David in Old Age

Now King David was old, [a]advanced in age; and they covered him with garments, but he could not keep warm. So his servants said to him, “Have them search for a young virgin for my lord the king, and have her [b]attend the king and become his nurse; and have her lie on your chest, so that my lord the king may keep warm.” So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the (A)Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not [c]become intimate with her.

Now (B)Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” So (C)he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, with fifty men to run before him. And his father had never rebuked him at any time by asking, “Why have you done so?” And he was also a very handsome man, and [d](D)he was born after Absalom. Now [e]he had conferred with (E)Joab the son of Zeruiah and with (F)Abiathar the priest; and they allied themselves with (G)Adonijah. But (H)Zadok the priest, (I)Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, (J)Nathan the prophet, (K)Shimei, Rei, and (L)the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened steers by the [f]stone of Zoheleth, which is beside (M)En-rogel; and he 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 his brother (N)Solomon.

Nathan and Bathsheba

11 Then Nathan spoke to (O)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 So now come, please let me (P)give you advice, and save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go [g]at once to King David and say to him, ‘Have you not, my lord the king, sworn to your servant, saying, “(Q)Solomon your son certainly shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Behold, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”

15 So Bathsheba entered to the king in the bedroom. Now (R)the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king. 16 Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself [h]before the king. And the king said, “What [i]is on your mind?” 17 So she said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘(S)Your son Solomon certainly shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 But now, behold, Adonijah is king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know it. 19 (T)He has sacrificed oxen and fattened steers and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. 20 And as for you, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are upon you, to announce to them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come about, (U)as soon as my lord the king [j]lies down with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered [k]offenders.”

22 And behold, while she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They informed the king, saying, “Nathan the prophet is here.” And when he came into the king’s presence, he prostrated himself [l]before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Then Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you yourself said, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 (V)For he has gone down today and has sacrificed oxen and fattened steers and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest, and behold, they are eating and drinking in his presence; and they say, ‘(W)Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 (X)But me, even me your servant, Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon, he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not let your [m]servants know who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

28 Then King David responded and said, “Summon Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 Then the king vowed and said, “(Y)As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 30 certainly as (Z)I vowed to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Your son Solomon certainly shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this day.” 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself before the king and said, “(AA)May my lord King David live forever.”

32 Then King David said, “Summon to me (AB)Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” And they came into the king’s presence. 33 And the king said to them, “Take with you (AC)the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to (AD)Gihon. 34 And have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet (AE)anoint him there as king over Israel, and (AF)blow the trumpet and say, ‘(AG)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, the God of my lord the king, say the same. 37 (AH)Just as the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and (AI)make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David!”

Solomon Anointed King

38 So (AJ)Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, (AK)the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to (AL)Gihon. 39 And Zadok the priest then (AM)took the horn of oil from the tent and (AN)anointed Solomon. Then they (AO)blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “(AP)Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, and the people were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth [n]shook at their noise.

41 Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard this as they finished eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “Why is the [o]city making such an uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, (AQ)Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. Then Adonijah said, “Come in, for (AR)you are a valiant man and you bring good news.” 43 But Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “On the contrary! Our lord King David has made Solomon king! 44 The king has also sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites; and they have mounted him on the king’s mule. 45 Furthermore, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they have come up from there rejoicing, (AS)so that the city is going wild. This is the noise which you have heard. 46 Besides, (AT)Solomon has even taken his seat on the throne of the kingdom. 47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, ‘May (AU)your God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and his throne greater than your throne!’ And (AV)the king bowed himself on the bed. 48 The king has also said this: ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who (AW)has granted one to sit on my throne today while my own eyes see it.’”

49 Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and got up, and each went on his way. 50 Adonijah also was afraid of Solomon, and he got up, and went, and (AX)took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Now it was reported to Solomon, saying, “Behold, Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, for behold, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’” 52 And Solomon said, “If he is a worthy man, (AY)not one of his hairs will fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he will die.” 53 So King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and prostrated himself before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”

David’s Command to Solomon

As David’s [p](AZ)time to die drew near, he commanded his son Solomon, saying, (BA)I am going the way of all the earth. So (BB)be strong, and [q]prove yourself a man. Do your duty to the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to [r]keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, (BC)according to what is written in the Law of Moses, so that (BD)you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, so that (BE)the Lord may fulfill His [s]promise which He spoke regarding me, saying, ‘(BF)If your sons are careful about their way, (BG)to walk before Me in [t]truth with all their heart and all their soul, [u](BH)you shall not be deprived of a man to occupy the throne of Israel.’

“Now you yourself also know what Joab the (BI)son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to (BJ)Abner the son of Ner and to (BK)Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also [v]shed the blood of war in peace. And he put the blood of war on his belt that was on his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet. (BL)So act as your wisdom dictates, and do not let his gray hair go down to [w]Sheol in peace. However, (BM)show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and (BN)let them be among those who eat at your table; (BO)for [x]they assisted me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And behold, you have with you (BP)Shimei the son of Gera the Benjaminite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a painful curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when (BQ)he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ But now do not leave him unpunished, (BR)for you are a wise man; and you will know what to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to [y]Sheol with blood.”

