1 Kings 1:17
"My lord," she replied, "you yourself swore to your maidservant by the LORD your God: 'Surely your son Solomon will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne.'
AdonijahA. Williamson.1 Kings 1:5-53
Ambition, DestructivePlutarch.1 Kings 1:5-53
UsurpationJ. Parker, D. D.1 Kings 1:5-53
When the Play is OutT. Adams.1 Kings 1:5-53

It is a notorious fact that the sons of devout men sometimes prove a curse to their parents, and bring dishonor on the cause of God. When sin entered the world, it caused the earth, on which flowers had aforetime blossomed, to bring forth thorns and briars. This is a picture of a sad truth, known in the first home, and in many another since. Eve rejoiced over the fair child she had "gotten from the Lord," and did not suspect that passions were sleeping within him which would nerve his arm to strike the fatal blow which slew his brother and destroyed his mother's peace. Such sorrow has been experienced in subsequent history. Isaac's heart was rent by the deceit of Jacob and the self will of Esau. Jacob found his own sin repeated against himself, for he who had deceived his father when he was old and blind, suffered an agony of grief for years, because he was falsely told by his sons that Joseph was dead. Probably few have had more domestic sorrow than David. He experienced, in its bitterest form, the grief of a parent who has wished that before his son had brought such dishonour on the home, he had been, in the innocence of his childhood, laid to rest beneath the daisies. Of David's sons, Amnon, the eldest, after committing a hideous sin, had been assassinated by the order of Absalom, his brother. Absalom himself had rebelled against his father, and had been killed by Joab, as he hung helpless in the oak. Chileab (or Daniel) was dead. And now of the fourth son, the eldest surviving, Adonijah, this sad story is told. Adonijah's sin seems so unnatural at first sight that we must try and discover the sources whence so bitter and desolating a stream flowed. We shall find them in THREE ADVERSE INFLUENCES AROUND HIM AT HOME, which are hinted at in our text.

I. ADONIJAH INHERITED A CONSTITUTIONAL TENDENCY AMBITION AND SELF CONCEIT. His association with Absalom is not without significance. The two brothers were alike in their sin and in the tendencies which led to it. These were inherited,

(1) The law that "like produces like," which is proved to demonstration in the breeding of lower animals (illustrations from horses bred for speed or endurance, dogs for fleetness or scent, pigeons for swiftness or beauty, etc.), asserts itself in man. Not only are physical qualities inherited, so that we recognise a "family likeness" between children of the same parents; but mental qualities are inherited too; statesmanship, heroism, or artistic gift, reappearing in the same family for generations. Moral tendencies are transmitted too; and Scripture exemplifies it. If Isaac is so luxurious that he must have his savoury dish, we do not so much wonder that Esau, his son sells his birthright for a mess of pottage. If Rebekah, like Laban her brother, is greedy and cunning, her son Jacob inherits her tendency, and must live a life of suffering, and present many an agonising prayer before he is set free from his besetting sin. So is it still. The drunkard gives to his offspring a craving for drink, which is a disease. In more senses than one, "The evil that men do lives after them." Surely, then, when not only future happiness, but the destiny of children depends on the choice of a life partner, there should be regard paid not merely to physical beauty, or mental endowment, or social position, but, above all these, to moral and spiritual worth.

(2) It is argued that this law of moral heritage affects personal responsibility; that it is hardly fair to condemn a man for a sin to which he is naturally prone. But "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Whatever your parentage, you are not "committed to do these abominations." If the disposition be evil, it need never become the habit of life. It is something you may yield to, but it is something you may resist; for "He is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear." Rather should any tendencies to evil be recognised as God's voice calling attention to the weak places of character, that there we may keep most eager watch and ward. And because we are weak, He has sent His Son to bring deliverance to the captives, that through Him we may be inspired with hope, and fitted with strength, and rejoice in the liberty wherewith Christ makes His people free.

