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1 Kings 1:11-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Solomon Proclaimed King. 11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother: “Have you not heard that Adonijah, son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David does not know? 12 Come now, let me advise you so that you may save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go, visit King David, and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord king, swear to your handmaid: Your son Solomon shall be king after me; it is he who shall sit upon my throne? Why, then, has Adonijah become king?’ 14 And while you are still there speaking to the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”

15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his room. The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunamite was caring for the king.[a] 16 Bathsheba bowed in homage to the king. The king said to her, “What do you wish?”[b] 17 She answered him: “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord, your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me; it is he who shall sit upon my throne.’ 18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord king, do not know it.[c] 19 He has sacrificed bulls, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but not your servant Solomon. 20 [d]Now, my lord king, all Israel is looking to you to declare to them who is to sit upon the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 If this is not done, when my lord the king rests with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be considered criminals.”


  1. 1:15 Entering the king’s chambers, Bathsheba confronts two realities: he is very old; and she herself, the woman for whom David once committed adultery and murder, has been replaced at the king’s side and in his bed.
  2. 1:16 Throughout 1 Kgs 1 the key question is “Who shall be king (malak)?” David’s feeble, two-syllable question to Bathsheba is an ironic echo of that key word: “What do you wish?” renders the Heb. mahlak?
  3. 1:18 Bathsheba uses a clever wordplay to conceal the rivalry between Solomon and Adonijah and imply that the real rivalry is between David and Adonijah. She repeatedly addresses David as “my lord king” (’adoni hammelek), but claims that “Adonijah has become king” (’adoniya malak). Know: the term means both “be aware of” and “recognize, acknowledge, ratify.”
  4. 1:20 There was no precedent for determining succession to the throne of Israel. Adonijah and his supporters assumed that primogeniture would assure the succession as it did in the monarchies of the surrounding nations. But Bathsheba persuades David that he is free to name anyone he chooses.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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