We have here the effectual care David took both to secure Solomon’s right and to preserve the public peace, by crushing Adonijah’s project in the bud. Observe,
I. The express orders he gave for the proclaiming of Solomon. The persons he entrusted with this great affair were Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah, men of power and interest whom David had always reposed a confidence in and found faithful to him, and whom Adonijah had passed by in his invitation, 1 Kgs. 1:10. David orders them forthwith, with all possible solemnity, to proclaim Solomon. They must take with them the servants of their lord, the lifeguards, and all the servants of the household. They must set Solomon on the mule the king used to ride, for he kept not such stables of horses as his son afterwards did. He appoints them whither to go (1 Kgs. 1:33-35), and what to do. 1. Zadok and Nathan, the two ecclesiastical persons, must, in God’s name, anoint him king; for though he was not the first of his family, as Saul and David were, yet he was a younger son, was made king by divine appointment, and his title was contested, which made it necessary that hereby it should be settled. This unction was typical of the designation and qualification of the Messiah, or Christ, the anointed one, on whom the Spirit, that oil of gladness, was poured without measure, Heb. 1:9; Ps. 89:20. And all Christians, being heirs of the kingdom (Jas. 2:5), do from him receive the anointing, 1 John 2:27. 2. The great officers, civil and military, are ordered to give public notice of this, and to express the public joy upon this occasion by sound of trumpet, by which the law of Moses directed the gracing of great solemnities; to this must be added the acclamations of the people: “Let king Solomon live, let him prosper, let his kingdom be established and perpetuated, and let him long continue in the enjoyment of it;” so it had been promised concerning him. Ps. 72:15; He shall live. 3. They must then bring him in state to the city of David, and he must sit upon the throne of his father, as his substitute now, or viceroy, to despatch public business during his weakness and be his successor after his death: He shall be king in my stead. It would be a great satisfaction to David himself, and to all parties concerned, to have this done immediately, that upon the demise of the king there might be no dispute, or agitation, in the public affairs. David was far from grudging his successor the honour of appearing such in his life-time, and yet perhaps was so taken up with his devotions on his sick-bed that, if he had not been put in mind of it by others, this great good work, which was so necessary to the public repose, would have been left undone.
II. The great satisfaction which Benaiah, in the name of the rest, professed in these orders. The king said, “Solomon shall reign for me, and reign after me.” “Amen” (says Benaiah heartily); “as the king says, so say we; we are entirely satisfied in the nomination, and concur in the choice, we give our vote for Solomon, nemine contradicente—unanimously, and since we can bring nothing to pass, much less establish it, without the concurrence of a propitious providence, The Lord God of my lord the king say so too!” 1 Kgs. 1:36. This is the language of his faith in that promise of God on which Solomon’s government was founded. If we say as God says in his word, we may hope that he will say as we say by his providence. To this he adds a prayer for Solomon (1 Kgs. 1:37), that God would be with him as he had been with David, and make his throne greater. He knew David was not one of those that envy their children’s greatness, and that therefore he would not be disquieted at this prayer, nor take it as an affront, but would heartily say Amen to it. The wisest and best man in the world desires his children may be wiser and better than he, for he himself desires to be wiser and better than he is; and wisdom and goodness are true greatness.
III. The immediate execution of these orders, 1 Kgs. 1:38-40. No time was lost, but Solomon was brought in state to the place appointed, and there Zadok (who, though he was not as yet high priest, was, we may suppose, the suffragan, the Jews called him the sagan, or second priest) anointed him by the direction of Nathan the prophet and David the king, 1 Kgs. 1:39. In the tabernacle, where the ark was now lodged, was kept among other sacred things, the holy oil for many religious services thence Zadok took a horn of oil, which denotes both power and plenty, and therewith anointed Solomon. We do not find that Abiathar pretended to anoint Adonijah: he was made king by a feast, not by an unction. Whom God calls, he will qualify, which was signified by the anointing; usurpers had it not. Christ signifies anointed, and he is the king whom God hath set upon his holy hill of Sion, according to decree, Ps. 2:6, 7. Christians also are made to our God (and by him) kings, and they have an unction from the Holy One, 1 John 2:20. The people, hereupon, express their great joy and satisfaction in the elevation of Solomon, surround him with their Hosannas—God save king Solomon, and attend him with their music and shouts of joy, 1 Kgs. 1:40. Hereby they declared their concurrence in the choice, and that he was not forced upon them, but cheerfully accepted by them. The power of a prince can be little satisfaction to himself, unless he knows it to be a satisfaction to his people. Every Israelite indeed rejoices in the exaltation of the Son of David.