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which is in excess even of the longer reckoning. (8) In (In respect both of the Introduction and the Notes on Ant. ix. 14. 1, he gives the period from the disruption the First Book of Kings, the author has to express his to the fall of Samaria as 240 years, 7 months, and 7 obligation to the Commentaries of Keil and Thenius ; days," which agrees almost exactly with the 238 years to Ewald's History of Israel, and (in less degree) to of the shorter reckoning:

Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church; to Canon Hence the effect of this comparison, assuming the Rawlinson's valuable Introduction and Notes in the general correctness of the non-Scriptural records, is Speaker's Commentary, and his Bampton Lectures ; to bring out more clearly—what the condition of the to many articles in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, chronology itself would suggest—the existence of some and Winer's Realwörterbuch, and to Prof. Robertson confusions in detail, but an undoubted general cor- Smith's article (“Kings”) in the Encyclopædia rectness even in this, which is acknowledged to be Britannica. For the study of the text, the Variorum the point of the greatest difficulty. The books thus Bible of Messrs. Eyro and Spottiswoode is invalustand out as true history in the highest sense of the able. The comparison of the text with the ancient word, uniting clear historical accuracy, even of detail, versions, and the study of Josephus' history, which with vivid depiction of character, and high prophetic is, in the main, virtually a paraphrase, are matters of

of God


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B.C. 1015.

1 Heb., entered in

to days.



CHAPTER 1.-(1) Now king David

heat. (3) So they sought for a fair was old and Istricken in years; and

damsel throughout all the coast of they covered him with clothes, but he

Israel, and found Abishag a Shunamgat no heat.

(2) Wherefore his servants 2 H«be. Let them mite, and brought her to the king. said unto him, "Let there be sought for

(+) And the damsel was very fair, and my lord the king 3a young virgin : and s Petrin, damsel, cherished the king, and ministered to let her stand before the king, and let

him: but the king knew her not. her cherish him, and let her lie in thy

(5) Then Adonijah the son of Haggith bosom, that my lord the king may get 5 Hel., reign. exalted himself, saying, I will 5 be king:

4 Heh, be a che

risker unto him,

General Summary of the Book.–The narrative all the historical books (Exodus, Numbers, Joshua,
of this book falls naturally into three sections : First, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, &c.). It marks the general
(a) in chaps. i.-xiv. we have a comparatively detailed conception of the unity of the whole history, but
record of the accession and reign of Solomon, and of implies nothing of special connection of time or author.
the revolution which produced the disruption both of ship with the books of Samuel. In fact, although these
the kingdom and of the worship of Israel. This record books are in some sense the continuation of the former,
itself varies greatly, both in style and in fulness. In yet the narrative is hardly continuous. The history
some parts it is graphic and full of spiritual interest ; passes at once to the closing scene of David's life,
in some it is clearly marked by official, and almost leaving a comparative blank in the period succeeding
technical, detail ; while in others it is brief and sum- the restoration after the defeat of Absalom-a blank
mary in style, more like a series of historical notes which is partly filled up in the later books (1 Chron.
than a regular narrative. But althongh it covers only xxii.—xxix.).
about forty years, it occupies more than half of the Stricken in years—about seventy years old.
entire book. Secondly, (b) in chaps. xv. and xvi. we find Since “ clothes mean “ bed-clothes,” the meaning
only short annalistic accounts of the succession in the is that the King was now too feeble to rise from his
two kingdoms, and the chief events of each reign, from bed. His life began its responsibilities early; it had
Jeroboam to Ahab, and from Rehoboam to Jehoshaphat. been hard and trying; and, as the history shows, not
Thirdly, (c) in chaps. xvii.--xxii., with the appearance wholly free from self-indulgence. Hence, at no ex-
of Elijah the whole style of the narrative changes to cessive age, its complete decrepitude.
increased fulness, great vividness of description, and (3) A Shunammite.-Shunem is in the territory
expressive spiritual significance, and so continues to of Issachar (Josh. xix. 18), and in the plain of Jezreel
the end of the book, and through that portion of the (1 Sam. xxviii. 4), near Mount Gilboa. As Eusebius,
second Book which contains the close of the history of describing its position carefully, calls it “Sulem," and as
Elijahı and the history of Elisha.

