1 Kings 1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
David in Old Age
1 Now King David was old, advanced in age; and they covered him with clothes, but he could not keep warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let them seek a young virgin for my lord the king, and let her [a]attend the king and become his nurse; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.” 3 So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not [b]cohabit with her.
5 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” So he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen with fifty men to run before him. 6 His father had never [c]crossed him at any time by asking, “Why have you done so?” And he was also a very handsome man, and [d]he was born after Absalom. 7 [e]He had conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and following Adonijah they helped him. 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 Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fatlings by the [f]stone of Zoheleth, which is beside 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, and Solomon his brother.
Nathan and Bathsheba
11 Then 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 So now come, please let me give you counsel 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, O king, sworn to your maidservant, saying, “Surely Solomon your son 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 went in to the king in the bedroom. Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself [h]before the king. And the king said, “What [i]do you wish?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your maidservant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Surely your son Solomon shall be king after me and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 Now, behold, Adonijah is king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king and Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. 20 As for you now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come about, as soon as my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered [j]offenders.”
22 Behold, while she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They told the king, saying, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he prostrated himself [k]before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Then Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 For he has gone down today and has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons and the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest, and behold, they are eating and drinking before him; and they say, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me, even me your servant, and Zadok the priest and 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 shown to your [l]servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
28 Then King David said, “Call Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 The king vowed and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 30 surely as I vowed to you by the Lord the God of Israel, saying, ‘Your son Solomon 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 [m]before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever.”
32 Then King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” And they came into the king’s presence. 33 The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and 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 and 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! Thus may the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say. 37 As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
Solomon Anointed 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 brought him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest then took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people went up after him, and the people [n]were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth [o]shook at their noise.
41 Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “Why [p]is the city making such an uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. Then Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a valiant man and bring good news.” 43 But Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “No! 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 made him ride on the king’s mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they have come up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise which you have heard. 46 Besides, 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 your God make the name of Solomon better than your name and his throne greater than your throne!’ And the king bowed himself on the bed. 48 The king has also said thus, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted one to sit on my throne today while my own eyes see it.’”
49 Then all the guests of Adonijah were terrified; and they arose and each went on his way. 50 And Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, and he arose, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Now it was told Solomon, saying, “Behold, Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, for behold, 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 Solomon said, “If he is a worthy man, 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, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and prostrated himself [q]before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”
David’s Charge to Solomon
2 As David’s [r]time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and [s]show yourself a man. 3 Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4 so that the Lord may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in [t]truth with all their heart and with all their soul, [u]you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
5 “Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to 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 [w]about his waist, and on his sandals [x]on his feet. 6 So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to [y]Sheol 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 they [z]assisted me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8 Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a [aa]violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to [ab]Sheol with blood.”
Death of David
10 Then 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 he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem. 12 And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “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 know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel [ac]expected me to be king; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 Now I am making one request of you; do not [ad]refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 Then he said, “Please speak to Solomon the king, for he will not [ae]refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; do not [af]refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not [ag]refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom—for he is my older brother—even for him, for 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 also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own [ah]life. 24 Now therefore, as the Lord 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 today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him so that he died.
26 Then to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth to your own field, for you [ai]deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord [aj]God before my father David, and because you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted.” 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
28 Now the news came to Joab, for Joab had followed Adonijah, although he had not followed Absalom. And Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 It was told King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, fall upon him.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “Thus the king has said, ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, for I will die here.” And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus spoke Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has spoken and fall upon him and bury him, that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and on the head of his [ak]descendants forever; but to David and his [al]descendants and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell upon him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king appointed Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.
36 Now the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build for yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not go out from there to any place. 37 For on the day you go out and cross over the [am]brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 Shimei then said to the king, “The word is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.
39 But it came about at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Behold, your servants are in Gath.” 40 Then Shimei arose and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to look for 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 had returned. 42 So the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘You will know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word which I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I [an]have laid on you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know all the evil which [ao]you acknowledge in your heart, which you did to my father David; therefore the Lord shall return your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him so that he died.
Thus the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.
Solomon’s Rule Consolidated
3 Then Solomon [ap]formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days.
3 Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”
6 Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in [aq]truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have [ar]reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9 So give Your servant [as]an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this [at]great people of Yours?”
10 [au]It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself [av]long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself [aw]discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, 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 I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. 14 If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
15 Then 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 made a feast for all his servants.
Solomon Wisely Judges
16 Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, [ax]this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 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 This woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on it. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully 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 [ay]the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.
23 Then the king said, “[az]The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and [ba]the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for [bb]she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” 27 Then the king said, “Give [bc]the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had [bd]handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to [be]administer justice.
4 Now King Solomon was king over all Israel. 2 These were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 4 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5 and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the deputies; and Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest, was the king’s friend; 6 and Ahishar was over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.
7 Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who [bf]provided for the king and his household; each man had to [bg]provide for a month in the year. 8 These are their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; 9 Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elonbeth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (Socoh was his and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all [bh]the height of Dor (Taphath the daughter of Solomon was his wife); 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (the towns of Jair, the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead were his: the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars were his); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also married Basemath the daughter of Solomon); 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and [bi]Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only deputy who was in the land.
Solomon’s Power, Wealth and Wisdom
20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the [bj]seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.
22 Solomon’s [bm]provision for one day was thirty [bn]kors of fine flour and sixty [bo]kors of meal, 23 ten fat oxen, twenty [bp]pasture-fed oxen, a hundred sheep besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24 For he had dominion over everything [bq]west of the [br]River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings [bs]west of the [bt]River; and he had peace on all sides around about him. 25 So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had [bu]40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27 Those deputies [bv]provided for King Solomon and all who came to King Solomon’s table, each in his month; they left nothing lacking. 28 They also brought barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds to the place where it should be, each according to his charge.
29 Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of [bw]mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and [bx]Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his [by]fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. 34 [bz]Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll gain access to a vast digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads to minimize distractions from God's Word. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.