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Wednesday, May 14 2014

1 Kings 1: The Day Of Three Kings

"Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?"

When King David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David) became incapacitated and isolated by advanced age, he was attended by Abishag. "And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not." (see also the Fact Finder question below).

King

"1:1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 1:2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.

1:3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not." (1 Kings 1:1-4 KJV)

Adonijah was the fifth-born son of David, after Absalom, who killed David's firstborn son, Amnon (see 2 Samuel 13: The Rape Of Tamar). Absalom then died in an attempt to overthrow his father (see 2 Samuel 15: The Treason Of Absalom and 2 Samuel 18: The Fall Of The Rebel Prince). Both Absalom and Adonijah were born in Hebron during the civil war (see 1 Samuel 30: David's Return To Judah, 2 Samuel 2: King David Of Judah and 2 Samuel 3: The War Between The Houses of David and Saul).

With his older brother dead, Adonijah presumed that he was the royal successor to his father (sons following their father as king is not unique to monarchies; it has also happened in presidential republics, for centuries, for the same reason). David's reduced physical condition (his thinking response, when he was told what Adonijah did, was as sharp as ever) apparently made him a shut-in - unaware of the daily news. Those two factors emboldened Adonijah to declare himself king - while King David was still alive and reigning as the LORD's anointed one (see 1 Samuel 16: The Anointing Of David).

"1:5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 1:6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.

1:7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 1:8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

1:9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants: 1:10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not." (1 Kings 1:5-10 KJV)

Adonijah's regime cut out not only those who were loyal to David, but those who were obedient to the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God). Nathan, a true and faithful prophet of the LORD (see The Prophets: Nathan), well-knew that the LORD had already chosen Solomon as David's successor. Nathan alerted Bathsheba, and together they went to David with the news of Adonijah's presumptuous takeover.

"1:11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 1:12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 1:13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? 1:14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

1:15 And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. 1:16 And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king.

And the king said, What wouldest thou?

1:17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. 1:18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: 1:19 And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. 1:20 And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 1:21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.

1:22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. 1:23 And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 1:24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 1:25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. 1:26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 1:27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?" (1 Kings 1:11-27 KJV)

David's response was swift and decisive. He immediately abdicated and declared Solomon to be the only legitimate king of Israel, rather than the usurper king Adonijah. It was the only day in the history of Israel that three kings reigned in Jerusalem.

The Coronation of Solomon

"1:28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king.

1:29 And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 1:30 Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.

1:31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

1:32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 1:33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 1:34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 1:35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.

1:36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. 1:37 As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.

1:38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. 1:39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. 1:40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them." (1 Kings 1:28-40 KJV)

Adonijah had obviously expected no response from David, perhaps even thinking that he was near death ("Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders" and "Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?"). When he got one, he immediately knew that his coup had failed. No one had ever won a war against David, regardless of David's personal circumstances.

"1:41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?

1:42 And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.

1:43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. 1:44 And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule: 1:45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. 1:46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. 1:47 And moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. 1:48 And also thus said the king, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it." (1 Kings 1:41-48 KJV)

Adonijah fled for his life, expecting Solomon to kill or exile him - as Adonijah had planned to do with Solomon. Solomon was still young and naive however; he permitted Adonijah to return - until later experience with his politically-aggressive brother (as we will cover in the next study) forced him to do what was necessary to defend the LORD-appointed throne of Israel.

"1:49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way. 1:50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 1:51 And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the sword.

1:52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. 1:53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house." (1 Kings 1:49-53 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was Solomon's "beloved" in his "Song of Solomon"?
See Song Of Solomon: The King's Favorite


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This Day In History, May 14

1264: King Henry III was captured by his brother-in-law Simon deMontfort at the Battle of Lewes in France.

1483: The Coronation of Charles VIII of France (Charles l'Affable).

1509: The Battle of Agnadello in northern Italy. French forces defeated the Venetians.

1607: Jamestown (named after England's King James, after whom the King James Version of the Bible is also named), Virginia was settled by English colonists.

1610: King Henri IV (Henri de Navarre) of France was assassinated by a fanatical monk, Francois Ravillac.

1643: Louis XIV became king of France at age 4 after the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1796: English physician Edward Jenner performed the first vaccination against smallpox, on an 8 year old child.

1811: Paraguay declared independence from both Spain and Argentina.

1897: Guglielmo Marconi made the first communication by wireless telegraph (radio).

1936: British field marshal Edmund Allenby died at age 75. He was the last great leader of British cavalry, and directed the "Palestine" campaign during the First World War, after which the land of Israel (and most of the Middle East) was liberated from centuries of rule by the Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

The British Mandate

1948: At 8 a.m. the British administration, that brought about the prophesied return of the people of Judah to the land of Judah, lowered the Union Jack in Jerusalem and completed their withdrawal from "Palestine" (see also 1 Samuel 29: Where Is Palestine?). By mid-afternoon, full scale fighting had erupted throughout the country as surrounding Muslim nations attacked. At 4:00 p.m., a broadcast was made of the National Council for The Jewish State proclaiming the State of Israel. David Ben Gurion read out The Scroll of Independence in the Tel Aviv Museum: "By virtue of our national and intrinsic right, and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, we hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, which shall be known as the State of Israel" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
Note: the present-day nation of "Israel" is actually the re-establishment of the southern kingdom of Judah, not all of Israel i.e. while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

1955: The Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania signed the "Eastern European Mutual Assistance Treaty" ("The Warsaw Pact"). It collapsed along with communism a little over 30 years later.

1961: A bus carrying civil rights "Freedom Riders" was bombed and burned in Alabama.

1973: The Skylab space station was launched.

1994: The "West Bank" town of Jericho saw its first full day of Palestinian self-rule.


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