Monarchy, Israelitish (see Kale, De potestate regia ingente Hebr. Havn. 1749). According to the sense of the Mosaic constitution, the Hebrews were erected into a kind of republic under, the immediate dominion of Jehovah, forming a strict theocracy (q.v.); the law of the kingdom (De 17:14-20) being partly expounded by the Pentateuch itself, which alludes to it as a future institution, and partly organized on a permanent basis by Solomon, largely independent of the Mosaic law (see Staudlein in Bertholdt's Theol. Journ. 3:259, 361 sq.; Hengstenberg, Pentat. 2:246 sq.). It was inaugurated by Samuel in compliance with a general request of the people, which had grown out of the bitter experience of many years, rendering it an inevitable necessity sooner or later (Ewald, Israel. Gesch. 2:140 sq.), as the order of judges was but a temporary and precarious safeguard against total anarchy. The king, however, was only empowered to administer the theocratic government as a viceroy of Jehovah, the heavenly sovereign (Ps 2:2), and was bound to this law as the highest authority, so as to exclude the idea of an independent and absolute monarch. In particular cases the Urim and Thummimn, or a prophet, or some other medium of divine communication (1Sa 28:6; 1Sa 30:7 sq.; 2Sa 2:1; 1Ki 22:7 sq.; comp. Joh 11:51), might be referred to in order to direct and confirm the theocratic regent as to the will of Jehovah, so that in this way the monarchical administration still retained the character of a divine government, and the kings were-reminded of their dependency (see Kalkar, Over de Israel. Godesregering, in his Verhandling van het Haagsche Genootschap, etc., 2:3 sq.). But in practice the Israelitish kings assumed the right of declaring war and concluding peace (1Sa 11:5 sq.), as well as of exercising judicial functions in the highest cases (2Sa 15:2; 1Ki 3:16 sq.; comp. Jer 21:12), and of pronouncing amnesty (2 Samuel 14). The king was also the patron of the religious cults (1 Kings 8:2Ki 12:4 sq.; 18:4 sq.; 23:1 sq.), and in war he was likewise the ideal leader of his troops (1Sa 8:20). Despotism was held in check sometimes by a sort of coronation-oath a Magna Charta, as it were (1Sa 10:25; 2Sa 5:3; 1Ki 12:4 sq.; 2Ki 11:17; comp. Josephus, War, 2:1, 2) — and sometimes by a mass meeting of the tribes (1Ch 4:41 sq.; the heads of families formed a kind of popular representatives, 1Ch 29:1 sq.; comp. 13:2);, and there even occurs an example of the direct intervention of the people (1Sa 14:45 sq.); but especially the prophets, who from the time of Samuel were set to guard the theocracy, and constituted a species of continually selfrenewing order, often made the most unshrinking opposition to the prince, either by introducing themselves officially into the royal cabinet (Nathan, Isaiah), or by demanding a special audience (1Ki 20:22 sq., 38; 2Ki 1:15, etc.), and even went so far as open resistance, by their severe invectives at least, to unlawful measures of government (compare 1Sa 22:17 sq.). SEE PROPHET.
