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FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS. .
FIRST PERIOD, (1015 TO 975 B. C.)
THE KINGDOM UNDER SOLOMON.*
SOLOMON'S ACCESSION TO THE THRONE.
CHAP. I., II.
A.-Adonijah's attempt to seize the kingdom for himself; Solomon's elevation to the throne.
CHAP. I. 1-53.
Now king David was old and stricken in years ;' and they covered him 2 with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let
there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin (virgin damsel];' and let
her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, 3 that my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel through
out all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a (the oJ Shunammite, and brought 4 her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and
ministered to him : but the king knew her not. 5 Then Adenijah the son of Ilaggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king:
and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou
done so ? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after 7 Absalom. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar 8 the priest : and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and 9 the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. And Ado
nijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by
En-rogel (the well of Rogel], and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all 10 the men of Judah the king's servants: but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah,
and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. 11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying,
Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David 12 our lord knoweth it not ? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee
counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
*[I am indebted to my friend, Frederic Gardiner, D. D., Professor in the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn. for the accompanying textual revision and original grammatical notes.-E. H.)
13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my
lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly [That'] Solomon
thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth 14 Adonijah reign? Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also
will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. 15 And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was 16 very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bath
sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What 17 wouldest thou? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord [Je
hovah] thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall 18 reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. And now, behold, Adonijah 19 reigneth; and now (thou ''], my lord the king, thou knowest it not: And he hath
slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of
the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon 20 thy servant hath he not called. And thou," my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel
are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my 21 lord the king after him. Otherwise [But] it shall come to pass, when my lord
the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted" 22 offenders. And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also 23 came in. And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet [has
come]. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the 24 king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou 25 said," Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne ? For
he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's sons, and the captains of the host, and
Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God 26 save king Adonijah [let king Adonijah live). But me, even me thy servant, and
Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, 27 hath he not called. Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not
shewed it unto thy servant 16 who should sit on the throne of my lord the king
after bim? 28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came 29 into the king's presence, and stood before the king. And the king sware, and 30 said, As the Lord [Jehovah] liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all dis
tress, even as I sware unto thee by the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, saying,
Assuredly [That 1] Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon 31 my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly" do this day. Then Bath-sheba
bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let
my lord king David live for ever. 32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, 33 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king
also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord,' and cause Solo34 mon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon;" And
let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel :
and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon (let king Solo35 mon live]. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may [and he shall come
and sit upon my throne; for [and] he shall be king in my stead : and I have 36 appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. And Benaiah the son of
Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord [Jehovah] God of my 37 lord the king say so too (so spake "']. As the Lord [Jehovah] hath been with
my lord the king, even so be he 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 Jehviada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solo39 mon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.” And Zadok
the priest took a horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon.
And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon 40 [Let king Solomon live]. And all the people came up after him, and the people
piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the
sound of them. 41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it, as they had
made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he 42 said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar ? And while he
yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah
said unto him," Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tid. 43 ings.
And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king 44 David hath made Solomon king. And the king hath sent with him Zadok
the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the
Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the 45 king's mule: and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him
king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city 46 rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on 47 the throne of the kingdom. And moreover the king's servants came to bless our
lord king David, saying, [Thy %] God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy
throne. And the king bowed himself 48 upon the bed. And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord [Jehovah] God of
Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it. 49 And all the guests that were with Adonijab were afraid, and rose up,and 50 went every man his way. And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, 51 and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon,
saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on
the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to (this "'] day 52 that he will not slay his servant with the sword. And Solomon said, If he will
shew himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth: but 53 if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. So king Solomon sent, and
they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL.
1 Ver. 1.-[D"??? xa always connected with R. (Gen. xviii. 11; xxiv. 1; Josh. xfii. 1 bis, xxiii. 1, 2) exactly corresponds to the phrase in A. V.
· Ver. 1.- [D'7? bed-clothes (cf. 1 Sam. xix. 18), not garments.
- Ver. 2.-In place of the suffix 77 the Sept. has aŭtoll and the Vulg. suo, which Thenius prefers to the reading of the text.-Bähr.
