ADONIJAH (Heb. אֲדֹנִיָּה, אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ; "yhwh is my lord"), fourth son of King David by his wife Haggith of Hebron (ii Sam. 3:2 ff.; i Chron. 3:1 ff.). i Kings 1:5–6 notes that his father had not disciplined him. After the death of his brothers Amnon, Absalom, and, presumably, Chileab, Adonijah conducted himself as heir apparent (i Kings 1:5–6). When David was on his deathbed, Adonijah attempted to seize power in order to forestall succession by *Solomon. In this he was supported by such veteran courtiers of David as *Joab and *Abiathar, and by many members of the royal family and the courtiers of the tribe of Judah (ibid. 7). Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and others who had risen to prominence more recently, sided with Solomon (ibid. 8). Under Nathan's influence, David ordered that Solomon should be anointed king in his own lifetime, in accordance with his promise to Bath-Sheba (ibid. 10 ff.). At first Solomon took no action against his brother (ibid. 50–53), but after David's death, when Adonijah wished to marry *Abishag the Shunammite, his father's concubine, Solomon correctly interpreted this as a bid for the throne and had him executed (ibid. 2:13 ff.).
Other biblical figures of the same name were Adonijah a Levite who, with other Levites, priests, and princes, taught in the cities of Judah during the reign of Jehoshaphat (ii Chron. 17:8); and Adonijah, one of the leaders who signed the covenant in the days of Nehemiah (Neh. 10:17).
In the Aggadah
Adonijah was one of those who "set their eyes upon that which was not proper for them; what they sought was not granted to them; and what they possessed was taken from them" (Sot. 9b). The biblical verse "and he [Adonijah] was born after Absalom" (i Kings 1:6) is interpreted to mean that, although the two were of different mothers, they are mentioned together since Adonijah acted in the same way as Absalom in rebelling against the king (bb 109b). The extent of his rebellion is illustrated in the aggadic tradition that he even tried the crown on his head (Sanh. 21b) and according to Rashi (loc. cit.), it would not fit. The importance and danger of Adonijah's rebellion is emphasized by the teaching that, although Solomon succeeded to the throne by the law of inheritance, he was ceremoniously anointed in order to counteract Adonijah's claim (Mid. Tan. 106).
M. Cogan, i Kings (2000), 164–68.
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).