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Bible Highlights: 1 Kings 1-2 | Theocratic Ministry School: june 22

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(1 KINGS 1:1)

“Now King David was old, advanced in years, and although they would cover him with garments, he could not get warm.”

*** it-1 p. 26 Abishag ***
ABISHAG
(Abʹi•shag).
A young virgin from the town of Shunem, N of Jezreel and Mount Gilboa, in the territory of Issachar. (Jos 19:17-23) She was “beautiful in the extreme” and was chosen by David’s servants to become the nurse and companion of the king during his final days.—1Ki 1:1-4.
David was now about 70 years of age (2Sa 5:4, 5), and as a result of debilitation he had little body heat. Abishag waited on him during the day, doubtless brightening the surroundings with her youthful freshness and beauty, and at night she ‘lay in the king’s bosom’ to give him warmth, but “the king himself had no intercourse with her.” Nevertheless, the attitude later manifested by Solomon regarding her indicates that Abishag was viewed as being in the position of wife or concubine of David. As such, by a rule in the ancient East, she would become the property of David’s heir at the time of his death.

(1 KINGS 1:2)

“So his servants said to him: “Let a girl, a virgin, be found for my lord the king, and she will wait on the king as his nurse. She will lie in your arms so that my lord the king may feel warm.””

*** it-1 p. 26 Abishag ***
ABISHAG
(Abʹi•shag).
A young virgin from the town of Shunem, N of Jezreel and Mount Gilboa, in the territory of Issachar. (Jos 19:17-23) She was “beautiful in the extreme” and was chosen by David’s servants to become the nurse and companion of the king during his final days.—1Ki 1:1-4.
David was now about 70 years of age (2Sa 5:4, 5), and as a result of debilitation he had little body heat. Abishag waited on him during the day, doubtless brightening the surroundings with her youthful freshness and beauty, and at night she ‘lay in the king’s bosom’ to give him warmth, but “the king himself had no intercourse with her.” Nevertheless, the attitude later manifested by Solomon regarding her indicates that Abishag was viewed as being in the position of wife or concubine of David. As such, by a rule in the ancient East, she would become the property of David’s heir at the time of his death.

(1 KINGS 1:3)

“They searched throughout all the territory of Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abʹi•shag the Shuʹnam•mite and brought her in to the king.”

*** it-1 p. 26 Abishag ***
ABISHAG
(Abʹi•shag).
A young virgin from the town of Shunem, N of Jezreel and Mount Gilboa, in the territory of Issachar. (Jos 19:17-23) She was “beautiful in the extreme” and was chosen by David’s servants to become the nurse and companion of the king during his final days.—1Ki 1:1-4.
David was now about 70 years of age (2Sa 5:4, 5), and as a result of debilitation he had little body heat. Abishag waited on him during the day, doubtless brightening the surroundings with her youthful freshness and beauty, and at night she ‘lay in the king’s bosom’ to give him warmth, but “the king himself had no intercourse with her.” Nevertheless, the attitude later manifested by Solomon regarding her indicates that Abishag was viewed as being in the position of wife or concubine of David. As such, by a rule in the ancient East, she would become the property of David’s heir at the time of his death.

(1 KINGS 1:4)

“The girl was extremely beautiful, and she became the king’s nurse and waited on him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her.”

*** it-1 p. 26 Abishag ***
ABISHAG
(Abʹi•shag).
A young virgin from the town of Shunem, N of Jezreel and Mount Gilboa, in the territory of Issachar. (Jos 19:17-23) She was “beautiful in the extreme” and was chosen by David’s servants to become the nurse and companion of the king during his final days.—1Ki 1:1-4.
David was now about 70 years of age (2Sa 5:4, 5), and as a result of debilitation he had little body heat. Abishag waited on him during the day, doubtless brightening the surroundings with her youthful freshness and beauty, and at night she ‘lay in the king’s bosom’ to give him warmth, but “the king himself had no intercourse with her.” Nevertheless, the attitude later manifested by Solomon regarding her indicates that Abishag was viewed as being in the position of wife or concubine of David. As such, by a rule in the ancient East, she would become the property of David’s heir at the time of his death.

(1 KINGS 1:5)

“Meanwhile, Ad•o•niʹjah the son of Hagʹgith was exalting himself, saying: “I am going to be king!” He had a chariot made for himself with horsemen and 50 men to run before him.”

