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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 1

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-53

Tonight let's turn to First Kings beginning with chapter one.

First Kings, of course, is just the continuation of the history of the kings of Judah and Israel. First and Second Samuel are taken up pretty much with the time from Samuel through the reign of David. As we get into the book of the Kings, we continue now the story of the history of the kings of Israel and Judah after David passes from the scene.

First and Second Kings actually cover a period of approximately four hundred years and they give to us the record of the kings. First of all, those that ruled over Judah. Now as we get into First and Second Chronicles, you have a repetition of a lot of the history, but First and Second Chronicles are the chronicles of the kings of Judah. So they don't really deal so much with the kings of Israel, whereas, First and Second Kings deals with both Israel and Judah, the kings that reigned in the north, the kings that reigned in the south.

So in chapter one, we read now.

King David was old and stricken in years ( 1 Kings 1:1 );

When it says that they were old and stricken in years, it means that they have begun to become an invalid as others in the Old Testament. Some, of course, like Moses their strength abated not. His sight and all was excellent right up until the day of his death. But others it declares that as they became old, they became stricken in years.

It is tragic to see a person stricken in years, such as David who lived such a vital, active life. But David as he got older just wasn't the person that he was when he was younger, as is the case for all of us. But David as he became older was out in battle, you remember last week, and started to faint.

And so they said, "Hey, you're not going to go out and fight anymore. You stay home, we'll do the fighting." But now as he continues to age, he becomes sort of an invalid, stricken in years. It's a sad statement of that invalidism that oftentimes overtakes an elderly person. So this is far from David, the great warrior and David the man who was so active as he becomes old.

In fact, I hate to see my hero this way. They putting on blankets and he's still shaking, you know. And so someone suggested that they get hold of a young virgin that she might stand before the king and love him and cherish him and take care of him and lie in his bosom that he might be warmed.

And so they sought for a beautiful damsel from all of the areas of Israel, and they came across Abishag a Shunammite, and they brought her to the king. And she was very beautiful, and she loved the king, and ministered to him: but David did not have relations with her ( 1 Kings 1:3-4 ).

Now David's son Adonijah who was the brother, full brother of Absalom, he was the son of Haggith, this Jesurite. She bore David at least two sons and both of them actually sort of rebelled against their dad. And Adonijah, when he saw that his dad was getting old and feeble, decided that he would take over the kingdom. And so he gathered together Joab who was, of course, David's chief general; Abiathar, who was the priest during the time of David, and he conferred with them of his desire to take over the throne of his father.

But Zadok the other priest, and Benaiah, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and other mighty men which were with David, did not go along with Adonijah ( 1 Kings 1:8 ).

But Adonijah threw a great party, killing many sheep and oxen and fat cattle and had this big sort of an announcement or pronouncement of himself as king over Judah.

But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and these other fellows, weren't invited. So Nathan came to Bathsheba and he said, Did not David promise to you that Solomon, your son, would reign in his stead ( 1 Kings 1:10 , 1 Kings 1:13 )?

Now you better hurry and get in unto David because Adonijah is gathering men around him and he's planning to take over the kingdom.

And so you go into David, and you say to David, Did you not promise me that my son Solomon would reign in your stead? How is it that Adonijah has set himself up as king? And while you're talking to David, I will come in and confirm to David that what you're telling him is true ( 1 Kings 1:13-14 )

That Adonijah in reality has gathered Joab and these other fellows and is trying to set himself up as king.

So Bathsheba came in to David ( 1 Kings 1:15 ):

And said according to the words of Nathan, said, "How is it, you know, I thought that David that my son Solomon was going to get to reign in your stead," you know and all. "And how is it that Adonijah now is setting himself up and what's going on?"

And David, of course, was not aware of what Adonijah was doing and while she was talking, Nathan came in and David questioned Nathan. Nathan confirmed the fact that Adonijah had called these fellows together and was having this big shindig in which he was making the announcement of himself as king and the people were saying, "Long live Adonijah the king," and all.

And so David then ordered that they take his mule and set Solomon upon it and take him through the street and let the people proclaim, "Long live Solomon the king." Take him down to the spring of Gihon and there let him be anointed as king over Israel by Zadok the priest. And let Benaiah go before him and the mighty men and announce the reign of Solomon with David's blessing, that David has declared Solomon to be the king.

