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Easton's Bible Dictionary


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Is in Scripture very generally used to denote one invested with authority, whether extensive or limited. There were thirty-one kings in Canaan (Joshua 12:9,24 ), whom Joshua subdued. Adonibezek subdued seventy kings (Judges 1:7 ). In the New Testament the Roman emperor is spoken of as a king (1 Peter 2:13,17 ); and Herod Antipas, who was only a tetrarch, is also called a king (Matthew 14:9 ; Mark 6:22 ).

This title is applied to God (1 Timothy 1:17 ), and to Christ, the Son of God (1 Timothy 6:15,16 ; Matthew 27:11 ). The people of God are also called "kings" (Daniel 7:22,27 ; Matthew 19:28 ; Revelation 1:6 , etc.). Death is called the "king of terrors" (Job 18:14 ).

Jehovah was the sole King of the Jewish nation (1 Samuel 8:7 ; Isaiah 33:22 ). But there came a time in the history of that people when a king was demanded, that they might be like other nations (1 Samuel 8:5 ). The prophet Samuel remonstrated with them, but the people cried out, "Nay, but we will have a king over us." The misconduct of Samuel's sons was the immediate cause of this demand.

The Hebrew kings did not rule in their own right, nor in name of the people who had chosen them, but partly as servants and partly as representatives of Jehovah, the true King of Israel (1 Samuel 10:1 ). The limits of the king's power were prescribed (1 Samuel 10:25 ). The officers of his court were, (1) the recorder or remembrancer (2 Samuel 8:16 ; 1 Kings 4:3 ); (2) the scribe (2 Samuel 8:17 ; 20:25 ); (3) the officer over the house, the chief steward (Isaiah 22:15 ); (4) the "king's friend," a confidential companion (1 Kings 4:5 ); (5) the keeper of the wardrobe (2 Kings 22:14 ); (6) captain of the bodyguard (2 Samuel 20:23 ); (7) officers over the king's treasures, etc. (1 Chronicles 27:25-31 ); (8) commander-in-chief of the army (1 Chronicles 27:34 ); (9) the royal counsellor (1 Chronicles 27:32 ; 2 Samuel 16:20-23 ).

(For catalogue of kings of Israel and Judah see chronological table in Appendix.)

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'King'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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King's Dale
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