Adonijah Makes Himself King
1King David was now very old. He couldn't keep warm even when blankets were spread over him. 2So his servants spoke to him. They said, "You are our king and master. Please let us try to find a young virgin to help you. She can take care of you. She can lie down beside you. Then you can keep warm."
3So David's servants looked all over Israel for a beautiful young woman. They found Abishag. She was from the town of Shunem. They brought her to the king. 4The woman was very beautiful. She took care of the king and served him. But the king didn't have sex with her.
5Adonijah was the son of David and his wife Haggith. He came forward and announced, "I'm going to be the next king." So he got chariots and horses ready. He also got 50 men to run in front of him.
6His father had never tried to stop him from doing what he wanted to. His father had never asked him, "Why are you acting the way you do?"
Adonijah was also very handsome. Now that Absalom was dead, Adonijah was David's oldest son.
7Adonijah talked things over with Joab, the son of Zeruiah. He also talked with the priest Abiathar. They agreed to help him.
8But the priest Zadok and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, didn't join Adonijah. The prophet Nathan didn't join him. Shimei and Rei didn't join him. And neither did David's special guard.
9Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle and fat calves. He sacrificed them at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all of his brothers, the king's sons, and all of the men of Judah who were royal officials.
10But he didn't invite Benaiah or the prophet Nathan. He didn't invite the special guard or his brother Solomon either.
11Nathan spoke to Solomon's mother Bathsheba. He asked, "Haven't you heard? Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has made himself king. And King David doesn't even know about it.
12"So let me tell you what to do to save your life. It will also save the life of your son Solomon. 13Go in and see King David. Say to him, 'You are my king and master. You took an oath. You promised me, "You can be sure that your son Solomon will be king after me. He will sit on my throne." If that's really true, why has Adonijah become king?'
14"While you are still talking to the king, I'll come in. I'll tell him that what you have said is true."
15So Bathsheba went to see the old king in his room. Abishag, the Shunammite, was taking care of him there. 16Bathsheba bowed low. She got down on her knees in front of the king.
"What do you want?" the king asked.
17She said to him, "My master, you took an oath in the name of the Lord your God. You promised me, 'Your son Solomon will be king after me. He will sit on my throne.'
18"But now Adonijah has made himself king. And you don't even know about it. 19He has sacrificed large numbers of cattle, fat calves and sheep. He has invited all of the king's sons. He has also invited the priest Abiathar and Joab, the commander of the army. But he hasn't invited your son Solomon.
20"You are my king and master. All of the people of Israel are watching to see what you will do. They want to find out from you who will sit on the throne after you. 21If you don't do something, I and my son Solomon will be treated like people who have committed crimes. That will happen as soon as you join the members of your family who have already died."
22While she was still speaking with the king, the prophet Nathan arrived. 23The king was told, "The prophet Nathan is here." So Nathan went to the king. He bowed down with his face toward the ground.
24Nathan said, "You are my king and master. Have you announced that Adonijah will be king after you? Have you said he will sit on your throne? 25Today he has gone down outside the city. He has sacrificed large numbers of cattle, fat calves and sheep. He has invited all of the king's sons. He has also invited the commanders of the army and the priest Abiathar. Even now they are eating and drinking with him. They are saying, 'May King Adonijah live a long time!'
26"But he didn't invite me. He didn't invite the priest Zadok or Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada. He didn't invite your son Solomon either.
27"King David, have you allowed all of that to happen? Did you do it without letting us know about it? Why didn't you tell us who is going to sit on your throne after you?"
David Makes Solomon King
28King David said, "Tell Bathsheba to come in." So she came and stood in front of the king.
29Then the king took an oath and made a promise. He said, "The Lord has saved me from all of my troubles. You can be sure that he lives. 30And you can be just as sure that I will do today what I promised in the name of the Lord. He is the God of Israel. I promised you that your son Solomon would be king after me. He will sit on my throne in my place."
31Then Bathsheba bowed low with her face toward the ground. She got down on her knees in front of the king. She said, "King David, you are my master. May you live forever!"
32King David said, "Tell the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan to come in. Also tell Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, to come." So they came to the king.
33He said to them, "Take my officials with you. Put my son Solomon on my own mule. Take him down to the Gihon spring. 34Have the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him as king over Israel there. Blow a trumpet. Shout, 'May King Solomon live a long time!' 35Then come back up to the city with him. Have him sit on my throne. He will rule in my place. I've appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah."
36Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, answered the king. "Amen!" he said. "May the Lord your God make it come true. 37You are my king and master. The Lord has been with you. May he also be with Solomon. King David, may the Lord make Solomon's kingdom even greater than yours!"
38So the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan left the palace. Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, went with them. So did the Kerethites and Pelethites. They put Solomon on King David's mule. And they brought him down to the Gihon spring.
39The priest Zadok had gotten an animal horn that was filled with olive oil. He had taken it from the sacred tent. He anointed Solomon with the oil. The trumpet was blown. All of the people shouted, "May King Solomon live a long time!"
40Then they went up toward the city. Solomon was leading the way. The people were playing flutes. They were filled with great joy. The ground shook because of all of the noise.
41Adonijah and all of his guests heard it. They were just finishing their meal. Joab heard the sound of the trumpet. So he asked, "What does all of that noise in the city mean?"
42While Joab was still speaking, Jonathan arrived. Jonathan was the son of the priest Abiathar. Adonijah said, "Come in. I have respect for you. You must be bringing good news."
43"No! I'm not!" Jonathan answered. "Our master King David has made Solomon king. 44David sent the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan along with Solomon. He also sent Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, with him. He sent the Kerethites and Pelethites with him too. They put him on the king's mule. 45They took him down to the Gihon spring. There the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anointed him as king. Now they've gone back up to the city. They were cheering all the way. The city is filled with the sound of it. That's the noise you hear.
46"And that's not all. Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47The royal officials came to give their blessing to our master King David. They said, 'May your God make Solomon's name more famous than yours! May he make Solomon's kingdom greater than yours!'
"While King David was sitting on his bed, he bowed in worship. 48He said, 'I praise the Lord. He is the God of Israel. He has let me live to see my son sitting on my throne today as the next king.' "
49When all of Adonijah's guests heard that, they were terrified. So they got up and scattered.
50Adonijah was afraid of what Solomon might do to him. So he went and grabbed hold of the horns that stuck out from the upper corners of the altar for burnt offerings.
51Then Solomon was told, "King Solomon, Adonijah is afraid of you. He's holding onto the horns of the altar. He says, 'I want King Solomon to take an oath today. I want him to promise that he won't kill me with his sword.' "
52Solomon replied, "Let him show that he's a man people can respect. Then not even one hair on his head will fall to the ground. But if I find out he's done something evil, he will die."
53King Solomon got some men to bring Adonijah down from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon. Solomon said, "Go on home."