What was main reason for the transition from the leadership of the Judges to the monarchy?  

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The days of the judges as described in the book of Judges were some of the darkest days in Israel's history. Some context will give you sense of the sheer chaos and evil. Chapters 18-21 are particularly bad.

A Levite’s concubine is raped throughout the night by the people of Gibeah and left for dead. At the sight of this, this Levite dismembers her body into twelve pieces and sends them to the twelve tribes of Israel. He does this to call them into a war against the tribe of Benjamin for their evil action. In time a civil war breaks out and almost causes the complete destruction of the tribe of Benjamin!

Anyone who read this section will want to know what happened to Israel that they would do such a thing. The author of Judges offers a clue:

"In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes." (17:6 and 21:25).

In light of this, we can say that the transition from the time of the judges to a king was due to the need for order. They also wanted a king to defend them against foreign powers. The people of Israel begin to see these two points as something essential. This is why in the very next book in Samuel 8:19-20, Israel asks for a king:

"We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

All of this displeases Samuel who was judge at that time, because in the end, God should have been their king. However, Samuel gives them a king and the first king of Israel was Saul. As the narrative continues, Saul is a horrible king. In this way, Samuel's warnings were vindicated.




etotheeyepi's profile pic

etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The Book of Judges tells of nonstop violence, but the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Book of Ruth suggests that some people avoided the chaos.

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