Reading through the Bible together
"One of the great problems throughout history is the succession of kings. There are always those who are thirsty for power and want to take over. David was getting old and very feeble. The people were waiting for the accession of Solomon and his coronation. Adonijah, the forth son of David, and probably the eldest seizes the opportunity to rebel and take over as the new King of Israel. He was the brother of Absalom and assumed that he had the right to the throne. It is said that he tried to imitate Absalom in every way . Apparently he thought that his beauty and stature would qualify him as it did for Saul. Being spoiled by his father he assumed that he had the seniority and would take over, even by force if necessary. He was older than Solomon but not as qualified. Adonijah had the support of Joab and hoped that the army would be in his favor. He was hoping that Abiathar, one of the chief priests would support him as well. It is kind of sad to see both of these men who had been very good friends of David, join Adonijah in his search for power.
Adonijah did not leave any stones un-turned and prepared a big feast inviting all his family, the king's sons, all the men of Judah and the king's servants. Noticeably absent were Nathan, the Prophet, Benaiah and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother. He knew that David's wishes were to crown Solomon as his successor. Nathan did not want another disastrous situation like Absalom's. He was going to fulfill his prophetic ministry and alerted Bathsheba. She went before the king and both told him that Adonijah had proclaimed himself as the King of Israel. Zadok the priest, Benaiah and Nathan, who had not been invited by Adonijah were called in by David, even though weak and sickly, he was inspired as when he was young and acted swiftly. David made Solomon ride on his mule to Gihon. Then, Zadok, the priest anointed him, and as he was crowned, all the people shouted, "God save king Solomon" as he is crowned as the new king of Israel. When the news reached Adonijah he feared for his life, fled to the Sanctuary and held on the horns of the altar. Here we see the greatness of Solomon. He could have had his brother killed because of his rebellion. However, he extended his pardon and told him to behave himself his life would depend on his promise to live as a private citizen, being submissive to the new King.
There are lessons for all of us in this chapter. The Lord has a way to humble those who exalt themselves!
Retired GC Vice-president