Deuteronomy Chapter 17

14When you come to the land the Lord, your God, is giving you, and you possess it and live therein, and you say, "I will set a king over myself, like all the nations around me,"   ידכִּֽי־תָבֹ֣א אֶל־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֨יךָ֙ נֹתֵ֣ן לָ֔ךְ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֖הּ וְיָשַׁ֣בְתָּה בָּ֑הּ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֗ אָשִׂ֤ימָה עָלַי֙ מֶ֔לֶךְ כְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר סְבִֽיבֹתָֽי:
15you shall set a king over you, one whom the Lord, your God, chooses; from among your brothers, you shall set a king over yourself; you shall not appoint a foreigner over yourself, one who is not your brother.   טושׂ֣וֹם תָּשִׂ֤ים עָלֶ֨יךָ֙ מֶ֔לֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִבְחַ֛ר יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ בּ֑וֹ מִקֶּ֣רֶב אַחֶ֗יךָ תָּשִׂ֤ים עָלֶ֨יךָ֙ מֶ֔לֶךְ לֹ֣א תוּכַ֗ל לָתֵ֤ת עָלֶ֨יךָ֙ אִ֣ישׁ נָכְרִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־אָחִ֖יךָ הֽוּא:
16Only, he may not acquire many horses for himself, so that he will not bring the people back to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, for the Lord said to you, "You shall not return that way any more."   טזרַק֘ לֹֽא־יַרְבֶּה־לּ֣וֹ סוּסִים֒ וְלֹֽא־יָשִׁ֤יב אֶת־הָעָם֙ מִצְרַ֔יְמָה לְמַ֖עַן הַרְבּ֣וֹת ס֑וּס וַֽיהֹוָה֙ אָמַ֣ר לָכֶ֔ם לֹ֣א תֹֽסִפ֗וּן לָשׁ֛וּב בַּדֶּ֥רֶךְ הַזֶּ֖ה עֽוֹד:
he may not acquire many horses for himself: But, only what he needs for his chariots, “so that he will not cause the people to return to Egypt” [to purchase the horses], because horses come from there, as it is said of Solomon (I Kings 10: 29), “And a chariot that went up and left Egypt sold for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty.” - [San. 21b]   לא ירבה לו סוסים: אלא כדי מרכבתו, שלא ישיב את העם מצרימה, שהסוסים באים משם. כמה שנאמר בשלמה, ותעלה ותצא מרכבה ממצרים בשש מאות כסף וסוס בחמשים ומאה (מלכים א' י כט):
17And he shall not take many wives for himself, and his heart must not turn away, and he shall not acquire much silver and gold for himself.   יזוְלֹ֤א יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ֙ נָשִׁ֔ים וְלֹ֥א יָס֖וּר לְבָב֑וֹ וְכֶ֣סֶף וְזָהָ֔ב לֹ֥א יַרְבֶּה־לּ֖וֹ מְאֹֽד:
And he shall not take many wives for himself: Only eighteen, for we find that David had six wives, and it was told to him [by Nathan the prophet] (II Sam. 12:8):“and if this is too little, I would add for you like them and like them” [totaling eighteen]. — [San. 21a and Sifrei]   ולא ירבה לו נשים: אלא שמונה עשרה, שמצינו שהיו לו לדוד שש נשים, ונאמר לו ואם מעט ואוסיפה לך כהנה וכהנה (שמואל ב' יב ח):
and he shall not acquire much silver and gold for himself: However, he may have what is required to provide for his troops. — [San. 21b]   וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו מאד: אלא כדי ליתן לאכסניא [לאפסניא]:
18And it will be, when he sits upon his royal throne, that he shall write for himself two copies of this Torah on a scroll from [that Torah which is] before the Levitic kohanim.   יחוְהָיָ֣ה כְשִׁבְתּ֔וֹ עַ֖ל כִּסֵּ֣א מַמְלַכְתּ֑וֹ וְכָ֨תַב ל֜וֹ אֶת־מִשְׁנֵ֨ה הַתּוֹרָ֤ה הַזֹּאת֙ עַל־סֵ֔פֶר מִלִּפְנֵ֖י הַכֹּֽהֲנִ֥ים הַֽלְוִיִּֽם:
And it will be, when he sits [upon his royal throne]: If he does this, he merits that his kingdom will remain established. — [Sifrei]   והיה כשבתו: אם עשה כן כדאי הוא שתתקיים מלכותו:
