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Class: First Kings 1.41-2.25

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Adonijah or Solomon? 

First Kings 1

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • June 15, In the year of our Lord, 2016


  1. First Kings 1.1–4 – David and Abishag

    1 Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm. 2 Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm.” 3 So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her.
    1. Just how old was David?
      1. He began reigning at 30 and reigned for 40 years.
      2. 2Sa 5.4
    2. The body generates heat and
      1. we can gain heat from another person.
      2. Ecc 4.11
    3. Why did they seek a young, lovely female woman?
      1. What Israel husband would allow his wife to do this?
      2. Also, as king of Israel, the nation gave him their best.
    4. We will see Abishag come up again.
  2. First Kings 1.5–10 – Adonijah Makes Himself King

    5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king”; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, “Why have you done so?” He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.) 7 Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah. 9 And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En Rogel; he also invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother.
    1. Who was Haggith?
      1. One of David’s wives.
      2. Thus Adonijah was a son of David.
    2. He could the void left by his declining father, and
      1. being a son of David,
      2. thought that he could make himself king.
    3. Who was his brother?
      1. Absalom,
      2. which would make Tamar his sister.
    4. David’s family was good looking:
      1. 2Sa 14.25 – Absalom
      2. 1Sa 17.42 – David
    5. Adonijah accepted some men, and rejected others.
      1. Remember that Joab was David’s nephew, and
        1. had served as captain of the army for most of David’s reign.
        2. Joab had also killed several innocent people.
      2. Notice the ones that Adonijah did not accept.
        1. Perhaps he knew of their loyalty to David.
    6. Shimei had cursed David, but
      1. he did not take this opportunity to gain advantage.
      2. However, in spite of remaining with David,
        1. David authorized Solomon later
        2. carried out justice against Shimei for things he had done against David.
  3. First Kings 1.11–14 – Nathan Intervenes

    11 So Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it? 12 Come, please, let me now give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go immediately to King David and say to him, “Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly your son Solomon shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Then, while you are still talking there with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words.”
    1. Why did Nathan work out this plan with Bathsheba?
      1. Nathan knew that lives of Bathsheba and Solomon would be in danger.
      2. Why is that?
        1. Solomon had already been designated king by David.
        2. Thus, although Solomon was Adonijah’s brother,
          1. he probably would have had him killed
          2. to prevent a rebellion in the kingdom.
    2. That David did not know about shows that he was not as aware as before.
  4. First Kings 1.15–21 – David Has to Make a Decision

    15 So Bathsheba went into the chamber to the king. (Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 16 And Bathsheba bowed and did homage to the king. Then the king said, “What is your wish?” 17 Then she said to him, “My lord, you swore by the LORD your God to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 So now, look! Adonijah has become king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know about it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army; but Solomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And as for you, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted as offenders.”
    1. David knew about rebellious sons.
      1. Absalom had done the same thing.
      2. Although David was old, he always wanted to do the right thing, and
        1. we know that he would do it
        2. once he found out what was going on.
    2. What do you think of Bathsheba’s approach to David?
      1. She bowed to him as a subject to the king.
      2. She reminded him of his promise.
      3. She revealed that Adonijah had made himself king without David’s knowledge.
      4. She said that Adonijah had excluded Bathsheba and Solomon.
      5. She told him that nation looked to him for leadership on this matter.
      6. She revealed that she and Solomon, both of whom David loved, would be counted as offenders.
  5. First Kings 1.22–27 – Adonijah or Solomon?

    22 And just then, while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. 23 So they told the king, saying, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, “My lord, O king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 For he has gone down today, and has sacrificed oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, and the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest; and look! They are eating and drinking before him; and they say, “Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But he has not invited me—me your servant—nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. 27 Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not told your servant who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
    1. Why did Nathan time it so that he would come into David’s presence just as Bathsheba was concluding?
      1. It added to the urgency.
      2. It also confirmed what Bathsheba had said.
    2. David had always confided in Nathan.
      1. Nathan used that fact to touch David’s heart
      2. that he had not said anything to Nathan.
  6. First Kings 1.28–31 – David’s Choice: Solomon

    28 Then King David answered and said, “Call Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king took an oath and said, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, 30 just as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel, saying, “Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so I certainly will do this day.” 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, “Let my lord King David live forever!”
    1. David wasted no time in designating the new king.
    2. Why did David refer to the Lord, “who has redeemed my life from every distress?”
      1. Whatever problems David had before,
      2. the Lord always delivered David.
        1. Therefore, David stated his belief
          1. that the Lord would do it again, and
          2. he, no doubt, set an example for others.
        2. Will the Lord deliver us out of every distress?
  7. First Kings 1.32–37 – Public Proclamation of Solomon as King

