40 years. The Bible says he was a man after God's own heart. Under the hand of the Lord, he subdued the nations afflicting Israel and spread the borders of the kingdom. God promised David that his kingdom would endure forever. His profound relationship with God is expressed vividly in his Psalms. However, David, like all of us, had his flaws, as evident in the story of Bathsheba that you can read about in 2 Samuel 11. Following David's reign, his son, Solomon, assumed the throne and ruled for 40 years. Solomon is remembered for his wisdom, immense wealth and the construction of the first temple in Jerusalem. However, Solomon's relationships with foreign women among his 700 wives and 300 concubines turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord, his God.

Jacqui:

Now we'll move forward to the kings and the divided kingdom. Because of King Solomon's failure to obey the commandments to honor God, God judged Israel in 931 BC by dividing the nation into two separate kingdoms. To the north, there were ten tribes called Israel, and to the south, where the remaining two tribes were, was called Judah. From the beginning of its history, the northern kingdom succumbed to idol worship. Every one of the twenty kings that ruled in the north were evil. Ultimately, it was that idolatry and the failure of the northern kingdom to heed God's warning through his prophets that caused them to fall. The north was taken captive by Assyria in 722 BC. On the other hand, out of the nineteen kings and one queen that ruled the southern kingdom of Judah, there were eight good kings, though not perfect kings, but they tried to follow God's ways, even though they tore down altars and destroyed idols. They could not take idolatry out of the people's hearts. Idolatry, ultimately, would be the undoing of Judah, the southern kingdom, in 586 BC at the hand of the Babylonians.

Jacqui:

The books of 1 and 2 Kings provide a concise overview of the escapades, the tragedies and the successes during the reigns of kings in the north and south. These accounts offer a summary of each king's rule. For a comprehensive account of the history of God's people and their kings, you'll find valuable information in various Old Testament. Notably much of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles. However, it's important to note that references to kingship extend beyond these narrative sections in the Old Testament. In fact, a significant portion of the writings of the prophets and psalmists also addressed the actions and roles of the various kings of Israel and Judah. The prophets played a crucial role in holding the kings accountable to God's standards and reminding them of their responsibilities in leading God's chosen people. Much of their relationship is covered in the books of the major and minor prophets.

Jacqui:

Several Psalms are specifically categorized as royal Psalms pertaining to human kingship, the kingship of God or a combination of both. Check out Psalm 101 for an example. These Psalms provide evidence of the unique relationship between the Israelite kings and Yahweh, who is Israel's ultimate king. In summary, in this episode we explored the fascinating history of the kings and the nation of Israel, tracing the origins back to the biblical texts in Deuteronomy 17. We discovered that God's approach to kingship was unique, grounded in theocracy and the worship of the one true God. The limitations placed on the kings were in stark contrast to the behavior of neighboring monarchs in the ancient Near East. We examined the call for a King and the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon in the United Kingdom. We also learned about the divided kingdom and the ultimate downfall of the northern and southern kingdoms.

Jacqui:

If you're interested in further exploring the topic, you can find valuable information in various Old Testament books, including 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, as well as the writings of prophets and psalmists. So the next time you read about the kings of Israel in the Bible, you'll have a deeper understanding of their significance. Listeners, if you're anything like me, having a convenient chart of the kings of Israel can be incredibly helpful. It serves as an excellent reference, especially when delving into the Old Testament. Simply email us at info@ bible-basics. org and I'll promptly send you a detailed chart of the kings of Israel. Thank you for tuning in. If this has been beneficial to you, please share it with others, subscribe or follow, and all of you, apple Podcast listeners. Drop us a review.

God's roadmap for Kings
The Call for a King
Kings of the United Kingdom
Kings of the Divided Kingdom
Biblical Sources of Kingship
Summary