(1) Israel was enjoined with three Commandments upon entering the Land: to appoint a king, as it says, “you shall set a king over yourselves” (Deut. 17:15); to destroy the descendents of Amalek, as it says “erase the memory of Amalek” (Deut. 25:19); and build the Temple, as it says, “you shall seek His habitation, and there you will come” (Deut. 12:5).
(2) The appointment of the king comes before the war with Amalek, as it says, “G-d has sent me to anoint you king…Now, go and smite Amalek” (I Samuel 15:1-3). The eradication of Amalek precedes the construction of the Temple, as it says, “and it was so, when the king was settled in his home, and G-d allowed him respite from his enemies all around. And the king said to Nathan, the Prophet, ‘I am living in a house of cedar…’” (II Samuel 7:1-2). Now, since the appointment of a king is a Commandment, why did G-d not want (a king) when the people asked Samuel for one? Because their request was merely due to resentment, and not for the purpose of fulfilling a Commandment. They had rejected Samuel the Prophet, as it says, “as they have forsaken Me…so do they also with you” (I Samuel 8:7).
(3) At first, a king was not appointed other than by the Court of Seventy (Sanhedrin) and with consent of a Prophet. So was Joshua appointed by Moses our Teacher and his Court, and Saul and David by Samuel the Ramathite and his Court.
(4) A convert may not be appointed king, even after many generations, until one has a Jewish mother, as it says, “You cannot place over yourselves a foreign man, one who is not your brother” (Deut. 17:15). This rule is also applicable for any governing Position, and includes a commander in the Army and any officer in the Army1Lit., officers of the fifties or tens., or even the one who is merely responsible for the reservoir which irrigates the fields. It goes without saying that a convert cannot be appointed Judge or President. All these Positions must be filled by (born) Jews, as it says, “place upon yourselves a king from those who are close to you” (ibid.). All official, governing Positions must be filled with those from among our brethren.
(5) A woman may not be appointed queen, as it says, “upon yourselves a king” (Deut. 17:15) - a “king” and not a “queen”. A woman may not be appointed to any Position2Lit., mission. in Israel. Only may a man.
(6) A butcher3Or, blood-letter., barber, bath-attendant or tanner may not be chosen either as a king or as a Kohen Godol (High Priest). Not because they are disqualified, but because these professions are degrading they are always viewed trivially in the eyes of the people. Even if he worked at one of these vocations for but one day, he is disqualified (from becoming king).