Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS
FIRST PERIOD, (1015 TO 975 B. C.)
THE KINGDOM UNDER SOLOMON.1
SOLOMON’S ACCESSION TO THE THRONE
CHAP. 1, 2
A.—Adonijah’s attempt to seize the kingdom for himself; Solomon’s elevation to the throne
1 KINGS 1:1–53
1Now king David was old and stricken in years;2 and they covered him with clothes,3 but he gat no heat. 2Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin [virgin damsel];4 and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy5 bosom, that my6 lord the king may get heat. 3So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a [the7] Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
5Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. 7And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel [the well of Rogel], and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: 10but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
11Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 12Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 13Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly [That8] Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?9 14Behold, while thou yet talkest therewith the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm10 thy words.
15And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was 16very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? 17And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord [Jehovah] thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. 18And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now [thou11], my lord the king, thou knowest it not: 19And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon 20thy servant hath he not called. And thou,12 my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my 21lord the king after him. Otherwise [But] it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted13 offenders. 22And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. 23And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet [has come]. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said,14 Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God 26save king Adonijah [let king Adonijah live]. But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 27Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it15 unto thy servant16 who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?
28Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29And the king sware, and said, As the Lord [Jehovah] liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30even as I sware unto thee by the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, saying, Assuredly [That17] Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon 31my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly18 do this day. Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.
32And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord,19 and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon;20 34And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon [let king Solomon live]. 35Then ye shall come up after him, that he may [and he shall] come and sit upon my throne; for [and] he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord [Jehovah] God of my lord the king say so too [so spake21]. 37As the Lord [Jehovah] hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.
38So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.22 39And Zadok the priest took a horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon 40[Let king Solomon live]. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
41And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it, as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? 42And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said unto him,23 Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. 43And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. 44And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule: 45and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon:24 and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. 46And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. 47And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, [Thy25] God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. 48And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it.
49And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up,26 and went every man his way. 50And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king27 Solomon swear unto me to [this28] day that he will not slay his servant with the sword. 52And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. 53So 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 thine house.
Exegetical and Critical
1 Kings 1:1. Now king David was old, &c. 1 Kings 1:1–4 introduce the entire narration following, the central point and chief object of which is Solomon’s ascension to the throne. Adonijah’s endeavor to usurp the throne was the reason why this event took place before the death of David. Adonijah proceeded to carry out his purpose when David was old and infirm, and apparently near his end. The author begins, consequently, with the description of David’s condition, and is reminded particularly of Abishag, his waiting-maid, because Adonijah, after the misadventure of his enterprise, sought her for a wife in order to gain the throne by means of her, and so wrought his destruction (1 Kings 2:13 sq.). The וְ at the beginning has no connection with anything preceding; least of all does it connect our books with the books of Samuel (see Introduction, § 3). Nor is it mechanically retained from a passage of the life of David inserted-here (Keil); but it stands, as elsewhere so often at the beginning of a book (Jos. 1:1; Judges 1:1; 2 Sam. 1:1; Ruth 1:1; Esth. 1:1; Ezra 1:1; Ezek. 1:1; Jon. 1:1), where the first verse forms the antecedent to the second.—When David was old and infirm, his servants said unto him. David was then seventy years of age (comp. 1 Kings 2:11, with 2 Sam. 5:4, 5): that his natural warmth then failed him, was not ex nimio mulierum usu (Le Clerc), but was the result of the “extraordinary cares and conflicts of his earlier life” (Ewald).
1 Kings 1:2–4. Wherefore his servants said unto him, &c. Josephus expressly names them physicians (Ant vii. 14, 3), comp. Gen. 50:2. The remedy which one of them, in the name of the rest, advised when the “clothes” (בְּגָדִים as in 1 Sam. 19:13; Numb. 4:6) were of no use, was known in ancient times. Without skill in infernal remedies, men sought to warm, by means of living vigorous bodies, those whose vital powers were chilled and enfeebled. Galen (Method. Medic. 8, 7) says: “Ex iis vero, quœ extrinsecus applicantur, boni habitus puellus una sit accumbans, ut semper abdomen ejus contingat. Bacon (Hist. Vit. et Nec.): Neque negligenda sunt fomenta ex corporibus vivis. According to Bartholinus (De Morb. Bibl. 9), a Jewish physician advised the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa to allow young and strong boys to lie upon his breast (comp. Trusen, Sitten, Gebr, and Krankh. der Hebrœer, s. 257 sq.). This was not designed hero for the gratification of bodily passion, by means of a “concubine,” as Winer calls Abishag, but before all, for service and assistance, such as was deemed most effective after the unavailing application of the usual remedies to the aged man confined to his bed. The physicians expressly state this, and it agrees with the words: and let her stand before the king, i.e., let her servo him (Gen. 41:46; Deut. 1:38), and be his attendant, i.e., let her wait upon, help him: let her lie in his bosom [not thy, see textual note] that ho may become warm. If by these last words they may have presupposed that he would “know” her, they do not state it as the design, as, moreover, שָׁכַב בְּחֵיק must not be understood necessarily only of cohabitation (comp. 1 Kings 3:20; Ruth 4:16). They sought a beautiful maiden “because she was destined for the king” (Thenius), and they found such at Shunem, a city of the tribe Is-sachar, in the plain of Jezreel, at the foot of the so-called little Hermon (Jos. 19:18; 1 Sam. 28:4). The text states expressly that the king did not know her: she was, therefore, not his concubine, but his waiting-maid and attendant. In a wholly perverse way Josephus, and after him J. D. Michaelis, adduces impotency, in consequence of old ago and weakness, as the reason why he did not know her. In that case the remark would be superfluous (Thenius). It serves, however, “to make it clear how it was that Adonijah could seek Abishag for his wife,” 1 Kings 2:17 (Keil), and go to Bath-sheba for her intercession with Solomon. Older interpreters have maintained that she was the actual wife of David, or at least his concubine, and that the relation also, according to the morality of the time, was unobjectionable. Bat neither hero nor in the second chapter is she so named. Amongst the people she may have well passed for such, since Adonijah, through alliance with her, wished to facilitate his way to the throne (see on 1 Kings 2:13).29
