Now King David was old and getting on in years. Although they covered him with bedclothes, he could not get warm.
So his servants said to him: "Let us search for a young virgin for my lord the king. She is to attend the king and be his caregiver. She is to lie by your side so that my lord the king will get warm."
They searched for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel; they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king.
The girl was of unsurpassed beauty, and she became the king's caregiver. She served him, but he was not intimate with her.
Adonijah son of Haggith kept exalting himself, saying, "I will be king!" He also assembled chariots, cavalry, and 50 men to run ahead of him.
But his father had never once reprimanded him by saying, "Why do you act this way?" In addition, he was quite handsome and was born after Absalom.
He conspired with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. They supported Adonijah,
but Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David's warriors did not side with Adonijah.
Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle near the stone of Zoheleth, which is next to En-rogel. He invited all his royal brothers and all the men of Judah, the servants of the king,
but he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the warriors, or his brother Solomon.
Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king and our lord David does not know [it]?
Now please come and let me advise you. Save your life and the life of your son Solomon.
Go, approach King David and say to him, 'My lord king, did you not swear to your servant: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne? So why has Adonijah become king?'
At that moment, while you are still there speaking with the king, I'll come in after you and confirm your words."
So Bathsheba went to the king in his bedroom. Since the king was very old, Abishag the Shunammite was serving him.
Bathsheba bowed down and paid homage to the king, and he asked, "What do you want?"
She replied, "My lord, you swore to your servant by the LORD your God, 'Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne.'
Now look, Adonijah has become king. And, my lord king, you didn't know [it].
He has lavishly sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep. He invited all the king's sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but he did not invite your servant Solomon.
Now, my lord king, the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.
Otherwise, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be regarded as criminals."
At that moment, while she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived,
and it was announced to the king, "Nathan the prophet is here." He came into the king's presence and bowed to him with his face to the ground.
"My lord king," Nathan said, "did you say, 'Adonijah is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne?'
For today he went down and lavishly sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep. He invited all the sons of the king, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And look! They're eating and drinking in his presence, and they're saying, 'Long live King Adonijah!'
But he did not invite me-- me, your servant-- or Zadok the priest or Benaiah son of Jehoiada or your servant Solomon.
I'm certain my lord the king would not have let this happen without letting your servant know who will sit on my lord the king's throne after him."
King David responded by saying, "Call in Bathsheba for me." So she came into the king's presence and stood before him.
The king swore an oath and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every difficulty,
just as I swore to you by the LORD God of Israel: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne in my place, that is exactly what I will do this very day."
Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, paying homage to the king, and said, "May my lord King David live forever!"
King David then said, "Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada for me." So they came into the king's presence.
The king said to them, "Take my servants with you, have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon.
There, Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him as king over Israel. You are to blow the ram's horn and say, 'Long live King Solomon!'
You are to come up after him, and he is to come in and sit on my throne. He is the one who is to become king in my place; he is the one I have commanded to be ruler over Israel and Judah."
" Amen," Benaiah son of Jehoiada replied to the king. "May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so affirm it.
Just as the LORD was with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David."
Then Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down, had Solomon ride on King David's mule, and took him to Gihon.
Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the ram's horn, and all the people proclaimed, "Long live King Solomon!"
All the people followed him, playing flutes and rejoicing with such a great joy that the earth split open from the sound.
Adonijah and all the invited guests who were with him heard [the noise] as they finished eating. Joab heard the sound of the ram's horn and said, "Why is the town in such an uproar?"
He was still speaking when Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest, suddenly arrived. Adonijah said, "Come in, for you are an excellent man, and you must be bringing good news."
"Unfortunately not," Jonathan answered him. "Our lord King David has made Solomon king.
And with Solomon, the king has sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have had him ride on the king's mule.
Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon. They have gone from there rejoicing. The town has been in an uproar; that's the noise you heard.
Solomon has even taken his seat on the royal throne.
"The king's servants have also gone to congratulate our lord King David, saying, 'May your God make the name of Solomon more famous than your name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.' Then the king bowed in worship on his bed.
And the king went on to say this: 'May the LORD God of Israel be praised! Today He has provided one to sit on my throne, and I am a witness.'"
Then all of Adonijah's guests got up trembling and went their separate ways.
Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he got up and went to take hold of the horns of the altar.
It was reported to Solomon: "Look, Adonijah fears King Solomon, and he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let King Solomon first swear to me that he will not kill his servant with the sword.'"
Then Solomon said, "If he is a man of character, then not a single hair of his will fall to the ground, but if evil is found in him, then he dies."
So King Solomon sent for him, and they took him down from the altar. He came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, "Go to your home."
As the time approached for David to die, he instructed his son Solomon,
"As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and brave,
and keep your obligation to the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn,
and so that the LORD will carry out His promise that He made to me: 'If your sons are careful to walk faithfully before Me with their whole mind and heart, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'
"You also know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me and what he did to the two commanders of Israel's army, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He murdered them [in a time] of peace to avenge blood shed in war. He spilled that blood on his own waistband and on the sandals of his feet.
