Dear Rabbi Simon
Rashi sometimes refers to “the king messiah” and at other times just to “the messiah”. Why? Is there any significance in the distinction?
Thank you for your question.
Rashi is exceedingly exacting in his language, so I would expect that there is indeed a “significance”. However, it is likely that the explanation lies in the specific context and does not necessarily carry eschatological consequence. Ultimately, messiah (or mashiach, in Hebrew) is shorthand for the descendant of the supreme “anointed of G-d” (through the prophet Samuel), which is King David.
So, the Redeemer will be both “anointed” and King, by virtue of his pedigree.
This is why all messianic pretenders and aspirants seek to associate themselves with the Davidic line.
I hope this is helpful. May the genuine mashiach come speedily in our days.
Rabbi Rashi Simon