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date: 20 January 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the largely neglected field of political Hebraism. Biblical citations are ubiquitous in virtually all political discussion in the seventeenth century, yet the political uses of Hebraic scholarship have been more or less absent from scholarship until recent years. The post-Reformation era, with its emphasis on sola scriptura, placed the Bible squarely in the centre of culture. One of the main issues for early modern political theorists was whether God approved or disapproved of a monarchy, based on their interpretation of Deuteronomy 17 and I Samuel 8. This chapter discusses the influence of political Hebraism on some influential seventeenth-century thinkers in England and argues that the Bible played an influential role in the formation of early modern political thought in the West as transmitted through the idea of the rebirth of the Hebrew Republic.

Keywords: political Bible, 1 Samuel 8, Hebrew Bible, monarchy, John Maxwell, Samuel Rutherford, Robert Filmer

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