Representing the People in a God-Given Republic

The Greeks were not the first to establish a republic. Before the Athenian democracy of sixth century BC, ancient Israel was a republic for a millennium. Moses instructed the people of Israel, “Give for yourselves men, wise and intelligent, and known to your tribes, and I set them for your heads;” (Deut 1:13). To call biblical Israel a theocracy is a misnomer. Israel only as much a theocracy as the people of Israel chose to follow God. As Israel’s history Jesusreveals, they did not always choose to follow the God’s Law given through Moses. The same is true today for whether a nation chooses to follow God or man.

The nation of Israel received its constitution, law, and rights all wrapped up in the God-given Law of Moses (Exod 20; 24:7–8; Deut 5). The limits of its government and the liberty of the people were clearly defined. God’s Law to Moses commanded such noble concepts that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18) and “you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother” to which no secular nation has risen (Deut 15:7; cf. Lev 19:33–34; Deut 10:17–19).

Today, for a people to freely govern themselves, a nation is wise and blessed to allow the freedom of faith and conscience that was allowed by Jesus for all to believe about the Creator by their own choice. The disbelief in God, the Creator of all people, is not permitted within the exercise of such government, because such would undermine the inseparable rights and equal treatment for all peacemaking people. With freedoms in Christ and faith in the one Creator, the freedoms of God’s wisdom for Israel’s civil government demonstrate the best way for a nation to be free. The Law of Moses was a shadow of the spiritual Law of Christ (Heb 7:11–12, 19; 8:1–6; 10:1), and the foreshadowing within of Moses’ Law can be easily filtered through Jesus’ teachings leaving humanity with a civil government greater than all other forms of government found today. The birth of the free republic started with Israel, and the republic was born again when the Bible put in the hands of the common person in the sixteenth century. The biblical republic is the foundation for civil freedom.

Israel’s God-given government was more focused on justice and governing than on legislation, because God gave the Law. Israel’s senate was to make decisions based on God’s Law. Therefore, ancient Israel was a republic established upon justice as a judicial theonomy, which is a nation governed by God’s Law that established just courts for all the people. Only in justice is there freedom for a nation where the government does not regulate the people, but the people regulate the government. Israel’s freedom relied upon the dedication of its people to God who provided them a righteous system where real liberty came through moral judges. This is a true balance of power. Imagine a government where the most powerful and most corrupt feared justice. There is no greater civil prevention of evil than the fear of justice, and no greater civil liberator than fair courts.

Israel’s senate emerged under the oppression of slavery in Egypt (Exod 3:16–18). The word “senate” comes from the Latin senatus meaning “council of elders” and senex meaning “elder” (“senate.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 07 Sep. 2012. <Dictionary.com>). Israel’s senate consisted of elders from each tribe of Israel. This senate was accountable for the people representing the people before God (Lev 4:13–15; Deut 29:10; 31:28; Josh 8:30–35; 24:1; Ezra 10:14). Israel’s senate consisted of seventy elected men from each tribe (Deut 1:13–17; Num 11:16–18; cf. Exod 24:1, 9; i.e. Sanhedrin). Each tribe elected their own leaders according to the ranks of those enlisted in the selective serve of each tribe’s militia (Deut 1:15; cf. Num 1:2–4; 26:2). Leaders were first elected from among each group of ten, then a leader was elected over the ranks of fifty and a hundred men, and from those leaders over the hundreds. A captain was elected over a thousand. From the captains of these thousands, elders were elected to represent their tribe in this republic (Deut 1:13–17; Exod 18:21). Such elections secured Israel from any dominating influences of the wealthy and influential. Neither businesses, unions, parties, nor any partnership could pre-select those to be elected by the people.

Israel’s freedom truly relied upon having just judges (Deut 16:18–20). God commanded the “children of Israel,” the people, to appoint judges and officers for each tribe to judge at their city gates (Deut 16:18). As the title implied, judges brought about civil justice and oversaw the enforcement of the law directly through their officers consisting of law enforcement and lawyers (Deut 16:18–20). The judges consisted of city elders who made their judgments together at the city gates (cf. Deut 22:13ff; Exod 21:6, 22; 22:8–9). A plurality of judges decided the cases, and the judges were witnesses before the people affirming guilt and sentencing. Fair trials were also secured by establishing cities of refuge for protection of the accused (Num 35:9–15, 22–28; Deut 19:1–14; Josh 20; cf. Deut 17:8–12; 19:15–21).

Israel had a balance of power between their senate and their judicial branch. The law excluded neither judge nor senator from justice (Deut 1:16–17; cf. Deut 25:1ff). Anyone could bring forth charges, and those who unjustly brought charges were also tried for the same punishment of the accused. This was a society where any could bring the greatest ruler to judgment upon the simplicity of the standard of evidence. All countries can have this same liberation if their courts were open and free so that the people are not bound by complex laws, essential counsel, court regulations, and costs. Ancient Israel’s government was an elected republic that was regulated by the people in the courts. The people were accountable to all in their courts, and this system secured the protection of their lives, property, and liberty.