Ver. 2.-(The Alex. Sept, Syr., and Vulg., read our. * Ver. 3.- The definite article should be expressed as in ver. 15. 7 Ver. 18.-[The particle', as is recognized in all the VV., can hardly give the emphasis of the Eng. assuredly. 8 Ver. 14. :-(Many MSS. and VV. prefis and. [
not complete, fill out, but, as in A. V., confirm; Chald. D:px, Sept. ainpúow. The phrase is used of the fulfilment of divine utterances. Cf. ii. 27; viii. 15, 24.
10 Ver. 18. All the VV. and 200 MSS. (and the early editions] read it ? instead of iny?, as the connection requires.-Bähr.
11 Ver. 20.-—Instead of oņ&? the Chaldee (Syr. and Vulg.), and some [many) MSS. have izny?, which Thenius considers right. On the other hand, Maurer remarks that the pronoun stands here first, just as in Gen. xlix. 8, with emphasis, instead of the snflix.-Bähr. 12 Ver. 21.-[('ounted is implied by the connection, but not expressed in the Hbr.
[mpex im&, the question is indicated only by the tone. 14 Ver. 27.-(The pronoun it is better omitted, as in the Hbr, and all vy.
15 Ver. 27.-The k'ri has 773y, also nearly all the translations have the singular; but the reading of the text is preferred.-Bähr. (It is that of many MSS.]
19 Ver. 30.--[See note ver. 13. 15 Ver. 80.-(Hbr. and VV. omit certainly. 18 Ver. 83.-[Dat in the pl. is rightly rendered by the sing. as referring to David-not to David and Solomon. 19 Ver. 83.-[The Chaldee and Syr. read Siloa ; Arabic, fountain of Siloa.
90 Ver. 36.--[The words say so too at the end of this ver. in the A. V. should be omitted ; 11! TON a 18 to be taken historically, not optatively. Three MSS. followed by the Syr. and Arab, read 700" for 70x'.
u Ver. 88.-[The Chald., Syr., and Arab., make the same change here as in ver. 88.
13 Ver. 24.
22 Ver. 42.-[The words unto him are unnecessary; not contained in the Hbr. nor the VV. 23 Ver. 45.--[As. in vers. 33 and 38. 24 Ver. 47.—T'he k’tib [775x) is plainly preferable to the kiri dubx-Bihr (and is followed by the Syriac). 26 Ver. 49.-[The Vatican (not Alex.) Sept. omits and rose up. 98 Ver. 51.-[The Vatican (not Alex.) Sept. omits king. 27 Ver. 51.—[Instead of D1'some MSS. read D147, which has been followed apparently by the A. V.-F. G.]
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
bosom (not thy, see textual note] that he may
become warm. If by these last words they may Ver. 1. Now king David was old, &c. Vers. have presupposed that he would "know" her, 1-4 introduce the entire narration following, the they do not state it as the design, as, moreover, central point and chief object of which is Solomon's pina at must not be understood necessarily ascension to the throne. Adonijah's endeavor to only of cohabitation (comp. chap. iii. 20; Rutl iv. usurp the throne was the reason why this event 16). They sought a beautiful maiden "" because took place before the death of David. Adonijah she was destined for the king” (Thenius), and proceeded to carry out his purpose when David they found such at Shunem, a city of the tribe Iswas old and infirm, and apparently near his end. sachar, in the plain of Jezreel, at the foot of the soThe author begins, consequently, with the descrip-called little Hermon (Jos. xix. 18; 1 Sam. xxviii. 4). tion of David's condition, and is reminded particu- The text states expressly that the king did not knoio larly of Abishag, his waiting-maid, because Adoni- her: she was, therefore, not his concubine, but jah; after the misadventure of his enterprise, his waiting-maid and attendant. In a wholly persought her for a wife in order to gain the throne verse way Josephus, and after him J. D. Michaelis, by means of her, and so wrought his destruction adduces impotency, in consequence of old age and (chap. ii. 13 sq.). The ? at the beginning has no weakness, as the reason why he did not know connection with anything preceding ; least of all her.
