And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites.

What exactly was the king suppose to copy? Was it the whole Torah, the Written Law (600+ laws, rules, regulations, judicial decisions, etc. minus the history), or only the book of Devarim?

2 Answers 2


The king is supposed to copy an entire Torah scoll and have it on hand at all times. This is in addition to every individual's obligation to copy an entire Torah scroll. It is discussed in Sanhedrin 21b ( https://www.sefaria.org.il/Sanhedrin.21b?lang=bi) and picked up by the Rambam as positive Mitzvah #17 in the Sefer HaMitzvot (https://www.sefaria.org/Sefer_HaMitzvot%2C_Positive_Commandments.17?lang=bi)


This is actually a lot more complicated than it seems. See the Peirush of Rav Yerucham Fishel Perlow on the Sefer Hamitzvos L'Rav Saadiah Gaon in his essay on the mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah. I believe he cites those who understand that only the Aseres HaDibros were written there.

  • 2
    Perhaps you can summarise what Rav Perlow says?
    – Dov
    Sep 8, 2022 at 17:13

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