These judges had a standard of evidence for their courts established by Israel’s constitution — the Law of Moses. This same standard is found in Art. 3 Sec. 3 of the U.S. Constitution today, and back through history from the English Commonwealth and the Roman Corpus of Law. That universal standard of evidence is still a legal maxim. The standard of evidence is the requirement of two or three witnesses where each testimony verified the other (Deut 19:15ff; cf. “Source Evidence within the Bible“). These witnesses consisted of more than just eyewitnesses. These witnesses included sources. By definition, these witnesses included all primary sources such as writings (Deut 31:26), songs (Deut 19), monuments (Josh 4, 22), and trace evidence (Exod 22:9–15; Deut 22:13–21). By the simple standard of evidence, the Law instructed these judges to make diligent inquiry, follow the laws of punishment, and punish false witnesses preventing frivolous cases (Deut 17:4–7; 19:15–21; 25:1–3). The diligent inquiries of judges would build upon the standard of evidence by examining the eyewitness accounts for affirmative agreement upon two or more essential details without two or three explicit contradictions. Judges were to hold other judges accountable, and ultimately, the senate held these judges accountable. Judges held accountable Israel’s elders as senators. Partiality was not to be shown to the rich or the poor (Deut 1:16–17), and the Law punished false witnesses according to their false accusations (Exod 23:1–3, 6–9; Lev 19:15–18).

The Law of Moses permitted Israel to have a king. Israel’s senate eventually decided that Israel needed a king to fight for them and help judge them. God permitted Israel’s republic to have a king with great warning against the tyranny of kings (1 Sam 8:4–18). According to Moses’ Law, God was to choose the king, and He gave laws for Israel’s election of a king before Israel even requested a king (Deut 17:14–20). The king was not to be a foreigner, was not to multiply horses for invasion, or multiply wives or money for himself. The king was to have a copy of the law, learn it, and obey it (Deut 17:18–20). The King was not to make laws (Deut 4:1–2). He was not to operate outside of justice. Israel’s senators reunited Israel under the king when they anointed King David (2 Sam 3:17–21; 5:3). However, Israel’s senate was not perfect, because they also joined with Absalom against David (2 Sam 17:4). As the people became corrupt in rejecting God, their government became corrupt. National unity was not certain under a king. Israel divided when King Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the senate, and the northern tribes of Israel set a separate king, Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:6–8, 13). However, having a king did not compromise the republic and yet did not end Israel’s republic.

How can Christians encourage and restore a true and free republic today? Yes. Christians move into positions of influence and teach people to return to God and His Word as the basis of moral living and the constitution. God instructed Christians to pray for all in authority for God wants to save everyone (1 Tim 2:1–4). Despite government corruption, the Christian Scriptures instruct believers to subordinate to the governing authorities and pay taxes and honor, because God appointed the governing authorities to act as His ministers and bring justice (Rom 13:1–7; Titus 3:1–2; 1 Pet 2:13–17; cf. John 19:11; Prov 8:14–16). However, the Apostles would not stop practicing their faith as they spoke before the Jewish Supreme Court, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:27–32; cf. Acts 4:19–21; 7:51–60; Exod 1:12–21). Before David was king, he respected King Saul as God’s anointed and did not oppose him or try to kill him even when Saul did murder God’s priests or sought to murder David (1 Sam 24; 26; 2 Sam 1). Even if there is injustice against God’s people among corrupt government officials, God’s just wrath will come upon those governments who will destroy each other in their own corruption (Rev 16:12–21; 19:11–21; 20:7–9). God brought justice and vengeance against such rulers providentially in the past and continues to do so (Deut 28:49; Amos 6:14; cf. Dan 2:21, 4:17). Christians are to give place to wrath for God’s vengeance (Rom 12:17–21). Christians form the greatest nation on earth (1 Pet 2:9; cf. Dan 2:44, Col 1:13, Heb 12:28).

God’s civil government for Israel reveals divine wisdom for a civil government that truly protects people’s rights. A nation’s people must hold truths as self-evidence: “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” A nation’s people must elect righteous people. The people should strive for the nation’s balance of power so that the courts are accountable to the representatives and the representatives to the courts. A nation’s courts must remain just for people to retain freedom. A nation’s people must exercise their power to regulate the individuals within government in the courts. Ancient Israel’s republic and form of government did not make the nation righteous. God justified the nation when the people were righteous. “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov 14:34). Only Christ has brought such a light into the world that His spiritual nation is the greatest among the nations influencing for all good. Let all the rulers of the world serve the Christ. For Psalm 2:10–12 states,

 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Christian government

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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23 Responses to Representing the People in a God-Given Republic

