1 Kings 1:32
Then King David said, "Call in for me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada." So they came before the king.
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.

Nathan the prophet also came in.
Monday Club Sermons.
I. THE TROUBLE ARISING FROM LACK OF HOME DISCIPLINE. Many a parent sows seeds of sorrow by over-indulgence of the children. Nothing is more prophetic of grief to come, for the parent, and calamity, for the child, than failure to insist upon obedience. There is to be a throne and something of parental sovereignty in every home. God requires of all parents, for their own sakes, the children's sake, and the sake of society, that they should govern their household.

II. THE SIN OF DISREGARD FOR PARENTS. Adonijah knew that his father had designated Solomon as his successor. Finding his father feeble and at the point of death, he conspired against him, influenced all he could to join him in the conspiracy, and aid him in accomplishing his purpose. In the ambition of his heart to reign over Israel he was ready for any intrigue, any injustice. Ambition is the cause of much of this world's crime. It consumes all the better feelings of our nature; makes men regardless of tenderest relations and deepest obligations. There are no duties diviner than those we owe to our parents. In their old age, especially, parents have supreme claim on the affection and protection of their children. None but he who is lost to all sense of the claims of love, and is far gone in sin, can wilfully make sad a parent's heart. In all tenderness, and all solicitation for the joy and comfort of their parents, children should hand them down to their graves, making, if it may be, their last days the sunniest and most restful.

III. THE SACREDNESS OF HUMAN PLEDGES. David had assured Bathsheba that her son Solomon should succeed to the throne. Human pledges are sacred, especially when made in the fear of God, and according to His conscious will. No difficulties should ever turn men aside from fulfilling their vows. There should be no delay when danger threatens. All men have many interests in their hands. It will cost, of time, strength, and exposure, it may he, to guard these interests; but they should be guarded, whatever the cost. David acted promptly, thus he succeeded. Delays are often fatal. Decision is demanded for emergencies. While men fear and hesitate it often becomes too late. Truth is to be done. Neither God nor man excuses falsehood. Faithlessness is full of annoyance. Our lives should be worthy of trust. There may be impossibilities in the way; these alone should prevent the keeping of our pledges.

IV. THE FAITHFULNESS OF FRIENDS. Adonijah would have been crowned as king, had not the friends of David and Solomon revealed the conspiracy. But these friends were true; and their haste in acquainting the king of what was transpiring gave him time to avert the calamity. Faithfulness to friends is one great want of the world. None is safe from attack on the part of the ambitious and designing. Neighbours are in danger of being injured in person or position without knowing it, or being able to avoid the snare. Society is full of secret schemings to rise on the ruin of others. Character is assailed; property imperilled; all sacred things put in jeopardy by the unscrupulous. Often serious and irreparable injury is done before the parties affected dream of anything evil in the air. In business, in politics, in the whole range of human plan's for personal advancement, or right doing on any line, men are liable to be maligned and harmed. It is duty in all cases and at all hazard to give warning or counsel, and to interpose for the protection of others. We are not to be busybodies, but we are to be our brother's keeper.

V. THE PATIENCE OF FAITH. Solomon likely knew of the conspiracy of Adonijah; but he was as a deaf man that heard not. He seems to have quietly composed himself, leaving it to God and his friends to order all. God had a will as to that succession to the throne. Solomon understood it, and he could wait. Faith is patient. There may be delays and disasters. Enemies may seem to succeed against us. Providence may seem to be opposing. It may be wholly dark and ominous. But we are to compose ourselves and wait.

VI. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD. Adonijah considered the kingdom his by birthright, after the death of Absalom. He had, however, been set aside by Divine appointment. He had been welcomed with the cry: "God save King Adonijah!" Shall that conspiracy succeed? God had planned otherwise. No plan formed against the Almighty can permanently prosper. Wickedness may prevail for a time. Wicked men may come to crowning. There may be long bafflings and delayings in the fulfilment of prophecy. But God reigns. His word shall be accomplished. Here is our hope in reference to this lost world. We have only to find our place and do our work. The day is to dawn. There are to be turnings and overturnings. Kingdoms and empires are to rise and fall — all unto the end of the setting up of the kingdom of Christ on the earth. The day of jubilee is to be ushered in.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

