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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 1

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-53

An Intrigue for the Succession

This chapter relates Adonijah’s attempt to obtain the succession, its defeat through the agency of Nathan, and the enthronement of Solomon. The history contained in it is omitted in 1 Ch, where, however, mention is made of Solomon’s having been crowned not once only but twice (1 Chronicles 29:22). Probably the second occasion corresponds to what is related in 1 Kings 1:39 (cp. 1 Chronicles 29:24 with 1 Kings 1:53).

1. Now] better, ’and,’ connecting this book with the history contained in the preceding.

5. Adonijah] The fourth son of David (2 Samuel 3:4). Of his three elder brothers, two, Amnon and Absalom, were certainly by this time dead; and the indulgence with which Adonijah was treated by his father (1 Kings 1:6) makes it probable that he was the eldest surviving son.

6. His mother bare him after Absalom] RV ’he was born after Absalom’; Adonijah and Absalom were sons of different mothers (2 Samuel 3:3-4).

7. Joab] David’s nephew, and at this time captain of the host or national militia (2 Samuel 8:16). His support of Adonijah was probably due to the latter’s being the eldest surviving son of David, and to his active character. Abiathar] son of Ahimelech the priest of Nob, who had been put to death by Saul (1 Samuel 22:20). He was a descendant of Aaron’s son Ithamar.

8. Zadok] a descendant of Aaron’s son Eleazar (1 Chronicles 6:4-8). It is not clear what were the relative positions of Abiathar and Zadok to one another. In 1 Chronicles 16:39; Zadok is stated to have ministered at the sanctuary at Gibeon, but in 2 Samuel 15:24 both Abiathar and Zadok are represented as being at Jerusalem. In the LXX of 1 Kings 2:35 it is implied that Abiathar was the first, or principal, priest, and Zadok presumably the second. Benaiah] son of Jehoiada (1 Kings 1:36) and commander of the bodyguard of Cherethites, Pelethites and Gittites (see further on 1 Kings 1:38). For his early exploits see 2 Samuel 23:20-23. Nathan] For other notices of Nathan see 2 Samuel 7:2.; 2 Samuel 12:1.; The mighty men] This was a body of distinguished warriors, nominally 30 in number, who were perhaps officers either of the bodyguard or of the host, and whose names are given in 2 Samuel 23:24-39; 1 Chronicles 11:26-47.

9. Slew sheep and oxen] probably a sacrificial feast is meant, whereby Adonijah intended to solemnise his succession: cp. 2 Samuel 15:12. The stone of Zoheleth.. Enrogel] Enrogel is probably to be identified with the modern Bîr-eyûb, a well (not a spring) situated at the junction of the valley of Hinnom and the gorge of the Kidron, S. of Jerusalem (cp. Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16).

13. Didst not thou.. swear?] That this was true is acknowledged by David in 1 Kings 1:29, 1 Kings 1:30.

20. The eyes of all Israel are upon thee] Though the right of the firstborn to succeed was beginning to be recognised, the sovereign still possessed the power of nominating his successor.

33. Gihon] probably the modern Virgin’s Fountain, in the ravine of the Kidron, about half-a-miie from Enrogel (Bîr-eyûb).

36. Amen] an expression of assent or concurrence: cp. Numbers 5:22; Jeremiah 28:6.

38. Cherethites] a bodyguard of foreign extraction, like the Swiss guards of the French kings or the Varangians of the Byzantine sovereigns. The Cherethites came from the S. of Philistia (1 Samuel 30:14), the name being generally supposed to be connected with Crete, and the Pelethites were perhaps likewise Philistines. David may have enrolled this force after the conclusion of his Philistine wars.

39. The tabernacle] RV ’the Tent’; probably the tent erected by David to shelter the ark (2 Samuel 6:17). According to 1 Chronicles 16:39 the Tabernacle made by Moses was at Gibeon. For the anointing oil see Exodus 30:22-33.

42. Valiant] RV ’worthy.’

46. Solomon sitteth on the throne] similarly Jotham ruled during the lifetime of his father (2 Kings 15:5).

47. Bowed himself] i.e. in worship: cp. Genesis 47:31.

50. The horns of the altar] The altar intended was probably one erected in or before the tent that sheltered the ark: see on 1 Kings 1:39 and cp. 1 Kings 2:29; 1 Kings 3:15. The horns were projections at the four corners (Exodus 27:2), to which the victim to be sacrificed may have been attached (Psalms 118:27), and which were sometimes smeared with its blood (Exodus 29:12). It was customary for homicides to seek refuge at the altar of the Lord from the avengers of blood, but deliberate murderers might be dragged from it (Exodus 21:14). A similar right of asylum belonged to heathen temples in classical times and to Christian churches in the middle ages.

51. To day] RM ’first of all.’

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 1". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/1-kings-1.html. 1909.
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