Adonijah sets himself up as king
1When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. 2So his attendants said to him, ‘Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.’
3Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.
5Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, ‘I will be king.’ So he got chariots and horses1:5 Or charioteers ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6(His father had never rebuked him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?’ He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)
7Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. 8But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.
9Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.
11Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, ‘Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it? 12Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13Go in to King David and say to him, “My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: ‘Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne’? Why then has Adonijah become king?” 14While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and add my word to what you have said.’
15So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. 16Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king.
‘What is it you want?’ the king asked.
17She said to him, ‘My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lord your God: “Solomon your son shall become king after me, and he will sit on my throne.” 18But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it. 19He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, 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 Solomon your servant. 20My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.’
22While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23And the king was told, ‘Nathan the prophet is here.’ So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.
24Nathan said, ‘Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne? 25Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. At this very moment they are eating and drinking with him and saying, “Long live King Adonijah!” 26But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite. 27Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?’
David makes Solomon king
28Then King David said, ‘Call in Bathsheba.’ So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.
29The king then took an oath: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 30I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.’
31Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, ‘May my lord King David live for ever!’
32King David said, ‘Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.’ When they came before the king, 33he said to them: ‘Take your lord’s servants with you and put Solomon my son on my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34There shall Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, “Long live King Solomon!” 35Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.’
36Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, ‘Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. 37As the Lord was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!’
38So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and put Solomon on King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. 39Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 40And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.
41Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, ‘What’s the meaning of all the noise in the city?’
42Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, ‘Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news.’
43‘Not at all!’ Jonathan answered. ‘Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, 45and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. 46Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. 47Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, “May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!” And the king bowed in worship on his bed 48and said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.” ’
49At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. 50But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51Then Solomon was told, ‘Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, “Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.” ’
52Solomon replied, ‘If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.’ 53Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, ‘Go to your home.’
1Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.1.1 stricken…: Heb. entered into days 2Wherefore 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.1.2 Let there…: Heb. Let them seek1.2 a young…: Heb. a damsel, a virgin1.2 cherish…: Heb. be a cherisher unto him 3So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
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.1.5 be king: Heb. reign 6And 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.1.6 at any…: Heb. from his days 7And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.1.7 he…: Heb. his words were with1.7 following…: Heb. helped after Adonijah 8But 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. 9And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:1.9 En-rogel: or, the well Rogel 10But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
11¶ Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 12Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 13Go 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? 14Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.1.14 confirm: Heb. fill up
15¶ And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. 16And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?1.16 What…: Heb. What to thee? 17And 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. 18And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: 19And 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. 20And 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. 21Otherwise 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.1.21 offenders: Heb. sinners
22¶ And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. 23And 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. 24And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25For 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.1.25 God…: Heb. Let king Adonijah live 26But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 27Is 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?
28¶ Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.1.28 into…: Heb. before the king 29And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30Even 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. 31Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.
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. 33The 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:1.33 mine…: Heb. which belongeth to me 34And 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. 35Then 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. 36And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. 37As 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. 38So 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. 39And 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. 40And 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.1.40 pipes: or, flutes
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? 42And 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. 43And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. 44And 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: 45And 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. 46And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. 47And 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. 48And 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. 49And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.
50¶ And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51And 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. 52And 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. 53So 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.