1 Kings 1:11-40

11 Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it?
12 Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.
13 Go in to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear 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?’
14 While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and add my word to what you have said.”
15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him.
16 Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king. “What is it you want?” the king asked.
17 She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the LORD your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’
18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it.
19 He has sacrificed 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.
20 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.
21 Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”
22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived.
23 And the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.
24 Nathan said, “Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne?
25 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!’
26 But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite.
27 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?”

David Makes Solomon King

28 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.
29 The king then took an oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble,
30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”
31 Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king,
33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon.
34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”
36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it.
37 As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon.
39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!”
40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.

1 Kings 1:11-40 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KINGS

This, and the following book, properly are but one book, divided into two parts, and went with the Jews under the common name of Kings. This, in the Syriac version, is called the Book of Kings; and in the Arabic version, the Book of Solomon, the Son of David the Prophet, because it begins with his reign upon the death of his father; and, in the Vulgate Latin version, the Third Book of Kings, the two preceding books of Samuel being sometimes called the First and Second Books of Kings, they containing the reigns of Saul and David; and in the Septuagint version both this and the following book are called Kingdoms, because they treat of the kingdom of Israel and Judah, after the division in the times of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and of the several kings of them; as of Solomon before the division, so afterwards of the kings of Judah; Rehoboam, Abijam, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Jehoash, Amaziah, Uzziah or Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah; and of the kings of Israel, Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam the son of Joash, Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea; so that these books may, with great propriety, be called the books or histories of the kings in the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel: who they were written by, is not easy to say; some think they were written by piecemeal by the prophets that lived in the several reigns successively, as Nathan, Ahijah the Shilonite, Iddo, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and afterwards put together by an inspired writer. The Jews commonly say {a}, that Jeremiah wrote the book of the Kings, by which they mean this, and the following book; though very probably they were written by Ezra, since the history in them is carried down to the liberty granted to Jehoiachin in Babylon; but that Ezra was the writer of all the preceding historical books, and even of the Pentateuch, cannot be admitted, which is the conceit of Spinosa {b}; part of whose tract is just now republished by somebody, word for word, under a title as in the margin {c}; but that Ezra was not the writer of the Pentateuch is clear, since he refers to it as written by Moses, and as the rule of religion and worship in his times, Ezr 3:2-4, 6:18; and it is certain these writings were in being in the times of Josiah, Amaziah, Joash, yea, of David, and even of Joshua, \2Ch 34:14 25:4 23:18 1Ki 2:3 Jos 8:34\; and as for the book of Joshua, that also was written long before Ezra's time; it must be written long before the times of David, before the Jebusites were expelled from Jerusalem, since the writer of it says, that they dwelt there in his days, Jos 15:63; the book of Judges must be written before the times of Samuel and David, since the former refers to the annals of it, 1Sa 12:9,10; and the latter alludes to some passages in it, Ps 68:7,8; see Jud 5:4,5; and a speech of Joab's, 2Sa 11:21, shows it to be an history then extant: to which may be added, that in it Jerusalem is called Jebus, Jud 19:10,11; which it never was, after it was taken by David out of the hands of the Jebusites, 2Sa 5:6; the book of Ruth very probably was written by Samuel; had it been of a later date, or written by Ezra, the genealogy with which it concludes, would doubtless have been carried further than to David: the Book of Samuel, and particularly the song of Hannah in it, were written in all probability before the penning of the hundred thirteenth psalm, Ps 113:1-9, in which some expressions seem to be taken from it wherefore, though the two books of Kings may be allowed to be written or compiled by Ezra, the ten preceding ones cannot be assigned to him: however, there is no room to doubt of the divine authority of these two books, when the honour our Lord has done them is observed, by quoting or referring to several histories in them; as to the account of the queen of Sheba coming to hear the wisdom of Solomon; of the famine in the times of Elijah; and of that prophet being sent to the widow of Sarepta, and of the cleansing of Naaman the Syrian in the times of Elisha, Mt 12:42, Lu 4:25-28 from 1Ki 17:1-10 2Ki 5:10-14; to which may be added, the quotations and references made by the apostles to passages in them, as by the Apostle Paul in Ro 11:2-4 from 1Ki 19:14,18; where this book is expressly called the Scripture; and by the Apostle James, Jas 5:17,18; who manifestly refers to 1Ki 17:1-24; and there are various things in this part of Scripture, which are confirmed by the testimonies of Heathen writers, as will be observed in the exposition of it. The use of these books is to carry on the history of the Jewish nation, to show the state of the church of God in those times, and his providential care of it amidst all the changes and vicissitudes in the state; and, above all, to transmit to us the true genealogy of the Messiah, which serves to confirm the Evangelist Matthew's account of it.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1. {b} Tractat. Theolog. Politic. c. 8. & 9. p. 150 {c} Tractatus de Primis 12. Vet. Test. Lib. &c. Londini 1763.

