A king before God’s time


It was always God’s plan that Israel have a human king:

“When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 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; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.” Deut. 17:14-15

Like Adam, this dominion would only come by obedience: by servanthood to God and faithful mediatory witness to the Gentiles. But like Adam, they seized dominion and demanded “a king like the Gentiles.” With Saul, they had a king who palled around with Agag of Amalek whom Moses commanded to wipe from the face of the earth.

“Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.” Deut. 25:19

I have already disputed with some who say that there was no restoration after the captivity; that the Babylonian exile in practice lasted until the time of Christ. But the Covenant was restored, the Temple rebuilt, and Israel’s priestly territory expanded to the size of an empire. With Daniel and then Mordecai at the king’s right hand, the kingdom of God was another step closer to “heaven,” as James Jordan points out.* The cruciform Tabernacle of God would cover all four points of the compass. The “times of the Gentiles” were actually a step closer to the kingdom of God.


But, as with Joseph, the days came when emperors ruled who didn’t know Mordecai. A restored Israel again forgot her mission and ended up in a bondage lasting 400 years – the time between Malachi and Matthew. This period was not an extended exile. It was not extended punishment for the disobedience of Israel’s kings. It was the consequence of rebellion against the restored Covenant of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah.

As in the time of Samuel, Israel demanded their own king—a king like the Gentiles. And they got one: Herod the Edomite. Blind “Isaac” once again tried to hand the Covenant over to Esau. Not only was Herod the wrong ‘son,’ he was Abimelech, Saul, Jeroboam and Pharaoh all rolled into one. Yet those who want to identify antichrist overlook this false Messiah. Look no further.

“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.” Daniel 11:36

*James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall, p. 260. Available here.

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