1 Kings 1:5–6. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith, &c. Of the sons of David born at Hebron, Adonijah was the fourth (2 Sam. 3:2–4). The first, Amnon, and the third, Absalom, were already dead, and the second also, Chileab, of whom nothing more is said, had doubtless died much earlier. As the eldest living son, Adonijah believed that he had claims to the throne. Besides this, his beautiful person came into the account, as with Absalom, by which, because it was valued in a ruler (1 Sam. 9:2; 2 Sam. 14:25; 16:7; Ezek. 28:12), he hoped for the favorable regard of the people, יָלְדָּח 1 Kings 1:6 cannot, with some, be translated: “and ho was born unto him after Absalom,” but only, as in Gen. 16:1: “and she had borne him after Absalom,” i.e., after the latter had been borne of Maacah. The alteration of the text into יָלַד—“he had begotten him after Absalom” (Thenius), is wholly unnecessary. The succession to the throne in Israel was certainly hereditary; but no law required that the eldest son, at the time, should be the heir-apparent. From 1 Kings 1:17 and 20, as also from 2 Chron. 11:22, it is clear that it was regarded as the right of the reigning king to determine who amongst his sons should succeed him. He could transmit the kingdom to his first-born or to his eldest son, but he was not obliged (2 Chron. 21:3) thereto. Adonijah was not at all first-born, but only the fourth son. He himself does not take his age into the account, and appeals, in 1 Kings 2:13 sq., not to this, but to the voice of the people who had shown themselves favorably disposed towards him. David’s designation of Solomon as his successor, has its reason in the promise in 2 Sam. 7:12–16; 12:24 sq.;1 Chron. 22:9, 10; he regarded him as the one who, according to the prescript touching a king in Deut. 17:15, was chosen by Jehovah. Of a formal “right” to the throne, possessed by Adonijah, which he thought to “assure “ himself of (Thenius), there can be no discussion. That he knew well the will of his father, by virtue of which Solomon was to be his successor, is clear from the circumstance that he invited all his brothers, and the men who were employed in the royal service, to a feast prepared by him. Solomon only, and the more confidential friends of David, were not invited. His design was to render null the purpose of his father, and to possess himself of the throne, by conspiracy and force, in opposition to his wish. His undertaking was a formal usurpation, and like that of Absalom, to which the whole narrative manifestly points. Upon this account also the text says: ”he exalted himself,” i.e., he over-exalted himself—made himself somewhat that did not become him (נָשָׂא used here as in Prov. 30:32; Numb. 16:3), with this result, that his father left him to his will (מִיָּמָיו means from his, Adonijah’s days, and is not, with Seb. Schmidt, to be understood first of his attempt at royal sovereignty). The moral infirmity of the royal father, coupled now with bodily weakness, induced Adonijah to enter upon his guilty enterprise. Just as Absalom had done (2 Sam. 15:1), he provided himself with what, according to 1 Sam. 8:11, is designated as the first “royal prerogative,” chariots, riders, and body-guardsmen, i.e., a brilliant court, in order thereby to impose upon the multitude.
1 Kings 1:7–10. And he conferred with Joab, &c. Through the commander-in-chief, Adonijah hopes to win over the army, and through the high-priest, to secure also the priesthood. Not the conviction “that he had right on his side” (Thenius), induced both men to enter into his plans. Joab had observed that he was sunken in the good graces of David (1 Kings 2:5), and consequently could not hope for much for himself from Solomon; but from Adonijah he could hope, especially if made king by his assistance. Abiathar seems to have felt himself set aside by David for Zadok, which priest was at the tabernacle with the ark of the covenant at Zion (see on 1 Kings 1:33 and 39), and to have feared that the high-priestly family of Eleazar, to which Zadok belonged, would supplant his own, viz.: the family of Ithamar. Upon Benaiah, comp. 2 Sam. 8:18 and 23:20 sq.; upon Nathan, see 2 Sam. 7 and 12. Shimei is mentioned in 1 Kings 4:18: Josephus names Reiὀ Δαυἶδου φίλος. Doubtless these latter filled high offices. That they were the only surviving brothers of David (Ewald), has nothing probable to rest upon. Upon the heroes of David, comp. 2 Sam. 23:8 sq., and 1 Chron. 11:10 sq. Adonijah, like Absalom (2 Sam. 15:8, 12), prepared a great feast, which was ostensibly also sacrificial, in order to impart to the transaction a religious coloring. The well, i.e., the sources of Rogel (Jos. 15:7; 18:16), lay, according to 2 Sam. 17:17, southeasterly from Jerusalem, in the loveliest, most fruitful plain; according to Josephus, in βασιλικῷ παραδείσῳ; according to Schulz (Jerus., s. 79), “even now a place of recreation for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Thenius derives the name Zoheleth from זחל, to crawl—a rock which one must climb with difficulty. This place was in every respect suited for a public festivity. (Comp. Robinson, Palestine, vol. i. p. 333; Boston, 1868.)
1 Kings 1:11–14. Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba, &c. According to the custom prevailing anciently in the East, on the occasion of the forcible seizure of the throne, of murdering the dethroned ruler, or the opposing pretenders to the crown, with all their nearest relations (Judg. 9:5; 1 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 10:6, 13; 11:1), in the event of the success of Adonijah’s undertaking, there was very much to fear for the life both of Solomon and of his mother. That David knew nothing of the plans of Adonijah, and that Nathan was first informed of them only at the moment of their execution, shows how secretly the affair had been managed. This would have been unnecessary had Adonijah a recognized right to the throne, and had his own conscience been right in the premises. David, moreover, would not have been so very much surprised at his undertaking. The prophet Nathan also deemed it his duty to prevent, as far as possible, a repetition of the history of Absalom. With great wisdom and prudence, he addressed himself to the mother of Solomon, who was especially beloved of David, begging her to apply to the king, with whom rested the right to designate his successor, to represent to him the mortal peril which threatened both her son and herself, and to remind him of his promise to her. When David’s mind should first, by this means, become aroused, than he (the prophet) would, in the name of Jehovah, appear before the king, and place before him his given word (1 Chron. 28:5), in order to incite him to immediate action. “When David first promised Bath-sheba, upon his oath, that her son Solomon should become king, is not known. Obviously it was after the promise he had received in 2 Sam. 7.” (Keil).
