New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

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This paper argues that the idea of the kingdom of God in the Hebrew Bible refers to theocracy – the political system in which authority is exercised by God’s representative on earth. The relevant texts, most importantly parts of the Book of Samuel, explore the advantages and disadvantages of theocratic rule and compare that form of government with other models. Bible’s treatment of this topic is subtle and nuanced, recognizing virtues in theocratic rule but concluding, overall, that it does not deliver sustainable and effective governance in the real world.

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