How Solomon Became The Ruler Of
Now when David was old, Adonijah thought, "I will be ruler of Israel."
So he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen and fifty men to run
before him. His father, David, had never in his life troubled him by
saying, "Why have you done thus and so?" Adonijah was very good-looking
and was the next younger son after Absalom. He also had made an
agreement with Joab and with Abiathar the priest to help him. But Zadok
the priest and Benaiah and Nathan the prophet, as well as Shimei and Rei
and David's famous warriors, were not on his side.
Adonijah held a feast and killed for it sheep, oxen, and fat beasts by
the Serpent's Stone, which is beside the Fuller's Spring; and he invited
to the feast all his brothers and all the royal officials of Judah; but
he did not invite the prophet Nathan nor Benaiah nor the famous warriors
nor his brother Solomon.
Then Nathan said to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, "Have you not heard
that Adonijah has been made ruler without David our lord knowing it?
Now, therefore, let me advise you that you may save your own life and
the life of your son Solomon. Go at once to David and say to him, 'Did
you not, my lord, solemnly promise your servant that Solomon your son
should rule after you? Why then has Adonijah been made ruler?' While you
are still talking with him, I will come in and repeat your words."
So Bathsheba went into David's room; he was very old, and Abishag the
Shunamite was caring for him. When David said, "What do you wish?" she
said to him, "My lord, you solemnly promised your servant by Jehovah:
'Solomon your son shall rule after me.' But now Adonijah has been made
ruler without your knowledge, my lord! Now, my lord, all the Israelites
are looking to you, to tell them who shall rule after you. If you do not
tell them, then, when my lord dies, I and my son Solomon will be treated
While she was still talking with David, Nathan the prophet came in. And
they told David, "Nathan the prophet is here." So he came in and bowed
before David with his face to the ground. Then Nathan said, "My lord,
have you said, 'Adonijah shall rule after me?' For he has gone down this
day and killed many oxen and fat beasts and sheep and has invited all
your sons and the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest; and
there they are eating and drinking before him and saying, 'May the new
ruler Adonijah live!' But he has not invited me, even me your servant,
nor Zadok, the priest, nor Benaiah nor your servant Solomon. If you have
done this, my lord, you have failed to show your servants who is to rule
after my lord."
David answered, "Call Bathsheba to me." So she came in and stood before
him. Then David made this solemn promise; "As surely as Jehovah lives,
who has delivered me from all trouble, as I have solemnly promised to
you by Jehovah, the God of Israel, saying, 'Solomon your son shall rule
after me'; so I will certainly do to-day." Then Bathsheba bowed her face
to the earth and said, "May my lord live forever."
Then David said, "Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada." When they came before him, he said to
them, "Take with you the servants of your lord. Let Solomon my son ride
upon my own mule, bring him down to Gihon, and there let Zadok the
priest and Nathan the prophet make him ruler over Israel and blow the
trumpet and say, 'May Solomon the ruler live!' Then you shall go up
after him, and he shall go in and sit upon my throne, for he shall rule
after me; and I have appointed him to be chief over Israel and Judah."
Benaiah answered David, "So may it be! May Jehovah confirm the words of
my lord. As Jehovah has been with my lord, even so may he be with
Solomon, and may he make his throne greater than the throne of my lord
Then Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah together with the Philistine
body-guards, went down and put Solomon on David's mule and brought him
to Gihon. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the tent and
poured oil on Solomon's head, and they blew the trumpet, and all the
people said, "May Solomon live!" Then all the people followed him and
the people played on flutes and rejoiced so loudly that the earth seemed
to be shaken by the sound that they made.
Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it just as they had
finished eating. And they were terrified and each rose up and went away.
But Adonijah in his fear of Solomon went and caught hold of the horns of
the altar. When it was reported to Solomon, "See, Adonijah fears Solomon
the ruler, for he has caught hold of the horns of the altar and says,
'Let Solomon solemnly promise me first that he will not kill his servant
with the sword,'" Solomon said, "If he shall show himself a worthy man,
not one of his hairs shall be touched, but if he is found guilty of
disloyalty, he shall die." So Solomon had him brought from the altar.
And he came and bowed before Solomon the ruler. And Solomon said to him,
"Go to your home."
Then David died and was buried in the City of David, after having ruled
over Israel forty years.
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