1 Kings 1

David makes Solomon king

1:1King David had several wives. They included Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba and Haggith. David had many children. See 2 Samuel 3:2-5. Some of them had already died. The story of David's son, Absalom, is in 2 Samuel 15-19. Now Adonijah was David's oldest son who was still alive. So Adonijah thought that he should be the next king of Israel and Judah. But God had promised that Solomon should be the next king. In this chapter, Bathsheba told David that he should remember God's promise.

1 King David was old. He was very old. He could not get warm, even when people put blankets over him. 2 So his servants said to him, ‘We will look for a young woman, who has never had sex, for our master the king. She can be with the king and she can be his nurse. And she can lie at your side so that our master the king will be warm.’ 3 So they looked through all the country called Israel for a beautiful girl. They chose Abishag, who lived in Shunem. And they brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful. She took care of the king. She did what he needed. But the king did not have sex with her.

1:3Abishag was a girl from the town called Shunem. It was near the Sea of Galilee.

5 Then Adonijah, David's son, told everyone, ‘I want to be the king.’ His mother's name was Haggith. He got men that were ready to ride on horses. And he had 50 men to run in front of him. 6 His father had always let him do whatever he wanted to do. His father never asked him, ‘Why are you doing that?’ Also, Adonijah was very handsome. He was born next after Absalom. 7 And Adonijah talked with Joab and Abiathar. Joab was the son of Zeruiah and Abiathar was the priest. They said that they would help Adonijah.

1:5Adonijah was the fourth son of David. See 2 Samuel 3:2-5. David's first three sons were probably dead.
1:7Abiathar was probably the priest with the Covenant Box.

8 But these people did not join Adonijah's group:

Zadok the priest

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada

Nathan the prophet

Shimei and Rei

1:8Shimei and Rei. Some Bible students think that Shimei was David's brother. Rei may mean ‘and friends’.

David's own soldiers.

9 Then Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cows and young fat cows. He did it at the Stone called Zoheleth. It was near to the well at Rogel. He asked all these people to come to the meeting:

1:9‘Sacrifice’ is an important word in the Bible. In Leviticus, it means that the Jews burnt things, like meat and bread. They did it because of two reasons.

God said that they should do it, Leviticus 1-7.

They believed that it made God happy, Genesis 8:20-22.

1:9Zoheleth. Bible students do not know where this was.
1:9Rogel was near Jerusalem, to the south.

all his brothers, who were the sons of the king

all the men in Judah who were the king's officers.

10 But he did not ask these people to come to the meeting:

Nathan the prophet


David's own soldiers

His brother Solomon.

11 Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon. Nathan asked her, ‘Have you heard this? Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king. Our master, David, does not know about it. 12 Now I will tell you how you can save your life and the life of Solomon your son. 13 Go to King David and say to him, “My master the king, did you not promise this to me, your servant? ‘Your son Solomon will become king after me. He will sit on my throne.’ So why has Adonijah become king?” 14 While you are still talking to the king, I will come in after you. I will say that your words are true.’

15 So Bathsheba went to see the king in his bedroom. The king was very old. And Abishag, the girl from Shunem, was with him. 16 And Bathsheba bent down on her knees in front of the king. ‘What do you want?’ the king asked her. 17 And she said to him, ‘My master, you promised this to me, your servant, and to the Lord your God. “Solomon, your son, will be king after me and he will sit on my throne”, you said. 18 But now, Adonijah has become king. And you, my master the king, you do not know about it.

19 He has sacrificed many cows, fat young cows and sheep. He has asked these people to come to the meeting:

Abiathar the priest

Joab the leader of the army.

But he did not ask your servant Solomon to come.

20 My master the king, everyone in Israel is waiting for you to say something. They want to know from you who will sit on the throne of my master the king after him. 21 If you do not tell them, this will happen. Soon after they bury you with your ancestors, they will put me and my son Solomon into a prison.’

22 While Bathsheba spoke to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23 And his servants told the king, ‘Nathan the prophet is here.’ So Nathan the prophet went in to the king's bedroom. And he bent low, with his face to the ground. 24 Nathan said, ‘My master the king, have you said that Adonijah will become king after you? Will he sit on your throne?

