1Kings 1-2

Sunday Evening Bible Study

May 19, 2002


The books of Kings were given their names because they record the histories of all the kings except for Saul. David is only mentioned briefly, with most of the history of his reign being recorded in 2Samuel 2-24 and 1Chronicles 11-29. In the Hebrew, the books of 1Kings and 2Kings are one book. They were not divided into two books because of a natural break in the history, but simply to put the books on two scrolls of equal length. They are regarded as a continuation of the history recorded in 1&2 Samuel.

1&2 Kings are parallel to the account of 2Chronicles, but they come from slightly different perspectives. In Chronicles, the focus is on the kings of the southern kingdom of Judah, whereas in Kings, the focus is on both the kings of Judah as well as the kings of Israel. Chronicles puts an emphasis priestly elements such as the temple and worship. Kings puts emphasis on the kings and prophets.

1Kings 1

:1-4 David and Abishag

:1 Now king David was old and stricken in years;

strickenbow’ – to go in, enter, come, go, come in; to attain to; to be enumerated

We think David is somewhere around seventy years old.

(2 Sam 5:4 KJV) David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

:1 and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.

gat no heat – He couldn’t keep warm. This is a common problem with old age.

:2 a young virgin …let her cherish him …

virgin[email protected] – virgin

let her cherishcakan – to be of use or service or profit or benefit

They didn’t have electric blankets. They have an ingenuous method of keeping David warm.

Ancient historians record that this was kind of therapy was practiced into the Middle Ages.

:3 they sought for a fair damsel …found Abishag a Shunammite

fairyapheh – fair, beautiful, handsome

damselna‘arah – girl, damsel, female servant

Apparently some sort of a beauty contest is held.

Abishag‘Abiyshag – “my father is a wanderer”

ShunammiteShuwnammiyth – “double resting place”; an inhabitant of Shunem, a town seven miles north of Nazareth.

This is close, but not the same word that is used to describe Solomon’s bride in the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite:

(Song 6:13 KJV) Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.
ShulamiteShuwlammiyth – “the perfect” or “the peaceful”. This is a feminine version of Solomon.
Some have suggested that this could be the same woman, but we don’t have any way of verifying it.

This gal will become important later on.

:4 cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

cherishedcakan – to be of use or service or profit or benefit

ministeredsharath – (Piel) to minister, serve, minister to

This gal was strictly here to be a nurse to David. David did not become intimate with her.

:5-10 Adonijah rises

: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.

Adonijah‘Adoniyah – “my lord is Jehovah”

HaggithChaggiyith – “festive”

Adonijah is the fourth son of David.

(2 Sam 3:2-4 KJV) And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; {3} And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; {4} And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;

The first son, Amnon, was killed by Absalom. We never hear anything about the second son, Chileab. Absalom was the son that rebelled against David and was killed by Joab.
Adonijah is next in line for the throne.
He feels that it is time to do something about it.

…fifty men

This is what Absalom had done before declaring himself king, sort of a way of showing off.

(2 Sam 15:1 KJV) And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, 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?

displeased‘atsab – to hurt, pain, grieve, displease, vex, wrest

David had never asked Adonijah what he was doing.


Don’t be afraid to say something

As a parent, you have a responsibility to say something.
I think the fact that the writer records that David didn’t do anything to upset Adonijah give the implication that he should have been saying something.
(Prov 29:15 KJV) The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.


Don’t mistake silence for acceptance

I think we need to be careful about putting all the blame on David here.
Adonijah shouldn’t have been making plans without consulting with his father either.

:6 and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.

goodlytowb – good, pleasant, agreeable

He was born after Absalom. This doesn’t mean that he had the same mother as Absalom (they were different mothers).

:7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.

conferreddabar – speech, word, speaking, thing; business, occupation, acts, matter, case, something, manner (by extension)

Joab – this is David’s nephew, the head of David’s army. Joab has stayed faithful to David over the years. He did not follow Absalom.

Abiathar – This was one of the two high priests (Zadok was the other). He has been with David for a long time. When Saul had found out that David had received help from the priests, he had ordered all the priests killed (1Sam. 22). Abiathar was able to escape and he has been with David ever since.

(1 Sam 22:20 KJV) And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.

helped‘azar – to help, succour, support

It could be that Joab and Abiathar don’t see this as betraying David as much as supporting the next king to take over when David dies.

