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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : Wesley's Notes : 1st Kings Index : Chapter 1

1st Kings, Chapter 1
Introduction to 1st Kings | Chapter 2
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Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
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View 1st Kings 1 in the note window.

David declines in health, ver. 1 - 4. Adonijah aspires to the kingdom, ver. 5 - 10. Nathan and Bathsheba procure an order for the succession of Solomon, ver. 11 - 31. The anointing of Solomon, and the peoples joy, ver. 32 - 40. The dispersion of Adonijah's party, ver. 41 - 49. Solomon dismisses Adonijah, ver. 50 - 53.

1: Old - Being in the end of his seventieth year. No heat - Which is not strange in a person who had been exercised with so many hardships in war, and with such tormenting cares, and fears, and sorrows, for his own sins (as divers of his Psalms witness) and for the sins and miseries of his children and people. Besides, this might be from the nature of his bodily distemper.

2: Servants - His physicians. Virgin - Whose natural heat is fresh and wholesome, and not impaired with bearing or breeding of children. The same counsel doth Galen give for the cure of some cold and dry distempers. Stand - That is, minister unto him, or wait upon him, in his sickness, as occasion requires. Lie in his bosom - As his wife: for that she was so, may appear by divers arguments. First, otherwise this had been a wicked course; which therefore neither his servants durst have prescribed, nor would David have used, especially being now in a dying condition. Secondly, it appears from this phrase of lying in his bosom, which is everywhere in scripture mentioned as the privilege of a wife. Thirdly, this made Adonijah's crime in desiring her to wife, so heinous in Solomon's account, because he saw, that by marrying the king's wife he designed to revive his pretence to the kingdom.

4: Knew her not - Which is mentioned to note the continuance and progress of the king's malady.

5: Then - Upon notice of the desperateness of the king's disease, and the approach of his death. Exalted - Entertained high thoughts and designs. I will - As the right of the kingdom is mine, ver.(6), so I will now take possession of it. Prepared - As Absalom had done upon the like occasion, (2Sa 15:1).

6: Displeased him - This is noted as David's great error, and the occasion of Adonijah's presumption. Saying - He neither restrained him from, nor reproved him for his miscarriages: which David well knew was a great sin. Goodly man - This was a second ground of his confidence, because his great comeliness made him amiable in the peoples eyes.

7: They helped - Either because they thought the right of the crown was his: or to secure and advance their own interest. It seems God left them to themselves, to correct them for former miscarriages, with a rod of their own making.

10: Called not - Because he knew they favoured Solomon his competitor.

11: Nathan spake - Being prompted to it both by his piety in fulfilling the will of God declared to him, concerning Solomon's succession, (2Sa 7:13), and by his prudence, knowing that Adonijah hated him for being the principal instrument of Solomon's advancement. Bathsheba - Who being retired and private in her apartment, was ignorant of what was done abroad: and, who was likely to be most zealous in the cause, and most prevalent with David.

26: But me - Whom he knew to be acquainted with thy mind, and with the mind of God in this matter: and therefore his neglect of me herein gives me cause to suspect that this is done without thy privity.

27: Shewed thy servant - Who, having been an instrument in delivering God's message to thee concerning thy successor, might reasonably expect that if the king had changed his mind, thou wouldest have acquainted me with it, as being both a prophet os the Lord, and one whom thou hast always found faithful to thee.

28: Call Bathsheba - Who, upon Nathan's approach to the king had modestly withdrawn.

29: Out of all distress - The words contain a grateful acknowledgement of the goodness of God to him, in bringing him safe through the many difficulties, which had lain in his way, and which he now mentions to the glory of God, (as Jacob when he lay a dying) thus setting to his seal, from his own experience that the Lord redeemeth the souls of his servants.

31: Live for ever - Though I desire thy oath may be kept, and the right of succession confirmed to my son, yet I am far from thirsting after thy death, and would rather rejoice, if it were possible for thee to live and enjoy the crown for ever.

33: My mule - As a token that the royal dignity is transferred upon Solomon, and that by my consent. Gihon - A river near Jerusalem, on the west side. Adonijah was inaugurated on the east side. This place David chose, either, as remote from Adonijah and his company, that so the people might be there without fear of tumults or bloodshed; or, to shew that Solomon was chosen king in opposition to Adonijah: or, because this was a place of great resort, and fit to receive and display that numerous company, which he knew would follow Solomon thither.

34: Anoint - As they used to do where there was any thing new or extraordinary in the succession. And this unction signified both the designation of the persons to the office, and the gifts and graces which were necessary for their office, and which, they, seeking them sincerely from God, might expect to receive.

35: My stead - My deputy and vice - king whilst I live, and absolutely king when I die. And Judah - This is added, lest the men of Judah, who were in a special manner invited by Adonijah, ver.(9), might think themselves exempted from his jurisdiction.

47: Bowed himself - Adoring God for this great mercy, and thereby declaring his hearty consent to this action.

48: Blessed, &c. - It is a great satisfaction to good men, when they are going out of the world, to see their children rising up in their stead, to serve God and their generation: and especially to see peace upon Israel, and the establishment of it.

51: His servants - He owns Solomon as his king, and himself as his servant and subject; and being sensible of his guilt, and of the jealousy which kings have of their competitors, could not be satisfied without Solomon's oath.

53: Go to thine house - Lead a private life, without noise and numerous attendants, and meddle not with the affairs of the kingdom.

Introduction to 1st Kings | Chapter 2
1st Kings Index | Table of Contents
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