The Hebrew Republic? Divine Authority and Self-Governance


This article makes a case for the surprising conclusion that the ancient Israelite tribes and peoples, a group that saw itself as a nation under God’s special care and authority—a kind of theocracy—should be considered to have been a legitimately self-governing society, complete with many of the institutional features of republican forms of government. These features include a recognition of individual liberty and equality, the rule of law, protections of due process, and a separation of powers. The argument proceeds by identifying these features in narrative accounts of Israel’s history in the Hebrew Scriptures, which ground God’s political authority in the device of a covenant.

Kyle Swan, “The Hebrew Republic? Divine Authority and Self-Governance,” The Journal of Private Enterprise, 2019.

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