In that case the remark would be superdoes it connect our books with the books of fluous (Thenius). It serves, however, " to make Samuel (see Introduction, $ 3). Nor is it mechanic- it clear how it was that Adonijah could seek ally retained from a passage of the life of David Abishag for his wife," chap. ii. 17 (Keil), and go inserted here (Keil); but it stands, as elsewhere to Bath-sheba for her intercession with Solomon. so often at the beginning of a book (Jos. i. 1; Older interpreters have maintained that she was Judges i. l; 2 Sam. i. 1; Ruth i. 1; Esth. i. 1; the actual wife of David, or at least his concubine, Ezra i. 1; Ezek. i. 1; Jon. i. 1), where the first and that the relation also, according to the verse forms the antecedent to the second.-When morality of the time, was unobjectionable. But David was old and infirm, his servants said unto neither here nor in the second chapter is she so him. David was then seventy years of age (comp. named. Amongst the people she may have well chap. ii. 11, with 2 Sam. v. 4, 5): that his natural passed for such, since Adonijah through alliance warmth then failed him, was not ex nimio mulierum with her, wished to facilitate his way to the throne Usu (Le Clerc), but was the result of the “extraor- (see on chap. ii. 13).* dinary cares and conflicts of his earlier life' Vers. 5-6. Then Adonijah the son of Hag(Ewald).
gith, &c. Of the sons of David born at Hebron, Vers. 2-4. Wherefore his servants said Adonijah was the fourth (2 Sam. iii. 2–4). The unto him, &c. Josephus expressly names them first, Amnon, and the third, Absalom, were already physicians (Ant. vii. 14, 3), comp. Gen. 1. 2. The dead, and the second also, Chileab, of whom remedy which one of them, in the name of the nothing more is said, had doubtless died much rest, advised when the "clothes "
that he had claims to the throne. Besides this, 1 Sam. xix. 13; Numb. iv. 6) were of no use, was his beautiful person came into the account, as known in ancient times. Without skill in internal with Absalom, by which, because it was valued remedies, men sought to warm, by means of living in a ruler (1 Sam. ix. 2; 2 Sam. xiv. 25; xvi. 7; vigorous bodies, those whose vital powers were Ezek. xxviii. 12), he hoped for the favorable rechilled and enfeebled. Galen (Method. Medic. 8, 7) says:
"Ex iis vero, quæ extrinsecus applican- gard of the people. 1775 ver. 6 cannot, with tur, boni habitus puellus una sit accumbans, ut sem- some, be translated: "and he was born unto him per abdomen ejus contingat. 'Bacon (Hist. Vit
. et Nec.): after Absalom," but only, as in Gen. xvi. 1: "and Neque negligenda sunt fomenta ex corporibus rivis. she had borne him after Absalom," i. e., after the According to Bartholinus (De Morb. Bibl. 9), a latter had been borne of Maacah. The alteration of Jewish physician advised the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa to allow young and strong boys to lie the text into 75—" he had begotten him after Abupon his breast (comp. Trusen, Sitten, Gebr. and salom” (Thenius), is wholly unnecessary. The sucKrankh. der Hebræer, s. 257 sq.). This was not cession to the throne in Israel was certainly hereddesigned here for the gratification of bodily pas. itary; but no law required that the eldest son, at sion, by means of a "concubine," as Winer calls the time, should be the heir-apparent. From vers. Abishag, but before all, for service and assistance, such as was deemed most effective after the un * [The allegorical interpretation of Jerome makes the availing application of the usual remedies to the shinammite damsel the aver-virgin wisdom of God so ex
tolled by Solomon (sapientia que numquam senescit, aged man confined to his bed. The physicians
Epist. $ 2; ad Nepotianum, chap. iv.; Opera, i. p. 288). expressly state this, and it agrees with the words: But in another passage Jerome understands the story liter: and let her stand before the king, i. e., let her serve ally, and enumerates this relation among the sins and imnim (Gen. xli. 46; Deut. i. 38), and be his attendant, perfections of David, which would not be allowed under the e., let her wait upon, help him : let her lie in his 274).-P. S.]
gospel dispensation (contra Jovin. l. in chap. xxiv., tom. É