1 Kings 1:15–27. And Bath-sheba went in unto the king, &c. The statement that king David Was old, &c, (1 Kings 1:1), explains the words: “into the chamber” (1 Kings 1:15), and means ho was so feeble that he could not leave his sick-room, and needed constant attention.—From 1 Kings 1:20, comp. 27, it is most explicit, once more, that no one entertained the thought that Adonijah, as the eldest surviving son of the king, had a right to the succession; but that the right to decide whether of his sons should be king, remained rather with the king, and that his decision was anxiously waited for.—I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders,i.e., we shall be treated as traitors and offenders guilty of death. After these words Bath-sheba retired, and Nathan, informed in the meanwhile, went unto the king. While the former addressed her statement to the king directly, as a mother, the latter, as prophet, begins with a question in which, upon the one side, a slight reproach was conveyed that David should not have put a stop sooner to the design of Adonijah, and have exposed his own friends to great danger, and on the other side it expressed the confidence that the king would hold to his oath, and carry it out forthwith.—Under “the captains of the host,” 1 Kings 1:25, the servants of the king (the mighty men) in 1 Kings 1:10 are included. Kings used to be saluted by the people with the salutation, Live the king! (1 Sam. 10:24; 2 Sam. 16:16; 2 Kings 11:12; 2 Chron. 23:31.) the order of names in 1 Kings 1:26 contains a climax in which Solomon, as the highest personage, is named last. Nathan’s words are anything also than the expression of wounded vanity—they simply exhibit Adonijah’s hostile sentiment towards the friends of the king, and also the fate in store for them should Adonijah become sovereign.
1 Kings 1:28–38. Then king David answered, &c. The quick and firm resolution of David shows how strong he was yet in mind and will, notwithstanding all his bodily weakness. He repeats his oath, not, however, employing merely the usual formula, as Jehovah liveth! but adding most significantly, who hath redeemed my soul out of all distress. i.e., to the God who has been true to me, and delivered me wonderfully out of so many and great dangers, will I also remain true unto the end. His oath, coming from deep emotion, is likewise a praise and thanksgiving unto Jehovah. Had Adonijah an actual formal right to the throne, such an oath “would have been the greatest sin, in so far as David, while appealing to the divine mercy and grace, would have knowingly trodden under foot the right of his son. the added לְעֹלָם, 1 Kings 1:31, exhibits the vivacity of the thought. Amongst the Persian kings it appears to have been customary (Dan. 3:9; 5:10; 6:22; Neh. 2:3).
1 Kings 1:33–37. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, &c. As no one but the king himself dared ride his mule, the command to let Solomon “ride” thereon was an actual declaration that he was king (Esth. 6:8, 9). Gihon is a place near Jerusalem, on the west side, with a spring of water (2 Chron. 32:30; 33:14). the valley hero situated bears still this name (Robinson, Palest. vol. i., p. 346). It was proper for the anointing to take place at a spot where a large assemblage could be gathered, and whence a solemn entrance into the city, which had no open public square, could be made. Gihon, moreover, was considerably distant from the rock Zoheleth, which was on the southeasterly side of Jerusalem, whore Adonijah had gathered together his adherents, so that a collision would be avoided. According to the account of the rabbins, kings were anointed only at places abounding in water, and upon that account also much frequented. But they erroneously identify Gihon with Siloam, which spring lies southeast of Jerusalem. Thenius prefers the reading גִּבְעוֹן to גִּחוֹן, because the tabernacle was there, from which, according to 1 Kings 1:39, Zadok took the “horn of oil.” But the three hours’ distance of Gibeon from Jerusalem is conclusive against this. Besides, by אֹהֶל, in 1 Kings 1:39, we are not to understand the tabernacle of the covenant, but the tent erected by David upon Zion for the ark of the covenant (2 Sam. 6:17; 1 Chron. 15:1; 16:1). David expressly gave order for the anointing of Solomon, so that nothing appertaining to the investiture of the king should be wanting. the supposition that anointing took place only with those kings “who were not free from exceptions, or who had no historic right to the throne” (Winer and Grotius, after the rabbins), is unfounded, for David, who here ordered the anointing, regarded Solomon in no respect as an exceptional successor. From the fact that he wished this done not simply by the high-priest, but also by the prophet, we learn the high significance he attributed to the prophetic office in Israel. He says purposely, ruler over Israel and over Judah. He had himself, for some time, been ruler only over Judah: then ho had conquered Ephraim, which named itself Israel, and had united it again with Judah. The old disunion had again exhibited itself on the revolt of Absalom (2 Sam. 19:40 sq.); hence, with Adonijah’s like undertaking in view, he deemed it necessary to declare expressly that Solomon should be ruler over Israel and Judah. Benaiah, as the person upon whom the execution of the order devolved, answered David, and declared himself ready to carry it out,—not, as Thenius supposes, to flatter the paternal vanity, but, in the conviction that the king’s command was in conformity with the will of Jehovah, he wished that the divine blessing might rest upon the government of Solomon.