*** w05 7/1 p. 28 par. 5 Highlights From the Book of First Kings ***
1:5—Why did Adonijah try to seize the throne while David was still alive? The Bible does not say. However, it is reasonable to conclude that since Adonijah’s older brothers Amnon and Absalom were already dead, as was probably David’s son Chileab, Adonijah thought that he had the right to the throne as the eldest of David’s remaining sons. (2 Samuel 3:2-4; 13:28, 29; 18:14-17) Having elicited the support of the powerful army chief Joab and the influential high priest Abiathar, Adonijah likely felt confident that his attempt would succeed. The Bible does not say whether he knew of David’s intent to have Solomon inherit the throne. However, Adonijah did not invite Solomon and others loyal to David to “a sacrifice.” (1 Kings 1:9, 10) This suggests that he viewed Solomon as a rival.

*** it-1 p. 860 Forerunner ***
It was the Oriental custom that runners go before the royal chariot to prepare and announce the king’s coming and to assist him generally. (1Sa 8:11) Absalom and Adonijah, in imitation of such regal dignity and to add prestige and seeming sanction to their respective rebellions, placed 50 runners before their personal chariots.—2Sa 15:1; 1Ki 1:5; see RUNNERS.

(1 KINGS 1:9)

“Eventually Ad•o•niʹjah held a sacrifice of sheep, cattle, and fattened animals by the stone of Zoʹhe•leth, which is near En-roʹgel, and he invited all his brothers the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants.”

(1 KINGS 1:41)

“Ad•o•niʹjah and all those invited by him heard it when they had finished eating. As soon as Joʹab heard the sound of the horn, he said: “Why is there such a noisy uproar in the city?””

*** it-1 p. 941 Gihon ***
Gihon was thereafter the site at which Solomon was anointed king at David’s command. The ensuing noisy procession as the people joyously followed Solomon back to the city, while not visible from the spring called En-rogel about 700 m (2,300 ft) away from Gihon, could easily be heard by presumptuous Adonijah and his guests as they banqueted at En-rogel.—1Ki 1:9, 10, 33-41.

*** it-2 p. 42 Jerusalem ***
The distance between the two points was short enough (c. 700 m; 2,300 ft) that Adonijah and his coconspirators heard the noise of the horn and celebrations at Gihon.—1Ki 1:5-9, 32-41.

(1 KINGS 1:52)

“To this Solʹo•mon said: “If he behaves in a worthy manner, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground; but if what is bad is found in him, he will have to die.””

*** it-1 p. 1021 Hair ***
‘Not a hair of your head will perish (or, fall)’ is a statement guaranteeing full and complete protection and safety. (Lu 21:18; 1Sa 14:45; 2Sa 14:11; 1Ki 1:52; Ac 27:34)

(1 KINGS 2:5)

““You also well know what Joʹab the son of Ze•ruʹiah did to me, what he did to two chiefs of the armies of Israel—Abʹner the son of Ner and A•maʹsa the son of Jeʹther. He killed them, shedding the blood of war in peacetime, and he put the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet.”

*** it-2 p. 861 Sandal ***
David instructed Solomon to punish Joab, who had “put the blood of war . . . in his sandals” during peacetime—a figurative statement representing Joab’s bloodguilt for killing Generals Abner and Amasa. (1Ki 2:5, 6)

(1 KINGS 2:7)

““But toward the sons of Bar•zilʹlai the Gilʹe•ad•ite, you should show loyal love, and they should be among those eating at your table, for that was how they stood by me when I ran away from your brother Abʹsa•lom.”

*** it-2 p. 356 Meal ***
Figurative Use. To eat a meal with someone signified friendship and peace between the persons involved. Therefore one who was privileged to eat regularly at the table of a king was especially favored and enjoyed a very close bond with the monarch. (1Ki 2:7)

(1 KINGS 2:10)

“Then David was laid to rest with his forefathers and was buried in the City of David.”

*** it-1 p. 377 Burial, Burial Places ***
However, the frequent expression ‘to lie down, or be buried, with his forefathers’ does not necessarily imply a sharing of the same burial site, for this phrase is used concerning men who were clearly not buried in the same place as their forefathers. (Ge 15:15; De 31:16; 32:50; 1Ki 2:10; Ac 13:36) It must thus refer to their common entrance into Sheol (Hades), the common grave of mankind.