  1. Donna Stover says:

    Hello, I am Donna Stover your sister in Christ. I Worship with the saints that meet at Wesconnett. I have to inject where you state in fact that we must subordinate to conform to Scripture because those in power are ordained of God. Though this is true, you seem to mis understand who is in power here in America. We the people are the ordained govt here in this republic. And we the people have chosen from among ourselves neighbors who we have delegated specific powers to. So, the neighbors that we the people have delegated power to are the employees that we have hired that are not obeying the law. And we the people are ordained in this nation to take the delegated power back and redelegate to those who obey the law. People in the body of Christ always remember that we must obey ordained powers, but they forget that WE are the ordained power here. The delegated leaders are subject to us. We(as American citizens) are the ministers of God to execute wrath on them that do evil. So, we are no better than Pilate when he washed his hands of his duty on that fateful day in history(think of every abortion that we have washed our hands of). This republic is because God ordained it(Romans 13). And our misunderstanding of this has caused a backward interpretation on the powers ordained in this nation. Unless we put this back into true view soon, we will be hearing the knock at our doors to take our children. God Bless

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    • Excellent points! We do have powers as citizens. We should uphold our rights and the Constitution. Abortion is absolutely illegal. I will consider your points as an addendum.

      Thank you, sister. God bless.

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  2. SK Williams says:

    Scott Shifferd Jr., this will be my final post in this series of posts. I don’t mean I won’t reply to anything you say on this topic from now on, only that I won’t be posting in reply to the two posts you left me directly after this, as we have come to the final point you have made.

    To that end, I will quote you. Your words are in Italics and in quotations.

    “You should also know that the US Republic and all such representation was encouraged by the rise of the Geneva Bible. The Scriptures teach that we are to follow God before men (Acts 4.19, 5.29, cf. Exo. 1:15-22). Are you not writing from the United States? Were not the States the first start a worldwide move to have republics?”

    I am indeed writing this from the United States of America, and specifically from Tennessee. With that said, we are discussing the Nation-State of Israel, not America. I can’t understand how you can prove Ancient Israel was a Republic before Saul simply by asserting that America today is and was based on the Rise of the Geneva Bible. The two don’t connect in any way, and you can’t chanfge the fact that Israel was a Theocracy directly lead by God, not a Republic, followed by a Monarchy, not a Republic.

    What you’ve said is also wrong on many levels. For example, one of your present arguments Is that the Bible says we are to follow God before we follow Men. I agree with this, but I don’t see how that leads you to Republicanism. It’s not like a Monarchy by definition means you follow Men before God, does it? I know a lot of Americans who love their Country also hate Monarchy because of the Foundational Myth and want to link The Founding Fathers with the Bible so that American ideals become Biblical ideals, but there is no Rational basis for assuming that if we had a Monarchy we’d be following Man instead of God, and the Logic is deeply flawed since the Christian Monarchies of Europe understood their Sovereigns as gaining their power from God, with God being obeyed before the King was, at least in Theory. Indeed, one can Argue that a Republic is more prone to rejection of God, since the Supreme Will in a Republic is the Will of The People. In a Republic, the Will of the People is the Supreme law of the Land, isn’t it? Well, where does that leave the Will of God?

    Under American law, God’s Will is not what is important, only the Will of The People. Republics are rooted in this. Unless you’re going to argue that God’s Well is the same as the Will of the majority, then you have to confront the Reality that God’s Will takes a back-seat in a Republic and our Will is superior to his as far as our own laws are concerned.

    Which brings up another interesting problem we see in Republics. The Focus of a Republic is on the Desires of the People, which leads to internal true as rival factions driven by different ideals and different Social Standpoints. Republics do not foster a sense of Honour nor do they foster a sense of Humility. In a Republic, your personal desires are paramount to you and you generally see people voting in accordance to what they want, rather than what is Just or good for all of society. You also see a divided society broken according to party lines and political factions. The Bible says we are to be of one Mind, and to be united as one, but by its very Nature Republics are divisive, and split us from our very Brothers. God tells us to focus on his Will and learn to be obedient, but in a Republic we are told to voice our concerns and what we want above all else. These principles are Highly incompatible.

    You are correct that America has lead the world in a move towards Republicanism, and now Republicanism is the most common form of Government around the World. However, success is not a measure of Morality, and we must ask ourselves what the Fruit of the Tree has yielded?

    We are told, and most Americans believe, that living in a Monarchy means having no Freedom, and that living in a Republic is abut Freedom. In a Republic, we have peace, stability, prosperity, and autonomy. We have Individual Rights and Freedoms we’d not have otherwise, and the world becomes more peaceful. Is this what we actually see? Sadly, no. As noted above, Civil unrest and outright Strife exists in America today, as it does in all Liberal Democracies. Our Pursuits are not what is Just before God, but what brings about “Equality” and what makes us feel good. We have Abortion on Demand, Same Sex Marriage, and Rampant Illegitimacy all based on placing our personal pleasures above all else and demanding Equality for them. Our Monetary System is also base don Wealth redistribution in an attempt to create Equality, which robs us of our Freedoms, and we have Laws further eroding Freedom by telling people they must act against their morality to serve Public needs, because Republicanism is ultimately a collectivist ideal, which leaves no room for the Individual Dissenter.