1 Kings 1:38. So Zadok the priest, &c. By the Cherethites and Pelethites we must understand the royal body-guard (Josephus, σωματοφύλακες). On the other hand, the modern interpreters are not agreed whether both expressions are to be under stood ethnographically or appellatively. They who urge the former, appeal to 1 Sam. 30:14, and hold בְּרֵתִי for the designation of the parentstem of the Philistines, which had migrated from Crete, and that פְּלֵתִי, too, is the same with פְּלִשְׁתִי. David, who for a long while had remained amongst the Philistines, had collected his body-guard from amongst foreigners and not from his own people, and afterwards the appellative remained (Movers, Hitzig, Bertheau, Ewald). Others derive כרתי from כרת, and פלתי from the Arabic, cognate with פלם, &c., understanding by the former, lictors, the royal executioners of the punishment of death, and by the latter, runners who, like the ἄγγαροι of the Persians, had to carry commands to remote places (2 Chron. 30:6). we hold to this latter view, along with Gesenius, Keil, and Thenius, for although the plural form ־ִי instead of ־ִים for appellations is certainly unusual, we cannot perceive why two designations should be employed side by side, for one and the same people. (We do not say Britons and Englishmen.) So, then, later the royal body-guard were called הַכָּרִי וְהָרָצִים (comp. 2 Kings 11:4 sq.), i.e., executioners and runners. And last of all, it is highly improbable that David, who was perpetually at war with the Philistines, would have selected his body-guards from them.—The horn of oil out of the tabernacle (1 Kings 1:39). The “oil of holy ointment” (Ex. 30:23 sq.) was preserved in the tabernacle in which the ark of the covenant was kept (1 Chron. 15:1). The pouring of this oil upon the head symbolized the communication of the Spirit (רוּחַ) of Jehovah (1 Sam. 16:13). By anointing, the royal office with which Solomon was to be invested was set forth as essentially theocratic. The king of Israel was, upon this account absolutely the anointed of the Lord (1 Sam. 2:10, 35; 24:7). The taking of the horn from the “tabernacle” does not force us to the conclusion that the act of anointing took place before or at it and at the same time, also at Gibeon, as Thenius maintains. The great joy and jubilation of the whole people shows that they knew nothing of Adonijah’s right to the throne, but that they rather accepted David’s decision, who alone had the right to decide. They saw in Solomon’s elevation a victory over the unauthorized usurper. Flutes were used at festivals, especially at the feast of tabernacles (Isai. 5:12; 30:29; Winer, R. - W.- B., ii. s. 123).30
1 Kings 1:40. The earth rent. So according to the Chald., which explains תִּבָּקַע by זָעַת. The Sept. has ἥχησε; the Vulg. insonuit. Thenius reads תִּתָּקַע, the earth was struck = quaked, which seems unnecessary.
1 Kings 1:41–48. And Adonijah .… heard it, &c. While the assembled guests heard the noise and the cry in the city, the experienced soldier Joab caught the sound of the trumpets especially, and concluded, from this warlike token, nothing good. Jonathan, the son of Abiathar, who here, as in 2 Sam. 15:36 and 17:17 appears as the bringer of news, was probably left behind in the city designedly to observe what was going on. Although scarcely himself a witness of what transpired in the royal palace, he could, nevertheless, as Solomon had already made his entrance, be well informed by eye and car witnesses. Joab named him a valiant man, i.e., a person whoso report could be trusted. The וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ at the end of 1 Kings 1:47, as David was lying upon his bed, certainly cannot mean that ho fell upon his knees; still less is a thankful bow in return to those who were congratulating him meant (Thenius). The king bowed himself with his body as far as he could, before his Lord and God, and spake: Blessed, &c. The וְגַם at the beginning of 1 Kings 1:48 does not indicate a new, different action, but simply states that besides his bowing, he spake also the words which follow.
1 Kings 1:49–53. And all the guests .… were afraid, &c. The panic which forthwith seized Adonijah and his followers, shows that their conscience was not upright in their undertaking, i.e., that they themselves were not convinced of the righteousness of Adonijah’s claims, otherwise they would, with Joab at their head, have made a stand, and not scattered at once. To save his life, which he, as a usurper of the throne, believed he had forfeited, Adonijah fled to the altar, which stood before the tabernacle upon Zion (1 Kings 3:15; 2 Sam. 6:17). He laid hold of the horns of the altar, as did Joab afterwards (1 Kings 2:28), and appealed thereby to the pardoning power and grace of Jehovah (comp. upon the significance of the act, my Symbolik des Mos. Cult., i. s. 473 sq.). This asylum was ordained originally for unintentional man-slayers (Exod. 21:12sq); but later on it appears to have been made use of by persons who feared punishment by death. Solomon regarded Adonijah’s flight to the horns of the altar as a confession of his guilt and repentance, and he exercised an act of clemency which could only produce the most favorable impression upon the people. Yet ho adds a warning in the words: Go to thine house, i.e., not: Do not come into my presence (2 Sam. 14:24), but: Keep thyself quiet, live as a private person, then not the least harm shall befall thee.
Historical and Ethical
1. The entire first chapter turns upon the eleven Hon of Solomon to the throne, which is narrated so circumstantially with its immediate occasion and all the attending circumstances, because, as has already been shown in the Introduction, § 3, it constitutes in the highest degree a weighty moment in the development of the history of the Old Testament theocracy. With it begins the period of a blooming of the kingdom of Israel which it never had before, and which never came again. Solomon thereby became elevated to the type of a great, mighty, wise, and prosperous king, which lie passes for even to this day in the Orient. The prophets even depict the glory and happiness of the Messianic kingdom with expressions which are borrowed from the description of the kingdom of Israel under Solomon. (Comp. Mich. 4:4, and Zach. 3:10, with 1 Kings 5:5.) He is, according to his name, the prince of peace, κατ’ ἐξοχήν, and the beloved of God (2 Sam. 12:25), designations which by the prophets and in the New Testament are applied, in like manner, to the Messiah the son of David in the most eminent sense (Is. 9:5, 6; Eph. 1:6; 2:14; Col. 1:13). The reception of “The Song of Solomon” into the Old Testament canon shows that to the Jewish synagogue the typical relation was not unknown, and in the Christian Church it has always been maintained.
