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1 Kings 1 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

David’s Last Days

Now King David was old and getting on in years. Although they covered him with bedclothes, he could not get warm. So his servants said to him: “Let us[a] search for a young virgin for my lord the king. She is to attend the king and be his caregiver. She is to lie by your side so that my lord the king will get warm.” They searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel; they found Abishag the Shunammite[b] and brought her to the king. The girl was of unsurpassed beauty, and she became the king’s caregiver. She served him, but he was not intimate with[c] her.

Adonijah’s Bid for Power

Adonijah son of Haggith kept exalting himself, saying, “I will be king!” He prepared chariots, cavalry, and 50 men to run ahead of him.[d] But his father had never once reprimanded[e] him by saying, “Why do you act this way?” In addition, he was quite handsome and was born after Absalom. He conspired[f] with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. They supported Adonijah, but Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s warriors did not side with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle near the stone of Zoheleth, which is next to En-rogel. He invited all his royal brothers and all the men of Judah, the servants of the king, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the warriors, or his brother Solomon.

Nathan’s and Bathsheba’s Appeals

11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king and our lord David does not know it? 12 Now please come and let me advise you. Save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go, approach King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear to your servant: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 14 At that moment, while you are still there speaking with the king, I’ll come in after you and confirm your words.”

15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his bedroom. Since the king was very old, Abishag the Shunammite was serving him. 16 Bathsheba bowed down and paid homage to the king, and he asked, “What do you want?”

17 She replied, “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne.’ 18 Now look, Adonijah has become king. And,[g] my lord the king, you didn’t know it. 19 He has lavishly sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep. He invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but he did not invite your servant Solomon. 20 Now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be regarded as criminals.”

22 At that moment, while she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived, 23 and it was announced to the king, “Nathan the prophet is here.” He came into the king’s presence and bowed to him with his face to the ground.

24 “My lord the king,” Nathan said, “did you say, ‘Adonijah is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne’? 25 For today he went down and lavishly sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep. He invited all the sons of the king, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And look! They’re eating and drinking in his presence, and they’re saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But he did not invite me—me, your servant—or Zadok the priest or Benaiah son of Jehoiada or your servant Solomon. 27 I’m certain my lord the king would not have let this happen without letting your servant[h] know who will sit on my lord the king’s throne after him.”

Solomon Confirmed King

28 King David responded by saying, “Call in Bathsheba for me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him. 29 The king swore an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every difficulty, 30 just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne in my place, that is exactly what I will do this very day.”

31 Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, paying homage to the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

32 King David then said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada for me.” So they came into the king’s presence. 33 The king said to them, “Take my servants with you, have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon. 34 There, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him as king over Israel. You are to blow the ram’s horn and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 You are to come up after him, and he is to come in and sit on my throne. He is the one who is to become king in my place; he is the one I have commanded to be ruler over Israel and Judah.”

36 “Amen,” Benaiah son of Jehoiada replied to the king. “May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so affirm it. 37 Just as the Lord was with my lord the king, so may He[i] be with Solomon and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”

38 Then Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down, had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and took him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the ram’s horn, and all the people proclaimed, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people followed him, playing flutes and rejoicing with such a great joy that the earth split open from the sound.[j]

Adonijah Hears of Solomon’s Coronation

41 Adonijah and all the invited guests who were with him heard the noise as they finished eating. Joab heard the sound of the ram’s horn and said, “Why is the town in such an uproar?” 42 He was still speaking when Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest, suddenly arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are an excellent man, and you must be bringing good news.”

43 “Unfortunately not,” Jonathan answered him. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 And with Solomon, the king has sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have had him ride on the king’s mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon. They have gone from there rejoicing. The town has been in an uproar; that’s the noise you heard. 46 Solomon has even taken his seat on the royal throne.

47 “The king’s servants have also gone to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon more well known than your name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.’ Then the king bowed in worship on his bed. 48 And the king went on to say this: ‘May the Lord God of Israel be praised! Today He has provided one to sit on my throne, and I am a witness.’”[k]

49 Then all of Adonijah’s guests got up trembling and went their separate ways. 50 Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he got up and went to take hold of the horns of the altar.

51 It was reported to Solomon: “Look, Adonijah fears King Solomon, and he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon first[l] swear to me that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’”

52 Then Solomon said, “If he is a man of character, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground, but if evil is found in him, he dies.” 53 So King Solomon sent for him, and they took him down from the altar. He came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your home.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 1:2 Lit them
  2. 1 Kings 1:3 Shunem was a town in the hill country of Issachar at the foot of Mt. Moreh; Jos 19:17-18.
  3. 1 Kings 1:4 Lit he did not know
  4. 1 Kings 1:5 Heralds announcing his procession
  5. 1 Kings 1:6 Or grieved
  6. 1 Kings 1:7 Lit His words were
  7. 1 Kings 1:18 Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg, Syr; other Hb mss read And now
  8. 1 Kings 1:27 Some Hb mss, LXX; alt Hb tradition reads servants
  9. 1 Kings 1:37 Alt Hb tradition reads so He will
  10. 1 Kings 1:40 LXX reads the land resounded with their noise
  11. 1 Kings 1:48 Lit and my eyes are seeing
  12. 1 Kings 1:51 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg read today

1 Kings 1 New International Version (NIV)

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King

When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve 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 young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.

Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses[a] ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. (His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.

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?”

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.

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.”

43 “Not at all!” Jonathan answered. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, 45 and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. 46 Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47 Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!’ And the king bowed in worship on his bed 48 and said, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.’”

49 At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50 But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”

52 Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 1:5 Or charioteers
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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