*** it-1 p. 379 Burial, Burial Places ***
First Kings 2:10 tells us that David was buried in “the City of David,” and apparently this became the customary burial place of later kings of Judah. Twelve of the 20 kings following David are directly mentioned as being buried in the City of David, though not all of these were placed in “the burial places of the kings”—Jehoram, Joash (Jehoash), and Ahaz being specifically mentioned as not buried there. (2Ch 21:16, 20; 24:24, 25; 28:27) Instead of being one common tomb of many chambers, “the burial places of the kings” may have constituted a particular area within the City of David where the memorial tombs of the kings were located. King Asa was buried in a “grand burial place that he had excavated for himself in the City of David” (2Ch 16:14), and Hezekiah is spoken of as being buried “in the ascent to the burial places of the sons of David.” (2Ch 32:33) Leprous King Uzziah was buried “with his forefathers, but in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said: ‘He is a leper.’” This would seem to indicate the placement of his diseased body in the ground rather than in a tomb hewed out of rock.—2Ch 26:23.

(1 KINGS 2:15)

“He continued: “You well know that the kingship was to become mine, and all Israel expected me to become king; but the kingship eluded me and became my brother’s, for it was from Jehovah that it became his.”

*** it-1 pp. 49-50 Adonijah ***
However, following David’s death, Adonijah approached Bath-sheba and induced her to act as his agent before Solomon to request David’s youthful nurse and companion, Abishag, as his wife. Adonijah’s statement that “the kingship was to have become mine, and it was toward me that all Israel had set their face for me to become king” indicates that he felt he had been deprived of his right, even though he professedly acknowledged God’s hand in the matter. (1Ki 2:13-21) While his request may have been based solely on the desire for some compensation for the loss of the kingdom, it strongly suggested that the fires of ambition continued in Adonijah, since by a rule in the ancient East the wives and concubines of a king would only become those of his legal successor. (Compare 2Sa 3:7; 16:21.) Solomon so viewed this request made through his mother and ordered Adonijah’s death, which order was promptly carried out by Benaiah.—1Ki 2:22-25.

(1 KINGS 2:17)

“He then said: “Please, ask Solʹo•mon the king—for he will not turn you away—to give me Abʹi•shag the Shuʹnam•mite as a wife.””

*** w05 7/1 p. 29 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of First Kings ***
1:49-53; 2:13-25—Why did Solomon put Adonijah to death after granting him a pardon? Even though Bath-sheba had failed to recognize it, Solomon discerned the true intention behind Adonijah’s request that she ask the king to give him Abishag as a wife. Though David had not had relations with her, beautiful Abishag was considered David’s concubine. According to the custom of the times, she would become the property only of David’s legal heir. Adonijah might have thought that by taking Abishag as his wife, he could again make a bid for the throne. Interpreting Adonijah’s request as a manifestation of ambition for the kingship, Solomon revoked the pardon.

*** it-1 p. 26 Abishag ***
The account concerning Abishag directly precedes the account of the attempt at gaining the crown by the one who was probably David’s oldest surviving son, Adonijah, and would seem to be so placed to give understanding to Adonijah’s subsequent action during Solomon’s reign. Solomon, after ascending the throne, had placed Adonijah on conditional pardon. Now Adonijah persuaded Solomon’s mother, Bath-sheba, to ask Solomon to give him Abishag as his wife. Solomon, convinced that Adonijah’s request was not due alone to Abishag’s beauty but, rather, indicated a subtle effort to strengthen Adonijah’s claim to the throne, reacted angrily, revoked Adonijah’s pardon, and ordered his death. (1Ki 2:13-25)

*** it-1 pp. 49-50 Adonijah ***
However, following David’s death, Adonijah approached Bath-sheba and induced her to act as his agent before Solomon to request David’s youthful nurse and companion, Abishag, as his wife. Adonijah’s statement that “the kingship was to have become mine, and it was toward me that all Israel had set their face for me to become king” indicates that he felt he had been deprived of his right, even though he professedly acknowledged God’s hand in the matter. (1Ki 2:13-21) While his request may have been based solely on the desire for some compensation for the loss of the kingdom, it strongly suggested that the fires of ambition continued in Adonijah, since by a rule in the ancient East the wives and concubines of a king would only become those of his legal successor. (Compare 2Sa 3:7; 16:21.) Solomon so viewed this request made through his mother and ordered Adonijah’s death, which order was promptly carried out by Benaiah.—1Ki 2:22-25.

