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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The First Book of Kings

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1.1–2.46 : Solomon's succession to the throne.

This is the conclusion of the throne succession narrative in 2 Sam. chs. 9–20 .

1.1–53 : Two parties struggle for the kingship.

1 :

Very old: about seventy at this time.

5–6 :

Adonijah, as next in age to Absalom (now dead), had good reason to suppose he would succeed David; compare 2 Sam. 15.1 .

7–10 :

Adonijah was born during David's Hebron period and was therefore supported by David's leading men of that time, Joab, commander of the army (2 Sam. 2.13 is his first appearance), and Abiathar, the priest who escaped Saul's wrath and dwelt with David during the fugitive years in the wilderness (1 Sam. 22.20; 23.6 ). Solomon's support, on the other hand, came from leaders who only appeared after David's settlement in Jerusalem: Zadok, the other leader of the priests (2 Sam. 8.17 n. ), Nathan the prophet (see 2 Sam. 7.2 n.; 12.1–14 n. ), and Benaiah, commander of David's Philistine palace guard (2 Sam. 8.18; 20.23 ). Solomon was, of course, born in David's Jerusalem period to a Jerusalemite mother (2 Sam. 12.24–25 ). The two parties represented a tension that would persist through the centuries (see 2 Kgs. 21.23–24 ) between the old city-state of Jerusalem and the new kingdom of Judah.

9 :

En-rogel: a spring southeast of the city (2 Sam. 17.17 ).

11–31 :

Nathan sees the crisis and knows that through Bathsheba a counter-stroke can be effected.

33 :

Gihon was a sacred spring to the east of the city, in the Kidron Valley.

36–37 :

Benaiah, as commander of the guard, occupied the key position here.

38 :

The Kerethite and Pelethite guards were Cretan and Philistine mercenaries. The king's mule had special significance in the royal rituals of the city; compare Zech. 9.9 .

39 :

The city priest anoints the new king with oil preserved in the sanctuary for ritual purposes. On anointing oil, see Exod. 30.22–33 . For the Tent of the LORD , see 2 Sam. 6.17; 7.1–7 .

40 :

The procession went to the royal palace where Solomon was seated on the throne, the decisive conclusion to the coronation; see v. 46 .

41–53 :

When it was clear that Solomon's supporters had carried out their coup and that the king fully concurred (v. 48 ), Adonijah and his followers fled in panic (v. 49 ).

52–53 :

Solomon wished to avoid an open confrontation between the two parties. He would subsequently find ways to secure his own party.

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