King David was now very old. He couldn't keep warm even when blankets were spread over him.
So his servants spoke to him. They said, "You are our king and master. Please let us try to find a young virgin to help you. She can take care of you. She can lie down beside you. Then you can keep warm."
So David's servants looked all over Israel for a beautiful young woman. They found Abishag. She was from the town of Shunem. They brought her to the king.
The woman was very beautiful. She took care of the king and served him. But the king didn't have sex with her.
Adonijah was the son of David and his wife Haggith. He came forward and announced, "I'm going to be the next king." So he got chariots and horses ready. He also got 50 men to run in front of him.
His father had never tried to stop him from doing what he wanted to. His father had never asked him, "Why are you acting the way you do?" Adonijah was also very handsome. Now that Absalom was dead, Adonijah was David's oldest son.
Adonijah talked things over with Joab, the son of Zeruiah. He also talked with the priest Abiathar. They agreed to help him.
But the priest Zadok and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, didn't join Adonijah. The prophet Nathan didn't join him. Shimei and Rei didn't join him. And neither did David's special guard.
Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle and fat calves. He sacrificed them at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all of his brothers, the king's sons, and all of the men of Judah who were royal officials.
But he didn't invite Benaiah or the prophet Nathan. He didn't invite the special guard or his brother Solomon either.
Nathan spoke to Solomon's mother Bathsheba. He asked, "Haven't you heard? Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has made himself king. And King David doesn't even know about it.
"So let me tell you what to do to save your life. It will also save the life of your son Solomon.
Go in and see King David. Say to him, 'You are my king and master. You took an oath. You promised me, "You can be sure that your son Solomon will be king after me. He will sit on my throne." If that's really true, why has Adonijah become king?'
"While you are still talking to the king, I'll come in. I'll tell him that what you have said is true."
So Bathsheba went to see the old king in his room. Abishag, the Shunammite, was taking care of him there.
Bathsheba bowed low. She got down on her knees in front of the king. "What do you want?" the king asked.
She said to him, "My master, you took an oath in the name of the LORD your God. You promised me, 'Your son Solomon will be king after me. He will sit on my throne.'
"But now Adonijah has made himself king. And you don't even know about it.
He has sacrificed large numbers of cattle, fat calves and sheep. He has invited all of the king's sons. He has also invited the priest Abiathar and Joab, the commander of the army. But he hasn't invited your son Solomon.
"You are my king and master. All of the people of Israel are watching to see what you will do. They want to find out from you who will sit on the throne after you.
If you don't do something, I and my son Solomon will be treated like people who have committed crimes. That will happen as soon as you join the members of your family who have already died."
While she was still speaking with the king, the prophet Nathan arrived.
The king was told, "The prophet Nathan is here." So Nathan went to the king. He bowed down with his face toward the ground.
Nathan said, "You are my king and master. Have you announced that Adonijah will be king after you? Have you said he will sit on your throne?
Today he has gone down outside the city. He has sacrificed large numbers of cattle, fat calves and sheep. He has invited all of the king's sons. He has also invited the commanders of the army and the priest Abiathar. Even now they are eating and drinking with him. They are saying, 'May King Adonijah live a long time!'
"But he didn't invite me. He didn't invite the priest Zadok or Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. He didn't invite your son Solomon either.
"King David, have you allowed all of that to happen? Did you do it without letting us know about it? Why didn't you tell us who is going to sit on your throne after you?"
King David said, "Tell Bathsheba to come in." So she came and stood in front of the king.
Then the king took an oath and made a promise. He said, "The LORD has saved me from all of my troubles. You can be sure that he lives.
And you can be just as sure that I will do today what I promised in the name of the Lord. He is the God of Israel. I promised you that your son Solomon would be king after me. He will sit on my throne in my place."
Then Bathsheba bowed low with her face toward the ground. She got down on her knees in front of the king. She said, "King David, you are my master. May you live forever!"
King David said, "Tell the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan to come in. Also tell Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, to come." So they came to the king.
He said to them, "Take my officials with you. Put my son Solomon on my own mule. Take him down to the Gihon spring.
Have the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him as king over Israel there. Blow a trumpet. Shout, 'May King Solomon live a long time!'
Then come back up to the city with him. Have him sit on my throne. He will rule in my place. I've appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah."
Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, answered the king. "Amen!" he said. "May the LORD your God make it come true.
You are my king and master. The LORD has been with you. May he also be with Solomon. King David, may the LORD make Solomon's kingdom even greater than yours!"
So the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan left the palace. Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, went with them. So did the Kerethites and Pelethites. They put Solomon on King David's mule. And they brought him down to the Gihon spring.
The priest Zadok had gotten an animal horn that was filled with olive oil. He had taken it from the sacred tent. He anointed Solomon with the oil. The trumpet was blown. All of the people shouted, "May King Solomon live a long time!"
Then they went up toward the city. Solomon was leading the way. The people were playing flutes. They were filled with great joy. The ground shook because of all of the noise.
Adonijah and all of his guests heard it. They were just finishing their meal. Joab heard the sound of the trumpet. So he asked, "What does all of that noise in the city mean?"
While Joab was still speaking, Jonathan arrived. Jonathan was the son of the priest Abiathar. Adonijah said, "Come in. I have respect for you. You must be bringing good news."
"No! I'm not!" Jonathan answered. "Our master King David has made Solomon king.
David sent the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan along with Solomon. He also sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, with him. He sent the Kerethites and Pelethites with him too. They put him on the king's mule.
They took him down to the Gihon spring. There the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anointed him as king. Now they've gone back up to the city. They were cheering all the way. The city is filled with the sound of it. That's the noise you hear.
"And that's not all. Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne.
The royal officials came to give their blessing to our master King David. They said, 'May your God make Solomon's name more famous than yours! May he make Solomon's kingdom greater than yours!' "While King David was sitting on his bed, he bowed in worship.
He said, 'I praise the Lord. He is the God of Israel. He has let me live to see my son sitting on my throne today as the next king.' "
When all of Adonijah's guests heard that, they were terrified. So they got up and scattered.
Adonijah was afraid of what Solomon might do to him. So he went and grabbed hold of the horns that stuck out from the upper corners of the altar for burnt offerings.
Then Solomon was told, "King Solomon, Adonijah is afraid of you. He's holding onto the horns of the altar. He says, 'I want King Solomon to take an oath today. I want him to promise that he won't kill me with his sword.' "
Solomon replied, "Let him show that he's a man people can respect. Then not even one hair on his head will fall to the ground. But if I find out he's done something evil, he will die."
King Solomon got some men to bring Adonijah down from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon. Solomon said, "Go on home."