The First Book of the Kings

Chapter 1

Abishag cherishes David in his extreme age, 1-4. Adonijah aspires to the kingdom, 5-10. By the counsel of Nathan, 11-14, Bath-sheba moves the king, 15-21, and Nathan seconds her, 22-27. David renews his oath to Bath-sheba, 28-31. Solomon, by David's appointment, is anointed king by Zadok and Nathan, and the people triumph, 32-40. Jonathan brings the news, and Adonijah's guests flee, 41-49. Adonijah, fleeing to the horns of the altar, is dismissed by Solomon upon his good behavior, 50-53.

1 Now king David was old and advanced in years. And they covered him with clothes, but he did not get heat. 2 Therefore, his servants said to him, "Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king. And let her stand before the king, let her cherish him, and let her lie in your bosom so that my lord the king may get heat." 3 So they sought for a fair young woman throughout all the borders of Israel and found Abishag a Shunamite and brought her to the king. 4 And the young woman was very fair, and she cherished the king and ministered to him, but the king did not know her.

5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king." And he prepared himself chariots and horsemen and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, "Why have you done so?" And he also was a very handsome man. And his mother bore him after Absalom. 7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And following Adonijah, they helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah.

9 And Adonijah slew sheep, oxen, and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel, and called all his brothers the king's sons and all the men of Judah the king's servants, 10 But Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he did not call.

11 Therefore, Nathan spoke to Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, "Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord does not know it? 12 Now therefore, come, let me, I pray you, give you counsel so that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go at once to king David and say to him, 'Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your servant, saying, "Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me and sit upon my throne"? Why then does Adonijah reign?' 14 Behold, while you are yet talking there with the king, I will also come in after you and confirm your words."

15 And Bath-sheba went to the king into the chamber. And the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunamite ministered to the king. 16 And Bath-sheba bowed and did obeisance to the king. And the king said, "What do you wish?" 17 And she said to him, "My lord, you swore by the LORD your God to your servant, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me and sit upon my throne.' 18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigns, and you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 And he has slain oxen, fat cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has called all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host, but Solomon your servant he has not called. 20 And you, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon you, that you should 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 sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders."

22 And behold, while she was yet talking with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. 23 And they told the king, saying, "Behold, Nathan the prophet." And when he had 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, have you said, 'Adonijah shall reign after me and sit upon my throne'? 25 For he has gone down this day and has slain oxen, fat cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has called all the king's sons, 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 your servant, and Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon, he has not called. 27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and you have not shown it to your servant who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"

28 Then king David answered and said, "Call to me Bath-sheba." And she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30 Even as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me and sit upon my throne in my stead,' even so I will 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 forever."

32 And king David said, "Call for me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada." And they came before the king. 33 The king also said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord and cause Solomon my son to ride upon my 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 with the trumpet and say, 'God save king Solomon.' 35 Then you shall come up after him so 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. May the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. 37 As the LORD has been with my lord the king, even so let him be with Solomon and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David."

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, 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 a 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 shook with their sound.

41 And Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, "Why is there a noisy commotion in the city?" 42 And while he yet spoke, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said to him, "Come in, for you are a valiant man, and bring good tidings." 43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, "Truly our lord king David has made Solomon king. 44 And the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, 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 have come from there rejoicing so that the city resounded. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 And also Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. 47 And moreover, the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, 'May God make the name of Solomon better than your name and make his throne greater than your throne.' And the king bowed himself upon the bed. 48 And also the king said, 'Blessed be the LORD God of Israel who has given one to sit on my throne this day, my eyes even seeing it.'"

49 And all the guests who were with Adonijah were afraid, and they arose and each went his way. 50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and he arose and went and caught hold of the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told to Solomon, saying, "Behold, Adonijah fears king Solomon. For behold, he has caught hold of the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let king Solomon swear to me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword.'" 52 And Solomon said, "If he will show himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth. But if wickedness is 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 to him, "Go to your house."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Kings, Chapter 1[➚]