Volatility

December 19, 2010

Samuel

Filed under: Freedom — Russ @ 2:06 am

 

(So the people had found a great Leader, Samuel, and had conquered and prospered under
his wise, benevolent judgement.) And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made
his sons judges over Israel.
3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and
perverted judgement.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5 And said unto him, Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways: since we
refuse to rule ourselves, now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel
prayed unto the Lord.
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say to
you: for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not serve them as
the idea of the Lord, but reign over them as Landlord.
8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out
of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do
they also unto you.
9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and show
them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your
sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall
run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands; and will set them to ear his ground, and
to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them,
and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and
to his servants.
16 And he will take your goodliest young men and women, and your animals, and put them to
his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep, and you shall be his servants.
18 And you shall cry out in that day because of your king which you shall have chosen for
yourself; and the Lord will not hear you in that day, because the Landlord has heard you today.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to hear the voice of Samuel; and they said, No; but we will
have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us (for we’re afraid to
judge ourselves), and go out before us, and fight our battles.
21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
22 And the Landlord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.
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4 Comments

  1. Paine quoted the same passage (as you are probably already aware). The below are quoted from Common Sense.

    The hankering which the Jews had for the idolatrous customs of the Heathens, is something exceedingly unaccountable; but so it was, that laying hold of the misconduct of Samuel’s two sons, who were entrusted with some secular concerns, they came in an abrupt and clamorous manner to Samuel, saying, Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the other nations. And here we cannot but observe that their motives were bad, viz. that they might be like unto other nations, i.e. the Heathens, whereas their true glory laid in being as much unlike them as possible. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge us; and Samuel prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even unto this day; wherewith they have forsaken me and served other Gods; so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice, howbeit, protest solemnly unto them and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them, i.e. none of any particular king, but the general manner of the kings of the earth, whom Israel was so eagerly copying after. And notwithstanding the great distance of time and difference of manners, the character is still in fashion, And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people, that asked of him a king. And he said, “This shall be the manner of the king that shell reign over you; he will take your sons and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots (this description agrees with the present mode of impressing men) and he will appoint him captains over thousands and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots; and he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks and to be bakers (this describes the expense and luxury as well as the oppression of kings) and he will take your fields and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants; and he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give them to his officers and to his servants (by which we see that bribery, corruption, and favoritism are the standing vices of kings) and he will take the tenth of your men servants, and your maid servants, and your goodliest young men and your asses, and put them to his work; and he will take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shall be his servants, and ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen, AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY.”

    If we inquire into the business of a king, we shall find that in some countries they have none; and after sauntering away their lives without pleasure to themselves or advantage to the nation, withdraw from the scene, and leave their successors to tread the same idle round. In absolute monarchies the whole weight of business, civil and military, lies on the king; the children of Israel in their request for a king, urged this plea “that he may judge us, and go out before us and fight our battles.” But in countries where he is neither a judge nor a general, as in England , a man would be puzzled to know what is his business.

    But where is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING.

    / So interesting to see how Paine addresses the commonplace ideas of his time, that kings were necessary to governance, when it was nearly unimaginable for a country to go without an anointed ruler. I think we must take heart from his example.

    Comment by reslez — December 22, 2010 @ 6:40 am

    • Thanks for that, reslez. It goes to show how Paine had the most advanced perception among the Founders. (Which is why so many patriots were so leery of Common Sense. Everyone read it and felt electrified by it. But at the same time a standard attitude was, “he goes too far”.)

      It goes to show how he was right about nominal kings. And now we must apply the same lessons to every other kind of king, i.e. centralized government. It’s the same evidence, the same logic, the same conclusion.

      Comment by Russ — December 22, 2010 @ 9:08 am

      • If we inquire into the business of a king, we shall find that in some countries they have none

        Government exists to provide justice. Of course, there’s no justice in fraudulent mass foreclosures and banks who change the locks on the doors without the slightest legal or moral right. The rights of a homeowner are among the most fundamental, yet our government ignores them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a mortgage, if your mortgage is with a different bank, if you have never had a late payment, if you are in a modification program, or reducing principle would actually be more profitable for them than foreclosing. They will take your house and nothing you do can stop them. The sheriff, the judge, the law, the media, all stand against you. Citizens have no protection. Your only hope is to have independent wealth to pay for a legal defense. The banks are absolutely above the law. They’re the modern day equivalent of feudal brigands burning people out of house and home and leaving entire neighborhoods in devastation. The brigands have the explicit backing of government.

        Government is meant to judge the law, but our government applies unequal standards to corporations and normal citizens, makes wealth a de facto requirement for justice, and enforces laws written by corrupt moneylenders as a weapon against the people.

        Government exists to protect the people from violence and invasion, but ours wages unjust wars against people who do not threaten us, for the profit and convenience of a few wealthy criminals.

        To paraphrase Paine, in a country where the government is neither judge nor general one is puzzled to know what is its business.

        Comment by reslez — December 22, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

      • You sum it up well. That’s exactly how it is. If/when I put together a presentation about Foreclosuregate, I’ll compile examples to demonstrate how it happens.

        I’ll stress the point: The way things are, literally anyone from a bank/hired by a bank (or who simply claims to be that and fabricates some paperwork) can try to seize any house on any pretext or no pretext at all, and have a decent chance of finding friends in the cops and courts.

        The only way to fight back, other than direct community resistance, is to take control of local and state governments and turn those into politico-legal bastions which can then operate synergistically with direct on-the-ground resistance.

        That’s the broader political strategy of my Jubilate in Place idea.

        Comment by Russ — December 23, 2010 @ 1:40 am


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