What is really interesting is what Spinoza has to say about why the government collapsed. Chet HaEgel is fundamentally what brought down the Hebrew Theocracy; prior to that monumental event the priests were to be the bechorim spread evenly among the entire nation. Afterwards, the levi’im where chosen to be the priests as reward for their refusal to take part in the Chet HaEgel. The levi’im, according to Spinoza, became a bourgeois class; an envied group that ultimately grew to powerful and corrupted the State from the inside out. [This critique could have come from Hegel and Marx; which is probably one of the reasons why the Theologico-Political Treatise was one of the most popular books in Communist Russia.]
The final chapter of the TPT (or TTP in Latin) discusses what the proper government (Democracy) needs to be founded on. Spinoza, uses a critique of Moshe’s government to show how modern kings have faults:
Moses, not by fraud, but by Divine virtue, gained such a hold over the popular judgment that he was accounted superhuman, and believed to speak and act through the inspiration of the Deity; nevertheless, even he could not escape murmurs and evil interpretations. How much less then can other monarchs avoid them!Even Moshe could not make a perfect government and he was really supported by God. In a backhanded way Spinoza’s making sure everyone knows that modern monarchies are not supported by God (they’ve got more issues than Moses’ did).
Spinoza may have been a heretic, but he’s got some really interesting views on the Torah – he, at the very least, takes knowledge of Torah very seriously.