Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 1
The legal punishment for Adonijah’s crimes was death. He had tried to lead a revolution against his father, King David; and he had intended to kill his brother, Solomon. Now that Solomon, and not Adonijah, had become king, Adonijah became very afraid. He was afraid of Solomon’s anger, and he was afraid of the punishment for his crimes.
Like many people in a desperate situation, Adonijah turned to religion. However, he did not turn to God. He was not turning from his evil deeds or his wrong ambitions (2:13-22). Instead, he went to a very holy place for protection. He did not believe that Solomon would order his death there. He asked Solomon to promise that he would not kill him.
Solomon answered with great wisdom. He would not promise not to kill Adonijah because a guilty person should suffer the proper punishment. However, Solomon would give Adonijah an opportunity to save his own life. If Adonijah was brave enough to turn from his evil deeds and to live peacefully at home, Solomon would not hurt him. However, if Adonijah continued to behave in an evil manner, Solomon would order his death.
Adonijah seemed to agree to this test. Solomon’s guards brought him to Solomon, and Adonijah seemed to give honour to Solomon. However, Solomon realised that he could not trust Adonijah. He told Adonijah to go to his own home. He probably meant that Adonijah must now live as an unimportant person, and not like a prince. He should deal with his own private matters; he must not try to gain any power or importance in the government.
Next part: David's final instructions to Solomon (1 Kings 2:1-3)
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© 2023, Keith Simons.