: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.

Zadok – this is the other high priest

Benaiah – this is the man in charge of David’s body guard. He will eventually take Joab’s place.

Nathan – the one who confronted David with his sin of adultery with Bathsheba.

Shimei – there was another Shimei, the man who cursed David, but he is always introduced as “Shimei the son of Gera”. But that seems unlikely when you see what will happen with him (1Ki. 2:8). This could be “Shimei the son of Elah”, who was an officer in Solomon’s court. (1Ki. 4:18)

ReiRe‘iy – “friendly”. We don’t know anything else about this guy.

the mighty men – these are David’s top fighting men.

It appears that Adonijah didn’t think he’d get everyone’s support.

:9 And Adonijah slew sheep …by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel …

Enrogel‘Eyn Rogel – “fount of the fuller”; a spring just south of Jerusalem, from which the permanent source of the pool of Siloam comes. This was where the messengers were hiding out during Absalom’s rebellion (2Sam. 17:17).

ZohelethZocheleth – “serpent”; a place identified on the steep rocky corner that overlooks the plain where the Valley of Hinnom joins the Kidron Valley just south of Mount Zion where the City of David was situated.

This isn’t just an ordinary barbeque. Adonijah is calling these men together so they can make a declaration that Adonijah is the new king.

:10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

Adonijah calls all his brothers to be at his coronation except for Solomon. Why didn’t he ask Solomon to come? Because he must have known that David had already made a promise to Bathsheba that Solomon would one day be king.

:11-14 Nathan plans

:12 that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.

If Adonijah becomes king, Solomon is as good as dead.


True friendship

This is the same Nathan that had been the one to call David on the carpet concerning his sin with Bathsheba.
Some people might have looked at Nathan and felt that he wasn’t a “friend of the family” for having said the things he did to David.
Yet you can see here that he is in fact a very faithful friend.
You can see that the things that Nathan said to David weren’t said out of spite or anger, they were said out of love, having been directed by God.
Perhaps this is a bit of an assumption, but it seems that David’s friend Ahithophel responded to David’s sin with Bathsheba by rebelling against David and joining with Absalom to kill David.
Nathan responded to David’s sin with Bathsheba by confronting him, sticking with him, and here working to defend David and Bathsheba.

:15-21 Bathsheba talks to David

:17 My lord, thou swarest …Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me

Apparently at some time (we don’t know when), David had made a promise to Bathsheba that her son Solomon would succeed him as king.

:20 the eyes of all Israel are upon thee

The nation is waiting for David to say who he wants to be king.

Keep in mind, there has been no set standard as ly succession.  There have only been two real kings, Saul and David.  Even though Saul’s son Ishbosheth briefly ruled over part of Israel, part of the people had made David king.

:22-27 Nathan confirms Bathsheba’s report

:22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.

Apparently, when Nathan comes in, Bathsheba leaves (vs.28).

:25 they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.

This is the first time we have the mention that they are declaring Adonijah to be king.

:27 Is this thing done by my lord the king

Is this something that came from you and we didn’t know about it?

:28-31 David acts

:29 And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth

As surely as the fact that Yahweh lives, the thing David is about to promise will take place.

:30 even so will I certainly do this day.

David promises to take care of the situation.



I think it’s interesting that David waits until he hears two reports against Adonijah. He doesn’t just respond with Bathsheba’s report. It’s not until Nathan give his report that he acts.
God said:
(Deu 19:15 KJV)  One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Paul writes,
(1 Tim 5:19 KJV) Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
I wonder if this isn’t an example of the fact that David has learned in his life to wait for confirmation of things.  It seems that Nathan knows this about David and perhaps this is why he spreads out the warning to include both he and Bathsheba.

:32-40 David makes Solomon king

:33 cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon

upon mine own mule – this will make it known that Solomon is being given the kingdom by David.

Mules were apparently rare in Israel. They were forbidden by law to breed them. They had to be imported. The Hebrew indicates that this was a female mule. This was a special mule, something that only a king rode on.

GihonGiychown – “bursting forth”; a spring near Jerusalem

I think that David wants there to be a procession in which the New King enters into the city and the city pays attention.

There were two springs that supplied water to Jerusalem – Enrogel and Gihon.

This was where the people went for water. There was no running tap water.  This is kind of like going to the neighborhood grocery store to start a parade.  You’re always going to find people there.
Adonijah and his followers are at the spring of Enrogel.
Solomon is at Gihon.

