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(ISRAEL 365 NEWS) – Several religious parties achieved very positive results in Tuesday’s election, strengthening the identity of Israel’s government as that of a Jewish state. Some rabbis see this as an extension of the Biblical commandment to appoint a king over Israel, raising questions about the government’s responsibility to act in accordance with the Torah.

The Torah explicitly commands the Jews to appoint a king when they arrive in Israel: “If, after you have entered the land that Hashem your God has assigned to you, and taken possession of it and settled in it, you decide, “I will set a king over me, as do all the nations about me,”you shall be free to set a king over yourself, one chosen by Hashem your God. Be sure to set as king over yourself one of your own people; you must not set a foreigner over you, one who is not your kinsman.” Deuteronomy 17:14-15

Most scholars interpret this verse as permitting the Jews to appoint a king though the ideal is to look to God as the ultimate and only ruler. This was illustrated in Samuel’s reluctance to appoint a king, even rebuking the nation for requesting a king, because an evil monarchy could lead the nation away from serving God.

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