In Megillah Esther it is said that the word Hamelech is a indirect reference to Hashem.

Is there a word Hamelech or Melech in the Torah that is a reference to Hashem?

Only in the five Books of Moses i’m Asking on.

  • 1
    Possibly of interest: Rosh Hashana 32b is a dispute about which verses count for malchiyot. The only two that use the word מלך as a noun are those in רבות מחשבות's answer.
    – b a
    Mar 6, 2019 at 16:28
  • What is your source for what you said about "hamelech"? In Esther Rabbah 3:10 (sefaria.org/Esther_Rabbah.3.7?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en) it just says, 'Everywhere that "hamelech" is stated alone, it can be either sacred [referring to G-d] or profane [referring to Aḥashverosh].' Or does the Midrash mean, "both"?
    – MichoelR
    Mar 21 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


Looking through a list of all of the occurrences of Melech in the Torah (really Tanach), here two possibilities:

לֹֽא־הִבִּ֥יט אָ֙וֶן֙ בְּיַעֲקֹ֔ב וְלֹא־רָאָ֥ה עָמָ֖ל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל י״י֤ אֱלֹהָיו֙ עִמּ֔וֹ וּתְרוּעַ֥ת מֶ֖לֶךְ בּֽוֹ׃
He has not seen iniquity in Jacob. Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel. Hashem his God is with him. The shout of a king is among them.

Bamidbar 23:21, Alhatorah translation - Melech is interpreted by many mefarshim, as well as Onkelos, to refer to Hashem.

וַיְהִ֥י בִישֻׁר֖וּן מֶ֑לֶךְ בְּהִתְאַסֵּף֙ רָ֣אשֵׁי עָ֔ם יַ֖חַד שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
He was king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people were gathered, All the tribes of Israel together.

Devarim 33:5, Alhatorah translation - Rashi, among some others, understands this to mean Hashem.

Relatedly, Ibn Ezra (in his introduction to the Megillah) questions the assumption that Makom can refer to Hashem, being that in his opinion, it never refers to Hashem elsewhere in Tanach.

והנה אין במגילה הזאת זכר השם והיא מספרי הקודש. ורבים השבו, כי הוא: ממקום אחר וזה איננו נכון, כי לא נקרא השם מקום בכל ספרי הקודש, רק נקרא מעון, שהוא לעולם גבוה. וקדמונינו זל קראוהו מקום, בעבור שכל מקום מלא כבודו. ועוד, מה טעם למלת אחר.‏

Behold, there is no mention of the Name [of G-d] in this scroll, and it is one of the holy books! Many have responded that it is [mentioned]: “[relief and salvation will arise for the Jews] from another place” [mimakom acher]. (Esther 4:14) This is incorrect, because Hashem is not known as Makom in any of the holy books, only as Maon [Residence], which is always lofty. Our Sages of blessed memory called Him Makom [“place”], since all places are filled with his honour. Further, what would be the meaning of the word “another” [in mimakom acher]?

  • Does the Ibn Ezra comment on this? I’m limited to the resources that I can use at the moment. Esther Rabbah 3:10 R' Yuden and R' Levi said in the name of R' Yohanan: Every time it says in the Megila - "King Achashverosh", it is reffering to the King Achashverosh. and everytime in painly says "the King" - It acts as divine and as profane. Mar 6, 2019 at 2:26
  • @DanielRoss he quotes chazal using this derasha in at least one place, see mg.alhatorah.org/Dual/Ibn_Ezra_First_Commentary/Esther/… Mar 6, 2019 at 2:28
  • I think the presentation of Ibn Ezra is a little misleading. Other people (such as Rashi) do interpret e.g. הנה מקום אתי (Exodus 33:21) as referring to God, and such people could be the same who interpret ממקום אחר as a reference to God. Ibn Ezra doesn't accept that interpretation in Esther or elsewhere. I don't think anyone would say it means "place" everywhere except ממקום אחר.
    – b a
    Mar 6, 2019 at 16:26
  • Those two and ה' ימלך לעולם ועד are the only ones in the Torah. That's why we use שמע ישראל as the last one in Malchuyos on Rosh Hashanah.
    – Heshy
    Mar 6, 2019 at 18:58

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