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Alruy (or Alroy), David (ca. 1147-?)

Alruy (or Alroy), David (ca. 1147-?)

A Jewish false Messiah, born in Kurdistan ca. 1147. Alruy boasted that he was a descendant of King David. Educated in Baghdad, he received instruction in the magic arts and came to be more proficient than his masters. His false miracles gained so much popularity for him that many Jews believed him to be the Messiah who was to restore their nation to Jerusalem.

According to legends, the king of Persia imprisoned him, but no bolts and bars could hold so formidable a magician. He escaped from his prison and appeared before the eyes of the astonished king, though the courtiers saw nothing. In vain the king called angrily for someone to arrest the imposter. While they groped in search of him, Alruy slipped from the palace with the king in pursuit and all the courtiers running after him. They reached the sea shore, and Alruy turned and showed himself to all the people. Spreading a scarf on the surface of the water, he walked over it lightly, before the boats which were to pursue him were ready. This tale confirmed his reputation as the greatest magician within the memory of man.

It is said that a Turkish prince, a subject of the Persian king, bribed the father-in-law of the sorcerer to kill him, and one night, when Alruy was sleeping peacefully in his bed, a dagger thrust put an end to his existence.

Alruy was the subject of a novel by the politician-author Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881): Alroy: A Romance (1846).

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David

David (d. c.962 bc) King of ancient Israel (c.1010–970 bc), successor of Saul. His career is related in the Old Testament books of Samuel. As king, he united Judah and Israel. David captured Jerusalem, making it his capital. The later part of his reign was marked by the revolts of his sons Absalom and Adonijah. David was succeeded by Solomon, his son by Bathsheba. According to the Jewish Prophets, the Messiah must be a descendant of David.

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Adonijah

Adonijah (ăd´ənī´jə, ədŏn´əjə), in the Bible, son of David. He sought the throne that David gave to the younger son, Solomon. Perhaps the same as Adonikam, a name in the lists of families.

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