The above can be understood by prefacing with an explanation of the verse1 “ ‘G‑d is my portion,’ says my soul.” On this verse, the Midrash comments:

To illustrate with an analogy: a king entered a country accompanied by a duke, a prefect, and a commander…. One person said: “I will choose the duke as my patron.” Another said: “I will choose the prefect as my patron.” And still another said: “I will choose the commander as my patron.” There was a clever person [among them] who said: “I will choose the king, because the others are all subject to replacement whereas the king is not subject to replacement.”

[In the analogue,] there are gentile nations who serve the sun and others who serve the moon…. Israel, by contrast, serves only the Holy One, blessed be He. This is the intent of the verse: “ ‘G‑d is my portion,’ says my soul.”

There are well-known explanations regarding the details [of the Midrash]. For, on the surface, its intent requires explanation:2 Everyone, even one who is not clever, even a very young child,3 knows that the king is greater than the duke or the other officers. Why then would “cleverness” be required to choose the king?

Also, [the rationale given for choosing the king requires explanation]. Even if [the position of] the duke and the other officers would be permanent and they would not be subject to replacement, it is obvious that the king is greater than they. {This is certainly true according to the well-known explanation4 of the verse:5 “From his shoulders up, he was taller than all the people.” Implied is that the king’s shoulders, i.e., his emotions that are drawn down from the intellect [in his head to] lower levels are higher than the heads (the intellect) of the people at large. This includes even the nation’s most elevated officers.} Why then would it be necessary to state the ration­ale that all the officers “are subject to replacement”?6 [Seemingly, the king should be chosen in any case because of his superior qualities.]