chapter  7
18 Pages

The Transition from Tribal Republic to Monarchy in Ancient Israel and Its Impression on Jewish Political History

WithMoshe Weinfeld

During the period of the Judges the political system was essentially based on a voluntary federation with a “democratic character” unlike the monarchic regime. True, the king too would consult the elders of the nation, but he alone was ultimately responsible for conduct of the regime’s affairs. It is not by chance that evil done in the eyes of God during the monarchy was attributed to the king himself, whereas evil done during the time of the Judges was attributed to the entire people of Israel. During monarchic rule the army and its organization was under the king’s exclusive jurisdiction. Jeremiah introduced a unique nuance in the idea of the nations coming to Jerusalem. The revolutionary innovations introduced during the reigns of David and Solomon, in the course of time, became acceptable religious ideals which through the prophets became fundamentals in Jewish and Christian eschatology.