1 Kings Chapter 1

The First Book of Kings, is also known as the Third Book of the Kings, following the two books of Samuel, otherwise known as the First and Second Books of the Kings. This book begins with the end of David’s reign over Israel. According to the Bible Dictionary, the Books of the Kings cover the remainder of the history of the Northern Kingdom until about 721 B.C.. This chapter begins as follows:

1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

David was near the end of his life, and old age had set in greatly. His servants suggested that David allow a young woman to help him keep warm. They found Abishag, who took care of him, but David did not lie with her, as his servants had suggested.

5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.
8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:
10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

Adonijah, the forth son of David that had been born in Hebron, desired to be the king. He prepared an entourage to go before him, and it seems that David had not asked why he did this thing, possibly because he did not know it was happening. Adonijah was a handsome man. He counseled with Joab and Abiathar, who chose to follow after Adonijah. Meanwhile Zadok, Benaiah, Nathan, Shimei, and Rei, remained faithful to David. He gathered many of the king’s sons and servants to his side, but he did not gather Nathan, Benaiah, or Solomon to come to his aid.

11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?
12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

Nathan went to Bath-sheba and told her of the scheming of Adonijah, so that she would help him to tell David, who did now know this was going on in his kingdom. They came up with a plan to remind David that he had once said that Solomon would reign as king. She was to ask him why Adonijah was claiming to rule the kingdom. Nathan planned to confirm the things she said, after she had told David about it.

15 And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.
16 And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?
17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.
18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not:
19 And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.
20 And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.

Bath-sheba went in to David, to advise him of the things that Adonijah was doing. She told him, just as she and Nathan had planned. She told him that Israel looked to him, to tell them who would be his successor. Bath-sheba knew that if he did not do this before he died, she and Solomon would not be safe.

22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.
23 And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.
24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?
25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.
26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.
27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

Nathan also went in to David and told him that Adonijah was attempting to become king. Nathan advised David to name his successor.

28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.
29 And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,
30 Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.
31 Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

David called for Bath-sheba, and he swore to her that Solomon would reign and that he would announce it that day. Bath-sheba honored King David. I’m sure that she was grateful for this promise.

32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.
33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:
34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon.
35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.
36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too.
37 As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.
38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.
39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.
40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

David called for those who were loyal to him and gave a command for them to have Solomon ride on the mule of David, and announce him with trumpet and shouts. They were to follow after him, and Solomon was to sit upon the throne of David, and rule over Israel and Judah. Benaiah announced that the Lord would be with king Solomon, and raise him up to be an even greater king than his father. They did as they had been commanded by David, and many people rejoiced with the announcement of the new king.

41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?
42 And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.
43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.
44 And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule:
45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard.
46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.
47 And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed.
48 And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it.
49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.

Adonijah and his followers heard the trumpets and shouting in the city. Joab asked what the noise was. Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, came to them while they were eating, and Adonijah called him in and told him that Solomon had been made king, with Zadok, Nathan, Benaiah, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, who followed Benaiah. These were those who would serve Solomon. He was anointed king by Zadok and Nathan, with oil from the tabernacle, and the people of the city rejoiced. Jonathan told Adonijah and his followers, that Solomon sat on the king’s throne, and that the servants had said that the Lord would make Solomon a greater king then David. Also, that king David had praised the Lord for making Solomon the king. Those that sat with Adonijah became afraid and left him, abandoning his designs.

50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.
51 And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword.
52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.
53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.

Adonijah was also afraid of what King Solomon would do to him, so he went to the altar and asked that Solomon make him a promise that he would not kill Adonijah. I think going to the altar horns, was a way to show Solomon that he would covenant peace with him. Solomon said that he would not kill him, if he made himself a worthy man, but if he fell into wickedness, he would die. Solomon had Adonijah brought to him. Adonijah bowed before Solomon and Solomon allowed him to return to his own home in peace.

David had lived a faithful life, and even though he made some mistakes, and suffered for them, he was a good example of trusting the Lord in his calling. I am grateful for his example, both the good and bad, and what I can learn from it in my own life. The Lord had chosen Solomon to reign after David. Adonijah’s plan was to get what he wanted for himself, not necessarily what would have been better for the people of Israel. Adonijah did not have the approval of the Lord annd so his design was not able to come to pass. Instead, the prophet was inspired to help David name Solomon as his successor. The Lord’s hand was there, to lead his chosen people. The Lord was always there to support and lead his people at times when they needed it and there were those to follow him. The Lord will continue to be there for anyone who wants to follow after Him. This is a blessing that has helped me to have greater hope and a desire to follow the commandments.

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