    Republics have lead to the dissolution of Families, the abolition of sensible economics, and a Culture that see’s things as purely disposable.

    We are far more slaves now under the Republics than we eve were under Mediaeval monarchs. We even work longer hours, have fewer days off, pay Higher taxes, and are treated by and Large as mere cogs in the machines.

    I know that The Middle Ages are often Villified as “The Dark Ages” but, Historically they weren’t as oppressive and brital as people imagine, and if you’d read “Democracy: The God That Failed” you may well learn that the Era of Democracy has not been the step up that we often imagine it to have been. It was written by Hahns Herman Hoppe of the Van Mises Institute, and is written form a distinctly Conservative Ideal.

    Further, Have we seen Christianity bolstered and strengthened in the World Today? Was Christianity fading into oblivion under Monarchy, only to be Revitalised and become predominant in the Era of Republicanism? I’m afraid it’s quiet the opposite. Republicanism has gone hand in hand with Secularism, and the Idea, of Separation of Church and State is predominant in most Nations now, especially those who have embraced Republicanism. Our Laws are not Gods Laws, and the best we can hope for is God’s Laws being kept in the Homes and in the Churches, but God’s Laws have no place in the Public Square. Or even references to him.

    That is the real problem with Republicanism. It has lead us away form God, and is base don the Faulty idea that people are essentially machines. It treats us all as just numbers on a voter roll or cattle to keep the economy rolling, letting us squabble like Children over our primal desires, eschewing Restraint and Self Discipline and favouring excesses due to those desires, all whole Taxing us to oblivion and telling us what to do in a Grand Scale.

    Even in the Founding Era, America moved away from God and towards Man, and America’s Founders can hardly be called good Christian examples.

    Indeed, in the aftermath of the American Revolution, the Power of the Central Government was increased in the States, and local Autonomy that had previously been defended by the Crown Government was abolish in Favour of collective rule. This in turn eventually lead, after the Shays Rebellion, to the Creation of the US Constitution which created a Higher Central Authority for America, which abolished even States Autonomy.

    Life for the average American also became worse, since the Newly Minted American Government imposed Heavier taxes on them than the Crown Government ever had, and began to issue Higher Regulations. To ad to all this Misery, the Continental Dollar was devalued rapidly and became worthless.

    The hardest hit were the poor, who we imagine as far better off after the Revolution, but who in Reality suffered Greatly.

    Speaking of Wars, the 19th-21st Century has seen far more Wars than previous Centuries. America’s Expansion included the forcible conquest of British and Spanish Florida, slaughtering people there who were British, and some Spanish, the rest were forcibly relocated, forcibly relocation the Indians, and killing many if them, wars with Mexico, wars with each other, the Civil War, ect…

    Globally we’ve seen the French Revolution and its godless Anti-Chistain attitude and murderous followers, and we have seen the Crimean War, the Boer War, and others , culminating in World Wars 1 and 2, but continuing to Viet Nam, the Cold War, and several others. We’re still bombing people in the name of Democracy. Our Republic, and the global trend towards Republicanism, has us killing each other around the world as a Human Species all in the name of silly intellectual ideas that contradict basic Human Nature. Is that of God?

    I can see nothing that recommends Republicanism then. It has lead to Moral and Ethical Decline, Social instability,

    I am sorry but, The age Of Republicanism is also the Age of Secularism, the Age of Humanism, the age in which we worship ourselves over God, and make our Laws superior to God’s Laws. The Age of Republicanism is an Age of Civil Strife, Social Unrest, and endless Warfare, Tyranny, and Oppression, all done in the name of Equality, Liberty, and Freedom. Our Justice is to bomb Nation who do not fall in line with our desires, and our Freedom is to force conformity to moral depravity which has been voted in.

    I do not pretend the Monarchs of Old were perfect, but they weren’t as wicked in general as we imagine nor was Life as harsh, neither do we find in the Era of Republicanism the Utopia of Freedom, Peace,and Prosperity we were promised either. Appeals to Natioanlsim thus prove nothing.

    America has sinned Greatly against God and his ways, and is now the New Roman Empire, but also the New Babylon. How much Longer shall the excesses exist? Why should I look to the example of American Government to see God’s Truth when America so often has acted against Gods Ways? How can I see America as serving God’s Will when it explicitly states it serves the Peoples Will? You cannot serve two masters. I choose God, not The People. Do you? That is for you to answer for yourself.

    America has indeed ushered in the Age of Republics which now dominate the World, but that is more a Tragedy than anything else.

    I myself am a Monarchist, and the Reason for this is because I believe in God and following Natural Law, and my Christianity is tied directly to my Monarchism. I do not worship Man, I worship God, and Trust him to select our Leaders. I do not have Faith in We, the People and I know that Our Will as a People is not God’s Will.

    I also know that in the end, the Age Of Republics shall end. All things do.

