1 Kings 1:1 — 2:12
The First of Kings
1 Now King David was old, advanced in days; and they would cover him with garments, but he would not feel warm. 2 So his servants said to him: “Let them look for a girl, a virgin, for my lord the king, and she will have to attend upon the king, that she may become his nurse; and she must lie in your bosom, and my lord the king will certainly feel warm.” 3 And they went looking for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and finally found Abishag the Shunammite and then brought her in to the king. 4 And the girl was beautiful in the extreme; and she came to be the king’s nurse and kept waiting upon him, and the king himself had no intercourse with her.
5 All the while Adonijah the son of Haggith was lifting himself up, saying: “I myself am going to rule as king!” And he proceeded to have a chariot made for himself with horsemen and fifty men running before him. 6 And his father did not hurt his feelings at any time by saying: “Why is this the way you have done?” And he was also very good-looking in form, and [his mother] had borne him after Absalom. 7 And he came to have dealings with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they began offering help as followers of Adonijah. 8 As for Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei and the mighty men that belonged to David, they did not become involved with Adonijah.
9 Eventually Adonijah held a sacrifice of sheep and cattle and fatlings close by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel, and he proceeded to invite all his brothers the king’s sons and all the men of Judah the king’s servants; 10 and Nathan the prophet and Benaiah and the mighty men and Solomon his brother he did not invite. 11 Nathan now said to Bath-sheba, Solomon’s mother: “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and our lord David does not know of it at all? 12 So now come, let me, please, solemnly counsel you. And provide escape for your own soul and for the soul of your son Solomon. 13 Go and enter in to King David, and you must say to him, ‘Was it not you, my lord the king, that swore to your slave girl, saying: “Solomon your son is the one that will become king after me, and he is the one that will sit upon my throne”? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Look! While you are yet speaking there with the king, then I myself shall come in after you, and I shall certainly confirm your words.”
15 Accordingly Bath-sheba went in to the king in the interior room, and the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was waiting upon the king. 16 Then Bath-sheba bowed low and prostrated herself to the king, upon which the king said: “What do you have [to ask]?” 17 At this she said to him: “My lord, it was you that swore by Jehovah your God to your slave girl, ‘Solomon your son is the one that will become king after me, and he is the one that will sit upon my throne.’ 18 And now, look! Adonijah himself has become king, and now my lord the king himself does not know of it at all. 19 So he sacrificed bulls and fatlings and sheep in great quantity and invited all the sons of the king and Abiathar the priest and Joab the chief of the army; but Solomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And you my lord the king—the eyes of all Israel are upon you, to tell them who is going to sit upon the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 And it will certainly occur that as soon as my lord the king lies down with his forefathers, I myself and also my son Solomon shall certainly become offenders.”
22 And, look! while she was yet speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet himself came in. 23 At once they told the king, saying: “Here is Nathan the prophet!” After that he came in before the king and prostrated himself to the king with his face to the earth. 24 Then Nathan said: “My lord the king, did you yourself say, ‘Adonijah is the one that will become king after me, and he is the one that will sit upon my throne’? 25 For he has today gone down that he might sacrifice bulls and fatlings and sheep in great quantity and might invite all the sons of the king and the chiefs of the army and Abiathar the priest; and there they are eating and drinking before him and they keep saying, ‘Let King Adonijah live!’ 26 But as for me your servant, me and Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Solomon your servant he has not invited. 27 If it is from my lord the king that this thing has been brought about, then you have not caused your servant to know who should sit upon the throne of my lord the king after him.”
David now answered and said: “YOU men, call Bath-sheba for me.” At that she came
in before the king and stood before the king.
the king proceeded to swear and say: “As Jehovah is living who redeemed my soul
out of all distress,
as I have sworn to you by Jehovah the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son
is the one that will become king after me, and he is the one that will sit upon
my throne in place of me!’ that is the way I shall do this day.”
Bath-sheba bowed low with her face to the earth and prostrated herself to the
king and said: “Let my lord King David live to time indefinite!”