This presents before us the last of those three equal reigns, of forty years each, which seem to be typical of the three dispensations: the Hebrew Church with its apostasy; the Christian Church during its militant period; and the millennial reign with its triumphant glory. If Solomon was thus the type of the "Prince of Peace," the fact that he ascended his throne only by displacing a usurper may find its correspondence in the usurpation of authority over this world, Christ's rightful realm, by the prince of darkness. Yet how sure stands the unchanging word, "I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion"! Adonijah, who is mentioned fourth among David's sons, as his mother, Haggith, is fourth among David's wives, was a curious compound of physical beauty and grace with boundless conceit and impudence, arrogance, and ambition. He was a spoiled child: we are quaintly told in this chapter that "his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" Of his mother, Haggith, we get no glimpse, except as the record reveals that at Hebron, not long after Absalom's birth, she became the mother of this her only child, Adonijah. Her name in the Hebrew tongue means "dancer," and she was probably a gay, light, unprincipled woman, lacking both intellectual force and moral depth of character. This son certainly resembled this probable portrait of his mother. He was a "goodly man"; that is, of attractive personal presence — what, in our corruption of pure English, we would call a "handsome man." Yet his youthful passions were stronger than his principles, and his impulses trampled upon his convictions. As often happens in such cases, this son, who by reason of his mother's laxity and his own waywardness, needed a father's restraint the more, was subject to no parental authority or discipline whatever, and under no sceptre of family government. His ambition was reckless. Ordinarily, however much the favourite of his father, he could not have aspired to succeed him on the throne, for Ammon, Chileab, and Absalom would each in turn prefer the clash of primogeniture; but the death of these three elder brothers left Adonijah the eldest living son, and therefore a claimant to the royal succession. The throne was, however, pledged to Solomon, his younger brother, a child of promise, "beloved of the Lord," and better qualified every way for a wise and just ruler. Adonijah's ambition was not to be so easily thwarted. He saw with secret exultation the visible and rapid decline of his father's strength, and that the time had come to seize by force a crown which he could not secure by favour or procure by merit. Let us not forget the lesson's moral, which touches both parents and children. Parental authority and filial obedience are among God's unchanging decrees. A Divine curse for ever alienated from Eli's house the sacred privilege of the priesthood; and this is the ground of the curse: "Because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." Yet he did inquire into their conduct and severely rebuked it, and so was a better father than David, who did not even investigate Adonijah's course. How grand is the contrast of Abraham, who commanded his children and his household after him to do justice and judgment! There may be an indulgence which is innocent. To deny to a child the gratification of a proper and natural desire whose indulgence would work no harm to the child nor injustice to others may be unjust; capricious refusal may provoke to wrath a child who is disposed to obedience, and stir up mischief, if not malice. But promiscuous indulgence leaves children to grow up selfish, sensual, and reckless. One of the laws of the Mosaic code required every builder of a house to put a battlement around the roof; and that battlement, in the building of the household, is parental law. Where that exists a child falls into ruin only as he climbs over the battlement. Without pressing this lesson to the extreme of a fanciful typical interpretation, we may lawfully find in it illustrations of some most important truths: first of all, the secret of prevailing prayer. Bathsheba went before King. David with confidence, for he had given his royal word of promise: "Surely Solomon thy son shall sit on my throne." There was no presumption in her plea; she was emboldened by the king's word: it was the confidence and courage of faith. And so she got her request, and the answer was immediate as well as sure: "Even so will I certainly do this day." What is our encouragement in prayer? The promise of the immutable God. No capricious moods make Him liable to repent or change His mind; no old age and failing faculties render Him liable to forget. We have to do with the eternal, unchanging God, whose word is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. A second illustration may be gathered from this lesson as to the providence of God overruling the evil designs of men and accomplishing His purposes. Everything seemed against Solomon when Adonijah, surrounded by his fellow-conspirators, was saluted as king. His throne was at risk, and even his life was in peril But there was an old man, not yet dead, in whose feeble hands the sceptre still rested, and who had sworn that Solomon should be heir to the kingdom. A few words spoken by him unseated the usurper, dispersed his minions, and placed the child of promise upon the throne. How often "all things" seem against us, while "all things work together for our good." The god of this world has usurped the kingdom, and a host of followers rally round his standard. The apparent successes of the god of this world in seizing the reins of empire and oppressing the saints of the Most High shall make his ultimate defeat only the more overwhelming, complete, and final

(A. T. Pierson, D. D.)

Sunday School Times.

1. Visiting the king

2. Honouring the king.(1) In advancing a good cause a little quiet planning may accomplish excellent results, and not be dishonest. Nathan and Bathsheba had made their arrangements beforehand.(2) In advancing a good cause, a good. action or good advice wins much in efficacy by being skilfully performed or given.(3) In advancing a good cause a respectful demeanour toward those in authority costs nothing, and usually accomplishes much.(4) In advancing a good cause a good name is of the first importance. David knew at once that Nathan's plea was not for anything bad.


1. Treacherous sacrifices.

2. Treacherous treatment.

3. Treachery suspected.(1) In advancing a bad cause, it is natural to have good things to eat.(2) In advancing a bad cause, its promoters are always forward in appealing to the Divine protection, "God save King Adonijah."(3) In advancing a bad cause, its promoters are generally exclusive in their friendships. Of course, Nathan was not admitted to a share m proceedings upon which he would have frowned.(4) In combating a bad cause, it is always best to come to a clear understanding of exactly who are its friends, and who its enemies. That is what Nathan sought in questioning David.(5) In combating a bad cause, the more care that is exercised the better. Every bad cause has at least one very skilful promoter, whose mere tools Adonijah and Abiathar and all the rest of them are. The devil keeps a close watch over his own interests.


1. His mother summoned.

2. His father promising.

(1)By the Lord, his Redeemer.

(2)To establish Solomon.

3. His mother rejoicing.

(1)In act.

(2)In word.

4. His reign established.(1) When a man must go forth to leave the duties of his earthly station, it is becoming that he should carefully consider in whose hands he shall leave them.(2) When a man has an important question to decide, he seldom loses anything by inviting his wife to assist at the conference.(3) When a man is called to the test, he ought not to be long in making good his promises, if it is in his power to do so.(4) When a man is nearing the point of death, it is folly to defer doing as he has promised until the future. "So will I certainly do, this day."(5) When a man has humbled himself to do, it will seldom harm his wife to humble herself to thank him.(6) When a man is nearing the point of death, such a cry as "Let my lord King David live for ever," has its very serious aspects.

(Sunday School Times.)

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
Benaiah, Benai'ah, David, Jehoiada, Jehoi'ada, King's, Nathan, Presence, Priest, Prophet, Zadok
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

1 Kings 1:28-40

     5366   king

1 Kings 1:32-35

     5119   Solomon, life of

1 Kings 1:32-36

     8634   amen

1 Kings 1:32-37

     1461   truth, nature of

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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