2. The brief introductory narrative, 1 Kings 1:1–4, has been found in many respects very scandalous. This has arisen from the wholly false presupposition that it treats of the gratification of the lustfulness of a worn-out old man by means of a concubine. But of this the text declares so little, that it rather states explicitly, David did not know Abishag. The means winch the physicians—not he himself—selected to restore to him his lost natural warmth, were, if not unheard of, at least morally questionable, yea, from a Christian point of view, decidedly objectionable. That they did not hesitate to recommend it, has indeed its ground, not in conscious immorality and frivolity, but in the perverted views prevalent throughout the entire ancient Orient upon the relation of the sexes, or in the deeply-rooted lack of chastity, which even the stern lawgiver Moses was not able to put an end to. Hence polygamy was not only permitted, but it was regarded by kings as somewhat belonging to their royal estate, and it never occurred to any one to object to them upon that account. (Comp. 2 Sam. 5:13; 1 Kings 11:3; 2 Chron. 11:21; Judges 8:30.) This explains the reason why David did not reject the medical advice, and why the matter did not cause any scandal among the people, why even Bath-sheba herself did not feel aggrieved (1 Kings 1:15). Whatsoever the narrative has which is repulsive to us, does not adhere to a particular person nor to this particular instance, but to the general lack of conjugal chastity in the Old Testament.
3. Adonijah’s undertaking, in which there is so unmistakably a reference to Absalom’s, is to be understood throughout as blameworthy. He knew that the decision upon the succession to the throne depended upon his father, and that he had already selected Solomon. He knew also the tragical end of Absalom’s attempt. Nevertheless, he would not be warned by it, but set himself up in the way of self over-estimation, making boast of his beautiful figure. King will he be at any cost. He makes his preparations without his father’s consent, takes advantage of his infirmity and weakness, and secretly enters into combinations with the most influential men who belonged, more or less, to the class of malcontents. He allows himself to become impatient through his lust for ruling, and to rush into a measure in every respect premature. Upon the first intelligence, nevertheless, of Solomon’s accession, a shameful panic seizes him. All courage to risk the least thing for his cause fails him. The whole crowd of his followers scatters like dust, and he himself, in a cowardly way, seeks to save only his life. He anxiously flies to a place of refuge, clings to it, calls himself Solomon’s “servant,” and salutes him as king. But, scarcely is the danger past, he breaks his pledged word to behave quietly, and starts anew in secret machinations to reach his goal, He flatters the mother of Solomon with hypocritical humility, and seeks to move the heart of the wife (see on 1 Kings 2:13 sq.). Rightly does Ewald say of him: “A man who, according to all the known features of our memorial of him, has much that resembles Absalom, fine form, airy, and ambitious of power, yet inwardly scarcely fit for governing; of an obdurate mind, and yet afraid to venture upon open battle. That he was no proper sovereign for such a kingdom as Israel then was, must be obvious to intelligent men.”
4. Nathan hero, as always (2 Sam. 7, 12), appears right genuinely as prophet. When there is an attempt to bring to completion human self-willed beginnings over-against the counsel and will of God, where the safety and well-being of the chosen people were at stake, then it was the calling of the prophet to interfere, counselling and reminding, warning and punishing. It was not so much personal friendship for David, and love for his pupil Solomon, as rather, and before all, the known will of Jehovah, which had determined that the latter should be king, that induced him to take the step which would have had the most disastrous consequences for himself, yea, might have cost him his life, had Adonijah become king. It was not Zadok, nor Benaiah, nor any of the other friends of David, who brought to nought the ill-starred enterprise. But the same prophet, through whom the great promise had been made to David in respect of the succession; by the providence of God, averted also that which interfered with the fulfilment of the promise. And without his prompt, spirited interference there would have been for Israel no Solomon-era, no glorious age of the theocratic house. He proceeded in the matter with great wisdom and circumspection. First he allows the mother of Solomon to prepare the way, conciliating the infirm and feeble king, then he enters before him himself, with all deference indeed, nevertheless at the same time earnestly reminding and slightly reproving him, and calls upon him as a man and servant of God to fulfil the promise ho had given unto the Lord.
5. The conduct of David, when ho learns what is going on, corresponds fully with the divine will and with his great calling as the founder of the theocratic kingdom, and of the new dynasty which is to sit forever upon the throne of Israel. He does not stagger irresolutely hither and thither, like a sick, feeble old man without any will of his own, but, as if ho were still the strong hero, the undismayed, determined, energetic man, such as in his best years he had so often shown himself amid dangers and in critical situations, he raises himself from his sick-bed, swears to observe his word, issues his orders, and puts them into immediate execution. This resolution and firmness could not have proceeded possibly from their opposite, from an inward infirmity, i.e., from compliance with the supplication of a wife, nor from dislike of Adonijah, whom ho had never interfered with (1 Kings 1:6), but had heretofore always indulged too much. It is to be explained only by his faith in the promise of Jehovah, by his firm certainty and assurance that Solomon was appointed by Jehovah to be his successor, and that through him as well his own “house,” as the house of Jehovah, which it was permitted himself no longer to take care of, should be built up (2 Sam. 7:11–13). Upon this account also the Epistle to the Hebrews mentions him expressly in the list of the men who have held the faith, and obtained the promise (1 Kings 11:32). How could Ho have sworn by Him who had “redeemed his soul out of all distress,” and then, in deep humility, have praised and glorified Him, had ho been conscious of any injustice towards Adonijah, and had not, in the prosperous issue of his commands, beheld a gracious guidance of the God of Israel? It is clear that under such a man as Adonijah, who was lacking in all the qualities requisite for the head of the theocracy, the kingdom never would have reached the bloom which it reached under Solomon. It would have been the greatest misfortune for Israel had he ascended the throne, while, viewed apart from the promise, the high and extraordinary endowment of Solomon was a clear indication of Providence that he alone of all his brothers was fitted to preserve, indeed to increase, what David had acquired with indescribable toil and great conflict, under the visible assistance of God. David did not deprive Adonijah of what rightly belonged to him, he only did not bestow upon him what he craved in his foolish arrogance and ambition, to the detriment of the kingdom.
