14 votes

Why was King Shaul commanded to kill all the animals of Amalek?

Rashi to Shmuel Aleph 15:3 explains that the Amalekites were sorcerers and were capable of disguising themselves as animals - and for this reason Shaul was commanded to kill even the animals. In his ...
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13 votes
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Why did the Davidic dynasty need to come from questionable relations?

See the gemara in Yoma 22b. This was orchestrated in order to ensure the longevity of his kingdom. As Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: One appoints a leader over the ...
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12 votes
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Were Amalek offered a peaceful exit?

The Chidushei HaGriz (§ 161) comments that the narrative between Shmuel and Shaul is a basis for the Rambam's opinion in 6:4. In verse 18, Sh'mu'el says that Sha'ul was told to destroy אֶת-הַחַטָּאִים ...
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12 votes

Was Uriah Jewish?

Kli Yakar - Shmuel 2 says he was called Hachiti, either because he was a convert from Chais or he lived amongst the Bnei Chais. Either way he was a Jew.
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11 votes

Why didn't Shaul know who David was when David fought Goliath?

This is a question asked by many commentators, so your wife is in good company :) I'll bring four of the above-mentioned commentators here: Rashi (Samuel 1, 17, 55) (partial) וכי לא היה מכירו ...
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11 votes

For those who hold that David sinned, how was he allowed to ever marry Bat Sheba?

The Gemara in Kesubos 9a asks that question and gives two answers 1) The woman only becomes forbidden (to her husband, and as a consequence also to the adulterer) if she willingly commits adultery. ...
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  • 5,601
10 votes

Was Uriah Jewish?

The Gemara in Kiddushin says that he was Jewish - Kiddush 76b: אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כדי שתהא זכותן וזכות אבותם מסייעתן והאיכא (שמואל ב כג, לז) צלק העמוני מאי לאו דאתי מעמון לא דיתיב בעמון והאיכא (...
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10 votes
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Nevuah or just a dream

Basically the answer would be the same as an answer to a question how do we distinguish reality from a dream. The realness of a prophecy would be overwhelming. Rabeinu Crescas addresses this question ...
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  • 116
10 votes
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Was it lawful for David to partake of the showbread?

The Talmud (M'nachos 96a) explains that David and his coterie were in mortal danger of starving at the time, which legally supersedes the prohibition against them eating showbread. Another approach, ...
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  • 16.2k
9 votes

Source for how Agag had a child after being captured

Amalekites and magic: The Amalekites' ability to change into animals is brought by Rashi on Shmuel 1:15:3 and the Rid on the same verse, and mentioned as a midrash in the Kitzur Ba'al Haturim's ...
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  • 20.2k
9 votes

How was Shmuel permitted to kill Agag?

Rabbi Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (known as the Noda Beyehuda) in his work Doresh Letziyon, Derush 5 (new print p.46-47) poses this question. He takes the view that Shmuel Hanavi was allowed to kill ...
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  • 1,319
9 votes
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Why was Batsheva bathing on the roof

http://vbm-torah.org/archive/shmuel/79shmuel.htm The Radak rejects such an explanation, saying: "He saw from upon the roof that she was bathing in her house." This understanding is reasonable, ...
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9 votes

Why did David choose to lay with a married woman when it seems so out of his character?

The Talmud (Avoda Zara 4b-5a) indeed acknowledges that the sin did not match his character and he was ensnared as a way to teach future generations a lesson about the power of repentance. (Similarly, ...
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9 votes
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Why does David refuse to kill Shimi b. Gera, but then later tell Shlomo to kill him?

Both Targums on Esther 2:5 identify The Shimei in Mordecai's lineage with Shimei Ben Gera. They state that David saw through a prophetic experience that Mordecai (and Esther according to the first ...
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  • 8,074
9 votes

Was it David's custom to go into battle without an armour?

I wrote an essay a couple of years ago that dealt, in part, with these questions. The answer to your first question is: Yes and no. David's military uniform depended on which weapon he was using in ...
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8 votes

Nevuah or just a dream

Perhaps you wouldn't know, without someone to educate you. Ramchal, Derech Hashem, 3:4:3: הנה אפשר שיגיע גילוי ממנו ית' אל אדם והוא לא יכיר בו כמו שיכיר הנביא אלא יחשבהו בא מן המורגשות עד שיגבר ...
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8 votes

Why did King David request for Michal to be returned to him if she was remarried?

