Questions about kings and monarchy in Judaism.

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24
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5answers
778 views

If kings were supposed to be from Shevet Yehuda, why was Shaul from Binyamin anointed?

If kings were supposed to be from Shevet Yehuda, why was Shaul from Binyamin anointed?
20
votes
2answers
688 views

Why are none of the Pharaohs in the Torah identified by name?

Throughout the Torah, the various Egyptian Pharaohs are always referred to as simply "Pharaoh" or "the king of Egypt" (or both), but never with any other parts of their official titulary. By contrast,...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a Jew allowed to be knighted? Problem with kneeling?

Is there any halachik problem with going through the knighting (or Damehood for women) process of kneeling etc? The current ceremony does not contain many of the Christian or pagan overtones of the ...
14
votes
2answers
221 views

How were judges appointed in the times of the Bais Hamikdash?

In the times of the Bais Hamikdash, were judges appointed by the king, or were they elected by the people? And was the system different based on which size court (i.e., courts comprised of 3, 23, or ...
13
votes
4answers
554 views

What does Dovid Melech Yisrael Chai Vkayam mean?

I'm pretty sure Dovid, the king of Israel is dead and buried. If so, what does this song really mean and why do we sing it? Why do we pick Dovid specifically and not some other tzadik, like Moshe?
13
votes
3answers
430 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of Israel?...
12
votes
2answers
603 views

When did David Hamelech become king?

The story of David in short, as requested: Shmuel (Samuel) anoints Shaul (Saul) king of Israel at G-d's command. (Shmuel I 10:1 and ibid. v 24)  Shaul disobeys G-d, and G-d regrets his anointment....
11
votes
2answers
272 views

Does one make a Bracha when seeing the Pope?

Is he considered either a king or a great non-Jewish scholar?
10
votes
3answers
153 views

Why does Yosef use intermediaries to ask Paro for permission to bury Yaakov, when until now he addressed Paro directly?

Bereishit 50:4, after Yaakov's death and mourning, says that Yosef spoke to Paro's house (בֵּית פַּרְעֹה) and asked them to ask Paro for leave so he could go bury his father. During the famine and ...
10
votes
2answers
496 views

Why was Bnei Israel rebuked for requesting a King if this was a commandment given to them?

In Shoftim (Deut 17:14), it is said that Israel will ask for a King to rule over it once it is settled in the land. The Artscroll Stone Edition Tanakh does not list the specific source for this, but ...
10
votes
1answer
122 views

What is the function of “Eloheinu” in blessings?

Many blessings open with the familiar formula: ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם In additions, many blessings close with the familiar shorter formula: ברוך אתה יהוה Now, we know (Berakhot ...
9
votes
1answer
76 views

Why doesn't the king of Belah get a name?

Bereishis 14:2 names the 5 kings who were on Team B in the war between the 4 kings and the 5 kings. Regarding 4 of the 5 kings on Team B, we are told their name and their domain. But by the king of ...
8
votes
2answers
243 views

When did Achashverosh stop rounding up fair maidens?

So first Achashverosh was married to Vashti. Then no more Vashti. Then he's rounding up all the fair maidens in the land to um, "meet" them, one per night, but they're still stuck in one of his royal ...
8
votes
2answers
141 views

Isolationism vs. Interventionism

Taking as vague definitions: isolationism: the principle that states should mind their own affairs interventionism: the principle that the state has a moral responsibility to intervene in the ...
8
votes
2answers
228 views

Was the Reish Galuta considered the presumptive candidate for the Melech haMoshiach?

The Reish Galuta, or Exilarch, was, from the time of Zerubavel until the abolition of the office ca. 1000 C.E. (with interregna), a Jewish political leader descended from malchut beit David. In some ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Was Achashverosh drunk throughout the Megillah?

Achashverosh has almost no agency in Megillah. He basically walks around signing whatever anyone tells him to sign and making edicts out of anger. Was he totally schnockered from the half year of ...
7
votes
4answers
207 views

Why did Mordechai not let Bigson & Seresh assasinate the king?

