David’s Strength Declines – 1015 B.C. & Solomon

David should be getting old, they should all be getting old, so what’s going to happen now? 

David and Abishag by Pedro Américo, 1879
Abishag (Hebrew: אבישג‎ Avishag) was a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to be a helper and servant to David in his old age.

Among Abishag’s duties was to lie next to David and keep him warm (“they put covers on him, but he could not get warm”); yet, David did not have sexual relations with her (1 Kings 1:4).

“Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat (1 Kgs 1:1).

David’s servants decided to get him a young virgin to cuddle with him so he would get warm.  They looked everywhere for the right one, throughout all the coasts of Israel, and they decided on Abishag a Shunammite.

And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom”  (1 Kgs 1:4-6).

“Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?

Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.

Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?

Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.

Shunem
Two resting-places, a little village in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa ( Joshua 19:18 ), where the Philistines encamped when they came against Saul ( 1 Samuel 28:4 ), and where Elisha was hospitably entertained by a rich woman of the place.

On the sudden death of this woman’s son she hastened to Carmel, 20 miles distant across the plain, to tell Elisha, and to bring him with her to Shunem.

There, in the “prophet’s chamber,” the dead child lay; and Elisha entering it, shut the door and prayed earnestly: and the boy was restored to life ( 2 Kings 4:8-37 ).

This woman afterwards retired during the famine to the low land of the Philistines; and on returning a few years afterwards, found her house and fields in the possession of a stranger. She appealed to the king at Samaria, and had them in a somewhat remarkable manner restored to her (Compare 2 Kings 8:1-6 ).

And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?

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.

And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not:

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.

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.

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 offenders” (1 Kgs 1:11-21).

Nathan then walked into the room and told him the same that Bath-sheba had told him.  He then asked David who should sit on the throne after him.

“Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.

And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,

Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day” (1 Kgs 1:28-30).

“Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.

And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,

Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day” (1 Kgs 1:32-36).

“And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar?

And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came; and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings.

Adonijah (’Ǎḏōnîyāh, “Yah is my lord”) was the fourth son of King David. His mother was Haggith as recorded in the book of 2 Samuel 3:4. Adonijah was born at Hebron during the long conflict between David and the House of Saul.

Life
After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom, Adonijah considered himself the heir-apparent to the throne. He acquired chariots and a large entourage. Although the king was aware of this, he neither rebuked his son nor made any inquiry into his actions.

David’s silence may have been interpreted by Adonijah and others as consent. Adonijah consulted and obtained the support of both the commander of the army Joab and the influential priest Abiathar. However, the priest Zadok; Benaiah, head of the king’s bodyguard; Nathan, the court prophet; and others did not side with Adonijah.

And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king.

And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule:

And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard.

And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.

And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed.

And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it.

And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.

And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword.

And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.

King David’s Tomb is a site considered by some to be the burial place of David, King of Israel, according to a tradition beginning in the 12th century. The majority of historians and archaeologists do not consider the site to be the actual resting place of King David.

It is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, near the early 20th century Abbey of the Dormition. The tomb is thought to be situated in a ground floor corner of the remains of the former Hagia Zion, considered a Byzantine church or late Roman era Synagogue. The building is now administered by the Diaspora Yeshiva, a Jewish seminary group.

Formerly a mosque, it was converted into a synagogue following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; from then onwards, the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs began the process of turning the site into Israel’s primary religious site. Jewish prayer was established at the site, and Jewish religious symbols were added. From 1948 until the Six-Day War in 1967, it was considered the holiest Jewish site in Israel.

The tomb compound includes the location traditionally identified as the Cenacle of Jesus, the original meeting place of the Christian faith. Recent years have seen rising tensions between Jewish activists and Christian worshippers at the site.

So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house” (1 Kgs 1:39-53).

Solomon

Solomon, the son of King David and Bathsheba, was the third king of Israel.  Solomon was renowned for his wisdom, wealth and for his construction projects.  Israel enjoyed an era of security, prosperity,     and international political and economic importance under Solomon.

Solomon was anointed king when his older brother, Adonijah, rashly tried to proclaim himself as ruler when their father, King David, became old.  But Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan, with the support of others, crowned Solomon as King.

Solomon began his 40-year reign in 967 BC while David was still alive.  Thanks to the conquests of David, Solomon’s domain stretched from Tipshah on the Euphrates to Gaza on the border of Egypt. The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, telling him to ask for anything he wanted.  Solomon asked for wisdom to lead the Israelites.  God was so pleased with Solomon’s reply, He not only gave him wisdom, but riches and honor too.

It was in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began the construction of the Temple.  Seven years later, it was completed, and the Ark of the Covenant was moved from the Tabernacle in Zion, the City of David, to the Temple.  He also built a large palace for himself, Fort Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, and the cities of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.

He also built cities for grain storage, cities to keep his chariots, homes for his army, and resort cities. He built a fleet of ships to bring gold in from Ophir. People from many lands came to visit him and listen to his God-given wisdom, including Queen of Sheba.

Solomon took many foreign wives – 700 wives and 300 concubines, turning his heart away from the Lord, and

encouraging him to worship their gods.  He even built temples for these foreign wives to use for burning incense and for offering sacrifices to their gods.  This made the lord angry, and the Lord told Solomon that after Solomon’s death, He would take the Kingdom away from Solomon’s son, except for one tribe.

After Solomon’s death, his son, Rehoboam, became King of Judah, while an enemy of Solomon, Jeroboam, became king of the northern tribes.

Solomon was the author of 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs.  The Books of Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon, and parts of the Book of Proverbs are ascribed to him.  The story of Solomon is found in 1 Kings, chapters 1-11, and in 2 Chronicles, chapters 1-9. The name Solomon means “peace/welfare.”