And so the king said, Call Bathsheba. And she came back in and stood before David. And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 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. So Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever ( 1 Kings 1:28-31 ).

And so he made the arrangements then for Solomon to be anointed by Zadok the priest there at the pool of the springs of Gihon and then to be led into the city proclaimed as king.

So, verse thirty-nine,

Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and he anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with their pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, and the earth was torn with the sound of them. And Adonijah and all of the guests that were at his party when they heard all of the noise in the town, the trumpets blowing and all of the uproar, they said, someone came in and said that Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; you're a valiant man, you must have good news ( 1 Kings 1:39-42 ).

He said, "Not so good."

He said,

The king has sent Zadok the priest, and he has anointed Solomon to be king. And Nathan the prophet, they've gone before him there at Gihon, anointed him. And this is the meaning of all of the rejoicing. This is the noise that you hear. For Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. 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 on the bed ( 1 Kings 1:44-47 ).

In other words, when they came to David and said, May God bless your son even greater than you've been blessed and all, David acquiesced and acknowledged, you know, by his bowing to Solomon's reign and the declaration of Solomon's reign should be great, even greater than David's.

One verse here that especially stood out in my mind, verse twenty-nine, as David was addressing his wife Bathsheba, he declared, "As the Lord lives that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress." What a glorious testimony that is. Now he didn't say the Lord kept my soul from all distress.

A lot of times people have a mistaken notion that God somehow is going to give me divine immunity from problems. That somehow I'm going to be immune from any kind of distressing or vexing situation. Not so. As a child of God, I face many distressing situations. I have no immunity from problems, from sufferings, from hurts. Nor will you. But I do know that God will deliver me out of all my distresses.

Now you see, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian isn't the fact that a Christian doesn't have distresses and doesn't have problems because I have just as much distress and problem as an ungodly person has. The only thing is I have One who redeems me out of them all. The ungodly not so. They've got to make their way the best they can through them or perish in them or whatever. But the Lord will redeem my soul out of all distresses.

So Paul the apostle spoke, "Who hath delivered me from so great a death, so doth now deliver me: and I am confident that He shall yet deliver me" ( 2 Corinthians 1:10 ). But being a child of God did not give any kind of protection against problems, against battles. And if you think that being a Christian means that life is just going to be a pleasure, bed of roses, then you're due for some very difficult and rude awakenings in your Christian experience. If you think now that you're a Christian you're not going to have any problems, that's not so. And you're apt to get very discouraged when problems come. But if you know that as a child of God I'm going to face problems just like everybody else, but the Lord will be with me and redeem me and help me in my problems, and will bring me forth victorious, that's the important thing. So that even in my problems, I do have a different mental attitude than the non-Christian. They don't know what's going on or what's going to happen to them, whereas I know that the Lord's going to see me through. I know the Lord's going to deliver me out.

And so David's glorious witness. And this is the end of his life, the end of the road. What a beautiful witness. "As the Lord liveth that hath delivered my soul out of all distresses."

So Solomon is now sitting on the throne. And when Adonijah heard this, of course, his guests all fled.

And Adonijah ran in, and grabbed hold on the horns of the altar ( 1 Kings 1:50 ).

Now on the altars that they used to make, on the corners of the altar, they had these little raised areas that looked like a horn on the four corners of the altar, these little areas. We saw one of the altars that the archaeologists uncovered there in Beersheba, the ancient city of Beersheba. And they haven't really uncovered too many altars whole. In fact, this is one of the first one where all four horns were still intact. And they're just little horns that sort of come up on the edge.

Well, Adonijah went in and grabbed hold of the horns. And when you read, he went in and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar, it means he grabbed hold of these two little handle-like things that come up that look like horns there on the corners of the altar.

And so they came and told Solomon that Adonijah is afraid of you. And he's in holding on to the horns of the altar, saying, Let Solomon swear to me this day that he will not slay me with the sword. And Solomon said, If he behaves himself, he'll be all right. Let him go home. So Adonijah went to his own house ( 1 Kings 1:51-53 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Kings 1". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-kings-1.html. 2014.
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