this variation of name is confirmed by its ready iden. In this variety of character we see clear evidence of tification with the modern village of Solam, it has compilation from older sources—the annals of the been conjectured (see Smith's Dictionary of the kings, the official records of the Temple, and the biogra. Bible, SHULAMITE), ingeniously and not improbably, phies of the prophets. In it we find, moreover, distinct that Abishag is the fair Shulamite” of the Song evidence of the historical accuracy of a record, which of Solomon (chap. vi. 13). The conjecture certainly is full, where it can draw from detailed records, and throws some light on the occurrences of chap. ii. 13—25. contents itself with brief summary, where such materials Probably the whole notice of Abishag is only introare wanting. (On the chronology, see Introduction.) duced on account of her subsequent connection with

the fate of Adonijah. The opening narrative of the beginning of Solomon's (5) Adonijah (my Lord is Jehovah), David's fourth reign, in chaps. i.-iii., and especially of the accession son, born in Hebron (2 Sam. iii. 4), at least thirty-three to the throne, in chap. i., is given with remarkable

From the words of Solomon in chap. ii. vividness and unusual fulness of detail. When we 22, we may gather that he claimed the throne as being read in 2 Chron. ix. 29, that the acts of Solomon now the eldest son. Hence it is probable that Chileab were written partly " in the book of Nathan the pro. (or Daniel, see 2 Sam. iii. 3; 1 Chron. ii. 1), the phet,” it is impossible not to conjecture that the record second son, was dead, as well as Amnon and Absalom. of these early days is drawn from this book of one The similarity between Adonijah and Absalom, in who had been a prominent actor in the whole.

respect of personal beauty, favour with a too-in

dulgent father, ambition and trust in popularity, is (1) Now king David.-“Now” is the simple illa. evidently suggested by the narrative, which places tive conjunction “and,” found at the beginning of them in close connection, although born of different

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years before.

Adonijah usurps


the Kingdom.


2 Heb., his icords

were with Joab.

and he prepared him chariots and horse- 1 Heb., from his Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men men, and fifty men to run before him.

which belonged to David, were not with (6) And his father had not displeased

Adonijah. (9) And Adonijah slew sheep him 'at any time in saying, Why hast

and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of thou done so ? and he also was a very

Zoheleth, which is by * En-rogel, and goodly man; and his mother bare him

called all his brethren the king's sons, after Absalom. (7) And ?he conferred

and all the men of Judah the king's with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and 's Hcb., helped after servants: (10) but Nathan the prophet, with Abiathar the priest: and they

and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Sfollowing Adonijah helped him. (8) But

Solomon his brother, he called not. Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of

(11) Wherefore Nathan spake unto Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Rogel.

Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, say





11 Chron. mat. si per Pashe more without some light SoShimei

, and Rei. Ewald conjectures that these

mothers. The means, moreover, which Adonijah em- Gibeon (1 Chron. xvi. 39) after the removal of the Ark to ployed, the body-guard of fifty men, and the main- Jerusalem. On his relation to Abiathar, see chap. ii. 35. tenance of “chariots and horsemen,” are exactly imi- Benaiah, the son of " Jehoiada, a chief priest." tated from the example of Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 1); and therefore of Levitical origin. (See 2 Sam. viii. and we note that the festal sacrifice, with the support 18, xxiii. 20—23; 1 Chron. xxvii. 5, 6.) His rank is of two important leaders in peace and war, recalls given in 2 Sam. xxiii. 23, as intermediate between the same model. But Adonijah hardly shows the the three mighty men” and “the thirty,” and in craft and ruthless determination of the elder rebel. 1 Chron. xxvii. 5, as "the third captain of the host His attempt on the crown seems crude and ill-planned for the third month"; but his command of the body. in conception, and wanting in promptitude of action. guard gave him special importance, second only to

(7) Joab.—The books of Samuel have brought out that of Joab (2 Sam. xx. 23), and perhaps of even clearly the career and character of Joab, as being (in greater importance for immediate action. (It is notable some degree like Abner) a professed soldier, raised that there is no mention of Abishai, who is named as to a formidable and half-independent power by the prior to Benaiah among " the mighty men” in 2 Sam. incessant wars of Saul and David. He stands out in xxiii. 18–22. It may be inferred that he was dead; consistent portraiture throughout, as a bold, hard, and otherwise he could hardly have been omitted here.) unscrupulous man; in his relations to the king often Nathan the prophet.--See 2 Sam. vii. 2, xii. imperious and disobedient; but nevertheless an abso. 1, 25. In the whole chapter he appears rather as lutely loyal servant, to whom, in great degree, the a chief officer and counsellor of David, than in the establishment of David's throne was due, and who, loftier aspect of the prophetic character.