Act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head descend to Sheol in peace.
"Show loyalty to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table because they supported me when I fled from your brother Absalom.
"Keep an eye on Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim who is with you. He uttered malicious curses against me the day I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, and I swore to him by the LORD: 'I will never kill you with the sword.'
So don't let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man. You know how to deal with him to bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood."
Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.
The [length of] time David reigned over Israel was 40 years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem.
Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingship was firmly established.
Now Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. She asked, "Do you come peacefully?" "Peacefully," he replied,
and then asked, "May I talk with you?" "Go ahead," she answered.
"You know the kingship was mine," he said. "All Israel expected me to be king, but then the kingship was turned over to my brother, for the LORD gave it to him.
So now I have just one request of you; don't turn me down." She said to him, "Go on."
He replied, "Please speak to King Solomon since he won't turn you down. Let him give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife."
"Very well," Bathsheba replied. "I will speak to the king for you."
So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king's mother. So she sat down at his right hand.
Then she said, "I have just one small request of you. Don't turn me down." "[Go ahead and] ask, mother," the king replied, "for I won't turn you down."
So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife."
King Solomon answered his mother, "Why are you requesting Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my elder brother, you might as well ask the kingship for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah."
Then Solomon took an oath by the LORD: "May God punish me and do so severely if Adonijah has not made this request at the cost of his life.
And now, as the LORD lives, the One who established me, seated me on the throne of my father David, and made me a dynasty as He promised-- I swear Adonijah will be put to death today!"
Then King Solomon gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who struck down Adonijah, and he died.
The king said to Abiathar the priest, "Go to your fields in Anathoth. Even though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death today, since you carried the ark of the Lord God in the presence of my father David and you suffered through all that my father suffered."
So Solomon banished Abiathar from being the LORD's priest, and it fulfilled the LORD's prophecy He had spoken at Shiloh against Eli's family.
The news reached Joab. Since he had supported Adonijah but not Absalom, Joab fled to the LORD's tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar.
It was reported to King Solomon: "Joab has fled to the LORD's tabernacle and is now beside the altar." Then Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada and told [him], "Go and strike him down!"
So Benaiah went to the tabernacle and said to Joab, "This is what the king says: 'Come out!' " But Joab said, "No, for I will die here." So Benaiah took a message back to the king, "This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me."
The king said to him, "Do just as he says. Strike him down and bury him in order to remove from me and from my father's house the blood that Joab shed without just cause.
The LORD will bring back his own blood on his own head because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, without my father David's knowledge. With his sword, Joab murdered Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel's army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah's army.
Their blood will come back on Joab's head and on the head of his descendants forever, but for David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne, there will be peace from the LORD forever."
Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, struck down Joab, and put him to death. He was buried at his house in the wilderness.
Then the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab's place over the army, and he appointed Zadok the priest in Abiathar's place.
Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him, "Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there, but don't leave there [and go] anywhere else.
On the day you do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die. Your blood will be on your own head."
Shimei said to the king, "The sentence is fair; your servant will do as my lord the king has spoken." And Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
But then, at the end of three years, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. Shimei was informed, "Look, your slaves are in Gath."
So Shimei saddled his donkey and set out to Achish at Gath to search for his slaves. He went and brought them back from Gath.
It was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned.
So the king summoned Shimei and said to him, "Didn't I make you swear by the LORD and warn you, saying, 'On the day you leave and go anywhere else, know for sure that you will certainly die'? And you said to me, 'The sentence is fair; I will obey.'
So why have you not kept the LORD's oath and the command that I gave you?"
The king also said, "You yourself know all the evil that you did to my father David. Therefore, the LORD has brought back your evil on your head,
but King Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will remain established before the LORD forever."
Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down, and he died. So the kingdom was established in Solomon's hand.
Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying Pharaoh's daughter. Solomon brought her to the city of David until he finished building his palace, the LORD's temple, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem.
However, the people were sacrificing on the high places, because until that time a temple for the LORD's name had not been built.
Solomon loved the LORD by walking in the statutes of his father David, but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar.
At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask. What should I give you?"
And Solomon replied, "You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.
"LORD my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David's place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership.
Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted.
So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this.
So God said to him, "Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice,
I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again.
In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life.
If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commandments just as your father David did, I will give you a long life."
Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he held a feast for all his servants.
Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
One woman said, "Please my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house.
On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else was with us in the house; just the two of us were there.
During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him.
She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him at her breast, and she put her dead son in my arms.
When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to."
"No," the other woman said. "My son is the living one; your son is the dead one." The first woman said, "No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one." So they argued before the king.
The king replied, "This woman says, 'This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,' but that woman says, 'No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.'"
The king continued, "Bring me a sword." So they brought the sword to the king.
Solomon said, "Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other."
The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion for her son. "My lord, give her the living baby," she said, "but please don't have him killed!" But the other one said, "He will not be mine or yours. Cut [him in two]!"
The king responded, "Give the living baby to the first woman, and don't kill him. She is his mother."
All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God's wisdom was in him to carry out justice.