    32 And King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king. 33 The king also said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon. 34 There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, “Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! May the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. 37 As the LORD 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.”
    1. It sounds as though David had anticipated and planned for the day that Solomon became king.
    2. Why did David Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah do these things?
      1. Zadok represented the priestly ministry.
      2. Nathan represented the prophetic ministry.
      3. Benaiah served as the head of the army behind David.
    3. What do you think of Benaiah’s blessing?
      1. I think it shows that he was then confident that the stability and the righteousness of David’s kingdom would continue.
      2. National leadership changes can bring on great turmoil.
      3. Did Solomon’s kingdom become greater than David’s?
        1. In some ways, but
        2. for the most part they were just different.
  8. First Kings 1.38–40 – The Priest Anoints the King

    38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and took him to Gihon. 39 Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound.
    1. Who were the Cherethites and the Pelethites?
      1. They may have been foreign experts on war, because
      2. they are frequently mentioned with David’s bodyguard.
    2. David’s orders had to be carried out publicly,
      1. otherwise, the rebellion of Adonijah would only grow.
      2. Was this a quiet celebration?
  9. First Kings 1.41–49 – Adonijah’s Support Falls Apart

    41 Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the horn, he said, “Why is the city in such a noisy uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking, there came Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest. And Adonijah said to him, “Come in, for you are a prominent man, and bring good news.” 43 Then Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, “No! 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, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites; and they have made him ride on the king’s mule. 45 So Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon; and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 Also Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. 47 And moreover the king’s servants have gone to bless our lord King David, saying, ‘May God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.’ Then the king bowed himself on the bed. 48 Also the king said thus, ‘Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, while my eyes see it!’” 49 So all the guests who were with Adonijah were afraid, and arose, and each one went his way.
    1. Why were Adonijah’s guests fearful?
      1. They feared death from David or Solomon.
      2. That is what Adonijah would have done.
    2. David and all his leaders supported Solomon and so did all Israel.
  10. First Kings 1.50–53 – Solomon Spares Adonijah…For Now

    50 Now Adonijah was afraid of Solomon; so he arose, and went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told Solomon, saying, “Indeed Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; for look, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’” 52 Then Solomon said, “If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” 53 So King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”
    1. Why did Adonijah take hold of the horns of the altar?
      1. He probably believed that no one would execute him there.
    2. Solomon promised not to harm Adonijah,
      1. if he proved himself worthy.


David’s Instructions to Solomon 

First Kings 2.1–12

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 6, In the year of our Lord, 2016


  1. First Kings 2.1–9 – David’s Final Instructions to Solomon

    1 Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: 2 “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. 3 And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; 4 that the LORD may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 5 Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet. 6 Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace. 7 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. 8 And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious 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.’ 9 Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.”
    1. Second Samuel 5.4 shows the age of David when he died.
      1. He started to reign when he was 30.
      2. His reign lasted 40 years.
      3. His reign ended because of his death.
        1. Although only 70 when he died,
          1. the Bible describes him as old and advanced in years (1Ki 1.1), and
          2. full of days (1Ch 23.1), and
          3. he died in a good old age (1Ch 29.27–28).
        2. Many people in the Bible lived much longer than David,
          1. although most monarchs did not.
          2. Would you say that 70 is old and advanced in years?
            1. We do classify it as a senior citizen.
            2. It is just below the average.
            3. He had a rough life.
              1. He fought many wars.
              2. He ruled a kingdom.
              3. He was sick frequently.
                1. Psalm 6
                2. Psalm 31.9–10
                3. Psalm 32.3–4
                4. Psalm 41
                5. And many more Psalms show his illnesses.
    2. What instructions did David leave Solomon?
      1. Be strong, and prove yourself a man.
      2. Keep the charge of the LORD your God.
      3. Do not let Joab’s gray hair go down to the grave in peace.
      4. Show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table.
      5. Do not hold Shimei guiltless.
  2. First King 2.10–12 – The Death of David

    10 So David rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David. 11 The period that David reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years. 12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.
    1. Was David a great man?
      1. How would you rank him in comparison to the rest of biblical characters?
      2. Yet, how much does the Bible say about his death?
      3. How much does the Bible say about the death of Jesus?
    2. Forty years is a long time to reign over a nation.
      1. Who on the Earth today has reigned even longer?
      2. It would be hard to follow in the steps of David.
    3. Why was Solomon’s kingdom firmly established?
      1. He sat on the throne of David.
      2. This has God’s approval.
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