The regular succession was confined to the house of David. Usually the first-born son (even when a minor [2Ki 11:21] there is found no provision for a guardian or regent [yet see the Sept. at 1Ki 12:24]; the queen-dowager, however, seems to have a position as counsellor in such cases [Jer 13:18; comp. 2Ki 24:12]) appears to have as a matter of course assumed the reins of government, but occasionally the father is stated to have designated a particular son to the throne (1Ki 1:17,20; 2Ch 11:22); sometimes the people themselves interfered (2Ki 21:24; 2Ki 23:30), and even foreign powers at length imposed rulers as their own vassals upon the nation: (2Ki 23:34; 2Ki 24:17). In the kingdom of Israel the first king was inducted into office by a prophet (1Ki 11:31 sq.), and the succession was thenceforth hereditary (descending to the son, or, when the direct line failed, to the brother, 2Ki 3:1); but the brief dynasties followed each other with many interruptions through extinction, conspiracy, or deposition (1Ki 16:9,16,21), and several interregna occurred. An association in the throne, or rather viceroyship, of the successor in consequence of the disability of the ruling monarch is mentioned in 2Ch 27:9; and numerous other instances are rendered probable by the discrepancies in the regnal years. SEE CHRONOLOGY. In-the election of a king, ancient nations had great regard to personal size (1Sa 10:23) and beauty (1Sa 16:12; Eze 28:12; comp. Ps 40:3; Homer, II. 3:166 sq.; Herod. 3:20; Strabo, 15:699; 17:822; Athen. 12:566; Barhebr. Chronicles page 384; see also Dougtsei Analect. 1:131); and Hebrew kings were required to be native citizens (De 17:15). Those who instituted a new dynasty sought to strengthen their power by the extinction of the previous reigning family (1Ki 16:11; 2Ki 10:11,17; 2Ki 11:1; comp. Josephus. Ant. 15:7, 10), as is customary still in the East (Tavernier, Voyage, 1:253). The first kings, Saul (1Sa 9:16; 1Sa 10:1; 1Sa 15:1,17) and David (1Sa 16:12 sq.; 2Sa 2:4; 2Sa 5:3; 2Sa 12:7), also Solomon (1Ki 1:34,39; 1Ki 5:1 so likewise Absalom unlawfully, 2Sa 19:11), were regularly anointed by a prophet or the high- priest; but in later times this was done only in the case of Josiah, whom the priesthood restored to the throne in place of the usurping Athaliah (2Ki 11:12), and Jehoahaz his son, whom the people raised to the throne (2Ki 23:30), besides Jehu of the kingdom of Israel, who established a new dynasty (2Ki 9:1 sq.); the principle apparently being in these cases to supply the lack of the hereditary right. The Anointed of Jehovah (משַׁיחִ יהוָֹה), or simply the Anointed, accordingly appears (in the sacred style) as the official title of the regular sovereign (1Sa 2:10,35; 1Sa 16:6; 1Sa 24:6; 1Sa 26:16,23; 2Sa 19:22; 2Sa 22:51; Ps 2:2; La 4:20, etc.). No other ceremony of investiture seems to have been enjoined; although we occasionally find a popular assembly (1Sa 10:24; 1Sa 1 Kings , 25,. 39; 2Ki 9:13; 2Ki 11:13; 2Ch 23:11; comp.. Josephus, War, 1:33, 9), a coronation (2Ki 11:12), music (1Ki 1:40), and thank-offerings (1Ki 1:24). The royal beast of burden is also mentioned (1Ki 1:38). See Fort. Scacchi Dissert. de inaugurat. regum Israel. in Ugolini: Thesaur. volume 32. Regal costumes, consisting of costly and elaborate garments, were also used (at least armlets, 2Sa 1:19; 2Sa 1 Macc. 10:20, 62; 11:5; 14:43), in accompaniment with the simple diadem (נֵזֶר, 2Sa 1:10; 2Ki 11:12), jewelled crown (עֲטָרָה, 2Sa 11:27; Song 2:11; comp. Eze 21:26; Eze 1 Macc. 10:20), the sceptre (שֵׁבֶט), and the throne (כַּסֵּא). See each word. Later occurs the purple mantle (1 Macc. 6:15; 10:20, 62; 14:43; comp. Ac 12:21).
