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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 173 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

173 - APPOINTING A KING


Deuteronomy 17:15 -- "You shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.”
Deuteronomy 12:10 -- “But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety.”

“Just as Scripture has allotted him (i.e. the king) this abundant honor, and has obliged everyone to render him such honor, even so (Scripture) has made it mandatory upon him to be inwardly humble and subdued of heart, as it is said, And my heart is wounded within me. (Psalms 109:22) Furthermore, he is not to be unduly overbearing towards (anyone in) Israel, as it is said, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren (Deuteronomy 17:20). He is to be gracious and merciful to those of low rank or of high rank, ever preoccupying himself with (the people’s) wants and welfare, being heedful of the respect due even to the humblest of men. In addressing himself to the assembly of the people as a whole he is to speak gently, as it is said, Hear me, my brethren and my people (1 Chronicles 28:2); and again, If you will be a servant to these people today... etc. (1 Kings 12: 7). He is ever to conduct himself in utmost humility. We have had in Israel none greater than Moses, who nevertheless said (of himself and Aaron), And what are we? Your complaints are not against us (Exodus 16:8). He is to submit without repining to the (people’s) vexatiousness and burden, and (to endure) murmuring and rancor, (as it is said), as a guardian carries a nursing child (Numbers 11:12). Scripture calls (the king) a shepherd (in the words), To shepherd Jacob His people (Psalms 78:71); and the way of the shepherd is thus described by our Tradition: He will feed His flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young. (Isaiah 40:11-12)”*

* Mishneh Torah, Shoftim, Hilchoth Melachim II, 6

“As punishment and judgments are evidently indispensable, it was necessary to appoint judges throughout the country in every town; witnesses must be heard; and a king is required whom all fear and respect, who is able to restrain the people by various means, and who can strengthen and support the authority of the judges.”*

* Moreh Nebuchim III, 41

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