David had become old and could not get warm, so his servants provide a beautiful girl named Abishag to keep him warm. The scripture says that he was only “of service” to him for that purpose, and attending to him (verse 4). But she will become important later because of this service anyway.
David’s son Adonijah was the next one born after Absalom (verse 6), and must have supposed that entitled him to succeed David. Verse 5 says that he “exalted himself, saying ‘I will be king.'” Much different from the humble manner in which David patiently waited – all the time showing respect for “the Lord’s anointed,” Saul. And the chariots and horsemen, as well as men to run before him, remind us very much of Absalom. Verse 6 says that David never questioned or rebuked him, which is unfortunately consistent with his negligence as a father (2 Samuel 13:21-22, for example). In verses 9-10, Adonijah only invited royal officials to his feast and sacrificing ceremony – carefully excluding David’s “mighty men” and his brother, Solomon.
Nathan has enough of this, and talks to Bathsheba. One at a time, they let him know that Adonijah has done this under his very nose, even though David had already determined that Solomon would be king. So they challenged him to do something about it. David finally takes action and has Solomon anointed as king, giving explicit instructions on parading him on David’s own mule with much fanfare (verses 32-35).
When Solomon shows up announced, the guests scattered, leaving Adonijah (verse 49). At this point they were guilty of treason without question. The matter is settled though, and Solomon showed forgiveness and mercy – but strength as well, with a warning accompanying the forgiving gesture in verse 52.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.