It states in the 364th prohibition that a king is forbidden from having too many wives.

The limit is that he may not have more than 18 wives legally bound by kesubah and kiddushin.

The details of this mitzvah are explained in the second chapter of tractate Sanhedrin. Whenever he adds on to this limit, he is punished by lashes.

Was Shlomo Hamelech lashed for taking more than 18 wives, and if not, why not?

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    For the same reason nobody told Stalin it was wrong to have so many people executed. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:12
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    note that you'd need an acceptance of hasrah, and Chazal tell us that he had a rational why it was permitted to do as he did, in which case it is to be assumed he wouldn't accept hasroh.
    – user15253
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:28
  • Orangeandlemons, would you kindly give me a source for what you wrote re hasroh? Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 11:23
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/136588
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


The answer is very simple, as the Gemmorah in Sanhedrin 21a puts it - it is a Machlokes: any number from 18 to unlimited can be accepted based on different approaches by different Rabbis.

NB: Always keep in mind that though we have a tradition that previous generations kept rulings of the later (as you imply in your question) it does not hold empirically. This Halacha was not ruled clearly up until the Rishonim (Rambam)

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    Okay, so you’re just pushing off the question. According to the Tanna Kamma who poses a hard limit and according to R’ Shimon who says even one is forbidden if she turns him away, why didn’t Shlomo HaMelech get lashes? You’re just answering “We now pasken like the Tanna Kamma - maybe back then they paskened like R’ Yehudah.” Then Shlomo should be a disproof against all other opinions!
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 16:22

This is not the only occasion where a potential Chayav Malkus prohibition might have been transgressed but yet the Tenach chooses not to go into details of anyone's private life when its not relevant for future generations as it says in Masechet Megila 14a:

תניא הרבה נביאים עמדו להם לישראל כפלים כיוצאי מצרים אלא נבואה שהוצרכה לדורות נכתבה ושלא הוצרכה לא נכתבה

If Eidim gave Him warning then testified against him he would have gotten punished sanhedrin 19a

מלכי בית דוד דן ודנין אותן דכתיב (ירמיהו כא, יב) בית דוד כה אמר ה' דינו לבקר משפט

But there is nowhere that mentions if there was hasraa (warning) and that he was therefore liable to malkus so we will never know what really happened and it is not relevant

  • The question asked if he got lashes. Are you answering “he did, but it doesn’t say so” or “it doesn’t matter, because we’d know if it did matter”? If it’s the former, how do you know that he did? If it’s the latter, there are plenty of things in this vein which Gemaras and Midrashim tell us that aren’t in the passuk explicitly.
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 16:25
  • @donielf if eidim gave Him warning then testified against him he would have gotten punished sanhedrin 19a מלכי בית דוד דן ודנין אותן דכתיב (ירמיהו כא, יב) בית דוד כה אמר ה' דינו לבקר משפט but there is nowhere that mentions if there was hasraa and malkus this because it is not relevent
    – user15464
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 16:46
  • Let me ask you something. What was Avraham’s mother’s name? “The passuk doesn’t tell us, it’s not relevant, who cares?” Well, her name happens to be אמתלאי בת כרנבו (Bava Basra 91a). Things come up in Midrashim that aren’t important enough to be in the pesukim.
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 17:05
  • @DonielF you can ask a seperate question "what did shlomo eat for breakfast on the wednesday? if he ate pig did they lash him" and many more claiming they might be somewhere in a midrash., i understand you don't want to reverse your negative vote, maybe let the questioner daniel bilar see if this answers his question but i think our conversation is over for now
    – user15464
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 17:20
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    (That one is actually answered in Melachim Aleph 5:2-3.) I disagree with any answer claiming that a question is a stupid question, provided that the question gives some motivation. I was in your shoes on a recent question regarding the length of Moshe’s staff, because it didn’t demonstrate why anyone should care. Here that’s been demonstrated, and as such, deserves a proper answer.
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 17:26

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