Our Representational Reign: Royal Leadership in the United Monarchy

Bibliographic information:

Thigpen, J. Michael, “Our Representational Reign: Royal Leadership in the United Monarchy.” Pages 125–40 in Biblical Leadership: Theology for the Everyday Leader. Edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet Roden. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2017.


The united monarchy, spanning the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, offers readers a stirring, and sobering, portrait of leadership. Sin—adultery, rebellion, murder, and idolatry—sits uncomfortably alongside obedience, wisdom, and faithfulness. Leadership is not a tangent in the narratives of the kings. Leadership is front and center, as each king wrestles in unique ways with how to follow God, lead the people of Israel, and establish the fledgling monarchy for which the people had begged. Although it is true that Saul was rejected, David was granted the eternal line of kingship, and Solomon was the greatest king, none of these kings fit neatly into the categories of godly or sinful. Their stories are complex and belie simple summaries. Yet, by surveying these three portraits together, paying attention to the variations and to the common themes, we can trace the key contours of a theology of royal leadership.


Kregel (website: http://www.kregel.com/ministry/biblical-leadership/)

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