Q325 : When did Israel’s Theocracy End?

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Q325 : When did Israel’s Theocracy End?

I was going through the Believers Study Bible and started reading the introduction to 1 Kings. It says that Kings records the history of the theocracy. Wasn’t it a monarchy at that time?

A325 : by Tony Garland

Some understand “theocracy” to be the direct rule of God over the people. According to that definition, the theocracy ended with the people's request for a king during Samuel's ministry (1 Samuel 8:4-7).

Others consider the reign of the kings of Judah as an extension of the theocratic rule which began at Mt. Sinai.

A theocracy is a form of government in which God's rule is administered by one or more representatives over a possession of God in accordance with His sovereign purpose and in obedience to His commands.1

There are also differences of opinion as to whether the theocracy ended with the last king to rule on the throne of David (Zedekiah, at the fall of Israel to Babylon in 587 B.C.—ushering in the Times of the Gentiles) or continued so long as their remained a high priest. Since the theocracy began prior to Israel having a king, some assert that the theocracy resumed when Israel returned from the Babylonian captivity—even though there has been no king upon the throne of David since.

So it all depends upon how one defines “theocracy.”


1.Ref-0220, 78 (emphasis mine)


Ref-0220Renald E. Showers, Maranatha: Our Lord, Come! (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1995). [www.foigm.org].

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