Little Benjamin – The Ruler

This Psalm 68 was sung by King David and it has many events of past and future mixed up in it.

For example, 68:7 says about the journey of Israelites under Moses which was a past occurrence.

68:11 says about the future period in which the Word of God is published in the New Testament period.

68:18 says about the future event in which Jesus died on the cross and His soul went to hell and preached the gospel to the captive souls of disobedient during the time of Noah (I Peter 3:18-20 and 4:5-7)

68:27 says of past event in which in the tribe of Benjamin a Ruler ruled Israel.

68:29 says about the future event about the Temple of God built later by King Solomon.

Here among many wonder works of God, a Ruler came to rule Israel from little tribe of Benjamin! And he was the first ruler of Israel as a king. Because it was in the mind of God the psalmist sang it to reveal God’s mind.

Prophet Samuel was the last judge judged Israel throughout his life (I Sam.7:15). When he became old he appointed both his sons as judges, but they did not walk upright and took bribes (I Sam.8:1-3). So people desired for a king to rule over them as any other nations. Their demand was not liked by Samuel and also by God. But God permitted their desire and asked Samuel to anoint Saul, son of Kish a Benjaminite, and also created an occasion by which Saul was made to travel from his home to prophet Samuel and Samuel anointed Saul with oil as king of Israel (I Sam. 10:1). He ruled over Israel for a period of forty years, as forty is a perfect number as per Bible (Acts 13:21). Only few examples from Old Testament and New Testament are given below.

It rained forty days and nights during the time of Noah. (Gen. 7:4)

Israelites did eat manna for forty years in the wilderness (Exo.16:35)

Moses was on the top of the Sinai mountain for forty days and forty nights two times without eating and drinking (Exo. 24:18 and 34:28).

Twelve leaders went to spy the land of Canaan for forty days (Num. 13:25).

Because of the unbelief and there by evil report by the ten of the twelve leaders, the wrath of God was kindled and a punishment of forty years roaming in the wilderness and thereby unbelieving people would die in the wilderness and only their children and two of the twelve leaders, Caleb and Joshua could enter the promised land (Num. 14:33).

As per Law of Moses a defaulter can be beaten to a maximum of forty stripes only (Duet. 25:3).

Moses lived in Pharaoh’s house for forty years, lived in Midian with Zipporah for forty years, and was a leader to Israelites to lead them from Egypt to the promised land for forty years, and he died enroute at the age of one hundred and twenty years (Acts 7:23, 30, 36).

When Othniel was judge over Israel the people rested for forty years (Judges 3:11). During Deborah and Barak period the people rested for forty years (Judges 5:31). During the period of Gideon the people rested for forty years (Judges 8:28). When people of Israel went away from their God, He delivered them to the Philistines for forty years (Judges 13:1). Eli judged Israel for forty years (I Sam. 4:18).

King Saul, King David King Solomon ruled Israel for forty years each (Acts 13:21), (II Sam. 5:4), (I Kings 11:42), King Jehoash the son of King Ahaziah ruled Judea for forty years (II Kings 12:1).

Prophet Elijah was afraid of Queen Jezebel and took a journey from nearby wilderness of Beersheba to Mount Horeb walking forty days and forty nights as advised by an angel of God (I Kings 19:8), after eating bread and water two times served by the angel.

Sent by his master and king of Syria, the captain Hazael came to meet prophet Elijah with a present of goodly things of Damascus of a load of forty camels (II Kings 8:9).

After taking baptism by the hands of John the Baptist, Jesus went to wilderness and fasted forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2).

Jesus resurrected on the third day after burial and did show himself alive to his disciples for forty days (Acts 1:3).

Though King Saul ruled for forty years, he did not earn a good report from God. He grieved God in the matter of avenging Amalekites. He killed the priests of God and their families. He persuaded David to kill him many a time. He offered sacrifice when Prophet Samuel delayed. Finally he went to a woman of familiar spirit to get a counsel about his future. These brought bad report on King Saul and God made an end to the rule of Benjamin Tribe and selected David of Judah Tribe to be the king and made him and his generation to be the kings in Judea till the end. God said about King Saul as I gave a king in my anger and took him away in my wrath (Hosea 13:11).

But as Moses blessed Benjamin to be the blessed of the LORD and He will dwell  between his shoulders or with in his portion in Israel (Duet 33:12). So God was pleased to provide a king from Benjamin Tribe to Israelites, but at the same time it was a displeasure of God when the Israelites asked for a king, rejecting God as their Judge and king (I Sam. 8:7). But as per the fore plan and fore knowledge of God, Benjamin Tribe was selected for the first king of Israel. Jerusalem was divided among Judah and Benjamin and God Dwelt in Jerusalem (Judges 1:8 and 21). So the prophecy concerning Little Benjamin with their ruler was fulfilled in selecting King Saul as the First King of Israel.

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