Blog author: jballor
Friday, March 20, 2009
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I caught last week’s premiere episode of NBC’s Kings. I was curious to see how the biblical parallels between the Old Testament and the contemporary Saul and David story would play out. I also find anything with Ian McShane in it hard to miss, after appreciating his masterful performances in HBO’s Deadwood.

Ian McShane as a modern-day Saul.

Ian McShane as a modern-day Saul.

After the first episode I’m intrigued enough to continue watching, in part to see how the show addresses the question of monarchy. Awhile back I proposed that we understood the government in Old Testament Israel as a kind of constitutional monarchy, given the ability of the prophets to call the king to account on the basis of Torah.

Aquinas has some relevant ruminations, and in preparation for this week’s episode on Sunday night it’d be worth scanning the section from his Summa Theologica that touches the question, “Whether the Old Law enjoined fitting precepts concerning rulers?” (Aquinas thinks so.)

Thomas writes in part that God

prescribed how the king after his appointment should behave, in regard to himself; namely, that he should not accumulate chariots and horses, nor wives, nor immense wealth: because through craving for such things princes become tyrants and forsake justice. He also appointed the manner in which they were to conduct themselves towards God: namely, that they should continually read and ponder on God’s Law, and should ever fear and obey God. Moreover, He decided how they should behave towards their subjects: namely, that they should not proudly despise them, or ill-treat them, and that they should not depart from the paths of justice.


  • http://libertypoint.org Brian Irving

    At the end of the first episode, The Reverend (prophet) tells Silas that has lost favor with the Lord and God will “find another.”

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  • http:sasapienza Sam A Sapienza

    What higher standard may a king be held to, than the chair of St. Peter, in ordination to The Court Of The Most High God Almighty. Sincerely yours, Sanguine De Cristo

  • http:sasapienza Sam A Sapienza

    How is your monarchy properly ordained?

  • http:sasapienza Sam A Sapienza

    Court of high priests, (cardinal i}

  • http:sasapienza Sam A Sapienza

    Per Pieceri, I appeal to thee. A grand injustice has been predicated on thy son, while serving your country, My Almighty Lord.