Rise of Monarchy in Early Isrealite Times Essay

This essay has a total of 1000 words and 4 pages.

Rise of Monarchy in Early Isrealite Times



The rise of the monarchy in Israel was a period of confusion and turmoil, but the readings
of 1 Samuel gives some insight for the reasons of the establishment of the monarchy. The
Israelites were in a time of political upheaval, corrupt judges, and relentless disbelief.
The political and social status greatly affected Israel's decision to appoint a king.
Because of their need for protection from outsiders and honest officials, the elders chose
to organize a monarchy in hopes that Israel would reunite and survive the disorder.

The elders of Israel chose Samuel to delegate a sovereign to govern over the people of
Israel in anticipation that the new king would ease the political and social tension. In
the readings, it is apparent that revisions have been made after the fact in order to
explain the history of Israel. Although the kingship proved to be a challenging and
controversial selection, Samuel chose an inexperienced, but wealthy Bejaminite named Saul
to rule over the chosen people of Israel. Saul was appointed in order to deliver the
Israelites from the military and political upheaval and constant warring with the
Philistines as seen in 1 Samuel 4:10, "So the Philistines fought; Israel was defeated, and
they fled, everyone to his home. There was a very great slaughter, for there fell of
Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers." Constant warring with the Philistines kept
depleting their forces and their faith in the Lord causing many of them to stray to
foreign gods. However, many Israelites looked to the kingship to deliver them from such
chaos. Those who interpreted the establishment of the monarchy as a good idea expressed
their opinion in 1 Samuel 10:1 when Samuel said to Saul, "The Lord has anointed you ruler
over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save
them from the hand of their enemies all around." This positive view of a new ruler
portrays the sovereign as a protector in the time of political turmoil and war. The
kingship was formed to save the "chosen people" from outside influences, such as the
Philistines. It is apparent that the ruler has the Lord's blessing and he will work and
abide by the Lord in order to help the good of the people.

The Israelites were also expected to abide by the Lord and his word, but most did not. In
order to have the full love of the Lord and protection of the king, the Israelites had to
give up all other gods and serve the Lord. Samuel says to the people, "If you are
returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Astartes
from among you. Direct your heart to the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver
you out of the hand of the Philistines." Once Israel put away the "foreign gods" they
received the blessing of the Lord. In texts 1 Samuel 12:13-14, it reads, "See. Here is
the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; see, the Lord has set a king over
you. If you will fear the Lord and serve him and heed his voice and not rebel against the
commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the
Lord your God, it will be well". This quotation portrays the king as a leader, but also
as a servant. He will be a servant of the Lord as long as the people of Israel remain
servants of the Lord and the king as well. Although this is a conditional statement, the
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