From 1 Kings 1-2
First Kings begins with the death of King David (about 970 B.C.) and the reign of his son, Solomon, who “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom” (10:23). Solomon’s unfaithfulness later in life set the stage for general apostasy among the people. The harsh policies of his son Rehoboam led to the revolt of the northern tribes and the division of Israel. The northern tribes would subsequently be called Israel, while the southern tribes would be called Judah. First Kings describes the construction of the temple in Jerusalem and shows the importance of proper worship. God’s faithfulness to his people is shown as he sent prophets, most notably Elijah, to warn them not to serve other gods. The author of 1 Kings is unknown. (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Ki). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.)
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
I’ve attempted to plot the progression of the kings of Israel and Judah. Its actually quite tricky due to various name changes of the kings and dating how long they ruled for. So bear with me. Along the chart Ive plotted where and when significant prophets have their ministry. I’ve also coloured in lines showing the kings various books are addressing. You can see for example the book of 1 kings refers to kings from Israel and Judah. The book of Chronicles however sticks with the kings of Judah, not referring to Israel much.
The book of kings nicely picks up from where Samuel left off. David is getting old and is about to cark it.
One of his sons Adonijah, anoints himself king. The problem is, David has previously indicated Solomon will follow him. Its interesting to note Joab, David’s infamous general supports Adonijah’s claim.
If Adonijah continued as king following David’s death, all threats to Adonijah’s claim would be eliminated. This includes Bathsheba and Solomon.
Bathsheba and then Nathan the prophet tell David what Adonijah has done and make their pleas. David instructs them how to setup Solomon as the future King.
Today’s passage concerns the announcement of the rightful king. Adonijah thinks all is well and he is feasting with his supporters.
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and brought him to Gihon. 39 There Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise. (1 Ki 1:38–40)
Davids plan has unfolded and we now have two kings on the block. The self proclaimed usurper and the rightful king. When the rightful king is anointed they make a lot of noise proclaiming the event. The usurper is about to get upstaged.
41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “What does this uproar in the city mean?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a worthy man and bring good news.” (1 Ki 1:41–42)
He’s looking to get good news. This is deeply ironic. Good news has in the past depicted the victory an army in battle, here it concerns a king coming to power. Actually he is about to get bad news.
43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, “No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king, 44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites. And they had him ride on the king’s mule. 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 Solomon sits on the royal throne. (1 Ki 1:43–46)
The noise that they have heard is that Solomon sits on the royal throne. There is another king. The rightful king has been instated.
47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne.’ And the king bowed himself on the bed. 48 And the king also said, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has granted someone to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.’ ” (1 Ki 1:47–48)
Adonijah hears the good news that not only has Solomon been made king, but David has endorsed his enthronement. Its time he made a speedy getaway. He will attempt to get on Solomons good side but after David dies he will have sex with Abishag. The beautiful girl that helped keep David warm. Remember activities like this could be used to make a claim on the throne. When this happens Solomon wipes him out along with his supporters.
Story of Israel
We are about to read the brief history of Israel and Judah’s kings. In many cases we will not read of the pomp and ceremony concerning their anointment. I assume in some cases it happened. But because of the general wickedness of Israel and Judah’s kings, in many cases it may not have happened because the anointing ceremony was religious.
Story of Jesus
Herod perhaps experienced a king of historical deja-vu when the apostles started declaring that Jesus, the crucified and risen Christ was king.
17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. (Acts 17:1–9)
There is no other king but Jesus. Long live the king!
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