*** it-2 p. 157 King ***
Wives and property. The marriage and family customs of the Judean kings included the practice of having a plurality of wives and concubines, although the Law stipulated that the king was not to multiply wives to himself. (De 17:17) The concubines were considered to be crown property and were passed on to the successor to the throne along with the rights and property of the king. To marry or take possession of one of the deceased king’s concubines was tantamount to publishing a claim to the throne. Hence, Absalom’s having relations with the concubines of his father, King David, and Adonijah’s requesting as wife Abishag, David’s nurse and companion in his old age, were equivalent to claims on the throne. (2Sa 16:21, 22; 1Ki 2:15-17, 22) These were treasonable acts.

*** it-2 p. 988 Solomon ***
Adonijah’s Seditious Request. It was not long until Solomon had to act to carry out David’s instructions concerning Joab. This was prompted by the action of Adonijah, who still manifested ambition despite the mercy that Solomon had shown him. Adonijah approached Solomon’s mother with the words: “You yourself well know that the kingship was to have become mine, and it was toward me that all Israel had set their face for me to become king; but the kingship turned and came to be my brother’s, for it was from Jehovah that it became his.” Here Adonijah acknowledged that Jehovah was behind the enthroning of Solomon, yet his request that followed these words was a further crafty bid for usurpation of the kingship. He said to Bath-sheba: “Please, say to Solomon the king . . . that he should give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” Adonijah may have felt that he had a strong enough following, together with the support of Joab and Abiathar, that, by taking David’s nurse, considered to have been David’s concubine, though David had had no relations with her, he could start an uprising that might overthrow Solomon. By custom the wives and concubines of a king could only become those of his legal successor, so the taking of such wives was considered a claim to the throne. (Compare 2Sa 16:21, 22.) When Bath-sheba, not discerning Adonijah’s duplicity, transmitted his request to Solomon, Solomon interpreted it immediately as a bid for the kingship and forthwith sent Benaiah to put Adonijah to death.—1Ki 2:13-25.

(1 KINGS 2:22)

“At this King Solʹo•mon answered his mother: “Why are you requesting Abʹi•shag the Shuʹnam•mite for Ad•o•niʹjah? You may as well request the kingship for him, for he is my older brother, and supporting him are A•biʹa•thar the priest and Joʹab the son of Ze•ruʹiah.””

*** it-1 p. 26 Abishag ***
The account concerning Abishag directly precedes the account of the attempt at gaining the crown by the one who was probably David’s oldest surviving son, Adonijah, and would seem to be so placed to give understanding to Adonijah’s subsequent action during Solomon’s reign. Solomon, after ascending the throne, had placed Adonijah on conditional pardon. Now Adonijah persuaded Solomon’s mother, Bath-sheba, to ask Solomon to give him Abishag as his wife. Solomon, convinced that Adonijah’s request was not due alone to Abishag’s beauty but, rather, indicated a subtle effort to strengthen Adonijah’s claim to the throne, reacted angrily, revoked Adonijah’s pardon, and ordered his death. (1Ki 2:13-25)

*** it-1 p. 50 Adonijah ***
While his request may have been based solely on the desire for some compensation for the loss of the kingdom, it strongly suggested that the fires of ambition continued in Adonijah, since by a rule in the ancient East the wives and concubines of a king would only become those of his legal successor. (Compare 2Sa 3:7; 16:21.) Solomon so viewed this request made through his mother and ordered Adonijah’s death, which order was promptly carried out by Benaiah.—1Ki 2:22-25.

*** it-1 p. 495 Concubine ***
After King Solomon was enthroned, Adonijah, an older brother of Solomon, who had already made an attempt for the kingship, approached Solomon’s mother, Bath-sheba, saying: “You yourself well know that the kingship was to have become mine,” and then asked her to request of Solomon, Abishag the Shunammite, who appears to have been viewed as a wife or a concubine of David. Solomon angrily answered: “Request also for him the kingship,” and then he ordered that Adonijah be put to death, indicating that he construed Adonijah’s request as an effort to get the kingdom.—1Ki 1:5-7; 2:13-25.

