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?"