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Adonijah and Solomon and the Kingdom: Reframes

King David, Adonijah and Solomon and the Kingdom based on 1 Kings chapter 1. At this time king David was much older, and in his older years, his abilities and health declined. He felt cold all the time, even amid blankets and much clothing, he remained cold (today this would be called an anemia conflict).

His stewards asked him if he would like to lay with or have a young virgin to keep him company and to nurse him. They searched the realm for a fair young woman and they found a young lady named Abishag.

She was a Shunammite and she was brought before the king. Abishag was very attractive and she absolutely loved the king and served him graciously. Because David liked her, he did not sleep with her, they were just companions.

Adonijah and Solomon

It was around this time that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, wife of David, exalted himself as the next king of Israel. He got the chariots and horsemen together and had fifty men walk before the chariots.

Even when David saw this, the king did not say anything for or against his actions, because he loved his son. David did, however, know it was the wrong course of actions for his son Adonijah to take.

He should have received the blessings from David, the king, and the anointing of the high priest or prophet. The king said nothing because Adonijah was a good man, and he was Absalom’s younger brother. He would be next in line for kingship over Israel, ideally.

Celebrating Too Early

Adonijah did confer with Joab and Abiathar the priest, and they supported him. However, Zadok the priest, as well as Benaiah, and Nathan the prophet were against Adonijah.

They along with a few mighty men of David, Shimei, and Rei, did not support Adonijah’s quest to become the next king of Israel. Adonijah believed it was finalized, and he began to celebrate.

He celebrated by killing sheep and oxen, the fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth (which is by Enrogel). He called all his brothers to celebrate with him, as well as all the men of Judah who were the king’s stewards.

However, he didn’t call his brother Solomon, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, and all the mighty men of his father. This moved Nathan to go speak with Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother.

Nathan and Bathsheba Conspire

He told her to how Adonijah had made himself king and David was not fully aware of it. Nathan ushered her with counsel to save her life and the life of her son, Solomon, by speaking to the king about the matter.

Nathan told her to tell the king to recall that he promised her by oath that Solomon would reign after he passed on. And she was to ask why the king consented to Adonijah?

Nathan told her, while she is speaking to the king, he would come in after her and confirm all her words. So Bathsheba went in to see the king, and David was very aged and Abishag nursed him.

Bathsheba bowed and did obeisance, as is customary in the kingdom, and David asked her what she needed. She reminded the king that he promised by the LORD God of Israel to her that her son Solomon would reign after him; that Solomon would sit on David’s throne.

Adonijah and Solomon

She informed the king that Adonijah had already prepared to take the throne and David didn’t even know about it. She told the king that Adonijah had already killed the oxen, fat cattle, and sheep in abundance.

The king’s son (Adonijah) had called the king’s sons, he called Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the captain of the host, to the celebration. She informed David that Solomon, as well as herself, were not invited.

Bathsheba told David that all eyes in Israel were on him, waiting to see who he would appoint to sit on the throne. Otherwise, what would end up happening is that when the king dies, she and Solomon would be viewed as offenders, and perhaps put to death, she hypothesized.

God Save the king, Adonijah

As she was speaking, Nathan the prophet came in and asked for a word with the king. He came in and bowed himself to the king, face to the ground. Nathan asked the king if he was okay with Adonijah reigning after him?

And he likewise, retold the same story, how Adonijah had celebrated by killing oxen, fat cattle, and sheep in abundance. He’d called the entire city, the king’s sons, captains, and priests, and everyone had shouted, God save the king, king Adonijah.

Nathan told the king that he, his steward, Zadok, Benaiah, and Solomon were not invited.  Nathan desired to know if all of this was the king’s doing and he hadn’t shown it to Nathan? So he asked the king, “who will sit on the throne after you?”

Then king David finally spoke, he asked for Bathsheba to come back into the king’s chamber.

That was when the king promised by oath and said, “As the LORD lives that has redeemed my soul out of all distress, even as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel,” he continued, “I assure that Solomon, your son will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”

The king said he would make the announcement that same day. It was at that time that Bathsheba bowed her face to the earth and gave reverence to the king and said he should live forever.

King David also called Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and gave them his pronouncement. He told them to take their servants and have Solomon ride on his own personal mule.

Have Solomon ride down Gihon and appoint and anoint him king over Israel there. They were then to blow the trumpet and declare, God save king Solomon.

Let Solomon Sit on my Throne

“After this,” said David, “bring him back to the palace to sit on my throne because he will be king in my place, I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.”

They agreed, and David blessed Solomon, that the LORD would be with him as he was with him. David even asked for Solomon’s throne to be greater than his own.

So Zadok, Nathan, Benaiah, the Cherethites, and Pelethites all went down and made Solomon ride on David’s mule. They brought him to Gihon where Zadok took a horn of oil out of the tabernacle and anointed Solomon king.

They blew the trumpet and everyone shouted, God save king Solomon, just as David had commanded. The king’s stewards then followed him back to the palace with instruments playing loudly and everyone rejoiced with great joy and gladness.

Jonathan Informed Adonijah of the Noise

They were so joyful that the whole earth was tearing apart at the sound of their celebrating. This was when Adonijah and all his guest began to hear the noise.

They were finishing their meal when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, and wondered what the city was in an uproar about? While they were trying to figure out what was going on, Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest, came in and brought the tidings.

Jonathan informed Adonijah that king David had made Solomon king over Israel and Judah. Jonathan confirmed his tidings by revealing to Adonijah that king David had sent Zadok, Nathan, Benaiah, the Cherethites, and Pelethites with Solomon.

They put him on David’s mule and rode him down Gihon where they anointed him. This was why they heard the uproar and all the rejoicing and the city rang with noise. Solomon had become king, he would sit on the throne of the kingdom.

Solomon’s Throne Greater than David’s

On top of this, Jonathan also told Adonijah that the king’s stewards came and blessed king David and said may God make the name of Solomon better than David’s. May God make Solomon’s throne greater than David’s, and the king consented.

The king blessed the God of Israel who gave him someone to sit on his throne after him. When Jonathan finished, all the guest that were with him were terrified. They got up and went everyone his own way.

They were not the only ones terrified, Adonijah was also afraid because of Solomon; he hadn’t invited him (and probably had plans to dismiss him and his mother, just as Bathsheba said to David).

Adonijah Ran into the Temple

Because of that, Adonijah ran to the Temple of the LORD and held onto the horns of the altar (for dear life). Someone told Solomon that Adonijah feared him and had caught hold of the horns of the altar asking the king to promise not to kill him with the sword.

Solomon promised not to kill him if he would show himself a worthy man. If he showed himself a worthy man, not a hair on him would fall to the earth. However, if wickedness was found on him, he would die.

Thus and thus, king Solomon had him brought from the altar and he came and bowed himself to king Solomon and the king had Adonijah go to his house! Adonijah went from being the king to a duke, and Solomon went from being a duke to the king.

This is a classic case of exalting oneself and being abased, and humbling oneself and being exalted.

Selah (based on 1 Kings chapter 1)

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