Deuteronomy 17:14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.

18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.


This is from the easy English site.

This section tells the Israelites what to do if they wanted a king. God was their real king. Any human king must be a person whom God had chosen. He must not be a foreigner. Maybe that was because a foreigner might want to give honour to false gods. The king must not be like the kings of foreign countries. He must not have many horses. Therefore, he cannot have a large army. He must not have many wives. He must not become too rich. All those things would make him trust other things. Then he would not continue to trust the Lord. Solomon started well, but then he did not obey all those rules. He obtained horses from Egypt. (See 1 Kings 10:28.) He had 700 main wives and 300 other wives as well. (See 1 Kings 11:3.) He had more riches than all the other kings of the earth. (See 1 Kings 10:23.) As a result, the kingdom divided into two after his death. The king must have a copy of the law that he would study. If he obeyed this law, he and his family would rule over Israel for a long time.

This is from bibletrack.org.

As a matter of fact, Israel did plead for a king to reign over them in I Samuel 8. Samuel (judge of Israel), after conferring with God on the request, appointed their first king, Saul, to reign over them in I Samuel 10. Here are the guidelines for selecting a king to rule over Israel. He must be God-chosen, a home-grown Hebrew boy, not a gold digger, have a limited number of wives, not proud or conceited, and he better obey the law. As a matter of fact, he is to copy the law himself into his own book and read it daily as king. By the way, the practice of taking other Kings' daughters as wives ended up being the downfall of Solomon.

Solomon's wives erected altars to pagan gods right there on the Temple grounds. No wonder the Northern Kingdom after the death of Solomon never, never, never served God. He should have heeded these verses in Deuteronomy.

In contrast, while Solomon's father, David, had multiple wives (II Samuel 3), he did not indulge in excesses as did Solomon.

I found this at a site called theologyofwork.org.

In this text we see two restrictions on the use of authority—those in authority are not above the law but must obey and uphold it, and those in authority must not abuse their power by enriching themselves.

Today, people in authority may try to put themselves above the law, as for example when police and court workers “fix” traffic tickets for themselves and their friends, or when high-ranking public servants or business employees do not obey the expense policies others are subject to. Similarly, officials may use their power to enrich themselves receiving bribes, zoning, and licensing exemptions, access to privileged information, or personal use of public or private property. Sometimes special perks are granted to those in power as a matter of policy or law, but this does not really eliminate the offense. Moses’ command to kings is not to make sure to get legal authorization for their excesses, but to avoid the excesses altogether. When those in power use their authority not simply to gain special privileges but to create monopolies for their cronies, to appropriate vast lands and assets, and to jail, torture, or kill opponents, the stakes become deadly. There is no difference in kind between petty abuses of power and totalitarian oppression, merely in degree.

The more authority you have, the greater the temptation to act as if you are above the law. Moses prescribes an antidote. The king must read God’s law (or word) every day of his life. By this he learns to revere the Lord and fulfill the responsibilities God has given him. He is reminded that he too is under authority. God does not give him the privilege of making a law unto himself, but a duty of fulfilling God’s law for the benefit of everyone. The same is true today for those who bear authority. To exercise leadership justly, you have to re-engage with scripture all the days of your life and to practice applying it every day to the ordinary circumstances of work. Only by the art of continual practice, turning neither to the left nor the right of God’s word, may we tame the impulse to misuse authority. The result is that the leader serves the community (Deut. 17:20), not the other way round.

IMHO... the only king [or leader no matter the title] who ever really fit this description was Jesus the Messiah. He didn't even own one horse. He borrowed a donkey. I wish our leaders would read the Bible daily. Actually, reading a Bible verse every day isn't really enough.... I would want my leader to absorb a verse of the Bible every day.... read it... consider the historical value.... consider the meaning.... consider the context.... and put it into their heart....