Project Genesis

The Jewish Legal System

The Jewish King

King Solomon as the Successor

Question How did Solomon become King? In Deuteronomy we learn if a man has two wives, one loved and one hated, he is not permitted to favor the son of his beloved wife over the older son of his hated wife. Solomon was one of David’s younger sons. How did David overule the specific text of Devarim? Biblical critics will use this to prove that David did not have Deuteronomy , that Devarim was written in the time of King Josiah. Surely you must have a different answer.

Answer: Thank you for your interesting question. I’m not sure that I agree with you that there’s a problem here: I think you’re taking the verses in Devarim beyond their simple meaning. The section there is speaking about the double portion in the monetary inheritance that the first-born receives.

As for becoming king, there’s an additional consideration: It must go to the one who can do the job. Here’s a quote from the Talmud in Horiyos 11b: “But since when do we make the younger son king before the older son? As it is written, ‘He gave the kingdom to Yehoram, since he was the firstborn.’ But Yehoram was worthy to fill his father’s position; Yehoyakim was not worthy to fill his father’s position.”

Best wishes,
Michoel Reach

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