12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

Solomon Establishes His Kingdom

13 Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. Bathsheba asked him, "Do you come peacefully?" He answered, "Yes, peacefully." 14 Then he added, "I have something to say to you." "You may say it," she replied. 15 "As you know," he said, "the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the Lord. 16 Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me." "You may make it," she said. 17 So he continued, "Please ask King Solomon-he will not refuse you-to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife." 18 "Very well," Bathsheba replied, "I will speak to the king for you." 19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand. 20 "I have one small request to make of you," she said. "Do not refuse me." The king replied, "Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you." 21 So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah." 22 King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him-after all, he is my older brother-yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!" 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord: "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! 24 And now, as surely as the Lord lives-he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised-Adonijah shall be put to death today!" 25 So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Kings 2:12-25

Commentary on 1 Kings 2:12-25

(Read 1 Kings 2:12-25)

Solomon received Bathsheba with all the respect that was owing to a mother; but let none be asked for that which they ought not to grant. It ill becomes a good man to prefer a bad request, or to appear in a bad cause. According to eastern customs it was plain that Adonijah sought to be king, by his asking for Abishag as his wife, and Solomon could not be safe while he lived. Ambitious, turbulent spirits commonly prepare death for themselves. Many a head has been lost by catching at a crown.