*** it-2 p. 157 King ***
Wives and property. The marriage and family customs of the Judean kings included the practice of having a plurality of wives and concubines, although the Law stipulated that the king was not to multiply wives to himself. (De 17:17) The concubines were considered to be crown property and were passed on to the successor to the throne along with the rights and property of the king. To marry or take possession of one of the deceased king’s concubines was tantamount to publishing a claim to the throne. Hence, Absalom’s having relations with the concubines of his father, King David, and Adonijah’s requesting as wife Abishag, David’s nurse and companion in his old age, were equivalent to claims on the throne. (2Sa 16:21, 22; 1Ki 2:15-17, 22) These were treasonable acts.

(1 KINGS 2:26)

“To A•biʹa•thar the priest, the king said: “Go to your fields in Anʹa•thoth! You deserve to die, but on this day I will not put you to death because you carried the Ark of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah before David my father and because you shared in all the hardships that my father suffered.””

*** it-1 pp. 18-19 Abiathar ***
In view of his faithful record of enduring many hardships in David’s company during his time as a fugitive from Saul and again during Absalom’s rebellion, and considering his having enjoyed David’s confidence, friendship, and favor during some four decades, it is surprising to find Abiathar linking himself up with another son of David, Adonijah, in a later conspiracy for the throne. Though the plot also had the support of Joab as head of the army, it failed; and Solomon was appointed as king, with loyal priest Zadok doing the anointing at David’s instruction. (1Ki 1:7, 32-40) Abiathar’s son Jonathan, who had previously served as a runner to bear news to David during Absalom’s insurrection, now went to advise Adonijah of the plot’s miscarriage. King Solomon took no immediate action against Abiathar, but when evidence showed that the plot was still smoldering, he ordered Adonijah’s and Joab’s death and banished priest Abiathar from Jerusalem, saying: “Go to Anathoth to your fields! For you are deserving of death; but on this day I shall not put you to death, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah before David my father, and because you suffered affliction during all the time that my father suffered affliction.” (1Ki 2:26)

*** it-1 p. 19 Abiathar ***
However, 1 Kings 2:26 shows that Solomon sent Abiathar to his fields in Anathoth, and while Anathoth was not far from Gibeon, Solomon’s order indicates that Abiathar was being removed from any active participation in the priesthood.

*** it-1 p. 105 Anathoth ***
It was to Anathoth that Solomon banished Abiathar, thus bringing to an end the line of high priests from the house of Eli. (1Ki 2:26)

(1 KINGS 2:27)

“So Solʹo•mon drove A•biʹa•thar out from serving as a priest of Jehovah, to fulfill Jehovah’s word against the house of Eʹli in Shiʹloh.”

*** it-1 p. 19 Abiathar ***
Zadok was now assigned to replace Abiathar in his priestly position, and with this the office of high priest passed again to the line of Aaron’s son Eleazar; and the priestly line of the house of Eli came to a complete end, in fulfillment of the prophecy at 1 Samuel 2:31.—1Ki 2:27; 1Sa 3:12-14.

(1 KINGS 2:34)

“Then Be•naiʹah the son of Je•hoiʹa•da went up and struck Joʹab down and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness.”

*** it-1 p. 378 Burial, Burial Places ***
The site might be near the person’s house, perhaps in a garden (1Sa 25:1; 1Ki 2:34; 2Ki 21:25, 26); the expression “at his house” does not mean within the building, as is shown by a comparison of 2 Chronicles 33:20 and 2 Kings 21:18.

(1 KINGS 2:39)

“But at the end of three years, two of Shimʹe•i’s slaves ran away to Aʹchish the son of Maʹa•cah the king of Gath. When Shimʹe•i was told: “Look! Your slaves are in Gath,””

*** it-1 p. 899 Gath ***
During David’s reign, Gath and its dependent towns came into Israelite hands. (1Ch 18:1) Some men from Gath became loyal supporters of David, and when David fled from Absalom, there were 600 Gittites among those who went with him. (2Sa 15:18) But during Solomon’s rule Achish was still referred to as king of Gath. (1Ki 2:39-41) Evidently Achish was a vassal prince and not a king in the usual sense. (See AXIS LORDS.) Solomon’s successor Rehoboam rebuilt and fortified Gath.—2Ch 11:5-8.


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