25 This is what he has done today. He has sacrificed large numbers of cows, fat young cows and sheep. He has asked these people to be with him:

all the king's sons

the leaders of the army

Abiathar the priest.

Even now, they are eating and drinking with him. They are saying, “We pray that King Adonijah will live for a long time!”

26 But he did not ask these people to be with him:

me, your servant

Zadok the priest

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada

Solomon your servant.

27 Has my master the king done this? Has he not told his servants who will sit on the throne of my master the king after him?’

28 Then King David answered him. He said, ‘Send Bathsheba to me!’ So Bathsheba came to the king and she stood in front of him. 29 Then the king spoke a very serious promise. He said, ‘I am sure that the Lord is alive! He has saved me from every kind of trouble. 30 As surely as that is true, today I will keep my promise to you. I said it to you and to the Lord, the God of Israel. Your son Solomon will be king after me. He will sit on my throne instead of me.’ 31 Then Bathsheba bent down low with her face to the ground. She said this, with her knees on the ground in front of the king. ‘I pray that my master King David will live always!’

32 And King David said, ‘Send to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.’ And they came to the king. 33 And the king said to them, ‘Put my son Solomon on my own donkey. Then take him down to Gihon with all your master's servants. 34 There, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet can anoint him king over Israel. Make a noise with a trumpet and shout, “We pray that King Solomon will live for a long time!” 35 Then you must come up with him to Jerusalem. He must come and he must sit on my throne. He must rule instead of me. I have made him ruler over Israel and Judah.’ 36 Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, answered the king, ‘I agree! And I pray that the Lord will say that too. He is the God of my master the king. 37 The Lord was with my master the king. We pray that he will also be with Solomon. We pray that he will make the throne of Solomon even greater than the throne of my master King David!’

38 So these people put Solomon on King David's donkey:

Zadok the priest

Nathan the prophet

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada

1:38Benaiah was the leader of the soldiers that were with David.

the Kerethites and the Pelethites.

Then they took him down to Gihon.

39 Zadok the priest anointed Solomon. He used oil from a special bottle that was in the holy place. Then they made a loud noise with a trumpet. And all the people shouted, ‘We pray that King Solomon will live for a long time!’ 40 And all the people went up after him. They used their mouths to make music with things called flutes. And they were very happy. The noise caused the ground to move under them!

41 Adonijah and all the people that were with him heard the noise. They were finishing their special meal. When he heard the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, ‘What does all the noise in the city mean?’ 42 Even while Joab was speaking, Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest, arrived. Adonijah said to him, ‘Come in! You are a good man. I think that you are bringing good news.’ 43 Jonathan answered him and said, ‘No! Our master King David has made Solomon king.

1:41Joab was David's sister's son. He was the leader of most of the army.

44 These people put Solomon on to the king's donkey:

Zadok the priest

Nathan the prophet

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada

the Kerethites and the Pelethites.

1:44Kerethites and Pelethites. They were soldiers that David paid to help him.

Then they took him to Gihon.

1:44Gihon was near Jerusalem, to the east.

45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king at Gihon. From there they have gone to Jerusalem. While they went, they made loud, happy noises. The sound of them is in all the city called Gihon. That is the noise that you can hear. 46 Also, Solomon has sat down on the king's throne. 47 And the king's officers have told our master King David that they are very happy about it. They said, “We pray that your God will make Solomon's name more famous than your name. And we pray that his throne will be greater than your throne.” Then the king bent his head down on his bed. He said that God was great, 48 with these words. “The Lord is the great God of Israel. He has let my eyes see who will be king after me. He is on my throne today.” ’

49 When they heard this, all the people with Adonijah were afraid. They all went away. 50 But Adonijah, because he was afraid of Solomon, went to the holy place. He held the points on the corners of the altar there. 51 Then a servant told Solomon, ‘Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon. He is holding the points on the corners of the altar. He is saying, “I pray that Solomon will promise this to me today. I pray that he will not kill his servant with the sword.” ’ 52 Solomon answered, ‘If he is a good man, not one hair from his head will fall to the ground. But if he is a bad man, he will die.’ 53 Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought Adonijah down from the altar in the holy place. And Adonijah came and he bent down in front of King Solomon. And Solomon said to him, ‘Go to your home.’

1:53They came from countries like Philistia and Crete.