    Except Heaven and God and his Word. And Heaven is a Monarchy.

    Earthly Government, though Temporal, should reflect Divine Government, and should be modelled after Heaven, and Human Nature, which itself is in the Image of God. Monarchy reflects God’s Majesty, Republicanism replaces God with Man. It is just a from of Idolatry.

    You are also incorrect about the Geneva Bible being the primary foundation of the American Republic. While it’s True that the Pilgrims brought over the Geneva Bible, it was not the Bible used by most Settlers, nor was it the most common Bible employed during the American Revolution. That Honour belongs to the Authorised Version, better known today as the King James Bible. This was the Bible George Washington used, and handed out to his Men in the Field, and the Bible Thomas Jefferson used and which now his copies rest either in Montecello or in the Library of Congress or the Smithsonian, and the Bible he used to make the now called Jefferson Bible. The King James Version was also quoted by John Adams, and James Madison, not the Geneva, and in fact I think you’d’ be hard pressed to find an American Founding Father who even owned a Geneva Bible. Even the Firs Bible Printed in America after the Revolution, the Aitken Bible, was a King James Version.

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  3. SK Williams says:

    Scott Shifferd Jr., Now I’ll cover the New testament, although in this I think you are being very unfair. After all, while it is True that the Church is the Kingdom of Christ, it’s not a Temporal Authority and doesn’t manage civil Governance. There’s also the problem of your earlier advocacy of Local Autonomy, which means that there is no central Authority in the Churches that they all share aside from Christ, who is a King. Republicanism is not defined by Local Autonomy, as anyone who has appealed to the United States of America and nationalism should know. America is a federal Republic in which the central Government of DC has predominance, and even in the States the State Government overrides County (Or parish if from Louisiana) and County (Or, again, Parish) overrides City. While I’m not arguing a Republic absolutely must be so, its silly to think of Local Autonomy as a mark of being a Republic, especially given Monarchies also often operated with Regional Authorities rather than central ones in charge of day to day affairs. So Autonomy is not a mark of Republicanism.

    Now, as for Acts 14:23, if you Read it in context, you’d see that this is the story of Paul’s Mission to Lystra. Paul and the Disciples Appointed Elders, but there is no reference to an open election in which candidates ran for office and the one with the majority of votes won. Without that, your argument that it is Republican falls flat. We do not know the process by which the Elders were selected, which means that while we can’t rule out an election, there’s no Reason to assume one either. It certainly didn’t say every congregations should elect their elders.

    As for 1 Tim. 3.1-7, I don’t see how this informs you of the Republican Nature of the Church. it says that if a man desires the office of the Bishop, he desires a good work, then proceeds to tell what kind of Man is acceptable as a Bishop. it does not list a process by which the Bishop is ordained, and certainly make no mention of a man who desires the office of a Bishop running for that Office and openly campaign for it, against others running for the same position, in which the Congregation then votes and decides who they like best with he who gains the majority of votes winning. It just lists the King id Man that should be made a Bishop, the qualifications needed to be a Bishop, not how a Bishop is selected. There is no reference at all to the Bishop gaining an Electoral Victory or a Vote being held.

    Titus 1.5-9 is perhaps the most strange of your posts, since it’s not even about Leadership selection in the Church, but is instead about Teachers who don’t know hat they are talking about and how the law was made for the Lawless rather than the lawful.

    I guess you want to tie this into a famous American saying about being a Nation of Laws, not of Men, but really I can’t understand how the passage related to the Church being a Republic as it makes no mention of the Sovereign Will of the People of the Church and makes no attempt at saying the Leadership is duly elected.

    I present it below.

    Again, from the Authorised King James Version of the Holy Bible.

    1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
    1Ti 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
    1Ti 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
    1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
    1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

    I see no reference at all to how leaders are appointed or who is the Authority of the Church.

    I ask for indulgence as I finilise this series of posts, by addressing the argument you made about the United States, and how it is because of the States that Republicanism grew globally. I also don’t see how that is a good argument, for three Reasons, the most important beign that I was addressing Ancient Israel, but I’ll address it anyway.

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  4. SK Williams says:

    Scott Shifferd Jr., this post is in address to your comment that Israel is a Republic, in which you cite Deuteronomy Chapter 1. The problem with this is, Deuteronomy Chapter 1 is simply a speech given by Moses to the People of Israel that relates to the events we see Chronicled in Exodus 18, which in a former post I have already addressed but will summarise again here.

    As with before, this is a Long Post, and I ask indulgence as matters of Scripture are of Great Importance, so please read the entire Post.

    I will stay in Deuteronomy for the entire Post, and will present Timothy in a later post.

    Moses use to judge all matters in Israel but this was running him ragged. His Father In law, Jethro, told him he should appoint judges to hear smaller matters so he can find rest. Moses did this, appointing Rulers of Tens, and of Hundreds, and of Thousands.

