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Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 1

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-27

Analysis and Annotations


1. Adonijah’s Exaltation to be King

CHAPTER 1:1-27

1. David’s decrepitude (1 Kings 1:1-4 )

2. Adonijah’s self-exaltation (1 Kings 1:5-9 )

3. The plot of Nathan and Bath-sheba (1 Kings 1:10-14 )

4. Bath-sheba and Nathan before the king (1 Kings 1:15-27 )

David was about 70 years old and extremely feeble. The strenuous life he had led, the exposures and hardships of his youth, the cares and anxieties of his reign, and the chastenings through which he passed on account of his great sin, and much else were responsible for this enfeebled condition. It is but another illustration of that rigid law, What a man soweth that shall he reap. It was a premature decay with the complete loss of natural heat. While the king was in this helpless condition Adonijah (My Lord is Jehovah) exalted himself to be king and like his unhappy brother Absalom he prepared chariots and horsemen and fifty men to run before him. Like Absalom he also was of great physical beauty. There is a significant sentence which reveals the weakness of David towards his favorite children, a weakness which has borne its sad fruits in many families. “And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?” There had been no discipline in David’s family; he had spared the rod. By right of primogeniture he thought of claiming the throne. However, he must have known that his younger brother Solomon had been selected by David to fill the throne after him. But Adonijah knew not the Lord nor was he subject to His will. In his selfish ambition he was upheld by Joab and Abiathar, the priest. No doubt but both of these men sought their own interests; Joab to continue in his position he held with David; Abiathar to get supremacy over Zadok his rival in the priesthood. But Zadok the priest, who ministered at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39 ), Benaiah, who had charge of the Cherethites and Pelethites (2 Samuel 8:18 ), Nathan, the faithful prophet, Shimei (not the one who cursed David), Rei and David’s mighty men kept aloof from the revolt. They remained true to Jehovah and to His anointed. Then Adonijah made a sacrificial feast to give his self-exaltation a religious air. He invited all the king’s sons, his brethren, and the men of Judah; but Nathan, Benaiah, David’s mighty men and his brother Solomon were not called. It was meant to be his coronation. In this revolt, preceding the enthronement of God’s king, Solomon, the king of peace, we have another foreshadowing of what will precede the reign of the Prince of Peace, our Lord. It seemed as if Adonijah might succeed. But Nathan, the prophet, begins to act. In agreement with the mother of Solomon the plan is made to discover what Adonijah had done to the aged King. Bath-sheba goes in first and after a while Nathan appeared to tell the King the same story he had heard from the lips of his wife. She reminded David of his oath, that Solomon her son was to be the successor to the throne, and after telling him of Adonijah’s act, she appealed to him to proclaim now who was to sit upon the throne. She speaks to him repeatedly as “My lord the King.” And when Nathan appeared before David he also said, “My lord O King.” Some have gathered from this that aged David had become filled with the pride of life. However, the honour done to him may have been true reverence for the Lord’s anointed King.

Verses 28-53

2. The Anointing of Solomon and Adonijah’s Submission

CHAPTER 1:28-53

1. The renewed promise to Bath-sheba (1 Kings 1:28-31 )

2. The anointing of Solomon commanded (1 Kings 1:32-37 )

3. Solomon made king (1 Kings 1:38-40 )

4. The consternation of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:41-49 )

5. Adonijah’s fear and submission (1 Kings 1:50-53 )

Bath-sheba had withdrawn while Nathan was before the king. She is called back and David once more assures her that Solomon her son should reign after him. Then David commands that Solomon be anointed king without further delay. His instructions are at once carried out. Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah caused Solomon to ride upon King David’s mule and brought him to Gihon. The priest anointed him king and the people rejoiced with great joy. But what joy will come to this earth when He who is greater than Solomon will be enthroned and receive His great kingdom, which is only faintly foreshadowed in Solomon’s glorious reign! All David did was according to Jehovah’s will and purpose. Solomon was a mere youth when he was anointed. In 1 Chronicles 28:0 and 29 where the most impressive scene is fully described which followed Solomon’s anointing, we find David’s own words concerning him, “Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen is yet young and tender, and the work is great” (1 Chronicles 29:1 ). We shall follow the remarkable utterances of King David at that occasion when we reach the Chronicles. Like Saul and David, King Solomon was likewise anointed a second time. “And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest” (1 Chronicles 29:22 ). And while the people were rejoicing in Gihon over God’s true King, Adonijah’s feast was about ended. Abiathar’s son Jonathan appeared on the scene. Adonijah said, “Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.” And the tidings he brought were good tidings for God’s people: “Solomon sitteth on the throne of the Kingdom.” Fear and consternation took hold on Adonijah and his guests and while the people gathered around Solomon, Adonijah and his company scattered. When another One, the greater Son of David, is enthroned and the glad tidings flash forth, He has taken His throne, all His enemies will be scattered and be made the footstool of His feet. Adonijah took hold of the horns of the altar (Exodus 21:12-14 ). Solomon promises him that his life would be spared, “but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.” Mercy shown and righteousness demanded were the first acts of King Solomon. In this he is a type of Him who will reign in peace and execute mercy and righteousness on the earth. Righteousness will reign in the millennial Kingdom and evil doers will be cut off.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 1 Kings 1". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/1-kings-1.html. 1913-1922.
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