By Dennett Daniel C
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Extra resources for Where I Am
The biblical objection to monarchy in Israel should not be read as a rejection of human leadership or of administrative structure as such. The rule of God requires human leadership, and in their history Israel had leaders such as Moses and Samuel and Ezra. ” The issue remained the nature, quality, and authority of human leadership, and its purpose. Prior to the rise of the monarchy, leadership was charismatic, not dynastic— that is, leaders were raised up by the spirit of God. That implied a leader who possessed the gift to inspire and truly lead, and leadership was to be for the good of the people and not for the king’s self-aggrandizement.
Hebrews: Exodus and Conquest 43 God’s Land (1) Israel was repeatedly reminded that God was the owner of the land and that they were therefore only sojourners with him. “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me” (Lev 25:23 RSV). They were never to sell the land because it was not theirs to sell. Further, they were not free to do with or in the land what they wished but were obligated to live according to the commandments and directions God prescribed.
Jacob had the advantage of the birthright. Esau had the advantage of actual occupation of the land. Jacob was profoundly deferential. He said, “Accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God—since you have received me with such favor” (Gen 33:10). In turn Esau was magnanimous in forgiving Jacob for how he had finagled the birthright. The result of their meeting was coexistence in the land (Gen 32:3–33:17). One cannot help interjecting a word about the powerful parable the story makes of what should have happened and should be happening in the modern history of the Middle East in the return of Jacob’s descendants and their encounter with the descendants of Esau.