Rabbi Yeheskel Lebovic


          WHY KING DAVID?


"I will see him, but not now, I will look at him, but not at a proximity, a

star will shoot from Yaakov and a scepter will arise from Yisroel, and he

will smash the corners of Moav and eradicate all the children of Sheth"

(Bamidbar 24:17, in this week’s Sidra of Balak)  The Rambam (hil. Melachim 11:1) writes that the repetitive, double terminology of this verse is referring to two Moshiachs, the first one being king David and the second one, the final Moshiach/Messiah.  We have to understand why king David is referred to as a Moshiach.  If only by virtue of his having been anointed

(moshiach=anointed), there were many others anointed kings and he wasn't

even the first one to be thusly anointed.  It would seemingly make more

sense to say that Moshe Rabbeinu, the "first redeemer", would qualify as

the first Moshiach.  Another question is why does the Rambam (ibid:4) not

mention the great qualities of Moshiach in this passage , such as (those he

mentions elsewhere) :"master of wisdom, greater than king Shlomo, a great

prophet close to the prophecy-level of Moshe".




Both questions can be answered by analyzing what is the principal function

of Moshiach, both the first and final, according to Rambam's opinion.  His

wording indicates that it is neither his ability to perform miracles, bring

about changes within the course of nature nor even his possessing prophetic

ability of the highest caliber -- though we know that Moshiach will possess

all these abilities also. Rather, says the Rambam, it is the fact that he

will coerce all of Israel to uphold all the laws and Mitzvos of the Torah

in their entirety and thus raise the banner of Torah and the glory of

G-d throughout the word.  Rather than stressing changes within nature

through miracles, Moshiach will bring the whole world to a state of unchanging spiritual consistency.   Having done that,  he will be readily

acknowledged "b'chezkas Moshiach", safely assumed as the spoken for

Moshiach.  And upon completing this main task and function of his through

the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash and the ingathering of all the exiles

to the Holy Land of Israel, he will be declared Moshiach vaday, with utmost

certainty.  Therefore, the only one, besides the final Moshiach, first to

establish the firm foundation of Israel as a unified theocratic Holy Land,

imposing his and G-d's will over all of its inhabitants, upholding Jewish

pride and glory, and setting the path for the building of the Beis

Hamikdash and the establishment of G-d's kingdom on earth-- was King David. He therefore, is clearly the first Moshiach alluded to in this verse.




This will also explain a difference between the procedure necessary to

establish the credentials of a prophet vs. that necessary for Moshiach to

establish his credentials as Moshiach.  A prophet's credentials are

established on the basis of his prophetic ability, for that is his main

function: he has to predict future events several times, and they have

to come about with precision.  Moshiach's credentials are established

through his ability at, and actual strengthening of Torah and Mitzvos

observance throughout the Jewish world, this being his main function.

He has to demonstrate that he is indeed strengthening Torah-true observance

throughout the Jewish world and also the non-Jewish world, for the

Seven Noahide Laws are also Torah-mandated, and is proceeding towards the fulfilment of G-d's Will in Creation to make this earth a dwelling place

for his revealed Glory. Accordingly, the mitzvah to believe in the coming of Moshiach, as per Rambam, assumes an additional dimension: we not only have to believe in a general way that "Moshiach is on his way", but also that he indeed will bring both the Jewish world and the whole world to recognize and accept the "rule of Divine Law".  Consequently, as there are those who will oppose this process, there is the need for Moshiach, as king and ruler, to

overcome all such opposition by "waging G-d's battles", in the same manner

that King David did.




This also explains why the Rambam, when citing arei miklat (cities of

refuge) as one of the Torah proofs attesting to the coming of Moshiach,

writes it as a separate halacha (11:2) in that chapter, though it would

seem to flow straight from the preceding halacha (11:1).  This is to

underscore an additional point:  in addition to Moshiach's main function

being that of "returning the Crown of Jewry and Yiddishkeit to its former

glory" (as it was in the days of kings David and Solomon), there is also an

element of completion that has not yet taken place: the additional three

cities of refugee (in addition to the original six) have not yet been

designated and thus never assumed their halachic status as such.

Therefore, since every word of the Torah is Divine, the Torah is assuring

us that unprecedented Torah glory and shleimus (completion), even more than the former glory (when there were not yet these 3 additional arei miklat), is yet to come through Moshiach.

This also answers another question: why did the Rambam arrange the Laws of Kings at the end of Yad Hachazaka (when it seemingly should have been

arranged before the Laws of Building the Beis Hamikdash, to be built by the king)), with the laws of Moshiach at the very end.  The reason is that the only one who can fully implement all the laws of the Torah as delineated in Yad Hachazaka till the end has to be a benevolent but all powerful Jewish king, of the stature of King David, and that the culmination of this process occurs with the emergence of the greatest and most powerful king of all, Moshiach Tzidkeinu, for, again, this indeed is his main function.  He will apply his G-d-granted powers to eradicate all forms of evil from this world, not swerving one iota from before pressure coming from any quarter and establish G-d's Kingdom on earth.




We thus see the true image and dimension of Moshiach, clearly enunciated in the Rambam. i.e. with his great gifts of wisdom and prophecy being  secondary to this main function of "returning the Crown to its former glory" (and to even greater heights, with advent of the three additional arei miklat).

This is why Moshiach is always referred to as Melech HaMoshiach, king Moshiach, for it takes the supreme uncontested authority of a king to bring about order in this progressively more and more complicated and confused world.  As Melech HaMoshiach, he will topple and eradicate all forces opposed to the Master G-dly plan that he has been chosen to implement, regardless of all the silly political winds blowing throughout the world.  He will also bring tikun (rectification) to the whole world, who will acknowledge the falsehoods of the beliefs thrusted upon them by their ancestors, recognizing that these beliefs are in the category of "falsehoods repeated long enough to become accepted as truth".  This is why the edifice of the Catholic Church (the greatest source of antisemitism and persecutions of Jews throughout history) is presently crumbling, having no support of truth to rely upon.  The falsehood of Islam will likewise soon be exposed, while the vast majority of honest, good people, finally recognizing that they have been hood-winked all along, will readily join the ranks of believers in the true Moshiach.



based on Likutey Sichos vol. 18 pp. 271-284