Adonijah Tries to Seize the Throne
1:1 King David was very old;1 even when they covered him with blankets,2 he could not get warm. 1:2 His servants advised3 him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king,4 to take care of the king’s needs5 and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you6 and keep our master, the king, warm.”7 1:3 So they looked through all Israel8 for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her.9
1:5 Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith,10 was promoting himself,11 boasting,12 “I will be king!” He managed to acquire13 chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard.14 1:6 (Now his father had never corrected15 him16 by saying, “Why do you do such things?” He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom.17) 1:7 He collaborated18 with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported19 him.20 1:8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors21 did not ally themselves22 with Adonijah. 1:9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened steers at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons,23 as well as all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 1:10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the elite warriors,24 or his brother Solomon.
1:11 Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Has it been reported to you25 that Haggith’s son Adonijah has become king behind our master David’s back?26 1:12 Now27 let me give you some advice as to how28 you can save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 1:13 Visit29 King David and say to him, ‘My master, O king, did you not solemnly promise30 your servant, “Surely your son Solomon will be king after me; he will sit on my throne”? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 1:14 While31 you are still there speaking to the king, I will arrive32 and verify your report.”33
1:15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his private quarters.34 (The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 1:16 Bathsheba bowed down on the floor before35 the king. The king said, “What do you want?” 1:17 She replied to him, “My master, you swore an oath to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me and he will sit on my throne.’ 1:18 But now, look, Adonijah has become king! But you,36 my master the king, are not even aware of it!37 1:19 He has sacrificed many cattle, steers, 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 your servant Solomon. 1:20 Now,38 my master, O king, all Israel is watching anxiously to see who is named to succeed my master the king on the throne.39 1:21 If a decision is not made,40 when my master the king is buried with his ancestors,41 my son Solomon and I42 will be considered state criminals.”43
1:22 Just then,44 while she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 1:23 The king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” Nathan entered and bowed before the king with his face to the floor.45 1:24 Nathan said, “My master, O king, did you announce, ‘Adonijah will be king after me; he will sit on my throne’? 1:25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, the army commanders, and Abiathar the priest. At this moment46 they are having a feast47 in his presence, and they have declared, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’48 1:26 But he did not invite me—your servant—or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 1:27 Has my master the king authorized this without informing your servants49 who should succeed my master the king on his throne?”50
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