Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 2

Adonijah tries again to become king

1 Kings 2:13

After David’s death, Adonijah tried for a second time to become king. Solomon had been ruling for several months, and he had the support of both the government and the people. However, Adonijah was Solomon’s older brother – so, Adonijah considered that he had a better right than Solomon to be king.

This was Adonijah’s plan. David’s nurse during his last illness was a beautiful woman called Abishag. Although David never had sex with her, she lived with him as his concubine – a wife of lower rank (1:1-4). After David’s death, Solomon as the new king had the authority to decide what would happen to her.

Adonijah could see that it was easy to take away Solomon’s authority from him. If Solomon seemed weak and foolish, the people would prefer Adonijah to be their king. Adonijah was already friendly with Joab, the chief army commander, and Abiathar the chief priest.

Adonijah’s plan was to take Abishag, the nurse, from Solomon. Solomon was a young man who had not married yet – and he liked beautiful women. So, Solomon would seem very foolish if Adonijah had sex with Abishag. Abner slept with Saul’s concubine to gain more power over Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son (2 Samuel 3:6-7). Absalom took for himself ten of David’s concubines because he wanted to increase his power against David (2 Samuel 16:20-22).

Adonijah saw that Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, would support him in his desire to marry Abishag. She would want Solomon to marry a princess, and not a nurse (3:1). Solomon loved his mother and he was eager to please her. Of course, Adonijah would not tell Bathsheba that he was in fact trying to make himself king instead of Solomon.

Next part: Adonijah's request to Bathsheba (1 Kings 2:14-15)


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