April 4: Day 94

Video: Kings

Reading: 1 Kings 1-3, Psalm 94 (ESV)



1 Kings 1

David in His Old Age

1Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. 2Therefore his servants said to him, "Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm." 3So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King

5Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king." And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, "Why have you done thus and so?" He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom. 7He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. 8But Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei and David's mighty men were not with Adonijah.

9Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent's Stone, which is beside En-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the mighty men or Solomon his brother.

Nathan and Bathsheba Before David

11Then Nathan said to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, "Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king and David our lord does not know it? 12Now therefore come, let me give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13Go in at once to King David, and say to him, 'Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying, "Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne"? Why then is Adonijah king?' 14Then while you are still speaking with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm your words."

15So Bathsheba went to the king in his chamber (now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending to the king). 16Bathsheba bowed and paid homage to the king, and the king said, "What do you desire?" 17She said to him, "My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, 'Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.' 18And now, behold, Adonijah is king, although you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19He has sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, Abiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but Solomon your servant he has not invited. 20And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders."

22While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23And they told the king, "Here is Nathan the prophet." And when he came in before the king, he bowed before the king, with his face to the ground. 24And Nathan said, "My lord the king, have you said, 'Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne'? 25For he has gone down this day and has sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, 'Long live King Adonijah!' 26But me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he has not invited. 27Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not told your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"

Solomon Anointed King

28Then King David answered, "Call Bathsheba to me." So she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29And the king swore, saying, "As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, 'Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,' even so will I do this day." 31Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and paid homage to the king and said, "May my lord King David live forever!"

32King David said, "Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada." So they came before the king. 33And the king said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, 'Long live King Solomon!' 35You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah." 36And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, "Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37As the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David."

38So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule and brought him to Gihon. 39There Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, "Long live King Solomon!" 40And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.

41Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, "What does this uproar in the city mean?" 42While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said, "Come in, for you are a worthy man and bring good news." 43Jonathan answered Adonijah, "No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king, 44and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites. And they had him ride on the king's mule. 45And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46Solomon sits on the royal throne. 47Moreover, the king's servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, 'May your God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne.' And the king bowed himself on the bed. 48And the king also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted someone to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.'"

49Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way. 50And Adonijah feared Solomon. So he arose and went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51Then it was told Solomon, "Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for behold, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.'" 52And Solomon said, "If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die." 53So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, "Go to your house."


1 Kings 2

David's Instructions to Solomon

1When David's time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2"I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.'

5"Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet. 6Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7But deal loyally with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.' 9Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol."

The Death of David

10Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon's Reign Established

13Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, "Do you come peacefully?" He said, "Peacefully." 14Then he said, "I have something to say to you." She said, "Speak." 15He said, "You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother's, for it was his from the Lord. 16And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me." She said to him, "Speak." 17And he said, "Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife." 18Bathsheba said, "Very well; I will speak for you to the king."

19So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. 20Then she said, "I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me." And the king said to her, "Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you." 21She said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife." 22King Solomon answered his mother, "And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my older brother, and on his side are Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah." 23Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, "God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life! 24Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today." 25So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.

26And to Abiathar the priest the king said, "Go to Anathoth, to your estate, for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because you shared in all my father's affliction." 27So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28When the news came to Joab—for Joab had supported Adonijah although he had not supported Absalom—Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the altar. 29And when it was told King Solomon, "Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar," Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, "Go, strike him down." 30So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, "The king commands, 'Come out.'" But he said, "No, I will die here." Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, "Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me." 31The king replied to him, "Do as he has said, strike him down and bury him, and thus take away from me and from my father's house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32The Lord will bring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But for David and for his descendants and for his house and for his throne there shall be peace from the Lord forevermore." 34Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down and put him to death. And he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

36Then the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37For on the day you go out and cross the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die. Your blood shall be on your own head." 38And Shimei said to the king, "What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do." So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei's servants ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. And when it was told Shimei, "Behold, your servants are in Gath," 40Shimei arose and saddled a donkey and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants. Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41And when Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, "Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, 'Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die'? And you said to me, 'What you say is good; I will obey.' 43Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I commanded you?" 44The king also said to Shimei, "You know in your own heart all the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will bring back your harm on your own head. 45But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever." 46Then the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.


1 Kings 3

Solomon's Prayer for Wisdom

1Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh's daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.

3Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." 6And Solomon said, "You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?"

10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."

15And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon's Wisdom

16Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17The one woman said, "Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne." 22But the other woman said, "No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours." The first said, "No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine." Thus they spoke before the king.

23Then the king said, "The one says, 'This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead'; and the other says, 'No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.'" 24And the king said, "Bring me a sword." So a sword was brought before the king. 25And the king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other." 26Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death." But the other said, "He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him." 27Then the king answered and said, "Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother." 28And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.


Psalm 94

TheLordWill Not Forsake His People


1 O Lord, God of vengeance,

O God of vengeance, shine forth!

2 Rise up, O judge of the earth;

repay to the proud what they deserve!

3 O Lord, how long shall the wicked,

how long shall the wicked exult?

4 They pour out their arrogant words;

all the evildoers boast.

5 They crush your people, O Lord,

and afflict your heritage.

6 They kill the widow and the sojourner,

and murder the fatherless;

7 and they say, "The Lord does not see;

the God of Jacob does not perceive."

8 Understand, O dullest of the people!

Fools, when will you be wise?

9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear?

He who formed the eye, does he not see?

10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?

He who teaches man knowledge—

11 the Lord—knows the thoughts of man,

that they are but a breath.

12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,

and whom you teach out of your law,

13 to give him rest from days of trouble,

until a pit is dug for the wicked.

14 For the Lord will not forsake his people;

he will not abandon his heritage;

15 for justice will return to the righteous,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who rises up for me against the wicked?

Who stands up for me against evildoers?

17 If the Lord had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

18 When I thought, "My foot slips,"

your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

19 When the cares of my heart are many,

your consolations cheer my soul.

20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you,

those who frame injustice by statute?

21 They band together against the life of the righteous

and condemn the innocent to death.

22 But the Lord has become my stronghold,

and my God the rock of my refuge.

23 He will bring back on them their iniquity

and wipe them out for their wickedness;

the Lord our God will wipe them out.