II. ADONIJAH WAS MISLED BY ADULATION. "He was also a very goodly man. Physically, as well as morally, he was a repetition of Absalom. His parents were guilty of partiality. David loved him the more because (like the lost boy) Adonijah was so fair, so noble in mien, so princely in stature. Courtiers and soldiers (who looked, as they did in Saul's time, for a noble-looking king) flattered him. Joab and Abiathar joined the adulators. Intoxicated with vanity, Adonijah set up a royal court, as Absalom had done (see ver. 5). Every position in life has its own temptations. The ill-favoured child who is the butt at school and the scapegoat at home is tempted to bitterness and revenge. His character is likely to be unsightly, as a plant would be, which grows in a damp, dark vault. There can belittle beauty if there is no sunshine. On the other hand, if the gift of physical beauty attracts attention and wins admiration, or if conversational power be brilliant, etc., it is a source of peril. Many a one has thus been befooled into sin and misery, or entrapped into an unhappy marriage, and by lifelong sadness paid the penalty of folly, or venturing too far, prompted by ambition, has fallen, like Icarus when his waxen wings melted in the sunshine. When that time of disappointment and disenchantment comes, happy is it when such an one, like the prodigal, comes to himself, and says, I will arise, and go to my father!"

III. ADONIJAH WAS UNDISCIPLINED AT HOME. "His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? This refers not only to the special act of rebellion, but to the tendencies and habits leading up to it, which David had not checked, for fear of vering the high spirited lad. The weak indulgence of children (such as that which Eli exhibited) is the cause of untold misery. Not many parents blazon abroad the story of their domestic grief. Loyal hands draw down the veil over the discord at home, and that agony of prayer which is heard by the Father who seeth in secret." You do not see the girl who mars the beauty of her early womanhood by a flippant disregard of her parents, and whose own pleasure seems to be the only law of her life. You do not see the child whose hasty passion and uncontrolled temper are the dread of the household; who, by his ebullitions of rage, gets what he wishes, till authority is disregarded and trodden underfoot. You do not see the son who thinks it manly to be callous to a mother's anxiety and a father's counsels, who likes to forget home associations, and is sinking in haunts of evil, where you may weep over him as a wreck. But, though you see them not, they exist. Far otherwise, in some of these sad experiences, it might have been. Suppose there had been firm resolution instead of habitual indulgence; suppose that authority had been asserted and used in days before these evil habits were formed; suppose that, instead of leaving the future to chance, counsels and prayers had moulded character during moulding time - might there not have been joy where now there is grief? Heavy are our responsibilities as parents. Yet splendid are our possibilities! These children who may prove our curses may, with God's blessing on our fidelity, grow up to be wise, pure hearted, courageous men of God, who will sweeten the atmosphere of the home, and purge this nation of its sins, and make the name of "the King of saints" honoured and praised throughout the world! "Train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." - A.R.

Now King David was old and stricken in years.

II. CHILLS THE VITAL SOURCES OF THE NATURALLY ROBUST. "And they covered him with clothes, and he gat no heat."


1. Advised by the court physicians. An expedient not unusual in similar cases, when internal cordials failed, and with the limited skill of the faculty in the use of warmth-creating potions.

2. Was innocent. Suggested for no other than purely medical reasons. Sophocles lauded old age as a deliverance from the tyranny of the passions, as an escape from some furious and savage master.

3. Suspended only for a brief season the inevitable progress of decay. Medical skill is no more efficacious for the monarch than for the humblest subject. David died within the year. A moment comes in the winter of life when the warm pulse is stilled, and the once stalwart frame is locked in the icy embrace of death.

(J. Barlow.)

Abiathar, Abishag, Absalom, Adonijah, Bathsheba, Benaiah, Cherethites, David, Haggith, Jehoiada, Joab, Jonathan, Kerethites, Nathan, Pelethites, Rei, Shimei, Solomon, Zadok, Zeruiah
En-rogel, Gihon, Jerusalem, Serpent's Stone
Assuredly, Handmaid, Hast, Kingdom, Maidservant, Oath, Reign, Saying, Seat, Seated, Servant, Sit, Solomon, Surely, Swarest, Swear, Swore, Sworn, Throne, Truly
1. Abishag cherishes David in his extreme age
5. Adonijah, David's darling, usurps the kingdom
11. By the council of Nathan
15. Bathsheba moves the king
22. And Nathan seconds her
28. David renews his oath to Bathsheba
32. Solomon, by David's appointment,
38. being anointed king by Zadok and Nathan, the people triumph
41. Jonathan bringing the news, Adonijah's guests fly
50. Adonijah, flying to the horns of the altar, is dismissed by Solomon