\\INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KINGS 1\\

This chapter gives an account of the infirmities of David in his old age, and the method used to relieve him under them, 1Ki 1:1-4; of the preparation his son Adonijah made to usurp the throne, 1Ki 1:5-10; of Bathsheba's address to the king upon it, in favour of her son Solomon, on which she was put by, Nathan the prophet, and seconded in it by him, 1Ki 1:11-27; when the king with an oath confirmed the succession of Solomon in the kingdom, and ordered Nathan the prophet, and Zadok the priest, to anoint him, which was accordingly done with great ceremony, to the satisfaction of the king and his servants, 1Ki 1:28-40; the news of which being brought to Adonijah and his friends, struck them with terror, and on which they dispersed, 1Ki 1:41-50; and upon the promise of Adonijah, that he would behave well to Solomon, he was pardoned and dismissed, having fled and lain hold on the horns of the altar, 1Ki 1:51-53.

1 Kings 1:11-40 In-Context

9 Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah,
10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.
11 Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it?
12 Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon.
13 Go in to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear 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?’
14 While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and add my word to what you have said.”
15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him.
16 Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king. “What is it you want?” the king asked.
17 She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the LORD your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’
18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it.
19 He has sacrificed 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.
20 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.
21 Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”
22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived.
23 And the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.
24 Nathan said, “Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne?
25 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!’
26 But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite.
27 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?”
28 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.
29 The king then took an oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble,
30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”
31 Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king,
33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon.
34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”
36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it.
37 As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon.
39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!”
40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.
41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, “What’s the meaning of all the noise in the city?”
42 Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news.”

Cross References 26

  • 1. 2 Samuel 12:24
  • 2. S 2 Samuel 3:4
  • 3. Proverbs 15:22
  • 4. ver 17,30; ver 30; 1 Chronicles 22:9-13
  • 5. S ver 3; ver 1
  • 6. S ver 13; ver 13,30
  • 7. ver 9
  • 8. S Genesis 15:15; Deuteronomy 31:16; 1 Kings 2:10
  • 9. ver 10; ver 8,10
  • 10. S 2 Samuel 4:9
  • 11. S ver 13; 1 Chronicles 23:1; ver 13,17
  • 12. S 1 Samuel 2:35
  • 13. Judges 10:4; Zechariah 9:9; 2 Samuel 20:6-7
  • 14. ver 38; 2 Chronicles 32:30; 2 Chronicles 33:14
  • 15. S 1 Samuel 2:35; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:3,12; 1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings 9:3,13
  • 16. ver 25; S 2 Samuel 5:3; 2 Samuel 15:10
  • 17. Joshua 1:5,17; 1 Samuel 20:13
  • 18. ver 47
  • 19. ver 8
  • 20. S 1 Samuel 30:14; S 2 Samuel 15:18; 2 Samuel 8:18
  • 21. S ver 33
  • 22. S Exodus 29:7; S 1 Samuel 10:1; 2 Kings 11:12; Exodus 30:23-32; Psalms 89:20
  • 23. S Exodus 26:1; S Exodus 27:21
  • 24. S 2 Samuel 15:10; 2 Kings 11:14
  • 25. ver 34; Numbers 23:21; Psalms 47:5; Zechariah 9:9; 1 Samuel 10:24
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 10:5