Finally! He says what I’ve been saying, and this is the final refutation to the anti-monarchical theonomists.
Monarchy was not, as Nugent says, a “detour” from Torah, since Torah explicitly prophesies of and provides for monarchy (Genesis 49; Deuteronomy 17). (I’m tempted to say, Those who oppose monarchy to law, have you not read the law?) It’s a monarchy far different from the monarchies of the Gentiles, but a monarchy nonetheless. If David was a “detour,” further, it is odd that the prophets again and again hold out the hope that Israel would return to the “detour” (Isaiah 9:7; 16:5; 33:15-26; Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24-25). It is also difficult to see how the diaspora weaned Israel from “imperial entanglement,” since the diaspora left Israel more entangled with empire than ever.
Elsewhere Leithart notes that when the Israelites demanded a king, they demanded the king on the pagans, and not the Torah’s, terms.