Not that you would, given that Israel is not a monarchy and that kings are not exactly elected.

But can it? Would that be halacha? I've heard we have had issues like this during Herod. I just want to understand a bit about the context.

Recently a governor in Jakarta wasn't elected and was thrown in jail over mentioning a Quranic text that suggest that Muslims must not vote for non-Muslim leaders. You can see the case here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/12/jakarta-governor-ahoks-blasphemy-trial-all-you-need-to-know

That governor was a very popular governor with the media claiming the election "feels like presidential election".

Someone was joking in an Indonesian forum saying that in Israel some honest Muslim governors are also jailed for similar cases.

I just remembered similar verse somewhere in the bible about not picking king among non-Jews and would like to compare. I forgot the verse.

  • 2
    the rule about setting a king up detailed in Deut 17 says "You shall surely set over yourself a king whom Hashem, your G-d, shall choose" so are you asking if God would choose a non-Jew who is from the tribe of Judah etc? The verse continues "Be sure to set as king over yourself one of your own people; you must not set a foreigner over you, one who is not your kinsman"
    – rosends
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 10:49
  • Kind of tricky there. In one verse God shall choose. On other verse, you must not set a foreigner over you. That seems to imply the people choose their king (as if kings are elected). It's not clear what foreigner means. Does that mean azeknazi jews don't count because they just arrived from Rusia?
    – user4951
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 12:17
  • 1
    The Chizkuni explains, " how do we know that the King has been chosen by the Lord? He will be chosen by the foremost prophet at that time, or in the absence of prophets, through consultation by the High Priest with G-d by means of the urim vetumim, the parchment in a pocket beneath the High Priest’s breastplate." The people then set that person over themselves and accept his authority.
    – rosends
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 12:58
  • A belated Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Can you clarify in your question if you are asking about electing a Gentile king for the Jewish people, only, in Israel or are you talking about electing a king in another country and whether a Jew may participate in a democratic election for such a king.(maybe, I'm the only one not seeing this distinction?)
    – DanF
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


In terms of permissibility according to Jewish law, the answer is found in the Mishnah Torah, Laws of Kings and their Wars, Chapter 1:4

A convert may not be appointed king, even after many generations, until one has a Jewish mother, as it says, “You cannot place over yourselves a foreign man, one who is not your brother” (Deut. 17:15). This rule is also applicable for any governing position, and includes a commander in the Army and any officer in the Army, or even the one who is merely responsible for the reservoir which irrigates the fields. It goes without saying that a convert cannot be appointed Judge or President. All these Positions must be filled by (born) Jews, as it says, “place upon yourselves a king from those who are close to you” (ibid.). All official, governing Positions must be filled with those from among our brethren.

This means that according to Deuteronomy 17:15, Jews are only permitted to appoint someone who is born of a Jewish mother to be their King.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .