Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 1

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Now king David was old [and] stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.

Now king David was old. — His numbering the people is by some held to be the last act he did before he took his bed. But by others, with more probability, that all those things recorded in the eight last chapters of the First Book of Chronicles were done whilst David was able to go abroad; for it is said in 1 Chronicles 28:2 that he "stood upon his feet in the assembly of the princes," and spake unto them. And he so spake that they might well perceive his intellectuals were no whit decayed, though he were old and cold, rigens prae senio.

And they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. — He had been a man of sorrows from his youth up. See Proverbs 17:22 2 Corinthians 7:10 Psalms 32:3-4 ; Psalms 119:83 . Hence his strength was much impaired, and his death hastened, though he lived as long as any king of Judah or Israel: indeed, Manasseh reigned longest of any.

Verse 2

Wherefore 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.

Wherefore his servants said unto him,i.e., His physicians, his Yεραποντες θεραπευοντες .

And let her lie in thy bosom. — In a medicinal way, to work heat in thy cold body, whilst she lieth with thee as a wife or concubine: for else they would never have advised it, nor David have taken their counsel.

Verse 3

So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

So they sought for a fair damsel. — The natural cause why they went this way to work rather than by wines, furs, …, was quia ille calor humanus in substantia erat simillimus calori hominis naturali, eiusque gradum non superabat, saith Valesius: Sac. Theol, cap. 29. Gal., lib. 7. Method. because her heat would be likest to his in substance and degree. Virgins also have more natural heat than women who have had children.

Verse 4

And the damsel [was] very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

And the damsel was very fair. — And therefore lovely, οττι καλον φιλον εστι , and fitter for the purpose.

But the king knew her not.Utpote frigidus et inhabilis ad generandum; neither would it have been for his health, as the case then stood.

Verse 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.

Exalted himself, saying, I will be king. — This was another of David’s darlings. Him and Absalom, David had honoured, as Eli had done his two wicked sons, above the Lord; 1 Samuel 2:29 therefore they proved a singular cross to him.

I will be king. — Though David had declared Solomon to be designed king by God himself, 1 Chronicles 22:9-10 and Adonijah knew it to be so, and therefore called not Solomon and his party to his feast. 1 Kings 1:19 Vain men, whilst, like proud and yet brittle clay, they will be knocking their sides against the solid and eternal decree of God, break themselves in pieces.

And he prepared him chariots. — Absalom-like; ambition rideth without reins. David should have now looked upon him as another Absalom, and suppressed him. But he either knew not, or suspected not this pomp, and those preparations of his.

Verse 6

And 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.

And his father had not displeased him at any time. — Heb., From his days, i.e., from his childhood; therefore he displeased his father in his age; little caring to crush his heart when now bedridden, by his disloyalty and usurpation. But thus was still fulfilled what had been forethreatened. 2 Samuel 12:11

In saying, Why hast thou done so? — He cockered his children, whom he should have corrected if he had done right. David was ever too fond a father, and he smarted for it.

And he also was a very goodly man. — As well as Absalom: this made him think the better of himself, and his father think too well of him.

Verse 7

And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped [him].

And he conferred with Joab, … — Seeking to draw these grandees to his party, whom he knew to be discontented, and therefore more easily wrought upon. Joab was conscious to himself of the treacherous murdering of Abner and Amasa; for which and the death of Absalom, David bare him still an aching tooth: and if he stayed till David appointed a successor in the kingdom, who knew what might follow? Abiathar haply was displeased that Zadok was so much favoured: and might fear the fulfilling of that prophecy concerning the overthrow of Eli’s house, of which he was. But what saith an ancient? Divinum consilium dum devitatur, impletur; humana sapientia, dum reluctatur, comprehenditur. Greg. There are "many devices in a man’s heart: nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand." Proverbs 19:21

Verse 8

But 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.

But Zadok the priest. — So Cranmer and Ridley, and some few other conscientious persons, afterwards ill rewarded by Queen Mary, refused to subscribe the letters patent for Lady Jane Gray’s succession to the crown, after the death of King Edward VI; which yet were subscribed by the most of the statesmen, who were guided with respect to their particular interest, for that they were possessed of various lands which once pertained to monasteries, chanteries, …, which they foresaw they should lose, in case religion should change under Queen Mary.