He was moreover (as is shown by his remonstrance against the also the royal chronicler of the reigns of David and

of the people, recorded xxiv. 3; Solomon (. 29 instincts of policy and of duty to God.

were two brothers of David, called Shimma and Abiathar the priest.–Of A biathar we also know Raddai in 1 Chron. ii. 13, 14. These, however, that he had been the companion of all David's ad- being older than David, would now be in extreme versity, and of his reign at Hebron (1 Sam. xxii. 20, old age. Of Rei, we have no mention elsewhere; but xxiii, 6, 9, xxx. 7; 2 Sam. i. 1–4); that he was in- there is a Shimei (in 1 Kings iv. 18), a high officer installed (with Zadok) as high priest at Jerusalem, and of Solomon; a *Shimea,” brother of Solomon (in 1 remained faithful to David in the rebellion of Absalom Chron. iii. 5), and a “Shammah,” one of the “mighty (2 Sam. viii. 17, xv. 24–29).

men” (in 2 Sam. xxiii. 11). The adhesion of these two faithful servants of David, The mighty men.-See 2 Sam. xxiii. 839. The as also of “the king's sons,” and “the men of Judah, name Gibbərim is a technical name, and is thought to the king's servants,” to the rash usurpation of Adonijah, designate a picked body of troops, the standing nucleus seems strange at first sight. Probably Joab had never of the armies of Israel. It is commonly inferred that recovered his position in the king's favour since the they were the successors of the six hundred men of death of Absalom; and it is possible that the evident David's band during his life of wandering and exile, growth of despotic power and state in David's latter and that “the three ” and “ the thirty” (2 Sam. xxiii.) years may have alienated from him the trusty friends were their officers. They are mentioned as attached to of earlier and simpler days. But the true explanation the person of David in 2 Sam. x. 7; xvi. 6; xx. 7. would seem to be, that the attempt of Adonijah was not (9) The stone of Zoheleth. - The meaning is viewed as an actual rebellion.

Solomon was young;

uncertain. The derivation seems to be from a root, David's designation of him for the succession might meaning to “ crawl,” or “steal on.” Some interpreters -be represented as the favouritism of dotage; and the render, the “stone of the serpents;” the Targums assumption of the crown by the eldest son, a man in make it the rolling stone;" other authorities - the the prime of life and of popular qualities, might seem stone of the conduit,” which would suit well its position not only justifiable, but even right and expedient. as here described.

(8) Zadok the priest (son of Ahitnb) was the repre- En-rogel. — “The spring of the fuller.” (See sentative of the family of Eleazar, elder son of Aaron, Joshua xv. 7, xviii. 16; 2 Sam. xvii. 17.) Its proximity as Abiathar of the family of Ithamar, the younger would be useful for the purposes of sacrifice; for it son (1 Chron. xxiv. 3). As a "young man of valour, appears to be the only natural spring near Jerusalem, under “ Jehoiada, leader of the Aaronites," he joined situated not far from Siloam. David at Hebron with 3,700 men (1 Chron. xii. 28), (11) Wherefore Nathan.-The initiative taken by and had been left in charge of the Tabernacle at Nathan is especially natural, since he had been tho


Bath-sheba and Nathan


Petition the King.


ing, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah
the son of Haggith doth reign, and
David our lord knoweth it not? (12) Now
therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give
thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine
own life, and the life of thy son Solo- | u 2 Sam. 3. 4.

(13) Go and get thee in unto king
David, and say unto him, Didst not
thou, my lord, Ó king, swear unto thine
handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon
thy son shall reign after me, and he
shall sit upon my throne? why then 1 Heb.. All up.
doth Adonijah reign ? (14) Behold, while
thou yet talkest there with the king, I
also will come in after thee, and con-
firm thy words.

(15) And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber : and the king was very old ; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. (16) And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, 2 What wouldest thou ? (17) And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.