    Moses did not say that localities, groups, and Tribes should gather together so men can place themselves before them and ask to be their Judges, and to vote on the Man they think would better represent them. In fact, the People didn’t vote on the matter, no Election was held, and the People didn’t have a real say in which was going to be appointed Judge by Moses.

    Well, Deuteronomy Chapter 1 recaps this. In fact, Moses said in 1:15 “So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. ” Moses said I took the Chief of you’re Tribes, and Wise Men, and known, and made them heads over you, not that The People voted for them and made them so.

    There was no election.

    From the Authorised (King James) Version.

    Deu 1:5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,
    Deu 1:6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
    Deu 1:7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
    Deu 1:8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
    Deu 1:9 And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:
    Deu 1:10 The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
    Deu 1:11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)
    Deu 1:12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?
    Deu 1:13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
    Deu 1:14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.
    Deu 1:15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.
    Deu 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.
    Deu 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
    Deu 1:18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.
    Deu 1:19 And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.

    Deuteronomy 17:15 is about a future situation in which a King will be chosen. I shouldn’t have to point out that if there is a King, then it is not a Republic, but for some Reason you think it is. I suppose you interpret verse 15 as saying the King was an elected Head of State that the People voted on. But is this really what the verse meant? Do you think this King would be replaced on Death with another who was elected? That upon the Death of each King a new Election would be held and the People would cast votes for candidates running for the Kingship?

    Even if we accept that the First King was going to be Democratically elected by the Majority Will of Israel, it’s pretty obvious that the Kings Son would succeed him, not another elected official, so even if we accept that the King was elected from Politicians running for office in which the People voted on, once he is installed the Monarchy becomes Hereditary.

    Then there’s the problem of Verse 15 in which God tells them he will pick the King.

    Now, Mind you, I don’t have a problem with God picking the King, I really don’t, but this isn’t how Republics work. There is no open election in which candidates run for the Office of King and the People vote for which Candidate they think will do the better Job. Instead, God chooses the man who would be their King.

    Read verse 15 carefully. Again, I quote from the Authorised king James version.

    Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

    God makes the Choice.

    And if you recall how Saul became King, it wasn’t after a lengthy electoral campaign in which different candidates tried to shore up voters based one directorial promotes and speeches on how hwy would make the best elected Monarch, God told Samuel to appoint him. David became King the same way, God told Samuel Saul and his House would loose the Kingdom, and Samuel was to appoint David as the New King. David wasn’t even the Firstborn of his Family, and was not expected to become King. Samuel himself thought Daniels eldest Brother was chosen till God corrected him.

    So, you have God telling Samuel David is the New king, and Samuel then ignorant David with Oil and making him King.

    There was no election involved.

    This wasn’t because the people rejected the Republican model and appointed their own King, God himself chose David and told Samuel the Judge and Prophet to anoint him as King.

    This can be read in 2 Samuel Chapter 5.

    David did not run for the office of King and id not convince 51% or more of the people to elect him King, he was chosen by God.

    Period,.

    And the same is True of Saul. God selected him.

    So I don’t’ see how any of this is Republican.

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    • There is no denial that God selected and anointed Saul, David, and Solomon, but as you know, Ishbosheth and Absalom were not selected by God and yet the elders were with them. This was wrong. Otherwise, the elders did decide to set the King that God chose. Still, the elders down were all elected officials (Deut. 1:13-15).

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      • SK Williams says:

        I already covered Deuteronomy chapter 1, and no, the Elders were not elected. Moses appointed the Judges directly. He is summarising his actions that were first recorded in Exodus Chapter 18, in which Jethros told him he woudl be incapable of beign effective and woul be worn out if he personally managed all the affairs. Jethro told him to appoint certian men to rule on local matters, and he agreed to this.

        At no point did Moses orginise an election, in which the peopel voted on who they thouht shohdl represent them.

        In fact, the Judges werent’ evenRepresentitives. The Judges were appointed to medkate disputes and settle legal matters, not to serve as the Peopels Representitives in Senate.

        The simpel fact is, Deuteronomy 1:13-15 is about Moses appointign Judges, not the peopel electign Elders.

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  5. SK Williams says:

    One last: TYou do not need to live in a Republic to have Individual Righs protected or to have freedom. Conversely, livign in a Republci does nto automaticlaly gurentee you Right and freedom. Monarchy does not automaticlaly mean Dictatorhsip either.

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  6. SK Williams says:

    Isral was not a Republic before Saul, and tryign to depict it as a Republic is wrong. Israel did not have a Senate like America did, and regardless of if the popel always folloed God and his Laws, the fact remaisn that the suoreme Authority in Israel ebfore Saul was God himself. The concept of ublic ownership or majority rule was com,pletley foreign in the Time of the Judges, and the Judges themselves werenot elected like todays politicans are.

    I know many Americans love to think the American Republican system was Divinly given, btu you cannot connect it to Isral and remain conssitent with the Biblical Narrative.