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 1:5-53

     5087   David, reign of

1 Kings 1:17-35

     5581   throne

David Appointing Solomon
'Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29. And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30. Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 31. Then Bath-sheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Gihon, the Same with the Fountain of Siloam.
I. In 1 Kings 1:33,38, that which is, in the Hebrew, "Bring ye Solomon to Gihon: and they brought him to Gihon"; is rendered by the Chaldee, "Bring ye him to Siloam: and they brought him to Siloam." Where Kimchi thus; "Gihon is Siloam, and it is called by a double name. And David commanded, that they should anoint Solomon at Gihon for a good omen, to wit, that, as the waters of the fountain are everlasting, so might his kingdom be." So also the Jerusalem writers; "They do not anoint the king, but
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

BY REV. ALFRED ROWLAND, D.D., LL.B. It is notorious that the sons of devout men sometimes prove a curse to their parents, and bring dishonour on the cause of God. When Eve rejoiced over her first-born, she little suspected that passions were sleeping within him which would impel him to slay his own brother; and the experience of the first mother has been repeated, though in different forms, in all lands and in all ages. Isaac's heart was rent by the deceit of Jacob, and by the self-will of Esau.
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Whether Prayer Should be Vocal?
Objection 1: It would seem that prayer ought not to be vocal. As stated above [3025](A[4]), prayer is addressed chiefly to God. Now God knows the language of the heart. Therefore it is useless to employ vocal prayer. Objection 2: Further, prayer should lift man's mind to God, as stated above (A[1], ad 2). But words, like other sensible objects, prevent man from ascending to God by contemplation. Therefore we should not use words in our prayers. Objection 3: Further, prayer should be offered to God
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Reign of David.
2 Sam.; 1 Chron. Chs. 11-29; 1 K 1:1-2:11. His Reign over Judah. The reign of David is divided into two parts. The first part was over Judah, with the capitol at Hebron, and lasted seven and one-half years. During this period Ishbosheth, son of Saul, reigned over Israel in the North. It is probable that both of these kings were regarded as vassals of the Philistines and paid tribute. On account of rival leaders, there was constant warfare between these two rival kings. The kingdom of Judah, however,
Josiah Blake Tidwell—The Bible Period by Period

The Fact of the Redeemer's Return was Typified in the Lives of Joseph and Solomon.
In the Old Testament there are numerous references to the Second Coming of Christ, references both direct and typical, but in every instance it was His return to the earth which was in view. The secret coming of Christ into the air, to catch up the saints to Himself, was an event quite unknown to the Old Testament prophets, an event kept secret until revealed by God to the apostle Paul who, when writing to the Corinthians upon this particular aspect of our subject, said, "Behold, I show you a mystery
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

Of Justification by Faith. Both the Name and the Reality Defined.
Sections. 1. Connection between the doctrine of Justification and that of Regeneration. The knowledge of this doctrine very necessary for two reasons. 2. For the purpose of facilitating the exposition of it, the terms are explained. 1. What it is to be justified in the sight of God. 2. To be justified by works. 3. To be justified by faith. Definition. 3. Various meanings of the term Justification. 1. To give praise to God and truth. 2. To make a vain display of righteousness. 3. To impute righteousness
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Prov. 22:06 the Duties of Parents
"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."--Prov. 22:6. I SUPPOSE that most professing Christians are acquainted with the text at the head of this page. The sound of it is probably familiar to your ears, like an old tune. It is likely you have heard it, or read it, talked of it, or quoted it, many a time. Is it not so? But, after all, how little is the substance of this text regarded! The doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Tit. 2:06 Thoughts for Young Men
WHEN St. Paul wrote his Epistle to Titus about his duty as a minister, he mentioned young men as a class requiring peculiar attention. After speaking of aged men and aged women, and young women, he adds this pithy advice, "Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded" (Tit. 2:6). I am going to follow the Apostle's advice. I propose to offer a few words of friendly exhortation to young men. I am growing old myself, but there are few things I remember so well as the days of my youth. I have a most
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Christ a Complete Saviour:
OR, THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST, AND WHO ARE PRIVILEGED IN IT. BY JOHN BUNYAN Advertisement by the Editor. However strange it may appear, it is a solemn fact, that the heart of man, unless prepared by a sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, rejects Christ as a complete Saviour. The pride of human nature will not suffer it to fall, as helpless and utterly undone, into the arms of Divine mercy. Man prefers a partial Saviour; one who had done so much, that, with the sinner's aid, the work might be
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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