(18) And now, behold,

Adonijah reigneth ; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: (19) and 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 thy servant hath he not called. (20) And thou, 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 lord the king after him. (21) Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted 3 offenders.

(22) And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. (23) And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. (24) And Nathan said, My lord, o king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne ? (25) For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king's

? Heb. What to


3 Heb., sinners.

medium both of the prophecy to David of the son who 10—16, the picture of the still more unapproachable should build the Lord's house (2 Sam. vii. 12-15), and royalty of Persia.) also of the blessing on Solomon, embodied in the name (21) Shall sleep with his fathers. Here this Jedidiah (“ beloved of Jehovah,” 2 Sam. xii. 25). Per. phrase, so constantly used in the record of the death haps for this very reason the conspirators had altogether of the kings, occurs in these books for the first time. held aloof from him.

(It is also found in the message of promise by Nathan, (12) The life of ... Solomon.-The usurpation 2 Sam. vii. 12, relating to the succession of the son who of Adonijah would, as a matter of course, be sealed by should build the Temple.) We find corresponding exthe blood of his rival Solomon. (Comp. 2 Chron. xxi. pressions in Gen. xv. 15; Deut. xxxi. 16. Without 4.) Bath-sheba herself need hardly have been sacri- connecting with the use of this phrase anything like ficed; but her position of favour with David would ex- the fulness of meaning which in the New Testament cite jealousy, and Solomon, being still young, might attaches to “ the sleep” of the departed servants of well be thought only an instrument in her hands. God (as known to be a “sleep in Jesus "), it seems

(13) Didst not thou ... swear.-Of this oath not unreasonable to recognise in it, at least, a rudi. we have no mention elsewhere. It may have belonged mentary belief in death as rest and not extinction. to the time of Solomon's birth (2 Sam. xii. 24, 25). In The addition, “ with his fathers,” has probably a re1 Chron. xxii. 6—13, we find a designation of Solomon ference to“ the tombs of the kings ;” especially as we for succession, apparently earlier than this time-it find that it is not adopted in the cases of Jehoram being clearly understood (see verse 20), according to (2 Chron. xxi. 20) and Joash (2 Chron. xxiv. 25), Oriental custom, that such designation, without strict who were not buried therein. regard to priority of birth, lay in the prerogative of the (24) Hast thou said.—The question here and in reigning king.

verse 27 is, of course, merely intended to draw out (14) While thou yet talkest.-The whole history denial; but it is singularly true to nature that it does seems to indicate a growth of royal state and Oriental so by the assumption (natural in court language) that reverence for the king's person since the defeat of nothing of such a kind could be even conceived as done Absalom, contrasted with the comparative simplicity without the king's will. There is something striking in of intercourse with him in earlier days, and preparatory the contrast of the deference of Nathan as a counsellor to the still greater development of majesty and despo- on state business with the bold superiority of his tone tism under Solomon. Bath-sheba’s entrance into the in the discharge of his true prophetic office (as in 2 Sam. bedchamber seems to be looked upon as an intrusion, vii. 2–17, xii. 1-14). to be ventured upon only in the humble attitude of a (25) God save king Adonijah.-Literally (as in suppliant. Nathan does not presume to approach the 1 Sam. X. 24; 2 Sam. xvi. 16, &c.), “May the king king with remonstrance, till the maternal anxiety of live;" like the “ Let the king live for ever” of verse Bath-sheba has paved the way. (Comp. in Esther iv. 31, and of Neh. ii. 3; Dan. ii. 4, iii. 9, &c.

David renews his


Oath to Bath-sheba.

sons, and the captains of the host, and

(32) And king David said, Call me ZaAbiathar the priest; and, behold, they

dok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, eat and drink before him, and say, 'God

and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And save king Adonijah. (26) But me, even

they came before the king.

(33) The me thy servant, and Zadok the priest,

king also said unto them, Take with and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and

you the servants of


lord, and cause thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. Hechische licking Solomon my son to ride upon 3 mine (27) Is this thing done by my lord the

own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: king, and thou hast not shewed it unto

(34) and let Zadok the priest and Nathan thy servant, who should sit on the

the prophet anoint him there king over throne of my lord the king after him?

