When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him.
So his servants said to him, "Let us look for a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm."
Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag,1 a Shunammite,2 and brought her to the king.
The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her.
Now Adonijah,3 whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, "I will be king." So he got chariots4 and horsesa ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him.
(His father had never interfered5 with him by asking, "Why do you behave as you do?" He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)
Adonijah conferred with Joab6 son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar7 the priest, and they gave him their support.
But Zadok8 the priest, Benaiah9 son of Jehoiada, Nathan10 the prophet, Shimei11 and Reib and David's special guard12 did not join Adonijah.
Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel.13 He invited all his brothers, the king's sons,14 and all the men of Judah who were royal officials,
but he did not invite15 Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.1611
Then Nathan asked Bathsheba,17 Solomon's mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah,18 the son of Haggith, has become king without our lord David's knowing it?
Now then, let me advise19 you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.
Go in to King David and say to him, 'My lord the king, did you not swear20 to me your servant: "Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne"? Why then has Adonijah become king?'
While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and confirm what you have said."
So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag21 the Shunammite was attending him.
Bathsheba bowed low and knelt before the king. "What is it you want?" the king asked.
She said to him, "My lord, you yourself swore22 to me your servant by the LORD your God: 'Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.'
But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it.
He has sacrificed23 great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, 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 Solomon your servant.
My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest24 with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals."
While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived.
And they told the king, "Nathan the prophet is here." So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.
Nathan said, "Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne?
Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, 'Long live King Adonijah!'
But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite.2527
Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"