Just reading Malachim and right into it there are killings ordered by Solomon via Banayah - including his own brother. How, tell me, please - is this sanctioned by Hashem and how does Hashem BLESS him afterward? Is there one set of laws for kings and another for the commoners? Because last time I checked it says - that shall not murder. And not one of these killings were in self-defense either, but seemingly revenge.

1 Answer 1


The king has a right to kill anyone who rebels against him in any way or even slights him. As Maimonides writes this is learned from a verse in Joshua

The king has the right to execute anyone who rebels against a king. One is liable to the death penalty even if the king decreed that he is to go to a particular place and he did not go there or that he not leave his house and left. If he so wishes, he may execute him it says, “any man who disagrees with your words... shall be put to death.” (Joshua 1:18). Similarly, the king has permission to execute anyone who disgraces or embarrasses him or insults him, as was the case with Shimi ben Gera. The king has permission to execute only by the sword. He may imprison and beat someone with a whip for the sake of his honor. However, he may not declare their money ownerless, for it would be robbery were he to do so.

  • Who wrote that? Who made that law? Is that D'Oreita or was this the king's decree? What does the Torah say about killing? How does a king override Halacha?
    – JSarai
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 7:35
  • Also the Mishneh Torah was written after Solomon's reign, what justification and law did he abide by if what you cite above was written after the fact?
    – JSarai
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 7:39
  • 2
    I quoted Maimonides just because he is the most quotable. The source for the law is in the verse from Joshua, which preceded Solomon. The assumption is that this was included in G-d's commandment to appoint a king: a king must have authority. The book of Joshua contains the Jewish people saying so explicitly. Maimonides did not invent any laws; he just recorded them.
    – N.T.
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 8:24
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    @JSarai Why do you think Adonijah wanted to marry Avishag, David's quasi-widow? What would such an act have looked like to the populace?
    – Joel K
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 10:20
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    The verses are clear that Solomon took asking to marry Avishag as tantamount to requesting the kingship. Also see the end of the book of Samuel, where King David instructed Solomon to kill Shimi and Yoav before he died.
    – N.T.
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 21:28

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