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Sunday, January 14 2018

Children Of King David: Adonijah

"Adonijah said ... the kingdom ... is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD ... Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king"

Adonijah, from the Hebrew name pronounced awd-oh-nee-yaw, was the fourth son of King David (see The Prophecy Of King David's Messianic Throne and How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel?). He was born in Hebron during the Civil War (see Biblical Eras: The First Kings and The Civil War and Why Didn't David Kill Saul?).

"3:2 And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3:3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 3:4 And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 3:5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron." (2 Samuel 3:2-5 KJV)

After his older brothers Amnon and Absalom were killed (see Children Of King David: Amnon and Children Of King David: Absalom) and Chileab, also known as Daniel, apparently died young (or was somehow unavailable or unfit to be king - no further mention is made of him; see Children Of King David: Chileab), Adonijah declared the throne to be his - but the LORD (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The LORD God Of Creation) had already chosen Solomon, Adonijah's much-younger brother, to be David's successor - as Adonijah himself knew.


"2:15 And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD" (1 Kings 2:15 KJV)

Nevertheless, Adonijah chose to defy the LORD by attempting to seize the throne for himself. It's a prime example of how arrogance makes people stupid.

"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 attempt to seize the throne was doubly foolish - he wasn't just taking it from Solomon, but also from King David who, although then elderly and bed-ridden, was still alive. As has happened with many monarchies through the ages, when an elderly monarch transferred some responsibilities to the successor while they themselves are reigning, David did so with Solomon. But when David heard of Adonijah's plot, he in effect abdicated to make Solomon the king of Israel.

"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 1:32-40 KJV)

Adonijah then knew that his plan had failed, so he 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 (see the Fact Finder question below) 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: When Adonijah was later allowed to return, what did he request that caused Solomon to kill him?
See Solomon's House Cleaning

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This Day In History, January 14

1236: King Henry III of England married Eleanor of Provence (a territory in southern France). Eleanor became the mother of five children, including King Edward I of England

1301: Andrew III of Hungary died, thereby ending the Arpad dynasty.

1526: Francis I surrendered claims to Burgundy, Italy, and Flanders.

1529: Spanish reformer Juan de Valdes, 29, published his Dialogue on Christian Doctrine which paved the way in Spain for Protestant ideas. His treatise was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition, and Valdes was forced to flee Spain, never to return.


1539: After the 4 voyages of Columbus to the Caribbean (see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy), Spain annexed Cuba in its growing colonization of Central and South America.

The New World

1601: Roman Catholic authorities in Rome burned Hebrew books.

1604: The Hampton Court Conference began under King James I (the King James Bible is named after him) to address Puritan demands for doctrinal changes in the Church of England.

King James

1699: Massachusetts held a day of fasting for wrongly persecuting "witches" (see also Innocent Unless Proven Guilty and What Is Sorcery?).

1742: English astronomer Edmond Halley died at age 86. He was the first to accurately predict the return of a comet. It is now named after him - Halley's Comet (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?).

Comet Halley

1797: In the Battle of Rivoli in Italy, the French under Napoleon defeated an Austrian attempt to relieve Mantua. 3,500 Austrian troops were killed.

1814: The Treaty of Kiel transferred Norway from the king of Denmark to the king of Sweden.

1837: Francois, the Marquis de Barbe-Marbois, died at age 92. The French statesman negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with the U.S. in 1803.

1858: Italian revolutionary Felice Orsini threw bombs at Napoleon III in Paris in an assassination attempt; several people were killed but Emperor Napoleon and Empress Eugenie were unharmed.

1878: The first private connection by telephone in Great Britain was made on the Isle of Wight when Queen Victoria spoke to Thomas Biddulph.

1893: Pope Leo XIII appointed Archbishop Francesco Satolli as the Vatican's first ambassador to the U.S.

1911: Roald Amundsen's Norwegian South Pole expedition arrived on the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf.


1898: Charles Dodgson died at age 65. Although the British scholar was a lecturer in mathematics at Oxford University, and was a pioneer photographer, he is remembered, under the pen name Lewis Carroll, as the author of Alice in Wonderland.

1943: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and French President Charles De Gaulle met in Casablanca to agree on a strategy for concluding the Second World War and to demand the unconditional surrender from the Germany (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1950: The first flight of the Russian MiG-17 fighter aircraft.

1953: Marshal Tito was elected the first president of the Republic of Yugoslavia (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).

1969: The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 was launched, followed the next day by Soyuz 5. They achieved the first docking of 2 manned spacecraft in Earth orbit.

Soyuz 5

1991: Three Palestinian terrorist chiefs, including Abu Iyad, were assassinated in Tunis (see Where Is Palestine?).


Copyright © Wayne Blank