6. Of Solomon himself we learn here only this one thing, that he instantly allowed Adonijah to go free, who, by his flight to a place of refuge, was self-convicted of guilt, and, according to the custom in such cases, feared punishment by death. His first act as king was significantly an act of magnanimity and grace, which appears all the more worthy of admiration when we remember “that Adonijah, had ho won, would certainly have destroyed his brother and all his chief supporters” (Ewald), as both Nathan and Bath-sheba undoubtedly expected (1 Kings 1:12, 21).
7. The new historic criticism sees “in our narrative, distinctly, the fully natural machinery of human actions” (Thenius), a “court-cabal,” the “astute manager” of which is Nathan (Köster). “Bath-sheba sought to secure the crown for her son Solomon, although, after Absalom’s death, it devolved upon the fourth son of David, Adonijah, whom Hagith had borne to him. One of the two priests at the ark of the covenant, Zadok, supported Bath-sheba’s designs, just as Nathan the prophet…… Both could expect from the young Solomon a greater complaisance towards priestly influence than from the more independent Adonijah, especially if they helped the young man, against right, to the throne. It was characteristic of Bath-sheba to induce David to swear by Jehovah that Solomon, instead of Adonijah, should be his successor. But Adonijah was resolved not to allow himself to be robbed of his good right through an intrigue of the harem… As David was sinking upon his death-bed, Adonijah believed that he must anticipate his enemies,” &c. (Duncker, Geschichte des Alterthums i. s. 385). Nothing is more certain than that the biblical author did not look upon the matter in such light. This whole exposition is a distinct example of the mode of treating biblical history already described in the Introduction, § 5. It abandons the standpoint of the narrator, arranges the history man-fashion, and then, as is the case here, perverts it into its opposite. The divine promise becomes a fine-spun harem intrigue, the “great prophet,” as Ewald also calls him, becomes the intriguing manager of a court-cabal, the true priest is reduced to the level of a self-seeker, the firm believing king, the man after God’s heart, the play-ball of a woman and of a court-party, the greatest and wisest king of Israel is a throne-robber, and on the other hand the airy, incapable, deceitful, and cowardly usurper Adonijah becomes a martyr of the right and the unfortunate victim of impure machinations. This entire perverted interpretation rests upon the presupposition, already sufficiently proved groundless, that Adonijah, was “the rightful heir,” and falls to pieces with it.
8. [“It is true that Adonijah was David’s eldest son now remaining, and therefore might seem to challenge the justest title to the crown; but the kingdom of Israel, in so late an erection, had not yet known the right of succession. God himself, that had ordained the government, was as yet the immediate elector; He fetched Saul from among the stuff, and David from the sheep-fold, and has now appointed Solomon from the ferule to the sceptre.”—Bp. Hall, Contemplations, Bk. xvii., Contemplation i.—E. H.]
Homiletical and Practical
1 Kings 1:1–4. Weakness and infirmity in old age are: (a) the universal human lot to which we must all consider ourselves appointed (Ps. 90:10); (b) they should loosen the bands which hold us to the temporal and perishable, and ripen us for eternity (2 Cor. 4:17 sq.).—WÜRT. SUMM.: They who, through many a cross, and sorrow, and anxiety, expend their bodily powers, should be all the more patient, and console themselves here with the example of David, and know that among the saints of God, also, feebleness of body is found.—We may, and should, follow advice for the relief of our distress and the preservation of our life, in so far as it does not militate against the commands of God; for the Lord says, “it is better,” &c. (Matt. 18:8).—Old and sick people should, and it is expected of them as a work well pleasing to God that they bear this with a willing heart, with patience, self-denial, and sacrificing love.
1 Kings 1:5–10. Adonijah’s attempt to obtain the crown: (a) the ground upon which it rests (upon self-assertion, pride, lust of power, 1 Kings 1:5, but God resisteth the proud, and a haughty spirit goeth before a fall: upon outward qualities, age, and beautiful person, 1 Kings 1:6, but 1 Sam. 16:7; Ps. 147:10, 11); (b) the means which he employed (he seeks to impose upon the people by chariots and horsemen, but Ps. 20:8; he conspires with false and faithless men, but they forsake him in the hour of danger, 1 Kings 1:49; Ps. 101:6, 7; he prepares for appearance’ sake a religious festival, 1 Kings 1:9, but 2 Mos. 20:7).
1 Kings 1:5. The effort after high things (Rom. 12:16).—How many a person thinks: I will become a great personage, a man of authority and influence, and then scruples at nothing in order to attain his goal. But that which is written in 1 Cor. 7:20, 24 applies to the individual as well as to entire classes.—WÜRT. SUMM.: Let no one attempt to take an office against God and His will; “and no man taketh this honor unto himself but he that is called of God” (Heb. 5:4).
1 Kings 1:6. The father who allows his son to go on in his pride and in worldly or sinful conduct, and shuts his eyes, not to trouble him, must expect that the son will trouble him and embitter the evening of his life. It is the right and duty of every father to speak to his son about his conduct even when he is no longer a child, and to ask, Why dost thou so? A perverted parental love is self-punished, Prov. 29:17; Sir. 30:9.
1 Kings 1:7. High personages always find people for the execution of their sinful plans, who, from subserviency or desire of reward, from ambition or revenge, will act as counsellors and agents; but they have their reward, and for the most part end with terror.
