Is there any statement by chazal or the poskim which precludes Moshiach from being a woman?


2 Answers 2


Rambam Hilchos Malachim perek 1 Halacha 5

"אין מעמידין אשה במלכות שנאמר עליך מלך ולא מלכה וכן כל משימות שבישראל אין ממנים בהם אלא איש."

women cannot become kings.

Also when the gemara discusses Mashiach they use the loshon "him" and Ben Dovid see Sanhedrin 98

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    However there were female "kings" in the past (eg Melachim II 11). Your last sentence is of course irrelevant, since male pronouns are the default gender neutral option in Hebrew
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 18:09
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    I really am. It's a proof that a women "king" has a chalot "king".
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 20:09
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    @DoubleAA, Jeremia only tells us that she staged a bloddy coup and prolonged her reign of terror for 6 years. Do you have a source that calls her a king? Or that says she has a 'chalot king', as you say?
    – Baby Seal
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 21:04
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    @BabySeal Jeremiah says מלכת. Sounds like a king, no? He could have said משלת or רדה
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 14:24
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    @DoubleAA affirmative
    – Baby Seal
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 14:30

In the question as posed it is not clear which of the 2 messiahs are under discussion. After a perusal of several sources I have not seen any statement from the sages of the talmud that Moshiach "ben" Yosef (Sukka 52a-b) needs to be male and cannot be female. Unlike Moshiach Ben David who is to have the status of a king and therefore according to halahic authorities such as Rambam is precluded from being a woman, Moshiach ben Yosef (MbY) does not seem to be viewed as a king but rather as a warrior.

Broadly speaking the term Moshiach (anointed) can be applied to persons who were not anointed with the שמן המשחה such as gentile Cyrus of Persia (Isaiah 45:1) and therefore need not imply MbY is actually anointed (implying kingship). Since MbY is by definition not of the tribe of Judah it would stand to reason this person will not be inaugurated as a king.

In terms of Poskim/Responsa - Rav Hai Gaon does mention MbY (Otzar Hageonim p.387) but does not comment on gender.

  • H. Melakhim 1:5 doesn't only apply to kings, but any position of authority אין מעמידין אישה במלכות--שנאמר "מלך" (דברים יז,טו), ולא מלכה; וכן כל משימות שבישראל, אין ממנים בהם אלא איש. Presumably a military leader that commands troops would be precluded (which is what MbY sounds like). What do you do with that Rambam? Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 21:22
  • What do you do with the distinctly gendered language of "ben"? Are there other occasions where you see a specific woman called the "son" of someone? Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 21:24
  • Cyrus of Persia was in fact a king... so not the strongest counter evidence of other usages of משיח Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 21:27
  • "Since MbY is by definition not of the tribe of Judah it would stand to reason this person will not be inaugurated as a king" There were non-Judahite/Davidic kings that were however accepted as king (e.g. the Hasmoneans). It's not the ideal, but it happens. Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 21:28
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    personally I think peshat in the OP is that the Q concerned MbD (which is who the vast majority are referring to when they say "Moshiach") but insofar as you took the opportunity to answer about MbY, I felt it only proper to point out the flaws in your answer. Having done so, it seems like overkill to offer an entirely new answer here. Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 19:38

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