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1 Kings 1 – 5
Another one of David’s sons tries to take the throne without his approval. You can tell exactly what kind of king he would have been by the people he doesn’t invite to his coronation party: Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei, David’s special guard and Solomon. Nathan goes to Bathsheba to tell her what has happened and offers some advice because of what David promised her. Bathsheba is to go to David and inform him of what Adonijah is doing and remind him of the promise he made that Solomon would be king. Then Nathan will come and confirm all she has said. David honors his promise and has Solomon anointed as king, declared king before all the people, and brought to sit on the throne ruling in his father’s place.
David’s advice to Solomon as king is to be a strong man, to observe all that God requires of him, walk in His ways, keep his decrees and commands as written in the law. If Solomon does these things God will continue to bless their line for generations to come. He also gives the cases of Barzillai, Joab, and Shimei the Benjamite. Barzillai who helped David when he fled from Absalom is to be treated with great honor, eating from the king’s own table. Joab is not to go down to the grave in peace because of the murders he has committed and the harm he has caused. Shimei the Benjamite who mocked David and threw stones at their group is also to go down to the grave in blood even if not for that crime because David promised he would not be put to death. It’s almost as if David is instructing Solomon on whom his enemies are and how to treat his friends.
Solomon accomplishes all this and his kingdom is firmly established. He follows after God just as his father David before him. Because Solomon follows God, God comes to him with a question.
“Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
1 Kings 3:5
Solomon asks for wisdom
“Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your sevant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your sevant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern over this great people of yours?
1 Kings 3:7-9
Solomon’s answer pleases God. Therefore, God not only gives Solomon the gift of wisdom, He also gives him wealth, and fame. People from all over the known world come to learn from Solomon, give him tribute, and have their cases decided.
Two prostitutes come who have both had children but one’s baby died in the night. Each claims the living child as their own so their case is brought to Solomon. Solomon tells them to cut the living child in half and give a half to each mother. The true mother of the child begs the king to spare his life and give him to the other woman, but the other one says “good then neither of us shall have him”. Solomon then declares that the child should be given to the first woman because she is his real mother. All Israel hears and marvels at the king’s wisdom.
Solomon marries the Pharaoh’s daughter and makes an alliance with the king of Tyre just as David had before him. Adonijah is put to death because he asked to marry the young girl who served David at the end of his years and for declaring himself king.
There is peace in all of Israel and Solomon prepares with the tribute he is being given to build The One Place just as God promised to David he would.