|The Book of 1 Kings|
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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 1
“years.” The literal is “days,” but in this context we would say “years.”(top)
“stand before.” In this context this is an idiom meaning “attend to,” “serve,” and in this context “care for.” It was a general custom for people to stand before the king (see commentary on Isa. 14:13).(top)
|1Ki 1:3||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:4||- (top)|
“Adonijah, the son of Haggith.” This formula, “person, the son of someone,” usually designates the son and who is their father, but David was Adonijah’s father; Haggith was his mother. David had a number of wives, and their children became rivals.
“chariots.” This could also be translated “a chariot” but it is likely a collective singular.
“he prepared chariots and horsemen for himself, and 50 men.” Similar to what his half-brother Absalom had done (2 Sam. 15:1).(top)
“His father had never rebuked him at any time.” The Hebrew word translated “rebuked” is atsab (#06087 עָצַב). The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament by Botterweck, Ringgren, and Fabry says that the root “indicates a state of mental or emotional distress.” Here it means to be hurt or grieved (New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis), or “pained” (BDB Hebrew and English Lexicon ). The HALOT Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament says “hurt,” but also says “rebuke,” which would be the cause of the emotional pain. David had never rebuked Adonijah and caused him emotional pain, but that was a failure on David’s part. It is a parent’s job to train a child and that means rebuking the child when it is appropriate. Rebuking a child usually causes some emotional pain, but it is necessary to bring the child to maturity.
Throughout the record about David there are indications that he was not a good disciplinarian as a father, and that his sons got away with a lot, which later led to trouble in the family. Poor parenting was one of the terrible consequences of the harem system and having multiple wives. It is hard to be a good Dad when your children live in a harem and every rival wife is jealous of any time you spend with a son who is not her son. In this verse we see that David had never corrected Adonijah, which eventually led to Adonijah being executed by Solomon (1 Kings 2:25). Furthermore, the fact that in many cases the son who became king killed off his brothers meant that every child in the harem was raised to be an enemy of every other child.
We see more consequences of David’s poor parenting that may well have contributed to disaster when he allowed Solomon to marry a pagan wife. Before he became king, Solomon married Naamah, an Ammonite woman, and had his son Rehoboam by her (1 Kings 14:21). The fact that David did not forbid that marriage may have contributed to Solomon marrying many foreign wives once he became king, and those wives turned his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:1-6), leading to the destruction of the United Kingdom of Israel.
David had other family troubles as well. His eldest son, Amnon (2 Sam. 3:2), raped Tamar, one of his daughters (2 Sam. 13:14). David was angry about it (2 Sam. 13:21), but did nothing. This led to David’s son Absalom, the full brother of Tamar, murdering Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28-29). Again David was angry, but after a few years he forgave Absalom and allowed him back into his graces, at which point Absalom rebelled against David and tried to take over the kingdom, but Absalom was killed.(top)
“He conferred with Joab.” The Hebrew text is literally, “And his words were with Joab,” but that is not clear in English.(top)
|1Ki 1:8||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:9||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:10||- (top)|
“David our lord.” The word “lord” is a grammatical plural, “lords.”(top)
“give you counsel.” The Hebrew is more literally, “counsel you with counsel.”(top)
“Did not you yourself, my lord king, swear to your servant.” See commentary on 1 Kings 1:17.(top)
“and confirm your words.” The Hebrew is more literally “and fill up your words.”(top)
“inner room.” The Hebrew word refers to an inner room, which in this case would be the bedroom.(top)
“kneeled and bowed down.” This kneeling preceded bowing down to the ground. The two actions, kneeling and then bowing to the ground blended into one act of homage or worship. The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth. Also, instead of “kneeled and bowed down,” the text could be translated, “bowed down and worshiped,” with “kneeling” being understood as part of the process of bowing down, and “bowing down” was the act of worship. The same Hebrew verb, shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is translated as both “bow down” and “worship;” traditionally “worship” if God is involved and “bow down” if people are involved, but the verb and action are the same, the act of bowing down is the worship. [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].
“What can I do for you?” The Hebrew is idiomatic: “What to you?” David recognizes that Bathsheba had some kind of petition.(top)
“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.(top)
“but you.” The Masoretic Hebrew text reads “but now,” but many Hebrew manuscripts and the LXX, Syriac, Peshitta, and Latin Vulgate read “you,” which is almost certainly correct.(top)
|1Ki 1:19||- (top)|
“the eyes of all Israel are on you.” An exaggeration to get David to move forward quickly.(top)
“lies down with his fathers.” A euphemism for death.
