The conception of the king as a religious figure was fundamentally tied to his moral responsibility for the religious actions of the nation as a whole.
It is a natural inclination of the human soul, upon feeling alienated in its native country for a protracted time, to take it upon itself to find belonging elsewhere. There exists within mankind a deep and unrelenting need to belong, particularly within a coterie of those whom he deems kindred spirits, those whose orientation—be it earthy, spiritual, mental, or physical—closely aligns with his own, and, upon finding such a group, he endeavours to become a permanent fixture among their ranks.
There is a natural inclination amongst humankind to endeavour to understand that which is otherwise seemingly incomprehensible. Since man first gazed upon the winking expanse of heaven and roamed the lengths of the unspoilt earth, he attempted to unravel its fabric, chasing the golden threads of the untiring sun, as though by doing so he could cut through the fog of mystery that shrouded his existence.
A general consensus exists among an increasing number of churched millennials: Christianity is not all it was cracked up to be.
We’re tired of the rampant hypocrisy that has spread across the West like a festering plague, and of the cultural judgement that spews from so-called adherents. We’re tired of archaic morality, and of megalithic institutionalization. We’re tired of the demonization of art, film, literature, and music. We’re tired of half-baked answers to burning questions almost as much as we’re tired of stale dogma and nebulous theology.
The Old Testament dwindles to silence so innocuously, so subtly, that it almost closes without notice. The year is circa 430 BC and all has been set aright: the children of Israel have begun to return from Persian exile; the Temple has been rebuilt, albeit ingloriously; the Law has been reestablished; and a portion of Jerusalem’s wall has been reconstructed.
Welcome to the Second Temple period, where the Old Testament ends and the blank page begins.
As I write these words the radical Islamic group, ISIS, continues to unleash untold barbarities upon the portion of northern Syria and central Iraq that it controls; conflict persists in Ukraine between pro-Russian revolutionaries and government troops despite the declaration of a ceasefire almost a month ago; Ebola spreads across West Africa claiming as many as 3,091 lives (according to WHO) despite efforts to contain it; and tens of thousands of Hong Kong activists gather as part of a pro-democracy movement.