‘to Be a Nation, Israel Had to Have a King’. Assess This View. Essay

794 WordsFeb 3, 20144 Pages
‘To be a nation, Israel had to have a king’. Assess this view. (15 marks) It is humanity’s nature to go against Yahweh, and in Judges 8:22 we see the Jews ask Gideon to be their king and in doing so rejecting Yahweh: ‘Rule over us… because you have saved us’. Despite Yahweh being the Jews’ warrior in the Exodus by rescuing them from slavery in Egypt, leading them to the promised land and forming a theocratic nation, the Jews do not acknowledge Yahweh as their king and go on to ask for a king to solve the many problems of the tribal league such as lack of unity, constant threat of enemies and the corruption at Shiloh. In agreement with the claim, one of the many problems of the tribal league was that it was becoming decreasingly less united, and after the death of Samuel even more so. Samuel was a constant for the tribes as he constantly travels around Israel, but after his death there was no strong figure representing all the leagues thus making them seem more separate. The growing separateness of the tribal leagues is seen in The Song of Deborah where the leagues are not rallying together hence failing to fulfil the basis of the covenant which is to worship and serve Yahweh and to live in a community among chosen people: ‘Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan…Asher remained on the coast…people of Zebulun risked their very lives; so did Naphtali’ (Judges 5: 17-18). This shows that even in fighting against external problems such as foreign invaders, the leagues still failed to unite to fight against a common aim. Likewise in 1 Samuel 11:3, the reliability of the tribal leagues coming to rescue their people is weak: ‘we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no-one comes to rescue us’ this indicates that no response would be a very likely outcome. Moreover, as mentioned previously, due to the incomplete conquest of the Promised Land, the Jews still had numerous

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