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1 Kings Chapter 1 | Parsha: Hayyei Sarah

1King David was now old, advanced in years; and though they covered him with bedclothes, he never felt warm. 2His courtiers said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, to wait upon Your Majesty and be his attendant; and let her lie in your bosom, and my lord the king will be warm.” 3So they looked for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel. They found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. 4The girl was exceedingly beautiful. She became the king’s attendant and waited upon him; but the king was not intimate with her.

5Now Adonijah son of Haggith went about boasting, “I will be king!” He provided himself with chariots and horses, and an escort of fifty outrunners. 6His father had never scolded him: “Why did you do that?” He was the one born after Absalom and, like him, was very handsome.

7He conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with the priest Abiathar, and they supported Adonijah; 8but the priest Zadok, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the prophet Nathan, Shimei and Rei, and David’s own fighting men did not side with Adonijah. 9Adonijah made a sacrificial feast of sheep, oxen, and fatlings at the Zoheleth stone which is near En-rogel; he invited all his brother princes and all the king’s courtiers of the tribe of Judah; 10but he did not invite the prophet Nathan, or Benaiah, or the fighting men, or his brother Solomon.

11Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “You must have heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has assumed the kingship without the knowledge of our lord David. 12Now take my advice, so that you may save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13Go immediately to King David and say to him, ‘Did not you, O lord king, swear to your maidservant: “Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit upon my throne”? Then why has Adonijah become king?’ 14While you are still there talking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”

15So Bathsheba went to the king in his chamber.—The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was waiting on the king.— 16Bathsheba bowed low in homage to the king; and the king asked, “What troubles you?” 17She answered him, “My lord, you yourself swore to your maidservant by the Lord your God: ‘Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit upon my throne.’ 18Yet now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, know nothing about it. 19He has prepared a sacrificial feast of a great many oxen, fatlings, and sheep, and he has invited all the king’s sons and Abiathar the priest and Joab commander of the army; but he has not invited your servant Solomon. 20And so the eyes of all Israel are upon you, O lord king, to tell them who shall succeed my lord the king on the throne. 21Otherwise, when my lord the king lies down with his fathers, my son Solomon and I will be regarded as traitors.”

22She was still talking to the king when the prophet Nathan arrived. 23They announced to the king, “The prophet Nathan is here,” and he entered the king’s presence. Bowing low to the king with his face to the ground, 24Nathan said, “O lord king, you must have said, ‘Adonijah shall succeed me as king and he shall sit upon my throne.’ 25For he has gone down today and prepared a sacrificial feast of a great many oxen, fatlings, and sheep. He invited all the king’s sons and the army officers and Abiathar the priest. At this very moment they are eating and drinking with him, and they are shouting, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26But he did not invite me your servant, or the priest Zadok, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 27Can this decision have come from my lord the king, without your telling your servant who is to succeed to the throne of my lord the king?”

28King David’s response was: “Summon Bathsheba!” She entered the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29And the king took an oath, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has rescued me from every trouble: 30The oath I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, that your son Solomon should succeed me as king and that he should sit upon my throne in my stead, I will fulfill this very day!” 31Bathsheba bowed low in homage to the king with her face to the ground, and she said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

32Then King David said, “Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33the king said to them, “Take my loyal soldiers, and have my son Solomon ride on my mule and bring him down to Gihon. 34Let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him there king over Israel, whereupon you shall sound the horn and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35Then march up after him, and let him come in and sit on my throne. For he shall succeed me as king; him I designate to be ruler of Israel and Judah.” 36Benaiah son of Jehoiada spoke up and said to the king, “Amen! And may the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so ordain. 37As the Lord was with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon; and may He exalt his throne even higher than the throne of my lord King David.”

38Then the priest Zadok, and the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada went down with the Cherethites and the Pelethites. They had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and they led him to Gihon. 39The priest Zadok took the horn of oil from the Tent and anointed Solomon. They sounded the horn and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40All the people then marched up behind him, playing on flutes and making merry till the earth was split open by the uproar.

41Adonijah and all the guests who were with him, who had just finished eating, heard it. When Joab heard the sound of the horn, he said, “Why is the city in such an uproar?” 42He was still speaking when the priest Jonathan son of Abiathar arrived. “Come in,” said Adonijah. “You are a worthy man, and you surely bring good news.” 43But Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “Alas, our lord King David has made Solomon king! 44The king sent with him the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites. They had him ride on the king’s mule, 45and the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anointed him king at Gihon. Then they came up from there making merry, and the city went into an uproar. That’s the noise you heard. 46Further, Solomon seated himself on the royal throne; 47further, the king’s courtiers came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May God make the renown of Solomon even greater than yours, and may He exalt his throne even higher than yours!’ And the king bowed low on his couch. 48And further, this is what the king said, ‘Praised be the Lord, the God of Israel who has this day provided a successor to my throne, while my own eyes can see it.’” 49Thereupon, all of Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and each went his own way.

50Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went at once [to the Tent] and grasped the horns of the altar. 51It was reported to Solomon: “Adonijah is in fear of King Solomon and has grasped the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon first swear to me that he will not put his servant to the sword.’” 52Solomon said, “If he behaves worthily, not a hair of his head shall fall to the ground; but if he is caught in any offense, he shall die.” 53So King Solomon sent and had him taken down from the altar. He came and bowed before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go home.”

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