All the Kings Horses

In this week’s Parsha, we learn about the role of the king. As Am Israel are many times referred to as Bnei Melachim, it’s important for us to look carefully at those special Mitzvot that were commanded to the king.

One set of rules are negative commands; one specific one is:

רַק֮ לֹא־יַרְבֶּה־לּ֣וֹ סוּסִים֒ וְלֹֽא־יָשִׁ֤יב אֶת־הָעָם֙ מִצְרַ֔יְמָה לְמַ֖עַן הַרְבּ֣וֹת ס֑וּס וַֽיהֹוָה֙ אָמַ֣ר לָכֶ֔ם לֹ֣א תֹסִפ֗וּן לָשׁ֛וּב בַּדֶּ֥רֶךְ הַזֶּ֖ה עֽוֹד׃

Moreover, he shall not keep many horses or send people back to Egypt to add to his horses, since the LORD has warned you, “You must not go back that way again.”


The concern behind this command is that the king may take Am Israel back to Egypt in order to purchase more horses. If that’s the issue, why not reiterate the commandment of not going back to Mitzraim? Why put a limit on the king’s horses?

Perhaps we can learn from this how important it is for a king to act in a way in which no one can raise a concern that his actions are done for a personal benefit and not for the people. We can see a similar concept in apositive command for the king to write a Sefer Torah:

וְהָיָ֣ה כְשִׁבְתּ֔וֹ עַ֖ל כִּסֵּ֣א מַמְלַכְתּ֑וֹ וְכָ֨תַב ל֜וֹ אֶת־מִשְׁנֵ֨ה הַתּוֹרָ֤ה הַזֹּאת֙ עַל־סֵ֔פֶר מִלִּפְנֵ֖י הַכֹּהֲנִ֥ים הַלְוִיִּֽם׃

When he is seated on his royal throne, he shall have a copy of this Teaching written for him on a scroll by the levitical priests.

וְהָיְתָ֣ה עִמּ֔וֹ וְקָ֥רָא ב֖וֹ כׇּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑יו לְמַ֣עַן יִלְמַ֗ד לְיִרְאָה֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔יו לִ֠שְׁמֹ֠ר אֶֽת־כׇּל־דִּבְרֵ֞י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את וְאֶת־הַחֻקִּ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה לַעֲשֹׂתָֽם׃

Let it remain with him and let him read in it all his life, so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God, to observe faithfully every word of this Teaching as well as these laws.

The goal of this command as the Torah states, is for the king to have “Yirat Shamaim”- Fear of G-D.

The Natziv explains that what enables a king to act only for the good of the people is Yirat Shamaim… as only G-D knows what’s in your mind!

Having a Sefer Torah is another action the king takes to show Am Israel that his intentions are pure, as he works constantly on his Yirat Shamaim.

After an impactful summer of Chinuch and fun we hope we are all more worthy for the title of Bnei Melachim.

Thank you for your partnership! See you IY”H in Bnei Akiva activities throughout the year ahead!