Now King David was very old, and no matter how many blankets covered him, he could not keep warm.
So his advisers told him, "We will find a young virgin who will wait on you and be your nurse. She will lie in your arms and keep you warm."
So they searched throughout the country for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag from Shunem and brought her to the king.
The girl was very beautiful, and she waited on the king and took care of him. But the king had no sexual relations with her.
About that time David's son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, decided to make himself king in place of his aged father. So he provided himself with chariots and horses a and recruited fifty men to run in front of him.
Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, "What are you doing?" Adonijah was a very handsome man and had been born next after Absalom.
Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king.
But among those who remained loyal to David and refused to support Adonijah were Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David's personal bodyguard.
Adonijah went to the stone of Zoheleth b near the spring of En-rogel, where he sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened calves. He invited all his brothers -- the other sons of King David -- and all the royal officials of Judah.
But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, or Benaiah, or the king's bodyguard, or his brother Solomon.
Then Nathan the prophet went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, and asked her, "Did you realize that Haggith's son, Adonijah, has made himself king and that our lord David doesn't even know about it?
If you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon, follow my counsel.
Go at once to King David and say to him, 'My lord, didn't you promise me that my son Solomon would be the next king and would sit upon your throne? Then why has Adonijah become king?'
And while you are still talking with him, I will come and confirm everything you have said."
So Bathsheba went into the king's bedroom. He was very old now, and Abishag was taking care of him.
Bathsheba bowed low before him. "What can I do for you?" he asked her.
She replied, "My lord, you vowed to me by the LORD your God that my son Solomon would be the next king and would sit on your throne.
But instead, Adonijah has become the new king, and you do not even know about it.
He has sacrificed many oxen, fattened calves, and sheep, and he has invited all your sons and Abiathar the priest and Joab, the commander of the army. But he did not invite your servant Solomon.
And now, my lord the king, all Israel is waiting for your decision as to who will become king after you.
If you do not act, my son Solomon and I will be treated as criminals as soon as you are dead."
While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived.
The king's advisers told him, "Nathan the prophet is here to see you." Nathan went in and bowed low before the king.
He asked, "My lord, have you decided that Adonijah will be the next king and that he will sit on your throne?
Today he has sacrificed many oxen, fattened calves, and sheep, and he has invited your sons to attend the celebration. He also invited Joab, the commander of the army, c and Abiathar the priest. They are feasting and drinking with him and shouting, 'Long live King Adonijah!'
But I myself, your servant, was not invited; neither were Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, nor Solomon.
Has my lord really done this without letting any of his servants know who should be the next king?"
"Call Bathsheba," David said. So she came back in and stood before the king.
And the king vowed, "As surely as the LORD lives, who has rescued me from every danger,
today I decree that your son Solomon will be the next king and will sit on my throne, just as I swore to you before the LORD, the God of Israel."
Then Bathsheba bowed low before him again and exclaimed, "May my lord King David live forever!"
Then King David ordered, "Call Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada." When they came into the king's presence,
the king said to them, "Take Solomon and my officers down to Gihon Spring. Solomon is to ride on my personal mule.
There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpets and shout, 'Long live King Solomon!'
When you bring him back here, he will sit on my throne. He will succeed me as king, for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah."
"Amen!" Benaiah son of Jehoiada replied. "May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, decree it to be so.
And may the LORD be with Solomon as he has been with you, and may he make Solomon's reign even greater than yours!"
So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the king's bodyguard d took Solomon down to Gihon Spring, and Solomon rode on King David's personal mule.
There Zadok the priest took a flask of olive oil from the sacred tent and poured it on Solomon's head. Then the trumpets were blown, and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!"
And all the people returned with Solomon to Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound.
Adonijah and his guests heard the celebrating and shouting just as they were finishing their banquet. When Joab heard the sound of trumpets, he asked, "What's going on? Why is the city in such an uproar?"
And while he was still speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. "Come in," Adonijah said to him, "for you are a good man. You must have good news."
"Not at all!" Jonathan replied. "Our lord King David has just declared Solomon king!
The king sent him down to Gihon Spring with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, protected by the king's bodyguard. They had him ride on the king's own mule,
and Zadok and Nathan have anointed him as the new king. They have just returned, and the whole city is celebrating and rejoicing. That's what all the noise is about.
Moreover, Solomon is now sitting on the royal throne as king.
All the royal officials went to King David and congratulated him, saying, 'May your God make Solomon's fame even greater than your own, and may Solomon's kingdom be even greater than yours!' Then the king bowed his head in worship as he lay in his bed,
and he spoke these words: 'Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who today has chosen someone to sit on my throne while I am still alive to see it.'"
Then all of Adonijah's guests jumped up in panic from the banquet table and quickly went their separate ways.
Adonijah himself was afraid of Solomon, so he rushed to the sacred tent and caught hold of the horns of the altar.
Word soon reached Solomon that Adonijah had seized the horns of the altar and that he was pleading, "Let Solomon swear today that he will not kill me!"
Solomon replied, "If he proves himself to be loyal, he will not be harmed. e But if he does not, he will die."
So King Solomon summoned Adonijah, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and bowed low before the king, and Solomon dismissed him, saying, "Go on home."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)