I saw somewhere recently that when Tzidkkiyahu was blinded, he was invalidated from hypothetically returning to rule over Judea as king, because he now had a halachic blemish (מום). Is this true, that someone with a blemish cannot be king?

  • 1
    I think I saw the same thing regarding the king who was punished with tzaraas for doing the avodah.
    – The GRAPKE
    Nov 22, 2020 at 21:30
  • 1
    @TheGRAPKE On the contrary, Uzziyahu was still king for the rest of his life (and those years are counted towards his reign).
    – Meir
    Nov 26, 2020 at 19:18
  • @Meir Happy to be corrected, it was a vague recollection
    – The GRAPKE
    Nov 26, 2020 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


The Rambam in Hilchot Melachim (chapter 1) lists a number of conditions to be a king (not to be a convert, a woman, a butcher, barber, bath-attendant or a tanner). Having no blemish is not such a condition.

In addition, the Tanakh (Shmuel II 14:25) mentions Absalom was without blemish. If this was a mandatory condition to being a king, it wouldn't need to be mentioned.

As such, it appears to me that someone with a blemish can be a king.

  • I went through the whole of hilchot melachim before posting this question, but was unsure what the lack of references to blemishes meant.
    – Harel13
    Nov 26, 2020 at 18:08
  • Did David become a bath attendant by observing Bathsheba? Apr 11, 2023 at 20:50

According to the Chasam Sofer (שו״ת אורח חיים סימן י״ב), a king may not have a blemish, based on Yevamot 101 and Kiddushin 76b regarding the Sanhedrin “and above”

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