In demanding a king, Israel became like every other nation of the world. Instead of asking God for relief from counterfeit spiritual leaders, they cried, “Give us a king!” They rejected God’s rule in favor of human leadership.
Manasseh, king of Judah (697 – 642 BC), built altars in Jerusalem for all the “host of heaven” (2 Kings 21:5). He attempted to merge the worship of other gods with the worship of Yahweh. Manasseh’s efforts were reversed when Josiah came to the throne (2 Kings 23:7).
After His birth in a stable in Bethlehem, the baby Jesus was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for livestock. This manger may have been hewed out of rock. Stone mangers about tree feet long, eighteen inches wide, and two feet deep have been discovered in the ruins of King Ahab’s stables at the ancient city of Megiddo.
The evaluation at times took a decidedly negative tone. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, was the first to have his reign characterized in a more negative way due to the first that Judah “step up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree” (1 Kings 14:23). This was clearly a case of hyperbole; nevertheless a land that appeared full of what God had forbidden characterized Rehoboam’s rule as less than it needed to be.
The Jews from Matthew’s day would have disagreed. Tradition-minded Jews kept a record of their ancestors partly because certain rights and responsibilities were inherited. Priests descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. Kings-and the coming Messiah-would descend from David, Israel’s most revered king.
The grandson of Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa is best known for being the first to execute one of Jesus’ disciples. “He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw much this pleased the Jewish leaders, he arrested Peter” (Acts 12:2-3). An angel freed Peter.
Egyptian royal name meaning “Thoth the moon god is born.” Four pharaohs of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty (ca, 1550-1310 B.C.). Their combined efforts, especially those of Thutmose I and III, did much to expand Egyptian wealth and influence.
As a person become famous or rise to a high position, he limits his accessibility to others for his own protection. Many kings of Bible times, for example, could not be approached by anyone but their most trusted adviser. The Persians had a law that anyone who came into their king’s presence without his permission could pay with their lives (read Esther 4:11).
The Bible never explicitly condemns polygamy. Many Old Testament leaders accumulated wives in a manner similar to the pagan kings of the ancient Middle East without divine disapproval. A closer look, however, reveals that God originally defined marriage as “a man