1 Kings chapter 1

Elderly David sleeps with a young woman. Adonijah tries to overthrow David.

 


 

ELDERLY DAVID SLEEPS WITH A YOUNG WOMAN

 

VERSE 1. Now king David was old and advanced in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he couldn’t keep warm.

king David was old. He died at or near the age of 70:

2 Samuel 5:4. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

they covered him with clothes. Other translations say “blankets” or “covers.”

 

VERSE 2. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king. Let her stand before the king, and cherish him; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.”

Let her stand before the king, and cherish him. The practice of an old man sleeping with a young woman is called Shunamitism.

The rationale of Shunamitism is that the heat and moisture of the young woman transfer to the old man and revitalize him.

This verse says the young woman was to “cherish him.” One wonders what this actually means. The Interpreter’s Bible translates it as “let her excite him and lie with him.”

 

VERSE 3. So they sought for a beautiful young lady throughout all the borders of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

they sought for a beautiful young lady. The need for a lady that is “beautiful” and “young” implies something.

 

VERSE 4. The young lady was very beautiful; and she cherished the king, and served him; but the king didn’t know her intimately.

but. This conjunction implies surprise. The biblical author seems surprised by the next phrase:

the king didn’t know her intimately. They did not have a sexual relationship.

 

ADONJJAH TRIES TO OVERTHROW DAVID

 

VERSE 5. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” Then he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

Adonijah the son of Haggith. He was the fourth son of David. He was probably the eldest of his brothers living at that time.

exalted himself. Adonijah exhibits narcissistic excess.

I will be king. Adonijah lusts for power.

 

VERSE 6. His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, “Why have you done so?” and he was also a very handsome man; and he was born after Absalom.

he was born after Absalom. Adonijah was the younger brother of Absalom.

 

VERSE 7. He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and they followed Adonijah and helped him.

Adonijah was able to get two of David’s key officers to join his rebellion:

  • Joab
  • Abiathar the priest

 

VERSE 8. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

 

VERSE 9. Adonijah killed sheep, cattle, and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En Rogel; and he called all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants;

 

VERSE 10. but he didn’t call Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother.

 

VERSE 11. Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Haven’t you heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord doesn’t know it?

Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns. Adonijah is living as though he is the true king.

 

VERSE 12. Now therefore come, please let me give you counsel, that you may save your own life and your son Solomon’s life.

 

VERSE 13. Go in to king David, and tell him, ‘Didn’t you, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying, “Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne?” Why then does Adonijah reign?’

 

VERSE 14. Behold, while you are still talking there with the king, I will also come in after you and confirm your words.”

Behold. This is from the Hebrew word הִנֵּה, which means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.

 

VERSE 15. Bathsheba went in to the king in his room. The king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.

 

VERSE 16. Bathsheba bowed and showed respect to the king. The king said, “What would you like?”

Bathsheba bowed and showed respect to the king. By this point in the narrative, the king is demanding subservience. From everyone.

Even David’s wife Bathsheba must bow down to David.

David, and the populace, have completely lost the plot. Before the LORD God, all people stand as equals:

Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

VERSE 17. She said to him, “My lord, you swore by the LORD your God to your servant, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’

the LORD. When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, “LORD” or “GOD” is the translation of God’s Proper Name.

God. The Hebrew word is אֱלֹהִ֑ים (“Elohim”).

 

VERSE 18. Now, behold, Adonijah reigns; and you, my lord the king, don’t know it.

you, my lord the king, don’t know it. David had isolated himself from current events. He doesn’t even know he has lost his kingship.

 

VERSE 19. He has slain cattle and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the army; but he hasn’t called Solomon your servant.

 

VERSE 20. You, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.

 

VERSE 21. Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered criminals.”

when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers. That is, when David dies.

 

VERSE 22. Behold, while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in.

 

VERSE 23. They told the king, saying, “Behold, Nathan the prophet!” When he had come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.

he bowed himself before the king. Even Nathan the prophet must bow down before the king.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

VERSE 24. Nathan said, “My lord, king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne?’

have you said. Nathan poses the facts as a question.

 

VERSE 25. For he has gone down today, and has slain cattle, fatlings, and sheep in abundance, and has called all the king’s sons, the captains of the army, and Abiathar the priest. Behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, ‘Long live king Adonijah!’

 

VERSE 26. But he hasn’t called me, even me your servant, Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon.

 

VERSE 27. Was this thing done by my lord the king, and you haven’t shown to your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

 

VERSE 28. Then king David answered, “Call Bathsheba in to me.” She came into the king’s presence and stood before the king.

 

VERSE 29. The king vowed and said, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity,

 

VERSE 30. most certainly as I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place;’ I will most certainly do this today.”

I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel. We should not make promises. Or vows. Rather, our YES should mean YES. And our NO should mean NO. Read more »

 

VERSE 31. Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth and showed respect to the king, and said, “Let my lord king David live forever!”

 

VERSE 32. King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king.

 

VERSE 33. The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon.

 

VERSE 34. Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel. Blow the shofar, and say, ‘Long live king Solomon!’

Long live king Solomon! David is handing his kingdom over to Solomon.

 

VERSE 35. Then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne; for he shall be king in my place. I have appointed him to be prince over Israel and over Judah.”

he shall be king in my place. David is handing his kingdom over to Solomon.

 

VERSE 36. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, “Amen. May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, say so.

 

VERSE 37. As the LORD has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.”

 

VERSE 38. So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.

 

VERSE 39. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the Tent, and anointed Solomon. They blew the shofar; and all the people said, “Long live king Solomon!”

 

VERSE 40. All the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth shook with their sound.

so that the earth shook with their sound. It was LOUD!

 

VERSE 41. Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they had finished eating. When Joab heard the sound of the shofar, he said, “Why is this noise of the city being in an uproar?”

 

VERSE 42. While he yet spoke, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came; and Adonijah said, “Come in; for you are a worthy man, and bring good news.”

 

VERSE 43. Jonathan answered Adonijah, “Most certainly our lord king David has made Solomon king.

 

VERSE 44. The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they have caused him to ride on the king’s mule.

 

VERSE 45. Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon. They have come up from there rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that you have heard.

 

VERSE 46. Also, Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom.

 

VERSE 47. Moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and make his throne greater than your throne;’ and the king bowed himself on the bed.

 

VERSE 48. Also thus said the king, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne today, my eyes even seeing it.’ ”

 

VERSE 49. All the guests of Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and each man went his way.

 

VERSE 50. Adonijah was afraid because of Solomon; and he arose, and went, and hung onto the horns of the altar.

hung onto the horns of the altar. The horns were projections from the altar. Victims were fastened to them.

To take hold of the horns of the altar was to claim the right of sanctuary. It was how a transgressor sought asylum.

 

VERSE 51. Solomon was told, “Behold, Adonijah fears king Solomon; for, behold, he is hanging onto the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let king Solomon swear to me first that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’ ”

 

VERSE 52. Solomon said, “If he shows himself a worthy man, not a hair of his shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.”

 

VERSE 53. So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and bowed down to king Solomon; and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”

 


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1 KINGS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Leaders are Corrupt

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.