Was Adonijah's grab of the throne, while David reigned, ever referred to, by any authorities, as a co-regency?

From Adonijah's self-exaltation (1 Kings 1:5) to self-debasement at the horns of the altar (1 Kings 1:50), was this time period ever referred to, by any authorities, as a co-regency, regardless whether Adonijah's claim to the Throne was right or wrong?

Nathan the Prophet seems to claim this as a co-regency, when he refers to Adonijah's reign, as a fact, that it has happened and continues to happen, to the moment that he speaks the following:

1 Kings 1:11 "And Nathan said to Bath-Sheba, Solomon's mother, saying, "You have surely heard that Adoniahu the son of Haggith has reigned, and our lord, David, did not know [it]."

  • Didn't you answer your own question?
    – Mordechai
    Dec 13, 2020 at 20:25
  • @Mordechai I wrote, "Nathan the Prophet seems to claim this as a co-regency", but I am not sure about this. I like one of the answers below from sabbahillel.
    – ninamag
    Dec 14, 2020 at 7:34
  • @magicker72 This passage, 1 Kings 1:11, is in the Haftarah of "parashat-chaye-sara" - why delete this tag? If you were consistent, why did not you delete "parshanut-torah-comment" since 1 Kings 1:11 is not in the Torah?
    – ninamag
    Dec 14, 2020 at 21:01
  • @ninamag The tag description for parshanut is "interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation". This question does not mention chayei sarah at all.
    – magicker72
    Dec 15, 2020 at 3:38

2 Answers 2


The pasuk I Melachim 1:5

וַאֲדֹנִיָּ֧ה בֶן־חַגִּ֛ית מִתְנַשֵּׂ֥א לֵאמֹ֖ר אֲנִ֣י אֶמְלֹ֑ךְ וַיַּ֣עַשׂ ל֗וֹ רֶכֶב וּפָ֣רָשִׁ֔ים וַחֲמִשִּׁ֥ים אִ֖ישׁ רָצִ֥ים לְפָנָֽיו:

5 And Adoniahu the son of Haggith exalted himself saying: 'I will be king,' and he made for himself chariots and horsemen and fifty men to run before him.

was an attempt to declare himself the heir to the throne without actually rebelling against the king like his older brother Avshalom. He knew that the king was at the end of his life so he wanted to be accepted as king when King David died. Once the king heard about it, he immediately declared Shlomo as his heir and officially crowned him.

Pasuk 1:11 was the way Nasan expressed it in order to get Bas Shevah to approach the king to get Adoniyahu stopped.


No. Grabbing the Mizbeach was an attempt to save his life, not usurp the throne. The translation you quote is rather poor; a better translation would be he "proclaimed himself king". And that proclamation did not get him anywhere, so it does not count.

  • @n-t You are claiming that the Chabad translation of מָלַ֖ךְ "has reigned" (1 Kings 1:11) 'is rather poor; a better translation would be he "proclaimed himself king"'? Do you have any source that supports your comment?
    – ninamag
    Dec 13, 2020 at 11:10
  • @n-t "Grabbing the throne was an attempt to save his life, not usurp the throne." Do you have any rabbinic support for this, too?
    – ninamag
    Dec 13, 2020 at 11:13
  • Just that he never actually reigned. See Metzudas David who translates it as "wanted to reign". sefaria.org/…
    – N.T.
    Dec 13, 2020 at 11:14
  • Yoav also grabbed the throne to save his life, not to reign. In addition, Adoniyahu only grabbed the throne AFTER his attempt fell apart. See Radak and Metzudas David to verse 50.
    – N.T.
    Dec 13, 2020 at 11:18
  • 1
    @ninamag The actual quote is Ani Emloch in 1:5 I will reign which means that he declared himself the heir to the throne. The citation of 1:11 was the way used to let David know what had happened. Dec 13, 2020 at 15:19

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