Adonijah Tries to Become King
1At this time King David was very old. His servants covered him with blankets, but he could not keep warm. 2So they said to him, “We will find a young woman to care for you. She will lie close to you and keep you warm.” 3So the king’s servants looked everywhere in Israel for a beautiful young woman. They found a girl named Abishag from the Shunammite people. They brought her to the king. 4The girl was very beautiful. She cared for the king and served him. But King David did not have physical relations with her.
5-6Adonijah was King David and Haggith’s son. He was born next after Absalom. He was a very handsome man. He said, “I will be the king.” So he got chariots and horses for himself. And he got 50 men to run ahead of him. Now David had never interfered with him by questioning what he did.
7Adonijah talked with Joab son of Zeruiah. He also talked with Abiathar the priest. They told him they would help him. 8But several men did not join Adonijah. These men were Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei and King David’s special guard.
9Then Adonijah killed some sheep, cows and fat calves for sacrifices. He made these sacrifices at the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring, En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the other sons of King David, to come. He invited all the rulers and leaders of Judah also. 10But Adonijah did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, his father’s special guard or his brother Solomon.
11When Nathan heard about this, he went to Bathsheba. She was the mother of Solomon. Nathan asked her, “Have you heard what Adonijah, Haggith’s son, is doing? He has made himself king. And our real king, David, does not know it. 12Your life and the life of your son Solomon may be in danger. But I will tell you how to save yourselves. 13Go to King David and say to him, ‘My master and king, you made a promise to me. You promised that my son Solomon would be the king after you. You said he would rule on your throne. So why has Adonijah become king?’ 14While you are still talking to him, I will come in. I will tell the king that what you have said about Adonijah is true.”
15So Bathsheba went in to see the king in his bedroom. He was now very old. Abishag, the girl from Shunam, was caring for him there. 16Bathsheba bowed down before the king.
He asked, “What do you want?”
17She 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. He will rule on my throne.’ 18But now Adonijah has become king. And you did not know it. 19Adonijah has killed many cows, fat calves and sheep for sacrifices. And he has invited all your sons. He also has invited Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of your army. But he did not invite Solomon, your son who serves you. 20My master and king, all the people of Israel are watching you. They are waiting for you to decide who will be king after you. 21As soon as you die, Solomon and I will be treated as criminals.”
22While Bathsheba was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23The servants told the king, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So Nathan went to the king and bowed facedown on the ground before him.
24Then Nathan said, “My master and king, have you said that Adonijah will be the king after you? Have you decided he will rule on your throne after you? 25Today 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!’ 26But he did not invite me, Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada or your son Solomon. 27Did you do this? We are your servants. Why didn’t you tell us whom you chose to be the king after you?”
David Makes Solomon King
28Then King David said, “Tell Bathsheba to come in!” So she came in and stood before the king.
29Then the king said, “The Lord has saved me from all trouble. As surely as he lives, I make this promise to you. 30Today I will do what I promised you in the past. I made that promise in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. I promised that your son Solomon would be king after me. I promised he would rule on my throne after me.”
31Then Bathsheba bowed facedown on the ground before the king. She said, “Long live my master King David!”
32Then King David said, “Tell Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada to come in here.” So they came before the king. 33Then the king said to them, “Take my servants with you and put my son Solomon on my own mule. Take him down to the spring called Gihon. 34There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet should pour olive oil on him and make him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35Then come back here with him. He will sit on my throne and rule in my place. I have chosen him to be the ruler over Israel and Judah.”
36Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “This is good! And may your God make it happen. 37The Lord has always helped you, our king. Let the Lord also help Solomon. And let King Solomon be an even greater king than you.”
38So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada went down. The Kerethites and Pelethites, the king’s bodyguards, went with them. They put Solomon on King David’s mule and went with him to the spring called Gihon. 39Zadok the priest took with him the container of olive oil from the Holy Tent. He poured the olive oil on Solomon’s head to show he was the king. Then they blew the trumpet. And all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40All the people followed Solomon into the city. They were playing flutes and shouting for joy. They made so much noise the ground shook.
41At this time Adonijah and all the guests with him were finishing their meal. They heard the sound from the trumpet. Joab asked, “What does all that noise from the city mean?”
42While Joab was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in! You are an important man. So you must be bringing good news.”
43But Jonathan answered, “No! Our master King David has made Solomon the new king. 44King David sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada and all the king’s bodyguards with him. They put Solomon on the king’s own mule. 45And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet poured olive oil on Solomon at Gihon to make him king. Then they went into the city, shouting with joy. Now the whole city is excited. That is the noise you hear. 46Solomon has now become the king. 47All the king’s officers have come to tell King David that he has done a good thing. They are saying, ‘May your God make Solomon even more famous than you. And may your God make Solomon an even greater king than you.’” Jonathan continued, “And King David bowed down on his bed to worship God. 48He said, ‘Praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Today he has made one of my sons the king and allowed me to see it.’”
49Then all of Adonijah’s guests were afraid, and they left quickly. 50Adonijah was also afraid of Solomon. So he went and took hold of the corners of the altar.# If a person were innocent of a crime, he could run into the Holy Place. If he held on to the corners of the altar there, he would not be punished. The corners looked like horns. 51Then someone told Solomon, “Adonijah is afraid of you. He is at the altar, holding on to its corners. He says, ‘Tell King Solomon to promise me today that he will not kill me.’”
52So Solomon answered, “Adonijah must show that he is a man of honor. If he does, I promise that he will not lose even a hair from his head. But if he does anything wrong, he will die.” 53Then King Solomon sent some men to get Adonijah. They brought him to King Solomon. So Adonijah came before King Solomon and bowed down. Then Solomon said, “Go home.”