:34 anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet

anointmashach – to smear, anoint, spread a liquid. This is the root of the word “Messiah”, the “Anointed One”. He had oil poured over him.

blow ye with the trumpet – let the world know

:39 an horn of oil out of the tabernacle … they blew the trumpet

horn of oil – the oil was kept in a ram’s horn. This would be the special anointing oil, a perfumed mixture described in Exodus 30:22-33.

the tabernacle – There were two tabernacles at this time. The tent that Moses had made was actually set up at Gibeon, along with the bronze altar. This tent was set up by David in Jerusalem to be a place for the Ark of the Covenant to be kept after he brought the Ark into Jerusalem.

the trumpetshowphar – horn, ram’s horn

:40 the people piped with pipes…so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

pipeschaliyl – pipe, flute

They made a HUGE noise. The ground is shaking because of the commotion.

:41-53 Adonijah’s response

:41 heard it as they had made an end of eating

Josephus (Antiquities; 7:14:6) writes,

Now when Adonijah and his guests perceived this noise, they were in disorder; and Joab the captain of the host said he was not pleased with these echoes, and the sound of these trumpets. And when supper was set before them, nobody tasted of it, but they were all very thoughtful what would be the matter.

The noise seemed to take away their appetite.

:41 Joab heard the sound of the trumpet

trumpetshowphar – horn, ram’s horn

The trumpet has served part of its purpose. Adonijah and his group hear that something is going on.

:42 Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came

Jonathan was one of the messengers that had helped David keep informed when Absalom had rebelled against David (2Sam. 15:27).

:46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.

Solomon has beaten Adonijah to the punch.

:49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.

They all realize that they’ve picked the wrong guy to be king. They’re all in deep trouble.

:50 caught hold on the horns of the altar.

This is kind of a way of expressing that you are clinging to God for mercy.

This is very similar to what has happened recently in Israel, with the Palestinian gunmen running into the Church of the Nativity for sanctuary.

This is from the Temple Institute in Jerusalem: The altar was built as a perfect square and was quite large: it reached a height of 10 amot (app. 5 meters) and its width was 32 amot (app. 16 meters). It was constructed of two main parts: the altar itself, and the ascent ramp. Both were constructed of stones and earth. On top of the altar at its four corners, there were hollow boxes which made small protrusions or "horns." These horns measured one amah square and 5 handbreadths high, each (or, app. 18" x 18" x 15")….

Though this is a description of the altar in Solomon’s Temple, one that was not yet built, the principle is still the same.

:52 And Solomon said, If he will show 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.

Solomon does not make the kind of promise that Adonijah asks for. Adonijah wants Solomon to make a blanket statement, swearing an oath that he will not kill Adonijah.

Solomon wisely puts the ball back in Adonijah’s court. He leaves the door open to the possibility that he could put Adonijah to death, but only if he is worthy of it.

1Kings 2

:1-4 David’s final words: Be a man

:2 I go the way of all the earth:


Ready for death.

We will all die.  It happens to everyone.
Solomon would write,
(Eccl 7:2 KJV)  It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
The question we need to ask ourselves is not, “Will I die?”  The question we need to ask is, “Am I ready to die?”
David had written earlier in his life,
(Psa 23:4-6 KJV)  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. {5} Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. {6} Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

David wasn’t afraid of death because of God’s presence in his life.

David expected to live with God forever.

How can I be ready for death?
It comes from believing in Jesus.
(1 John 5:11-13 KJV)  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. {12} He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. {13} These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

When I come to the point in my life where I understand that Jesus died on a cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and I am trusting that Jesus has paid for my sins – God gives me eternal life.  I can KNOW that I’m going to heaven.

:2  be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man;

I couldn’t find any data giving me a clue as to how old Solomon was at the time.  One source suggested that Solomon might have been about ten years old when Absalom chased David out of Jerusalem, but I could find no supporting evidence for that claim.  There is also no linking data as to when Absalom attempted his coup and when David finally died.

The older brothers Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah were all born in Hebron, at least 33 years before David’s death.  Solomon was born some time after David moved to Jerusalem.

We do know that there seems to be the idea that Solomon was fairly young when he became king.


Grow up

No matter how young he was, it was time to grow up.
(1 Cor 16:13 NASB)  Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Grow up.  Be strong.  Accept responsibility.

