Do we have any historical source that discusses the relations among King David, the Sanhedrin during his reign, and the high priest during his reign? Were they on friendly terms? Was there a power struggle?

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    "whether they were on friendly terms": the priest and David, or the priest and the sanhedrin?
    – msh210
    Feb 21, 2012 at 3:41
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    see my answer here: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/13956/603
    – Menachem
    Feb 21, 2012 at 16:43
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    @avi: true, but it went by other names before that. For example, Josephus calls it Gerousia (from Greek geros, "old").
    – Alex
    Feb 21, 2012 at 17:55
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    @Alex would that mean that Josephus was referring to the 70 Zekenim?
    – avi
    Feb 21, 2012 at 18:00
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    @avi: he uses this term during the era of the second Beis Hamikdash too - for example, in Ant. 12:3:3 (in the English translation it's rendered as "senate," a pretty exact Latin parallel to gerousia and zekeinim).
    – Alex
    Feb 21, 2012 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


the sanhedrin and kohen gadol were at Dovid's annointment, and the kohen gadol Evyasar was the only kohen who escaped from the destruction of Nov the city of kohanim, and he fled to Dovid Hamelech (ׁשמואל א, כב כ), so I assume they were on pretty good terms.

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    Adding sources would significantly improve your answer
    – mbloch
    Jan 23, 2021 at 16:42

Not sure if this really answers the question, but the Talmud (Berachot 3b-4a) does provide an example of them all getting along well enough to immediately solve a problem:

דאמר רב אחא בר ביזנא אמר רבי שמעון חסידא כנור היה תלוי למעלה ממטתו של דוד וכיון שהגיע חצות לילה בא רוח צפונית ונושבת בו ומנגן מאליו מיד היה עומד ועוסק בתורה עד שעלה עמוד השחר כיון שעלה עמוד השחר נכנסו חכמי ישראל אצלו אמרו לו אדונינו המלך עמך ישראל צריכין פרנסה אמר להם לכו והתפרנסו זה מזה אמרו לו אין הקומץ משביע את הארי ואין הבור מתמלא מחוליתו אמר להם לכו ופשטו ידיכם בגדוד מיד יועצים באחיתופל ונמלכין בסנהדרין ושואלין באורים ותומים אמר רב יוסף מאי קרא ואחרי אחיתפל בניהו בן יהוידע ואביתר ושר צבא למלך יואב אחיתופל זה יועץ וכן הוא אומר ועצת אחיתפל אשר יעץ בימים ההם כאשר ישאל בדבר האלהים בניהו בן יהוידע זה סנהדרין ואביתר אלו אורים ותומים וכן הוא אומר ובניהו בן יהוידע על הכרתי ועל הפלתי ולמה נקרא שמם כרתי ופלתי כרתי שכורתים דבריהם פלתי שמופלאים בדבריהם ואחר כך שר צבא למלך יואב

For so said R. Aha b. Bizana in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: A harp was hanging above David's bed. As soon as midnight arrived, a North wind came and blew upon it and it played of itself. He arose immediately and studied the Torah till the break of dawn. After the break of dawn the wise men of Israel came in to see him and said to him: Our lord, the King, Israel your people require sustenance! He said to them: Let them go out and make a living one from the other. They said to him: A handful cannot satisfy a lion, nor can a pit be filled up with its own clods. He said to them: Then go out in troops and attack [the enemy for plunder]. They at once took counsel with Ahithofel and consulted the Sanhedrin and questioned the Urim and Tummim. R. Joseph says: What verse [may be cited in support of this]? And after Ahithofel was Jehoiada, the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar; and the captain of the King's host was Joab. ‘Ahithofel’, this was the counsellor. And so it is said: Now the counsel of Ahithofel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man inquired of the word of God. ‘Benaiah the son of Jehoiada’, this means the Sanhedrin. ‘And Abiathar’, these are the Urim and Tummim. And so it says: And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethi and Pelethi.Why are they called ‘Kerethi’ and ‘Pelethi’? Kerethi, because their words are decisive [korethim]; Pelethi, because they are distinguished [mufla'im] through their words. And then it comes ‘the captain of the King's host Joab’.

(Soncino translation)

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