20 Aug. 1 Kings 1:5-27

20 Aug.  Adonijah attempts to succeed David

“Adonijah was the son of King David and Haggith, and he was very proud. ‘I will be the king,’ he said. So he got chariots and horses for himself and 50 men for his personal bodyguard. Now David had never interfered with Adonijah by questioning what he did. Born next after Absalom, Adonijah was a very handsome man.”

“Adonijah spoke with Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest, and they agreed to help him. But Zadok the priest and Benaiah son of Jehoida, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei and King David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.”

“Then Adonijah killed some sheep, cows and fat calves for sacrifices at the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the other sons of King David, to come, as well as all the men of Judah. But Adonijah did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, his father’s special guard or his brother Solomon.”

“When Nathan heard about this, he went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. ‘Have you heard that Adonijah, Haggith’s son, has made himself king?’ Nathan asked. ‘Our real king, David, does not know it. Let me tell you how you can save yourself and your sons. Go to King David and tell him, “My master and king, you promised that my son Solomon would be king and would rule on your throne after you. Why then has Adonijah become king?”…’”

“So Bathsheba went in to see the aged king in his bedroom, where Abishag, the girl from Shunam, was caring for him. Bathsheba bowed and knelt before the king. He asked, ‘What do you want?’ She answered, ‘My master, you made a promise to me in the name of the LORD your God. You said, “Your son Solomon will become king after me, and he will rule on my throne.” But now, unknown to you, Adonijah has become king… My master and king, all the Israelites are watching you, waiting for you to decide who will be king after you. As soon as you die, Solomon and I will be treated like criminals.’”

“While Bathsheba was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived… Nathan said, ‘My master and king, have you said that Adonijah will be the king after you and that he will rule on your throne? Today he has sacrificed many cows, fat calves and sheep, and he has invited all your other sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him.’”

“’They are saying, “Long live King Adonijah!” But he did not invite me, your own servant, or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada or your son Solomon. Did you do this? Since we are your servants, why didn’t you tell us who should be king after you?’”

          (1 Kings 1:5-27)



As King David became more frail during the fortieth year of his reign and his death seemed imminent, Adonijah, David's eldest surviving son, claimed the throne of Israel in c.972BC.

He offered extensive sacrifices of sheep, cattle and fat calves at the Stone of Zoheleth (the ‘Serpent’s Stone’) near the spring of En Rogel in the Kidron Valley half a mile / 1 km south of Jerusalem, and invited his brothers and the leaders of Israel to join him.

Adonijah was supported by Joab, the commander of David’s army, and Abiathar the priest; but he knew that David wanted his favourite son Solomon to succeed him on the throne, so he didn’t invite David’s supporters - Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, his father’s special guard of soldiers from Gath, or his brother Solomon.

When Nathan the prophet heard about the feasting, he hurried to inform Solomon’s mother Bathsheba, and urged her to consult King David immediately. Bathsheba rushed to the royal palace and came before David to remind him of the promise he had made to her that Solomon should become king when David died: “You said, ‘Your son Solomon will become king after me, and he will rule on my throne.’” (1 Kings 1:17)

At this point, Nathan also arrived at the palace to inform David of the festivities that were already taking place at the ‘Serpent’s Stone’ just outside Jerusalem. He urged David to take urgent action against Adonijah and to move quickly to ensure that the people of Jerusalem were fully aware of David’s intention that his son Solomon should become king when he died.

The photo shows the Lower Kidron Valley looking from the City of David towards the ‘Serpent’s Stone’ at En Rogel. You can read more about Adonijah’s attempt to become king @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/31-the-golden-age-of-israel-under-king-solomon/solomon-succeeds-his-father-david/

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