Study Guide

1 Kings Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Adon' Think So, Adonijah: David Crowns Solomon As King

  • As 1st Kings begins, David has gotten pretty old and pretty cold. His aged body can't even keep itself warm no mo'. What's a chilly geriatric king to do?
  • His servant says, "Hey, why not just get a young virgin to marry you and lie in your bosom all the time to keep you warm?" And David's like, "I could go for that."
  • (We might have suggested perhaps some nice, snuggly puppies, but whatever.)
  • So they search high and low and finally find a hot young thing to warm the King: Abishag the Shunammite, the fairest damsel in all the land. She comes to the palace, marries David, and shares her bodacious body-heat with him from then on. It's good to be king.
  • However, they never consummate the marriage. It's tough to be old.
  • Adonijah, one of David's sons, gets an idea: With his dad so old and decrepit, this would be the perfect time to seize the throne from the rightful heir, Solomon.
  • So Adonijah starts to gather supporters, including Abiathar the high priest, and Joab the commander of the military.
  • However, not everyone jumps on board, including Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Shimei (a frenemy of David's), and David's mightiest warriors, including Benaiah.
  • Undeterred, Adonijah heads to the stone of Zoholeth and invites his brothers (minus Solomon, of course), his father's servants, and all the men of Judah to come watch him crown himself king.
  • Nathan visits Bath-sheba to let her know about Adonijah's scheme before things get out of hand.
  • They know that if Adonijah succeeds in becoming king, he will probably see both Bath-sheba and Solomon as threats and kill them.
  • Bath-sheba and Nathan go to David's chamber (he's snuggling with Abishag, as usual) to tell him that Adonijah's trying to steal the crown.
  • David hears them out, and tells Bath-sheba that Solomon will be king, just like he promised her. He commands Nathan, Benaiah, and Zadok to make it happen.
  • They put Solomon on David's mule, have him ride to Gihon, anoint him with oil, blow a trumpet, and BAM! he's king. And there is much rejoicing.
  • Meanwhile, Adonijah's just finishing what's supposed to be his coronation feast when he and his guests hear Solomon and the gang celebrating good times.
  • Adonijah's supporters quickly realize they've picked the wrong horse in this race, and they get outta there before there's trouble.
  • David's move has totally turned the tables, and now it's Adonijah that's in danger of being killed as an obvious threat to Solomon.
  • Desperate, Adonijah rushes to an altar in the tabernacle and grabs ahold of its horns. This is totally like reaching home base in tag, and nobody can kill you as long as you're there. Adonijah refuses to let go of the horns until Solomon promises not to kill him.
  • Solomon's like, "Look man, if you stay in line I'll leave you alone. But if not, you're dead."
  • That's good enough for Adonijah. He bows before Solomon's throne, then goes home.

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