Verse 9

And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which [is] by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:

And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen. — Hitherto all went ‘hail well’ with these gallants: and many a health, no doubt, was drunk to Adonijah: many a confident boast of their prosperous design, many a scorn of the despised faction of Solomon, … But the triumphing of the wicked is short. Job 20:5 See Trapp on " Job 20:5 "

Verse 10

But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

But Nathan the prophet. — These were no whit the worse men for being thus neglected. The wise historian observed, that the statues of Brutus and Cassius Tacit. were the more glorious and illustrious, because they were not brought out with other images in a solemn procession at the funeral of Germanicus. Cato said he had rather men should question why he had no statue or monument erected to him, than why he had.

Verse 11

Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth [it] not?

Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba. — See here, saith P. Martyr, how God by weak means confoundeth the mighty, and worketh for the accomplishment of his own will.

And David our lord knoweth it not. — Either Adonijah’s partisans and parasites kept it from David, or else through age and weakness he took no notice of it.

Verse 12

Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.

That thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. — Which the usurper will surely take away if he carry the crown; not suffering any such rub to lie in the way, that may hinder the true running of his bowl.

Verse 13

Go 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?

Didst not thou swear … unto thine handmaid? — This was done, say the Rabbis, at that time when David comforted Bathsheba, and went in unto her, and lay with her. 2 Samuel 12:24 Lyra saith, that then it was revealed unto him, that this son of his by Bathsheba should reign after him: this was no small comfort to her.

Verse 14

Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

I will come in after thee, and confirm thy words,Pollicetur suam operam in praetexenda tela. Heb., Fill up - that is, say the same, and more. There are some seeming contradictions in Scripture: and though they seem to be as the accusers of Christ, never a one speaking like the other, yet if we understand, we shall find them speaking like Nathan and Bathsheba, both speaking the same things.

Verse 15

And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.

And the king was very old. — Yet little more than half so old as a plain countryman whom I spoke with yesterday, being May 15, A.D. 1656, at Stratford-upon-Avon, who assured me, and gave good proof of it, that he was a hundred and twenty-eight of age, being born A.D. 1527. He is still hearty and healthy, living at Bedworth in Warwickshire, Thomas Egerton by name.

Verse 16

And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?

What wouldest thou? — Heb., What to thee? q.d., I am ready to hearken to thee. She had been a good wife to him, and knew how to command him by obeying him, as Livia did Augustus, and much better. Plin. For Livia, notwithstanding her smooth carriage toward her husband, is foully slandered, if she were not over familiar with Eudemus her physician, and if she did not at his death help to set him going, lest he should alter his will, and put her son Tiberius beside the empire. But good Bathsheba was none such. Eutrop.

Verse 17

And 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.

Shall reign after me. — This was the substance of the promise confirmed by oath.

And he shall sit upon my throne. — This was the evidence thereof. She allegeth both, doing as Nathan had dictated unto her.

Verse 18

And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest [it] not:

And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth. — His ambition hath turned off his obedience. Had his right to the kingdom been never so good, yet to step into the throne, while his father was yet living, without his privity and consent, was no better than treason.

Verse 19

And 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.

But Solomon thy servant. — Not thy sovereign, as Adonijah affecteth to be. See on 1 Kings 1:9-10 .

Verse 20

And 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.

That thou shouldest tell them, … — This some princes love not to do, - Queen Elizabeth for instance. A false Jesuit wrote, that she wished she might after her death hang a while in the air, to see what scuffling there would be for her kingdom. Os durum! fowl mouth!

Verse 21

Otherwise 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.

Shall be counted offenders. — Heb., Sinners. Erimus Mamzeres - so Jerome senseth it, out of the Hebrew traditions - that is, we shall be accounted bastards and infamous. It is probable that Adonijah had spoken basely of Bathsheba as an adulteress, and of Solomon as illegitimate, and so not fit to be king. Or by sinners here understand rebels, and public enemies.

Verse 22

And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.

Nathan the prophet also came in. — And so Bathsheba went out, 1 Kings 1:28 that it might not appear to be a plot betwixt them.

