Bible Notes Online - 1-Kings 1 - ESV

v1-4: King David was now very old and weak. A young girl was brought to care for him.

This was an opportunity for is enemies to attack. As in the years following the incident of Uriah and Bathsheba, the enemies came from within his own family.

When true religion is at a low ebb, we see that false religion will grow.

v5: Adonijah used the opportunity to usurp the throne; he exalted himself to become king. Like Absalom, his brother (2 Sam 15) his desire was for personal power and authority; contrast Prov 27.2; David's attitude, before his was made king, was never to seek power and position; he waited for God to make him great.

v6: David had again failed to rebuke his son; it seems he had earlier expressed his desire to become king. If sin and rebellion is not 'nipped in the bud', it will grow; see Eccl 8.11.

v7-8: Joab and Abiathar became leaders under Adonijah. David still had Benaiah as a military leader, and Zadok as priest, as well as Nathan the prophet.

v9-10: Adonijah invited many to his sacrifice, so that he could be pronounced king.

v11-14: Nathan had a plan to get David to act decisively. There was a risk to the lives of Bathsheba and Solomon; they would be treated as criminals, at best (v21). The decision of succession had to be David's, and he would have to make a formal statement quickly.

v15-21: Bathsheba went into David, explaining what had happened, and urging him to make his decision; "the eyes of all Israel are on you".

v22-27: Nathan the prophet arrived, as planned, to confirm Bathsheba's words.

v28-30: David's statement was clear; Solomon would be king. David had promised this to God, and the promise would be honoured.

v31-37: David gave his instructions to the leaders, to have Solomon anointed as king.

v38-40: As instructed, Zadok anointed Solomon as king.

v41-48: Jonathan, son of Abiathar, brought the news to Adonijah; he brought a faithful and accurate explanation of events. He had earlier been a messenger for David; 2 Sam 17. He referred to crowds cheering, hence the noise from the city, such that even “the ground shook with the sound.” Adonijah must have known that his own support was comparatively small.

v49-53: The guests with Adonijah realised the truth, that Adonijah could not be the real king, that his actions were treason, and that they could be condemned with him; they would risk their lives by staying with him.

Solomon could have had Adonijah put to death, but he showed mercy; compare 1 Sam 11.12-13; it was a day of rejoicing and salvation. Later, (2-13.23) Adonijah abused Solomon's mercy.