Melech Malchei Ham'lachim

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by jk469, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. jk469 New Member

    English - US
    I have a question about the phrase "Melech Malchei Ham'lachim" from the Friday night song "Shalom Aleichem".

    I understand that the phrase is to be translated as "[the] King, King of Kings" but am having a hard time figuring out the exact construct being used.

    What is throwing me off is that "Melchei" appears to be plural rather than singular. Is this just poetic, or is something else going on?
  2. amikama

    amikama sordomodo

    It actually means "king of kings of kings" (referring to God).

    It's a double smikhut (smikhut of smikhut):
    מלך מלכי המלכים = המלך של מלכי המלכים = המלך של המלכים של המלכים
  3. origumi Senior Member

    Persian kings of the Achaemenid period were known as "king of kings" due to the political structure of their empire. Therefore God had to be titled "king of kings of kings".

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