:3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God…as it is written in the law of Moses


Pay attention to God’s Word

It could be that David is simply encouraging Solomon to pay attention to all of God’s Word, as we all should be doing.
But it could be that he might also be referring specifically to the things that God’s Word said for kings:
(Deu 17:14-20 KJV)  When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; {15} Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. {16} But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. {17} Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. {18} And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: {19} And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: {20} That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

I think it’s interesting to see the things that were prohibited for Israelite kings, and these were the very things that Solomon stumbled in.

He had lots of horses, wives, and money.

I like the idea of the king making his own copy of the Scriptures and reading it every day.  It keeps your heart in the right place.

:5-6 Regarding Joab

:5 thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel 

did to me – in killing David’s son Absalom against David’s expressed command.

Joab had killed Abner, the head of Saul’s and Ishbosheth’s army (2Sam. 3:27) out of revenge for Abner having killed Joab’s brother Asahel.

Amasa had been the head of Absalom’s army but after Absalom was defeated, David had offered Amasa the post of head of the army.  It’s possible that Joab didn’t trust Amasa, but it’s more likely that he killed Amasa simply to get his old job back (2Sam. 20:10)

Both Abner and Amasa were killed by Joab at a time when he was not at war with them, a “time of peace”.  Both men were killed by Joab against David’s wishes.

:6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.

Why didn’t David ever deal with Joab? I think this is a tough question.

It’s possible that David felt that despite Joab’s problems, he was still a man who was extremely loyal to David.

It could be that once Joab made the mistake of siding with Adonijah, that David felt that Joab was going to be more of a problem for Solomon than he would be a help.  But keep in mind, even though he sided with Adonijah, Joab didn’t necessarily side against David.  He was simply against Solomon.

:7 Regarding Barzillai

:7 But show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite

When David fled to the city of Mahanaim from Absalom, Barzillai was one of the people that helped feed and support David and his men.  We believe that Chimham is one of the sons of Barzillai (2Sam. 19:37).

:8-9 Regarding Shimei

:9 for thou art a wise man

This is the second time David has referred to Solomon as being wise (also in 2:6).  God would give Solomon wisdom at Solomon’s request (1Ki. 3:9), but Solomon already had a measure of wisdom.

:9  his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.

When David had been fleeing Jerusalem from Absalom, Shimei was the guy who stood on the side of the road cursing David, and throwing rocks.

I get the feeling that as David looked back on that day when he returned to Jerusalem from defeating Absalom, that David regretted how he handled Shimei.

(2 Sam 19:15-23 KJV) So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan. {16} And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. {17} And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before the king. {18} And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan; {19} And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. {20} For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king. {21} But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD'S anointed? {22} And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel? {23} Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.


Be careful about the promises you make

Confusing forgiveness with enabling

Some look at this as an example of unforgiveness. It could be so, but I have another idea to suggest.
God wants us to be people who keep our word. David took his “oath” seriously.
Because David had sworn an oath to Shimei, David was obligated to God to never take action against Shimei.

It’s one thing to forgive a person. David should have and did forgive Shimei.

But David took a further step of making a promise that would keep him from taking any action against Shimei in the future, even if it was necessary.

Sometimes people make an “apology” simply for the sake of getting off the hook, while they never change at the core of who they are. They will make no further changes in their life to turn away from future sin.
You will find that there are individuals who will consistently hurt others, whether through physical abuse or just being a pest. I’ve seen people who will hurt others, then when confronted, they will ask for forgiveness, then turn around and hurt again.

The person who is being hurt is caught in a trap of being asked to forgive, which they feel obligated to do, but then expected to again place themselves into harms way.

I think that when a person is a habitual abuser, it is perfectly acceptable to say you forgive them, but keep them at arm’s length until you can see whether or not their “repentance” is sincere.

We saw Solomon handle a similar situation a little differently. When Adonijah begged for mercy, Solomon very carefully avoided swearing an oath to Adonijah.
(1 Ki 1:52 KJV)  And Solomon said, If he will show 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.
Solomon made his response to Adonijah be conditional on Adonijah’s own actions.  If Adonijah continued to behave correctly, then he would live.  If he acted in rebellion against Solomon, he would die.
I wonder if Solomon didn’t learn from his father’s “mistake”. Just a thought.

