Bible: 1 Kings 1-2

Adonijah Tries to Seize the Throne

1:1 King David was very old; 1  even when they covered him with blankets, 2  he could not get warm. 1:2 His servants advised 3  him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, 4  to take care of the king’s needs 5  and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you 6  and keep our master, the king, warm.” 7  1:3 So they looked through all Israel 8  for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her. 9 

1:5 Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, 10  was promoting himself, 11  boasting, 12  “I will be king!” He managed to acquire 13  chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. 14  1:6 (Now his father had never corrected 15  him 16  by saying, “Why do you do such things?” He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom. 17 ) 1:7 He collaborated 18  with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported 19  him. 20  1:8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors 21  did not ally themselves 22  with Adonijah. 1:9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened steers at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, 23  as well as all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 1:10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the elite warriors, 24  or his brother Solomon.

1:11 Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Has it been reported to you 25  that Haggith’s son Adonijah has become king behind our master David’s back? 26  1:12 Now 27  let me give you some advice as to how 28  you can save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 1:13 Visit 29  King David and say to him, ‘My master, O king, did you not solemnly promise 30  your servant, “Surely your son Solomon will be king after me; he will sit on my throne? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 1:14 While 31  you are still there speaking to the king, I will arrive 32  and verify your report.” 33 

1:15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his private quarters. 34  (The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 1:16 Bathsheba bowed down on the floor before 35  the king. The king said, “What do you want? 1:17 She replied to him, “My master, you swore an oath to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me and he will sit on my throne.’ 1:18 But now, look, Adonijah has become king! But you, 36  my master the king, are not even aware of it! 37  1:19 He has sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but he has not invited your servant Solomon. 1:20 Now, 38  my master, O king, all Israel is watching anxiously to see who is named to succeed my master the king on the throne. 39  1:21 If a decision is not made, 40  when my master the king is buried with his ancestors, 41  my son Solomon and I 42  will be considered state criminals.” 43 

1:22 Just then, 44  while she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 1:23 The king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” Nathan entered and bowed before the king with his face to the floor. 45  1:24 Nathan said, “My master, O king, did you announce, ‘Adonijah will be king after me; he will sit on my throne? 1:25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, the army commanders, and Abiathar the priest. At this moment 46  they are having a feast 47  in his presence, and they have declared, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 48  1:26 But he did not invite me – your servant – or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 1:27 Has my master the king authorized this without informing your servants 49  who should succeed my master the king on his throne? 50 

David Picks Solomon as His Successor

1:28 King David responded, 51 Summon Bathsheba!” 52  She came and stood before the king. 53  1:29 The king swore an oath: “As certainly as the Lord lives (he who has rescued me 54  from every danger), 1:30 I will keep 55  today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’ 1:31 Bathsheba bowed down to the king with her face to the floor 56  and said, “May my master, King David, live forever!

1:32 King David said, “Summon Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, 57  and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king, 1:33 and he 58  told them, “Take your master’s 59  servants with you, put my son Solomon on my mule, and lead him down to Gihon. 60  1:34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet will anoint 61  him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 1:35 Then follow him up as he comes and sits on my throne. He will be king in my place; I have decreed 62  that he will be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 1:36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada responded 63  to the king: “So be it! 64  May the Lord God of my master the king confirm it! 65  1:37 As the Lord is with my master the king, so may he be with Solomon, and may he make him an even greater king than my master King David! 66 

1:38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites 67  went down, put Solomon on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. 1:39 Zadok the priest took a horn filled with olive oil 68  from the tent and poured it on 69  Solomon; the trumpet was blown and all the people declared, “Long live King Solomon! 1:40 All the people followed him up, playing flutes and celebrating so loudly they made the ground shake. 70 

1:41 Now Adonijah and all his guests heard the commotion just as they had finished eating. 71  When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he asked, “Why is there such a noisy commotion in the city? 72  1:42 As he was still speaking, Jonathan 73  son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for 74  an important man like you must be bringing good news.” 75  1:43 Jonathan replied 76  to Adonijah: “No! 77  Our master 78  King David has made Solomon king. 1:44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites and they put him on the king’s mule. 1:45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed 79  him king in Gihon. They went up from there rejoicing, and the city is in an uproar. That is the sound you hear. 1:46 Furthermore, Solomon has assumed the royal throne. 80  1:47 The king’s servants have even come to congratulate 81  our master 82  King David, saying, ‘May your God 83  make Solomon more famous than you and make him an even greater king than you!’ 84  Then the king leaned 85  on the bed 1:48 and said 86  this: ‘The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because 87  today he has placed a successor on my throne and allowed me to see it.’ 88 

1:49 All of Adonijah’s guests panicked; 89  they jumped up and rushed off their separate ways. 1:50 Adonijah feared Solomon, so he got up and went and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 90  1:51 Solomon was told, “Look, Adonijah fears you; 91  see, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon solemnly promise 92  me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’ 1:52 Solomon said, “If he is a loyal subject, 93  not a hair of his head will be harmed, but if he is found to be a traitor, 94  he will die.” 1:53 King Solomon sent men to bring him down 95  from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.” 96 

David’s Final Words to Solomon

2:1 When David was close to death, 97  he told 98  Solomon his son: 2:2 I am about to die. 99  Be strong and become a man! 2:3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you 100  by following his instructions 101  and obeying 102  his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, 103  2:4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, 104  ‘If your descendants watch their step 105  and live faithfully in my presence 106  with all their heart and being, 107  then,’ he promised, 108  ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 109 

2:5You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. 110  During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; 111  when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. 112  2:6 Do to him what you think is appropriate, 113  but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death. 114 

2:7Treat fairly 115  the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, 116  because they helped me 117  when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.

2:8Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, 118  who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. 119  He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised 120  him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down 121  with the sword.’ 2:9 But now 122  don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; 123  make sure he has a bloody death.” 124 

2:10 Then David passed away 125  and was buried in the city of David. 126  2:11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem 127  thirty-three years.

Solomon Secures the Throne

2:12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority 128  was firmly solidified.

2:13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 129  2:14 He added, 130 I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 2:15 He said, “You know that the kingdom 131  was mine and all Israel considered me king. 132  But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 133  2:16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” 134  She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 135  2:17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 136  2:18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine, 137  I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”

2:19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet 138  her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, 139  and she sat at his right hand. 2:20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. 140  Please don’t refuse me.” 141  He said, 142 Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 2:21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 2:22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? 143  Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!

2:23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, 144  if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 145  2:24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty 146  for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today! 2:25 King Solomon then sent 147  Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah. 148 

2:26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property 149  in Anathoth. You deserve to die, 150  but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 151  2:27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, 152  fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli. 153 

2:28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported 154  Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he 155  ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 156  2:29 When King Solomon heard 157  that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, 158 Go, strike him down.” 2:30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 159  2:31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family 160  the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 161  2:32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; 162  behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he 163  – Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 2:33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, 164  and his dynasty.” 165  2:34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; 166  he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 2:35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of 167  the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place. 168 

2:36 Next the king summoned 169  Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem 170  and live there – but you may not leave there to go anywhere! 171  2:37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.” 172  2:38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. 173  Your servant will do as you say.” 174  So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. 175 

2:39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 2:40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 2:41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 2:42 the king summoned 176  Shimei and said to him, “You will recall 177  that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, 178  know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 179  2:43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you? 180  2:44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. 181  The Lord will punish you for what you did. 182  2:45 But King Solomon will be empowered 183  and David’s dynasty 184  will endure permanently before the Lord.” 2:46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei. 185 

So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom. 186 

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