Among the highlights of the Torah portion of Balak are the prophecies of Bilam, who is granted a vision of the Jewish people during the “final days,”1 i.e., at the time of the coming of Moshiach.

In writing about Moshiach, the Rambam states in his Code of Law, Yad HaChazakah :2 “Whoever does not believe in him or does not await his coming, denies not only [the statements of] the other prophets, but also [those of] the Torah and of Moshe, our teacher, for the Torah attests to his coming, stating:3 ‘And the L-rd your G‑d will bring back your captivity and have compassion upon you. He will return and gather you [from among all the nations]…. Even if your dispersed ones are in the furthest reaches of the heavens, [from there will G‑d gather you in]…. G‑d will bring [to the land]….’ ”

The Rambam continues: “There is also a reference [to Moshiach] in the passage concerning Bilam, who prophesies about the two anointed [kings]: the first anointed [king],4 David, who saved Israel from her oppressors, and the final anointed [king], who will arise from among his [David’s] descendants and save Israel [at the End of Days].5

“The following phrases are from that passage:6 ‘I see it, but not now’ — this refers to David; ‘perceive it, but not in the near future’ — this refers to King Moshiach; ‘ A star shall go forth from Ya’akov’ — this refers to David; ‘and a staff shall arise in Israel’ — this refers to King Moshiach; ‘He shall crush all of Moav’s princes’ — this refers to David (as it is written:7 “He smote Moav and measured them with a line”); ‘He shall break down all of Seth’s descendants’ — this refers to King Moshiach (about whom it is written:8 “He will rule from sea to sea”);

Edom will be demolished’ — this refers to David, (as it is written:9 “Edom became the servants of David”); ‘his enemy, Seir, will be destroyed’ — this refers to Moshiach, (as it is written:10 “Saviors will ascend Mount Zion [to judge the mountain of Esau….]”).!!”

Yad HaChazaka h is a book of laws, not homiletics. In order for the Rambam to prove that “Whoever does not believe in him… denies the Torah and Moshe Rabbeinu ,” it would be enough to simply state “This is also stated in the section of Bilam , where he prophesied [the coming of] the final anointed king who will arise from his descendants and save Israel [in the final days].”

Why does the Rambam explain that the verse refers to “two anointed kings,” and moreover, why does he go on and explain which of these kings is being referred to in each verse?

By doing so, the Rambam indicates that not only is it incumbent on us to “believe in Moshiach and anticipate his coming,” but that we must also know precisely what we are expected to believe in.

Thus, the Rambam states at the very beginning of the chapter: “The Messianic King will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty , returning it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. In his days, [the observance of] all the statutes will return to their previous state.”

In other words, everything that is lacking in the performance of Torah and mitzvos as a result of the exile and the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash will be restored with the coming of Moshiach, just as it was during the reign of David.

In order to prove the above, the Rambam quotes two different passages: The first, “G‑d will then bring back your remnants,” demonstrates that the Torah testifies about Moshiach’s coming by describing a situation that fulfills the purpose of that coming: “the Davidic dynasty will be renewed, returning it to its initial sovereignty,” and “all the statutes will return to their previous state.”

That Moshiach and his actions will indeed be similar to King David is proved by the Rambam with the verses:” ‘I see him but not now’ — this refers to David; ‘I perceive him, but not in the near future’ — this refers to the Messianic King;’ … ‘Edom will be demolished’ — this refers to David, as the verse states,11 “Edom became the servants of David;” ‘[Seir] will be destroyed’ — this refers to the Messianic King.”

With these verses, the Rambam proves that the details of Moshiach ’s reign and accomplishments dovetail with David’s life, beginning with his reign and concluding with “Edom will be demolished.” For the purpose of Moshiach ’s coming includes the renewal and return of the Davidic dynasty (as well as of the Torah and its mitzvos) to their original, unblemished, pre-exilic state.

Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVIII, pp. 271-279