(Deut. 17:14-20) How can this passage speak about the monarchy 400 years in advance?

CLAIM: Moses writes, “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses” (Deut. 17:14-15). Moses speaks of the monarchy here, but this wouldn’t occur for another 400 years. Critics use this passage to support a late date of the Pentateuch. Is this the case?

RESPONSE: This is a case of an antisupernatural bias. If God exists, then he can know and impart the future to finite human beings through supernatural revelation.

Moreover, God had made promises to Abraham (Gen. 17:16) and Jacob (Gen. 25:23; 35:11) about kings being among their descendants. Since Moses knew these promises, he was aware that a king would eventually come about in Israel’s future. This is why God gave Moses laws for the future king (Deut. 17:14-15). God had promised the Jews land and a nation. It only made sense to see the need for a future king, as well. For more on this subject, see the article titled “Authorship of the Pentateuch.”