Verse 23

And 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.

Behold Nathan the prophet. — Who was a privy counsellor to David, though he had so sharply reproved him. 2 Samuel 12:1-12

He bowed himself before the king. — Note here the exemplary modesty and submission of so great a prophet. How far from this is the false prophet of Rome!

Verse 24

And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?

Hast thou said?q.d., I think not. Exordium ex abrupto, per admirationem.

Verse 25

For 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.

And hath slain oxen and fat cattle. — See on 1 Kings 1:14 .

Verse 26

But me, [even] me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.

But me, even me. — As some useless person, as an ουτιδανος , as if I were no prophet of the Lord, or as if there were not a woe to such rebellious children as "take counsel, but not of God; and cover with a covering, but not of his Spirit, that they may add sin to sin." Isaiah 30:1

Verse 27

Is 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?

And thou hast not showed it, … — See on 1 Kings 1:23 .

Verse 28

Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.

Call me Bathsheba. — See on 1 Kings 1:22 .

Verse 29

And the king sware, and said, [As] the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,

Who hath delivered my soul. — Deliverance commandeth obedience. Ezra 9:13-14

Verse 30

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.

Even so will I certainly do this day. — Before tomorrow: for the business requireth expedition, since,

sero medicina paratur,

Cum mala per longas invaluere moras. ” - Ovid.

Verse 31

Then Bathsheba bowed with [her] face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

Let my lord king David live for ever,i.e., Let him live his utmost. Agrippina hastened her husband Claudius the emperor’s death, that her son Nero might succeed: yea, she cried out Occidar, modo imperet. But good Bathsheba was not so hasty.

Verse 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.

And Nathan the prophet. — So far was David from hatred of truth, that he loved Nathan the better for his plain dealing while he lived, gave him free access to his bedchamber, and now nameth him a commissioner for the declaring of his successor.

Verse 33

The 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:

Take with you the servants of your lord. — My guard, and the garrison soldiers that are at hand.

To ride upon mine own mule. — In token that I have transferred upon him the royal dignity. Esther 6:8

And bring him down to Gihon. — The Chaldee hath it, To Siloe, where the waters ran softly and constantly. Hereby, saith Martyr, David would set forth his desire that Solomon’s reign might be mild and moderate, as also perpetuum et perenne, durable and longlasting.

Verse 34

And 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.

And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet. — That the young king might learn betime to hearken to such, and to give them all due respect.

Verse 35

Then 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.

For he shall be king in my stead. — The son of our King Henry II was crowned king by his father, who at his coronation renounced the name of a king for that day, and as sewer served at that table. But this young king was so puffed up with his new dignity, that he soon bore arms against his father; and dying of discontent before his father, got not so much by his coronation as to have a name in the catalogue of the kings of England. But Solomon had learned better things both of his father Proverbs 4:4 and mother, Proverbs 31:10-31 and tutor Nathan.

Verse 36

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so [too].

Amen: the Lord … say so too. — Amen is, (1.) Assenting; (2.) Assevering; (3.) Assuring. It is as much as So be it; yea, So it shall be; It must be so, if, as here, the Lord our God say so too. Only we must stretch out our hearts after our Amen, say the Rabbis, and be swallowed up in God.

Verse 37

As 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.

And make his throne greater. — God heard this prayer, and said Amen to it, set his fiat to it: for Solomon’s reign, accomplished with a civil and religious happiness, represented the triumphant Church in heaven: as David’s reign had been a figure of the Church militant upon earth.

Verse 38

So 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.

And brought him to Gihon. — See on 1 Kings 1:33 .

Verse 39

And 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.

Took an horn of oil. — Whereof there was great use in the tabernacle. It was not that holy oil which was at first provided for the anointing of the priests, see Exodus 30:32 , "Upon man’s flesh shall it not be poured" but some other, to show that magistrates should be holy and gracious: whence also the seat of judicature is called the holy place. Ecclesiastes 8:10

And anointed Solomon. — When he was twenty years of age, saith Lyra: some say twenty-four.

God save king Solomon,i.e., Rex Pacificus: so the Greeks had their Irenaei, the Germans their Fredericks, (that is, rich in peace,) and the Turks their Selims and Solymans.