Why did Mordechai report the assassins before they could kill King Achashverosh? What did he have to gain? Had the king been killed, Esther might have been free to go home. She definitely wouldn't ...
7
votes
1answer
539 views

If Lev Melech B'yad Hashem, why bother voting?

We have a concept in Jewish thought that rulers do not have free will concerning public affairs, based on the verse in Mishlei 21:1 'לב מלך ביד ה, the heart of a king is in the hand of Hashem (See ...
7
votes
1answer
60 views

Hakhel: Source for leader of generation replacing king

As this is (or would be) a hakhel year I was doing some reading up on Hakhel and came across the following statement in a chabad.org article: If there is no king – as was the case in the hundreds ...
7
votes
3answers
110 views

Why were there 8 kings of Edom?

Is there any symbolism or other explanation as to why there were specifically eight kings of Edom who ruled before any king in Yisrael did, like it says in Bereshis 36 (31-39)?
7
votes
2answers
497 views

What was so good about Naamah the Ammonite?

In Bava Kamma 38b we are told that one reason God spared Lot was because of the two good birds who would issue from his daughters. Rus from Moav and Naamah from Ammon. Rus is well known, the only ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

Application of Lev Melech B'yad Hashem

There is a concept that rulers do not have free will concerning public affairs, based on the verse in Mishlei 21:1 'לב מלך ביד ה, the heart of a king is in the hand of Hashem (See commentary of the ...
7
votes
0answers
153 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
6
votes
3answers
221 views

Dovid haMelech and Amalek

In Shmuel Alef chapter 15 Shaul HaMelech (King Saul) loses his kingship because in his battle against Amalek he failed to kill King Agag and saved livestock to offer as sacrifices. Later we find ...
6
votes
3answers
288 views

Did anointed kings of Israel have contact with their parents?

This answer to another question makes me wonder: Did anointed kings of Israel have any contact with their parents? David was dead when Shlomo succeeded him, and Shlomo ruled until his own death. But ...
6
votes
2answers
375 views

which kings must Moshiach descend from?

Moshiach must definitionally descend from David, and according to this answer he must also descend from Shlomo. However, Moshiach cannot descend from Yehoaichin because of Yirmiyahu's curse. Are ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

How much of the sefer torah did the king read each day?

According to D'varim 17:18-20, a king was required to write for himself a sefer torah and read from it each day ( וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו). This doesn't say he had to read the whole sefer each ...
6
votes
3answers
261 views

What defines a “Jewish State” according to Rav Kook?

This question is only according to the opinion of R' Kook, who says that modern day Israel "would be considered the quasi-Kingdom of Israel". What component of the modern-day state would give it ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

If a king kills accidentally does he go into exile?

The mishna in makkos teaches that even someone who the entire Jewish people have a need for such as Yoav ben Tzrurya would have to go into exile (to a city of refuge) if he killed accidentally. I ...
6
votes
2answers
735 views

Why did Bigtan and Teresh want to kill the king?

I am very puzzled by the whole episode with Bigtan and Teresh (Esther 2:21-23). What exactly made them so mad that they wanted to kill the king? The gemarah (megillah 13b) says they were complaining ...
6
votes
0answers
191 views

The Torah scrolls written by Jewish kings

The Torah commanded Jewish kings to write their own Torah scroll from a master in the possession of the Levites, and to read it every day of their life so that they should not become haughty and so ...
5
votes
3answers
794 views

Why was Esther afraid to go to the King the second time, but not the first time?

When Mordechai told Esther that two of the King's guards were plotting to kill him, she went right away to tell the king directly. Yet when Mordechai later asked her to approach the king to save all ...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

Balak The King Since when?

In the First Posuk it says: וירא בלק בן ציפור (And Balak the son of Tzippor Saw) no mention of his ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Was Bar Kochba a King?

