11 Nov 2018

God’s Instructions for Israel’s Kings

Religious 18 Comments

Wow, even though I’ve read this before, I somehow never retained these passages where God anticipates that Israel will have kings. (Note that this comes *before* the passage in Samuel where Israel demands a king and God warns them of all the bad consequences this will entail.)

Anyway here is Dt. 17: 14-20:

14“When you come to the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15you may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ 17And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

18“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. 19And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.

18 Responses to “God’s Instructions for Israel’s Kings”

  1. Major_Freedom says:

    Murphy, in places where the Bible says “you”, e.g. “the land your God is giving you”, is the listener intended to be any human being or just those of a specific genetic lineage?

    What do we do if there are people in the world who are convinced God regards them as in practise superior to everyone else, such that they believe themselves to be shepherds while everyone else are sheep?

    And what do we do if they taunt and mock the people with horrific threats like this?


    • Bob Murphy says:

      MF, in those early OT books where God is talking to the Israelites, the listener is first and foremost the Israelites. There are places where modern-day Christians can understand the broader lesson, but I wouldn’t want to make any sweeping statements.

      I don’t understand your link?

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Thanks, exclusively Israelites first and foremost or not exclusively first and foremost?

        I see some disagreement over who God was talking to when talking about land gifts and destinies.

        The link: Photo of sheep along the top (Comey calls them “small people”, regular citizens), story of sending animals to war to get slaughtered by the millions along the bottom.

        They’re laughing at the people.

        AP is cabal controlled disinfo

        • Ben J says:


          Seeing conspiracy-laden coded messages in normal life (such as a generic AP tweet) is an early warning sign for schizophrenic breaks. You should consider talking to a Doctor about what you’re seeing.

          • Tel says:

            Speaking for myself I refuse to accept AP as having anything to do with “normal life”. Especially my life!

            If you want an objective and measurable test for bias, compare their reporting of Mosul (occupied by ISIL and bombed by Americans) as compared to their reporting of Aleppo (occupied by ISIL and bombed by Russians). Every emotive trick in the book was rolled out to make those two rather similar situations appear astoundingly different… because it’s always different when “da uva guys” are doing it.

            The media genuinely do think of their audience as complete sheep. Mind you when the President of France can say that “Nationalism is Treason” in front of a row of war graves, there’s clearly a lot of low opinions going around. Heck, maybe I’ve caught it myself… I won’t ask the doctor, I have a low opinion of them too.

            • Harold says:

              The coverage in the media was certainly biased, but AP were responsible for correcting this to some extent. It was an AP investigation that revealed the number of civilian deaths was much higher in Mosul than the USA was admitting to.


              There was also discussion of the differences in reporting in the MSM.

              Out of interest, which sources do you find reliable?

              • Tel says:

                Out of interest, which sources do you find reliable?

                The most reliable sources by far are what people inadvertently reveal about themselves by the things they get all upset over. However, those are not always available.

                If you have to get some information from the media then at least scan a lot of different places (hint, the same article gets reprinted often so don’t confuse bulk content with diversity of opinion). The AP/Reuters can be a propaganda source but also they are a mixed bag in as much as they operate as a clearing house for various independent journalists. In Australia, the ABC is always leftist but they also reprint AP/Reuters often without even bothering to include the author … and when that happens it’s usually pro-government (I would guess they have a quota to fill). For example I searched the ABC for the article you linked and it wasn’t there, however this one was:


                Much more positive spin, no author name, only in fine print at the bottom do you see mention of Reuters. I keep an eye on those so I know what I’m supposed to be thinking.

                CNN is completely useless.

                Google news was better before they started filtering but at least you get a quick list of headlines. Bing news is similar perhaps a little better.

                Southfront is genuine alternative media, but known to be anti-Israel and anti-USA (they are biased but it helps reverse out the bias elsewhere).

                RT often picks up stories the other media avoids, they are pro-Russia but can be critical of their government from time to time. It would seem that outrageous sensationalism still sells in Russia, although I’m sure the Russians are really a lot more cynical than they let on.

                Breitbart of course is pro-Trump and also pro-Israel and they allow comments that are critical of their chosen favorites. Delingpole is always worth keeping up with. Sonnie Johnson is good (I agree with her) but the constant race, race, race argument gets very boring.

                Zerohedge is a great news aggregator with the proviso they don’t put much effort into vetting anything so they will be first with the news but you have to throw away all the opinion pieces (except now and then Bob Murphy has made it to ZH and that’s OK). The comments on ZH used to be insightful but all the best people went away. It’s slowly moving more mainstream.

                Alex Jones is similar to ZH, he collects a lot and usually gives an early heads up on news, but he puts no effort into checking anything (and I think he also admits it most of the time). He does pick up stories that the MSM avoids, and it’s interesting when you find a story that the MSM conspicuously goes to a big effort to not report. When they get to the stage that they are actively avoiding a story it’s worth looking into more carefully.

                Long ago RawStory used to be got but it’s filled up with extreme left garbage, there’s a feeder link that lets you scan the headlines without the penalty of actually visiting the site.

                American Thinker is good, but gets around to each item very slowly. They are right wing and they don’t hide it, the arguments are clear and cognizant. Does what it says on the box… they actually think about stuff.

                The LSE podcast series is helpful, not because they know anything, but they are always looking for angles on Keynesian spendthrift and you can hear them workshopping new talking points. Puts one ahead of the curve for later when those talking points are packaged and weaponized. Can be painful at times when they start the hardcore pocket-pissing, but there’s always the fast forward button. Actually Harold, if you don’t already listen to the LSE podcast then I think you would like it.

              • Harold says:

                “Delingpole is always worth keeping up with. ”

                No, Delingpole is a lying hack. He himself “maintained that as a journalist “it is not my job” to read peer reviewed papers, but to be “an interpreter of interpretations.”

                That is, he has no interest in the truth.

                I found this comment about zero hedge amusing ” It has accurately predicted 200 of the last 2 recessions.”

                It seems to be not too bad for financial stuff but pretty bad for other stuff.

                American thinker looks dire – very obviously propaganda.

                I have not had a chance to hear the LSE podcast but I will try to do so as it does sound informative.

                You are very critical of the MSM for what they leave out as well as what they report – I hope you are equally critical of your favoured sources for selective reporting.

                One measure of reliability and honesty is the withdrawal or retractions of articles when the facts are demonstrated to be wrong. Journalists are going to make mistakes, but the measure of the honesty of the organs is the correcting of mistakes. How many articles have zero hedge and your other favoured sources retracted and apologised for?

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Ben J,

            Once you learn the hierarchy behind the world’s largest media orgs, including “Associated Press”, you will learn why you just channeled Agent Smith after you read what you read.

            If I told you that what you just wrote does not apply to me, that what you wrote is in fact just a programmed response to the notion of agreeing with what I wrote, it is in fact a projection of how you would view yourself.

            Why is it that the information on the non-MSM communications channels have been labelled by the MSM as “conspiracy theories”, while the MSM is the standard and not containing swaths of conspiracy theories?

            WMDs in Iraq was a MSM conspiracy theory that contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

            Wikileaks exposed “conspiracy theories” as factual.

            What you see as a “generic” AP tweet is only a function of the degree of your own self-understanding and understanding the hierarchy and patterns in the information flows.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              These questions were asked in a post during Nov 2017.

    • Andrew says:

      I find this to be a very interesting question that I’ve thought about for a while now. I think it’s pretty clear that, in the Old Testament, God is primarily concerned with His people, the Israelites, and that most of His commands were exclusively aimed at them. Jesus, then, represents a change and an expansion of the purpose of the followers of God. Jesus takes the light of the one true God and shares it with all of God’s children.

      One of many natural questions then is, if we are all God’s children, why did he focus primarily on the Israelites before Jesus? And the way that I answer that question is that I think God was preparing the Israelites to be good enough to accept Jesus’ teachings and spread his message to all of mankind. The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Chosen to bear the trials and preparation necessary to accept His son, Jesus Christ.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        I have had similar thoughts Andrew:

        One of many natural questions then is, if we are all God’s children, why did he focus primarily on the Israelites before Jesus? And the way that I answer that question is that I think God was preparing the Israelites to be good enough to accept Jesus’ teachings and spread his message to all of mankind. The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Chosen to bear the trials and preparation necessary to accept His son, Jesus Christ.

        The one quibble I have is that perhaps “good enough” is not the exact way to put it.

        • Andrew says:

          I agree. I couldn’t think of a better way to put it. Here I’m trying to use “good” in the same sense that God used it in creation. But yeah, that could probably be phrased better.

      • Matt M says:

        Given how things ended between the two parties, I think it’s a bit generous to say that the Isrealites were “prepared to accept Jesus’ teachings.”

        • Andrew says:

          Certainly not all Israelites were prepared to receive Jesus’ teachings, but clearly enough were. Given what we know about God and the way he uses both friends and enemies to show us the Truth, you could say that the exact right amount of Israelites were prepared to accept Jesus’ teachings.

          • Matt M says:


            But it ain’t Jerusalem that became the capital of all Christendom. It was Rome. And the Jewish religion is still around while the gentile religions of the day virtually all converted to Christianity and disappeared.

            • Andrew says:

              Judaism/Christianity was a schism. Christendom has no capital, but Rome was the most powerful Christian empire in its day.

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