1 Kings 1:8. With those who are meditating treason and destruction we should never make common cause (Prov. 24:21, 22).
1 Kings 1:9,10. SEILER: He who will not abide his time until God himself shall elevate him, will fall even when he attempts to rise. He who gives the crowd wherewith to eat and to drink, who prepares for them festivities and pleasures (panem et circenses), makes himself popular and beloved for the moment; but all who allow themselves to be gained in such way, to-day shout Hosanna! and to-morrow, Crucify! By not inviting Solomon, Adonijah betrayed his plans, and himself gave the occasion for their frustration (Ps. 69:23; Rom. 11:9). It is a rule of the divine world-government that the cause of God, through that whereby its enemies seek to thwart and hinder it, is only so much the more promoted.
1 Kings 1:11–27. Nathan, the type of a true prophet: (a) through his watchfulness and fidelity (Ezek. 33:7), he is not silent when it was his duty to open his mouth (Is. 56:10); (b) through his wisdom and gentleness (Matt. 10:16); (c) through his earnestness and courage (Matt. 10:28; see Histor. and Ethical). How grand is this Nathan, how reproving to all who sleep when they should be wakeful, who are dumb when they should counsel, who flatter when they should warn.
1 Kings 1:11. It is a solemn duty not to conceal what can prove an injury and evil to an individual or to a community, but to expose it at the right time and in the right place, so that the injury may be averted.
1 Kings 1:12. What Nathan here says to Bath-sheba, Christ and his apostles, in an infinitely higher sense, say to us all, especially to every father and to every mother. He who has come into the world to deliver and to save our souls, cries, Come unto me, &c. (Matt. 11:28, 29), and the apostle advises the jailor, who asks in terror and alarm, What shall I do to be saved? i.e., delivered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, so shall thou and thy house be delivered. How many take kindly the good advice of a wise man, for themselves and for their children, in their earthly and outward affairs, but who wish to hear nothing of the best advice which shall bring blessedness to their souls.
1 Kings 1:14. The purity of the counsel is confirmed by the accompanying result.
1 Kings 1:15–21. Bath-sheba before the king. She reminds him of his duty (a) towards God, before whom he had sworn (what one has vowed before God, according to God’s will, one must hold to under all circumstances; of this one must remind kings and princes); (b) towards the people whose well-being and whose woe were in his keeping (the great responsibility of him towards whom all eyes are directed); (c) towards the wife and son whose happiness and life were at stake (woe to the father through whose guilt wife and children, after his death, fall into contempt and wretchedness).
1 Kings 1:22–27. As Nathan does not hold back from the fulfilment of his holy calling through consideration of the danger threatening his life, and of the illness of the king, so David is deterred in nothing when it was said, Behold the prophet! from listening to the man of God, though his word, like a two-edged sword, may pierce through his soul. To have a Nathan by one’s side, who refers at the right time and in the right way to the will of God, is the choicest blessing for a prince. “He who fears God lays hold of such a friend” (Eccles. 6:16).—The ministers of God and the preachers of His word should not indeed mingle in worldly business and political affairs, but their calling always requires them to testify against uproar and sedition, for he who resisteth the powers, resisteth the ordinance of God (Rom. 13:2).—With questions which lead to a knowledge of self, he who has the care of souls often accomplishes more than by direct reproaches and disciplinary speeches.
1 Kings 1:28–37. David’s decision: (a) His oath (1 Kings 1:29, 30) is an evidence of his firm faith in the divine promise; (b) his command is a living proof of the truth of the word, Is. 40:31, and Ps. 92:15 sq. (see Histor. and Ethical).
1 Kings 1:30 sq. The word of a prince must stand firm and not be broken. Happy for the king who, under all circumstances, observes what he has promised. Fidelity in high places meets with fidelity from those below.
1 Kings 1:36. Where the government is in firm hands there is found also a willing, joyous obedience. Upon God’s blessing all is founded. Without God’s Amen our Amen avails nothing. Loyal subjects know that they can wish for nothing greater and better for their prince and ruler than that God, at all times, may be with him.
1 Kings 1:38–40. The typical in Solomon’s elevation to the sovereignty: (a) He is established in spite of all machinations against him (Ps. 2:2; Heb. 5:5); (b) he is anointed with oil from the sanctuary (Is. 61:1; Luke 4:18); (c) he makes his entry as prince of peace amid the jubilee and praise of the people (Zach. 9:9; Matt. 21:1 sq.).—STARKE: My Christian! reflect here upon the trumpet-sounding and the jubilee-shout, when the heavenly Solomon shall take possession of his kingdom (Rev. 11:16), and see to it that thou also mayest be amongst those who have part in this joy.
1 Kings 1:41–49. The frustration of the schemes of Adonijah (Job 5:12): (a) The intelligence he obtains; (b) the effect produced by this intelligence. To an evil conscience (Joab) the trumpets which announce victory and joy are judgment-trumpets, which sound forth, Thou art weighed and found wanting. The same message in which David expresses himself, Blessed be, &c., 1 Kings 1:48, works terror and alarm in Adonijah and his party. So still ever sounds the “good message” that the true Prince of peace, Christ, has won the victory, and is seated at the right hand of God, which to some is for thanksgiving and praise, so that they support themselves upon it, but to others it is a stone of stumbling, so that they fall and are confounded (Is. 8:14; Luke 2:34).—In the intoxication of sinful pleasure and of God-forgetting, frivolous jubilation, the holy God sends, oftentimes, the thunder and lightning of his judgment, so that the besotted and maddened may thereby be rendered sober and made to experience that there is an holy God in heaven who will not allow himself to be mocked. When Adonijah held a great festivity he had plenty of friends; but when the messenger came with evil tidings, no one, not even the bold Joab, stood by him; they all forsook him (Eccles. 6:10–12).
