During what appeared to be the last days of the aged king David, his son Adonijah decided to establish himself as king before David died. He was the eldest of David’s surviving sons (cf. 2 Sam 3:24), and had the support of the army commander Joab and the senior priest Abiathar (1 Kings 1:5-7). But God had showed David that Solomon was to succeed him (1 Chron 28:5), and Solomon had the support of the commander of the royal bodyguard Benaiah, the other leading priest Zadok, and the prophet Nathan (1 Kings 1:8). As a result of swift action by Nathan, David promptly declared Solomon to be king. The ambitious Adonijah could do nothing but cry to Solomon for mercy (1 Kings 1:6-53). Soon after David’s death, however, Solomon executed Adonijah for treason. He considered Adonijah’s request for Abishag as wife was a claim to David’s concubines, and therefore a claim to David’s throne (1 Kings 2:13-25; see ABISHAG).

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