>Is Israel Returning to Kingship?

>According to a news report published in Arutz Sheva: Israel National News, biblical scholar and historian David Solomon said that the current political situation in Israel “could have all the necessary ingredients for the appointment of a king.”

In an interview on Israel National Radio, Solomon said that “problems and divisions within Israel today and the threats it faces from outside to its security could be interpreted as the conditions that precede the appointment of a king.”

Solomon said: “We need a unified leadership, we’ve got anti-Semitic regimes on our doorstep that want to wipe us out, we have fractures within the population.” The report continues:

Drawing a parallel between the current “disastrous absence of genuine political and spiritual and religious leadership” in Israel today and the period leading up to the anointing of Israel’s first king, Saul, he said that many people might view a theocratic monarchy as an answer to Israel’s troubles today as it was then.

Discussing the period of the early chapters of the book of Samuel, dated historically at around 1100 BCE, Solomon said that the situation at that time saw a crisis of political and religious leadership based upon corruption, exploitation and the abuse of power. It was as a result of this that the people of Israel turned to the prophet Samuel seeking a different model of leadership, asking instead for a king.

This call for the return of kingship in Israel is very interesting. Now that the Temple Institute is committed to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, even to the point of preparing some of the vestments for the High Priest, the call to restore kingship in Israel will intensify Jewish expectations for the coming of the Messiah.

Is it possible that the return of kingship may be a fulfillment of Hosea 3:4-5? Hose prophesied: “For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.”

Even though Solomon warns about the perils of re-establishing the monarchy, I am sure that many people in Israel would welcome the return of kingship.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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