:10-12 Solomon replaces David

:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

Josephus (Antiquities, 7:15:3) has recorded how David was buried:

He was buried by his son Solomon, in Jerusalem, with great magnificence, and with all the other funeral pomp which kings use to be buried with; moreover, he had great and immense wealth buried with him, the vastness of which may be easily conjectured at by what I shall now say; for a thousand and three hundred years afterwards, Hyrcanus the high priest, when he was besieged by Antiochus, that was called the Pious, the son of Demetrius, and was desirous of giving him money to get him to raise the siege, and draw off his army; and having no other method of compassing the money, opened one room of David’s sepulchre, and took out three thousand talents, and gave part of that sum to Antiochus, and by this means caused the siege to be raised, as we have informed the reader elsewhere. Nay, after him, and that many years, Herod the king opened another room, and took away a great deal of money, and yet neither of them came at the coffins of the kings themselves, for their bodies were buried under the earth so artfully, that they did not appear even to those that entered into their monuments; — but so much shall suffice us to have said concerning these matters.

:11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years

Somewhere around 1000 BC.

:12 his kingdom was established greatly.

The rest of the chapter shows what happened early in Solomon’s reign to establish his kingdom, ending in verse 46

(1 Ki 2:46 KJV) …And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

:13-25 Adonijah dealt with

:13 she said, Comest thou peaceably?

Adonijah had just been the guy trying to take her son’s place on the throne.  She wants to know what his intentions are.

:15  all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign

Adonijah is stretching the truth just a little.

He certainly had a strong following, having Joab and Abiathar on his side.  But I’m not sure he had “all Israel” on his side.  When Solomon was declared king, “all the people came up after him” (1Ki. 1:40).

:15  for it was his from the LORD.


Your will or God’s?

I think it’s amazing that Adonijah could even consider that the kingdom was his when he says in the same sentence that God had given it to Solomon.
Adonijah is an example of the person who decides what they want in life and then goes out and gets it.
The problem with this kind of lifestyle is that it leaves no room to answer the question, “What does God want?”
Why didn’t Adonijah just outright ask his father to make him king?
He was probably afraid of what the answer would be.
I think that if you are having to do things sneakily, behind people’s backs, that you very likely are trying to live according to YOUR will, and not God’s.

:17 give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.

This might seem like a pretty innocent request.

It might seem like Adonijah is just looking for some kind of a “consolation prize” for having come in second.  But there’s more to it than this.

Abishag was the gal who had won the beauty contest that resulted in her winning the job as old King David’s nurse. Her job was to lay in David’s bed and keep the old man warm.

Even though Abishag was never intimate with David, she was still considered part of David’s “harem”. She is seen as being the property of the king.

We’ve seen how a wife, a concubine, or even a daughter of a king was seen as connecting a successor to the previous throne.
When Saul’s son Ishbosheth reigned briefly, he was upset because he had heard rumors that Saul’s general, Abner, was sleeping with Rizpah, one of Saul’s concubines (2Sam. 3:7). Ishbosheth felt threatened by this.
When David was offered the throne of Israel, one of the first things he asked for was to get his old wife, Michal, the daughter of Saul back as his wife (2Sam. 3:13).
When Absalom revolted against David, the first thing he was advised to do was to sleep with the ten concubines that David had left back at the palace (2Sam. 16:21).
Keil & Delitzsch: Among the Israelites, just as with the ancient Persians (Herod. iii. 68), taking possession of the harem of a deceased king was equivalent to an establishment of the claim to the throne.
Adonijah’s request may seem innocent, but he’s asking for something that doesn’t belong to him. He’s asking for something that only belongs to the one who succeeds the king. What’s he’s asking for is something that could give him a claim to the throne, as if he’s David’s natural successor.

:18 And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.

Most of the commentators seem to be of the opinion that Bathsheba is just a naïve, dumb, blonde woman who is in love with the idea of playing for Adonijah.

But I have a hard time thinking that Bathsheba is just a pawn here, blindly going along with Adonijah’s plan. She knows that Adonijah had wanted the kingdom.  She as well as anybody knows the importance of marrying Abishag.  I can’t help but think that she knows that Adonijah is sealing his own fate.

:19 she sat on his right hand.