Death of David

10 Then (BS)David [z]lay down with his fathers, and he was buried in (BT)the city of David. 11 Now (BU)the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: in Hebron he reigned for (BV)seven years, and in Jerusalem he reigned for thirty-three years. 12 Then (BW)Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was firmly established.

13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. So she said, “(BX)Do you come peacefully?” And he said, “Peacefully.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.” 15 So he said, “You yourself know that (BY)the kingdom was mine and (BZ)that all Israel [aa]intended for me to be king; (CA)however, the kingdom has turned around and become my brother’s, (CB)for it was his from the Lord. 16 So now I am making one request of you; do not [ab]refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 Then he said, “Please speak to Solomon the king—for he will not [ac]refuse you—that he may give me (CC)Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 And Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”

Adonijah Executed

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king stood to meet her, bowed to her, and sat on his throne; then he (CD)had a throne set up for the king’s mother, and (CE)she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; (CF)do not [ad]refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not [ae]refuse you.” 21 So she said, “(CG)Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife.” 22 But King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you requesting Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? (CH)Request for him the kingdom as well—(CI)since he is my older brother—for him, for (CJ)Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do so to me and more so, if Adonijah has (CK)not spoken this word against his own [af]life! 24 Now then, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father, and (CL)has made me a house just as He [ag]promised, Adonijah certainly shall be put to death today!” 25 Then King Solomon (CM)sent the order by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he [ah]struck him so that he died.

26 Then to Abiathar the priest the king said, “(CN)Go to Anathoth to your own field, (CO)for you [ai]deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this [aj]time, because (CP)you carried the ark of the Lord [ak]God before my father David, and because (CQ)you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted.” 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, to fulfill (CR)the word of the Lord, which He had spoken regarding the house of Eli in Shiloh.

Joab Executed

28 Now the news came to Joab (CS)because Joab had followed Adonijah, (CT)though he had not followed Absalom. So Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and (CU)took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 And it was reported to King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord, and [al]was beside the altar. Then Solomon (CV)sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “(CW)Go, [am]execute him.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “This is what the king has said: ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, for I will die here.” So Benaiah brought back word to the king, saying, “This is what Joab spoke, and so he answered me.” 31 And the king said to him, “(CX)Do just as he has spoken, and [an]execute him and bury him, (CY)so that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without [ao]justification. 32 (CZ)The Lord will return his blood on his own head, (DA)because he [ap]struck two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know about it: (DB)Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and (DC)Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 (DD)So their blood shall return on the head of Joab and on the head of his [aq]descendants forever; but for David and his [ar]descendants, and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.” 34 Then (DE)Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and [as]struck him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house (DF)in the wilderness. 35 And (DG)the king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king appointed (DH)Zadok the priest (DI)in place of Abiathar.

Shimei Executed

36 Now the king sent men and summoned (DJ)Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not leave there for any other place. 37 For on the day you leave and (DK)cross the [at]brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you will assuredly die; (DL)your blood will be [au]on your own head.” 38 Shimei then said to the king, “The word is good. Just as my lord the king has spoken, so your servant shall do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for many days.

39 But it came about at the end of three years, that two of Shimei’s servants ran away (DM)to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And others told Shimei, saying, “Behold, your servants are in Gath.” 40 Then Shimei got up and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to search for his servants. And Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 And it was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned. 42 So the king sent men and summoned Shimei, and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord, and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall assuredly die’? And you said to me, ‘The word I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I [av]imposed on you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “(DN)You yourself know all the evil that [aw]you acknowledge in your heart, which you did to my father David; therefore (DO)the Lord will return your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and (DP)the throne of David will be established before the Lord forever.” 46 (DQ)So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and [ax]struck him so that he died.

(DR)And the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.

Solomon’s Rule Consolidated

Now (DS)Solomon [ay]formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter (DT)and brought her to the city of David (DU)until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord, and (DV)the wall around Jerusalem. (DW)The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days.

Now (DX)Solomon loved the Lord, (DY)walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he was sacrificing and burning incense on the high places. And (DZ)the king went to (EA)Gibeon to sacrifice there, (EB)because that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. (EC)In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon (ED)in a dream at night; and God said, “(EE)Ask what you wish Me to give you.”

Solomon’s Prayer

Then Solomon said, “(EF)You have shown great faithfulness to Your servant David my father, (EG)according as he walked before You in [az]truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart toward You; and (EH)You have [ba]reserved for him this great faithfulness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, Lord my God, (EI)You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet (EJ)I am like a little boy; (EK)I do not know how to [bb]go out or come in. And (EL)Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, (EM)a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So (EN)give Your servant [bc]an understanding heart to judge Your people, (EO)to discern between good and evil. For who is capable of judging this [bd]great people of Yours?”