The Rambam (Hilchot Melachim 11:8) says the following: ואם יעמוד מלך מבית דויד הוגה בתורה ועוסק במצוות כדויד אביו, כפי תורה שבכתב ושבעל פה, ויכוף כל ישראל לילך בה ולחזק בדקה, ויילחם מלחמות ה'--הרי ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Source for how Agag had a child after being captured

Many years ago when I learned the story of King Shaul and Agag I recall learning that the Amalekites were master sorcerers and that the way King Agag was able to perpetuate his line was by cohabiting ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

What Was the Extent of the Princes' Authority?

In Numbers 7, we are told about the special offerings the princes of the Tribes brought to the Tabernacle. This is not the only time we hear of this position. Princes are present in Joshua 9 also, for ...
5
votes
0answers
82 views

why do we greatly honor the Davidic line of kings?

I have trouble understanding why we greatly honor the Davidic line of kings, why we pray for the restoration of the dynasty. Taking as examples the last six major kings of the Davidic line, they ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Pharaoh or King of Egypt?

In parashat shemot, how come pharoah is sometimes called the "king of Egypt" and sometimes called "Pharaoh"?
4
votes
2answers
181 views

If a King can't forgive, how did they ask Yosef, King of Egypt, for forgiveness?

The Posuk says (בראשית פרק נ' י''ז): כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ לְיוֹסֵף אָנָּא שָׂא נָא פֶּשַׁע אַחֶיךָ וְחַטָּאתָם Translated as: "Please, forgive now your brothers' transgression and their sin" The ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Under whose rule was the second Beis Hamikdash destroyed?

Rashi in Sota (41a) says אגריפס המלך. מלך ישראל היה מזרעו של הורדוס והוא שנחרב בהמ"ק בימיו The Beis Hamikdash was destroyed in the days of Aggripas. I thought that by the time of the ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Who was the King of Cheshbon (in the Torah)?

Who was the king of Cheshbon, mentioned in Bamidbar?
4
votes
2answers
132 views

No other King but God…and David?

In The Avinu Malkeinu prayer, it says, "We have no King other than you", what about the House of David/Mashiach?
4
votes
0answers
112 views

What is a “royal language”?

In explaining the gemara (Avoda Zarah 10a) and Rashi, Tosfos write (sv שאין להם לא כתב ולא לשון): לכך פירש ר"י כתב לשון חשוב שהמלכים משתמשין בו כעין חכמת יונית....לשון מלכות קאמר‏ .......
4
votes
2answers
114 views

Idolatrous Courts of Judah's Kings

The Talmud in Gittin 88a says that Israel was only destroyed once it had seven courts that worshiped idols. It proceeds to list seven different Northern Kings. Rashi explains that the Kings of Judah ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Bride and Groom: King and Queen?

I was at a wedding recently where a Rabbi spoke under the Chuppah and said that a groom is like a king and a bride is like a queen. I have heard these sayings a num er of times in the past. What is ...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

How was Dovid a descendant of Miriam?

It says in Sota 11b that the houses which were given to Yocheved and Miriam are interpreted as kingship, and the gemarah says that Dovid comes from Miriam. I'd like to know how that is possible given ...
3
votes
1answer
360 views

Why do children wear crowns on Shavuot?

Here in Israel, the tradition is for young children to wear flower crowns to celebrate Shavuot. (Along with the obligatory white shirts.) See my twins: Why is this? Is it related to Shabbat 88A ?? ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Secret Ops, The President, and The Blessing On a King

One of the conditions to make the brocha on kings is that they have the power to kill you (see Radvaz 1:296 as well as the Orchot Chaim Brachos 49 that say that this brocha is recited on any monarch ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

What “malchus” exists today in America?

The Gemara (Gittin 79b-80a) says that we need to write the date of the malchus (kindgom) of the place where a get (bill of divorce) was written, on the get, for שלום מלכות (so that we don't upset the ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Why do I care what time Bnei Melachim (sons of kings) rise in the morning?

The Mishnah in Berachothch2? teaches that one may recite Shema' until the end of the third hour of the day, "for it is the way of the sons of kings to rise by three hours." Why is that the deciding ...