1 Kings 1 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Struggle for the Succession
1 Now King David was old and advanced in years; and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. 2 Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young maiden be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait upon the king, and be his nurse; let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may be warm.” 3 So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Ab′ishag the Shu′nammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The maiden was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and ministered to him; but the king knew her not.
5 Now Adoni′jah 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 His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so?” He was also a very handsome man; and he was born next after Ab′salom. 7 He conferred with Jo′ab the son of Zeru′iah and with Abi′athar the priest; and they followed Adoni′jah and helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shim′e-i, and Re′i, and David’s mighty men were not with Adoni′jah.
9 Adoni′jah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fatlings by the Serpent’s Stone, which is beside En-ro′gel, and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benai′ah or the mighty men or Solomon his brother.
11 Then Nathan said to Bathshe′ba the mother of Solomon, “Have you not heard that Adoni′jah the son of Haggith has become king and David our lord does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you counsel, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David, and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your maidservant, saying, “Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne”? Why then is Adoni′jah king?’ 14 Then while you are still speaking with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathshe′ba went to the king into his chamber (now the king was very old, and Ab′ishag the Shu′nammite was ministering to the king). 16 Bathshe′ba bowed and did obeisance to the king, and the king said, “What do you desire?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your maidservant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.’ 18 And now, behold, Adoni′jah is king, although you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen, fatlings, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abi′athar the priest, and Jo′ab the commander of the army; but Solomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are upon you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders.”
22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 And they told the king, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he bowed before the king, with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adoni′jah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne’? 25 For he has gone down this day, and has sacrificed oxen, fatlings, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, Jo′ab the commander[a] of the army, and Abi′athar the priest; and behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, ‘Long live King Adoni′jah!’ 26 But me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada, and your servant Solomon, he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not told your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
The Accession of Solomon
28 Then King David answered, “Call Bathshe′ba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30 as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead’; even so will I do this day.” 31 Then Bathshe′ba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “May my lord King David live for ever!”
32 King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada.” So they came before the king. 33 And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon; 34 and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead; and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” 36 And Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada answered the king, “Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. 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.”
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada, and the Cher′ethites and the Pel′ethites, went down and caused Solomon to ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 There Zadok the priest 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 And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.
41 Adoni′jah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Jo′ab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “What does this uproar in the city mean?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abi′athar the priest came; and Adoni′jah said, “Come in, for you are a worthy man and bring good news.” 43 Jonathan answered Adoni′jah, “No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king; 44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada, and the Cher′ethites and the Pel′ethites; and they have caused him to ride on the king’s mule; 45 and 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 Solomon sits upon the royal throne. 47 Moreover the king’s servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘Your God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne.’ And the king bowed himself upon the bed. 48 And the king also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted one of my offspring[b] to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.’”
49 Then all the guests of Adoni′jah trembled, and rose, and each went his own way. 50 And Adoni′jah feared Solomon; and he arose, and went, and caught hold of the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told Solomon, “Behold, Adoni′jah fears King Solomon; for lo, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not slay his servant with the sword.’” 52 And Solomon said, “If he prove to be a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” 53 So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and did obeisance to King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”