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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 1

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1When King David was old and advanced in years, though they spread covers over him he could not keep warm. 2His servants therefore said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought to attend you, lord king, and to nurse you. If she sleeps with your royal majesty, you will be kept warm.” 3So they sought for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunamite, whom they brought to the king. 4The maiden, who was very beautiful, nursed the king and cared for him, but the king did not have relations with her.

Ambition of Adonijah. 5Adonijah, son of Haggith, began to display his ambition to be king. He acquired chariots, drivers, and fifty henchmen. 6Yet his father never rebuked him or asked why he was doing this. Adonijah was also very handsome, and next in age to Absalom by the same mother. 7He conferred with Joab, son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported him. 8However, Zadok the priest, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, and Shimei and his companions, the pick of David's army, did not side with Adonijah. 9When he slaughtered sheep, oxen, and fatlings at the stone Zoheleth, near En-rogel,* Adonijah invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah. 10But he did not invite the prophet Nathan, or Benaiah, or the pick of the army, or his brother Solomon.

Solomon Proclaimed King. 11Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother: “Have you not heard that Adonijah, son of Haggith, has become king without the knowledge of our lord David? 12Come now, let me advise you so that you may save your life and that of your son Solomon. 13Go, visit King David, and say to him, ‘Did you not, lord king, swear to your handmaid: Your son Solomon shall be king after me and shall sit upon my throne? Why, then, has Adonijah become king?’ 14And while you are still there speaking to the king, I will come in after you and confirm what you have said.”

15So Bathsheba visited the king in his room, while Abishag the Shunamite was attending him because of his advanced age. 16Bathsheba bowed in homage to the king, who said to her, “What do you wish?” 17She answered him: “My lord, you swore to me your handmaid by the LORD, your God, that my son Solomon should reign after you and sit upon your throne. 18But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord king, do not know it. 19He has slaughtered oxen, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he has invited all the king's sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the general of the army, but not your servant Solomon. 20Now, my lord king, all Israel is waiting for you to make known to them who is to sit on the throne after your royal majesty.* 21If this is not done, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be considered criminals.”

22While she was still speaking to the king, the prophet Nathan came in. 23When he had been announced, the prophet entered the king's presence and, bowing to the floor, did him homage. 24Then Nathan said: “Have you decided, my lord king, that Adonijah is to reign after you and sit on your throne? 25He went down today and slaughtered oxen, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest, and they are eating and drinking in his company and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26But me, your servant, he did not invite; nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. 27Was this done by my royal master's order without my being told who was to succeed to your majesty's kingly throne?”

28King David answered, “Call Bathsheba here.” When she re-entered the king's presence and stood before him, 29the king swore, “As the LORDlives, who has delivered me from all distress, 30this very day I will fulfill the oath I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, that your son Solomon should reign after me and should sit upon my throne in my place.” 31Bowing to the floor in homage to the king, Bathsheba said, “May my lord, King David, live forever!” 32Then King David summoned Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. When they had entered the king's presence, 33he said to them: “Take with you the royal attendants. Mount my son Solomon upon my own mule and escort him down to Gihon. 34There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king of Israel, and you shall blow the horn and cry, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35When you come back in his train, he is to go in and sit upon my throne and reign in my place. I designate him ruler of Israel and of Judah.” 36In answer to the king, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, said: “So be it! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so decree! 37As the LORD has been with your royal majesty, so may he be with Solomon, and exalt his throne even more than that of my lord, King David!”

38So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites* went down, and mounting Solomon on King David's mule, escorted him to Gihon. 39Then Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the horn and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40Then all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing so-much as to split open the earth with their shouting.

41Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it, just as they ended their banquet. When Joab heard the sound of the horn, he asked, “What does this uproar in the city mean?” 42As he was speaking, Jonathan, son of Abiathar the priest, arrived. “Come,” said Adonijah, “you are a man of worth and must bring good news.” 43“On the contrary!” Jonathan answered him. “Our lord, King David, has made Solomon king. 44The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites, and they mounted him upon the king's own mule. 45Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him king at Gihon, and they went up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. That is the noise you heard. 46Besides, Solomon took his seat on the royal throne, 47and the king's servants went in and paid their respects to our lord, King David, saying, ‘May God make Solomon more famous than you and exalt his throne more than your own!’ And the king in his bed worshiped God, 48and this is what he said: ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has this day seated one of my sons upon my throne, so that I see it with my own eyes.’ ”

49All the guests of Adonijah left in terror, each going his own way. 50Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, also left; he went and seized the horns of the altar.* 51It was reported to Solomon that Adonijah, in his fear of King Solomon, had seized the horns of the altar and said, “Let King Solomon first swear that he will not kill me, his servant, with the sword.” 52Solomon answered, “If he proves himself worthy, not a hair shall fall from his head. But if he is found guilty of crime, he shall die.” 53King Solomon sent to have him brought down from the altar, and he came and paid homage to the king. Solomon then said to him, “Go to your home.”

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