Reading 93/341, 1 Kings 1.32-3.28

[A] We see in the relationship between Solomon and Bathsheba the importance of the king’s mother in Israel. It is an image of Jesus and Mary.
[B] Did Adonijah really plan to use his request to win back the kingdom? Or did he just really like Abishag? Bathsheba evidently saw no plot, but Solomon does. Is he wiser than the rest or just paranoid?
[C] We have the famous story here of the wisdom of Solomon. Yet Solomon, who begins well (except for all the killing) ends badly. Wisdom is not enough.

...1 Kings...

King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king. The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my mule, and bring him down to Gihon, and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel, and blow the trumpet, and say, ‘Long live king Solomon.’ Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place, and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, “Amen, the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.” So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride on King David's mule, and brought him to Gihon. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the Tent, and anointed Solomon. They blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live king Solomon.” All the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth shook with the sound of them. Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “Why is there noise of the city being in an uproar?” While he yet spoke, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came, and Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a worthy man, and bring good news.” Jonathan answered Adonijah, “No, most certainly our lord King David has made Solomon king, and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and they had him ride on the king's mule, and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they are come up from there rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that you have heard. Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. Moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and make his throne greater than your throne,’ and the king bowed himself on the bed. Also thus said the king, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, my eyes seeing it.’” All the guests of Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and every man went his way. Adonijah feared Solomon, and he arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. It was told to Solomon, saying, “Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for, behold, he has laid hold on the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” Solomon said, “If he shall show himself a worthy man, not a hair of him shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness be found in him, he shall die. So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and did obeisance to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”

Now the time for David to die drew near, and he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong therefore, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel. Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother. Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim, but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man, and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood.” David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem.

Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was established greatly. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come peacefully?” He said, “Peacefully.” He said moreover, “I have something to tell you.” She said, “Say on.” He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign, however the kingdom is turned about, and has become my brother's; for it was his from the Lord. Now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me.” She said to him, “Say on.” He said, “Please speak to Solomon the king (for he will not refuse you), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.” Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak for you to the king.” Bathsheba therefore went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself to her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a throne to be set for the king's mother, and she sat on his right hand. Then she said, “I ask one small petition of you; do not deny me.” The king said to her, “Ask on, my mother; for I will not deny you.” She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.” King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my elder brother; and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the son of Zeruiah are for him.” Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life. Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death this day.” King Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him, so that he died. To Abiathar the priest said the king, “Get you to Anathoth, to your own fields; for you are worthy of death, but I will not at this time put you to death, because you bear the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because you were afflicted in all in which my father was afflicted.” So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, that he might fulfill the word of the Lord, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

The news came to Joab, for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he did not turn after Absalom. Joab fled to the Tent of the Lord, and caught hold of the horns of the altar. It was told to King Solomon, “Joab has fled to the Tent of the Lord, and behold, he is by the altar.” Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” Benaiah came to the Tent of the Lord, and said to him, “Thus says the king, ‘Come forth.’” He said, ‘No. I will die here.” Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. The king said to him, “Do as he has said, and strike him down, and bury him, that you may take away the blood which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father's house. The Lord will return his blood on his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, and my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah. So shall their blood return on the head of Joab, and on the head of his seed forever, but to David, and to his seed, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace for ever from the Lord.” Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and struck him down, and killed him, and he was buried in his own house in the desert. The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the army, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and do not go forth from there anywhere. For on the day you go out, and pass over the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall surely die. Your blood shall be on your own head.” Shimei said to the king, “The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days. It happened at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, “Behold, your servants are in Gath.” Shimei arose, and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to seek his servants, and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. It was told to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and returned. The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord, and warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain, that on the day you go out, and walk abroad anywhere, you shall surely die?’ And you said to me, ‘The saying that I have heard is good. I will obey.’ Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the commandment that I have charged you with?” The king said moreover to Shimei, “You know all the wickedness in your heart that you did to David my father, therefore the Lord shall return your wickedness on your own head, but king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out, and struck him down, so that he died.

The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon. Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. The people sacrificed in the high places, however, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord in those days. Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, but he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. In Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” Solomon said, “You have shown to your servant David my father great loving kindness, accordingly as he walked before you in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you, and you have kept for him this great loving kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as at this day. Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father, and I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to judge your great people?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life, nor riches, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to your word, behold, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has been none like you before you, nor after you shall any arise like you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you, all your days. If you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days.” Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream.

He came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. Then two prostitutes came, to the king, and stood before him. The one woman said, “O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house, and I delivered a child with her in the house. It happened the third day after I delivered, that this woman also delivered, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, except we two in the house. This woman's child died in the night, because she lay on him. She arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while your handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, it was dead, but when I had looked at it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, whom I bore.” The other woman said, “No, but the living is my son, and the dead is your son.” The other said, “No, but the dead is your son, and the living is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king. Then said the king, “The one says, ‘This is my son who lives, and your son is the dead’, and the other says, ‘No, but your son is the dead, and my son is the living.’” The king said, “Get me a sword.” They brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.” Then spoke the woman whose the living child it was to the king, for her heart yearned over her son, and she said, “O, my lord, give her the living child, and in no way kill it.” But the other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” Then the king answered, “Give her the living child, and in no way kill it, she is the mother of it.” All Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do justice.

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