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    • Israel was a republic from before the exodus in Egypt, and God commanded that it be a republic from Moses through Joshua, the Judges, & the kings unto Jesus. To Christians, Jesus is the King, and yet His spiritual Kingdom of the Church operates as a republic having elders (senators) leading each congregation autonomously.

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      • SK Williams says:

        Israel was a Theocracy in which God was Soverign and Rigned over the Peopel of Israel directly. That is not the same thign as a Republic. In fact, the term “Republic” appears only in the Apocryphal books, and then only in reference to the Roman Empire, in all of the Old Testament.

        God did not say “Israel will be a Republic” at any point in its entire existence.

        In fact, if Israel were a Republic then how do you even explain the Law Of Moses? Unlike the United States Cosntitution, hich you’d liekly compar it to, but which has no direct parralleles in actual Republics liek Ancient ROme, the Law Of Moses derived all of its pwoers from God himself, and God gave the Laws directy to the Peopel fo Israel. The Peopel Of Israel did not vote on its contents, nor did ir representitives, and the Peopel of Israel hd no Right to alter the Laws.

        Or how about the Head of State? You continue to tlak abotu the Elders and call them the Senate, but were those “Senators” collectivley the Head Of State? Because in the Bible I’ve read, they weren’t. God personally governed the People of Israel, and spoek to them via the Judges and Prophets. His word was also absolute, and became Law.

        At no point did God say that the Soverignty in Israel belonged to the collective Will of the Israelite Peoples. At no point did he claim that thy, represnted by elected leaders, woudl have their Will supreme above all else. Before Saul, God’s Will was supreme, not “The Peoples”.

        That is not how a Rwpublic works.

        Even the “Senate’ made up of the Elders didn’t function as a Republican COncept. The Elders were not elected representives of The People. The elders were literally the old, wise, and learned. If I was given an island Nation and told to make it however I wanted, and I decided that the Elders woudl be the Earthly Governance of this Island, and God woudl be our actual, not ceremonial, Head of State and that a Prophet would speak for him, then I highly doubt that my new N ation woudl eb declared a Republic by the UN or rcognised as such by the Untied States, any European Power, or anyone else.

        When you look at how Israel was governed before Saul, you’d find absolutely no consideration for Majority Opinion and absolutley no conceot of Public Ownership of the Government, or of Public prticipation iin ho the Leaders were selected.

        So, I am sorry, but you are wrong. Israel was not a Republic.

        As for the Church, the same holds. The CHurch does not exist to serve the Will Of the Christian People. It never has. The CHurch is an absolute Monarhcy under Jesus Christ, and exists to serve his Divine Will. The Church is not arranged as a Republic. Autonomosu Curches do not make a Republic. Self Governign Chruches do not make a Republic. In fact, Autonomy and Self Governing local groups is mro ein Line with Medaeval Monarchy than any Republic that ha ever existed, and even the much praised America actually removed Local Auronomy from Villages and Towns after the American Revolution was compleed, that they had formelry enjoyed under the Crown.

        Can anyone be an elder in the Church? IKs thee an election in the Chruch where We, the People choose our Elders to speak for us? If not, then in what way are they our Senate who in Republican Fashion represent the Will of The People? And if the Elders do not repredent our Socerign Will ovr the Chruch, what is their function?

        I’m sorry again but, the Curch is not a Republic, and again has never been a Republic.

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          • SK Williams says:

            I have. It is because I have read the Scriptures that I know that Israle was not a Republic. Again, I know Americans liek to think of a Rpublic as undesputably the best form of Governemtn possible, and I realise that readign this into the Bibel is appealing, but itsnot the Truth. Israel was never once called a Republic, and the fact of the matter is, even the supposedly Anti-Monarhcy passage in 1 Samuiel 8 says God Reigned over them, and they were rjectign him Regnign over them, in favour of a Human Govenrment, not that hey were rejectign the Reign of the People for the Reign of a King.

            Indeed, the Book Of Deuteronomy, Chapter 17 vrse 1t55 plainly outliens how Israel shall appoint a King. Does that soudn very Republican to you?

            I’m sorry but everythgin I have sid is in the Scriptures. The Scriptrus do not say the Elders were elected from the Peoples own Will, the Scritoprus do not say the Elders served the WIll of The People, and the Sceiptures never says the Will of the Majority of Men in Israel is supreme Law.

            It never reffers to Israel as a Republic.

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          • SK Williams says:

            I have. It is because I have read the Scriptures that I know that Israle was not a Republic. Again, I know Americans liek to think of a Rpublic as undesputably the best form of Governemtn possible, and I realise that readign this into the Bibel is appealing, but itsnot the Truth. Israel was never once called a Republic, and the fact of the matter is, even the supposedly Anti-Monarhcy passage in 1 Samuiel 8 says God Reigned over them, and they were rjectign him Regnign over them, in favour of a Human Govenrment, not that hey were rejectign the Reign of the People for the Reign of a King.

            Indeed, the Book Of Deuteronomy, Chapter 17 verse 15 plainly outliens how Israel shall appoint a King. Does that soudn very Republican to you?