1 Kings 1:50–53. Adonijah covered himself with shame (Prov. 11:2): (a) He was afraid of Solomon (he who does not fear the Lord, must at last become afraid of men). How miserable the contrast between the young, haughty Adonijah and the aged, feeble, but faithful-hearted and humble David; (b) he flies to the horns of the altar and begs for mercy: (he who said, I will be king, calls himself Solomon’s servant. Ostentation and boasting, as a rule, end in cowardice and cringing. He can bring down him who is proud (Dan. 4:34). In the old covenant the horns of the altar were the places of refuge for those who had forfeited life and sought grace; in the new covenant God has directed us to a horn of salvation (Luke 1:69), the cross of the Lord, which all must seize and hold fast to who seek forgiveness and grace, and wish to pass from death unto life. That is the only and true asylum; he who flees thither avails himself of the word of the great Prince of peace, Go in peace, thy faith hath saved thee. The most beautiful prerogative of the crown is to do mercy for judgment; but mercy must never be for a covering of iniquity. Hence by the side of the word: Thy sins are forgiven thee! stands the other word: Sin no more! Kings and princes do well when, after Solomon’s example, they begin their reign with an act of grace.
[BP. HALL. “Outward happiness and friendship are not known until our last act. In the impotency potency of either our revenge or recompense it will easily appear who loved us for ourselves, who for their own ends.” Suitable for 1 Kings 1:7.
BP. HALL, for 1 Kings 1:41. “No doubt at this feast there was many a health drunken to Adonijah, many a confident boast of their prospering design, many a scorn of the despised faction of Solomon; and now, for their last dish (1 Kings 1:49) is served up astonishment, and fearful expectation of a just revenge.—E. H.]
[I am indebted to my friend, Frederic Gardiner, D. D., Professor in the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown, Conn. for the accompanying textual revision and original grammatical notes.—E. H.]
1 Kings 1:1.—[בָּא בַיָּמִים always connected with זָקֵן (Gen. 18:11; 24:1; Josh. 13:1 bis, 23:1, 2) exactly corresponds to the phrase in A. V.
1 Kings 1:1.—[בְּגָדִים bed-clothes (cf. 1 Sam. 19:13), not garments.
1 Kings 1:2.—[The translation of נַעֲרָה in 1 Kings 1:3 and 4 may well stand here also.
1 Kings 1:2.—In place of the suffix ךָ the Sept. has αὐτοῦ and the Vulg. suo, which Thenius prefers to the reading of the text—Bähr.
1 Kings 1:2.—[The Alex. Sept., Syr., and Vulg., read our.
1 Kings 1:3.—[The definite article should be expressed as in 1 Kings 1:15.
1 Kings 1:13.—[The particle כִּי, as is recognized in all the V V., can hardly give the emphasis of the Eng. assuredly.
1 Kings 1:14.—[Many MSS. and VV. prefix and.
1 Kings 1:14.—[מִלֵּאתִי אֶת־דְּבָרָיִךְ not complete, fill out, but, as in A. V., confirm; Chald. אֲקַיֵּם, Sept., πληρώσω. The phrase is used of the fulfilment of divine utterances. cf. 2:27; 8:15, 24.
1 Kings 1:18.—All the VV. and 200 MSS. [and the early editions] read וְאַתָּה instead of וְעַתָּה, as the connection requires.—Bähr.
1 Kings 1:20.—Instead of וְאַתָּה the Chaldee [Syr. and Vulg.], and some [many] MSS. have וְעַתָּה, which Thenius considers right. On the other hand, Maurer remarks that the pronoun stands hero first, just as in Gen. 49:8, with emphasis, instead of the suffix.—Bähr.
1 Kings 1:21.—[Counted is implied by the connection, but not expressed in the Hbr.
1 Kings 1:24.—[אַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ, the question is indicated only by the tone.
1 Kings 1:27.—[The pronoun it is better omitted, as in the Hbr. and all VV.
1 Kings 1:27.—The k’ri has עבדך, also nearly all the translations have the singular; but the reading of the text is preferred.—Bähr. [It is that of many MSS.]
1 Kings 1:30.—[See note 1 Kings 1:13.
1 Kings 1:30.—[Hbr. and VV. omit certainly.
1 Kings 1:33.—[אֲדֹנֵיכֶם in the pl. is rightly rendered by the sing. as referring to David—not to David and Solomon.
1 Kings 1:33.—[The Chaldee and Syr. read Siloa; Arabic, fountain of Siloa.
1 Kings 1:36.—[The words say so too at the end of this ver. in the A. V. should be omitted; כֵּן יֹאמַר יְהוָֹה is to be taken historically, not optatively. Three MSS. followed by the Syr. and Arab, read יעשה for יאמר.
1 Kings 1:38.—[The Chald., Syr., and Arab., make the same change here as in 1 Kings 1:33.
1 Kings 1:42.—[The words unto him are unnecessary; not contained in the Hbr. nor the V V.
1 Kings 1:45.—[As. in 1 Kings 1:33 and 38.
1 Kings 1:47.—The k’tib [אלהיך] is plainly preferable to the k’ri אלהים—Bähr [and is followed by the Syriac].
1 Kings 1:49.—[The Vatican (not Alex.) Sept. omits and rose up.
1 Kings 1:51.—[The Vatican (not Alex.) Sept. omits king.
1 Kings 1:51.—[Instead of כיום some MSS. read היום, which has been followed apparently by the A. V.—F. G.]
[The allegorical interpretation of Jerome makes the Shunammite damsel the ever-virgin wisdom of God so extolled by Solomon (sapientia quœ numquam senescit, Epist. § 2; ad Nepotianum, chap. 4; Opera, i. p. 288). But in another passage Jerome understands the story literally, and enumerates this relation among the sins and imperfections of David, which would not be allowed under the gospel dispensation (contra Jovin. l. i., chap. xxiv., tom. i. 274).—P. S.]
The translator, after some hesitation, have adopted the above as a caption. It is not a translation of the author’s heading. He has It “heilsgeschichtliche,” which expresses the conception of the historical process of healing or salvation. It is a term for which we have no available equivalent In English, although the thought embodied by the word is clear enough.]
Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.