The income of the Israelitish kings, with which they defrayed the expenses of their court and administration, was derived from voluntary but (as still in the East; see Kimpfer, Amnon. page 95) valuable presents from their subjects in Palestine and the dependencies (1Sa 10:27; 1Sa 16:20; 2Sa 8:2,11; 1Ki 10:25; comp. Herod. 3:87, 97; Elian, V.H. 1:31; Heeren, Ideen, I, 1:225 sq., 483), from public domains and royal possessions, consisting of lands, vineyards, and olive-yards (1Sa 8:14; 1Ch 27:26 sq.; 2Ch 26:10; comp. Josephus, Ant. 6:13, 10; 14:10, 6), which sometimes fell to the crown by confiscation of private property (1Ki 21:16 sq.; comp. Eze 46:18; see Kampfer, ut sup. page 96), from monopolies (1Ki 10:11 sq., 26 sq.; Am 7:1), from public services (1Ki 5:13; 1Ki 9:21; comp. 1Sa 8:13), and from regular taxes in kind (comp. 1Sa 8:15; 1Sa 17:25), which were farmed by head collectors (Isa 16:1; Ec 2:8). At times there is mention of an extraordinary levy upon personal property (2Ki 23:35); and the king also claimed a share of the booty obtained in war (2Sa 8:11 sq.). SEE ASSESSMENT. Hence came the at times so considerable royal treasures (1Ki 10:21; 1Ki 14:26; 2Ki 14:14), the rich wardrobes (2Ki 10:22), the palaces and parks (1Ki 7:9:; 19:2; 2Ki 21:18; 2Ki 25:4; Jer 39:4; Jer 52:7; Song 8:11), the sumptuously served table (1Ki 4:22 sq.; comp. Da 5:1 sq.; Es 1:3
sq.), to which it was esteemed a great distinction to be invited as a regular guest (2Sa 9:7; see Morier, Second Journey, page 148; Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:163; comp. 2Ki 25:29; Da 1:5; Herod. 3:132; Heeren, Ideen, I, 1:217).ῥ An especial mark of royal luxury was a well-stocked harem (2Sa 5:13; 1Ki 11:1 sq.; 20:3; comp. Quint. Curt. 3:3, 24; Athen. 12:514; Plutarch, Artax. c. 43), which was guarded by eunuchs, and descended to the succeeding king (2Sa 12:8; comp. Herod. 3:68; the regulation in De 17:17 was interpreted as a limit of eighteen wives, Schickard, Jus. reg. page 175). SEE HAREM. To aspire to a connection with this was equivalent to being a pretender to the throne (2Sa 16:22; 1Ki 2:21 sq.; comp. Movers, Phonic. 1:491). SEE ABSALOM. Among the holidays, the day of the king's birth or ascension was prominent (Ho 7:5; Mt 14:6; comp. Ge 40:20; Herod. 1:133; 9:109; Josephus, A nt. 7:3, 1). Music at court and table is early mentioned (2Sa 19:35; Ec 2:8). Kings expressed their favor by rich presents, especially of arms and apparel, SEE GIFT; and on royal festive days malefactors were pardoned or their punishment was postponed (1Sa 11:13; 2Sa 19:22 sq.; comp. Ge 40:20; see Philo, 2:529). It was, however, a still more distinguished honor when the king invited any one to sit at his right hand (1Ki 2:19; comp. Sueton. Nero, 13; Wetstein, N.T. 1:456). The reverence paid to the monarch was very great (Pr 24:21); persons fell prostrate in his presence, so as to touch the forehead to the earth (1Sa 24:9; 1Sa 25:23; 2Sa 9:6; 2Sa 19:18; even females of royal rank did the same, 1Ki 1:16), dismounted in the street on meeting him (1Sa 25:23), and greeted him with salvos in the streets and at audiences (Da 2:4; Da 3:9; comp. Josephus, War, 2:1, 1; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 4:350). A high notion was entertained of his sagacity (2Sa 14:17; 2Sa 19:27; comp. Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:142 sq.). His entrance into a city was signalized by pomp (2Ki 9:13; 1Sa 18:6 sq.; comp. Josephus, Ant. 11:2, 1). Of the rank of the early Hebrew kings of course nothing can be particularly said; but in later times those created by the Romans held the honor of the senatorial order (comp. Josephus, Ant. 14:10,6). Whether in their edicts the Israelitish monarchs, like the Persian (Ezr 4:18; Ezr 7:24), Syrian (1 Macc. 10:19; 11:31; 15:19), and Egyptian (3 Macc. 4:14; 7:2), issued their edicts in the plural number (see Fromann, Opusc. 