Part 2 The Remarkable History of Israel
Israel’s remarkable history as a theocratic republic was well-known. The princes of the land were the elders of the individual families. The power of governing was in the hands of the people and the ministration of government was paid by charity. The Levites, with no inheritance, served the people in hopes of a tithe ‘according to his service,’ rather than compulsory taxes. It was a system based on faith, hope, and charity: a system of liberty.
The other nations had watched the once invincible nation of Israel, God’s Kingdom on Earth, deteriorate into centralized government, civil war, and captivity at the hands of oppressive and corrupted kings.
The people of Israel were to deliver every man to his family and to his possessions so they may live in freedom under God in His kingdom by faith in liberty and love as a priestly example to the world and all other nations.
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Ex 19:6
Israel was a nation chosen to serve all people as priests. What kind of priests? The Hebrew word kohen is translated as “priest” 744 times. It is also translated “own” twice, “chief ruler” twice, “officer” and “princes” once each. It is defined as “priest, principal officer or chief ruler” and could mean a pagan, or Levitical priest, or even a priest-king. Jesus was such a priest after the order of Melchisedec, but he ruled, not with the rod of iron like Rome, but with love, service, and humility. He was the Prince of Peace.
The original role of the priest came from the first-born son of the family, who managed the common funds of the family for the benefit of all its members. The priests of a nation were very much the same. Israel was a kingdom, not a religion. It was a system of faith, but all governments are systems of faith or fidelity, established for the welfare of the people, accepting, in exchange, a portion of their loyalty or allegiance. A Godly government is based upon the precepts of a brotherhood of love and charity and not upon demands and force.
For almost 400 hundred years, Israel had been a powerful nation with no central government, no compulsory tax, and no police force or standing army, other than an organized brotherhood of free citizens. The dominion and civil power was in the hands of the individual families. Patriarchs ruled their own families. With the law in their hands, they came together in a union of community consensus and national brotherhood.
The first-born of those families were the priests within the family, but the priests and ministers of the nation were chosen from amongst the first-born of a nation, which, as a people, were called the Levites. God said that they were to open the matrix of the nation. They belonged to God the Father1 with separate civil communities or cities.
The people ruled themselves. But the people voluntarily came together in a series of small groups or congregations2. Ten elders of families would gather together to choose a representative who would be in service to those families. Ten of these ministers, in turn, would choose their administer, who were the elders or princes of the tribe and, eventually, the nation. The same pattern was played out in the Levites’ charitable ministration to the tents of the congregation.
… the Levites… they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: Numbers 8:24
Both the elders of the nations and the men who followed their lead were the right hand of government. Those elder Levites, chosen by the congregation and then by other Levites, had no personal estate. They could not own real property in their own name. They were a separate civil jurisdiction unto themselves. This was the left hand of the governing system of the Kingdom of God, Israel. Neither had authority over the people. They were men respected in their service. They were titular in their offices.3
Take [it] of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service. Nu. 7:5
This was an amazing concept in government, where no employed minister would get paid unless his constituents thought he was doing a service and those ministers were directly answerable to, at least, 10 constituents, yet autonomous.
It was a system of responsibility, charity, faith, and hope. It was not a government of self- indulgence, sloth, pride, and arrogance. Why would the people ask for a central government, knowing that guaranteed entitlements granted a reciprocating entitlement to the ruler of that system; knowing that your ministers would be appointed from the top down; and knowing that your goods and the firstfruits of your labor would be taken for its purposes; knowing that your sons and daughters would become human resources serving that government4
Giving power to a central authority, and having that same authority appoint the servants of government, relinquishes a responsibility required of the people in a truly free society. Such granted power corrupts the leaders with that same power and the people with apathy. Despite God’s warnings, men continue in pride to imagine that they can control such constituted governments. From Saul to Rehoboam, all of the rulers of God’s kingdom violated the constitution of Israel and its remnant, Judea.5
They had forgotten the despotism of Egypt and had grown weary of the individual responsibility of a free state. After only a few kings, Israel divided as a kingdom under Rehoboam. Most of the people forsook the kingly line of David and abandoned the centralized civil powers. The people desired “Those days when there was no king or central government in Israel, and every man did what he believed was right in his own eyes.”6
The people called for a return to the free dominion of their own tents or household.
So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither [have we] inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. 1 Kings 12:16
The people were divided by their own sin. There were a series of corrupt kings and vanquishing captivities with short periods of repentance. Finally, God took away the promise of the seed of David ever prospering again upon the throne of God’s kingdom.
… for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah. Jeremiah 22:30
1Numbers 8:14 Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine. Numbers 3:12
2`edah from ed meaning witness. It is translated congregation 124 times, company 13, assembly 9 times and multitude, people and swarm once each. It means a congregation, gathering
3Webster’s. “REPUBLIC 3. A state or nation with a president as its titular head.” [A person who holds title, especially without any obligations of office]. See Republic vs Democracy, The Covenants of the gods.
41 Samuel 8: