Saturday, March 17, 2007

More on the Hebrew Republic

Another supporter of the "Hebrew republic" concept was E. C. Wines.

The political equality of the people, without either nobles or peasants properly so called, was, as we have seen, a fundamental principle of the Mosaic constitution. This could not but give the state a strong democratic tendency. Nor is it matter of surprise that on this foundation Moses established a commonwealth, rather than a monarchy. On this point, there is scarcely a dissenting voice among all the learned men who have written upon these institutions....

[I]t was not [Moses'] wish that they should have a king. Upon this point he reasoned, he dissuaded, he expostulated, he warned. The spirit of his law was strongly against monarchy, and all who afterwards maintained that spirit were equally strong against it. This was the case with Gideon, who indignantly rejected the offer of a crown. This was the case with Samuel, that model of a popular magistrate. He remonstrated, solemnly and eloquently, with the people, against their rash determination to have a king.

While the evidence that the Hebrew nation was a republic is kinda sorta non-existent, it must be admitted that the nation was not monarchical (at least in the human sense).


Sphere: Related Content