Book: Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE
Chapter: The Kingdom of God in Samuel
This paper argues that the idea of the kingdom of God in the Hebrew Bible refers to theocracy – the political system in which authority is exercised by God’s representative on earth. The Bible’s treatment of this topic is subtle and nuanced, recognizing virtues in theocratic rule but concluding, overall, that it does not deliver sustainable and effective governance in the real world. The Bible’s rejection of theocratic rule is a key step in its political theory that the best form of government for ancient Israel was a monarchy limited by constitutional norms.