            I’m sorry but everythgin I have sid is in the Scriptures. The Scriptrus do not say the Elders were elected from the Peoples own Will, the Scritoprus do not say the Elders served the WIll of The People, and the Sceiptures never says the Will of the Majority of Men in Israel is supreme Law.

            It never reffers to Israel as a Republic.

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          • I do not know why you dispute this. I may suppose that you feel very strongly about God being your King. If so, then may God bless you for such a conviction. Yet, God has also set presbyters also translated elders to oversee, lead, pastor, and maintain His churches. Congregations are blessed to elect these elders according to God’s qualifications.

            Yes, God was to reign over Israel as their King, but they chose to follow God. At the same time, Moses commanded them to elect their own leaders (Deut. 1.13-17). Likewise, churches are to select elders with specific qualifications (Acts 14:23, 1 Tim. 3.1-7, Titus 1.5-9), and in this sense, they are approved and appointed by God’s Spirit (Acts 20.28). Thereby, Christ is ruling over His spiritual kingdom, the Church.

            Deuteronomy 17.15 does present a republic stating, “you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you”. Israel and Judah elders did elect their kings as God anointed them. There were times in their history when Israel’s senate elected another to be king, who was not elect. Yet, David was anointed by the elders of Judah and later Israel (2 Sam. 2.4, 5.1-5, 19:9-11).

            You should also know that the US Republic and all such representation was encouraged by the rise of the Geneva Bible. The Scriptures teach that we are to follow God before men (Acts 4.19, 5.29, cf. Exo. 1:15-22). Are you not writing from the United States? Were not the States the first start a worldwide move to have republics?

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          • “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace” (Exo. 18:21-23).

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            • SK Williams says:

              Scott Shifferd Jr, I cannot reply directly to your former post. It seems the reply buttons expire after so many replies. Nevertheless, I shall respond here. This post is long, but importantly so, and I ask that you please Read the entire thing. It is necessary for me to make my point.

              You claim that Israel was a Republic and that the People elected their leaders. As evidence of this, you cite Exodus 18:21, out of Context. But does this verse say that the People of Israel elected their own local leaders?

              No, it does not. For one who admonished me to read the Scriptures, you should perhaps heed your own advice.

              You present the verse in Isolation and act as if a general election were held in which the People voted on their leaders, when in fact the Bible is clear that Moses simply appointed Judges. Indeed, the situation that lead to this was Moses siting alone, and his Father In law coming to him and asking him why he does this. Moses explained that he settled all disputes amongst his People, personally, and hi Father In law said this wasn’t a good solution since he will wear himself out, and told him to appoint others to rule the tens, the hundreds, and the thousands, so they can act on his behalf and he can be free to make larger decisions or settle larger disputes.

              Below I present, from the Authorised (King James) Version of the Holy Bible Exodus 18:14-26, which details the entire exchange.

              Exo 18:14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
              Exo 18:15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God:
              Exo 18:16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
              Exo 18:17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
              Exo 18:18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
              Exo 18:19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
              Exo 18:20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
              Exo 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
              Exo 18:22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
              Exo 18:23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
              Exo 18:24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
              Exo 18:25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
              Exo 18:26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

              I am afraid that your removal of verse 21 from its context, an attempt to present it as an election that was held in which the people voted for their own Leaders is simply wrong. Moses appointed Judges, not the People, not “The senate”.

              Moses, acting as God’s Prophet and Supreme Representative, on his own Authority, given to him by God, appointed Judges to settle their disputes.

              That is not the same thing as the people gathering together and voting for who they think should be a Judge, with the one with the most votes, base don the Will Of The People, taking office under the Authority vested in him by the People.

              This has more in common with an Oriental Monarch appointing various Visers or Chieftains to represent him and act in his name in various Cities in his Kingdom he cannot personally administer than with a Republic.It is intellectually dishonest to think this is an election that is occurring in a Republic..Moses appointed Judges, not “The people” and there was no election.

              Now, I’ll address the Deuteronomy and Timothy post separately because this post is too long and I think it’ll make it easier to Read. I also don’t know if this blog has a word limit.

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  7. Mike says:

    Powerfully wrong. Israel a republic? No. It’s a claim so far outside reason the mind boggles. First you use the Bible, a book of myths, for evidence. That is wrong right there. The Bible is no historical source. That silly book claims that there was a world wide flood a few thousand years ago and similar dumb things.

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    • You didn’t read the article?

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    • SK Williams says:

      The Bibek is not a book of Myths, and it gets olld seeign militant Atheists who don’t even bother reding it,but noentheless say hey understand it better than Christians, sayign rubbish like this.

      Even Atheist Schoalrs liek Sanders or Ehrman don’t refer to the Bibel as a boo of Myths and this gross oversimplification of a complex collecrion of texts and the claim that it has absolutely no Historical value whatsoever is just propaganda usedby the Neo-Atheists.

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  8. Kay Ragan Durden says:

    Powerful!!

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