32 Immediately King David said: “YOU men, call for me Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came in before the king. 33 And the king went on to say to them: “Take with YOU the servants of YOUR lord, and YOU must make Solomon my son ride upon the she-mule that belongs to me and lead him down to Gihon. 34 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet must anoint him there as king over Israel; and YOU must blow the horn and say, ‘Let King Solomon live!’ 35 And YOU must come up following him, and he must come in and sit upon my throne; and he himself will be king in place of me, and him I shall have to commission to become leader over Israel and over Judah.” 36 At once Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said: “Amen! Thus may Jehovah the God of my lord the king say. 37 Just as Jehovah proved to be with my lord the king, so let him prove to be with Solomon, and may he make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”
38 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and the Cherethites and the Pelethites proceeded to go down and make Solomon ride upon the she-mule of King David, and then brought him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest now took the horn of oil out of the tent and anointed Solomon; and they began to blow the horn, and all the people broke out saying: “Let King Solomon live!” 40 After that all the people came on up following him, and the people were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by the noise of them.
41 And Adonijah and all the ones invited that were with him got to hear it, when they themselves had finished eating. When Joab got to hear the sound of the horn, he at once said: “What does the noise of the town in an uproar mean?” 42 While he was yet speaking, why, here Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. Then Adonijah said: “Come on in, for you are a valiant man, and you bring good news.” 43 But Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah: “No! Our lord King David himself has made Solomon king. 44 So the king sent with him Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and they made him ride upon the she-mule of the king. 45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him as king in Gihon; after which they came up from there rejoicing, and the town is in an uproar. That was the noise that YOU men heard. 46 And, besides, Solomon has sat down upon the throne of the kingship. 47 And, another thing, the servants of the king have come in to wish our lord King David well, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more splendid than your name, and may he make his throne greater than your throne!’ At that the king bowed down upon the bed. 48 And too this is what the king said, ‘Blessed be Jehovah the God of Israel, who has today given one to sit upon my throne, with my own eyes seeing it!’”
49 And all those invited that were with Adonijah began to tremble and rise up and go each one on his own way. 50 And Adonijah himself was afraid because of Solomon. So he rose up and went away and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 51 In time the report was made to Solomon, saying: “Here Adonijah himself has become afraid of King Solomon; and here he has taken hold on the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon first of all swear to me that he will not put his servant to death by the sword.’” 52 To this Solomon said: “If he will become a valiant man, there will not fall a single hair of his to the earth; but if what is bad should be found in him, he will also have to die.” 53 So King Solomon sent and they brought him down from off the altar. Then he came in and bowed down to King Solomon; after which Solomon said to him: “Go to your own house."
2 And the days of David gradually drew near for him to die; and he proceeded to command Solomon his son, saying: 2 “I am going in the way of all the earth, and you must be strong and prove yourself to be a man. 3 And you must keep the obligation to Jehovah your God by walking in his ways, by keeping his statutes, his commandments and his judicial decisions and his testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, in order that you may act prudently in everything that you do and everywhere that you turn; 4 in order that Jehovah may carry out his word that he spoke respecting me, saying, ‘If your sons will take care of their way by walking before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there will not be cut off a man of yours from [sitting] upon the throne of Israel.’
5 “And you yourself also well know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me in what he did to two chiefs of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, when he killed them and placed the blood of war in peacetime and put the blood of war on his belt that was about his hips and in his sandals that were on his feet. 6 And you must act according to your wisdom, and not let his gray hairs go down in peace to Sheol.
7 “And toward the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite you should exercise loving-kindness, and they must prove to be among those eating at your table; for that was the way they drew near to me when I ran away from before Absalom your brother.
8 “And here there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjaminite from Bahurim, and he it was that called down evil upon me with a painful malediction on the day that I was going to Mahanaim; and he it was that came down to meet me at the Jordan, so that I swore to him by Jehovah, saying, ‘I shall not put you to death by the sword.’ 9 And now do not leave him unpunished, for you are a wise man and you well know what you ought to do to him, and you must bring his gray hairs down to Sheol with blood.”
10 Then David lay down with his forefathers and was buried in the City of David. 11 And the days that David had reigned over Israel were forty years. In Hebron he had reigned seven years, and in Jerusalem he had reigned thirty-three years.
12 As for Solomon, he sat down upon the throne of David his father; and gradually his kingship became very firmly established.