“guilty.” That is, guilty of trying to usurp the throne, and therefore executed.(top)
|1Ki 1:22||- (top)|
“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth, as we see in this verse. The word translated “bowed down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].(top)
|1Ki 1:24||- (top)|
“Long live King Adonijah!” The Hebrew is idiomatic, “May Adonijah the king live!”(top)
|1Ki 1:26||- (top)|
“who will sit on the throne of my lord the king.” See commentary on 1 Kings 1:17.(top)
|1Ki 1:28||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:29||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:30||- (top)|
“kneeled and bowed down.” See commentary on 1 Kings 1:16.
“Let my lord king David live forever!” This is an idiomatic blessing, and also points to a statement that the king will have life beyond the grave, thus pointing to the hope of the resurrection. In his physical body, David was very close to death.(top)
|1Ki 1:32||- (top)|
“mule.” See commentary on 2 Samuel 13:29.
“Gihon.” That is, the Spring Gihon, which was on the eastern side of the city, and it would have been surrounded by a large and well-fortified gate area. Also, this was only about 650 yards from En-Rogel, which is on the southeast end of the city where Adonijah was proclaiming himself king. The two opposing groups could quite easily hear each other.(top)
“will anoint him.” The verb is singular, giving precedence to Zadok who will do that actual anointing. Translations that say “they are” to anoint him lose that clarity.
“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet. The shofar would clearly be heard by Adonijah and his supporters.(top)
“come up after him.” That is, come up from the Spring Gihon into the city of Jerusalem.(top)
“So says Yahweh, the God of my lord the king!” God had spoken that Solomon was to be king, and now King David is setting Solomon on the throne. Here Benaiah is stating that putting Solomon on the throne is what God had already decreed (cp. YLT; Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament). Translations such as the NIV, “May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it,” make it sound like now that David has said it, may God say it too. But that is misleading. God had already said it.(top)
“make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.” Benaiah likely had in mind an expansion of the territory of Israel and also that there would be more peace in the kingdom; David had been a man of war.(top)
“went down.” The entourage went down from the city of Jerusalem to the Spring Gihon.(top)
“the tent.” The “tent” is not the Tabernacle, which was at Gibeon, but it was the tent that David had set up in Jerusalem for the ark of the covenant (see commentary on 1 Chron. 16:1).
“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet.(top)
“All the people went up after him.” Solomon and the people return up the hill to Jerusalem after anointing Solomon.
“the earth split.” This is hyperbolic, describing the huge sound.(top)
“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet.(top)
|1Ki 1:42||- (top)|
“lord.” This is a grammatical plural, “lords” in the Hebrew text, but for good reason, no translator takes this as a plural. Every English Bible says “lord.” The text in 1 Kings 1:43 and 1:47 is adonaynu (or adoneinu), “our lord,” a grammatical plural that is referring to one person, David. Nabal is also referred to with the grammatical plural but is accurately called “lord” in Bible versions (1 Sam. 25:14, 17). The exact same title, adonaynu, is used of Yahweh in Psalm 8:1, showing that Yahweh is not a plurality of persons or “lords.” (see also Ps. 8:1, 9; Ps. 135:5; Neh. 10:29, which also have the grammatical plural). The “grammatical plural” is often referred to by scholars as a “plural of majesty,” a “plural of emphasis,” or a “plural of excellence,” because the plural adds emphasis and/or majesty to an individual. It is important to understand that the grammatical plural is not a plural of number, as if there was more than one individual being referred to. The plural form of the noun is used, but it is used to add emphasis.(top)
|1Ki 1:44||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:45||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:46||- (top)|
“to bless.” In this context, the Hebrew can also mean “to congratulate” (NET; NIV).
“lord.” This is a grammatical plural, “lords” in the Hebrew text.(top)
|1Ki 1:48||- (top)|
“all those who were called.” Adonijah had called (invited) a great many people to the feast (1 Kings 1:9).
“and each one went his way.” It seems that most of the guests at Adonijah’s feast thought that David supported him being king, but when they found out that was not the case they simply left (see commentary on 1 Kings 1:17).(top)
|1Ki 1:50||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:51||- (top)|
|1Ki 1:52||- (top)|
“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth. The word translated “bowed down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].(top)