Does this mean that Solomon is left-handed?   J


Little Bobby was spending the weekend with his grandmother after a particularly trying week in kindergarten. His grandmother decided to take him to the park on Saturday morning. It had been snowing all night and everything was beautiful. His grandmother remarked...”doesn’t it look like an artist painted this scenery? Did you know God painted this just for you?” Bobby said, “Yes, God did it and he did it left handed.” This confused his grandmother a bit, and she asked him “What makes you say God did this with his left hand?” “Well,” said Bobby, “we learned at Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God’s right hand!”

:20 Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.

It’s hard to say “no” to your mom.

:22 …why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also…for Abiathar …for Joab

Solomon sees the significance of Adonijah’s request.  He doesn’t take it as a little, insignificant request.  He knows that Adonijah is still plotting to get the kingdom.

Notice that Solomon connects this request of Adonijah to Abiathar and Joab.

He realizes it is time to act on all three individuals.  He sees Adonijah’s request as evidence that Adonijah’s plans to become king have never ceased.  This would also make Abiathar and Joab a continued threat to Solomon.

Suggestion:  It would be an interesting romance story if Abishag is the same individual called the Shulammite in the Song of Solomon ( Song 6:13). The Shulammite becomes Solomon’s wife (or at least one of them).  There are some that hold to this theory, and suggest that one reason Solomon gets so upset is because he’s in love with Abishag himself.

:25 And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.

I can imagine the look of surprise on Adonijah’s face when he hears the doorbell ring, goes to the front door expecting to see beautiful Abishag, but instead is greeted by big old Benaiah.

Benaiah is a dangerous man.  He is in charge of the king’s bodyguard.  He has a reputation.

(2 Sam 23:20-21 KJV)  And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: {21} And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.

:26-27 Abiathar

:26 unto Abiathar the priest said the king, Get thee to Anathoth

Anathoth‘Anathowth – “answers to prayer”; a city of Benjamin allotted to the priests; located approximately 3 miles (5 km) from Jerusalem; birthplace of the prophet Jeremiah

Solomon doesn’t feel he could handle being responsible for putting a high priest to death.  Abiathar had suffered with David through many things.  He had not been guilty of several murders like Joab.  He goes into exile.

:27  the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

High priests had to be descendants of Aaron.  There were two lines of high priests at that time, those of the house of Ithamar, and those of the house of Phineas.

Eli was the high priest of Israel in the days when Samuel was a small boy.  Eli was of the house of Ithamar.  Eli’s sons were wicked men and because Eli did not handle his sons, a prophetic word came to Eli concerning his family:

(1 Sam 2:31 KJV)  Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.

Abiathar is from the line of Eli and Ithamar.  This is the end of the line of Eli in the priesthood.
Zadok will take over as priest.  He was of the line of Phineas.

:28-35 Joab

:28  And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

It could be that Joab just fled to the tent that David had set up in Jerusalem for the Ark of the Covenant.  It is also possible that he fled to Gibeon, where THE Tabernacle of Moses, along with the bronze altar, were located.  Gibeon is about five miles to the north of Jerusalem.

Perhaps Joab thought that if he clung to the altar that Solomon would have mercy on him.  Perhaps he thought that Solomon wouldn’t dare have a person killed at the altar of God.

:31  Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him

What Joab wasn’t counting on was the fact that God’s Word actually gave Solomon permission to have Joab put to death at the altar because he was a condemned murderer.

(Exo 21:14 KJV) But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.

:34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him:

Josephus records that Solomon ordered Benaiah to cut off Joab’s head. (Antiquities; 8:1:4)

:34   and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.

There was a measure of respect still given to Joab in allowing him to be buried at his family’s estate.

:36-46 Shimei

:37 For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.

It seems that Solomon’s big concern for Shimei is that he not pose some kind of threat to Solomon’s reign.

Shimei is not just a guy who cursed David.  He was of the tribe of Benjamin, and a relative of King Saul. He’s an actual threat to the throne of Solomon. 

Shimei’s tribe, Benjamin, as well as his home, Bahurim, were on the other side of the brook Kidron.  Making Shimei relocate to Jerusalem is a way of keeping him close to Solomon, keeping him where Solomon can keep an eye on him.

:38 And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good

Perhaps Shimei has heard what has happened to Adonijah and Joab.  He seems to be getting off easy.  He agrees with Solomon’s offer.

When Shimei breaks this agreement, you might think that it’s not fair for Solomon to put Shimei to death.  But keep in mind that Shimei agrees to the agreement.

:46 the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

All the threats to Solomon’s kingdom have been taken care of.