God’s Answer

10 Now [be]it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing, and have (EP)not asked for yourself [bf]a long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the lives of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, (EQ)I have done according to your words. Behold, (ER)I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. 13 (ES)I have also given you what you have not asked, both (ET)riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. 14 And (EU)if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will (EV)prolong your days.”

15 Then (EW)Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and made peace offerings, and (EX)held a feast for all his servants.

Solomon Wisely Judges

16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Pardon me, my lord: [bg]this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child [bh]while she was in the house. 18 And it happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. 19 Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant was asleep, and she laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I examined him closely in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne!” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But [bi]the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” So they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, “[bj]The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and [bk]the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 But the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for [bl](EY)she was deeply stirred over her son, and she said, “Pardon me, my lord! Give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other woman was saying, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; cut him!” 27 Then the king replied, “Give [bm]the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard about the judgment which the king had [bn]handed down, they feared the king, because (EZ)they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to [bo]administer justice.


  1. 1 Kings 1:1 Lit coming into days
  2. 1 Kings 1:2 Lit stand before
  3. 1 Kings 1:4 Lit know her
  4. 1 Kings 1:6 Lit she gave him birth
  5. 1 Kings 1:7 Lit his words were
  6. 1 Kings 1:9 Or Sliding; or Serpent Stone
  7. 1 Kings 1:13 Lit and enter to
  8. 1 Kings 1:16 Lit to
  9. 1 Kings 1:16 Lit to you
  10. 1 Kings 1:21 I.e., dies
  11. 1 Kings 1:21 Lit sinners
  12. 1 Kings 1:23 Lit to
  13. 1 Kings 1:27 Some mss servant
  14. 1 Kings 1:40 Lit was split
  15. 1 Kings 1:41 Lit sound of the city an uproar
  16. 1 Kings 2:1 Lit days
  17. 1 Kings 2:2 Lit become a man
  18. 1 Kings 2:3 Or carefully perform
  19. 1 Kings 2:4 Lit word
  20. 1 Kings 2:4 Or faithfulness
  21. 1 Kings 2:4 Lit there shall not be cut off to you a man from upon
  22. 1 Kings 2:5 Lit brought blood...on peace
  23. 1 Kings 2:6 I.e., the netherworld
  24. 1 Kings 2:7 Lit so they came near to me
  25. 1 Kings 2:9 I.e., the netherworld
  26. 1 Kings 2:10 I.e., died
  27. 1 Kings 2:15 Lit set their faces toward me
  28. 1 Kings 2:16 Lit turn away my face
  29. 1 Kings 2:17 Lit turn away your face
  30. 1 Kings 2:20 Lit turn away my face
  31. 1 Kings 2:20 Lit turn away your face
  32. 1 Kings 2:23 Lit soul
  33. 1 Kings 2:24 Lit spoke
  34. 1 Kings 2:25 Lit attacked
  35. 1 Kings 2:26 Lit are a man of death
  36. 1 Kings 2:26 Lit day
  37. 1 Kings 2:26 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  38. 1 Kings 2:29 Lit behold, beside
  39. 1 Kings 2:29 Lit attack
  40. 1 Kings 2:31 Lit attack
  41. 1 Kings 2:31 Or cause
  42. 1 Kings 2:32 Lit attacked
  43. 1 Kings 2:33 Lit seed
  44. 1 Kings 2:33 Lit seed
  45. 1 Kings 2:34 Lit attacked
  46. 1 Kings 2:37 Or wadi
  47. 1 Kings 2:37 I.e., your own responsibility
  48. 1 Kings 2:43 Lit commanded
  49. 1 Kings 2:44 Lit your heart acknowledges
  50. 1 Kings 2:46 Lit attacked
  51. 1 Kings 3:1 Lit made himself a son-in-law of Pharaoh
  52. 1 Kings 3:6 Or faithfulness
  53. 1 Kings 3:6 Lit kept
  54. 1 Kings 3:7 I.e., conduct daily business
  55. 1 Kings 3:9 Or a heart that listens
  56. 1 Kings 3:9 Lit heavy
  57. 1 Kings 3:10 Lit the thing was
  58. 1 Kings 3:11 Lit many days
  59. 1 Kings 3:17 Lit I and this woman
  60. 1 Kings 3:17 Lit with her in
  61. 1 Kings 3:22 Lit this one was saying
  62. 1 Kings 3:23 Lit this one
  63. 1 Kings 3:23 Lit this one
  64. 1 Kings 3:26 Lit her compassion grew hot
  65. 1 Kings 3:27 Lit her the living
  66. 1 Kings 3:28 Lit judged
  67. 1 Kings 3:28 Lit do

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