Kings of Israel

Saul, our first crowned king, was an honest man and a respected monarch until he violated Samuel’s message from God… “Take no Amalekite prisoners; kill them all, together with their possessions.”

But Saul took Agag, the enemy king, in chains as a prisoner to march him in humiliation before the people of Israel.

For this act, in defiance of God’s message, the crown was removed from his head and given instead to David the shepherd boy and harp player in Saul’s palace.

David was a beloved king who served his people bravely. He had an unhappy marriage with Michal, Saul’s daughter, and a very happy and loving relationship with Saul’s son Jonathan.

It is believed that the two of them had sexual relations with one another. Saul once accused his son Jonathan …”I know what the two of you do. It is a shameful thing”.

And upon the death of Jonathan in battle, David wept and bitterly cried “O Jonathan, Jonathan. My love for you surpassed the love of women. How have the mighty fallen !”

David once, while walking on the roof of his palace, spotted Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite (a non-Jew), while she was bathing naked. He asked his servant who she was and when he was informed he ordered his servant to bring her to him.

He impregnated Bathsheba but fearing that her husband, away in battle fighting for King David, may know that the child could not be his, he gave orders that Uriah should be given a furlough to return to his home and to his wife in order that by a sexual union he would believe the child to be his.

Uriah, however, was deeply loyal to King David and he refused to leave the battlefield and he did not return home.

David had no other choice but to have Uriah murdered. He gave an order that in the thick of battle Uriah should be placed in the front lines. So he was and so he was killed. And now David was free to marry the widow Bathsheba.

The prophet Nathan condemned King David and prophesized to him that the child who would be born of the illicit relationship would die. Nathan’s prophecy came true and the baby died seven days after birth.

Bathsheba and David later became parents of Israel’s wisest king, Solomon.

He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. All of his wives were princesses whom he married in order to keep peace with their fathers’ kingdoms. And true enough, there was peace in Israel and Judah during the reign of King Solomon.

But his foreign wives worshipped other gods and pagan idols were set up throughout his kingdom.

Although God was angry with Solomon, he did not punish him in his life-time out of respect to the memory of his father, King David. But immediately after Solomon’s death, there was a civil war and the kingdom was divided forever with a new king of Israel in the north and a new king of Judah in the south.

And the division remained until the north was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 BCE and the south by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

There no longer kingdoms, but people were ruled by priests and prophets. The ancient “kingdom” of Israel was reborn in 1948 of the Common Era as the independent Jewish State of Israel. Without a king.

That is to say, until the recent period of the reign of “king” Binyamin Netanyahu, who, thinking himself as the one who sits upon the throne of Israel, can make laws and break laws according to his will.

As the biblical kings were punished, so too will today’s criminal “king” be punished. Unlike King Solomon with one thousand wives, prime minister Netanyahu has had only three. How many concubines, we do not know.

My esteemed editor-in-chief has written that unless Netanyahu resigns or is ousted by his Likud party-mates, our country can be on the verge of civil war (milchemet achim)… may God forbid it.

Some commentators remark that no one is talking about the possibility of a civil war, brother against brother. But they are deaf to the voices now thundering louder demanding Netanyahu’s resignation, something that his personal ego, enhanced by the wicked voices of his wife and older son, refuses to do.

Kings are annointed and crowned. Kings abdicated or were beheaded. Kings were forced into exile. And royal leaders like the new Emperor of Japan and the long-reigning Queen of Great Britain are beloved by their subjects for heeding to the will of their public while remaining faithful to their respective laws and constitutions.

We in Israel have basic laws but we lack a constitution. As long as a prime-minister has the support of his party and people he may remain on the throne until the next national election. There is no set limit of his time.

Two such elections took place in recent months. A third election is a very near possibility, creating a situation which has never before occurred in our country.

There are no laws requiring an indicted and/or convicted prime minister to resign from his position.

The courts of Israel, most probably our Supreme Court, will be required to intervene and, if necessary, to create and pass a new law, “Resignation or Removal of a Sitting Prime Minister”.

We no longer have kings to rule over us. “King” Bibi the First may believe himself to be one. But we, the people of Israel, are firmly determined to prove him wrong.

His Jerusalem “palace” on Balfour street will soon be vacated and cleaned to await the arrival of the new elected prime minister.

We have our guesses and our suggestions and opinions, but, like prophecy and kingship which no longer exist in our land, we lack the knowledge to hail a new leader.

My non-prophetic suggestion: keep reading the TIMES OF ISRAEL for up-to-the-minute news. The real news. The true unbiased news.

Not the fake news which comes from Likud or Balfour street.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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