Jehovah delivered Israel from the Egyptian slavery through ten terrible plagues, to punish the people he himself brought forth in the middle of evil, for the psalmist says: “Israel also came into Egypt. Jacob lived in the land of Ham. He increased his people greatly, and made them stronger than their adversaries. He turned their heart to hate his people, to conspire against his servants (Ps. 105:23-25). Then, by the hand of Moses, he led the people to the feet of Mount Sinai, and made a covenant there, the covenant of the Law. He told him: “And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6). The tribe of Levi, the third son of Leah, was chosen to exercise the priesthood after the death of Moses. Jehovah ruled over Israel through the priests. It was the theocratic kingdom. Jehovah spoke: “I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King” (Is. 43:15).
Many Christians think that Jehovah was king only in Israel, the only monotheist people, that is, which worships one god. The other peoples were all polytheists, that is, they worshipped many gods, and even animals — oxen, cows, eagles, birds, dragons, and serpents. They worshipped the sun, the moon, and the stars — an army of gods. Amazingly Jehovah declares himself to be the king of all these nations: “For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations (Ps. 47:7-8). “Who should not fear you, King of the nations? For it appertains to you; because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their royal estate, there is none like you” (Jer. 10:7). “For the kingdom is Jehovah’s. He is the ruler over the nations” (Ps. 22:28).
We find it strange that Jehovah was the god and the king of monotheists (Israel), and was also the god and the king of polytheists (1 Chr. 16:31; 2 Kings 19:15; Jer. 48:15). How could Jehovah forbid idolatry if he was god of idolaters? Jehovah said in the first commandment of the law: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). He forbade the people to make idols, under the penalty of having their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren cursed (Ex. 20:4-6). And was he god of the heathen? His people were confused. He forbade idolatry and sent them to captivity to worship idols! (Deut. 28:36-37; Jer. 16:13). He formed Israel in Egypt worshipping the Apis bull for 400 years, and when they made the golden calf, he rejected them and commanded their death (Ex. 32:3-10, 25-29). That poor people suffered so much hunger and thirst, so many punishments in the desert! In the period of the judges they underwent seven captivities for 111 years. At the end of the period of the judges, tired of the theocracy, the people asked Samuel for a king. Samuel consulted Jehovah, who told him: They are not rejecting you, but they are rejecting me, that I may not rule over them (1 Sam.8:4-7). Then Jehovah chose and elected Saul to rule in Israel in his place (1 Sam. 9:16-17). Saul did not meet his expectations and Jehovah rejected him, bringing David to replace him (1 Sam. 13:14). Besides disobeying Jehovah’s orders, Saul grew envious and jealous of David, and sought to kill him. Jehovah confessed that he repented from choosing Saul, saying: “It grieves me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and has not performed my commandments. Samuel was angry; and he cried to Jehovah all night” (1 Sam. 15:11).
After the death of Saul, Jehovah gave his wives to David. They were ten in all (2 Sam. 12:8; 20:3). These were concubines. The legitimate wives, mothers of those who were going to reign, were six. David, therefore, had 16 women. Regardless his 16 wives, David, lacking sexual restraint, committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. As she got pregnant, David ordered the death of Uriah. Even though David had six women besides his concubines, Jehovah chose the son of an adulterous woman to rule over Israel (2 Sam. 12:24; 1 Chr. 3:1-5, 22:9-10). Jehovah placed Solomon ahead of six princes, since he was the tenth, and Adoniah the fourth. (The story of Adoniah is found in the first three chapters of the first book of the kings of Israel). Solomon, on the throne, had 1,000 women, for he was lustful and voluptuous (1 Kings 11:1-3). Since lust is the mother of weakness of character, Solomon yielded, and perverted by his women, worshipped and served the strange gods: Ashtaroth, goddess of the Sidoneans; Milcom, abomination of the Ammonites; Chemosh, abomination of the Moabites, and Moloch, abomination of the sons of Ammon (1 Kings 11:4-7). Then Jehovah removed the kingdom from David’s lineage giving ten tribes to Jeroboam, son of Nebat (1 Kings 11:28-36). He left only one tribe in the hands of Rehoboam, son of Solomon.
But, as Jehovah was the king of all the gentile nations, not only in Israel did he remove the king he disliked and deliver the throne to another, though bad, but he interfered with all the kingdoms of the gentillic world.
The Jewish kingdom was captive in Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar dreamt but could not remember his dream. The magicians could not tell the dream and were condemned to death. Daniel and his three friends prayed and Jehovah revealed them the dream of the statue: its head was of gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of brass, its legs of iron, and its feet part iron and part clay (Dan. 2:29-33). Daniel told him, then: “You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory” (Dan. 2:37). Jehovah delivered the kingdoms of the earth into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel declared also that the most high has dominium over the kingdoms of men and gives them to whomever he wishes, even to the lowest of men (Dan. 4:17-25). Nebuchadnezzar was wicked and proud, and Jehovah said: “I have made the earth, the men and the animals that are on the surface of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it to whom it seems right to me. Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the animals of the field also have I given him to serve him” (Jer. 27:5-6). The one who really reigns over the nations and the kings is Jehovah. He is responsible for delivering the kingdoms into the hands of wicked men, with few exceptions. Jehovah later delivered all the kingdoms in the hands of Cyrus, the Persian king. Cyrus himself declares: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘Jehovah, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, Jehovah his God be with him, and let him go up’” (2 Chr. 36:23; Ezra 1:1-2). Jehovah called Cyrus his servant (Is. 44:26); messiah, that is, anointed (Is. 45:1); and Jehovah’s shepherd (Is. 44:28). But Cyrus was Persian, and the Persian’s religion was Zoroastrianism, founded by Zoroaster or Zarathustra in 600 BC, who admitted the idea of two gods with like power who were in battle with each other: the god of light, whose name was “Ahura Mazda”, and the god of darkness, whose name was “Angra Mainyu”, the devil. How can it be that Jehovah, who claimed to be the only god almighty, call servant, shepherd, and anointed (messiah) a king who believed in two gods? This proves that Jehovah delivered the power and the kingdoms in the hands of the wicked, like Nebuchadnezzar, and in the hands of idolaters who believed that a demon was god, like Cyrus the Persian. He is the only one who gives the kingdoms (Dan. 4:17; 5:18-21). Let us read the story of Satan: “The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to him, “I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want” (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus told him: “Go away, Satan”, but did not contradict his declaration. We ask: Who gave Satan all the kingdoms of the world? One thing is certain: The prophet Ezekiel declares that Jehovah gives into the hands of evil men (Ezek. 30:12).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira