1 Kings 1
David in Old Age
1 Now King David was [a]old, advanced in years; they covered him with clothes, but he could not get warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let a young virgin be found for my lord the king and let her attend him and become his nurse; let her lie against your chest, so that my lord the king may feel warm.” 3 So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the [b]Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king [c]was not intimate with her.
5 Then Adonijah the son of [David’s wife] Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I [the eldest living son] will be king.” So [following Absalom’s example] he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.(A) 6 His father [David] had [d]never rebuked him at any time by asking, “Why have you done this?” Adonijah was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. 7 He had conferred with [e]Joab the son of Zeruiah [David’s half sister] and with Abiathar the priest; and they followed Adonijah and helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s [f]most formidable warriors did not side with Adonijah [in his desire to become king].
9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened steers by the Stone of Zoheleth, which is beside [the well] En-rogel; and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants [to this feast].(B) 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the most formidable warriors, or his brother Solomon.
Nathan and Bathsheba
11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know about it? 12 Come now, please let me advise you and save your life and the life of your son Solomon.(C) 13 Go at once to King David and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, “Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Behold, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his bedroom. Now the king was very old and weak, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending the king. 16 So Bathsheba bowed down and paid respect to the king. And the king said, “[g]What do you wish?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore by the Lord your God to your maidservant, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 But now, behold, Adonijah is [acting as] king; and now [as things stand], my lord the king, you do not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen and fattened steers and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons and Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army [to a feast], but he did not invite your servant Solomon. 20 Now as for you, my lord the king, the eyes of all [h]Israel are on you [waiting for you] to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come about when my lord the king lies down [in death] with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered [i]political enemies.”
22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 The king was told, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came before the king, he bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Then Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 Because he has gone down today [to En-Rogel] and has sacrificed oxen and fattened steers and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest [to this feast]; and [right now] they are eating and drinking in his presence; and they say, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But he has not invited me, your servant, nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. 27 If this thing has been done by my lord the king, why have you not shown your servants who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”
28 King David answered, “Call Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before him. 29 Then the king swore an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul from all distress, 30 even as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall certainly be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this very day.” 31 Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, and laid herself face down before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
32 Then King David said, “Call Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada to me.” And they came before the king. 33 The king told them, “Take the [j]servants of your lord with you and have Solomon my son [k]ride on my own mule, and bring him down to [the spring at] [l]Gihon [in the Kidron Valley]. 34 Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall come up [to Jerusalem] after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne and he shall reign as king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah [the overseer of the king’s bodyguards], the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! (So be it!) May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so too. 37 [m]Just as the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David!”
Solomon Anointed King
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites [the king’s bodyguards] went down [from Jerusalem] and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to [the spring at] Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took a horn of [olive] oil from the [sacred] tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people went up after him, and they were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth shook and seemed to burst open with their [joyful] sound.
41 Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. When Joab heard the trumpet sound, he said, “[n]Why is the city in such an uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest arrived. And Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a valiant and trustworthy man and you bring good news.”(D) 43 But Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “No, on the contrary, our lord King David has made Solomon king! 44 The king has sent him with Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites; and they have had him ride on the king’s [own royal] mule. 45 Also, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they have come up from there celebrating, so the city is in an uproar. This is the noise which you have heard. 46 Besides, Solomon has taken his seat on the throne of the kingdom. 47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to bless (congratulate) our lord King David, saying, ‘May [o]your God make the name of Solomon better (more famous) than your name and make his throne greater than your throne.’ And the king bowed himself [before God] upon the bed. 48 The king has also said this: ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted one [of my descendants] to sit on my throne today and allowed my eyes to see it.’”
49 Then all Adonijah’s guests were terrified [of being branded as traitors] and stood up and left the feast, and each one went on his way. 50 And Adonijah feared Solomon, and he got up and went [to the tabernacle on Mt. Zion] and took hold of the horns of the altar [seeking asylum]. 51 Now Solomon was told, “Behold, Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, and behold, he has grasped the horns of the altar [seeking God’s protection], saying, ‘King Solomon must swear to me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’” 52 Solomon said, “If he [proves he] is a worthy man, not even one of his hairs shall fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” 53 So King Solomon sent [soldiers], and they brought Adonijah down from the altar [that was in front of the tabernacle]. And he came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”
- 1 Kings 1:1 I.e. about seventy years old.
- 1 Kings 1:3 The town of Shunam was located within the territory of Issachar.
- 1 Kings 1:4 Lit did not know her.
- 1 Kings 1:6 David’s failure to discipline his sons always resulted in tragedy.
- 1 Kings 1:7 The commander of Israel’s army.
- 1 Kings 1:8 Lit mighty men and so throughout the chapter.
- 1 Kings 1:16 Lit What to you.
- 1 Kings 1:20 In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- 1 Kings 1:21 Lit sinners.
- 1 Kings 1:33 This group would have included David’s personal bodyguards.
- 1 Kings 1:33 Placing Solomon on his royal mule announced to the people that David had chosen Solomon as his successor.
- 1 Kings 1:33 This was near En-rogel, the site of Adonijah’s celebration.
- 1 Kings 1:37 This was a declaration of support for David and his choice of Solomon.
- 1 Kings 1:41 Gihon was nearby, but because of the topography it was not visible.
- 1 Kings 1:47 See note v 37.
Peter and John Arrested
4 And while Peter and John were talking to the people, the priests and the captain [who was in charge of the temple area and] of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being extremely disturbed and thoroughly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in [the case of] Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 So they arrested them and put them in jail until the next day, because it was evening. 4 But many of those who heard the message [of salvation] believed [in Jesus and accepted Him as the Christ]. And the number of the men came to be about 5,000.
5 On the next day, their magistrates and elders and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and [a]Annas the high priest was there, and [b]Caiaphas and [c]John and Alexander, and all others who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had put the men in [d]front of them, they repeatedly asked, “By what sort of power, or in what name [that is, by what kind of authority], did you do this [healing]?” 8 Then Peter, filled with [the power of] the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people [members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court], 9 if we are being put on trial today [to interrogate us] for a good deed done to [benefit] a disabled man, as to how this man has been restored to health, 10 let it be known and clearly understood by all of you, and by all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you [demanded be] crucified [by the Romans and], whom God raised from the dead—in this name [that is, by the authority and power of Jesus] this man stands here before you in good health. 11 This Jesus is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the [e]chief Cornerstone.(A) 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].”
Threat and Release
13 Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John, and grasped the fact that they were [f]uneducated and untrained [ordinary] men, they were astounded, and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing there with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But after ordering them to step out of the Council [chamber], they began to confer among themselves, 16 saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that an extraordinary miracle has taken place through them is public knowledge and clearly evident to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to keep it from spreading further among the people and the nation, let us [sternly] warn them not to speak again to anyone in this name.” 18 So they sent for them, and commanded them not to speak [as His representatives] or teach at all in the name of Jesus [using Him as their authority]. 19 But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves]; 20 for we, on our part, cannot stop telling [people] about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When the rulers and Council members had threatened them further, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because [of their fear] of the people, for they were all praising and glorifying and honoring God for what had happened; 22 for the man to whom this sign (attesting miracle) of healing had happened was more than forty years old.
23 After Peter and John were released, they returned to their own [people] and reported everything that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “O Sovereign Lord [having complete power and authority], it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything that is in them,(B) 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, Your servant, said,
‘Why did the nations (Gentiles) become arrogant and rage,
And the peoples devise futile things [against the Lord]?
‘The kings of the earth took their stand [to attack],
And the rulers were assembled together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed (the Christ, the Messiah).’(C)
27 For in this city there were gathered together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined [before the creation of the world] to occur [and so without knowing it, they served Your own purpose]. 29 And now, Lord, observe their threats [take them into account] and grant that Your bond-servants may declare Your message [of salvation] with great confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders (attesting miracles) take place through the name [and the authority and power] of Your holy Servant and Son Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were meeting together was shaken [a sign of God’s presence]; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness and courage.
Sharing among Believers
32 Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one [of them] claimed that anything belonging to him was [exclusively] his own, but everything was common property and for the use of all. 33 And with great ability and power the apostles were continuously testifying to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace [God’s remarkable lovingkindness and favor and goodwill] rested richly upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling them, and bringing the proceeds of the sales 35 and placing the money down at the apostles’ feet. Then it was distributed to each as anyone had need.
36 Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus, who was surnamed [g]Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field belonging to him and brought the money and set it at the apostles’ feet.
- Acts 4:6 Annas served as high priest a.d. 6-15. He was removed from the position by Rome, but continued to be extremely influential and was regarded by the Jews as de facto high priest even though others (his sons and son-in-law) officially held the office.
- Acts 4:6 Caiaphas (Annas’ son-in-law) served as high priest a.d. 18-36.
- Acts 4:6 Perhaps this is Jonathan, one of Annas’ sons.
- Acts 4:7 The Sanhedrin sat in a semi-circle.
- Acts 4:11 The cornerstone is the supreme foundation stone governing the structure of the entire building. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone.
- Acts 4:13 They had no formal religious training in the rabbinical schools.
- Acts 4:36 Barnabas becomes a prominent figure in the book of Acts (9:27; 11:22-30; 13:1-14:28, etc.), and it may be for that reason that Luke briefly mentions him here, telling the reader how Barnabas came to be associated with the apostles.
Praise for Rescue from Enemies.
A Song of [a]Ascents. Of David.
124 “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say,
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
Then they would have [quickly] swallowed us alive,
When their wrath was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The torrent would have swept over our soul;
Then the [b]raging waters would have swept over our soul.”
Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us as prey to be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
The trap is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.