Israel : and blow ye with the trumpet, (29) Then king David answered and

and say, God save king Solomon. said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she

(35) Then ye shall come up after him, came ? into the king's presence, and

- Hebbefore the that he may come and sit upon my stood before the king. (29) And the king

throne; for he shall be king in my sware, and said, As the LORD liveth,

stead: and I have appointed him to be that hath redeemed my soul out of all


Israel and over Judah. distress, (30) even as I sware unto thee

(36) And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada by the LORD God of Israel, saying, As

answered the king, and said, Amen : the suredly Solomon thy son shall reign

LORD God of my lord the king say so after me, and he shall sit upon my

too. (37) As the LORD hath been with my throne in my stead; even so will I cer

lord the king, even so be he with Solotainly do this day. (31) Then Bath-sheba

mon, and make his throne greater than bowed with her face to the earth, and

the throne of my lord king David. did reverence to the king, and said, Let

(38) So Zadok the priest, and Nathan my lord king David live for ever.

the prophet, and Benaiah the son of


3 Heh., uchich be

longeth to me.

(29) As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed found also occasionally in the later books (Lam. iv. 20) my soul.- A characteristic adjuration of David, found —there is no mention of the tumultuous usurpation of also in 2 Sam. iv. 9; but now peculiarly appropriate in Adonijah. Probably, as in the appointment of Saul the old man, who was so near the haven of rest, after and David himself, the right to anoint was recognised all the storms of life. “O Lord, my strength and my as belonging to the prophetic order (see chap. xix. 16), Redeemer," is the climax of his address to God, as inasmuch as it signified the outpouring of the Holy the Creator of all things and the ruler of all men, in Spirit of the Lord. (Comp. Acts x. 38.) Hence, in the Ps. xix. 14.

absence of Nathan, it could not be attempted. In the (32) Call me Zadok.–This sudden flash of the old case of David, such anointing had marked (1 Sam. energy in David, and the clear, terse directions which xvi. 13) his first private designation for the kingdom he gives for carrying ont all the necessary parts of the by Samuel, and his public accession to royalty, first over inauguration of Solomon's royalty, striking enough in Judah (2 Sam. ii. 4), then over all Israel (2 Sam. v. 3). themselves, are still more striking in contrast with the The completeness of the old King's provision is timidity and despondency with which, when far younger, especially to be noticed. The “riding on the King's he had received the news of Absalom's rebellion. For mule,” attended by the body-guard, marked the royal then he felt the coming of God's threatened chastise- sanction; the anointing, the sanction of priest and ment; now he knows that this is passed, and that God prophet; and the acclamation the adhesion of the people. is on his side.

Then are to follow the enthronement and homage. (33) Gihon (“ breaking forth") is clearly a place in (35) Over Israel and over Judah.—The phrase the valley, under the walls of Jerusalem, mentioned clearly refers to the distinction, already tending to as having a watercourse, or torrent, diverted by Heze- become a division, between Israel and Judah in relation kiah in his preparation of the city for siege (2 Chron. to the monarchy. In the case of David himself, it may xxxii. 30), and as forming one end of a new wall “s be observed that the record of his accession to royalty to the fish gate," built by Manasseh ; but whether it is over Israel contains the notice of “a league” made by on the west of the city, near the present Jaffa gate, or him with the elders of Israel (2 Sam. v. 3), to which (as seems more probable) on the south, at the end of there is nothing to correspond in the account of his the valley called the Tyropæon, running through the becoming king over Judah (2 Sam. ii. 4). This perhaps city, has been doubted. The Targums here read indicates from the beginning a less absolute rule over Siloam ; and this agrees with the latter supposition, the other tribes. Certainly the history of the rebellion which is also supported by the proximity to Adonijah's of Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 10, 13, xviii. 6, 7), the disputes feast at En.rogel, implied in the narrative.

about the restoration of David (2 Sam. xix. 41-43), and (34) Anoint him ... king. It is notable that of the attempt of Sheba to take advantage of them this solemn inauguration of royalty, marked emphati. (2 Sam. xx. 1, 2), show a looser allegiance of Israel than cally as a religious consecration by the common phrase of Judah to the house of David. “the Lord's anointed ”—then especially in use (1 Sam. (38) The Cherethites, and the Pelethites.-Seexvi. 6, xxiv. 6, xxvi. 9; 2 Sam. i. 14, xix. 21), though 2 Sam. viii. 18, xv. 28, xx. 7, 23. The body-guard-per..

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