1:202 sq.), is uncertain (comp. Theodoret, Quaest. in Genes. 19). Any infringement of the regal majesty was followed by the death penalty (1Ki 21:10), or if perpetrated by a member of the royal family, it incurred an ignominious expulsion from court (2Sa 14:24-25). In general Hebrew kings were quite as popular as other Oriental monarchs (Es 1:14; Es 4:11; Herod 1:99; 3:140; Diod. Sic. 2:21; 3:47; Agatharch. ed. Hudson, 1:63; Strabo, 17:821; Harmer, 2:95; Ludecke, Beschr. d. turk. Reichs, page 276), often exhibited themselves in the midst of their subjects (2Sa 19:8; 1Ki 20:39; 1Ki 22:10; 2Ki 6:26; 2Ki 7:17; Jer 38:7), and were affable with them (1Ki 3:15; 2Ki 6:26 sq.; 8:3 sq., etc.), even to the extent of personal intercourse (1Ki 21:2 sq.; for later indications, see the Mishna, Sanhedr. 2:2 sq.). After their death the kings were laid in royal sepulchres (those of Judah in Jerusalem) (1Ki 2:10; 1Ki 11:43; 1Ki 14:31, etc.), but the wicked ones were sometimes denied this honor (2Ch 28:27 [? 26:23]), which, nevertheless, does not argue the adoption of a death-tribunal on the Israelitish monarchs (Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 3:269 sq.), after the Egyptian custom (Diod. Sic. 1:22). The consorts of deceased kings remained in high honor, and even held the title of queen-mother (גּבַירָה,' mistress, 1Ki 15:13; 2Ki 10:13; Jer 13:18; Jer 29:2). The title "king" was applied to the princes of the royal house as well (Jer 17:20; comp. 2Ch 32:4). Monarchs expressed their regard for each other by rich presents (1Ki 10:2) and diplomatic embassies, the latter to convey especially their well-wishes and compliments (2Sa 20:2; 2Ki 20:12 sq.; comp. Herod, 6:39). SEE SALUTATION. The following official courtiers are mentioned: (1.) Chief major-domo or head palace-marshal (הִבִּיַת נָגַיד עִל or אֲשֶׁר עִל הִבִּיַת, 2Ki 4:6; 2Ki 18:3; 2Ki 23:18; 2Ki 9; Isa 22:15), who directed the court state (Kampfer, page 78), but was also occupied with civil duties. Among his subordinates were the palace doorkeepers (שֹׁעֲרַים, 2Ki 7:11).
(2.) Chief bailim'(אֲשֶׁר עִל הִמִּס, 2Sa 20:24; 1Ki 4:6; 1Ki 12:18; comp. 11:28).
(3.) Chief warder of the wardrobe (אֲשֶׁר עִל הִמֶּלתָּהָה, 2Ki 10:22, or שִֹׁמֵר הִבּגָדַים, 2Ki 22:14; 2Ch 34:22).
(4.) Superintendent of the exchequer and lands (שִֹׁמֵר הָרכוּשׁ, 1Ch 27:25 sq.), who had the oversight of the royal herds and domains (perhaps 'the ἐπίτροπος of Lu 8:3). Similar were the financial officers of Solomon in the twelve districts (נַצָּבַים, 1Ki 4:7 sq.). The chamberlains proper were usually eunuchs (2Ki 8:6; Jeremiah 53:25); among whom probably was the cup-bearer (מִשׁקֶה, 1Ki 10:5; comp. Josephus, Ant. 15:17, 4, 14:11, 4; 16:8,1; see Kampfer, page 81 sq.). A kind of chamberlain or valet is apparently designated in Jer 52:25; 2Ki 25:19 (הִמֶּלֶך אֲנָשַׁים מֵרֹאֵי פנֵי), unless the expression indicates generally the highest officers of the court and state. What official is denoted in Jer 51:60 (שִׂר מנוּחָה) is doubtful; Hitzig has perhaps conjectured rightly, the field-marshal. Finally, here belong the royal life-guard, who had to keep watch of the castle or palace (2Ki 11:5), but also saw the royal mandates executed in cases of capital punishment (2Sa 15:1). SEE CHERETHITE.
See generally W. Schickard, Jus. regium Hebrceor. (Tubing. 1621, with notes by J.B. Carpzov, Lips. 1674; also in Ugolini Thesaur. volume 24); Carpzov, Appar. Crit. p. 52 sq.; Michaelis, Mos. Recht, 1:298 sq.; Jahn, Archaol. II, 2:218 sq.; Paulsen, Regier.' d. Morgenland. (Altona, 1755); Otho, Lex. Rubb. page 575. SEE KING.