The First Book of the Kings
Commonly Called the Third Book of the Kings
1 Now king David was old, stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he could not become warm. 2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let them seek out for my lord the king a young virgin, and let her stand before the king, and let her be an attendant on him; and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may become warm. 3 So they sought for a fair maiden throughout all the territory of Israel; and they found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the maiden was exceedingly fair; and she became an attendant on the king, and ministered to him; but the king knew her not. 5 And Adoniyah the son of Chaggith exalted himself, saying, I shall be king: and he procured himself a chariot and horsemen, and fifty men who ran before him. 6 And his father had never grieved him in all his life by saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was of a very goodly form; and his mother had born him after Abshalom. 7 And he had conferences with Joab the son of Zeruyah, and with Ebyathar the priest: and they, following Adoniyah, helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada', and Nathan the prophet, and Shim'i, and Re'i, and the mighty men that belonged to David, were not with Adoniyah. 9 And Adoniyah slaughtered sheep and oxen and fatted cattle by the stone Zocheleth, which is by 'En-rogel; and he invited all his brothers the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants; 10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benayahu, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he invited not. 11 And Nathan spoke unto Bath-sheba' the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adoniyah the son of Chaggith is become king, and [that] David our lord knoweth it not? 12 And now come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thy own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thy hand-maid, saying, Assuredly, Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and only he shall sit upon my throne? why then is Adoniyah become king? 14 And, lo, while thou shalt be yet speaking there with the king, I myself will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. 15 And Bath-sheba' went in unto the king into the chamber, and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering unto the king. 16 And Bath-sheba' bowed, and prostrated herself unto the king: and the king said, What wouldst thou? 17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou thyself didst swear by the Lord thy God unto thy hand-maid, Assuredly, Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and only he shall sit upon my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adoniyah is become king; and now, my lord, O king, thou knowest it not: 19 And he hath slaughtered oxen and fatted cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath invited all the sons of the king, and Ebyathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the army; but Solomon thy servant hath he not invited. 20 And as for thee, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, to tell them, who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it would come to pass, when my lord the king sleepeth with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon may be counted offenders. 22 And, lo, while she was yet speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. 23 And they told the king, saying, Behold, here is Nathan the prophet: and when he was come in before the king, he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou then said, Adoniyah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slaughtered oxen and fatted cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath invited all the king's sons, and the captains of the army, and Ebyathar the priest: and, behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and they say, Long live king Adoniyah. 26 But as for me, me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada', and thy servant Solomon, hath he not invited. 27 Can it be that this hath been done by order of my lord the king, and thou hast not informed thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him? 28 Then answered king David, and said, Call me Bath-sheba'; and she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30 Even as I have sworn unto thee by the Lord the God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and only he shall sit upon my throne in my stead: even so will I certainly do this day. 31 Then did Bath-sheba' bow herself with her face to the earth, and prostrate herself unto the king; and she said, May my lord, the king David, live for ever! 32 And king David said, Call unto me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada'. And they came before the king. 33 And the king said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon my own mule, and conduct him down to Gichon: 34 And let Zadok the priest with Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel; and blow ye with the cornet, and say, Long live king Solomon. 35 Then shall ye go up after him, and he shall come and sit upon my throne; and he shall be king in my stead: and him have I ordained to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benayahu the son of Yehoyada' answered the king, and said, Amen: May thus say the Eternal the God of my lord the king. 37 As the Eternal hath been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, and may he make his throne greater than the throne of my lord the king David. 38 Thereupon Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada', and the Kerethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and conducted him to Gichon. 39 And Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew with the cornet; and all the people said, Long live king Solomon. 40 And all the people went up after him, and the people blew on flutes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth was rent at their noise. 41 And Adoniyah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had just finished eating: and when Joab heard the sound of the cornet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city in an uproar? 42 And while he was yet speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Ebyathar the priest came in: and Adoniyah said [unto him], Come in; for thou art a worthy man, and must bring good tidings. 43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adoniyah, Alas, no; our lord king David hath made Solomon king; 44 And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benayahu the son of Yehoyada', and the Kerethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king's mule; 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him as king on the Gichon; and they are come up from there rejoicing, and the city hath been set in commotion. This is the noise that ye have heard. 46 And Solomon hath also sat on the kingly throne. 47 And also the king's servants are come to bless our lord king David, saying, May God make the name of Solomon more famous than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne: and the king hath bowed himself upon the bed. 48 And also thus hath the king said, Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who hath given [me] this day one who sitteth on my throne, while my eyes see it. 49 And all the guests that were with Adoniyah were terrified, and rose up, and went, every man, on his own way. 50 And Adoniyah was afraid because of Solomon; and he arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told unto Solomon, saying, Behold, Adoniyah feareth king Solomon; and, behold, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he will become a worthy man, there shall not a hair of his fall to the earth; but if any wrong shall be found on him, then shall he die. 53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar; and he came and bowed himself to king Solomon; and Solomon said unto him, Go to thy house.