Verse 40

And 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.

Piped with pipes. — Or, Flutes; that Adonijah’s party might hear and be startled with those noises, which at once proclaimed Solomon’s triumph, and their confusion.

And rejoiced with great joy. — By the special operation of God’s Spirit, see 1 Chronicles 12:40 and to shadow forth the great joy which the saints should take in the kingdom of Christ. Zechariah 9:9

So that the earth rent. — After a sort, with their loud acclamations, Hyperbole sumpta a fragoris similitudine.

Verse 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?

As they had made an end of eating. — Ever after the meal is ended, comes the reckoning. Adonijah’s feast, as all wicked men’s, endeth in horror; for the last dish, is served up astonishment and fearful expectation of just revenge. So doth the wise and just God befool proud and insolent sinners in those secret plots wherein they hope to undermine the son of David, the Prince of peace.

Verse 42

And 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.

And bringest good tidings. — So Adonijah would have had it; but the expectation of the wicked shall perish; when they are at the height of their joys and hopes, God oft confoundeth all their devices, and layeth them open to the scorn of the world, and to the anguish of their own guilty hearts.

Verse 43

And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.

Verily our lord king David,q.d., Good news say you? truly not so good as you think, for all is like to be nought on your side: Postea nullus eris. Afterward it will be nothing.

Verse 44

And 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:

And the king hath sent with him Zadok. — All this relation was to Adonijah and his guests, as those knuckles of a man’s hand were to Belshazzar, to write them their destiny; or as Daniel was to him, to read it unto them.

Verse 45

And 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.

This is the noise that ye have heard. — A doleful knell to those who had feasted and boasted themselves in a jocund security and promise of success. "A dreadful sound is in their ears: in prosperity the destroyer cometh upon them. Trouble and anguish maketh them afraid, whilst they prevail against them as a king ready to the battle." Job 15:21 ; Job 15:24

Verse 46

And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.

And also Solomon sitteth. — He is in actual possession, and therefore you are lost. Every man is either a king or a captive; Aut Caesar, aut nullus. Either Caesar or no one. Every man, saith Augustine, shall either reign with Christ, or be damned with the devil.

Verse 47

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 upon the bed.

Better than thy name, and his throne greater. — This wish of his servants was no grief of heart to the old king, but a matter of joy. So they prayed for Hector’s son in Homer,

“ πατρος δ ογε πολλον αμεινων . ”

And Claudian thus bespeaketh Honorius the emperor -

Aspice, completur votum; iam natus adaequat

Te meritis, et quod magis est optabile, vincit. ”

And the king bowed himself upon the bed. — Worshipping God, as Genesis 47:31 , and joining in prayer with his servants for his son. Some think he bowed himself to his son now crowned king: what, then, would he have done to his Lord, if present?, Psalms 110:1 quos non honores in illum supplex ac venerabundus certatim contulisset? Bucholcer.

Verse 48

And 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].

To sit on my throne this day. — Nevertheless David did not during his life wholly lay aside the kingly power; but gave it to his son whilst he was yet alive.

Verse 49

And all the guests that [were] with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.

And all the guests. — Who had now nothing so good cheer as Solomon’s guests, praise at parting; those that erewhile fed without fear, are now in great horror, the traitor’s raced.

Were afraid, and rose up, and went, … — Here is τροπος και τοπος , quo loco et quomodo diffugerint, how and whither they slunk away.

Verse 50

And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

On the horns of the altar. — Which hitherto, haply, he had despised.

Verse 51

And 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.

Hath caught hold on the horns. — Hither fled malefactors, as to a place of security, Exodus 21:14 though there was no law for it.

Verse 52

And 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.

If he will show himself a worthy man. — viz., For future; his present offence I pardon him, but he is upon his good behaviour.

A worthy man. — Heb., A son of valour: if he can conquer his passions, and submit to my government.

Verse 53

So 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.

Go to thine house. — Meddle not with state matters, but mind thine own affairs; Res tuas age, intra tuam pelliculam te contine.

Vivo tibi, quantumque potes praelustria vita.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 1". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/1-kings-1.html. 1865-1868.
Ads FreeProfile