So she said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore by Yahweh your God to your servant, ‘Indeed, Solomon your son is to reign as king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ Bible other translations

“you yourself swore by Yahweh your God to your servant.” That David said Solomon would reign on his throne is not recorded anywhere in Scripture. David must have said that privately to Bathsheba and anyone who was with her at the time. Furthermore, although Nathan did not mention David making such a promise to Bathsheba when he spoke to David (1 Kings 1:27), he did know about it when he spoke to Bathsheba (1 Kings 1:13). It seems that the reason that Nathan did not mention David’s promise to Bathsheba when he spoke to David is that David made the promise privately. Also, it is likely that Nathan wanted David’s decision to move quickly and crown Solomon king to come directly from David so no one could say that David was just doing what Nathan said. However, word of David’s promise to make Solomon king, though not public and thus not generally known, was known to some. For example, it would explain why Adonijah invited David’s other sons to his inauguration banquet but did not invite Solomon (1 Kings 1:9-10). In fact, the people who Adonijah did not invite to his inauguration feast is very telling, and lets us know that Adonijah knew he was not supposed to be king but, like Absalom before him, planned to take the throne by stealth and force. Years earlier when David’s son Absalom had rebelled against David, David was younger and his army more intact and loyal to him. Now David was close to dying and he had not gone out with his army in some time, and that fact may have emboldened Adonijah to act to try to take the throne.

The fact that David had not made any kind of public announcement about who would be king explains why so many people would come to Adonijah’s inauguration feast. Adonijah was David’s fourth son, and the first three sons were dead so Adonijah was next in line to be king. However, when they realized that David had just crowned Solomon king they had no motive for a coup against David and left the banquet (1 Kings 1:49).

Some scholars think that Nathan invented the story of David promising Bathsheba that Solomon would be king, and he worked to influence the old and supposedly senile king to crown Solomon, and Bathsheba was a willing participant in the plot simply to get her son on the throne, but that is unlikely. There is no evidence that after being a prophet who was faithful to God for many years that Nathan would suddenly become a deceiver, and furthermore, that good men like Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and others, would go along with such a plot. Also, if Adonijah believed he was supposed to be king, then tell David and invite Solomon to the banquet.

Commentary for: 1 Kings 1:17