two copies of this Torah-: Heb. מִשְׁנֵה הַתּוֹרָה i.e., two Torah scrolls, one that is placed in his treasury, and the other that comes and goes with him (San. 21b). [I.e., a small scroll, which the king carries with him. Thus the Talmud derives מִשְׁנֵה from שְׁנַיִם, two.] Onkelos, however, renders פַּתְשֶׁגֶן, copy. He interprets [the word] מִשְׁנֵה in the sense of repeating and uttering. [I.e., one copy of the Torah, which the scribe would write while uttering the words before he writes them, deriving מִשְׁנֵה from שִׁנּוּן, studying .]   את משנה התורה: שתי ספרי תורה. אחת שהיא מונחת בבית גנזיו ואחת שנכנסת ויוצאת עמו. ואונקלוס תרגם פתשגן, פתר משנה לשון שנון ודבור:
19And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord, his God, to keep all the words of this Torah and these statutes, to perform them,   יטוְהָֽיְתָ֣ה עִמּ֔וֹ וְקָ֥רָא ב֖וֹ כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑יו לְמַ֣עַן יִלְמַ֗ד לְיִרְאָה֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔יו לִ֠שְׁמֹ֠ר אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֞י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את וְאֶת־הַֽחֻקִּ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לַֽעֲשׂתָֽם:
the words of [this] Torah: [This is to be understood] according to its apparent meaning [namely a commandment written in the Torah].   דברי התורה: כמשמעו:
20so that his heart will not be haughty over his brothers, and so that he will not turn away from the commandment, either to the right or to the left, in order that he may prolong [his] days in his kingdom, he and his sons, among Israel.   כלְבִלְתִּ֤י רֽוּם־לְבָבוֹ֙ מֵֽאֶחָ֔יו וּלְבִלְתִּ֛י ס֥וּר מִן־הַמִּצְוָ֖ה יָמִ֣ין וּשְׂמֹ֑אול לְמַ֩עַן֩ יַֽאֲרִ֨יךְ יָמִ֧ים עַל־מַמְלַכְתּ֛וֹ ה֥וּא וּבָנָ֖יו בְּקֶ֥רֶב יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
and so that he will not turn away from the commandment: Not even from a minor commandment of a prophet.   ולבלתי סור מן המצוה: אפילו מצוה קלה של נביא:
in order that he may prolong [his] days [in his kingdom]: From this positive statement, one may understand the negative inference [i.e., if he does not fulfill the commandments, his kingdom will not endure]. And so we find in the case of Saul, that Samuel said to him, “Seven days shall you wait until I come to you to offer up burnt-offerings” (I Sam. 10:8), and it is stated, “And he waited seven days” (I Sam. 13:8), but Saul did not keep his promise and neglected to wait the entire [last] day. He had not quite finished sacrificing the burnt-offering, when Samuel arrived and said to him (I Sam 13:13-14),“You have acted foolishly; you have not kept [the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you…] so now your kingdom will not continue” (I Sam 13:13-14). Thus we learn, that for [transgressing] a minor commandment of a prophet, he was punished.   למען יאריך ימים: מכלל הן אתה שומע לאו. וכן מצינו בשאול שאמר לו שמואל שבעת ימים תוחל עד בואי אליך (שמואל א' י, ח) להעלות עולות וכתיב ויוחל שבעת ימים (שמואל א' יג, ח) ולא שמר הבטחתו לשמור כל היום, ולא הספיק להעלות העולה עד שבא שמואל ואמר לו נסכלת לא שמרת וגו' ועתה ממלכתך לא תקום (שם יג ז - יד). הא למדת, שבשביל מצוה קלה של נביא נענש:
he and his sons: [This] tells [us] that if his son is worthy of becoming king, he is given preference over any [other] person. — [Hor. 11b]   הוא ובניו: מגיד שאם בנו הגון למלכות הוא קודם לכל אדם: