Jonathan H. Walton, «A King Like The Nations: 1 Samuel 8 in Its Cultural Context.», Vol. 96 (2015) 179-200
Commentators on 1 Samuel 8 offer a variety of interpretations about what the requested king is expected to replace: judgeship, YHWH himself, or Israel's covenant identity. This article demonstrates that none of these proposals account for the Biblical text adequately. It is proposed instead that the king is intended to replace the Ark of the Covenant. The king will then manipulate YHWH into leading in battle. This is what ancient Near Eastern kings were able to do with their gods, and what the ark failed to do in 1 Samuel 4.