1 Kings 1-2 World English Bible

Abishag Ministers to David

1 1  Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he couldn’t keep warm. 2  Therefore his servants said to him, “Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and cherish him; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.” 3  So they sought for a beautiful young lady throughout all the borders of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4  The young lady was very beautiful; and she cherished the king, and ministered to him; but the king didn’t know her intimately.

Adonijah Usurps the Throne

5  Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” Then he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6  His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, “Why have you done so?” and he was also a very handsome man; and he was born after Absalom. 7  He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8  But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9  Adonijah killed sheep and cattle and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En Rogel; and he called all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants: 10  but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he didn’t call.

11  Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Haven’t you heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord doesn’t know it? 12  Now therefore come, please let me give you counsel, that you may save your own life, and the life of your son Solomon. 13  Go in to king David, and tell him, ‘Didn’t you, my lord, king, swear to your handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then does Adonijah reign?’ 14  Behold, while you yet talk there with the king, I also will come in after you, and confirm your words.” 15  Bathsheba went in to the king into the chamber. The king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16  Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance to the king. The king said, “What would you like?” 17  She said to him, “My lord, you swore by Yahweh your God to your handmaid, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18  Now, behold, Adonijah reigns; and you, my lord the king, don’t know it. 19  He has slain cattle and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the army; but he hasn’t called Solomon your servant. 20  You, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21  Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.” 22  Behold, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23  They told the king, saying, “Behold, Nathan the prophet!”

When he had come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24  Nathan said, “My lord, king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne?’ 25  For he is gone down this day, and has slain cattle and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the army, and Abiathar the priest. Behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and say, ‘Long live king Adonijah!’ 26  But he hasn’t called me, even me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon. 27  Is this thing done by my lord the king, and you haven’t shown to your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

Solomon Made King

28  Then king David answered, “Call to me Bathsheba.” She came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29  The king swore, and said, “As Yahweh lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 30  most certainly as I swore to you by Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place;’ most certainly so will I do this day.” 31  Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “Let my lord king David live forever!”

32  King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king. 33  The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34  Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel. Blow the trumpet, and say, ‘Long live king Solomon!’ 35  Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne; for he shall be king in my place. I have appointed him to be prince over Israel and over Judah.” 36  Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, “Amen. May Yahweh, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37  As Yahweh has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.” 38  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. 39  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!” 40  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.

41  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 this noise of the city being in an uproar?” 42  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.” 43  Jonathan answered Adonijah, “Most certainly our lord king David has made Solomon king. 44  The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they have caused him to ride on the king’s mule. 45  Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon. They have come up from there rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that you have heard. 46  Also, Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. 47  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. 48  Also thus said the king, ‘Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, my eyes even seeing it.’” 49  All the guests of Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and each man went his way. 50  Adonijah feared because of Solomon; and he arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51  It was told 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.’” 52  Solomon said, “If he shows himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth; but if wickedness be found in him, he shall die.” 53  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.”

David's Charge to Solomon

2 1  Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2  “I am going the way of all the earth. You be strong therefore, and show yourself a man; 3  and keep the instruction of Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself. 4  That Yahweh 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, there shall not fail you,’ he said, ‘a man on the throne of Israel.’ 5  “Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, even 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, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his sash that was about his waist, and in his shoes that were on his feet. 6  Do therefore according to your wisdom, and don’t let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7  But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those who eat at your table; for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8  “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 Yahweh, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9  Now therefore don’t 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.”

The Death of David

10  David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David. 11  The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty-three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

12  Solomon sat on the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon Establishes His Kingdom

13  Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come peaceably?”

He said, “Peaceably. 14  He said moreover, I have something to tell you.”

She said, “Say on.” 15  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 around, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from Yahweh. 16  Now I ask one petition of you. Don’t deny me.”

She said to him, “Say on.” 17  He said, “Please speak to Solomon the king (for he will not tell you ‘no’), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.” 18  Bathsheba said, “Alright. I will speak for you to the king.” 19  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. 20  Then she said, “I ask one small petition of you; don’t deny me.”

The king said to her, “Ask on, my mother; for I will not deny you.” 21  She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.” 22  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; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23  Then king Solomon swore by Yahweh, saying, “God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life. 24  Now therefore as Yahweh 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.” 25  King Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell on him, so that he died.

26  To Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go 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 bore the ark of the Lord Yahweh before David my father, and because you were afflicted in all in which my father was afflicted.” 27  So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest to Yahweh, that he might fulfill the word of Yahweh, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 28  The news came to Joab; for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he didn’t turn after Absalom. Joab fled to the Tent of Yahweh, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 29  It was told king Solomon, “Joab has fled to the Tent of Yahweh, and behold, he is by the altar.” Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, fall on him.” 30  Benaiah came to the Tent of Yahweh, and said to him, “Thus says the king, ‘Come forth!’”

He said, “No; but I will die here.”

Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31  The king said to him, “Do as he has said, and fall on him, and bury him; that you may take away the blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father’s house. 32  Yahweh will return his blood on his own head, because he fell on two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, and my father David didn’t 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. 33  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 forever from Yahweh.” 34  Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell on him, and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.

35  The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the army; and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar. 36  The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and don’t go out from there anywhere. 37  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.” 38  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. 39  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.” 40  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. 41  It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again. 42  The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Didn’t I adjure you by Yahweh, and warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain, that on the day you go out, and walk abroad any where, you shall surely die?’ You said to me, ‘The saying that I have heard is good.’ 43  Why then have you not kept the oath of Yahweh, and the commandment that I have instructed you with?” 44  The king said moreover to Shimei, “You know all the wickedness which your heart is privy to, that you did to David my father. Therefore Yahweh shall return your wickedness on your own head. 45  But king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before Yahweh forever.” 46  So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out, and fell on him, so that he died. The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

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