See Shabbos 13b with Rashi and Sanhedrin 19-20, Palti put a sword in their bed and never came close to her. He is praised more than Yosef and Boaz for his control.
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8 votes

David's sons were kohanim - Really?

Is there anywhere else in Tanach where "kohanim" does NOT mean priests? 1. Shoftim Ch. 17 - 18: In the end of Shoftim the ben-Levi who served in Micha's place of worship is referred to as a Cohen ...
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8 votes

Difference between sins of Saul and sins of David?

David's sin was a personal matter, Saul's was national. King Saul was personally commanded to eradicate Amalek. This was a national interest which was under his authority as king. When he sinned and ...
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  • 22.8k
8 votes

Why is Yiftach's sacrifice of his kin looked at so negatively, while Chana's "sacrifice" of kin so positively?

I admit that don't have a source for the following distinction. But there's a logical distinction between the cases. Shmuel was consecrated to Hashem. Chana didn't abandon him, or "lock him up" ...
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  • 2,871
7 votes
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Why does God command Shmuel to be deceptive?

Radak says "Ain Somchin al hanes" Do not rely on miracles. He also compares it to Yaakov being afraid that Eisav was coming, David fleeing from Shaul and other incidents In Pesachim 8b and Yoma 11a ...
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  • 41.8k
7 votes
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Why was Bnei Israel rebuked for requesting a King if this was a commandment given to them?

I think the answer to this question lies in how Shmuel chose to rebuke the nation. In chapter 12, Shmuel recaps the mistake that the Jewish people have made in requesting a king. In verse 17, he ...
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7 votes

Why was Bnei Israel rebuked for requesting a King if this was a commandment given to them?

In Shmuel 1 chapter 8 vs 6 Rashi explains that the problem with the request wasthe fact that they said 'to rule over us like all the nations'. The Radak there explains that it was apparent they made ...
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7 votes
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Did King David Expose himself (nude) while dancing or was it just unfit for him in the eyes of Michal

The commentators (drawing on traditional sources) like Rashi and Metzudos, etc., explain that David put on a linen casual robe used by celebrants that would honor a religious event. He was covering ...
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  • 10.3k
7 votes
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Was Yoav considered a murderer regarding Uriah the Hittite?

Kiddushin 43a: האומר לשלוחו צא הרוג את הנפש הוא חייב ושולחיו פטור שמאי הזקן אומר משום חגי הנביא שולחיו חייב שנא' (שמואל ב יב, ט) אותו הרגת בחרב בני עמון One who says to his agent: "Go and ...
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  • 33.4k
7 votes
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Question about Shmuel 1:11:11 and Tehillim 83:8

The Radak makes your point in Divrei Hayamim to suggest that the Amonim are a different nation than the B'nei Amonim. In the story in Shmuel, they are referred to as Amonim throughout, not B'nei Amon, ...
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  • 5,601
7 votes
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When was book of Shmuel written?

Abarbanel discusses this issue in his introduction to Sefer Yehoshua and concludes (my translation): "And it seems that when Yirmiyahu wished to write Sefer Melachim, he clarified Sefer Shmuel ...
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  • 20.2k
6 votes

What is the proper translation of Samuel 1:17?

Rashi says that the writing of the word with the aleph removed was to connect "request" and "child/birth" your request: (שלתך, instead of שאלתך). The ‘alef’ is missing to expound in this word an ...
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  • 36.5k
6 votes
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How could King David do such a thing? he gave 7 of King Saul's descendants to be put to death? what was their sin?

Judaica Press on verse 6 cites Abravanel that these set of laws (which would forbid turning them over to be killed) only apply to human justice (and the court system). In this case, King David had ...
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  • 41.8k
6 votes
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Demon Possession in Judaism

Like many other beliefs, Judaism doesn't have a clear opinion on the matter, but individual Jews do. Rashi, for example, believed in demons and gives that explanation of ruah raah in Eruvin 45b s.v. ...
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